Career Opportunities

Director of Business Development, Office of Economic Development

Posted on: Friday, January 27, 2017
Organization: University at Buffalo
Location: Amherst, NY

The Director of Business Development leads a team of specialists responsible for developing and maintaining partnerships with businesses.  He/She is part of the Office of Economic Development’s Senior Leadership Team, reporting to the Associate Vice President of Economic Development and working closely with the Principal Investigators in three major University industry engagement centers: the CBLS, the CMI and BIG. 

Business Development efforts are primarily focused on the life sciences, genomic medicine, materials science and advanced manufacturing industries. The Director is responsible for leading and directing, in conjunction with the PI’s, the annual business engagement strategy, as they relate to finding mutual value for the University and private sector collaborators. With an in-depth understanding of the research capabilities, curricular focus, and student engagement opportunities within UB, the Director of Business Development is responsible for supporting the development of, and carrying out, the execution of appropriate strategies for maximizing engagement between, and mutual value for, external partners and the university. In addition, this position supports the interface with the UB Technology Transfer/Licensing to move existing and new revenue-generating Intellectual Property (IP) toward commercialization with existing companies while providing general strategic and operations guidance to the OED.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Develop strategy targeted at growing industry engagement – among both start-ups and established companies – in alignment with OED, CBLS, BIG & CMI mission and goals.
  • Lead team that develops relationships with companies considering the Buffalo Niagara market, and establishes relationships with local companies to build mutually beneficial partnerships with UB that will assist the companies in growing. Industry partners’ job creation and retention are critical metric for success.
  • Actively build external networks to expand the ability to create value-added relationships between the university and the private sector.
  • Work closely with marketing team to develop value propositions that create a win for the company and the University.
  • Facilitate contacts and conversations between UB faculty and industry in relevant market segments.
  • Provide guidance on development of “training” program for faculty and staff at UB with regard to the full spectrum of the industry/university collaboration continuum, including student engagement, advancement opportunities, sponsored research, on-campus branding, commercialization, and affinity relationships.
  • Guide external partners into and through relationships involving the Offices of Sponsored Programs, Career Services, and Technology Transfer.
  • Provide guidance for internal capability, process, policy, and networking initiatives critical to advancing industrial relations.
  • Build and sustain relationships with regional economic organizations such as Empire State Development, Invest Buffalo Niagara and Industrial Development Agencies to further the interests of the university and coordinate activities that support job and company growth in Western New York.
  • Oversee team and maintain results by counseling employees. Plans, monitors and appraises job results, while ensuring educational development and experiential growth opportunities.
  • Work with Leadership Team to prepare annual budget, strategy and metrics.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in science or business
  • Minimum of 5 years of business development and relationships management experience with a focus/demonstrated track record of success in the life sciences industry.
  • Excellent organizational and multi-tasking skills; ability to sort through diverse issues, set appropriate direction, and initiate implementation plans that deliver the intended results. 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex relationships while balancing the requirements of multiple stakeholders, across alliances including private sector, public sector, and academic institutions. Possesses the experience and requisite skills to envision and broker win-win alliances between the university and business partners.
  • Possesses outstanding communication, presentation, and deal-closing skills; possesses the ability to recognize and adapt to people and audiences with disparate interests and motivations.
  • Broad industrial connections within relevant markets.
  • Knowledge of the industry supply-chain from research to manufacturing to end-user/consumer; understands industrial business drivers. Familiarity with academic environments and the unique culture within such organizations.
  • Capable of building rapport with faculty and earning their trust.
  • A leader and ‘make it happen’ individual; can exhibit a high level of energy and enthusiasm for all aspects of the position.
  • Demonstrated negotiation experience and skills.
  • The successful individual will be capable of establishing strategy and making independent decisions across multiple assignments with minimal supervision. Because of the diversity of responsibilities and the broad range of duties, it is essential that the person have the capability of taking independent action; takes ownership and responsibility and has the ability to bring vision to reality through collaborations with a broad range of individuals, groups, and organizations.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in relevant scientific field and/or MBA with relevant business experience.
  • 10 or more years of business development and relationships management experience with a focus/demonstrated track record of success in the life sciences industry.
  • Contract and alliance formation experience.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, university policies, processes, and practices related to sponsored research, technology commercialization, and/or student engagement.

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