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Hub strengthens Innovation Growth Service with trio of university appointments

We've appointed three university business development managers, completing a team that enables local businesses to access expertise and facilities at four Greater Manchester universities.

A key part of our Innovation Growth Service, the new network of business development managers includes Rick Watson at the University of Manchester, Dharma Nurse at Manchester Metropolitan University and Stephen Ellison at the University of Salford. They join Sue Warburton, already established at the University of Bolton.

The group will work closely alongside the universities’ engagement teams and academic schools, offering businesses technical and sectoral advice, and helping them access university resources to develop new products and services or reinvigorate their business models.

Rick joins the Hub as business development manager for the University of Manchester with over 19 years’ business development experience. One of his previous roles was technology manager at the University of Salford, where he specialised in technology knowledge transfer.

Dharma moves into the role of business development manager for Manchester Metropolitan University from the Hub’s manufacturing team, where she worked with engineering and manufacturing companies and supply chains to deliver key sectoral projects.

Specialising in business development in the banking, telecoms and media sectors, Stephen joins the Hub as business development manager for the University of Salford, having forged relationships with procurers of major public contracts, particularly in the health and education sectors.

Richard Jeffery, director at Business Growth Hub, said: “The world-class academic knowledge and research facilities on offer at these universities allow us to create an unparalleled ecosystem of research, knowledge, and innovation with potential to make a real difference to businesses across Greater Manchester. These partnerships represent a significant step forward in the Hub’s mission to provide a market-leading service for the businesses that seek our support.”

Luke Georghiou, vice president of research and innovation at the University of Manchester, said: “In a globally competitive environment where knowledge and innovation is a key driver of economic growth, the ability of institutions such as major universities to collaborate and share knowledge is vital.

“These new partnerships will allow businesses across Greater Manchester to tap into a network of world class research and expertise, helping them surmount challenges, deliver key research objectives and spark innovative ways of thinking.

“It has the potential to make a profound difference to the success of both the regional business community and wider economy, and I am confident that with Business Growth Hub we will create a thriving culture of entrepreneurship competing at the forefront of this new knowledge-based economy.” 

Our Innovation Growth Service has been developed to guide and support entrepreneurs and businesses through the innovation challenge, from idea conception through to launch.

Businesses who are looking to innovate can get access to our specialist support and cutting-edge research by emailing or calling 0161 359 3050.

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