Project Manager for the South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications

University of Exeter
Business & Management, Education & Training, Sales, Business Development & Purchasing
Salary Details
Salary from £35,211 up to £39,609
Hours of work
Job Type
Interview Date
08/05/2019 (Anticipated)
Closing Date
The Project Manager will manage activities that drive growth in satellite applications in South West SMEs by engaging with the regional science base, space assets and industry. The full time post is available until 31st March 2020.

Job Description

The post will be based in the Innovation Impact and Business team at the University of Exeter Penryn campus in Cornwall. The postholder will work closely with project partners at Falmouth University, University of Plymouth, Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC) and UK Space Agency (UKSA). The post is part funded by the SAC and UKSA.

South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications 

The South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications is one of a small number of Regional Centres of Excellence announced in February 2016 by the UK Satellite Application Catapult Centre based in Harwell. The Centre has been running for three years and has been working with South West Peninsula’s growing space-enabled business sector. The Centre engages with innovative South West SMEs, larger companies and the public sector to grow commercial satellite applications across a range of sectors including Maritime, Agri-tech, eHealth and Mining.

The Centre is led by the University of Exeter with activities delivered by a consortium of HEI partners consisting of University of Exeter, Plymouth University, Falmouth University. We also have support from industry including Goonhilly Earth Station and SetSquared to deliver a number of business support programmes in the region.

We are looking for a dynamic team-player to fulfil the role of Centre Manager. The successful applicant will take forward projects and/or programmes of projects that deliver significant outcomes to the partners involved and to the commercial entities they are engaged with.

You will manage activities to drive growth in satellite applications in South West SMEs: by engaging with the wider end user community and their supply chains and linking the science base with industry primes with SMEs in the South West region (primarily Cornwall, Devon and Somerset).

The Manager will take a leading role in delivering a programme of activities including themed workshops, supported projects, and one-to-one company engagement will be delivered across the South West region. The role will facilitate and develop new, and maximise current opportunities for research income development and commercial exploitation with partner organisations, primarily businesses.

We are seeking a highly skilled and experienced applicant to fill the role of Manager. This post is key to the supply of project information to senior management and funding bodies, establishing and maintaining relationships with SMEs, identifying collaborative opportunities and building a support ecosystem in the South West for space-enabled businesses.

The post holder is also expected to manage stakeholder and business relations. The post holder will contribute to the business engagement strategy and delivery by seeking opportunities to support businesses by identifying research and innovation and knowledge exchange opportunities.

You will be supported by a small team of staff dedicated to working on satellite applications through the centre which will include individuals with expertise in knowledge transfer in our theme areas of agri-tech, e-health, maritime cyber and mining.

Innovation Impact and Business (IIB) Directorate

The role is based in our Innovation, Impact and Business Directorate on the University of Exeter Penryn Campus. The IIB service aims to secure greater value and impact from relationships with partners drawing on the University’s education, research and physical assets. This includes research collaboration, commercial services, new venture development skills, placements, and education partnerships with business recruitment.

Main duties and accountabilities

1. Lead and manage the Centre team to deliver activities and leverage resources and input from the research base and the wider knowledge exchange infrastructure across South West England.

2. Identify and raise awareness of capability in satellite applications in the research base and articulate/promote the potential for cutting edge research and innovation to be translated into real economic benefits for companies in a range of industry sectors.

3. Work in partnership with academic colleagues, lead the business development activity to deliver all objectives/KPIs

4. Plan and deliver the appropriate systems of business development processes and business engagement strategy to deliver the targets defined in the Statement of Work for the Centre of Excellence.

5. Build and develop relationships with companies, funding organisations, HEIs, Catapults and other partner organisations to develop the business development capabilities of the centre.

6. Draw on expertise in the research base across a broad range of disciplines and institutions thereby increasing the number of academics actively engaged in satellite applications, managing priorities and expectations between industry, HEIs, Catapult and the wider research base and take mitigating action where resource and project delivery issues exist.

7. Understand the needs and strategic direction of individual companies, helping them to bridge the gap in terms of knowledge of the research base, enabling them to network into relevant research teams to meet business needs and access relevant funding opportunities to support the knowledge exchange activity.

Postholders may undertake all of the duties listed below or a sub-set depending on their role as agreed with their line manager.

Connect Partners

  • Lead the delivery of excellent standards of customer service for academic and commercial partners.
  • Undertake the role of relationship manager for partners and/or networks as agreed with the Head of Innovation Impact and Business Cornwall. In addition to developing their own links, they may work closely with academics that have an existing close relationship with the partner.
  • Facilitate the allocation of support packages for both academic and entrepreneurial groups to help them build and strengthen strategic collaborations between the University and external organisations.
  • Represent SWCoESA and the University in both internal and external interactions underpinning the strategic objectives of the programme.
  • Work with colleagues across partner university groupings such as the SETsquared partnership or GW4 to participate in and/or lead development of joint proposals for cross-partnership commercialisation initiatives and to develop and organise joint events.

Create Opportunities

  • Plan, initiate and deliver key strategic business development projects that will place Exeter in a stronger position with relevant funders and stakeholders.
  • Identify University and project resource needs and implement solutions, working closely with other professional services and academics as required.
  • Contribute to and advise on the preparation of grant applications to funding bodies and proposals and tenders to industry or government departments, including ESIF funding and lead on the development of proposals for economic development, knowledge transfer, research and innovation.
  • Identify those organisations able to access any of a range of HE interventions designed to support their growth, diversification or R&D activities, and those with potential to access finance for development.

Generate Value

  • Work closely with academics and external clients to identify and develop opportunities for impact development and income generation from external sources. The Project Manager will exercise sound judgement in respect of the viability and risks of proposed projects, develop proposals for funding and negotiate key contract terms with the sponsor and partners with the aim of establishing a portfolio of projects including contract research and knowledge transfer projects.
  • Take responsibility for supporting academics in developing and maximising external relationships with organisations who will invest in research and education. Work closely with principal investigators (PIs) on existing major funded projects to further develop the relationship with the funder, facilitate discussions for funding follow-on developments, deepen the partnership with any project partners, and facilitate impact-related activities.
  • Identify opportunities to improve and streamline processes and procedures to ensure value for money.

Project Management

  • Undertake the day-to-day project management of a portfolio of live projects between the University and local, regional, national and international partners, taking responsibility for compliance with funding body requirements when appropriate.

Policy, Planning and Reporting

  • Contribute to the development of strategic priorities for the IIB Team and support the delivery of the targets set in College Business Plans.
  • Respond to external requests for information on our activities, strengths and capabilities.
  • Develop and maintain detailed project plans based on the management of project deliverables, maintaining risk registers for individual projects against proposed project outputs.
  • Monitor the outputs of projects in order to ensure projects meet objectives.
  • Maintain and update University ISO procedures and CRM systems and working according to the processes set out in these.
  • Updating University policies governing impact and partnership development and knowledge exchange in response to changes in legislation and/or to reflect sectoral best practice
  • Regularly monitor and review existing projects in order to ensure objectives and deliverables are met.

Line Management

  • May be responsible for supervising or managing Impact and Partnership Development Officer(s) and associated resource who form part of flexible, cross-university thematic teams
  • Oversee the work of the individuals/team including ensuring they follow consistent approaches and systems to ensure high quality engagement and success with partners, setting strategic objectives and development.

Other Duties

  • Set own objectives under the management of the Head of IIB Cornwall to manage workload and ensure deliverables and deadlines are achieved.
  • There will be a requirement for regular UK travel.
  • This job description summarises the main duties and accountabilities of the post and is not comprehensive, the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties of similar level and responsibility.

Special requirements:

  • The role holder will be expected to attend meetings, events and conferences, this will involve travelling throughout the UK and occasionally internationally.


Company Description

We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2017.

Our research income in recent years means we're fastest growing UK Research University and we seek to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today through this. 98% of our research is international quality (2014 Research Excellence Framework) and we encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students.

With over 22,000 students and 5,500 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment in which to work. We are an equal opportunity employer, a Disability Confident employer and an Athena Swan accredited institution. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce. 

We offer some fantastic benefits including:

  • 41 days leave per year
  • options for flexible working
  • numerous discounts at leading retailers
  • onsite gyms on all of our campus' and a cycle to work scheme
  • sector leading policies around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), paternity leave (up to six weeks full pay) and a new Fertility Treatment Policy
  • stunning campus environments in Exeter and Cornwall, in the beautiful South West of England

Other Application Details

To apply please follow this link and complete an application form with information on how your skills, experience and qualifications meet the person specification. For informal discussion about the role and requirements please contact Amie Fulton, Head of Innovation Impact and Business on 01326 371 886

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