Innovation Lab – Business Development Manager – 2 year fixed term contract

Allia Future Business Centre




UP to £36,000 pro rata dependent on experience - £21,600 per annum - 0.6 FTE




Based:                  Future Business Centre Peterborough

Reports to:           Director of Ventures /Head of Operations

Hours:                   Part time, 21 hours – Flexible on work pattern

Salary:                  Up to £36,000 pro rata dependent on experience – up to 0.6 FTE                                      (£21,600 per annum)


About Us

Allia is the UK’s leading organisation dedicated to helping impact ventures to thrive. Allia supports those that aim to make positive change and address the most pressing global and local challenges: through flexible workspace, networking and community in its Future Business Centres (in Cambridge, London and Peterborough); its venture support programmes for entrepreneurs; and social finance solutions to help charities create greater impact.

In the last 20 years, we have helped 1,695 ventures to start-up, grow and scale, which have launched new innovations and companies, creating 4,600 jobs and we have issued bonds raising over £333 million to help charitable organisations with development projects and activities.

Our people are pivotal to our success and we have grown expediently. Our team is almost 50 strong in 3 locations and we continue to add to this number. We are an equal opportunities employer who embraces diversity, inclusion and flexible working. In fact, we are the best not-for-profit employer for employee engagement in the Eastern region. We offer a great working environment, true team working ethos, great benefits and much more.

About you

We are looking for an Innovation Lab Business Development Manager (BDM) who will be an active and confident networker in the innovation, engineering and manufacturing sectors who is able to build on our existing networks to drive activity and income into the Innovation Lab. Whilst income generation is a key success criteria for the role, it is equally important that the BDM is able to build and develop meaningful engagement with key, strategic stakeholders that will lead to a sustainable, multi-income business model after 2 years of activity.

With an understanding of open innovation, the BDM will also be a hands-on role, taking the lead in running key stakeholder events, driving activity in the lab and bringing in new expertise and knowledge from different sectors to achieve the key deliverables of the Lab as well as financial sustainability. Whilst a technical background is not essential an understanding of the equipment within the Lab and its application in industry will be an important part of the role.

 Role Responsibilities

  • As an innovation ambassador, the Business Development Manager will lead:
    • Championing the message and building awareness of the Innovation Lab
    • Driving income to the lab through corporate, SME and innovator memberships, equipment loans, bureau services and events
    • Growing engagement, building relationships, sustaining and strengthening connections with relevant stakeholders
    • Sharing new ideas with relevant networks and the wider community
    • Championing innovation and building cultures of innovation
  • Grow relationship(s) with key partners i.e. Anglian Water Partnership – ensuring contractual performance targets are achieved, value adding activities are delivered and sufficient income is generated to ensure the lab is financially sustainable
  • Manage all appropriate stakeholders including Education providers, Digital People in Peterborough, etc utilising in house CRM systems
  • Build an Open Innovation Network around the Innovation Lab(s) and partner with other local / relevant thematic focused networks
  • Work with the Allia team to build clear messages to promote an innovative culture that:
    • Rethink problems and emphasises ‘horizon scanning’ to identify solutions
    • Drives for solutions and challenges development traditions
    • Experiments with and prototypes new ideas
    • Brings users into the design process and seeks collaboration with non-traditional partners
  • Identify emerging leaders and through encouraging learning and development, help them improve and apply their innovation skills
  • Focus on increasing engagement and awareness of Allia’s Innovation Lab (as well as Allia’s Future Business Centres) through facilitating:
    • Events and Workshops, including Hackathons and Sandpits
    • Programs and Activities, including Training, Scrums and Sprints
  • Inform, network and monitor the alignment of the Innovation Lab activities with the Allia Future Business Centres Innovation Strategy
  • Champion innovation that strategically aligns to Allia’s Vision and Objectives, testing new ideas in areas such as social entrepreneurship, Venture Support, and exploring how technology can tackle stubborn development challenges, and help achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Encouraging and facilitating engagement between the Wider Innovation Community and the Water Innovation Network
  • Build a viable and sustainable business model for the Open Innovation Network and Innovation Lab(s) e.g. through:
    • Driving membership
    • Attracting Corporate / SME / Supplier Sponsorship(s)
    • Partner Funding

Skills, Qualifications & Personal Attributes Required

  • Must have experience of building networks, ideally innovation led networks
  • Previous experience of championing innovation and an understanding of Open Innovation is desirable
  • Experience of running Events and Workshops, including for example Hackathons and Sandpits is essential
  • Experience of constructing Programs and Activities, including Training, Scrums and Sprints would be an advantage.
  • Connections with a wide range of businesses and other organisations from academia and research institutions, public sector and third sector is essential.
  • Must be a confident and personable individual who is able to work across multiple organisations to build and maintain productive relationships
  • A willingness to learn and acquire new knowledge and skills is essential


To apply for this role, please send an up to date CV with a supporting covering letter highlighting your skills and experience along with why we should consider you for the role and your salary expectations. Applications will not be considered without this information.

Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK without sponsorship. All applications should be submitted by 5pm on Friday 14th February 2020.






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