New BDMs to 'cultivate' business and public sector engagement to bring innovation and progress

Published: 4 September 2007 at 13:15

Anglia Ruskin University has appointed two new Business Development Managers to its expanding Research and Development Services (RDS) team. Ben Gibbs joins to focus on the business and financial services sector while Jemma Little has special responsibility for establishing relationships within the education and training sector.

Ben Gibbs has worked for more than a decade at the interface between business and education, developing links that bring mutual benefit and increase understanding. His experiences include working as a consultant at the DfES, developing funding relationships between "big business" and government education initiatives, and providing management and marketing consultancy to independent schools.

Prior to joining Anglia Ruskin University, Ben was a Business Development Manager at the University of Cambridge International Examinations, responsible for the growth of the organisations validation and quality assurance business.

As the Business Development Manager for the University's Financial and Management services, Ben seeks to raise the profile of the Ashcroft International Business School, and increase the range and volume of its work in the regional, national and international business and public sector community. 

Commenting on his role, Ben explained,

“The Ashcroft International Business School is fully equipped to provide highly focused corporate training to organisations of all shapes and sizes, through a suite of flexible study options - including work-based learning - that lead to undergraduate, postgraduate or professional qualifications. This will be my primary focus, although there is also a great deal of potential to develop new knowledge transfer business, and to provide research consultancy for businesses in need of objective insight.”

Jemma has over 10 years experience in business development, funding and communications. Most recently, she was Business and Communications Manager for Cambridgeshire Horizons a not-for-profit company which she helped to set up and establish as the driving force for the development of new communities and economic growth in the Cambridge area.

One of her biggest achievements was that she helped to secure £44m government funding to pay for infrastructure in 2004-2008, including the a new pedestrian and cycle bridge for Cambridge which, when it is opened in Spring 2008, will be first new river crossing in Cambridge since the Elizabeth Way Bridge was opened in 1971. In her earlier career she worked as a secondary school history teacher in London and ran a specialist environmental consultancy which managed public consultation and community involvement projects for public and private sector clients. She said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be working for Anglia Ruskin University and in particular to be supporting the work of the Education Faculty which is a leading trainer of professionals for the classroom. I started my career in teaching and it is very satisfying to be using my business and teaching experience combined in one role. In the coming months my priorities are to support the Faculty develop its portfolio of services, making links between funding, research and consultancy opportunities and the huge bank of knowledge and expertise held by our staff and students.”

There are six Business Development Managers in the team at Anglia Ruskin University. Each specialises in a market sector that relates to the interests of one of the five Anglia Ruskin faculties or the needs of regional business interest groups and other regional organisations. The principal objective of this team is to act as an interface between the University and businesses, the public sector and government agencies, charities, non-profit organizations and funding entities to support the transfer of knowledge and technology to private and public bodies.

Dr Tony West, Director of Research and Development Services at Anglia Ruskin University, added:

“Ben and Jemma will be helping us to cultivate working partnerships with all who can benefit from being engaged with our University.”

“Through these partnerships, we are looking to help businesses improve their business performance, while bringing new products to market and, ultimately, helping to develop recognised centres of research excellence, here at Anglia Ruskin University.”

“We want business and organisations who feel that they can benefit from contact with the infrastructure and culture of a university to come forward and engage in projects with us.”