Business Development Executive (School of Water, Energy and Environment & Agrifood) in the Business Alliance and Partnerships team at Cranfield Research and Innovation Office. Gilu's role involves supporting research staff in developing their partnerships with the private sector and management of key research partnerships.
Before moving to Cranfield, Gilu was at University of East Anglia where she worked as Business Innovation Manager for the Adapt Low Carbon Group. She was part of the Adapt’s InCrops partnership and Adapt Commercial Ltd, working at the interface between academics and businesses to deliver consultancy, innovation scouting and consortia building. Gilu led Adapt on the latter part of development of an Agri-Food Innovation platform bid for European Structural and Investment Fund involving four Local Enterprise Partnerships. Gilu’s role was crucial in bringing together new partnerships between academia and industry resulting in higher impact research projects and added value for businesses. She project managed and worked on several projects including Innovate UK, UEA LEP, Agritech catalyst and EU Interreg projects. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, Master’s degree in Biotechnology, a second Master’s degree in Applied Biomolecular Technology (University of Nottingham) and PhD in Plant Biology (University of York). She has more than fifteen years of experience working in Science sector as a part of multi-disciplinary research teams in different organisations in the UK and abroad in various roles including teaching, research, knowledge transfer and business development. These include Higher Education Institutions (University of York, University of East Anglia) and Research Centres such as the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), SPICES BOARD of India, Unilever Research Labs, Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) and the Biorenewables Development Centre Ltd (BDC). She is an associate of Higher Education Academy and a member of Chartered Management Institute.
Current activities include;
- First port of call for business seeking research-focused engagement with the University on a commercial basis for Schools of Water, Energy and Power, Environment and Agrifood (SWEE).
- Act as a catalyst to identify and support development of new business opportunities for SWEE.
- Work closely with Research Theme Directors to build existing relationships, widen Cranfield’s private sector client base, and diversify funding streams and mechanisms.
- Lead coordination and participation in projects of strategic importance to the Schools.
- Management of Key Research Partnerships - First operational point of contact for strategic partners’ key account managers on research and innovation activities, and provide an interface between the University and its strategic partners on research issues related to these partnerships.
- Support building new projects and partnerships and Industry facing UK, EU & International research bids including review, consortium building, bid submissions, delivery reporting and technology transfer.
- Showcasing Cranfield Research and the wider innovation environment including Innovation facilities and networks.