Contact Dr Gilu George


Dr Gilu George joined Cranfield Executive Development (CED) as the Director of the Associate Network in July 2019. CED operates both in the UK and internationally and is known for delivering outstanding results through its portfolio of open and tailored executive development programmes.

Prior to this, Gilu was a Business Development Manager in the Business Alliance and Partnerships team at Cranfield Research and Innovation Office since November 2015. This role involved supporting research staff in developing their partnerships with the private sector and management of key partnerships.

At RIO, Gilu led a new Industry- Academia partnership model - the Johnson Matthey Agritech Partnership Programme; a pilot programme offering businesses the opportunity to work with University’s academic experts accelerate the market translation of high impact innovations for the Agritech sector. She was also the Relationship Manager for Cranfield – Unilever strategic partnership and initiated the Unilever Ice-cream Innovation Accelerator competition.

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 also holds a ILM 7 Diploma in Strategic Management & Leadership studies.

She has worked extensively in the 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).

Gilu is an Associate of Higher Education Academy and a member of Chartered Management Institute.

Current activities

Core activity is enabling the delivery of a range of executive development interventions by ensuring access to a fit for purpose network of external associates with the right knowledge, skills and experience to deliver quality Cranfield brand teaching, subject matter expertise, facilitation, programme management, coaching and other deliverables to corporate clients and open enrolment participants, both in the UK and globally.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Establishing and maintaining a strong network of associates from which CED can identify skills and expertise for a particular programme or intervention
  • Managing relationships with the pool of associates
  • Ensuring CED can maximise the value from its relationships with external associates and deliver the required expertise to clients
  • Be accountable for the CED Associate Management Policy in accordance with the CED strategy
  • Managing associate IR35 and contractual matters liaising with Central team
  • Growing the network of associates to ensure CED has access to the right knowledge and can keep pace with evolving client requirements
  • Establishing and maintaining an up to date database of expertise and maintaining an awareness of subject matter expertise within SOM


Current clients include key stakeholders in industry, HEIs, research organisations and private sector at a national and international level to support and develop commercial sector funding opportunities.


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