Partnering for success
Marc Fleetham, Director of Business Development and Knowledge Exchange
I’m excited to have joined York St John University in September 2019 as its new Director of Business Development and Knowledge Exchange. I’ve spent much of my career bringing educators and businesses together to spark local and international success and I’m looking forward to doing the same here.
I made the move north after many years in the Midlands because of my love for all things York and my enthusiasm for what York St John is aiming to achieve through partnership working. It is a privilege to be leading the next exciting phase in how the University contributes to research, knowledge and economic growth in the city of York and beyond.
I know that the University has a strong record of working with the business community across both York and the North Yorkshire region and of course we are a major provider of graduates for several of the key public services in the county and beyond. I am hoping that we can build on what is going well and play an ever more proactive part in supporting the needs of the surrounding area.
Where universities and businesses work together, I’ve seen amazing things achieved. I want us to do that in York and combine our expertise to achieve wider benefits.
The role it plays in the community is one of the main things that attracted me to York St John. I want to ensure it remains a connected civic institution by increasing our involvement in groups and networks that bring business together to work collaboratively and strategically. I particularly want to understand the changing training needs of the workforce so we can continue to offer professional services that are fit-for-purpose in the 21st century and reflect and respond to local business needs.
To make this role a success I’ll be drawing on many years of working in business myself, including time in the petrochemical, construction and steel industries, specialising in business development and change management. My career in Higher Education which followed was spent at the University of Wolverhampton where I supported business start-ups, ran regional business centers in partnership with local authorities and local enterprise partnerships and successfully secured several major funding bids. I’ve also worked on international business projects, with partners in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
One of the things I like about York St John is that it is a smaller university, but with big ambitions. That means we can demonstrate the agility to try new things and use partnerships and innovation to make them work on a wider scale. The development of our new sister Campus in London is a great example.
We can demonstrate the agility to try new things and use partnerships and innovation to make them work on a wider scale.
It's an interesting time to come to York, one that feels like a mix of opportunities and challenges. On the one hand developments such as York Central, the growing role of the Business Improvement District and the renewed efforts to develop York’s brand can be extremely positive. York St John is contributing with initiatives like the build of our new Creative Centre on campus and the launch of the first Data Science degree apprenticeship in the country. On the other hand, we know Brexit and wider economic uncertainty create a difficult trading environment for many businesses. My message and my ask to the business community is: ‘let’s talk’. Where universities and businesses work together, I’ve seen amazing things achieved. I want us to do that in York and combine our expertise to achieve wider benefits.
Marc Fleetham can be contacted at email@example.com