Coventry University | Paul Fairburn

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Paul Fairburn

Paul Fairburn

Title: Director, Enterprise & Innovation

Tel: +44 (0) 7974 984017

Kate Pallister

Personal Assistant

Tel: +44 (0) 7974 984939

Tas Akhter

Personal Assistant

Tel: +44 (0) 7557425176


Paul was appointed to the role of Director, Enterprise and Innovation at Coventry University in January 2015 having previously held the post of Director, Business Development.

As a leading University for business engagement, we have a long and successful history of collaborating with industry and actively driving growth and innovation across many sectors.

Paul leads the Enterprise & Innovation (E&I) Group at the University - a dynamic and motivated team, who provide support and expertise to stimulate industrial research, develop high value strategic partnerships, and commercialise business ideas. The E&I Group operate in a number of areas across the University Group – supporting the funding, intellectual property, research, and development needs of the University (and partner organisations). The Group are responsible for establishing strong links between the University’s academic expertise, and a wide breadth of public and private sector organisations across global markets.

Paul continues to develop partnerships between academics and companies in the public and private sector and is instrumental in helping external partners find the solution they need to complex business problems through research and development, consultancy and collaborative projects.

Key Information

A chartered engineer by trade, Paul worked for a number of high profile organisations (including British Gas, IVAX Pharmaceuticals UK (now TEVA UK Ltd), and the National Health Service) before joining Coventry University in 2005 as part of the newly-formed Business Development (BD) Team. Paul came to Coventry University with a vision of the value of linking business and education, having brought many products and services to market. This was at a time when Coventry was embarking on a major expansion programme and the BD Team were tasked with generating income for applied research projects.

In 2007, Paul was promoted to Senior Business Development Manager, assuming full line management and financial responsibility for the BD Team. “At this time,” said Paul, “the Business Development Team had a key role to play in the delivery of the University Corporate Strategy and we had to grow applied research income levels against organisational targets, diversify income sources, and assist in raising the overall commercial profile of the University.” Paul was promoted to Director, Business Development in August 2010 and continued to manage the BD Team and developed a new professional training and consultancy operation (leading to the creation of a new trading subsidiary, CU Services Ltd in 2012/13).

He also led a £5.2m project to establish a specialist facility for the development of innovative environmental technology products and services. As Coventry University’s expansion programme continued, from 2012-14, Paul successfully implemented effective improvements to a £100m+ project portfolio management programme, and assumed greater leadership, line management and budgetary responsibilities across the Business Development Group – culminating in successful achievement of financial targets in 2013/14.