They say if you want to get something done just ask a busy person. Deborah Lock certainly qualifies for the 'busy' category. In her role as Executive Director of Enterprise at Kingston University she is responsible for formulating and leading the strategic direction of the institution's enterprise agenda. She manages the department which covers business & commercial services, knowledge transfer, enterprise education, student enterprise and strategic project support services.
Deborah has oversight of all University HEIF funded positions. More recently, she led the successful institutional Economic Challenge Investment Fund [ECIF] bid which will result in the establishment of a Graduate-2-Business, careers, enterprise and employability centre. She has just completed the first UK survey on HEI knowledge-technology transfer salary and incentive schemes in partnership with UNICO.
Describing herself as a strategist and change agent, Deborah has a clear vision for the university:
"To work with business to overcome the barriers to viability and growth by sharing knowledge and inspiring development for the overall benefit of the community."
This is why the WestFocus alliance is so significant. Deborah comments:
"Our links with six other leading universities through the WestFocus activities adds real strength and scope to our business offer. Projects such as Shell Step and LIPP (London Innovation Placement Programme) offer pragmatic solutions to enhance learning and assist business. The WestFocus initiatives complement the KU strategy for the development of entrepreneurial skills for staff, students and the business community. We consider we have brought strength and relevance to this important partnership, and in turn, we benefit greatly from the regular interaction with our HEI colleagues."
One of the most interesting recent developments from WestFocus is the general willingness of the partners to continue collaborating even after direct funding has ceased.
"Kingston University Enterprise is certainly a hive of activity, and through WestFocus a lot of cross pollination is occurring!"
This article first appeared in Issue Eleven, Spring/Summer 2009 of KnowledgeExchange, a quarterly publication: www.westfocus.org.uk