Vice President - Business and Client Development (updated)


4890 Victoria Avenue North, Vineland Station, Ontario

General Outline: 

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is recruiting for Vice President, Business and Client Development to work in an industry-driven research environment. Vineland is a world-class research centre dedicated to horticultural science and innovation. Located in Canada’s Niagara Region, Vineland’s mission is to deliver innovative products and production solutions that address the needs of the horticulture industry and advance Canada’s research and commercialization agenda. We are an independent, not-for-profit organization, funded in part by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Our people are the most important asset in achieving our goals and are known in the world for excellence in science and entrepreneurship. Our staff enjoys an exciting and challenging work environment noted for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Vineland welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Must be legally entitled to work in Canada.

Duties & Responsibilities: 

The Vice President, Business and Client Development will provide business leadership to Vineland in its dealings with external clients and collaborators. Reporting to Vineland's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Vice President will design and translate program business and client strategies into attainable objectives and plans. Will balance big picture concerns with day-to-day issues and provide the CEO with in-depth market intelligence for the development of the corporate strategic plan. The incumbent will be accountable for demonstrating impact and for managing client relationships and securing revenue at a level appropriate to support Vineland and its programs.

Key Duties & Responsibilities:

Manages and deploys business development (BD) resources by:

  • Ensuring programs have the business outreach, analysis and agreement development support they need to meet BD objectives, rebalancing BD resources in a coordinated approach between programs
  • Recruiting BD professionals to meet projected program requirements
  • Creating opportunities to share information and leads
  • Establishing an engaged and motivated work environment where staff embraces a culture of continuous change that will keep the organization agile

Supports the business objectives of Vineland in identifying key relationships and achieving revenue objectives by:

  • Developing key relationships that lead to investment in Vineland by external clients from industry and government
  • Collaborating with Vineland staff to prioritize and structure business initiatives and activities and to ensure timely and seamless operational implementation
  • Advising on and negotiating Vineland’s more complex business deals and resolving the highest profile and highest risk business issues

Responsible for the collection and management of appropriate information to facilitate program and corporate-based decision making by:

  • Providing the CEO with in-depth business information relevant for the development and, where necessary, adjustment of the strategic plan
  • Ensuring BD staff are maintaining a network of contacts to regularly benchmark and remain current on future trends and developments related to assigned sub-sector areas
  • Fostering and accelerating the integration of market information into business plans, including on-going scans to identify new opportunities and develop new programs

Develops and maintains high-level stakeholder relationships important for Vineland’s success by:

  • Establishing and enhancing relationships with senior officials of industry, government and universities to ensure a continued awareness of changes in clients' and collaborators' needs for portfolios and programs
  • Collaborating with Vineland’s marketing and communications team to develop effective business communications tools and media to support professional program delivery to target audiences including establishing key messages and preparing content

In accordance with Vineland intellectual property (IP) and contracts policies, support the CEO in contract negotiation and decision making by:

  • Supporting the CEO with strategic IP decisions which align with clients' needs and Vineland’s goals and objectives
  • Participating in the development, maintenance and enforcement of IP policy and procedures


  • Post-graduate degree or equivalent in business, science, agriculture or engineering
  • Driven, collaborative leader with demonstrated success in bringing technology to market by formulating business development plans and strategies to create high-impact value
  • Knowledgeable and ability to navigate within the IP environment
  • Business acumen and interpersonal skills with a proven ability to build strong relationships locally, nationally and internationally
  • Ability to merge science/engineering with business and leverage networks to advance relationships with government and/or industry partners
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a small team
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Travel up to 40 per cent of the time

Additional Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities:

  • Substantial knowledge of the horticulture and Canadian innovation system
  • Solid knowledge of key national and global trends, challenges and opportunities impacting the Canadian horticultural innovation system
  • Applied knowledge of leadership management and team motivation principles and practices
  • Advanced knowledge of key client management strategies
  • In-depth knowledge of technology transfer, business development and IP management principles and practices
  • Advanced knowledge of effective communication, marketing and outreach strategies specific to attracting and retaining key partners, clients and collaborators
  • Knowledge of key components of strategic business plans with the ability to synthesize information from diverse primary and secondary sources to develop business frameworks and implementation plans
  • Applied knowledge of program and project management principles
  • Strong negotiation skills for development of partnerships and collaborations
  • Demonstrated ability in establishing successful multi-client collaborations at regional and national levels
  • Demonstrated ability to develop program business strategies and implementation plans

Additional Info: 

This is a full-time permanent position.

How to Apply: 

This position is open until filled. Click on the Apply Now button.