National Occupational Standard for Business Development Manager in Bio-Health

Definition of occupation

For the purpose of this document, Business Development covers the activities associated with the strategic development/growth of the organization through acquisition and/or divestment of Intellectual Property (IP) and technology, licensing, partnerships, contracting for specialized services as they pertain to the Bio-Health (particularly the pharmaceutical and medical devices) sub sectors within the broader bio-economy. This function ascertains the commercial feasibility of projects by facilitating the strategic assessment/fit, business case development, due diligence, and deal negotiation process through multi-functional project teams.

The product development timeline in the Bio-Health sector can be very long — years, or even decades — and the Business Development Manager plays an instrumental role in ensuring organizational success in this risky and highly competitive industry by managing the many activities associated with creating and nurturing connections between their firms and a wide array of other organizations (developers or owners of IP, external scientific research organizations (universities, private labs), testing and trials organizations, potential technology and commercialization partners, government innovation/funding agencies, and other investors) in order to help create mutually beneficial commercial arrangements aimed at (further) developing research in ways that may eventually result in an approved product.

In addition to managing the activities of the Business Development function, the Business Development manager works closely with finance, research/medical, legal, regulatory, and investor relations. They require broad and deep industry knowledge as well as an understanding of the underlying science/technology, and the processes and technologies involved in the development and manufacturing of products to establish their commercial feasibility. Their understanding of the product development cycle and the various actors who can potentially participate in it, as well as the legal and regulatory constraints that underpin all activity in the Bio-Health sector, are crucial to their success in this role.

The personal/professional competencies associated with the role are critical for developing and maintaining the necessary industry relationships. High levels of strategic assessment, business acumen/planning, negotiation skills, win/win scenarios, networking, contracting, and business case proposals are all competencies mandatory for success.

NOTE: The terms Marketing, Sales, and Business Development are often used interchangeably, but their purpose and processes are different:

  • Sales includes those processes directly associated with the transactions and exchange of value between the organization and its customers.
  • Business Development includes those processes involved in creating relationships with potential customers so that sales transactions can occur.
  • Marketing is a strategic function that encompasses the processes involved in determining how to best leverage the capabilities of the organization in order to satisfy customer needs.

How to use a National Occupational Standard 

View summary NOS profile here: Business Development Manager – National Occupational Standard Summary