Ben Fisher

Associate Consultant

Ben brings expertise in research, innovation, commercial and knowledge exchange portfolios to support higher education institutions to execute long-term vision and strategies to deliver value and impact from their research, teaching and engagement activities.

After more than a decade in senior leadership positions in both Russell Group and post-1992 higher education institutions, Ben brings leadership and management expertise and can offer strategic advice across research, innovation and knowledge exchange functions including strategy, operations, human resources, business, marketing and client services, policy, administration and new project/product development. He has a keen understanding of effective target operating models within the context of university research and knowledge exchange functions.

Ben joined SUMS as an associate in 2023. His most recent role was a dual position of Associate Dean for Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation at Teesside University. His responsibilities included producing and executing research and knowledge exchange strategies and operations for REF 2029 and KEF, oversight and performance of research and commercial infrastructure, external partnerships, employability and graduate outcomes, enterprise, postgraduate research, research quality, funding and impact, new product development, business development, sales and marketing. Under his guidance, Ben led the team to exceed research and knowledge exchange targets, including tripling research funding and doubling the academic base undertaking research and commercial activities.

Prior to joining Teesside University, Ben was Director of Business and Enterprise at Northumbria University. Together with five years working at Newcastle University, Ben spent his early career in the civil service and private sector in a variety of strategy, policy, business development, innovation and project management roles.

Ben is passionate about supporting local and regional economic development in the North East of England. As a result, he has held a number of Non-Executive Director and Advisory Board roles at RTC North, Durham County Council and the North East LEP. He is currently Vice-Chair at New College Durham. Married with two children, Ben loves to travel, attend the theatre, watch his kids play sports and dabble in the kitchen with a glass of Malbec in hand.