Engagement Process

MESH BDIR at the Keck School of Medicine of USC is dedicated to facilitating access to USC’s diverse technologies, ideas, and expertise available for various business development purposes that support innovation at USC (Figure 1).

Principles of the BDIR process are:

  • “Knowledge Transfer and Relationship” approach centers on connecting people and interests, not just moving ideas from one entity to the next, for quicker and more effective problem solving.
  • Understanding the Unmet Need, Identifying Type of Engagement, and Proper Communication reduces redundancy and missed opportunities.
  • Transparency and Continuous Improvement measures drive both internal efficiency and external partner satisfaction and retention.

We are continuously expanding our knowledge base of USC research capabilities and industry unmet needs in order to explore areas of mutual interest and find the right match. We are members of numerous organizations that provide opportunities to network with industry and connect to capital and incubators. (See the MESH BDIR Resources page for more information.)

BDIR Engagement Process

BDIR Engagement Process

BDIR Engagement Process

Prospect: Open new relationships, generate and qualify leads

Prospecting is the search for new business opportunities. MESH builds awareness of USC research programs and communicates the value of innovation, entrepreneurship and ecosystem building at USC. MESH BDIR services include:

  • Conducting outreach to faculty to better understand research capabilities and gauge interest in collaborating with industry
  • Conducting outreach to industry across life science sectors to understand unmet needs and strategic areas of interest
  • Leveraging existing marketing assets and creating new collateral that highlights USC research strengths that are differentiators for industry; driving content externally through various channels
  • Generating and qualifying leads that may come from internal or external referrals, the evolution of existing partnerships, or from successful marketing and outreach activities
  • Collaborating internally with various offices to identify industry touchpoints and levels of support

Cultivate: Develop relationships and identify shared interests

Nurturing relationships is time intensive, iterative, and critical to ensure parties are aligned. MESH acts as a facilitator in bringing both company representatives and USC faculty and administrative units together, enabling mutually beneficial outcomes and providing continuity. MESH BDIR services include:

  • Continuously communicating with industry to provide updates on USC offerings and identify potential shared interests
  • Identifying mutually beneficial areas of interest and the type(s) of engagement with targeted industry partners and relevant USC stakeholder (e.g. involvement with researchers; access to resources; involvement with centers of expertise or schools; student-oriented engagement; economic development)
  • Preparing personalized briefings for opportunities; presenting information to individuals, groups of varying sizes and levels of executive leadership at USC, and prospective partners
  • Engaging the interest of USC researchers and company stakeholders and exploring potential synergies
  • Securing and hosting meetings with relevant stakeholders from USC and prospective partners
  • Fostering interactions with faculty researchers, labs, and centers

Position: Create value proposition and formulate partnering strategy

Industry needs can evolve in complex ways. The MESH team has extensive experience in various business models and can add value by identifying the specific type of engagement, matching it with the right level of business outcome that should support the engagement, and partnering with the relevant business office(s) at USC for agreement execution.

MESH BDIR services include:

  • Closely matching USC capabilities to strategic business needs and collaborating with industry partners and USC business offices to formulate partnering strategies that reflect the needs and aspirations of all parties
  • Partnering with KSOM executive leadership and other key USC stakeholders to secure the opportunities and enable their growth
  • Actualizing relationships by preparing opportunity briefs that will function to ensure downstream agreement negotiations support the type and level of engagement that was identified during prospecting, cultivation, and positioning stages of business development
  • Transfer opportunity briefs that match to appropriate internal offices leading agreements:
    • Funded Research Agreements (except industry sponsored clinical trials) are executed through
    • Industry Sponsored Clinical Trials are executed through USC’s Clinical Trials Office, located on our Health Science Campus
    • Gift Agreements coordinated by USC Office of Advancement in cooperation with the units that receive the gifts
    • Licensing University Owned Technology and Works the responsibility of the USC Stevens Center for Innovation

Deliver: Mature the relationship and advocate

Our work doesn’t end at the close of an agreement, but continues through the cultivation of ongoing relationships.  We nurture and leverage new relationships into longer-lasting partners for USC.

MESH BDIR services include:

  • Provide continuity of relationship post-agreement by coordinating with industry partner for faculty outreach and partnership collaboration governance
  • Advocating for USC’s and companies’ strategic areas of interests and growing existing relationships
  • Continuously assessing and improving by obtaining feedback from internal and industry stakeholders

For more information, contact:
Vasiliki Anest, PhD, Senior Director

Melissa Rodgers, PhD, Associate Director of Business Development and Industry Relations

Camilo Ansarah-Sobrinho, PhD, Associate Director of Business Development and Industry Relations