Director, UK and Ireland – London

Job Title: Director, UK and Ireland 
Division: UK and Ireland (UK&I)
Reports to: CEO
Contract: Permanent
Salary: Competitive
Location: London
Start Date:
As soon as possible
Apply by: 31 May 2018

EIT Climate-KIC Business Background
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EIT Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) is the EU’s largest public-private partnership addressing climate change through innovation. Our community consists of over 250 leading partners from business, academia, the public sector and NGOs. Our purpose is to help create a prosperous, inclusive, climate resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy.

We focus on levers of systemic change, looking for where innovation is most needed to accelerate deep decarbonisation (elimination of fossil fuels and negative carbon) and effective adaptation. EIT Climate-KIC is predominantly grant-funded by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology, a body of the European Union and acts as a platform to work across boundaries and across sectors, fostering innovation as a catalyst for transformation. We:

  • provide funding,
  • facilitate the creation of innovation consortia,
  • work together with our partners to take a portfolio approach to innovation options,
  • challenge and seek to enrich business model design,
  • offer tailored support for experimentation, implementation and scaling, and
  • incubate very early stage ideation and pre-seed innovation.

To make ourselves accessible to key actors and ‘challenge owners’, we work along four priority themes: urban transitions, sustainable land use, sustainable production systems, and decision metrics and climate finance. In all four areas, we place an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation design, on education as a driver of behavioural change through new skills and capabilities and on policy innovation. We run programmes for students, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities and regions, convening a community of excellence in people and organisations.

We balance strategic innovation, aimed at renewing core business models, with a significant portfolio of bottom-up innovation – e.g. through our start-up accelerators – to learn, evaluate and continuously adjust our efforts to impact climate change. Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial production system to a circular, regenerative model, leveraging the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.

Purpose of the Role
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The Director, UK&I, is accountable for building a strong climate innovation platform for leading academic, business and public organisations across the British Isles in close alignment with the other European EIT Climate-KIC entities. The Director helps set the agenda for a systems innovation approach and lead the city-region climate innovation clusters model, which involves delivering tailored EIT Climate-KIC programming in each city in which we have a presence. Accordingly, the post-holder is responsible for offices and hubs in four cities – London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Dublin – and a team of EIT Climate-KIC people and extended representatives based in these locations. The Director is a member of EIT Climate-KIC’s Executive Team. On occasion, the Director will also interact with EIT Climate-KIC’s Executive Board, Supervisory Board and Governing Board.

Key Responsibilities
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  • Maintain and further strengthen an ecosystem of diverse EIT Climate-KIC Partners across the UK and Ireland, that can influence system transformation through innovation.
  • Act as a translator between a pan-European strategy and the specific regional needs and nuances of the UK and Ireland.
  • Oversee the management of our innovation, entrepreneurship and education programming in the UK and Ireland, in close support of EIT Climate-KIC’s climate innovation impact goals.
  • Drive operational excellence, including cross learning through best practice sharing
  • Ensure that Partners feel adequately supported and served in line with their membership of EIT Climate-KIC.
  • Directly manage and take responsibility for the EIT Climate-KIC UK&I team, based in London and Birmingham, and for the relationships with EIT Climate-KIC hubs in Edinburgh and Dublin.
  • Support annual business planning, and take responsibility for UK&I cost control and performance.
  • Help raise national and subnational funding to supplement funding from EIT, generating leads, validating these and working with the Business Development and Fundraising team to secure new revenue.
  • Negotiate the relationship between the UK government and the European Commission with an objective of maintaining the full participation of EIT Climate-KIC UK Partners during the Brexit transition and beyond.
  • Champions cross-location collaboration and teamwork across Europe that maximises participation of UK&I entities with other stakeholders in other countries.
  • Develop and position the EIT Climate-KIC UK&I programme with respect to key national entities – such as BEIS, UKRI, Innovate UK, Scottish Government, Irish Government etc. and further EIT Climate-KIC’s model of working in support of city-region climate innovation clusters.
  • Develop and manage a local governance structure that ensures continued involvement and dialogue of key EIT Climate-KIC UK&I Partners.
  • Participate in EIT Climate-KIC’s Executive Team, contributing to annual business planning, strategy development, reporting, budgeting and other specific tasks as required.
  • Ensure effective collaboration with other teams across EIT Climate-KIC, such as Communications and Marketing, Business Development and Fundraising, Operations, Finance etc.

Key Working Relationships
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  • CEO
  • CFO
  • COO
  • Theme and Geography Directors
  • Director of European Affairs
  • Head of Business Development and Fundraising
  • Director, Marketing & Communications
  • EIT Climate-KIC partners, strategic partners

Person Specification
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An interest in climate change or environmental issues is essential as is strong regional knowledge and experience. They will need to demonstrate a good understanding of the unique characteristics and needs of the UK&I and work with us in co-designing and implementing a regional presence that recognises the diversity of the region. Experience working in complex multi-cultural, matrix environments is also highly desirable. A high level of independence and diplomacy with the ability to prioritise whilst working across different teams is essential.

Qualifications

  • Relevant academic degree or qualification

Experience

  • Solid management experience (10 years as an indicator) including personnel, budgeting and financial administration and project management experience of innovation initiatives. Experience from both private and public sector considered an advantage.
  • Experience of working within the UK and Ireland innovation landscape and a good knowledge of how it works.
  • Strong partnership building and strategy development experience in complex stakeholder environments
  • A strong track record of leadership in a complex, multinational organisation;
  • Management experience from EU innovation, education and/or entrepreneurship projects.
  • Management experience from innovation projects including public-private partnerships
  • Experience of leading matrix teams
  • Strong track record in raising funds from diverse sources

Skills

  • Experience and ability to work with an international team and in a multidisciplinary context
  • Experience of successfully working with board members and other senior management to deliver strategic objectives;
  • Experience and proven success of management skills in complex governance structures;
  • Articulate and dynamic with highly developed interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Fluency in the English language combined with excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Innovative thinking and the confidence to encourage creativity in others;
  • Excellent influencing and negotiating skills
  • Ability to develop effective long-term relationships with internal and external stakeholders

Qualities

  • Entrepreneurial and committed to the mission;
  • Innovative thinking and the confidence to encourage creativity in others;
  • Excellent influencing and negotiating skills, and the ability to develop effective long-term relationships with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Articulate and dynamic with highly developed interpersonal and communication skills;

Application Process

EIT Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.

Your application should consist of a full curriculum vitae and a covering letter describing briefly how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification, and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.

Please send your full application to recruitment@climate-kic.org.

 

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