Ecosystem and European Engagement Lead Benelux

01 Dec 2019
Benelux Team
Competitive for Not-For-Profit Organisation
As soon as possible


Business Background

EIT Climate-KIC is a knowledge and innovation community established in 2010 and funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. Our purpose is to tackle climate change through innovation.
We are Europe’s largest public-private partnership with this purpose. At the heart of our endeavour is a pan-European community of innovators and changemakers eager to work on tough challenges, willing to engage in ambitious and unorthodox experiments, and committed to collective learning.

We bring together large and small companies, scientific institutions and universities, city authorities and other public bodies, start-ups, and students. With over 380 formal organisational partners from across 26 countries, we work together on innovation to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its unavoidable impacts. We are united by a commitment to direct the power of creativity and human ingenuity at climate change.

Our mission is to catalyse systemic change for climate action through innovation in areas of human activity that have a critical impact on greenhouse gas emissions – cities, lands, materials and finance – and to create climate-resilient communities. Our Theory of Change is focused on empowering people to change systems – through exploration, experimentation and demonstration – to enable viable alternatives at scale.

At the heart of our approach is ‘systems innovation as a service’ whereby we create a space for a portfolio of strategic innovation options and experiments, oriented around structural levers of change, designed with and for problem owners.
We act as a multi-sided platform, working across boundaries and across sectors, fostering innovation as a catalyst for transformation. We work together with problem owners, like city and regional governments, industry owners and directors, community organisations and policy makers, to orchestrate a portfolio approach to innovation interventions. We facilitate the creation of innovation consortia. We challenge and seek to enrich business model design. We offer tailored support for experimentation, implementation and scaling. We provide funding. We incubate very early stage ideation and pre-seed innovation with a view of contributing to systemic change. We place an emphasis 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.


Purpose of the role

As Ecosystem and European Engagement Lead for the Benelux region you will be responsible for developing and implementing an effective innovation strategy for the Benelux Geography, managing the existing and future innovation EIT Climate-KIC project portfolio in the Benelux, forging regional and international project consortia of partners, working in close collaboration and in an integrated way with colleagues across different teams within the organisation (e.g. education, entrepreneurship, place-based innovation, and the EIT Climate-KIC theme teams), as well as our partners in the region. Overall leveraging EIT Climate-KIC’s and your own professional network across Europe and potentially beyond, to accelerate climate innovation opportunities and help accelerate progress and impact towards a net-zero carbon economy.

Please note that Climate-KIC as an organisation is being redesigned and the current geographical focus of this role will change when it moves into the Innovation spaceform.


Partner management and partner acquisition:

  • Partner strategy: Contribute to developing the partner strategy for the geographic region and leading partner acquisition together with key program leads in the urban transition, sustainable land-use, sustainable production systems, decision metrics & finance team as well as education and entrepreneuship.
  • Development of new partnerships: Identify innovative target partner institutions and opportunities; define and carry out lead generation for new innovation activities in the BENELUX Geography.
  • Community management: Serve as a main Point of Contact for the Climate-KIC partner community and initiate and lead business development processes.

Project development and co-creation:

  • Sourcing of project ideas: Proactively engaging with partner community through ideation formats and roadshows, contributing the Climate-KIC’s strategy.
  • Develop partner offering: Translate Climate-KIC’s capabilities and solutions those into a compelling offering for our partner community and potentially new community partners.
  • Business intelligence on transformational innovation: Develop in-depth market intelligence on key players in key climate related areas in BENELUX, to support development of BENELUX partner community strategy and community impact.

Innovation Project management:

  • Handling Project Calls: Executing calls for proposals and developing processes to best prepare partners to submit in accordance with formal and content requirements.
  • Selecting Projects: Representing the interests of the Climate-KIC strategy in the selection phase, considering practical requirements for project setup, supervision and KPI reporting.
  • Project Supervision: Planning and executing regular update calls and meet-ups with ongoing projects. Ensuring implementation is in time and budget and promised KPIs are achieved. This includes annual and project closure reporting.

Financial management and reporting:

  • Responsible for reporting on project activity within the region.
  • Responsible for managing the allocation and tracking of Climate-KIC’s budget in project activity for the region.

Leadership and management:

  • Team management: Taking a proactive role in coordinating the EIT Climate-KIC Benelux innovation team and connecting the team to other EIT Climate-KIC teams: e.g. central Operations, Grant Management, Finance, Business Development, and Communications teams; regional Geographies and Theme teams to foster international and cross-disciplinary collaborations.
  • Coordination with central team: Closely working with the central Project Management Office to improve structures and processes to best deliver the different innovation programmes.
  • Representation: Representing the Benelux region at external events/conferences.
  • Business development: Closely working with key programme leads in the urban transition, sustainable land-use, sustainable production systems, decision metrics & finance teams, innovation teams of other EIT Climate-KIC geographies, as well as the education and entrepreneurship teams to explore alternative sources of income from public sources.

Profile required

  • Ability to build and maintain effective working relationships across all levels of management- both internally and externally.
  • Mature and effective conflict management.
  • Strong project management and team lead skills.
  • Background in the areas of sustainability, climate change, innovation management, technology and entrepreneurship.
  • Ability to develop strong, long-term external relationships with diverse people.
  • Native Dutch speaker, fluency in English language combined with excellent written and verbal communication skills; knowledge of other European languages highly desirable.
  • Articulate and dynamic with highly developed interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively, inspire and motivate people.
  • Highly adaptable, flexible and resilient: able to work effectively in ambiguity and complexity and to respond dynamically to change.
  • ‘At home’ in working with an international team and in a multi-disciplinary context.
  • Curious, ambitious, respectful and fearless.
  • Ability to keep the big picture in mind while focusing on the basics of implementation.
  • Solutions focused, with a ‘can do’ attitude.
  • A commitment to achieving social transformation in support of EIT Climate-KIC’s mission.
  • Master or equivalent preferably in the field of innovation, strategy, technology, business administration or environment.
  • 8+ years’ of work experience in one of the following topics; project management, portfolio management, business development, sustainability consulting. (Preferably gained in the area of clean-tech, innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability or engineering).
  • 3+ years’ of work experience in grant management and reporting of EU funded projects (e.g. H2020).
  • Hands on experience and solid network related to national and European subsidies and grants to expand our programs beyond our current programs that are sponsored through EIT.
  • Willingness to frequent travel nationally and internationally (mostly Europe).
  • Committed and passionate about the mission of Climate-KIC.

Additional information

Please note that candidates must have the right to work in the EU prior to applying for the position. The successful candidate will normally be living in one of the countries where we have stated the role is to be based and can locate at that country office. 

Our application and recruitment process

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 be written in English and consist of:

  • a full curriculum vitae
  • 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.
  • your current salary
  • where you saw this role advertised.

Please send your full application using the “apply now” button above. You should state your full name, followed by the role for which you are applying for in the subject line of the email. The deadline for receipt of applications is 23.59 GMT on the date published on the job advert.

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged by email.

Your application will be reviewed on or around the closing date for the vacancy for which you have applied. If your application is shortlisted for interview, you will be contacted directly by Climate-KIC.

Candidates invited to a first interview, will be notified of the outcome and informed about next stages if they are successful.

NB/ This advertisement will be taken down from the website after the closing date so it is a good idea to copy and keep the text for reference to use should you be invited to interview.