Forestry Lead – Brussels or Paris

Sustainable Land Use (SLU)
Fixed term 2 years with possibility for extension
21 Dec 2018
Director, Sustainable Land Use
Competitive for Not-For-Profit Organisation
As soon as possible
Brussels or Paris

Business Background

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 300 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.


Key responsibilities

Sustainable Land Use (SLU) activities are focused around three impact goals outlining clear targets to achieve the EIT Climate-KIC long-term decarbonisation goals and based on the following activities:

1.The Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) programme aims to be the leading European CSA innovation hub, community and collaboration platform, catalysing the application, adoption and scaling of the most innovative and disruptive CSA solutions, and accelerating the transition to a climate-smart and low-carbon economy across Europe and beyond.

2. The Food programme aims to instigate transformation of climate-damaging food value chains and to significantly improve the climate resilience of food supply.

3. The Forestry Flagship programme catalyses innovation in the forestry sector with main focus on enhancing carbon sequestration by European forests and other natural and managed ecosystems and on boosting the substitution of fossil-based products in downstream value chains.

The Forestry Flagship programme has just been launched as a unique European innovation platform for forestry and wood-based value chains. it aims to demonstrate that Europe can develop solutions to increase the positive impact of forests and forestry activities on climate. The programme will be connected to key European organisations working on forestry value chains and forest management.

The Forestry Lead will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the programme and will play a key role in developing further the flagship strategy and ecosystem, in implementing its multi-annual plan and business model in collaboration with the EIT Climate-KIC partners involved. In this context, the Forestry Lead will be responsible for developing further the current innovation portfolio of forestry-related projects and support the sourcing of new innovative projects with high climate impact.

The job-holder will contribute to the shaping of systemic and business-oriented approaches needed to deploy innovations at scale and will identify synergies between the different projects and initiatives of the Flagship and the EIT Climate-KIC project portfolio to achieve the ambitioned impacts. In collaboration with the EIT Climate-KIC Communication and Business Development teams s/he will ensure the valorisation and exploitation of the Flagship results to contribute to the sustainability objectives of EIT Climate-KIC and to making outcomes available to the SLU team, the wider EIT Climate-KIC community, the potential users, and the wider public through educational formats, case studies, positioning papers, European events or other knowledge contributions.

  • Actively contribute and guide the forestry flagship development in line with a compelling strategy to define a unique international role for the programme;
  • Contribute and steer the implementation of the multi-year plan of the programme following the annual planning and implementation approach of EIT Climate-KIC.
  • Support the Flagship Steering Committee, coordinate its strategic reviews and regular update meetings.
  • Ensure the forestry flagship activities contribute to the EIT Climate-KIC impacts on Forests and Forestry in synergy with other activities of the KIC and to the exposure of the Sustainable Land Use theme

Other responsibilities

Portfolio Management

  • Manage the coordination of innovation projects and activities, including:
      • Contribute to the sourcing of new innovation projects
      • Guide the evaluation of submitted projects, draft, approval/rejection feedback for projects, prepare decision papers for the Steering Committee;
      • Support most promising projects scaling and identify support activities needed;
      • Lead yearly activities for performance and Cost Reporting to the programme funders.
  • Guide the strategic Development of the Portfolio and develop synergies with external stakeholders for the development of new activities.

Community Development

  • Lead and coordinate efforts to grow the flagship ecosystem and actively contribute to attract new stakeholders;
  • Capture and understand stakeholder needs and expectations; active stakeholder engagement and management including problem-solving and mediating if issues arise;
  • Collaborate with Innovation Leads in regional EIT Climate-KIC offices to strengthen relationships and leverage expertise from partner community;

Business Development and Fundraising

  • Forge strategic partnership with international networks that bring complementary skills, outreach and new resources to the programme.
  • Research, identify and contact prospective donors to raise sponsorship, trust and grant money; organize campaigns or events that will lead to soliciting donations; maintain records of donor information and evaluate the success of fundraising activities;
  • Collaborate with Central Business Development team for preparing bids and pitches for major donors, European and international grant applications for public funds.

Knowledge Management and Dissemination

  • In collaboration with the SLU Communication Team and the partner community ensure visibility of the Flagship and position the programme at key European and International events
  • Collaborate with Education Theme and Communication Department to valorise project results and content for educational formats, case studies, positioning papers and strong success stories to pitch to potential new funders and new stakeholders;

Key working relationships

  • The Forestry Lead reports to the Director of the SLU team and is part of the SLU team.
  • S/he cooperates with the EIT Climate-KIC geographic teams and with its partners to develop the systemic approaches required to reach the expected impacts of the programme.
  • In addition, s/he collaborates with the Project Management Office (PMO) and with other Flagship Programme Managers to ensure consistency.


  • a relevant Bachelor or Masters’ degree


  • At least 5-7 years of experience in an international environment in portfolio management, business development, innovation management, sustainability or related experience in consulting;
  • Demonstrated forestry, land use and climate change knowledge and competences;

Key skills

  • Strong analytical skills to understand quickly a broad variety of technical sectors and identify innovation opportunities;
  • Strong problem solving, interpersonal, and communication skills with the ability to work in a team-based organization with demonstrated experience in stakeholder management;
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English and of basic IT tools.

Qualities, Personal style and Approach

  • Capacity to represent Climate-KIC externally, and a demonstrated capacity to work at high level with business partners and key international organisations;
  • Ability to adapt to a changing environment and handle multiple priorities, strong organisational skills and attention to detail;
  • Motivation to build strong networks and ecosystems to position the Flagship, to take action against climate change;
  • Ideally brings an already existing network of relevant contacts at EU level in climate innovation and land use (e.g. industry partners, international organisation, policy organisations, civil society);

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 based at the nearest EIT Climate-KIC office to where they are currently living.

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 name and 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.


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