EIT Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) is Europe’s foremost climate innovation initiative. Our mission is to leverage the power of innovation to build a zero-carbon, climate-resilient, just, and inclusive society. Climate-KIC’s strategy, Transformation, in Time, responds to the need for a 1.5° aligned, systemic approach to reversing global warming and developing climate resilience, commensurate with the complexity, scale and requisite pace of response to the climate challenge.
Established in 2010 and headquartered in Amsterdam, we orchestrate a community of more than 400 organisations comprised of large corporations and SMEs, municipal and regional governments, universities and research institutes, as well as non-governmental organisations and uncommon actors. We are an organisation of circa 160 people. We operate out of 13 hubs across Europe and conduct activities in 39 countries globally. We have historically managed €80-100 million per year in grants, provided predominantly by our founder and core funder, the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). We are transitioning to a multi-funder model with the objective of maintaining a flow of funds of circa €100 million annually to our community and to problem owners to deliver impact.
We use a portfolio approach for developing and deploying innovation, entrepreneurship, education and community mobilisation to unlock structural change in systems where emissions are tough to reduce – cities, land-use, industry, and finance. We do so by combining activities and innovation outputs from applied research, learning and reskilling, start-up incubation, movement building and innovation ecosystem building. Over the last ten years we have supported more than 4,500 businesses, in over 50 countries, that have gone on to attract over €1.5 bln of capital and featured regularly in the Forbes 30 under 30 European list. Our education programmes have influenced the lives of over 45,000 people who have launched a movement building alumni community. In 2019, we launched Deep Demonstrations, a demand-led methodology for composing innovation portfolios across technology, policy, finance, social change, citizen engagement, and other relevant levers of change, in order to generate options and test transition pathways for place-based systems and value chains.
Our goals for 2027 are to ensure that 200,000 people across Europe are equipped with enhanced climate-relevant innovation and entrepreneurial skills; 10 million people benefit from improved resilience to the impacts of climate change; 50 cities, countries, regions and large scale businesses across Europe are achieving net-zero as a result of partnership with EIT Climate-KIC; 500 million tons of CO2 eq. emissions have been avoided cumulatively (approx. 1/10 annual EU production) and we have succeeded in leveraging €100 bln to scale-up innovations tackling 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
The Business Partner will work collaboratively with the Business Desk team to ensure EIT Climate-KIC consistently and professionally meets funder obligations and expectations, with a diligent focus on continuous process improvement and a can-do approach to problem-solving. The Business Partner will provide leadership and expertise to support the ongoing development a highly competent team who manage the core processes, to innovate and evolve as we grow our funder landscape – with a specific focus on agile and efficient approaches.
The Business Desk is the core hub of grant management for EIT Climate-KIC and the Business Partner will play an essential role to bring technical and pragmatic operational and strategic guidance to ensure the service is seamless and joined-up with the rest of the organisation’s enabling service ecosystem.
Professional grant management is a key capability of EIT Climate-KIC. We strive to achieve effective and efficient use of resources through professional grant management, alongside working to retain the type of agility that is essential in the innovation space. Our mandate is to deliver innovation-as-a-service to our community, which means alongside funding we deliver knowledge and insights through quality data and convening diverse networks across Europe and beyond. Given the breadth and depth of the organisation’s scope, it is essential that the work of grant management is undertaken in a way that optimises and focuses time and resources on making an impact on climate change – and effectively manages the amount of administrative resources required to do so.
The Business Desk is a pivotal part of our enabling services model and acts as a central interface with the Innovation teams across EIT Climate-KIC. The idea of a desk refers to the combination of specialist people and clear processes that deliver end-to-end support for the business. The desk also includes processes for prioritising work and bringing additional people into the service for peak workloads.
The Business Desk team is aligned to our project delivery teams, working through the following processes:
- Planning: Supporting EIT Climate-KIC business planning and funder business plans;
- Commissioning and contracting: including, funding source allocation, Call and selection process governance, contract structure and reporting, and learning;
- Ongoing delivery support: including, monitoring, quality assurance, change management, procurement process support, learning support;
- Closure: including, contract closing, reporting, learning.
- Works cross-organisationally to implement and continuously improve the governance and processes to manage an effective and compliant Business Desk service covering end-to-end grant management (commissioning, contracting, cost, and performance monitoring);
- Manages evolving external funder requirements, policies, regulations and procedures and ensures practices, policies, and procedures are updated
- Identifies training and capability needs to ensure the team has the know-how to be successful
- Implements and maintains effective systems, tools, and processes to support grant delivery and helps to build tools and services that benefit EIT Climate-KIC in administration and funder reporting;
- Effectively and inclusively co-ordinates engagement for policy and process development with relevant stakeholders;
- Tenacious focus on continuous improvement of the Business Desk function to ensure it is joined-up, coherent, and synergistic with the enabling services model.
Key working relationships
- Works closely with the delivery teams across EIT Climate-KIC;
- Coordinates with other enabling services teams and functions including Community Desk, Legal, Procurement, and Finance
- Range of public and private funders
- EIT Climate-KIC partner community
Required background and qualifications
- A relevant academic degree or professional qualification is desirable, alongside the experience outlined below.
- A project management qualification is desirable
- A minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in public and/or private funding environments;
- Solid experience managing EU and international grant programmes, including strong knowledge of contractual management;
- Demonstrated managerial experience in grant administration;
- Experience in resource management and establishing workload priorities;
- Management experience including personnel, budgeting, financial administration, project management, business analytics and reporting;
- Interest in working in a major European innovation programme and committed to help the programme grow and generate real impact;
- Interest and/or prior experience in climate change.
- Grant management and administration, including substantial experience managing call processes, contracting, monitoring, and reporting based on a range of funding models;
- Experience in designing and implementing operational processes and systems to support business activities;
- Capable of managing, storing, organising data & knowledge and making it available to others using a variety of IT tools, including Microsoft Office products and Salesforce, including expert Excel skills
- Excellent command of both written and spoken English and fluency in more than one European language is an asset;
- Strong and effective communication and analytical capabilities;
- Strong collaborative approach to working with a proactive service-oriented attitude;
Qualities, Personal Style, and Approach
- Aware and sympathetic to the mission and purpose of addressing climate change
- Problem solver, bringing creative solutions to complicated problems
- Confidence to encourage creativity in others;
- Ability to develop effective long-term relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively
- Highly adaptable, flexible and resilient: able to work effectively in ambiguity and complexity and to respond dynamically to change.
- Analytical with attention to detail and ability to learn quickly
- Self-starter with a team mindset
- Customer service ethos and commitment to continuous improvement
- Solutions focused, with a “can do” attitude
- Lives the EIT Climate-KIC community values: Dynamic, Passionate, Engaging, Open, Inspiring, Excellent and Empowering
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.