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Oxford Innovation

Innovation Director

  • Fareham, Hampshire

  • circa £50,000 depending upon experience

  • Permanent

Oxford Innovation operates a network of over 20 Innovation Centres across the UK providing flexible workspace and support to start-up and growing technology and knowledge-led SMEs. These centres are home to a dynamic community of SMEs, made up of tech and life science high growth companies of various age and size.

We are seeking an innovative and strategic thinker with strong relationship building skills for the role of Innovation Director to provide critical business support at 2 of those centres in Hampshire and the Solent region. The Innovation Director will provide pragmatic, high quality strategic business coaching and innovation support to businesses based in the centres, with the objective of enabling business growth, innovation development and commercial success, drawing on the expertise and research strengths of local partners and HEIs as appropriate.

The successful candidate will have a proven track record in business; either working at senior director level within large corporates or as a small business owner themselves. Ideally, they will have a background in tech and life science sector businesses.

Whilst direct experience of providing quality business coaching to early stage businesses is favourable, we would consider candidates with the inherent skills and aptitude to develop this capability within the role. However, crucial to being successful in this role will be the candidates’ ability to build relevant business, investment, and innovation networks for the centres, and to proactively drive the benefits of collaborative working. More specifically, the Innovation Director will be responsible for delivering on a number of targets relating to business growth and development and innovation activity.

About the role

  • Accountable for the management and delivery of all Business Support Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as defined by OI.
  • Ensure delivery of the business support service is within contractual budgets as defined by the budget for each centre. Track, monitor and report on this regularly, as required.
    Attend regular team review meetings and provide written reports regarding activity, progress against KPIs and performance outputs as required by OI.
  • Work with key strategic partners, including Universities and other research organisations on ongoing initiatives and on designing and implementing new initiatives and projects which benefit the centre customers.
  • In addition to driving one to one collaborations, actively seek to develop a high quality centre business support programme that places these Innovation Centres at the heart of SME Tech activity in the Solent and the wider region.
  • Continue to develop relevant market-based support ecosystems for the Centres and innovation support and collaborative networks at the local, regional, or national level.
  • Develop long term relationships with this support ecosystem keeping them informed and engaged in the Centres development strategy, referring businesses to their schemes when applicable and of value to the pro business aims of the project.
  • Provide business coaching, strategic support and specialist consultancy directly to OIs business customers in order to support their business innovation development and performance growth.
  • Develop a network of business specialists, support associates and third-party support providers
  • Work with the Centre teams to ensure that the business support activities and outputs actively contribute to the successful delivery of their targets and KPIs

What we're looking for

  • Degree level standard of education or a recognised professional business qualification
  • An understanding of the business support landscape and the needs of SMEs
  • Credibility and ability to influence at owner/manager or senior director levels
  • A proven track record in business leadership, either working at senior director level within large corporates or as a small business owner
  • A successful track record of achievement in enterprise and innovation development
  • Previous experience of delivering business management and development either as a consultant or business coach to early stage businesses or relevant experience within such a business
  • Negotiation of commercial partnerships
  • A track record in budgeting, forecasting and the management of financial and other resources