Mid Level
Innovation Manager
Aura Innovation Centre

Salary: £41,212 to £47,722 per annum Fixed Term | 3 Years

Closing Date: Thursday, 17 May 2018

For more information, click here.

The Innovation Manager will travel across the Humber region to engage SMEs, support project planning and development and to evaluate outcomes. Acting as key account managers, the post holders will help businesses to secure direct support through the AIC and broker assistance from across the innovation eco-system where appropriate.


Details Specific to the Post

1          Background and Context



The University of Hull is securing its position as a leader in low carbon innovation and offshore wind through the collaborative development of Aura: a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder initiative bringing together UK expertise in engineering, and physical, environmental and social sciences to establish a global centre of industrial and academic excellence in renewable energy. Aura will include dedicated new facilities in the Humber – The Aura Innovation Centre (AIC) - at the geographical heart of an active, diverse and growing low carbon supply chain and located at the Humber Bridgehead Business Park.

The University of Hull is establishing an operational delivery Team (the AIC Team) to manage and deliver a 3-year initiative, which will target SMEs in the offshore wind and low carbon sectors to improve their productivity and enhance their competitiveness through product and process innovation. This activity will take place across the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (Humber LEP) area.

The AIC Team is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme for England 2014-2020. Initially, the team will operate from the University of Hull. In due course it will relocate to the Aura Innovation Centre, which is expected to be fully operational before the end of 2019 and is also ERDF funded.

The post holders will work to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of the projects’ outputs and targets. This is one of two AIC Innovation Manager posts, who will work within the project team comprising: the AIC Programme Manager, two Innovation Managers, one Finance and Audit Officer and one part time (0.5 FTE) Marketing & Communications Manager.

The post holders will be the main point of contact for SMEs to engage with the Aura Innovation Centre and the wider University and other relevant agencies. The role will require the candidate to act proactively to secure collaborative partnerships and to identify new areas of product innovation. Additionally, the post holder will personally provide expertise to regional companies in the development, financing, implementation and exploitation of their R&D activities in the renewables and low carbon sector.

The AIC Innovation Managers will report to the AIC Programme Manager. The AIC Team will operate independently but will co-ordinate with the academic faculties within the University, who will be delivering innovation support to SMEs. There will also be close co-operative working with other innovation professionals operating in the region to ensure alignment and integration of activity. The particular focus of the role will require the post-holder to have in-depth and specialist knowledge of the low carbon / offshore wind sectors as well as a network of relevant contacts (both public and private) upon which to draw.

2              Specific Duties and Responsibilities of the post


The AIC Innovation Managers will work across the Humber LEP geography, engaging directly with SMEs and ensuring the provision of an effective business-facing service meeting ERDF contract requirements.


Responsibilities will include:

  • Maintain a specialist knowledge and continual awareness of the offshore wind/low carbon/renewables sector and provide the primary resource for sector intelligence and expertise for the Aura Innovation Centre;
  • Identify new areas of development and innovation within the offshore wind/low carbon/renewables sectors, and new opportunities for businesses that can be realised through R&D;
  • Working with the AIC Programme Manager to develop and implement effective working practices within the AIC Team to ensure effective delivery of project outputs and targets;
  • Establishing effective working relationships with stakeholders, particularly strategic partners, delivery agents and SMEs within the set geographical area;
  • Develop, organise and promote appropriate marketing activities and events in line with ERDF publicity guidance;
  • Proactively engage beneficiaries, with partners, and manage eligibility checking processes;
  • Responsible for undertaking the diagnostic processes with SMEs, assembling a tailored action plan comprising direct support through the AIC as well as brokered support from across the wider innovation support eco-system.;
  • Ensuring effective implementation of brokered support to be provided to SMEs by innovation support partners and stakeholders as well as compliance with ERDF requirements;
  • Contribute to the development of a database of innovation support providers locally, regionally and nationally;
  • Management of and delivery of key account relationships with SMEs to ensure quality services are being provided by the AIC as well as support brokered from across the innovation support eco-system;
  • Responsible for accurate record keeping and data management to ensure compliance with funder requirements, data protection and audit scrutiny.


3              Generic responsibilities


Role holders will:

  • Be experienced professionals who are expected to exercise a significant degree of specialist and independent responsibility;
  • Have gained a professional and/or academic qualification and have extensive specialist experience;
  • With the AIC Programme Manager be involved in planning and ensuring progress and compliance with ERDF requirements under the Funding Agreement and national ERDF guidance.

Main work activities will include:


  • Provide specialist advice and guidance to staff, stakeholders and clients
  • Explain new and existing policies in relation to operational activities
  • Create and deliver presentations to clearly communicate information
  • Attend meetings to report on specialist issues
  • Take formal minutes at meetings when required
  • Writes formal documentation
  • Writes procedural documentation


  • Provide strategic and operational leadership
  • Work with the Aura Innovation Centre team assisting in setting deadlines, allocating work and monitoring outcomes

Liaison and Networking

  • Proactively develop and maintain internal and external contacts to benefit the programme
  • Participate widely in networks internally and externally

Service Delivery

  • Assist in the preparation, presentation and implementation of the strategic plans and operating statements and ensure compliance with reporting requirements
  • Assist with the effective management of the quality of the service
  • Contribute to the development and management of systems and processes that contribute to improving service delivery

Planning and Organisation

  • Co-ordinate processes in conjunction with senior colleagues
  • Plan and monitor the work of others
  • Organise and service meetings as appropriate
  • Organise and represent the programme at events


  • Analyse qualitative and quantitative data producing reports identifying key issues that inform management interventions.
  • Formulate recommendations and provide advice on the implications of the data

 Additionally the post holder will be required to:

  • Fulfil the employees’ duties described in the University’s health and safety policies and co-operate with the health and safety arrangements in place within the department. May be required to undertake specific health and safety roles on request e.g. Display screen equipment assessor, departmental safety officer, fire warden
  • Fulfil the managers’ responsibilities as described in the University’s health and safety policies. These duties include responsibility for ensuring that suitable and sufficient risk assessments are in place for activities within your area of control and for ensuring appropriate health and safety training is in place.
  • Support staff to demonstrate their commitment to equality, diversity and anti-discriminatory behaviour. This role includes making time available for staff to undertake mandatory equality and diversity training
  • Raise awareness amongst staff and support staff to fulfil their responsibilities to comply with appropriate regulations, policies and procedures

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