Innovation Operations Manager

Innovation Operations Manager


Research & Innovation Services

Managerial, Professional and Specialist Staff – MPSS

CardiffInnovaitons@sbarc is aimed at encouraging innovation, co-creation and collaboration: people working together across academic disciplines and with practitioners across private, public and third sectors to stimulate innovation and impact for the benefit of the economy and society. CardiffInnovaitons@sbarc will be physically located at the heart of the University’s multidisciplinary Innovation Campus in a new, purpose-built 12,000sq.m building, opening at the end of 2021. The building will contain a range of  incubator spaces to encourage the growth of spinout companies and closer interaction with businesses wishing to co-locate at the University.

Cardiff Medicentre is a business incubator with office and laboratory facilities for companies involved in biotech and life sciences and is a Joint venture between Cardiff University and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, providing a physical hub which underpins the Clinical Innovation Strategy, and which creates a flagship for Clinical Innovation at the Heath Park.  With 32 offices and laboratory units, the Medicentre provides support for enterprises with the potential to significantly improve the health and wealth of Wales and beyond.  It also acts as the catalyst for encouraging closer interaction on activities between Cardiff University and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board on the development of innovative projects for both clinical and non-clinical benefit. 

The Innovations Operations Manager will manage the University’s activities within CardiffInnovaitons@sbarc and the Cardiff Medicentre including providing support, advice and guidance to academics, businesses, third sector organisations and students, leading projects and assisting with the University’s own spinout activities and the SetSquared partnership. 

This post is full time and is available immediately. 

Salary: £51,034 - £59,135 per annum (Grade 8)

Date advert posted: Friday, 21 May 2021

Closing date: Friday, 18 June 2021

This post has previously been advertised to employees of Cardiff University only.  We now invite external applications.

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds.  We therefore welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of sex, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

Job Description

Key Duties

  • Provide professional advice, guidance and information relating to the activities of the University’s facilities, including CardiffInnovations@sbarc and the Cardiff Medicentre, to internal and external customers supporting and connecting organisations of all sizes and sectors as necessary.
  • Ensure a high level of support for new Spinout and existing tenant companies and organisations within in CardiffInnovations@sbarc and the Cardiff Medicentre, including working with the SetSquared partnership, demonstrating a clear understanding of what makes successful businesses and collaborations.
  • Take responsibility for resolving issues independently within the University where they fall within set role objectives, using judgement and creativity to suggest the most appropriate course of action and ensuring complex and conceptual issues and solutions are understood by the internal and external  audiences including identifying and implementing new ways to support businesses and organisation of all sizes to increase their success.
  • Plan and deliver projects that have a University wide impact, managing the operation of project teams as needed, organising and delegating work, monitoring progress and intervening as required.
  • Investigate and analyse specific issues within the University’s CardiffInnovations@sbarc and the Cardiff Medicentre, creating recommendation reports, supported by advances for facilities and for encouraging interactions between academics, students and businesses including providing strong customer relationship management with strategic partners.
  • Ensure that the provision of the services within CardiffInnovations@sbarc and the Cardiff Medicentre are delivered to the institution, and external partners proactively changing the delivery according to customer requirements and contributing to the development of institution wide standards for academic,  business and third sector interactions
  • Ensure that the KPIs associated with occupancy targets in the business plan of both CardiffInnovations@sbarc and the Cardiff Medicentre are met, maximising the added value from tenant interactions with the wider community
  • Establish relationships with key contacts to ensure the role objectives are met, developing appropriate communication links with the University’s Schools/Directorates and outside bodies as required using a positive collaborative approach and creating specific working groups to achieve the University’s objectives of collaboration
  • Develop and deliver training within the CardiffInnovations@sbarc and the Cardiff Medicentre, promoting entrepreneurship, spinout company formation and collaborative working with industry,  working with Corporate Partners and other Professional Service Providers and Consultants to develop workshops including  investment readiness of spin out companies
  • Undertake a variety of administrative duties to support the department including lease management and service management of external customers within the Cardiff Medicentre
  • Advise and guide other employees across the University on entrepreneurship, spinout company formation and collaborative working with industry and contribute to the planning of the University’s Innovation strategy providing advice based on experiences gained from managing incubation facilities
  • Manage a small team responsible for facilities management at the Cardiff Medicentre and for business development and operations at CardiffInnovations@sbarc

General Duties

  • Ensure that an understanding of the importance of confidentiality is applied when undertaking all duties
  • Abide by University policies on Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity
  • Perform other duties occasionally which are not included above, but which will be consistent with the role

Person Specification

Important note: It is the University’s policy to use the person specification as a key tool for short-listing. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement.  Please ensure that the evidence you are providing corresponds with the numbered criteria outlined below. Your application will be considered based on the information you provide under each element.

When attaching the supporting statement to your application profile, please ensure that you name it with the vacancy reference number, e.g. Supporting Statement for 11112BR.

Essential Criteria

  1. Postgraduate / professional qualification, or equivalent experience in a Business or Technology discipline
  2. Substantial experience of working within Business Development, Financial management, Marketing, Business planning and Supporting a board and managing an innovation or incubation setting, and experience of contributing to the establishment or mentoring of technology-based start-up companies
  3. Able to demonstrate expert professional knowledge on: Business start-up and business support through the provision of high-level advice on business planning and delivery of business plans; University wide activities; and Facilities management and to be recognised as an authority in the field 
  4. Proven experience in developing new processes and procedures and organising and running high profile events/workshops, delivering quality presentations and demonstrable ability to engage with, persuade and influence others at all levels to secure commitment and co-operation
  5. Strong ability to develop and maintain effective collaborative working relationships whilst having an understanding of University business and third sector engagement, knowledge exchange and commercialisation processes
  6. Excellent ability to create brief proposal documentation for innovation projects, with an understanding of intellectual property and investment, and experience in sustaining an innovation culture and promoting this internally
  7. Able to influence senior decisions within the University on collaboration with organizations of all sizes and business incubation that have a strategic impact and a proven ability to develop networks in order to contribute to long term developments
  8. Evidence of ability to explore customers’ needs, support and mentoring for entrepreneurs and business leaders and ability to adapt the service accordingly to ensure a quality service is delivered and customer expectations set
  9. Evidence of ability to research and solve expansive problems using initiative and creativity,  proposing both practical and innovative solutions to deliver specific projects and supervise short term project teams 
  10. Evidence of demonstrable knowledge of key advances within Business Support and industry University interactions and management of a professional, customer focused team

Desirable Criteria

  1. A degree or relevant qualification in a Business or Technology discipline 
  2. Experience of working in a Higher Education, NHS or industry environment 
  3. Experience of delivering para-legal agreements including leases
  4. Fluency in Welsh, written and oral 
  5. Experience of being  a company director or company secretary

Additional Information

Research and Innovation Services

Cardiff is an ambitious and innovative university located in a beautiful and thriving capital city. Our world-leading research was ranked 5th for quality amongst UK universities in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and we provide an educationally outstanding experience for our 30,000 students. With an annual budget in excess of £500 million and around 6,000 staff, Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the 24 leading UK research-intensive universities. The University has 25 academic schools grouped into three colleges: Biomedical & Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering and Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.

The University’s ambition is to rank consistently among the top 100 universities in the world. Cardiff is also developing its Innovation System through a focused programme of investment in people and infrastructure.  Research funding secured from competitive, external sources exceeds £100 million annually and the University aims to grow this further through winning grants from a wide range of national and global sources.

Research and Innovation Services, RIS supports the University’s research community in initiating and delivering research and innovation activities. Led by the Director, Dr David Bembo, RIS provides services via over 100 expert staff organised in five specialist teams: the Research Grants and Contracts; Research Integrity, Governance and Ethics; Research Development; Commercial Development and Business Engagement and Partnership. The Department works closely with academic and professional services staff from all areas of the institution.

Closing date: 
Friday, June 18, 2021
Originating organisation: