We’re recruiting an Innovation Manager!

Innovation Manager

North East England

Fixed-term contract, initially to March 2021 with possibility of extension

£40,000 per year plus pension

Flexible working options

The Innovation SuperNetwork is a unique regional programme, helping to cultivate a stronger innovation eco-system in the North East of England and support innovative businesses. The programme works through a partnership of over 50 organisations, including the North East LEP, Innovate UK, North East BIC, Northumbrian Water, ENGIE, local universities, innovation support organisations and private businesses. The SuperNetwork is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The SuperNetwork includes:

  • High profile events to raise aspiration and innovation expertise amongst regional businesses;
  • An active access to finance programme to connect regional businesses with investors;
  • Support for regional business clusters and networks to increase levels of innovation;
  • Linking businesses with sources of expertise and support;
  • An open innovation programme, connecting regional businesses with innovation challenges posed by larger businesses and the public sector.

The primary way we deliver innovation support is through Innovation Managers. These are highly experienced individuals with an in-depth understanding of innovation in practice. Most have a technical background (science, technology, engineering) combined with commercial experience. All are driven by a desire to see the region thrive through applied innovation.

Expansion in our activities means that we require a further Innovation Manager to join the team. Based in Sunderland and working across the North East, the role is high-profile, externally-focussed and with the potential to have a huge impact on our region.

The ideal person must have a strong understanding of innovation practice from first-hand experience. They must be able to spot opportunities for projects and be able to function effectively in a fast-moving, multi-stakeholder environment. Strong communication skills are essential and some experience of sales or account management would be useful in working with partner organisations. We are particularly interested in hearing from people with experience of raising finance for innovative businesses and working with investors.

If this opportunity is for you, the first step is to forward your CV to elaine@supernetwork.org.uk by 3rd March 2019.

Innovation Manager
Reports to: Executive Director
Grade: Staff
Location: Sunderland, with UK travel and home working as appropriate
Mixed public and private funding, including projects funded through the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 programme
Development and delivery of collaborative innovation projects involving businesses from the North East of England
Innovation projects, some of which are part funded through the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 programme
Document version: Updated December 2017

Key responsibilities:

  1. To identify potential collaborative innovation projects which may include businesses from the North East of England
  2. To communicate the value of collaborative innovation and details of specific potential collaborative opportunities to a wide business audience
  3. To identify and secure involvement of suitable businesses in collaborative innovation projects
  4. To facilitate discussions between project partners and secure agreement to collaborative activity
  5. To identify sources of funding for collaborative innovation projects
  6. To manage relevant suppliers and contractors, ensuring that the Company’s values are maintained
  7. To ensure that all activities comply with the Company’s legal, financial and health & safety policies

Additional Responsibilities:

  1. To capture information as required for the reporting of Company projects
  2. To communicate the value of innovation and be seen as an innovation expert
  3. To attend team meetings
  4. To take responsibility for own professional development, with support from line manager
  5. To show commitment to company values in all aspects of the job
  6. To perform such other tasks as may reasonably be required by the Company

Experience and qualifications:

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent
  • Extensive knowledge of innovation processes, particularly relating to collaborative innovation
  • Experience of projects involving multiple organisations
  • Experience of raising funding for innovation projects
  • Experience of working within the innovation function of a business
  • An understanding of different modes of communication, including emerging digital tools
  • Sales or account management experience


  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to negotiate between multiple organisations
  • Ability to function effectively in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment
  • Ability to work with technical, commercial and financial functions
  • Superb written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent administrative and organisational skills
  • Good team working skills

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