Innovation Strategist

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
02 Jul 2019
End of advertisement period
21 Jul 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Closing date 21 Jul 2019 23:00 (UK time)
Salary £40,792–£48,677 (Grade 8)
Department Heriot-Watt University
Category Professional & Managerial
Status Full Time
Duration 24 months fixed-term

About Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team

The GRID @Heriot-Watt

Fascinated by the future and captivated by technology and innovation?
Want to work with a diverse range of organisations and help them explore theart of the possible?

We are embarking on a number of flagship digital and data driven innovation investments– in total we are investing over £50M over the next 5 years in these new global initiatives, and we aim to work with selected partners to leverage this further, transforming lives and creating opportunities for all.

The GRID at Heriot-Watt has many dimensions. It’s a place for learning,a way of thinking and a catalyst for collaboration.  GRID brings together global expertise to tackle current industry challenges whilst pioneering new innovation to drive our future economies and companies of scale.

However, it is people that matter, and we are creating great spaces where creative and brilliant minds are encouraged to share ideas and explore new concepts – tapping into world-class academic resource to stay at the forefront of rapidly changing technology trends.

Through The GRID, HWU is revolutionising the means of learning. Innovation, discovery and entrepreneurship are being placed at the core of learning. The GRID connectsour leading academics, high growth technology companies and our research partners to build better products and services for future global markets.

Detailed Description

We are seeking an Innovation Strategist who will help us generatesignificant value for Heriot-Watt University and our partners.

As an Innovation Strategist, you will work closely withresearchers, R&D professionals, students and other stakeholders and helpthem identify and prototype opportunities within GRID.

You will be responsible for ensuring the provision of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Gaming and Maker Lab offerings within GRID.  This will involve liaising with Heriot-Watt technical and research staff to discover and operationalise capabilities that have real benefit to our partners.  Our vision is to create an API for Heriot-Watt, making it easy for companies,students and researchers to plug and play with a wide range of capabilities.

You will enjoy developing customer relationships and providing demonstrators and talks to a wide variety of audiences.  In addition, you may be asked to run partner workshops – helping organisations discover, prototype and learn how technology can positively impact their operations.

We aim to develop a vibrant innovation ecosystem, which enables both large corporates and spin-out/start-ups to flourish and create new products and services aimed at driving productivity and generating significant revenue through global trade.

Key duties and responsibilities

Summary of Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead and manage the development of the Virtual Reality facilities within GRID into a world class facility underpinned by research excellence and emerging technology.
  • Foresight new technologies and demonstrate their potential value to a variety of stakeholders
  • Drive engagement in facility and encourage collaboration.
  • Work closely with enterprise, business development, research and technical teams across Heriot-Watt to discover and deliver innovation projects.
  • Manage clients and help them identify new opportunities that lead to new sources of revenue and impact for Heriot-Watt.
  • Engaging with partner organisations at multiple levels, manage relationships (new and existing) to develop new models of collaborative innovation
  • Liaise with colleagues across Heriot-Watt (UK, Malaysia and Dubai) and develop a an integrated digital platform.
  • Develop and manage appropriate policies and process in relation to technical and innovation capabilities within GRID.
  • Support industry partner visits, workshops and public outreach activities.

Education, qualifications and experience


  • Knowledge of virtual and learning technologies, experience of using modern technologies.
  • Strong technical knowledge and a passion for new technologies and their application.
  • Educated to degree level
  • An entrepreneurial mind-set, with agility and ability to identify and respond to new innovation opportunities.
  • Track record in managing external corporate relationships and establishing new innovation initiatives within a large organisation.
  • Collaborative and proactive.
  • Ability to support and work in successful teams across a range of industries.
  • Excellent communication skills.


  • Train-the-trainer experience
  • Competencies, Tasks and Responsibilities

Strategic Outlook

  • Contribute to the delivery of the University research and innovation strategy, drawing upon and sharing knowledge gained through engagement and close relationships with colleagues to inform and influence decisions
  • Identify, interpret and translate innovation opportunities, keeping in mind the overall strategy and the external environment


  • Support, mentor and coach staff, students and partner organisations within GRID.
  • Provide specialist professional, technical and commercial advice within the team and across the University
  • Create a community of practice in priority areas for Heriot-Watt and its partners.
  • Inspire students to engage with GRID

Management Responsibilities

  • Manage GRID technical operations, including setting objectives, managing performance and capabilities
  • Manage and monitor the progress of projects

Team Work

  • Proactively develop the team and ensure successful collaboration across the Directorate and University
  • Build visible and effective professional relationships across the University and external stakeholders
  • Contribute to and actively participate in team, Directorate and University projects

Championing Change

  • Maintain a strong understanding of changing market conditions, technology trends and embrace new opportunities that arise.
  • Encourage collaboration to drive new innovation that will change our future for the better.

Decision Making

  • Provide high quality, value-added analysis and commentary on reports and metrics
  • Represent the University within various technical groups and external events

Planning and Organising

  • Review and revise workload allocation/priorities as required
  •  Initiative and Problem Solving
  • Address issues that arise and come up with viable solutions.

Service Excellence

  • Ensure delivery of the service within agreed service levels
  • Develop and review services and programmes, metrics and feedback, ensuring consistency and continuous improvement of service
  • Ensure timely, accurate and informative provision of reports and metrics

Clear and Consistent Communications

  • Use appropriate communication methods to ensure key messages and information are disseminated to customers, partners, students and researchers.


  • Demonstrate Heriot-Watt Values at all times through performance and behaviour
  • Participate in ad-hoc duties to support the team/University and for personal development
  • Support newer or inexperienced colleagues within and outside the University by offering support, help and advice
  • Provide mentoring support (informally and formally)
  • Positively promote the University internally and externally through positive behaviour and supporting University-wide activities

How To Apply

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 21 July 2019.

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of non-European nationals. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.