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Senior Innovation Associate

Requisition ID:  5610

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  06-Jan-2021


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £30,942.00 - £44,045.00 


Closing Date: 26 January 2021

The Role


The UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) at Newcastle University is funded by the Government and Newcastle University to create a world in which we all live better, for longer. We team with innovation experts, industry, academics and the public, to identify, develop and bring to market data driven innovative business models, services and products, enhancing life as we age and developing new economic opportunities for organisations while promoting positive impact on society at scale.


We are seeking an enthusiastic and dedicated Senior Innovation Associate with a keen interest in ageing, innovation and strategic, international collaboration.  You will be ambitious and work to very high standards, whilst taking responsibility for your own development in a supportive and challenging environment where you will enjoy variety and continuous learning.


This role has a specific international dimension, being focussed on a major high profile development and delivery programme between the UK and China. You will be responsible for supporting the overall delivery of the Healthy Ageing Innovation Stream and helping ensure that it achieves not only its delivery targets but also its wider strategic objectives of developing a UK-China Healthy Ageing innovation ecosystem.  In particular, the role will focus on close to market solutions, products and services with global applicability, which improve motor function for older citizens. 


This is an exciting time for anyone joining the NICA team, with lots of opportunity to make a real contribution to the organisation as it works with international, national and regional partners and customers. Not only will you work alongside recognised experts in the sector, you will also become part of a team that enjoys sharing ideas and learning from each other.


This post is full time, fixed term until 31 October 2023.
For informal enquiries, please contact Patrick Bonnett on Patrick.bonnett@ncl.ac.uk


For more information about NICA, please click on the following links:

NICA website: https://www.uknica.co.uk/

The Catalyst: https://www.thecatalystnewcastle.co.uk/   

Key Accountabilities


  • You will be expected to work flexibly, focusing on the delivery of the Innovation Stream component of the UK-China Healthy Ageing Flagship Challenge – a joint UK-China initiative
  • Working closely with other members of the team, actively contribute to a wide variety of activities, delivering outputs to time, cost and quality.  Interactions will include, but not be limited to, colleagues within NICA, the wider Newcastle University community, members of Voice® local and national businesses, representatives from Innovate UK, UKRI and relevant Government Departments and partners from China
  • Responsible for supporting NICAs inputs to the Global Business Innovation Missions to China and an anticipated inward delegation to the UK (these aspects being delivered by Innovate UK)
  • Developing the UK-China Ageing Innovation ecosystem
  • Contribute to the development of the VOICE® service offer for delivery in China
  • Supporting a bi-lateral exchange programme between innovation professionals in the UK & China
  • Providing support at a series of exhibitions, events and dissemination activities focussed on the Healthy Ageing Innovation Stream 
  • Responsible for the effective management of project plans; ensuring projects hit decision gateways and other identified milestones.  Identifying and resolving any potential issues in meeting these milestones
  • Responsible for conducting literature and policy reviews
  • Analysing and interpreting complex data from a variety of sources
  • Responsible for the preparation of reports, presentations and other artefacts, as required for internal and external clients
  • Preparing and delivering presentations, as required, to internal and external audiences
  • Coordinate and contribute to management, steering group and project-specific team meetings to ensure appropriate progress against objectives is maintained
  • Relationship management with internal and external partners and stakeholders
  • Supervise a small team, where relevant
  • Undertake other duties, as specified, commensurate with the effective operation of the organisation overall


The Person (Essential)
Knowledge, Skills & Experience



  • Experienced in actively managing complex multi-partner and stakeholder projects including experience of using project management software
  • Extensive experience of preparing detailed work breakdown structures and timelines for projects, project monitoring and evaluation on a continuous basis, with a clear understanding of any impact on the critical path
  • Experience of acting as the main point of contact for all parties involved in an allocated portfolio of projects on a day-to-day basis by continuous communication with businesses, government partners, international colleagues and other internal and external collaborators
  • Ability to collate, analyse and synthesise research from a number of sources, including literature reviews, consumer panels, large datasets and industry/research and technology academic experts
  • Experience of effective budget management including forecasting, monitoring and reporting
  • Proven relevant experience in a similar commercially focussed, preferably consultancy type role
  • Strong analytical, written and communication skills
  • Excellent IT skills including MS Office
  • Experience of managing/supervising a small team (Desirable)
  • High level of organisational and time management skills and able to manage a range of tasks simultaneously
  • Excellent communication skills both verbal and written
  • A knowledge of applied research, innovation and commercialisation issues related to healthy ageing and motor function/movement disorders is an advantage (Desirable)
  • Experience of international working (Desirable)
  • Knowledge and understanding of the external environment within which NICA operates (Desirable)


Attributes and behaviours


  • Ability to work in a ‘proof of concept’ environment and comfortable with dealing with a certain level of uncertainty
  • A positive customer focussed attitude
  • Ability to think ‘outside the box’ and develop creative solutions
  • Ability to work collaboratively and manage time effectively
  • Self-motivator with the ability to accept responsibility and prioritise own workload and meet deadlines
  • Negotiation and persuasion skills
  • Flexibility and willingness to ‘lend a hand’ commensurate with working within a small, dynamic and rapidly evolving organisation
  • An interest in the practical application of innovation, international relationships and global innovation ecosystems
  • Willingness to travel, including internationally
  • Ability to work calmly and efficiently under pressure




  • Degree in a relevant discipline or significant appropriate work experience
  • Relevant higher degree (Desirable)


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


Requisition ID: 5610