Innovate UK recruits Horizon Europe UK National Contact Point and Global Innovation Lead

Sponsored by: Innovate UK
04 Jun 2021 | Jobs

Title: Horizon Europe UK National Contact Point and Global Innovation Lead (Climate)

Band: Innovate UK Band 3 (UKRI terms & conditions)

Salary: £47,000 - £50,000 gross per annum*

Reports to: Head of Urban Systems

Location: Field based

Contract: Permanent

Hours: Full Time (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)

*Please note this position is eligible for up to 10% Performance Related Pay Per Annum

The Organisation:

Innovate UK is a partner organisation within UK Research and Innovation:

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency:

Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy - delivering productivity, new jobs and exports. Our aim at Innovate UK is to keep the UK globally competitive in the race for future prosperity. 

For further information and to stay updated on our latest news visit, follow us on Twitter at @innovateuk or subscribe to our YouTube channel at


This role sits within the Clean Growth and Infrastructure directorate, reporting to the Head of Urban Systems.

‘Clean Growth’ includes a broad scope including decarbonisation, circular economy and biodiversity required to support the UK in achieving its Net-zero ambitions by 2050.  Within the directorate we provide support to companies providing cleaner, cheaper, smarter energy, clean air, and more user centric infrastructure, cities and safer streets.

The directorate invests in de-risking high potential innovation projects that focus on areas of UK innovation excellence and strong global opportunity. We enable industry to develop products and services for a clean and resilient future to accelerate UK business growth and deliver economic and social benefit to the UK. We aim to help the UK become a global leader in transitioning to a Net-zero economy by building a coherent, supportive environment enabling people and businesses to innovate. The directorate works with partners across government, academia and business, both nationally and internationally, including funding the Connected Places, Energy Systems, and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapults.

The post holder will be a member of the urban systems team within the Clean Growth and Infrastructure directorate, seeking to influence and support UK businesses and others in securing partnerships and funding through European programmes, Horizon Europe in particular. There will be strong links to other teams within the organization through this broad technical role.

Job Purpose:

The role holder is the UK’s focal point for the Climate opportunities within the EU’s Horizon Europe programme as the Horizon Europe UK National Contact Point for Climate (NCP).  The Climate programme sits within the Energy and Mobility Cluster and brings together elements such as the European Battery Value Chain, Citizen Science and Engagement, and Ecosystem Modelling and Restoration. An NCP is a European Commission-recognised technical expert with privileged access to Commission officials, who works closely with and advises UK Government policy leads responsible for the relevant programme area.  This is achieved by helping ensure future calls for proposals are informed by UK interests and priorities, proactively identifying key UK organisations that could benefit from engagement in the programme, and by enabling UK entities to navigate and identify the most suitable opportunities and partners to take forward their research and innovation priorities.

The network of NCPs is the main structure through which Member States and countries associated to the Horizon Europe programme influence priorities and provide essential guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon Europe. The objective being to increase UK engagement and success in the programme.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

  • Help UK entities understand and navigate the matrix of opportunities across the domestic and international landscape
  • Influence and shape future priorities for the climate aspects of the Horizon Europe programme, as the nominated UK representative attending meetings online, in Brussels and elsewhere as necessary
  • Influence the development of future Work Programmes through engaging with relevant European Commission officials, partners in UK Government and other delegates to the Programme Committee
  • Develop a strong understanding of UK capabilities and their requirements of international partners with a view to identifying the most relevant partners
  • Continue to support UK participation in European programmes, within the spirit of Commission guidance on NCPs, being the subject matter expert for the UK on European programmes in the climate area.
  • Work within UKRI including Innovate UK to develop a strategy for the area, and focus their efforts on the highest potential opportunities that delivers optimum results for the UK R&I community through proactive outreach to stakeholders looking to benefit from the opportunity of European programmes
  • Build strong relationships with relevant bodies and networks such as businesses, research organisations, trade associations, government departments (e.g. BEIS, DEFRA) and agencies/local authorities, private investors, and regulatory bodies.
  • Support relevant programmes beyond those run by the EU, drawing on corporate resources such as Customer Support Services (CSS), Innovate UK Edge, Catapults and KTN.
  • Support impact analysis of UK participation and outputs of engagement with climate focused programmes

This is an outline description of the key responsibilities and accountabilities involved in the job. This is not an exhaustive list and the post-holder might be expected to undertake any other duties across the wider directorate, commensurate with the Band and level of responsibility of this post, for which the post holder has the necessary experience and/or training.

Person Specification:

This position requires a person with commercial awareness who can manage competing priorities and a complex domestic and international stakeholder environment.  The role holder will need to make sense of multiple data sources, to establish underlying patterns and articulate a clear and compelling vision and strategy of what needs to be done, as well as being able to engage an external audience on regular occasions through being an accomplished communicator.  A good team player, willing to share knowledge and ideas with others and to learn from them.  Able to self-start when needed.


  • Degree or post-graduate qualification in relevant science, engineering or related discipline, or equivalent experience


  • Knowledge of European Framework programmes e.g. as participant, adviser, or National Contact Point
  • Up-to-date and broad-based knowledge of innovation in climate applications
  • Appreciation of the wider industrial landscape in the UK, including the key businesses and initiatives relevant to climate outcomes
  • Familiarity with the wider research environment, both in the UK and globally
  • Stakeholder management experience, including working with senior level individuals managing conflicting demands and priorities
  • Knowledge and experience of innovation in a commercial environment and a good broad understanding of the support companies need to develop and deploy new technology

Communication and presenting experience, including online

  • Working within a cross-functional team requiring time and resource management


  • The ability to respond calmly under pressure and to make impartial and well-considered judgments in complex situations, when required
  • The capability and gravitas to engage effectively with senior representatives from business, UK and other Governments, and the EU.
  • Excellent presentation skills with the ability to hold an audience large or small in your specialist role
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in developing papers/reports for Innovate UK and others, including the ability to produce clear, concise and accurate reports
  • Highly developed team working skills, able to form effective working relationships both internally and externally
  • Self-starter, able to work unsupervised and on own initiative with the ability to prioritise and multitask
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including tact, discretion and experience of liaising with senior stakeholders and staff
  • High competency of ICT skills/ IT systems and applications including MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access


As with all roles at Innovate UK applicants will need to demonstrate compatibility with and capability against our Core Competencies:

Thinking and Problem Solving – Stakeholder management – Communication skills – Influencing – Self-awareness/self-management – Strategic awareness – Working with others– Project management

Travel Requirements:

This post requires extensive travel throughout the UK, the EU and globally, so flexibility is needed to accommodate potential travel.

Applications must be submitted by;


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