European Commission Relationships Manager
Division: European Affairs - Outreach
Reports to: Director – European Affairs
Start Date: ASAP
Apply by: 12:00 CET Friday 7 April
Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a net zero-carbon economy.
We address climate change across four priority Themes: urban areas, land use, production systems, and climate finance. Education is at the heart of these Themes to inspire and empower the next generation of climate leaders.
We run programmes for students, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities, convening a community of the best people and organisations. Our approach starts with improving the way people live in cities. Our focus on industry creates the products required for a better living environment, and we look to optimise land use to produce the food people need.
Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The EIT is an independent EU body with a mission to empower innovators and entrepreneurs to develop world-class solutions to societal challenges and creates growth and skilled jobs. The EIT supports and funds a range of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). The current KICs, each focused on a different societal challenge, are:
- Climate-KIC: addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation;
- EIT Digital: addressing Information and Communication Technologies;
- KIC InnoEnergy: addressing sustainable energy;
- EIT Health: addressing healthy living and active ageing;
- EIT Raw Materials: addressing sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution.
Purpose of the Role
Climate Change is one of the European Union’s top 10 priorities and an important cross-sectorial issue for the Commission. Meanwhile, the EIT and the KICs were created to improve Europe’s performance in transforming research and development into commercially valuable innovation.
Climate-KIC therefore has a challenging mission and a dual set of institutional stakeholders, from the innovation and climate change sectors. We are one of the few entities worldwide situated in this intersection, bringing the practitioner perspective to accelerating innovation for climate action. Our mission is made all-the-more exciting by the backdrop of the next EU programming period 2021-2027, the shaping of the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9) and dialogue around EU innovation instruments.
The purpose of this role is to hone and deliver our Brussels Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. Climate-KIC needs to be a visible, influential and action-oriented change maker in Brussels and seen as a key European asset in delivering positive climate impact. The European Commission Relationships Manager will be integral to delivering this aim.
- To strengthen Climate-KIC’s profile in Brussels, focusing on the following stakeholders:
- The European Commission’s DGs, agencies and bodies;
- Relevant Partner and multiplier organisations with representational offices in Brussels;
- The European Parliament;
- Appropriate Member State Missions to the EU;
- Research bodies and NGOs.
- To play an active innovation brokerage role between Brussels stakeholders and the KIC’s Thematic and Geographic teams. This will involve:
- Analyzing the stakeholders needs and articulating their demands to match and position Climate-KIC’s offers;
- Developing linkages between relevant stakeholders and KIC actors;
- Facilitating interaction, i.e. action-led planning, underpinned by appropriate process, planning and communication to drive multi-stakeholder activities.
- To identify, develop and support appropriate opportunities for strategic collaboration with leading European initiatives, to support Climate-KIC’s business development agenda;
- To monitor, identify and promulgate insights into relevant European policies and programmes relevant to Climate-KIC;
- Positioning Climate-KIC and its strategic role for innovation and competitiveness in Europe; significantly raise Climate-KIC’s profile with relevant Brussels based stakeholders;
- Develop positions on Climate-KIC-relevant policy initiatives and actively lobby those with relevant decision makers;
- To liaise with the other KICs co-located with us in Brussels;
- The post holder will be responsible for managing the Climate-KIC Brussels office and a portfolio of activities.
Key Working Relationships
The role will report to Climate-KIC’s Director – European Affairs, whose portfolio includes Brussels, expanding our European footprint and cross-KIC activities. The Relationship Manager is a new role in an expanding Climate-KIC presence in Brussels, where we are now co-located with teams from the Digital and Energy KICs. Fostering good relationships with these cross-KIC teams will be important.
As an outreach role, the incumbent will also need to liaise with Climate-KIC’s Communications and Marketing Director (also Brussels-based). Beyond that, the Relationship Manager will need to be able to broker good relations across Climate-KIC’s Theme teams and our Geographies.
The ability to prioritize the development and maintenance of a diverse (but manageable) set of external stakeholders alluded to in the ‘responsibilities’ section above, is critical.
Qualifications & Experience
Candidates will be expected to have at least 10 years of professional experience of working in Brussels with European institutions and initiatives at senior level. Candidate experience should encompass:
- A proven knowledge of EU policy issues concerning innovation, climate change and energy as well as experience of developing European consortiums and strategic programmes and funding proposals;
- Experience of international collaboration and working in complex cross-cultural and cross-sector environments. Excellent networking abilities, communication and interpersonal skills are also essential;
- Excellent team working and communication skills and ability to act as a credible operator at C-level in the public and private sectors;
- A track record as a dynamic and creative individual with a proven capacity to provide access and advice to underpin corporate decision taking, often to meet short deadlines.
Candidates will have an excellent command of English orally and in written documents. A working ability in other European languages would be attractive too. You will either be a citizen of the European Union or be able to produce the visa documentation to prove you have the right to work in the European Union.
- A strategic approach, but underpinned by a focused approach - keeping sight of overall delivery aims and objectives, to develop relationships that deliver;
- Ability to balance conflicting requirements, changing priorities, a diverse group of stakeholders;
- Excellent collaborative, interpersonal, organisational, analytical, creative problem-solving, communication and presentation skills;
- Works well in an environment of ambiguity and uncertainty;
- Ability to understand technical and scientific topics, yet relate these to policy agenda;
- Excellent English is required, together with proficiency in another European language;
- The position includes some travel within Europe.
Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.
Your application should consist of a full curriculum vitae and a covering letter describing briefly how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification, and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.
Please send your full application to firstname.lastname@example.org.