The European Space Agency (ESA) is seeking a Senior Innovation Officer who will work within ESA’s Science, Applications, and Climate Department to explore and deliver innovations within space and non-space domains that have positive impacts on ESA’s mainstream activities and ecosystem while promoting and achieving innovation adoption. This is a permanent position located at ESRIN, Frascati, Italy, and requires a master’s degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant engineering or scientific discipline, with a successful track record in managing innovation programs, preferably in an international context.
The ESA offers relocation support for successful candidates. Accepting job applications for a position from individuals who are nationals of certain countries in Europe, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. However, nationals from Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Slovenia can also apply as Associate Member States, and Canada can apply as a Cooperating State. Additionally, Bulgaria and Cyprus can apply as European Cooperating States (ECS).
Location: ESRIN, Frascati, Italy
You will work within ɸ-lab, a division and innovation lab of ESA’s Science, Applications and Climate Department, which aims to be a promoter and catalyst for disruptive and transformative innovation in Earth observation (EO). The Φ-lab vision is to accelerate the future of EO and act as a hub and catalyst, connecting a growing ecosystem of innovative capabilities across Europe between EO and disruptive or transformative technologies.
You will be responsible for exploring, within space and non-space domains, innovations and delivering them up to their adoption, with positive impacts on ESA’s mainstream activities and ecosystem (industry, academia, NGOs and the scientiﬁc community). To ensure success as a Senior Innovation Oﬃcer, you should be technically competent, detail-driven, strategic, energetic and motivated, with the ability to promote and achieve innovation adoption. You are a recognised innovator with, at a minimum, a European-wide network of connections, and are interested in innovative technologies and approaches, with a strong ability to think outside the box and deliver a strategic plan for innovation adoption.
Your tasks and responsibilities will include:
- exploring the disruptive/transformative innovation landscape of space and non-space domains
- deﬁning, procuring and implementing a suite of Research & Innovation (R&I) industrial activities fostering innovative EO solutions and missions, by exploring the use of new data sources (e.g. New Space, IoT), technologies (e.g. AI, blockchain) and computing paradigms (e.g. Quantum Computing)
- supporting the rapid prototyping and benchmarking of innovative EO-based solutions
- supporting development of a suite of AI4EO challenges including data preparation
- providing some AI-related technical support and guidance to the Φ-lab team;
- promoting the generation, connections and sharing of ideas to engage with innovation pioneers
- analysing innovation trends and opportunities within the ecosystem (including ESA)
- actively identifying key areas for innovative transformation of EO, and creating/overseeing their long-term innovation strategic view and plans for fostering innovation uptake in the European EO ecosystem and in ESA mainstream activities
- developing plans for nurturing and testing ideas, and promoting adoption with the capability to rise ideas TRL fostering their uptake
- adopting agile development methods to foster discovery, facilitating innovation and accelerating the adoption
- supporting the presentation of new ideas and plans to high-level stakeholders
- supporting the design and implementation of the EOP coordination function for disruptive/transformative innovation
- engaging with internal and external stakeholders to enhance innovative thinking in and around ESA
- networking proactively with all EOP organizational units to increase awareness and collaboration with Φ-lab Explore Office addressing problems and opportunities they define, facilitating their initiatives, channeling results into their projects.
A master’s degree or an equivalent qualiﬁcation in a relevant engineering or scientiﬁc discipline and a successful track record in managing innovation programmes, preferably in an international context, are required for this post.
A relevant PhD is an asset.
Additionally, you should have and/or demonstrate:
- Ability to launch and sustain collaborative initiatives with industrial partners and stakeholders on a non-exchange-of-funds basis
- Track record of interacting with external parties, especially industry and non-space actors
- Excellent in cognitive, analytical, strategic planning, strong communication and relationship skills
- Ability to “think outside the box” and explore new avenues with natural curiosity and a passion for new subjects and research areas
- A research record in the AI field is an asset
For more information, please click here and Apply.
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