The innovation advisor, a key position for Horizon Europe

Innovation advisors will play a key role in the new Horizon EU programme. This article sheds light on this position, describing the responsibilities, knowledge and skills required to become a successful innovation advisor.

Innovation Advisor

The European Commission's plan for the successor programme to Horizon 2020 Horizon Europe, is a €80 billion research and innovation programme. It aims to boost the region's innovation output making the EU a technological powerhouse.

While all types of innovation will be supported, the framework mainly targets innovation in five key sectors:

  • Climate change
  • Cancer research
  • Smart cities design
  • Soil health and food production
  • Healthy oceans and inland waters

Each organization will have different needs based on its unique organizational structure, the industry it operates within, and the importance of research in its overall operations. As such, the responsibilities of the Innovation Advisor will vary from organization to organization.

That being said, some underlying responsibilities are standard across various organizations that the Innovation Advisor will be expected to fulfill.

Responsibilites of Innovation Advisor

  • Carrying out business and market assessment to ensure that the organization is aware of trends and changes in the market that they can leverage to increase their overall innovativeness. This includes competitor analysis to ensure that an organization is not being left behind in terms of innovation
  • Identifying, forging and managing partnerships between the organization and third parties (other companies, public entities, and educational institutions) that aim to increase the collective innovativeness of the partners
  • Keeping track of technological and knowledge developments within and outside the industry an organization operates in and finding ways to use this knowledge to improve the organization's innovation output
  • Creating a capable organizational infrastructure that makes it easy for the organization to integrate and adopt new innovations as they become available
  • Regularly carrying out internal and external data collection to gain actionable insights that can be used to formulate innovation strategies
  • Playing a pivotal role in the design and coordination of existing and future projects to ensure that they fully take advantage of the existing innovation in terms of ideas and technology
  • Constantly working on identifying and/or developing new strategies, technologies, and approaches to enable an organization to better meet its strategic targets and exceed stakeholder expectations
  • Developing and implementing sustainable business practices and processes through research management
  • Anticipating the impact of management decisions on the organization on a short-term and long-term basis

What skills & knowledge should the ideal Innovation Advisor have?

  • Extensive knowledge of the industry to be able to identify trends and to provide effective leadership and support to the organization
  • Relevant project management or managerial qualifications
  • At least two years of experience in project management
  • Excellent man-management and negotiation skills to effectively manage partnerships
  • An out-of-the-box approach to problem-solving
  • Knowledge of intellectual property laws and regulations is a huge plus

The Innovation Advisor will have a key position in future research projects since they can help shifting our research results towards innovation and societal gain. Organizations are well advised to look for qualified people at an early stage and prepare their teams to get ready for Horizon Europe.

This article was written in a cooperation with our valued partner Europa Media Trainings.

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