AIRTO Policy Associates – call for nominations

An important aspect of AIRTO’s mission to shape a positive climate for innovation is to support the Innovation, Research & Technology (IRT) sector to train up the next generation of leaders. In seeking to fulfil this aspect of our mission, we are creating a cohort of member representatives on a pilot basis, to offer hands-on experience of engaging with policy makers and consulting with government representatives on science and innovation policy.

 Successful applicants will be part of a team of member representatives acting as AIRTO Policy Associates supporting the development of innovation policy thought-leadership for the IRT sector, and developing collaborative activities and initiatives with government stakeholders, and across the AIRTO community.

Members of the AIRTO Policy Associate Team will work together over the course of a year with AIRTO’s core executive team to be part of initiatives that support our members by championing the sector with government departments, agencies, industry and policy makers. This will give associates the opportunity to:

  • Build relationships with key staff from member organisations who engage with AIRTO;
  • Identify new opportunities for members to engage in shaping public policy;
  • Maintain a watching brief for opportunities to engage with national innovation strategies for key industry sectors e.g., agri-food, built environment, energy, transport etc.;
  • Assist in initiatives to research, analyse/evaluate and build the evidence base to demonstrate the strength and viewpoints of the IRT sector. This will include drafting written material and liaising with our members to source success stories, for inclusion in AIRTO consultation responses, opinion pieces and policy material.

Candidates for nomination

Candidates should have an interest in and experience of working in a scientific, engineering, or economics discipline. Experience of working across the IRT sector, and having an understanding of the key industrial sectors and science/technology areas for the UK would be an advantage but is not essential. They must have a strong interest in policy development and in getting involved with formal consultation exercises. Evidence of an ability to drive development of projects on a ‘task and finish’ basis is essential, as is an ability to ‘sell’ ideas. Strong and confident verbal and written communication skills are essential, as is a proven aptitude to negotiate and influence others.

In this initial pilot phase of the initiative, we are seeking to select up to 6 member representatives to form a team of AIRTO Policy Associates for a period of 12 months from September 2021 onwards. The time commitment will vary from month to month but is expected to be a maximum of 24 days across the year in total. If there is any requirement to travel, AIRTO will reimburse travel expenses, but it is envisaged that most activities and meetings will be held remotely. AIRTO Policy Associates will be supported and mentored by members of the AIRTO team. The team of Associates will meet together a minimum of once per month, but it is envisaged additional meetings and activities will take place between meetings as they begin working together on the development of draft innovation strategy, AIRTO policy papers, consultation responses etc.

To apply

Member organisations are invited to nominate a staff member (one person maximum per organisation) for this exciting career development opportunity by 20 August 2021. An online interview process will be conducted during the week commencing 30 August to select team, with intent for the programme for the successful cohort to commence from the end of September onwards.

Informal inquiries are welcomed.

To nominate a member of staff, please submit the candidate’s CV with covering letter to Dr Jane Gate, Executive Director, AIRTO by 20 August 2021: