Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC245829
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £30056 - £32670
Date Posted 09 July 2018
Grade RC-D
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 23 July 2018
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £30,056 - £32,670
Grade: RC-D
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 23rd July 2018


STFC supports Business Incubation through a coordinated programme of initiatives covering a broad variety of science and technology sectors. The European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom (ESA BIC UK) works alongside the STFC CERN BIC, the ESA Technology Transfer Network, the three Innovation Technology Access Centres (ITACs) and the Campus Technology Hub to deliver a broad range of business incubation facilities.

The ESA BIC UK is part of ESA’s Europe-wide network of technology transfer and business incubation activities and is managed and delivered by STFC through a contract with ESA. It is an exciting initiative which is at the core of STFC’s programme and has three locations, at Harwell Campus, Daresbury Laboratory and the Higgs Innovation Centre at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Focused on exploiting space and ESA-related technologies for new commercial applications and dedicated to the support and acceleration of new and early-years companies, the BIC has a seven-year track record of success in developing high-technology business. It has already developed beyond its initial base at Harwell and is now expanding the number of incubate companies supported as well as the number of locations.

In order to enable the growth of the ESA BIC and other incubation activities, a vacancy has now arisen to support STFC’s business incubation operations, based at the main location in the Atlas Centre at the heart of the Harwell Space Cluster.

The Business Incubation Operations Officer will be a key member of the Business Incubation Team, which includes both incubation management and admin support teams. This role is part of the incubation management team and you will work closely with the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager at Harwell and the Business Incubation Support Manager to support them in their role as the primary operational interface on innovation and business incubation issues between STFC and senior ESA staff in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. This will involve acting as an interface between STFC and ESA BIC incubatee companies at Harwell and the growing number of graduate businesses. You will also support the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager in their other key accountabilities, including increasing the pipeline of high-quality applicants to the ESA BIC UK; supporting the relationships between the ESA BIC UK, its stakeholders, other ESA BICs across Europe and other local and national organisations; and planning, capturing impact and reporting.

Support will also be required for other parts of the incubation programme from time to time and any future Business Incubation schemes as they are developed.

List of Duties/Work Programme/Responsibilities:

The Business Incubation Operations Officer role has a broad spectrum of responsibilities across incubation programmes, with the primary role being to support the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager and Business Incubation Support Manager in three critical tasks:  

  1. ensuring that there is a flow of high-quality applications (deal-flow) to the BIC Tender Evaluation Board
  2. supporting the incubatee companies in the BIC to ensure they maximise their exploitation of the ESA BIC opportunity
  3. fulfilling the contractual obligations of the ESA BIC.

For Task 1 this will include:

  • monitoring the ESA BIC websites, ensuring they are available and contain accurate information on the programme, the application process and the portfolio of companies
  • working with the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager and the Events and Marketing team to coordinate logistics of attendance at relevant shows, conferences, networking events, talks and similar; attending events to raise the profile of the ESA BIC UK; and/or providing other support as needed
  • facilitating and supporting on-campus and incubator events – "hackathons" for example
  • providing support to potential and actual applicants with their application to ensure that there is a sufficient number of high-quality applications to enter the BIC
  • contributing to a database of all contacts. 

Task 2 will encompass:

  • acting as the primary contact for ESA BIC incubatee companies at Harwell for matters relating to the business incubation programme
  • supporting the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager in interfacing between STFC and ESA BIC incubatee companies at Harwell, the growing number of graduate businesses and other ESA BICs across Europe
  • contributing to the organisation of and participating in formal negotiation, mid-term and final review meetings with incubatees and maintaining action lists arising
  • taking responsibility for defined parts of the new starter and company exit processes
  • working with the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager to organise ‘new cohort kick-off’ events and other events as required
  • supporting the companies through the business incubation process by, for example, supporting the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager in coordinating and sourcing expertise such as technical and business support within and outside STFC
  • supporting the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager in liaising with the incubatee companies, support providers and other external contacts as needed
  • other actions as required on a case-by-case basis.

Task 3 includes:

  • supporting the Business Incubation Support Manager and the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager in the organisation of Tender Opening Board (TOB) meetings, Tender Evaluation Board (TEB) meetings and Stakeholders Group meetings
  • collecting and collating information as required to support the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager in the production of monthly, yearly and other reports to ESA, STFC and other stakeholders
  • supporting the Business Incubation Support Manager in the production of cost reports for ESA and other financial administration
  • acting as contact point for the collection of annual reports from alumni companies, working with ESA and the ESA BIC UK Operations Manager
  • supporting the logistics for attendance by the ESA BIC management team at the six-monthly ESA BIC/Broker coordination meetings, preparing materials as required, and attending the meetings when requested.

 Similar tasks may be required in support of other business incubation programmes and any future Business Incubation schemes as they are developed.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation 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. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting criteria


  • educated to degree level in a technical or commercial/business focused discipline – or demonstrable equivalent experience
  • experience of keeping records and writing reports
  • understanding of project and budget management
  • excellent networking skills
  • good presentation skills.


  • experience of early-stage, innovation-focused companies
  • broad understanding of technology and an appreciation of how and where to locate technical, business and funding support (both within STFC and externally)
  • understanding and experience of how to commercially evaluate an idea/proposal
  • experience of small companies’ finance and fundraising
  • experience of a business incubation environment.

Interview Criteria


  • strong team working and collaboration skills
  • excellent communication skills, in speaking to individuals at all levels of seniority and in written documents
  • decision-making ability
  • attention to detail
  • a clear focus on achievement and delivery of objectives 
  • skills and experience to deliver continuous improvement, i.e. to do the job well and plan to do it better. 


  • a proven ability to build and maintain productive commercial relationships.

Special Requirements


  • ability to travel both within the UK and across Europe.

In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process.

As this job does not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK.   At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK. You can check your eligibility here:

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Online applications only, please submit a covering letter and CV, ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. No Agencies.

The closing date for applications is 23rd July 2018.