Policy Research & Academic Engagement Manager


Digital Catapult is a part government funded non-profit national innovation centre, responsible for accelerating the early adoption of advanced digital technologies (AI, Immersive Technologies, 5G, Blockchain, Virtual & Augmented Reality) in the UK. The Policy, Research & Academic Engagement Manager will be responsible for a range of activities including (1) Market research and the writing of reports (long and short form) for effective delivery of projects; (2) Preparation of policy documents including summaries, briefings and policy proposals. (3) Academic Engagement with relevant universities, research institutions and organisations building a network and establishing relationships with strategic university partners.

Your role will span project delivery, market research and academic engagement activities. 

What You’ll Do:

  • Market Research - Responsible for scoping, researching and writing market research reports in technology areas such as AI, Immersive Technologies, 5G, Virtual & Augmented Reality, Blockchain and the internet of things. This includes exploration of sustainability and climate change challenges, responsible technology adoption, industrial net zero and the creative industries. This includes engagement, identifying and mapping of barriers and opportunities for emerging technology startups and scaleups for specific projects and programmes
  • Preparation of policy documents - Preparation of policy documents that include briefings and summaries for internal and external stakeholders (e.g. for ministerial speeches, for government strategy documents, relevant evidence sessions from select committees in the House of Commons and House of Lords etc.). Also feeding into project and programme design that may form into policy proposals to internal and external stakeholders
  • Engagement with relevant academic institutions in the UK - The role will be responsible for identifying, selecting and deploying a wide variety of knowledge exchange mechanisms, networking and research coordination mechanisms, to build collaborations between the Catapult and external academic and research organisations across the UK. This will include coordinating existing relationships and programmes (such as our ongoing Researcher in Residence scheme funded by EPSRC, or our relationships with Digital Economy hubs and centres for doctoral training) as well as creating new relationships and programmes with individual universities
  • Working with the wider team to implement the Digital Catapult’s Academic Engagement Strategy
  • Working with the Chief Strategy & Policy Officer and the Head of Strategic Policy Delivery, to inform and advise the Senior Management Team on academic engagement
  • Work with the wider Policy, Research, Economics and Engagement team to identify relevant academic engagements, strategic relationships and knowledge around research projects etc. into innovation programmes and activities
  • In collaboration with other teams, research, develop and implement projects to create high impact relationships with universities
  • Represent the Catapult at cross catapult research meeting and meetings with UKRI and other representative bodies
  • Advise UKRI on relevant funding programmes, and provide feedback on existing ones
  • Represent the Catapult at external events (national and international) representing our relationship in bridging academic research with industry applications of emerging technologies
  • Work with teams across the Digital Catapult to identify and create new relationships with the research groups that have the most relevance to our work (in particular CR&D etc.)
  • Manage a programme of Researchers in Residence funded by the research councils
  • Manage systems to track our university engagement activities and report on them regularly

What We’re Looking For

  • Ideally someone with experience from the boundary of university research and commercial applications, used to working with people on either side of the divide
  • Knowledge and interest in current emerging technology trends, and the key government, public and private sector institutions that shape emerging technology policy in our technology areas (e.g. 5G, IoT, AI/ML, VR/AR, Blockchain + emerging areas such as Quantum and Digital Twins etc.)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and analytical skills including the ability to translate complex material into clear and concise internal and external documents
  • Strong team working and collaborative skills
  • Self-motivated and entrepreneurial, adaptable, identify opportunities, suggest interventions and use your own initiative when necessary
  • Able to work in a busy environment and capable of managing and developing multiple tasks and objectives, often to tight timescales

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