Vacancy: Executive Manager of Orkney Research and Innovation Campus (ORIC)


Appointment of Executive Manager

  • Starting salary: £42,397 per annum – salary progression from £42,397 to £50,598 per annum
  • Location: Orkney
  • Closing date: November 25, 2018 at midnight
  • Full time: 35 hours per week
  • Vacancy reference: 836

ORIC History 

The Orkney Research and Innovation Campus (ORIC) is a joint venture by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council (OIC).  The 3.75-acre campus will support the growth of existing research and innovation activity and the expansion of companies in Orkney’s world-leading marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector.  It will also attract additional research activities to Orkney, both from the commercial and academic worlds.

A £5.39 million construction contract has been awarded to Kirkwall based R Clouston Limited for the development of the new Research and Innovation Campus.

Work will include refurbishing, updating and extending the Old Academy and former Stromness primary school buildings as well as improving roads, paths and landscaping.

HIE is investing £4.65 million in the campus project, including £1.48 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money.  Orkney Islands Council is investing £2 million including £0.5 million of Scottish Government Regeneration Funding, in addition to transferring ownership of the Old Academy and former Stromness primary school to the partnership.

The Old Academy is already home to the European Marine Energy Centre, Heriot Watt University’s International Centre for Island Technology, environmental consultants Aquatera and a number of other businesses.

The aim is to attract more academic institutions and businesses with an interest in carrying out research projects in an island setting. This could include research linked to Orkney’s energy resources, transport needs, culture and economy.

This significant investment will support the growth of existing businesses and the creation of new ones.  Crucially, it will provide more opportunities to attract and retain young people looking to live, work and study in Orkney.

ORIC Statement of Objectives

This project will create a physical campus within the unique and historic townscape of Stromness, with collaborative research and innovation at its heart. The development, due for completion in November 2019, will see an existing complex of buildings transformed into a high-quality business/learning campus, fit for the 21st century.    

ORIC will build on, but will not be limited to, Orkney’s existing marine/renewable energy research cluster; which is largely located in the existing Old Academy. The campus will create the conditions to increase activity, to fledge new start companies, and to bring new employment opportunities into the area, from both academia and business.

Principles behind the creation of the campus stated that it should:

  • Foster close interaction between business, education, public sector and local community
  • Be at the heart of a global business and academic network
  • Provide a quality working environment for businesses, students and researchers; capitalising on recent digital communication enhancements
  • Be immediately attractive to inward investors and academic leaders

It was recognised that it must complement the traditions, values and branding of Orkney and the historic townscape of Stromness.  Building work began in March 2018 with the first construction project due to be ready in July 2019.

On completion, the project will provide enhanced and additional physical infrastructure which will:

  • Attract significant new knowledge-based activities to Orkney, both from the commercial and academic worlds
  • Meet the future growth aspirations of existing cornerstone tenants
  • Provide for further expansion of companies located in Orkney’s world-leading marine renewables and wider energy/low carbon cluster.

The impact of the ORIC development will be to facilitate a new generation of teaching, research, innovation and demonstration activity across the islands, which is expected to lead to growth of existing businesses, the creation of new enterprises within the energy/low carbon space, and the development of “island-tested” solutions suitable for export to similarly-challenged remote locations across the world.

Executive Manager - Role Context

The post holder will be the first full time member of staff working to the ORIC board with direct accountability to the chairperson. The post holder will be responsible for evolving and implementing the ORIC strategy, leading the development and completion of the business and marketing plans and establishing robust administrative control systems against which the project’s performance can be measured.
In undertaking this unique role, it is very important that the post holder quickly establishes, then develops, positive relationships with all tenants and stakeholders involved in the project.

It is also vital that the strong links and respective responsibilities between ORIC and its member organisations (HIE and OIC) are fully understood in order to optimise the use of all available resources to the project.

Executive Manager - Key Responsibilities

  • To lead the delivery and operation of ORIC, with responsibility for developing, reviewing and evolving the ORIC strategy in conjunction with the ORIC board
  • To clearly demonstrate a flexible and adaptive approach to the existing and future strategic requirements of ORIC to ensure delivery against objectives set by the partners   
  • To lead in the day to day management of the organisation
  • To be responsible for the management of relationships with a range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Ensure full compliance with the LLP Agreement between the partners, including in relation to governance arrangements, financial management, reporting and performance measurement requirements
  • Closely monitor operating and financial results against plans and budgets, advising the ORIC board of significant changes and remedial actions required
  • Maintain the operational performance of the ORIC partnership
  • Maintain dialogue with the chair of the ORIC board
  • Assume full accountability to the ORIC partnership
  • Ensure all HSE, FOI, Data Protection and other requirements of the partnership are met
  • Promote a climate of accountability, openness, collaboration and innovation
  • Ensure appropriate compliance with all aspects of ORIC governance, including risk management and audit and compliance requirements
  • Such other duties as may be required by the ORIC board
  • Marketing and promotion of ORIC and its facilities

Skills, Knowledge and Experience Required

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent in a relevant subject, along with extensive relevant work experience
  • A strong understanding of the UK energy sector and, in particular, renewable energy
  • A strategic thinker with excellent technical skills and a proven track record in the delivery of multi-stakeholder projects between academia, industry, other external stakeholders and public sector agencies
  • The ability to analyse and review complex issues affecting an organisation, weigh up conflicting opinions and reach informed decisions
  • The ability to engage with ORIC board members and senior management across the partnership to challenge constructively and influence decision making within a board setting
  • Experience of operating effectively at a senior management level in a business/organisation/social enterprise
  • An understanding of the Scottish Government’s economic development priorities for Scotland and the ability to work with partner organisations to achieve Scotland-wide benefits
  • Strong financial and budget management skills
  • A proven track record in organisational development and management
  • Knowledge and experience gained in at least one of Scotland’s key sectors, including the third sector, and the ability to use that experience more widely
  • Knowledge and experience of new technologies/digitalisation and application of these to achieve business/economic benefit
  • Entrepreneurial experience demonstrated through a track record in setting up and growing a high growth business, including experience/evidence of workplace innovation practices and approaches
  • A willingness to travel frequently to meet the requirements of the role
  • A full, current driving licence and access to a vehicle

Interview expenses

All reasonable expenses incurred travelling to and from interview will be reimbursed. When an overnight stay is necessary, you must contact for further guidance.  Receipts must be provided in support of all claims.  A claim form can be obtained from here

Application process

Please note that Highlands and Islands Enterprise are providing recruitment services on behalf of ORIC.

  • For the full job description please click here.
  • Please submit your application through our online system by clicking here. 
  • If you have any questions regarding the recruitment process please contact Jeremy Firth, HR team at Highlands and Islands Enterprise -, or call 01463 383171.
  • For queries relating to the position and the ORIC Joint Venture project please contact Graeme Harrison, Area Manager, Orkney at Highlands and Islands Enterprise – or call 01463 383125, or Harvey Stevenson, Head of Strategic Projects – or call 01463 383130

Closing date for applications is Sunday, November 25 at midnight

Interviews will take place in Orkney on Thursday, December 13