• Full Time
  • Johannesburg
  • Applications have closed

Website KTN

We connect ideas, people and communities to drive innovation that changes lives.

Innovate UK KTN – Who we are

Innovation is complex. The journey from idea to market is not straightforward and requires a diverse range of know-how, investment, market knowledge and research. `Innovate UK KTN exists to connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking – accelerating ambitious ideas into real-world solutions.

The future holds both challenges and opportunities. We are passionate about working with innovative businesses to overcome these challenges and shape the opportunities and solutions that follow.

Our vision is to create a network of innovators so powerful its ideas will change the world.

While business is at the heart of our work, our diverse connections span government, funders, research and the third sector. This unrivalled overview and connectivity enable us to be a trusted guide through a complex global innovation landscape and build collaborations at a local, national and global level.

KTN Global Alliance Africa

In 2019, Innovate UK KTN embarked on an exciting six year project, the Global Alliance Africa, aiming to strengthen a shared innovation ecosystem spanning South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and the UK. The project aligns with the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) objectives by forging strategic partnerships amongst innovation stakeholders to enable more effective knowledge transfer and collaboration for stronger local innovation and business environments, helping to achieve long-term ambitions in job creation, inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

Purpose of the role

The South Africa Country Lead is accountable for:

  • Leading the country team to ensure the successful and timely delivery of Global Alliance Africa activities in South Africa to achieve their objectives and impacts.
  • Working actively within the KTN Global Alliance Management Team to grow the Global Alliance Africa’s prominence in South Africa as a trusted innovation network aligned to the KTN 2025 Strategy.
  • Working in effective partnerships with the Global Alliance Africa counterpart teams in Kenya and Nigeria, as well as UK Government and country-level stakeholders in meeting the above objectives.
  • Responsible for country-level Global Alliance Africa project KPIs, reporting and financial expenditure.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Lead the country team effectively in managing country-level delivery plan targeting new opportunities and high impact for the Global Alliance Africa in South Africa.
  • Work actively as part of the KTN Global Alliance Management Team to develop a coherent project strategy and objectives, and taking the delivery responsibility in South Africa against defined workplans, intervention mechanisms and outcomes.
  • Direct delivery of the Global Alliance Africa interventions in South Africa in line with the agreed Country Level Work Plans.
  • Identify and lead the high integrity and effective country-level stakeholder engagement and relationships, including with UK Government teams, South African public sector agencies, businesses, funders, investors and other innovation stakeholders.
  • Ensure efficient forward planning and budgeting of all activities to be undertaken in South Africa and the timely identification of issues that are delaying or could delay project implementation, and develop solutions to address bottlenecks.
  • Provide timely country-level quarterly and annual workplans and budgets to the KTN Global Alliance Management Team.
  • Co-develop and implement effective communication and growth plans for KTN Global Alliance in South Africa and across Africa.
  • Travel regularly to engage with key stakeholders and partners in South Africa, across the continent and in the UK as required.
  • Track implementation of the Global Alliance Africa project logical framework outputs related to activities in South Africa to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation.


Experience and Qualifications

  • Degree qualified or equivalent in engineering, science, business or policy, with a strong ability in written and verbal communication skills in English and local languages.
  • Demonstrable experience in leading a diverse team in a fast-paced, multi-stakeholder programme environment across different sectors and international cultures.
  • In-depth understanding of the South Africa and international innovation landscape, ideally cross sectorial, with direct experience in innovation commercialisation, policy implementation, business growth and/or international development.
  • Experience and aptitude in building effective engagements and maintaining trusted partnerships with business and public sector stakeholder at all levels, with a good professional profile and network.
  • Ideally a Project Management qualification, with direct experience in the delivery major national or international programmes.
  • Experience in implementing and leading international donor funded programmes desired.

Skills and Competencies

  • A highly motivated, self-starting and results oriented individual with a strong desire to deliver socioeconomic impacts through equitable partnerships, innovation collaboration and social inclusion.
  • Strong leadership capability with the ability to effectively lead and motivate a team working in a complex, inclusive and challenging environment, including the need to effectively balance short and long-term priorities.
  • An effective and inclusive inter-personal communicator experienced in engaging and building relationships at all levels in English and local languages.
  • Ability to operate autonomously and effectively as a team leader and equally as contributing team member when required.
  • Highly numerate and analytical, with the ability to think and plan strategically.
  • Able to manage a team and external relationships effectively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Willingness and ability to undertake regular domestic and international travel.
  • High level of IT literacy and organisational skills.


Salary – South African Rand (ZAR) 700,000 – 1,000,000 (depending on experience) plus benefits.

This role will be offered on a fixed term contract ending 31 March 2025

Hybrid working (with a minimum time in office as agreed with Line Manager). Office is based in Johannesburg with significant domestic and overseas travel expected. Due to the nature of this role, we are only able to consider applications for full time working. Applicants are invited from South African citizens, who are permanently situated in South Africa, with a clean UK and international travel visa history.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 13th April 2022.

Please submit applications by April 13, 2022