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Head of Innovation

Country/Region:  GB
Field:  Engineering

York, Birmingham, Manchester, , GB

Type of Contract:  Permanent
Level of experience:  Any
Job number: 

Around the world, SYSTRA’s specialists plan, design, integrate, test, commission, project manage and deliver mass transit and mobility solutions that are relied on by more than 50 million people every day.

For more than 60 years, the Group has been committed to helping cities and regions contribute to their development by creating, improving and modernising their transport infrastructure with sustainability, accessibility and innovation at the heart of our designs. With over 8,250 colleagues globally and around 1000 in the UK & Ireland we are growing significantly and seeking out the very best talent to join the SYSTRA signature team and be part of leading the way in infrastructure design.


SYSTRA's ambition is to be the reference signature for transport solutions, and a thought leader in mobility. To achieve this, we must be at the forefront of the latest innovation in mobility, engineering and construction and become a recognized leader in digital services. At SYSTRA Ltd this falls within the Engineering Excellence function. With this in mind we are seeking to appoint a Head of Innovation to structure, steer and promote SYSTRA's vision on the new mobility and digital markets, to create and progress business cases, and to undertake business projects that drive competitive advantage, operations efficiencies, growth and market positioning.


The Innovation Lead will engage and work with other business functions to ensure innovation initiatives are identified, prioritised, drive value and are aligned to the overall business strategy for UK & Ireland.


Key Responsibilities:


  • Head up and drive the Innovation hub across the UK/IRE business
  • Define the main areas of development in terms of innovation (Clusters, Open Innovation, Intrapreneurship, R&D, etc.) in connection with the business medium term plan and challenges faced by the business and our clients.
  • Enhance the Innovation strategy and establish a delivery plan
  • Define and validate the resources, budgets, planning and objectives of each stream
  • Engage with the business to secure internal resource or source externally. 
  • Organize and pilot the investment committees and business case approval and delivery 
  • Work closely with the sales director to analyse the "innovation" pipe, prioritize and organize innovation streams
  • Define / validate funding optimisation strategies at business and delivery level
  • In conjunction with the Head of Digital, assist in the development of the overall SYSTRA Ltd digital innovation strategy. 
  • Creation of differentiating content and initiatives to position the company as a thought leader
  • Provide support to operations in responding to “specific innovation” requests from customers
  • Establish  new services based on client needs and challenges specifically in Digital, carbon and energy transition
  • Understand market risk & opportunity to identify and implement new services and solutions
  • Internal processes –  e.g. improve on connecting data and data assurance, enable sharing data and reporting across systems.  
  • Technologies – Scouting and market appraisal of new or improved tech - Hardware, Software, business systems, design and delivery solutions and applications
  • Identify and establish new services – New services via innovative technology or application of technology – Carbon tool, 4D planning, virtual and augmented reality. 


Experience Required:


  • Minimum BSC or BEng and chartered professional
  • Significant demonstrable experience in the field of Engineering, Construction or Major Infrastructure on innovative issues.
  • Experience of the transport sector preferable, but would welcome experience from other engineering sectors.
  • Experience of in-depth analysis and a thorough understanding of the market and its various stakeholders are key elements in defining, challenging and rapidly / effectively deploying roadmaps on the various transport systems and associated business plans.
  • Curious, open, good communicator, sensitive to the needs of operational staff (support for offers, content creation / differentiating methods)
  • Responsible for your budget, you are sensitive to the optimisation of innovation financing circuits in order to increase your means


Our three core values: Excellence, Connected Teams and Bold Leadership are kept at the heart of everything we do. We strive for the highest levels of technical excellence, achieving the best results through teamwork, both locally and internationally, and reward innovative thinking through encouraging all colleagues to think as leaders. We offer clear and well supported pathways for career development and qualification attainment, a competitive remuneration package including a bonus and private healthcare, an electric car scheme and a broad suite of flexible benefits to suit your lifestyle.

Because we value who you are as much as what you do, we want you to feel supported at work. We offer hybrid working, balancing the benefits of working from home with time in our modern, well-equipped offices for that crucial in-person contact, team development and collaborative working. We also recognise that life doesn’t always run to the same schedule for everyone, so we have a dedicated flexible working policy to support you in tailoring your work life to reach your full potential, for more details on this, please get in touch.

Diversity & Inclusion

We provide a warm welcome and encourage applications from a diverse range of people who can enrich our company and offer perspectives which will drive better solutions in a truly inclusive environment. Our employee led working groups and clearly defined strategy help us to keep at the leading edge of important issues and keep us accountable. We want our colleagues to feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work and continually seek new ideas and contributions to ensure we continue to grow and develop in this space.


It’s no surprise that people do their best work when they feel physically and mentally supported. Our SYSTRA Wellness Programme offers a wide range of support; from Wellness champions, to free health checks, healthy eating workshops and regular seminars, alongside access to a wide range of external support. We offer two paid days for charity work and an ever-growing social calendar.

Apply and find out more about how Systra can support you in your career journey. If you require any adjustments to support you in your application or interview process please email:  where your request will be treated confidentially and with respect. We pledge to offer an interview to any candidates with a disability who apply for a role and meet the minimum criteria.

As we are always looking to expand our team, we would still be interested in hearing from you if you fulfil most, but not all, of the relevant criteria for the role – you could still be just what we are looking for.

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