Vacancy -- Innovation Specialist x3

Working for the Civil Service

The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

Vacancy Details

Economy, Treasury and Constitution Group
Innovation (Business & Regions)
SEO - £41,700 - £49,370
Starting will be at point 1 of the scale with approval in place to offer up to point 3 (£44,200) for exceptional candidates.
Full time (not suitable for candidates who wish to work on a part time or job share basis)
Pan Wales
'Pan Wales' means that the location in which the vacancy can be based is flexible, subject to the needs of the business. Please note it may not always be possible to accommodate a preference for a specific office location, but requests will be taken into consideration.

Purpose of Post:

This is a key delivery role supporting the SMART suite of operations which provide a range of support for businesses and research organisations to undertake Innovation and R&D projects.

The purpose of the Innovation Specialist role within the SMART Innovation operation is to stimulate and develop economic growth in Wales by encouraging and facilitating businesses and academia to become more competitive by improving their technology base and adopting more innovative management and process practices. This will be achieved through the introduction of new Science, technology and R & D to develop new improved products and processes.

The role is an integral part of the wider SMART suite of operations and will support the effective exchange of intelligence between each operation to maximise commercialisation, collaboration and horizon scanning.

Key tasks:

  • Provide professional specialist technology, new product development advice and sector expertise to new and innovative technology businesses typically at director level. To work with academic institutions at professorial level to introduce business led complex technology collaboration opportunities.
  • Deliver a specialist resource that will utilise sector specific skills to facilitate ongoing assistance for R&D projects and a sustainable post-project relationship. Provide “technology translation” to enable successful collaboration between parties with different levels of technology understanding.
  • Using a diagnostic process, identify and scope the technology and innovation needs of businesses and provide a problem-solving resource to address key issues. Identify the advantages and benefits of implementing new technology and source preferable solutions, advising on appropriate financial assistance e.g. Innovate UK, Horizon Europe, SMARTCymru and other programmes.
  • Prepare substantial technology and new product development proposals, addressing the technology, commercial, product life cycle, financial and intellectual property issues. In addition, thoroughly assess, evaluate and filter similar proposals as part of the due diligence process for SMARTCymru funding.
  • Provide senior level project mentoring and oversight, typically of research and product development, focusing upon businesses with >10 employees or those with high growth potential.
  • Work with subcontractors to deliver the Design, Productivity and Digital Manufacturing support elements of the SMARTInnovation operation. This also includes the assessment of technical reports and diagnostics prepared by the subcontractors.
  • Provide specialist Intellectual Property and Licensing guidance and educate clients as to the benefits, problems and processes of gaining IP in all areas of research, development and manufacturing. Conduct IP searches, contribute to IP diagnostics and provide recommendations.
  • Deliver Innovation & Technology support to businesses participating in the Accelerated Growth programme, businesses considering International collaboration activities and, more generally, stakeholders and businesses involved in other Research and Innovation based programmes.
  • Through CPD maintain a current and detailed working knowledge of new technology, new science, R&D funding and relevant sector knowledge. 

Development opportunities:

The post holder will have the opportunity to expand and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the business /academic research and development landscape in Wales and UK. The post holder will be supported in undertaking CPD and training that strengthens their contribution to the Innovation team.

Closing Date:

05/12/2022, 16:00


Posts recruited to as part of this recruitment campaign are broadly open to UK nationals, those with right to remain and work in the UK and those that meet the Civil Service Nationality Rules only. Check your eligibility here:

Prior to appointment, all successful applicants will be required to produce original, acceptable documents as part of the pre-employment checks. If it becomes apparent at a later stage in the process that you aren’t eligible to apply, your application will be withdrawn, or offer retracted.

Equality and Diversity

The Welsh Government is committed to providing services which embrace diversity and which promote equality of opportunity. This is underpinned by the Equality Act 2010 and will be adhered to at each stage of the recruitment process. Our goal is to ensure that these commitments are also embedded in our day-to-day working practices with all our customers, colleagues and partners.

We are committed to being an anti-racist organisation and increasing diversity in the Welsh Government by removing barriers and supporting all our staff to reach their potential. We are committed to recruiting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people and disabled people who are currently under-represented in Welsh Government.

We welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, marriage and civil partnership (both same sex and opposite sex), impairment or health condition, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender identity or gender expression.

We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Disability Confident Level 3 (Leader) organisation. Key to supporting this work and providing peer support are five Board sponsored Staff Networks (Disability Awareness and Support (DAAS); Minority Ethnic Support Network (MESN); Mind Matters (Mental health and well-being); PRISM (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex +) and Women Together.

Disability Confident

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

Welsh Language Requirements

The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to learn, develop and use their Welsh language skills in the workplace. 

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

No skills
No skills
No skills
No skills

Social Partnership

In Welsh Government, the relationship between the employer and trade unions is based on social partnership. We believe our goals can best be achieved by management and trade unions working together.

Our 3 recognised trade unions are:
•         PCS
•         Prospect
•         FDA

This relationship is underpinned by a partnership agreement. This sets out how our unions work with Welsh Government on issues such as:
•         pay
•         terms and conditions
•         policies and procedures
•         organisational change.

Our Welsh Government trade union colleagues work together to give their members a real say in the workplace. They make sure that the interests of their members are promoted and protected. They also help reduce inequalities and improve terms and conditions.

The Welsh Government has an excellent track record of working in partnership with its trade unions. We encourage staff to get involved. We support you to join a recognised trade union, to ensure your voice is heard in the workplace. and to learn more about trade unions and partnership working.

Competencies / Job Specific Criteria


  • Making Effective Decisions - Recognise patterns and trends in a wide range of evidence/ data and draw key conclusions, outlining costs, benefits, risks and potential responses. (We are looking for information related to R&D projects and data). 
  • Seeing the Big Picture - Actively seek out and share experience to develop understanding and knowledge of own work and of team’s business area.
  • Collaborating and Partnering - Establish relationships with a range of stakeholders to support delivery of business outcomes.
  • Delivering at Pace - Plan ahead but reassess workloads and priorities if situations change or people are facing conflicting demands.

Job Specific Criteria: 

  • Degree in a Science/Technology subject and Membership of an appropriate institution and professional qualification such as CEng.
  • Substantial industrial experience including working knowledge of new product development and the design process in industry and academia.
  • IP Accredited or substantial working knowledge of IP and commercialisation issues.

Assessment Process

Applications will be based on an application form, CV and personal statement.
Candidates must submit:

  • CV of no more than two sides of A4 (anything further will be discounted) that captures work history, experience and qualification and demonstrates how they meet the key skills for the role.
  • Personal statement of no more than 1750 in total (anything above this will be discounted) that demonstrates examples against all of the job specific criteria and competencies listed in the advert. 

Applications will be sifted, successful candidates will then be invited to an interview.

Other Information

  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘actual starting salary’, all candidates will start at the minimum of the pay scale being appointed to (this includes existing civil servants).This is not negotiable.
  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘type of opportunity’, this recruitment advert is not open on a Loan or Secondment basis.
  • For more information on the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for Loan and Secondment positions in Welsh Government, please see external recruitment candidate guidance.
  • Unless stated otherwise in ‘Location of Post’ the role/s recruited to via this campaign can only be worked in the UK, not overseas.
The post can be located in Welsh Government offices based in Cardiff, Swansea, Newtown, Aberystwyth or Llandudno Junction. Regular travel will be required throughout Wales to be able to undertake the role.
Gwion Williams - 07796991278

How to apply

All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have an impairment which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail to request an application pack in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable adjustment related to an impairment in order to submit your application.

To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system.  Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account.  Registration takes just a few minutes to complete.  You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register.  Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.  

If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

For further information regarding the Welsh Government recruitment process, please see the Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link).

When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework (link)

Grievance and Complaints

Anyone who believes they have been treated unfairly, or has a grievance or complaint, about how the process was conducted should either write to the Head of Resourcing, Welsh Government, Cathays Park 2, Cardiff CF10 3NQ or email  If you are unhappy with the outcome of the complaint raised with the Welsh Government and feel that the principles of appointment on merit through fair and open competition have not been met you have the right to pursue your grievance with the Civil Service Commission.

This vacancy is closed to applications.