The Vector Institute is seeking a Vice President, Industry Innovation to join our growing team in Toronto.

As part of Vector’s senior management team and reporting to the President and CEO, this is the primary leadership role within Vector responsible for all industry interaction-with sponsors, the broader AI ecosystem, and those in key economic sectors looking to engage with Vector to expand their understanding of AI-enabled technologies and find and hire additional highly qualified personnel.

Lead the building of and ensure ongoing strong and value-enhancing relationships with sponsors and the broader AI ecosystem. Plan, lead, and ensure delivery of all Vector industry-related strategic programmes that meet the direct needs of industry ranging from large multi-nationals to small startups, in alignment with Vector’s mission.

Act as the senior-level and primary interface between external industry and internal Vector research activities.

Employment type: Regular, full-time

SELECT KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Engage with Vector’s private sector sponsors (both existing and new) to identify their expectations and needs in relation to the Institute; ensure that they are informed of Vector’s ability to meet their expectations; and guide sponsors on various ways to increase the chances of success in interacting with Vector.
  • Develop and implement programmes for private sector partners, including large firms and multi-national enterprises as well as medium-sized and start-up firms and other stakeholder organizations that desire to be part of Vector’s stakeholder groups.
  • Provide strategic advice to Vector’s senior management team and its Board on industry concerns, issues, and opportunities.
  • Work closely with Vector’s researchers to support industry research interests and encourage the formation of joint projects that help flow ideas between industry and researchers.
  • Support the development of Vector’s intellectual property and commercialization strategies and related policies, including bringing forward industry perspectives. Work with Vector’s leadership team to develop new revenue opportunities for Vector. Implement joint industry partnerships and sponsored research engagements where applicable.
  • Engage with the Canadian AI ecosystem to help position Vector as a critical organization that leads and facilitates economic growth and social impact. Lead the development and implementation of the industry-related portion of Vector’s strategic and operational plans to ensure alignment with, and the successful achievement of, Vector’s mission and continued funding support.
  • As part of the ongoing interaction with senior business champions of each sponsor, establish and support Vector’s industry advisory committees and working groups.
  • Work with industry and institutional partners to support the development of interesting and impactful projects and funding applications as necessary (e.g., Innovation Superclusters Initiative consortia, High-Performance Computing partners, joint data holding agreements, and sponsored research engagements).

Key Success Measures

  • Vector achieves its goals for its industry sponsor relationships
  • Industry sponsorship growth and retention goals are met
  • Industry sponsor and stakeholder feedback via informal and formal feedback mechanisms validates that Vector is providing appropriate services and support through effective working relationships
  • Vector achieves its mission and goals
  • Vector continues to receive appropriate funding for its operations; is successful in growing its commercial revenues; is generating IP; and is increasing the AI talent-pool for industry sponsors and stakeholders to hire from

Profile of The Ideal Candidate

  • Are either currently or have previously been in a primary senior management role, building and leading high-performing business and/or technical teams, and responsible for industryacademic interaction that includes supporting joint research initiatives, with at least 15 years’ experience in this level of role.
  • Possess at least a Master’s degree in business and/or technology, have demonstrated that you can effectively function in the unique environment of a leading research organization and/or academic institution and have worked directly as part of a senior management team to collaboratively and effectively move the organization forward.
  • Are creative and enjoy working in a small entrepreneurial environment that is mission- and results-driven and laser focused on growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence talent in Canada and have had a diverse network of (AI preferred) business interactions within a technology ecosystem where you have engaged with industry partners at the most senior levels to collaboratively and effectively move teams and projects/programmes forward.
  • Have exceptional verbal and written English communication skills; are effective in presenting to a diverse set of stakeholders from the business and technology ecosystem and have demonstrated expertise in the development, implementation, and execution of business and research contracts, intellectual property policies, funding programme guidelines, and commercialization agreements.
  • Have a track record of developing and implementing strategic and operational plans and of working with innovation and government organizations that promote the development and funding of start-ups for economic growth and social impact, and doing so with limited available resources, autonomously, and in a fast-paced and stressful environment.
  • Have developed and implemented the delivery of programmes that create interaction, engagement, and the flow of ideas between industry and academia.
  • Possess a positive attitude, integrity, a sense of humour, bring a positive energy and outlook to a corporate culture, and are motivated by continuous learning and the desire to make a difference and a real contribution to AI.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Clear understanding of the roles of the various innovation organizations in Ontario (such as MRIS, OCE, MaRS, Mitacs) and their programmes in support of innovation, research, and start-ups.
  • Have worked with developers of IP (Intellectual Property) to help protect and support commercialization of IP. Understand the basic principles such as the differences of ownership vs. rights, and the value-process of getting IP off-the-shelf/out-of-the-lab and into the hands of people/organizations that can commercialize.
  • Demonstrates explicit knowledge of the innovation/technology development path (pure research, applied, proof-of-concept, prototype, product) and the position/role of each of government, academia, and industry in working through this complex interaction.
  • Through their interaction, demonstrate that they are a “translator” who is able to communicate solutions in an elegant and simple manner while also having the skills to work through/manage progress through complex and ambiguous environments consisting of multiple stakeholders with differing goals, to achieve long-term strategic objectives.
  • Can highlight examples of having managed joint research and understanding of the associated benefits and hurdles.

How to apply

Interested and qualified candidates are invited to send their CV with a covering letter to the attention of: David Wexler at David.Wexler@vectorinstitute.ai

We thank all applicants for their interest in this exciting opportunity and will be in touch with those whose qualifications most closely match with our needs.

ABOUT THE VECTOR INSTITUTE

The goal of the Vector Institute is simple: make Ontario – and Canada – a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI). A new, independent not-for-profit, the Vector Institute will help build out the AI ecosystem in Ontario, developing and attracting the world’s best machine learning and deep learning experts, and create an unrivalled convergence of research, investment, entrepreneurialism, and economic growth.

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