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Director/General Manager, LINKS Foundation


Call for applications

Director / General Manager

The LINKS foundation, a brief introduction

Located in Torino in the context of the Cittadella Politecnica, the LINKS Foundation is a newly established not-for-profit entity promoted by the public university Politecnico di Torino ( and the philanthropic foundation Compagnia di San Paolo ( It aims at conducting multidisciplinary research projects and strengthening initiatives designed to test innovative processes, technology or knowledge driven, within the architecture and polytechnic scientific domains. Taking as an asset the role of key enabling technologies, such as information and communication technology, it intends to:

  • favor the interaction between scientific, technological and industrial expertise, to develop technology transfer initiatives and applied research projects, characterized by high social and economic impact at urban and regional scale and able to compete for external funds and grants;
  • develop and apply the research output produced by the local university system (in close coordination with it) to the benefit of the community and to attract talents on an international scale;
  • support the internalization of the local socio-economic system, by fostering the interaction with the research teams of firms, industries and public institutions.

The LINKS Foundation will build on the track record and the expertise developed through the last 10 to 15 years by the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB) and the Istituto Superiore sui Sistemi Territoriali per l’Innovazione (SiTI). Both ISMB and SiTI were founded by Politecnico di Torino and Compagnia di San Paolo and, together, count a research staff of more than 120 people and an annual turnover of approximately EUR 14M (of which one half coming from external sources, mostly competitive FP7/H2020/EC grants, and one half provided by Compagnia di San Paolo, according to specific objectives and multi-annual programs).

Description of the position

Reporting directly to the Board of Directors of the Foundation, the Director / General Manager will have a key role in shaping the future of the Foundation and achieving the strategic goals set by the Founders. Having direct responsibility of the whole research and administrative staff, the Director / General Manager will secure the achievement of the Foundation’s ambitious goals in terms of both programs and budget, by defining, in particular, detailed roadmaps to manage the transition between present and future models and the best organizational setting/chart.

Duties and responsibilities

According to the Foundation’s statute, the formal duties and responsibilities of the Director / General Manager are:

  • organizing the functioning of the Foundation;
  • overseeing the management of personnel;
  • implementing the resolutions of the Board of Directors;
  • preparing the annual budget plan and its final version;
  • keeping the records and accounts of the Foundation and maintaining the documentation concerning its administrative and institutional activity.

Overall, the Director / General Manager is expected to contribute in a fundamental way to put LINKS in the world map of innovation leaders.


The ideal candidate will have a scientific/technical qualification (PhD or equivalent qualification being an asset) and an international experience in setting up and managing a public or private entity in the research and/or technology transfer context, strong managerial skills and excellent ability to interact with researchers, entrepreneurs and funding agencies.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent qualification. Master/PhD in disciplines relevant for the Foundation (science, engineering, architecture, management, economics) and/or in business administration preferred. More than one qualification (e.g. Master and PhD) would be considered as an asset.


  • At least 10 years of prior successful managerial experience, including, but not limited to apical roles in complex organizations. Specific experience developed in international contexts and/or in managing people preferred.
  • Experience in developing/managing start-up firms, research spin-offs, public-private platforms would be considered as an asset.
  • Experience in promoting and conducting innovation/technology transfer projects, including intellectual property protection and valorization initiatives, as well as in attracting investors (venture capitals, business angels) and/or external funds (competitive grants, sponsored research agreements, tenders, …) is highly desirable.


  • Leadership, people management; team work; management by objectives and lean organization.
  • Problem solving and proactive attitude.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English and Working knowledge of Italian (or commitment to acquire it within the first 6 months of work).
  • Specialized technological skills in one or more scientific domains relevant for the Foundation (engineering, architecture, societal challenges as defined in the Horizon 2020 EC framework program, …) preferred.
  • Knowledge of the local public and private institutional ecosystem (firms, research organizations, …) would be considered as an asset.
  • Ability to identify innovation trends and to conduct market analysis preferred.
  • Project management and budgeting tools.
  • Networking ability to develop strategic partnerships and foster cooperation programs between research and industry.

Details of the position

The place of work is Torino (Via Pier Carlo Boggio). A three-year (renewable) full-time contract starting ideally on October 2017 will be offered to the successful candidate. The yearly gross salary range is € 100.000 – € 140.000 plus performance-related bonus, function of previous experiences and past/present employment. If needed, Tax advisory will be offered by the Foundation to favor smooth relocation.

Procedure for consideration

The deadline for application is 17/04/2017. Interested candidates should send the following documents by email only (Subject: LINKS foundation – Director / General Manager call for applications) to :

  • Curriculum vitae in Italian or in English, including both the candidate’s professional and educational path.
  • Motivation letter, including a brief self-assessment of the candidate’s qualifications, experiences and skills, vis a vis the present call for applications, and the estimated personal timeframe to accept the position in case of a successful application.
  • Two to three reference names (and respective e-mail addresses) that could be contacted by the selection committee during the selection process.