Interim Research & Development Director
Spin-out advanced technology company (SATCO)
SATCO is a pioneering, early-stage cleantech company, spun out from the research department of a leading UK university in 2006, following a ground-breaking discovery.
Their technology is set to revolutionise the use of electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies; an area experiencing significant growth due to the ever-increasing demand for environmental sustainability.
Within just five years of trading, SATCO’s developmental progress had already been acknowledged by many prominent external sources. This included winning two Rushlight awards and being listed as one of the Global Guardian 100 Cleantech Companies.
SATCO appointed a high-profile chief executive in 2009, whose leadership further accelerated the company’s growth. In 2012, having already moved into their revenue generating phase, and being appointed to an important £2million joint development contract, SATCO approached Intramezzo to help them bring on board an experienced interim research and development (R&D) director. This appointment was to play a pivotal role in driving the business through to the next stage.
The successful candidate would be required to lead the R&D team to deliver various innovative technologies that would ensure a step change in SATCO’s products. This included developing significant short-term product enhancements necessary for commercialisation in both consumer and commercial applications.
The new R&D director would need to inspire the generation of new materials and products through outstanding technological breakthroughs, while managing resources on time and to budget. Being able to develop a customer-focused, highly commercial culture within R&D was critical..
“Our chosen candidate has brought a wealth of experience, fitted in well and has already made a significant impact on the business.”
What we did
This was a challenging and exciting opportunity, requiring niche skills. Not only did SATCO require a very strong scientific, innovation and R&D background, the right individual also needed to have a commercial focus, exceptional leadership skills, outstanding project management abilities and the ability to clearly communicate a vision for the future.
Intramezzo produced a detailed written specification to form the ‘working document’ for all parties, covering strategic and operational requirements, role interdependencies, SATCO competencies and required high performance behaviours.
Our research team then set to work profiling the key markets most relevant to SATCO. Within just 14 days we presented them with a shortlist of four candidates, all of whom met the precise requirements outlined.
Following a rigorous interview process with all four candidates, SATCO appointed their preferred interim – whose impressive career to date provided the ideal background and experience. Having worked with both global giants and high-tech start ups to transform R&D advancements into commercially successful products, the new interim R&D director clearly understood the approach needed to achieve SATCO’s goals..