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Vector Institute

Director, Industry Innovation

Industry Innovation – Toronto, Ontario
Department Industry Innovation
Employment Type Full Time - Professional Staff
Minimum Experience Experienced


The Vector Institute is seeking a Director, Industry Innovation to join our growing team in Toronto. In this key leadership role, you will act as a primary day-to-day interface between industry sponsors and Vector research activities, ensure coordination and delivery of Vector industry programmes that meet the direct needs of industry sponsors ranging from large multi-nationals to start-ups and scale-ups and, as a member of Vector’s Industry Innovation team, support the development and implementation of industry-related strategic and operational activities in support of Vector’s mission.


  • Contribute to the development and implementation of industry-related strategic and operational plans and programmes and deliver these to sponsors and private sector partners through industry-related seminar series, workshops, and events;
  • Identify and forge effective working relationships with champions within designated sponsor organizations to act as the primary contact on all activities and programmes related to industry interaction and establish agreements and processes that formalize their engagement, contributions, and research activities in partnership with Vector;
  • Engage in the Canadian AI ecosystem to help position Vector as a critical element in leading and facilitating economic growth and social impact by participating in marketing and presenting at conferences, seminars, and workshops as a spokesperson for Vector;
  • Work closely with Vector researchers and staff, facilitate the development and management of industry-academia research themes within Vector that involve collaborative engagement with academic researchers, graduate students, Vector sponsors, other potential industry partners and team members, encouraging the formation of joint projects that help to increase the flow of research ideas between our various stakeholders;
  • Ensure collection, sharing, and management of information about companies and organizations that the industry innovation team interacts with, including their expectations and needs in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, accessible to other members of the Vector team;
  • Participate in the building of and ongoing strong and value-enhancing relationships and communications with sponsors and the broader AI ecosystem looking to engage with Vector;
  • Share accountability for effective industry interaction that expands their understanding of AI-enabled technologies and helps them to hire additional highly qualified personnel; and,
  • Support the design and implementation of student focused initiatives and programmes such as job fairs, online job postings, and internships within industry that help to address AI talent needs.


  • Possess at least a degree in business and/or technology and are currently in or have previously been in a senior role where you have actively engaged with research organizations and the academic community and have been responsible for industry-academic interaction that includes supporting joint research initiatives for a period of 5 or more years.
  • Have a tolerance of ambiguous environments and managing progress through a complex environment consisting of multiple stakeholders with differing goals.
  • Comfortable managing multiple priorities with multiple team members having either well defined or unclear timelines.
  • Understands the basic roles of the various organizations, including innovative Ontario organizations (i.e. federal and provincial ministries, regional innovation centres, accelerators and incubators) and other key sector participants (including ICT, financial services, and manufacturing), 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.
  • Demonstrates explicit knowledge of the innovation/technology development path (pure research, applied, proof-of-concept, prototype, product) and how government and industry might support this complex interaction.
  • 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 both business and technical levels to collaboratively and effectively move teams and projects/programmes forward.
  • Possess 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 of start-ups for economic growth and social impact, and doing so with limited available resources, autonomously, and in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.
  • Brings a positive attitude, integrity, a sense of humour, working within a team, 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.

Please submit all materials using the link provided, addressed to Kailyn Burke, HR Generalist.  Review of applications will begin November 18, 2019We 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.

The Vector Institute is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, racialized persons/visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ persons. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. 

Further, we are committed to fostering an environment of inclusivity and accessibility. If you require an accommodation at any point throughout the recruitment and selection process, please contact Kailyn Burke at and we will happily work with you to meet your needs.

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  • Location
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Department
    Industry Innovation
  • Employment Type
    Full Time - Professional Staff
  • Minimum Experience
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