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Research and Innovation Digital Champion

Job ID RES001028 Brussels, Brussels Capital, Belgium;
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Solvay is a multi-specialty chemical company committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. We innovate and partner with customers in diverse global end markets. The Research & Innovation Function (R&I) leads Solvay into new growth territories with breakthrough innovation to generate new products, applications and processes in the field of sustainable chemistry. It partners with the GBUs to deliver more value and leverages the Group’s capabilities to improve competitiveness and create new business opportunities for Solvay and its customers.


With 21 major R&D centers in the world, 2,350 researchers and an annual investment of EUR 325 million in 2017, innovation at Solvay is perfectly in line with the megatrends that  are driving growth in the chemical industry, such as fight against climate change, resource scarcity, the rise in consumption in high-growth regions, and the acceleration of  digitalization.

Job Overview and Responsibilities

The R&I Digital Champion role will report to the Group R&I General Manager and will play an active role in achieving a very ambitious transformation of the way we do research. He/she will develop the digital vision for R&I and the plans to achieve it, with the objective to fully transform the R&I experience and efficiency within a 5 years framework.


3 key fields of activities have been identified which are paramount to achieve this transformation:


1.            Data analytics and Artificial intelligence: A small group, already active today in this area and providing solutions to the entire R&I organization, will report directly to the Digital Champion.

2.            Data management: Another group who will report to the Digital Champion is in charge of setting up systems to collect and manage data coming from our labs to make them fully exploitable (Electronic lab notebook, Laboratory Integrated Management system, Data lake, database for customers, …).

3.            Digitization of our Research center. For this part, the role of the Digital Champion will be to develop the strategy and coordinate the development of Digital Labs located at our main R&I centers and reporting locally to the R&I site leaders. The mission of Digital labs is to develop new automated and high throughput tools for research.


 

THE MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE R&I DIGITAL CHAMPION WILL BE AS FOLLOWS:

  • Shape and deliver the overall R&I Digital strategy of the group by working with the various stakeholders of R&I. 
  • Define and support the implementation of new tools and best practices in lab automation, data acquisition, data management, data analytics and artificial intelligence.
  • Provide technology thought leadership to underpin strategic thinking and operational excellence; provide platforms for disruptive, customer-focused innovation and competitive edge in the market.
  • Be a true business partner to the Group General Manager for R&I and of Business units R&I Directors
  • Drive the culture transformation required to maximize the impact of the digital transformation in Solvay R&I.
  • Develop internal and external strategic technology partnerships to ensure all current and future technology and business needs are met.

Education and Experience

This is a critical function that will challenge someone with a strong IS Director background with experience in driving/influencing a digital agenda. The successful candidate will be an energetic, innovative and confident leader with best-in-class communications and interpersonal skills, able to build deep and sustainable relationships with senior stakeholders and to provide strong team leadership.


He/she will be an expert at delivering mature and robust IT coupled with major change and will have the passion to create excitement around the potential of this transformation.

Skills

  • Proven track-record of Digital leadership IS at scale within a similarly complex business – able to combine strong technology/digital expertise with excellent strategic and leadership skills;
  • Technology awareness – brings a breadth of understanding across industry trends and spots opportunities to use technology for competitive advantage and to justify this with the business.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities, as well as effectiveness in multi-cultural matrix management and team building internationally;
  • Strategic big picture visionary – ability to articulate a clear point of view, win “hearts and minds” and lead stakeholders and peers on the journey – able to motivate across all levels of the organization through clear communication of vision and strategy;
  • track record of building, motivating and rallying high-performing geographically dispersed international teams;
  • Excellent communication/influencing/networking skills – both internally and externally – able to explain new technology in simple terms and act as a technology advocate both internally and externally;
  • Action oriented, measured risk-taker, not paralyzed by fear of change;
  • Curious, self-motivated, self-aware, strives for excellence through continuous development.

  • Professional experience with the world or research & of laboratories is a +

English proficiency is required

Additional Information

Most likely located in Brussels (HQ) or Lyon (Main R&I Center)

Since this is a global role, US or Asian locations could also be considered.


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Qualifications

  • Proven track-record of Digital leadership IS at scale within a similarly complex business – able to combine strong technology/digital expertise with excellent strategic and leadership skills;
  • Technology awareness – brings a breadth of understanding across industry trends and spots opportunities to use technology for competitive advantage and to justify this with the business.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities, as well as effectiveness in multi-cultural matrix management and team building internationally;
  • Strategic big picture visionary – ability to articulate a clear point of view, win “hearts and minds” and lead stakeholders and peers on the journey – able to motivate across all levels of the organization through clear communication of vision and strategy;
  • track record of building, motivating and rallying high-performing geographically dispersed international teams;
  • Excellent communication/influencing/networking skills – both internally and externally – able to explain new technology in simple terms and act as a technology advocate both internally and externally.
  • Action oriented, measured risk-taker, not paralyzed by fear of change;
  • Curious, self-motivated, self-aware, strives for excellence through continuous development;

Experience

Experienced

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