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Head of External Innovation Partnerships

Country/Region:  CH
Job function:  R&D

Head of External Innovation Partnerships

Work location: Meyrin-Satigny (Geneva) or Kaiseraugst, Switzerland

As the Head of External Innovation Partnerships, you'll be the driving force behind strategic collaborations, shaping innovation, and maximizing impact. With a strong background in scientific innovation, 12+ years of experience, and the ability to navigate complex partnerships, you'll lead our organization towards a future defined by successful innovation partnerships, sustainable growth, and diversity in the workplace.


At dsm-firmenich people are at the heart of the company. We are committed to equal employment opportunities and value diversity in the workplace.



  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to define and align the Science & Research (S&R) partnerships portfolio with Group, Business Unit (BU), and S&R priorities.
  • Collaborate with S&R colleagues to identify and prioritize external partners that align with our priorities & contribute to our competitive advantage.
  • Track, evaluate and report on the performance and impact of open innovation projects and initiatives.
  • Develop and manage the partnerships budget, ensuring effective allocation of resources across various initiatives and projects.
  • Support internal teams, and collaborate with relevant stakeholders, in structuring and negotiating terms with external partners, including defining collaboration agreements, intellectual property rights, and other relevant terms.
  • Manage the implementation and utilization of open innovation management tools to streamline and enhance the partnership process.
  • Develop a strategic plan for sponsorship activities in the external scientific community and innovation-related subsidies to maximize impact for dsm-firmenich, by clearly defining objectives and scope. 


You bring

  • BSc in a related field such as Science, Engineering OR advanced University degree (MSc, MBA, or PhD) is strongly preferred.
  • 12+ years of experience in a scientific/innovation role required. Breadth in multiple technology areas or science capabilities is a plus.
  • 5+ years hands-on experience in open innovation, strategic partnerships, venturing or related roles within the biotech, food & beverage, chemical, pharma or related industries required.
  • Strong experience managing and prioritizing portfolios of innovation projects and/or investments (e.g. venturing).
  • Excellent project & portfolio management skills with a track record of successfully managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Extensive experience in leading negotiations and deal structuring is a strong plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to shape a strategy, by making sense of complex data, trends and dynamics on a continually evolving basis, understanding and anticipating potential impact these may have, and using them to shape the direction of the portfolio/business.
  • Strong understanding of the innovation ecosystem, including startups, research institutions, and industry trends.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with a strong ability to influence.
  • Fluency in English (C2) is required; fluency in a second language is a plus.

 We bring

  • A stimulating R&D environment where our passionate experts strive to develop products and new technologies, putting innovation at the heart of our business
  • The opportunity to work for a company where sustainability is much more than a claim and is core to our strategy and purpose; 
  • A flexible work environment that empowers people to take accountability for their work and own the outcome; 
  • Barrier-free communities within our organization where every employee is equally valued and respected – regardless of their background, beliefs, or identity; 
  • A firm belief that working together with our customers is the key to achieving great things; 
  • An eagerness to be one team and learn from each other to bring progress to life and create a better future; 
  • A space to grow, welcoming change by encouraging and supporting curiosity and an open mindset; bringing new ideas and implement new ways of working 




Equal Opportunities Commitment 

dsm-firmenich is fully dedicated to inclusion because when people feel engaged and empowered, their creativity and innovation drives unprecedented progress. We aim to build a workplace where opportunity really is equal, so everyone can thrive. We do not discriminate: there’s a place for everyone at dsm-firmenich.
dsm-firmenich is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.
dsm-firmenich people are as diverse as our customers. For us that includes a commitment to ensuring equal employment opportunities for all job applicants and employees. Employment decisions are based upon job-related reasons regardless of an applicant's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, marital status, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by law.
We are committed to providing reasonable support for disabled applicants in our recruiting process. Should you need assistance, and are comfortable to share this, please let us know.

About dsm-firmenich

As innovators in nutrition, health, and beauty, dsm-firmenich reinvents, manufactures, and combines vital nutrients, flavors, and fragrances for the world’s growing population to thrive. With our comprehensive range of solutions, with natural and renewable ingredients and renowned science and technology capabilities, we work to create what is essential for life, desirable for consumers, and more sustainable for the planet. dsm-firmenich is a Swiss-Dutch company, listed on the Euronext Amsterdam, with operations in almost 60 countries and revenues of more than €12 billion. With a diverse, worldwide team of nearly 30,000 employees, we bring progress to life™ every day, everywhere, for billions of people.

Please note this is a direct search led by dsm-firmenich. We only accept applications from candidates, not from agencies nor subject to agency’s fees, percentages or similar.

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