Open Position:

Innovation Program Manager (São Paulo-based)

swissnex Brazil is looking for a dynamic Innovation Program Manager with experience in working with academia for its multi-faceted, interdisciplinary, creative and international activities! As one of the members of the swissnex Brazil team, you are expected to take ownership for accomplishing different requests and projects from Swiss and Brazilian stakeholders; to identify and explore opportunities to shape a sustainable portfolio of future activities; and to expand and deepen our relationships with Brazilian and Swiss partners. Our office and infrastructure enable hosting different kinds of events as well as welcoming residents to explore opportunities in one of the most vibrating emerging economies. You will get the opportunity to be part of a creative, international and innovative venture; continuously help shape our Latin American office; interact and collaborate with high-level representatives of both Switzerland and Brazil; expand your skills and update your professional knowledge.

Key Responsibilities

Reactively and proactively work with the core team to accomplish tasks and respond to requests; take full ownership of the professional implementation of programs, projects and events; take a leading role in programs and projects; and contribute with new ideas and initiatives to further swissnex’ unique mission and objectives.

The Innovation Program Manager is a hands-on team player with a passion for innovation, entrepreneurship, academia and a high level of curiosity for new technologies. The position reports directly to the CEO and has the following primary responsibilities:

  • Innovation Projects: take leading role in further expanding activities and services geared towards innovation actors
  • Program/Event Planning & Management: Lead and contribute to events and delegation visits
  • ‘Connecting the dots’ & Networking: act as a connector between people and ideas
  • Partnership Development: identify locations and form lasting partnerships with leading national and local institutions for São Paulo-based events
  • Research: Carry out on and offline research on specific themes as requested by stakeholders.


Innovation Projects:

  • Identify and consult on opportunities for innovative actors in academia, entrepreneurship and art
  • Continuously follow trends and developments in entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Create content for social media, report on news and latest development on innovation and interdisciplinary projects

Program/Event Planning & Management:

  • Conduct research, brainstorm and bring researchers, experts and thought-leaders together for swissnex signature events
  • Identify and contact potential speakers / exhibitors/ participants; identify and secure high-visibility event locations; identify funding sources and pitch projects to potential funding partners
  • Plan, implement and evaluate events, programs and delegation visits with a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and academia, including definition of target groups, partners, budget, funding sources etc.
  • Assist with public relations and communication between partners, sponsors, and other project partners

Logistics & Administration:

  • Draft funding applications and reports
  • Update and maintain event project database
  • Instruct intern about logistical organization, including setting up event venue, welcoming and registering guests

‘Connecting the dots’ & Networking:

  • Proactively reach out to relevant contacts and act as a connector between people and ideas, from Switzerland and Brazil
  • Attend events, conferences, meetings as a swissnex Brazil representative. Share contacts, findings and learnings with the swissnex team, both in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo
  • Build local knowhow and trusted relationships with prime local representatives of science, technology and business

Partnership Development:

  • Identify and on-board leading, value-adding local partners for programs, event and projects in general
  • Identify and on-board key opinion leaders, experts, mentors, coaches, speakers and partners for innovation programs and projects
  • Proactively identify and pursue opportunities with Swiss partners


  • Conduct on and offline research and write reports on given innovation, science, and technology topics as requested by stakeholders
  • Conduct fact finding missions and market survey/research for specific sectors Brazil which are relevant for Swiss stakeholders
  • Write annual reports for mandate partners documenting our activities


General / Personality

  • Outgoing, communicative; avid networker and connector
  • Responsive, service-oriented, reliable
  • Independent, self-motivated with the capacity to handle uncertainty and launch new projects
  • Proactive, hands-on
  • Visionary, creative, resourceful
  • Passionate for innovation and a high level of curiosity for new technologies
  • Availability to work out of regular office hours when needed (for events and delegations)

Background / Experience

  • Recent Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
  • Proven experience in planning and managing programs, events and/or projects
  • Experience working with different stakeholders
  • Professional mastery (reading and speaking) of Portuguese language
  • Professional mastery of at least one (1) Swiss national language
  • Professional mastery of English language
  • Strongly linked to Switzerland
  • International experience (Brazilian and Swiss experience a plus)


  • Excellent people and communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Excellent team-oriented working skills
  • Proven organizational skills and ability to multi-task
  • Ability to independently implement projects and managing complex requests
  • Attention to detail
  • Solid time-management and ability to prioritize
  • Web and social media savvy a plus

Additional Information

  • This is a 100% position;
  • Start date: preferably by the end of July 2018
  • Brazilian non-for-profit salary levels and local regulations applied
  • Brazilian work permit or citizenship required
  • The position requires flexible work hours, including some evenings and weekends
  • Send CV, Cover Letter and salary expectation to until the 24th of June 2018.

About swissnex Brazil: connecting the Dots in Science, Education, Art and Innovation

swissnex Brazil office

swissnex Brazil’s mission is to nurture the Swiss innovation ecosystem with ideas, concepts and contacts to help Switzerland maintain and strengthen its competitive edge. We foster dialogue and enable collaboration among opinion leaders, researchers and practitioners in education, science and innovation between the Brazil and Switzerland.

The organization’s goals are to build in-depth knowledge of the Brazilian innovation ecosystem; to strengthen its local network of high-level representatives from academia and business; and to implement out-of-the-box signature projects and events to ignite cross-continental conversations and showcase Swiss excellence in science and innovation.

A public-private venture, we are the youngest addition to a growing network of outposts in Bangalore, Boston, San Francisco and Shanghai, initiated by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). swissnex works with public and private sector partners, sponsors and donors who are equally committed to furthering Switzerland’s leading position as an innovation nation.