Open Innovation & Research Manager

Hours: 36

Salary: Competitive

Location: Welwyn Garden City

United Kingdom

Apply by: 31/03/2019

Open Innovation & Research Manager

Welwyn Garden City

About the role

Tesco labs is Tesco Technology’s research and development team. Based in the Welwyn Garden City the team was conceived to shine light on future opportunities and challenges for Tesco. Labs is a trusted source on emerging technology and is focused on prototyping and testing new ideas in technology areas that could significantly impact customers and the business in the future. More information about the team can be found on our website:

You will be responsible for

Whilst specific responsibilities will be dependent upon the changing needs of the Tesco business, the following provides an overview of the role’s key responsibilities and measures:


Open Innovation

  • Act as our technology scout, looking for new innovative companies and people to collaborate with.
  • Continuously review and manage our start-up engagement program, currently running with JVP, Israel.  Connect startups with business stakeholders and clearly define measures of success for proof of concepts.
  • Manage relationships with large suppliers to stay on top of the innovations they’re working on.
  • Create and manage academic research partnerships, look to sponsor PhD students in the fields that we are interested in.
  • Feed this work into the labs product teams and work with the teams to create an experiments


  • Identify future technology trends and their intersection with business challenges in order to highlight and prioritise future areas of work for the labs team.
  • Research into specific technologies; produce papers, summaries and / or masterclasses to share learning and stimulate debate.
  • Help the product teams stretch their thinking by continuously providing them with stimulous about what is happening in the space they are working in.
  • Regularly hold trend / new tech debrief sessions and encourage discussion and ideation about what this might mean for Tesco.
  • Excite everyone about innovation and lead by example. Foster collaboration across teams and departments, and bring people and ideas together.
  • Engage with and influence stakeholders at all levels and generate enthusiasm and excitement around innovation to gain buy in and support for the work we do. 
  • Maintain a great set of internal contacts and keep a pulse on the business strategy.
  • This role will best suit an individual who enjoys working as part of a team, is well organised, pragmatic and a lateral thinker with an inquisitive mind who is motivated to make change for the better and, most importantly, puts our customers first.

You will need

You’ll need to have demonstrated experience of:

  • A good network of startups, investors, accelerators and other members of the early stage tech community.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • A brilliant networker
  • A deep understanding of technology and how things work.
  • A passion for innovation and a desire to impact the future of retail
  • Phd or demonstrable experience in a research role



  • Deeply curious, tenacious and open mindset.
  • Flexibility, ability to plan and organise, responsiveness, creativity, self-starter 
  • Able to build solid working relationships with peers and senior leadership
  • Ability to demonstrate strong written, verbal communication and presentation skills to all levels of seniority and disciplines within the organisation. 
  • Someone who wants to have fun while they work

About us

Our vision here at Tesco is to become every customer's favourite way to shop online, whether they are at home, out shopping, on the move, anywhere in the world.

We want our customers to be inspired and whatever they are looking for, we’re finding bigger and better ways to provide it.

Everything is underpinned by our continuous drive for the best tools and technology to deliver our vision. We’re driving innovation and transforming our Technology to become the world’s leading e-commerce business.

We need people who share our ambition to deliver for our customers; Passionate and confident people willing to take the initiative and drive us forwards. In return we offer excitement, a great team, an excellent benefit package, and significant career development opportunities.

Joining us means playing a part in defining; building and launching an ambitious roadmap of digital products that could affect the lives of millions of people over the years to come.

If that sounds exciting then we'd love to hear from you.

The position will be based at our Campus in Welwyn Garden City.

What’s in it for you

  • An annual bonus scheme which you can achieve up to 3.5% of base salary
  • Colleague Clubcard (including a 2nd card for a family member) after 6 months service with 10% off most purchases at Tesco
  • Holiday starting at 25 days plus a personal day
  • A retirement savings plan - 4%-7.5% contribution rate
  • Life Assurance - 5 x contractual pay
  • Buy As You Earn Scheme which allows you to buy Tesco shares and save tax after 3 months of service
  • Save As You Earn Scheme which gives you the opportunity to save direct from your pay for three or five years with the option of using your savings to buy Tesco shares at a discounted price after 1 year of service
  • Access to Tesco Learning and Development Academy, Safari Books and Pluralsight Technology Learning Platform
  • Deals & Discounts through Tesco including Tesco Mobile & Tesco Bank
  • Deals and Discounts through many other external businesses
  • Cycle to work and Car Share Schemes
  • Onsite subsidised Nuffield Health gym
  • Multiple onsite subsidised canteens and coffee shops

Application process

Our office application process varies depending on the role and the level of experience needed.

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