Vacancy (sr.) Technical consultant for SURF Open Innovation Lab

SURFsara is looking for a (sr.) technical consultant who is enthusiastic about innovation and experimenting with new ICT concepts, technologies and applications. You will participate in a small horizontal team of the SURF Open Innovation Lab at SURFsara, whose main task (approx. 80%) is to contribute to "early" innovation activities.

wo/hbo Amsterdam 32-40 hrs


The SURF Open Innovation Lab

In the SURF Open Innovation Lab, we collaborate with institutions (researchers, students), technology providers, research labs, and industry on ICT experiments, proof-of-concepts and prototyping. Innovative solutions are stimulated, discussed, and tested together with suppliers and institutions and end-users. Results are openly shared with everyone where possible, prototypes are built and the focus is on increasing knowledge. The consultant we are looking for, will operate within the SURFsara Compute Services unit. You will also contribute to projects and services within this unit.

What does the position entail?

  • Technology/concept assessment: short explorations of new ICT technologies that are currently not yet directly part of the core business or core infrastructure, but may have an impact on it in the future. What is it, can we do something with it? Is there a technology with which we can solve a particular problem (science, education, society, industry)? The results must provide insight into the applicability of these technologies and concepts, the impact on the target group and the possible impact on services to SURF institutions. Current examples of this include future technology assessments of general and special purpose processors, new machine learning applications, or research into new concepts of how we can save more energy depending on which application runs on a system.
  • Proof of Concepts: Experimenting and creating demonstrators and prototypes etc. ‘Does the concept work, is it possible anyhow’? Here ideas are translated into and tried out in (technical) solutions. Current examples include concepts for Unified Computing Architecture, and deep learning enhanced HPC applications.
  • Strategic knowledge investments: long-term investment for a good knowledge position in SURFsara core areas, computing and data. Examples include quantum computing, deep learning, IoT.

Where possible, collaboration will be established with institutions (researchers, students), technology providers and other computer centres and research labs. Important aspects are also the future link with the applications and business, and communication about projects and results.

What will you do exactly?

  • Experimenting with new concepts and technologies
  • Making prototypes and demonstrators
  • Link with possible applications and business within the service provision
  • Seek and establish cooperation with institutions, technology providers and other innovation labs
  • Lead innovation projects
  • Setting up student projects and supervising students
  • Writing blogs, papers and publications, giving presentations
  • Contributing (max. 20% of your time) to projects and services within the unit Compute Services

What we are looking for

  • Bachelor's or master's degree in a technical field
  • You are very curious, enterprising, researcher, and constantly looking for new ideas and applications.
  • You are very independent, enthusiastic and result-oriented.
  • You can cooperate well
  • You are communicative, find it easy to approach people, and you can present and publish well.
  • You can troubleshoot well and are a go-getter
  • You have a broad ICT orientation, and preferably experience and affinity with one or more of the following subjects: ICT hardware technology, machine learning, High Performance Computing
  • You are able to master new concepts and technologies very quickly.
  • You have experience with a programming or scripting language, such as Python, and are able to master other languages.
  • You have technical knowledge of complex IT environments (mainly Linux) and tooling

What we offer

  • A diverse working environment, with many nationalities (English or Dutch as a working language)
  • A lot of space to take on technical challenges and acquire and develop new knowledge
  • Freedom to experiment and innovate with new techniques
  • An open environment in which collaboration with technology providers, researchers, (potential) users and with the operational units, valorisation and community support is important.
  • An environment where own initiative is highly appreciated
  • The opportunity to work with passionate professionals in innovative teams
  • The opportunity to participate in national and international conferences
  • An initial one-year contract.
  • This is a position of 32-38 hours a week.
  • The salary is based on the university CLA (VSNU) pay scale, levels 10/12, and is dependent on your level of education and experience: from €2,588 to a maximum of €5,405 gross per month for a full-time position (38 hours)
  • 8% holiday pay, fixed year-end bonus of 8.3%, 29 holiday days per year (for a full-time position). If you work two hours extra per week (40-hour working week), you will be entitled to 12 extra holidays.
  • Reimbursement for commutes of up to 45 kilometres (one-way)
  • ABP pension (pension fund for the public sector and education)


Please send your cover letter and CV to, for the attention of Axel Berg 

More information

Latest modifications 21 Mar 2018