Head of Innovation


The job has expired.

Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Permanent - Full Time
Salary from £70,192
Working Hours:
Risley, Cheshire
Closing Date:
Business Area:
Science and Technology

Job Introduction

Job Description for the Head of Innovation: 

There’s never been a more exciting time to be part of the nuclear sector. New opportunities are being created all the time. At NNL, you’ll be in the ideal place to capitalise on this momentum, face new challenges and develop a long, successful and meaningful career. 

We’re an organisation that’s here to experiment and push the limits of what’s possible. So, if you’re keen to excel in your chosen field, this is the place to do it. Because at NNL, anything is possible.

The role of the Head of Innovation is to accelerate the delivery of the NNL Strategic Plan, NNL Programmes and NNL S&T Agenda through innovative approaches and driving successful partnerships, creating national and international thought leadership on innovation around Nuclear technology. Create an organisational culture that generates new ideas, approaches, and services that are of benefit to NNL and the broader Nuclear Sector.

The location of this role is flexible.

Main Responsibilities

Main Responsibilities  for the Head of Innovation: 

  • Ensure that S&T programmes drive disruptive innovation into national and international nuclear R&D, with subsequent value being communicated with all stakeholders.
  • Lead and integrate the technical innovation strategy. 
  • Drive the horizon scanning approach for new and emerging technologies.
  • Establish the strategic opportunity timeline for technology insertion that will maximise benefits realisation.
  • Create and nurture a culture of innovation across NNL that embraces creative thinking. 
  • Formulate new ideas and create new solutions and approaches to solving challenges.
  • Create a “fail fast” approach that downselects ideas quickly that have the greatest application potential.
  • Work with wider stakeholders and customers to ensure technical innovation programmes are appropriate for the size and nature of their challenges.
  • Spot trends in innovations from other industry sectors and creates opportunities to integrate into nuclear.
  • Act as a lead for innovation across sector (within nuclear) and beyond including similar regulated industries nationally and internationally.
  • Develop appropriate reward and incentivisation strategy and metrics for innovation.
  • Provide support to the Science and Technology Director including input to the Science and Technology Board.
  • Raise the profile of the NNL brand through publications, working with the leaders of the business and in line with the NNL Strategic Plan and S&T Agenda.
  • Lead, motivate and develop a team of direct reports and a virtual team of scientists and engineers across the NNL organisation. 
  • Create opportunities for joint innovation investments with other budget holders.

The Ideal Candidate

Essential Criteria for the Head of Innovation: 

  • Graduate degree with an inquisitive and creative mind and a track record of successful delivery of high-quality innovation within a science and technology environment.
  • Understands the changes happening in the nuclear market and able to shape and invest in innovation today that will address tomorrow’s challenges.
  • Commercial mind-set e.g. driving the innovation pipeline, delivering innovative solutions and factors contributing to quality, talent, collaboration, and national value; with experience in identifying the business opportunities presented by science and technology.  
  • Experience of creating and delivering successful innovation/R&D programmes. 
  • Experience of working across sectors and with government departments to understand innovation culture, drive disruptive change and securing innovation investments.
  • Experience of working in the nuclear industry or some other highly regulated environment is desirable along with experience/understanding of procurement processes to facilitate innovation.
  • A proven, engaging, and articulate leader who is results driven with a reputation for influencing change. 
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills with an ability to collaborate.
  • Ability to achieve SC level clearance.

About The Company

Grounded in robust science and decades of experience, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is the authoritative voice in the UK and beyond for technological development within the nuclear power sector.

Our unparalleled understanding of the science, challenges and opportunities makes us an unrivalled authority and partner in the field, providing experts, technologies, and access to cutting-edge facilities to organisations around the world.

Harnessing potential technologies and translating them into to industry-ready solutions means our pioneering approach spearheads international improvement and technological progress.

We work on projects as small as drilling a hole to analyse underground wastes with our integrated micro drilling technology, or as large as developing state-of-the-art power systems for spacecraft, based on radioactive materials

NNL has a vision for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (ED&I) where NNL aims to be an inclusive workplace that attracts diverse talent through transparent and equal policies and procedures. We want you and the diverse mix of people that we employ, customers that we service and stakeholders that we influence to feel valued. We encourage a workplace culture where everyone can thrive with a sense of belonging.

Recruitment Agency Notice

We operate a strict Preferred Supplier List (PSL) for the provision of recruitment services. Only agencies on our PSL may provide CVs and only when the role is released to them by our recruitment team. We will not accept unsolicited CVs from suppliers not currently on our PSL. We explicitly reserve the right to add candidate details from unsolicited CVs from non-PSL agencies into our own candidate database and to pursue/hire such candidate(s) without any obligation, financial or otherwise, to the agency concerned.