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Title Head of Innovation
Ref HE/3535
Directorate Professional & Technical Solutions
Preferred Location Birmingham
Salary TBC
Number of Positions 1
Working Pattern Full Time
Closing Date 03 Mar 2017

About Us

About Us


Are you an established Programme Leader with a proven track record of successfully leading infrastructure projects? Are you keen to find your next challenge within a dynamic and fast-paced organisation?

Highways England is the new government company charged with driving forward our motorways and major A roads. Building on the successful 21 year heritage of the Highways Agency, we maintain and enhance the most important communications network in the country, the Strategic Roads Network. A network valued at just over £104 billion, which carries approximately one-third of all road traffic in England and nearly two-thirds of all heavy freight traffic.

We are responsible for modernising and maintaining the highways, running the network and keeping traffic moving. Over recent years investment in our highways has increased. This has led to advances in technology, such as smart motorways; enabling traffic to flow better. However even more is planned to be done.

Our vision is to be the world’s leading road operator which means that we need to become a high performing organisation. It's an exciting time to start a Highways England career. With £11 billion to invest in major road improvements over the next 5 years, there’s an opportunity for you to be part of something special.

For further information on Highways England, please visit our website:

Job Description

As Innovation Manager you will report directly to the Chief Highway Engineer and will lead and grow an enthusiaastic team based across the company's offices around England. This team will run innovation projects, promote creative ways of thinking and provide leadership across our organisation to deliver great research and innovation projects. You will also act as a 'Head of Profession' for Innovation within the company leading our Innovation Strategy.


Principal Accountabilities:

  • Lead the delivery of the Company’s Innovation Strategy in order to transform the strategic road network for the future, delivering a safer, smarter and more sustainable network.
  • Lead the organisations approach to Knowledge Management  and implement the findings of the review into the roads design standards, primarily contained within the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges
  • Lead the development and co-ordinate delivery of our technical programme (approximately £40m annual budget) including our innovation programme
  • As Senior Responsible Owner for the Efficiency Research Portfolio develop and manage projects and activities with outcomes associated with the Road Investment Strategy
  • Lead the Research and Innovation theme of our Collaboration Board (a joint enterprise between Highways England and our Supply Chain)
  • Develop an organisational culture of innovation, continuous improvement and stretching research.
  • Build and maintain key relationships with innovation partners including the Department for Transport (DfT), Universities, Innovation Suppliers and other key stakeholders
  • Build and lead a multi-disciplinary team, covering Innovation, research, Company Standards and Continuous Improvement which will need to work closely with all areas of Highways England
  • Work effectively as part of the senior management team in Highways England and actively lead the organisation during a period of growth and intense activity
  • On a rota basis, act as Senior Officer on Call providing, out of normal office hours cover (under certain defined circumstances).

Skills & experience

  • A strong track record of influencing an organisation to run ambitious research programmes and incubate innovative ideas
  • Ability to manage complex and risky projects with a focus on impact, benefits and value for money and delivery to operations.
  • Ability to demonstrate leading organisational and industry adoption of innovative solutions.
  • A history of strong leadership and communication to drive innovation and creativity across a diverse organisation and supply chain.
  • A track record of developing partnerships with diverse partners, universities and small businesses to deliver great new products.
  • Able to demonstrate experience of building effective networks both internal and external to the organisation.
  • Proven excellence in developing a team and leading strategic contributions to support the new ways of working.
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly and concisely and influence at Board level.
  • Self-starting, highly motivated and ambitious for the success of the organisation
  • Strong organisational skills.

This is an exciting time to join Highways England and we keen to receive applications from driven and ambitious individuals who can drive the strategic development and capability of the project. In return we offer a great working environment with flexible working hours and plenty of opportunity to progress your career.

All applications must be accompanied with a current CV which will be used to assess your suitability for the role. Please ensure all required skills, experience and qualifications as outlined above are clearly demonstrated within your CV.

Please note that Highways England reserve the right to close the advert before the advertised closing date should a sufficient response have been received.  Therefore, please complete your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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