Feb 292016

Non-Executive Director

Recruiter: National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
Location: Teddington
Remuneration: £12,500 per annum for a suggested annual time commitment of ~15 days
Posted: 26 Feb 2016
Closes: 11 Mar 2016
Position/Level: Director
Responsibilities: Business Development, Strategy
Sector: Education
Contract Type: Non-executive director
Language: English

Non-Executive Director - The National Physical Laboratory

Remuneration: £12,500 per annum for a suggested annual time commitment of ~15 days

Teddington, Middlesex


The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the UK's National Measurement Institute (NMI), and is a world-leading centre of research excellence, developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards, science and technology available. Its mission is to provide the measurement capability that underpins the UK's prosperity and quality of life. NPL develops and maintains the nation’s measurement infrastructure, supporting a system of traceable measurement throughout the UK and the world, ensuring accurate and consistent measurements that enable effective trade.  NPL is recognised internationally as a World-leader in many of its fields of science, and the application of that science to metrology.

NPL has a strong record of partnership (working with many government departments, 75 universities, 2,500 companies and an international network of NMIs) and delivering solutions for industry - NPL’s non-core-government work now accounts for 40% of its revenue. Given the universal impact of measurement, NPL’s work encompasses a very broad range of technologies and industrial sectors (e.g. advanced manufacturing, defence and security, energy, healthcare, space).


NPL Management Ltd (NPLML) is owned by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) which has recently created a strategic partnership with the Universities of Strathclyde and Surrey. The NPLML Board is responsible for ensuring NPL operates to the highest standards of effective governance, corporate values and ethical behaviour.

The Role

NPL is seeking a Non-Executive Director with a background and experience in the application and commercialisation of science and technology to join the NPL Management Ltd (NPLML) Board. Candidates are expected to be familiar with a number of areas of NPL’s science and technology activities, and to have created and guided commercial growth in related application sectors. Experience of creating impact that has delivered financial benefit, as well as the advancement of science, is crucial.

We expect this candidate to connect with industry leads and to link with NPL’s Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) using these resources and many others in business, government, academe  and enterprise support organisations – including financial and intellectual property - to help guide the strategy, application and commercialisation of NPL’s science, technology  and engineering base. In addition to a world-wide perspective, the candidate should bring foresight and horizon scanning skills that will influence our growth and prioritisation.

As a member of the NPLML Board, candidates will be expected to work with other Non-Executive Directors to independently challenge and support the Executive team. You will attend at least four Board meetings each year and will also be invited to attend occasional meetings, including some with other Non-Executive Directors from across BIS.

You will use your experience and knowledge to provide an external perspective on the strategic direction of our work and contribute to the scrutiny and constructive challenge of our performance whilst maintaining independence of thought. You will provide an informal source of independent advice to the Chair of NPLML, the Chief Executive and other directors as appropriate.

As a Non-Executive Director of the NPLML Board you will:

  • Perform an independent challenge function to NPL
  • Be a champion for NPL commercial growth
  • Scan the horizon for possibilities and challenge NPL to be prepared
  • Ensure NPL has the right people, resources, and infrastructure for managing and maximising the commercial application of science
  • Help NPL develop further an entrepreneurial culture that is integrated with its science mission
  • Help NPL develop further its UK regional strategy as well as its international strategy
  • Link science excellence to commercial benefit

Personal Attributes and Experience

  • Degree or higher degree
  • Experience of driving commercial growth nationally and internationally
  • Leadership experience in an organisation with science or engineering skills
  • Experience of the application of science to economic and/or societal benefits
  • Experience of the UK science-base
  • Experience in the management of intellectual property
  • Experience of developing strategic partnerships
  • Experience in attracting investment
  • Experience of longer term ‘horizon scanning’
  • Experience that demonstrates an ability to balance independent “challenge and support” non-executive responsibilities

To apply for this role please email a cover letter detailing why you think you are suitable for the post along with your CV to NPL’s Head of Resourcing, Sally Williams on: 0208 943 8636, sally.williams@npl.co.uk

Closing date: 18th March 2016

Interview dates: 20th April 2016


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