Innovation Director

Date: May 5, 2023

Location: London, GB Pontivy, FR Gordonsville, VA, US, 22942 Pontivy, FR Pravia, ES Featherstone, GB Porto, PT Greenville, OH, US, 45331 Girona, ES

Company: Klöckner Pentaplast

The Company
United under one vision: The Sustainable Protection of Everyday Needs, kp is a global market leader in rigid and flexible packaging and specialty film solutions. The need to act on climate change has never been clearer so we incorporate sustainability into everything we do by #InvestingInBetter - creating innovative films and trays that protect medication and medical devices, keep products safe, help avoid food waste and preserve the integrity of countless durable products.

The purpose of the job

We are currently looking for an Innovation Director to join our Food Packaging Division. The Innovation Director owns the overall innovation strategy and steers the innovation pipeline to deliver an accretive growth contribution that builds the division’s future and meets our vision for the industry.


The Innovation Director reports to the Vice President of Marketing and Innovation for Food Packaging.


The role can be based in Europe or the US.


Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Set purpose and direction for innovation
  • Embrace the division’s vision for the industry and distill it into a strategy for innovation
  • Set success criteria meeting our growth aspirations
  • Identify the key strategic areas to play (market segments) and key technologies to invest in
  • Develop a tangible innovation roadmap that delivers on our goal
  • Develop Joint developments & fill in pipeline
  • Focus on front end pipeline filling through refreshing market unmet needs
  • Meet regularly and develop strategic partnerships with selected customers (AAA)
  • Run ideation sessions using external resources (third party consultancy, in / outside in idea generation, qualification of ideas through systematic approaches)
  • Make commercial assessment of new opportunities, taking into account investment required existing manufacturing equipment and competencies.
  • Own the Stage Gate process
  • Act as an ultimate decision maker on the stage gate process by improving its selectivity
  • Improve business case adherence by engaging the network of commercial sponsors
  • Secure solid test marketing campaigns with appropriate customers collaborations and explore the panel of incentives available to secure timely feedbacks
  • Tooling
  • Manage specific customers’ tooling development within budget boundaries and secure we meet business targets agreed upfront
  • Launch & post launch reviews
  • Secure effective handover of projects to launch managers to prepare the organization for launching
  • Follow up launch implementation
  • Track sales targets adherence and report success
  • Organize post launch reviews to understand what went well / should be improved and capitalize the learnings
  • Sustainability
  • Secure state of the art compliance with latest regulatory developments
  • Keep abreast of new developments and legislation in materials, technology, manufacturing, and our market sectors.
  • Anticipate regulations to place us ahead of the changes and use it as a first mover’s advantage
  • Sit in various regulatory bodies (e.g. EU) representing our company knowledge and supporting freedom of operations
  • Leadership
  • Provide guidance and direction to the innovation managers in each segment (trays, flexibles, rigids, US)
  • Support personal development plans and build leaders for the future (succession planning)
  • IP
  • Develop our patent strategy and secure IP is generated wherever we can to solidify our market advance


Education and experience

  • PhD in Materials Science or Chemical Engineering
  • Experience in plastics processing, preferably with a variety of materials and processes
  • Must have excellent analytical skills, will probably be educated in and have experience in the use of statistics, SPC and/or 6 Sigma Techniques
  • Good presentational and report writing skills
  • IT Literate
  • Current IP knowledge to manage process of protection, as well as deal with any contentious challenges and litigation.



  • Inspirational / visionary leadership style with strong influential skills
  • Capacity to rally people and build strong business relationships internally and externally
  • Cross functional thinking
  • Expert level technical expertise in plastic processing
  • Inventive, and commercially aware
  • Articulate, able to communicate at all levels in the business
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills in English, another European language is a plus


If you are determined, thrive in a fast-paced environment with high levels of accountability and focus, then we’d love to meet you! Please apply using the link below.

At kp, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is vital to our global success. We welcome applicants from all identities, ideas, perspectives and experiences and encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply. We aim to create an inclusive culture where our employees feel empowered to play to their strengths and see themselves reflected in the organization without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, sexual preference, marital status, or inclusion in any other protected class.