Interim Chief Operating Officer

The role

Ploughshare’s transformation is crucial to the organisation to enable the company to be future proof. We are now looking for an exceptional Chief Operating Officer to cover long term sick absence, on an initial 6 month basis (inside IR35), who will work collaboratively in delivering high quality operational support to enable the commercialisation of world-class, government owned technology.

Ploughshare converts technology research crafted by government organisations into civilian applications. Our work is hugely multifaceted, providing many intellectual challenges to assess IP in support of the UK’s wealth and prosperity strategy. We evaluate a wide variety of technologies and therefore need upbeat, versatile and passionate people to enable this process to run smoothly. At Ploughshare, you’ll see how your work can really make a difference from the start of the assignment.

We empower businesses of all kinds to benefit from technologies developed by leading government laboratories such as Dstl and AWE, and others from outside of MOD. Ploughshare provides commercialisation advice and expertise, enabling the UK to harness IP for the nation by working with our colleagues in industry, academia, and government departments.

Ploughshare offers a flexible, modern working environment, engaging work and the chance to be part of an outstanding technology transfer organisation.


  1. To be the lead in the design, planning and implementation of the business strategy, plans and procedures with particular emphasis, but not exclusively, to the delivery of operational matters across Ploughshare. This will include the establishment and agreement of comprehensive goals for furthering business growth and success as set out in the overall company KPIs.
  2. To lead the operational support function of Ploughshare, including IT, process optimisation, IP management, legal and advisory services, and day to day support for commercial activity.
  3. Lead the Commercial Portfolio team, delivering quality and insightful portfolio analysis, insight, and leadership for the business
  4. Lead commercial governance gates
  5. Ensure Ploughshare adheres to all wider governance and security regulations and requirements as defined by regulation and our shareholders.
  6. Definition and delivery of Ploughshare as a Service, ensuring all client reporting and support is implemented.
  7. Own the Ploughshare critical metric and measurement model. Ensure that all methodology is attuned to the agile requirements of the business.
  8. To maintain relationships with Ploughshare’s key partners and ensure that these are the best that they can be.
  9. Ploughshare is currently going through a transformation of its systems and processes.  The post holder will ensure requirements for the programme from Operations and Portfolio are clear and the programme delivers to the specifications.  Subject to experience, the post holder may take accountability for the programme delivery overall. 
  10. To take overall accountability for the development and delivery of key data and metrics that define not just what Ploughshare is doing but how it is doing.
  11. Develop and be responsible for an end to end delivery model and systems capability which is clear, transparent, and underpinned by data and insight.
  12. To take the lead in activities relating to the overall growth and expansion of the business.

Person Specification

This post requires that you are educated to degree level. An MBA would be an advantage. A demonstrated track record in designing and implementing new operating models and systems is essential and a background in diverse sectors and experience in agile methodology would be very welcome. You must be analytical, and curious in your thinking, with extensive strategic financial management experience. You will be commercially agile, have strong interpersonal skills and be comfortable collaborating with your colleagues.

An understanding of Intellectual Property Rights and the UK patent process is desirable.

To succeed you will need to work effectively at all levels and build positive relationships with commercial partners and government. Being able to link all these require high level verbal and written skills.


Our office is based at Porton Down Science Park, Wiltshire. However, the role is home based if you are able to travel to London approximately every two weeks or Salisbury.


Applicants need to gain appropriate security clearances as part of their employment.

Please send your CV and cover letter to

  • CV
  • Cover letter

McLean Public is committed to inclusive recruitment practices. If there are any adjustments required to enable a more accessible experience, please do not hesitate to let us know.

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Competitive day rate

Porton Down

Interim - 6 months

August 2023


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