Careers in Innovation, Research & Development

We are a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, paper products and recycling services worldwide. Our innovation and research and development (R&D) teams drive every major breakthrough in our products and services. They aim for revolution, not evolution, and strive to find what's possible.


Our innovation team identifies new sources of growth, develops radical concepts and services, and creates partnerships with suppliers and technology providers to ensure future growth. Our R&D team takes a simple material such as paper or cardboard and determines how to maximise its potential. They overcome barriers to meet our circular economy approach and exceed customer expectations by delivering advanced and breakthrough products. They also find ways to reduce waste and optimise our machines and operations. 

With their unwavering commitment to excellence, vision, and creativity, our innovation and R&D teams play a critical role in ensuring that we stay ahead of the competition in rapidly changing markets. 

And we do more than just make the packaging the world touches every day. We are making changes happen across our industry with people who share our ambitions and want to make a positive difference. A better, more sustainable, and inclusive tomorrow is possible when we bring together the right people. People with a genuine desire to make things happen. Who support and challenge each other to make a difference through their work. Every day.   

Collectively we are leading the transition to a low carbon, circular economy. It is what inspires our teams across the world. And we hope it will inspire you too.    

Never thought the world of paper and box-making would be so dynamic! That there would be so many opportunities to add value to our customers’ supply chains and society at large.

Marjolein Lem
Group Innovation Program Director

DS Smith has an entrepreneurial environment where individuals matter and there is a short distance between the shop floor and the top of the organisation.

Magnus Renman
Group R&D Director

Your role  

You will help us stay ahead of the competition by working with our customers to solve their needs of today and tomorrow. Our customers include well-known market leaders and blue-chip companies giving you the opportunity to work with some household brands and products.  

Your role will help drive innovation and growth within our company, whether that is by designing more sustainable packaging solutions and presenting them to customers, working on the development of innovative new materials, onboarding new business or driving sales through technical innovation.

We are always hiring for a number of different roles including Design for Innovation Specialist, European Design Manager, R&D Research Engineer and many more. 

Who we are looking for  

  • You will be naturally curious with ambition to tackle some of the world’s largest challenges. 
  • You love to learn and be challenged and look for environments that will support you to grow. 
  • You take ownership for your workstreams 
  • You are a creative problem solver, comfortable with the ambiguity of innovation, research and development. 
  • You are fascinated by innovative new projects and enjoy thinking about the long-term horizon of innovation and R&D. 
  • You question existing processes: you aim to continually improve your own methods, and the success rate of your work and projects. 
  • You will be resilient and enjoy working in a face paced environment. 
  • And you will be a team player who embraces our core values of safety, quality, diversity, and inclusion.  


We tackle thorny challenges in innovation every day. Our scale and position in the economy means that the innovations we create have real impact on creating a more sustainable world.

Patricia Wyllie
Partnerships & Services Growth Director