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Innovate UK agency tasked with cementing UK’s status as ‘science superpower’

6th May 2021 about a 2 minute read
“Throughout my career, I have had a strong personal passion for the journey from scientific discovery through to innovation and ultimately commercialisation of technology.” Indro Mukerjee, incoming CEO of Innovate UK

The government has announced that Indro Mukerjee, former CEO of Watchstone Group plc, is to take over as head of its innovation agency, Innovate UK.

He will be tasked with developing the UK’s innovation capability, and driving investments in research and development (R&D) and technologies of the future.

The government says the appointment is part of its strategy to harness business-led innovation to help “build back better” after the pandemic.

Mr Mukerjee takes up the post immediately and will oversee Innovate UK’s transition from a grant funding body to an agency focused on driving economic growth by working with companies to promote innovation.

As part of the UK’s post-pandemic growth strategy, Innovate UK will be tasked with building closer connections with industry to encourage more private sector investment into research and development. 

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. 

It drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and implement new ideas, including those from the UK’s research base.

Announcing the appointment, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

“I want innovation to be at the heart of our efforts to build back better, and to achieve this we need strong leadership from experienced innovators, with business know-how, who can help unleash the UK’s vast scientific and technological potential.

“Innovate UK, which will be a crucial vehicle in accelerating business-led innovation and technology, driving economic growth, creating high-value jobs and cementing the UK’s status as a science superpower.:

The incoming CEO Mr Mukerjee added: “Throughout my career, I have had a strong personal passion for the journey from scientific discovery through to innovation and ultimately commercialisation of technology.”

Since 2007, Innovate UK has invested around £2.5 billion to help businesses across the country to innovate, with match funding from the private sector taking the total value of projects above £4.3 billion.

The agency has also helped 8,500 organisations create around 70,000 jobs and added an estimated £18 billion of value to the UK economy.

 

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