Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP, has announced the Government Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Sir Mark Walport FRS FMedSci as Chief Executive Designate of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“I welcome the appointment of Sir Mark Walport as the first chief executive of UK Research and Innovation. He brings with him enormous experience as Chief Scientific Adviser to the government and from his leadership of the Wellcome Trust. Under his guidance, UKRI now has an exciting opportunity to improve and increase interactions between businesses and academic researchers, which are crucial to enable great engineering and science innovations to generate tangible economic benefit for the UK.”

UKRI will incorporate the seven UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and the research funding and knowledge exchange parts of HEFCE in a single umbrella organisation, working closely with partners in devolved administrations. It is anticipated that UKRI will be formed in April 2018.

Notes for editors

Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

We have four strategic challenges:
- Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
- Address the engineering skills crisis
- Position engineering at the heart of society
- Lead the profession 

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0655
E: Aaron Boardley