Some of the UK’s most respected business and innovation leaders met this week at the Royal Academy of Engineering for a roundtable meeting with Sir John Kingman KCB, Interim Chair of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to offer advice and support to help UKRI deliver the best possible outcomes for UK innovation and research.

Academy President Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS says: “The creation of UKRI is a development of profound significance for the UK’s research and innovation community. I have been encouraged by the government’s constructive response to the concerns articulated by the Royal Academy of Engineering following the original proposal to integrate Innovate UK into Research UK.

“This roundtable provided an important opportunity for Sir John Kingman and his team to hear from senior stakeholders from the business and innovation community as they develop their plans for the organisation. The interaction between business and the research community is vital if the UK is to reap the benefits of its investments in research.”

Interim Chair of UK Research and Innovation Sir John Kingman says: “The creation of UKRI is a rare opportunity to consign the ‘valley of death’ to history by fusing together the UK’s world leading research base with cutting edge UK business innovation.

“The vibrant discussion during the roundtable was exactly what I’d hoped it would be. It fleshed out the opportunities that we must grasp, highlighted the pitfalls to be avoided and, importantly, showed the huge potential that the creation of UKRI has to increasing the economic impact of our world class science base, putting us streets ahead of our international competition.”

By bringing the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England together into one organisation, the creation of UKRI has the potential to bring substantial benefits to businesses, researchers and to the UK a whole. In particular, UKRI provides the opportunity to improve and increase interactions between businesses and academic researchers, and supporting the implementation of the recommendations of Dame Ann Dowling’s 2015 Review of Business-University Research Collaborations

The Royal Academy of Engineering is working with the other UK National Academies to ensure that the changes introduced by the Higher Education and Research Bill and the White Paper Success as a Knowledge Economy will strengthen the UK’s internationally outstanding track record of excellence in research and innovation, maintaining the UK’s attractiveness for people from around the world to work, collaborate and invest.


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:

Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering

T: 020 7766 0636

E:  Jane Sutton