Innovate UK

Executive Chair

Job Reference AAYIP
Closing Date Monday 29 Apr 2024

Innovate UK (IUK) is the UK’s innovation agency.  Managing a funding programme of approximately £2.3bn per annum, IUK delivers products, services and money to the UK’s business community to help drive up innovation, accelerate productivity and seize global opportunities for UK Plc.  Innovate UK is an integral part of UKRI, the UK’s £9bn national funding body for scientific and technological research and development.

With a portfolio of investments across the UK, IUK helps key sectors such as manufacturing, biotech, agri-food and digital to seize the power of revolutionary research and technologies such as AI, quantum and engineering biology.  IUK supported 19,500 businesses last year, of which 8,000 were supported for the first time. In addition, IUK partnered with over 22 government departments and operates a growing network of Catapult centres based across 50 locations up and down the country, supporting over 5,000 SMEs.

This is an exciting moment for an inspirational leader to join Innovate UK as Executive Chair – effectively the CEO.  The key responsibilities are three-fold.  You will: draw on the UK’s globally recognised strengths in early-stage research; work with UKRI’s research councils, other public sector bodies, and businesses up and down the UK to unleash innovation and productivity across our economy and society; and develop and deliver strategies for accelerating corporate R&D investment while scaling the UK’s most exciting and investable research and tech startups.

Strong candidates will be respected senior executives of international standing with experience of business innovation and growth within an R&D-intensive industry.  A thorough understanding of the business innovation landscape, proven commercial acumen, an in-depth understanding of investments and financial products, and how to remove barriers to growth in young businesses are all key attributes.   More generally, the successful candidate will possess a proven ability to develop and lead the delivery of strategies that achieve clear outcomes, bring experience of managing a large and complex organisation, and display political acumen alongside excellent interpersonal and influencing skills.

Saxton Bampfylde Ltd is acting as an employment agency advisor to UKRI on this appointment. For further information about the role, including details about how to apply, please visit using reference AAYIP. Alternatively telephone +44 (0)20 7227 0880 (during office hours). Applications should be received by noon on Monday 29th April.

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency – working to support business-led innovation throughout the country and across all sectors.