NMIS appoints former UKRI Challenge Director as Chief Executive Officer

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has appointed former UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge Director, Chris Courtney, as Chief Executive Officer.

Operated by the University of Strathclyde, NMIS is a group of industry-led manufacturing research and development facilities focused on revolutionising skills, productivity, technologies and innovation to make Scotland and the UK a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

Chris will be responsible for providing direction, vision and commercial and operational leadership, working with businesses, universities and public sector partners to drive growth through innovation, new talent and novel advanced manufacturing technologies.

The role will also include oversight of NMIS headquarters, currently under construction next to Glasgow Airport , and the aligned research Centres which form the NMIS Group and which will initially include the Advanced Forming Research Centre, Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, Digital Factory, Digital Process Manufacturing Centre in North Ayrshire and the Manufacturing Skills Academy.

NMIS is a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council and Renfrewshire Council. It is part of the UK’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult, which is funded through Innovate UK.

It works with manufacturing businesses of all sizes to make it easier for them to innovate, turn ideas into a reality, address global challenges and ultimately become more competitive. Through the NMIS Group, manufacturers are connected with a national and international network of world-leading industry and academic experts and collaborators.

Chair of the NMIS Board and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “We are delighted to appoint Chris Courtney to this important role. Chris is a collaborative leader with excellent industrial experience and strong, cross-sectoral connections throughout the manufacturing innovation ecosystem in the UK. He has a track record of shaping policy and delivering vital innovation and transformation, and under his visionary leadership NMIS will continue to grow and prosper. I very much look forward to welcoming Chris to the team.”

Chris said: “Across all parts of manufacturing we face considerable challenges and opportunities. In order to boost competitiveness, sustainability and resilience we must accelerate manufacturing innovation and create new products, services and businesses. NMIS brings together a really powerful coalition of innovators from world leading companies, universities and start ups that will play a vital part in that transformation. I’m delighted to have been asked to lead the NMIS team as we create the future we want for manufacturing in Scotland and across the UK.”

The Scottish Government’s Business Minister, Ivan McKee said: “I warmly welcome Chris’s appointment. An innovative, dynamic manufacturing sector will be vital to delivering progress set out in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation and is why we have supported the NMIS project with £75 million of investment.

“Chris’s extensive experience, including long-standing membership of our Making Scotland’s Future programme board, makes him ideally placed to help manufacturers in Scotland reach their productivity and sustainability goals whilst taking advantage of new market opportunities. I look forward to working with him.”

Adrian Gillespie, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise said: “Congratulations to Chris on his appointment. The wealth of experience and expertise in manufacturing innovation he brings to the role will be a tremendous asset to NMIS. I very much look forward to working with Chris and the team in driving forward our shared vision of being a global leader in advanced manufacturing.”

Katherine Bennett, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult said: ““I’m delighted to welcome Chris to the HVMC family. NMIS is the major HVMC presence in Scotland and has a vital role to play in delivering industrial transformation. I’m looking forward to working in partnership with Chris and other CEOs in our national network of innovation centres to do this, unleashing the full potential of the manufacturing industry.”

In his previous role with UKRI, Chris was responsible for delivering a national investment programme of £147m through the Manufacturing Made Smarter challenge programme, delivering productive, sustainable manufacturing through digital innovation.

Chris supports the Made National Commission, the BEIS supply chain expert policy group, the Making Scotland’s future Programme Board and is on the advisory board for DETI, a digital engineering Initiative. He holds a range of advisory group memberships in the Made Smarter Programme, including four research centres and two innovation hubs advisory groups. Within Innovate UK he was involved in the development of the future strategy for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and the development of net zero and manufacturing strategy.

Chris has an aeronautical engineering degree from Queens University Belfast, a Master’s degree in aerodynamics from Cranfield University and an MBA from the University of Warwick Business School. He has previously worked with Deloitte, MDS Aero, 4energy, and Rolls-Royce Group.

NMIS’ flagship headquarters is currently under construction and due to open later this year. The 30,502m2 facility is located in the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland at Netherton Square in Renfrewshire alongside the new Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.


We have moved! Our new London location

Professional-services firms and risk: Interview with Alastair Levy

Crystal Palace Park Trust welcomes Victoria Pinnington as new CEO

Nadia Fall appointed as new Artistic Director of The Young Vic Theatre

How lawyers are coming to terms with their own ‘Now and Then’

Nicola Dudley announced as new Head of Queen Margaret’s School for Girls

Gordon Seabright appointed new Chief Executive of the Horniman Museum and Gardens

The General Pharmaceutical Council appoints new Chief Strategy Officer

A healthy perspective on executive search

Foot Anstey LLP appoints new Chair

South By Southwest comes to London

Saxton Bampfylde in action with charity Smart Works

Sue Ryder announces new Chief Executive

What will healthcare look like over the coming decade? Interview with Gabrielle Mathews

Liz Truss was correct. Well, on one fundamental point

General Dental Council announces new Chief Executive and Registrar

Andrew Comben appointed new CEO of Britten Pears Arts

Dr Nicholas Cullinan OBE appointed as new Director of the British Museum

Saxton Bampfylde partners with Family Business UK

Professor Robert Mokaya appointed Provost and DVC at University of Sheffield

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

Steering the family business forward: Interview with Emma Fox, CEO of Berry Bros & Rudd

Leadership in the age of AI: CEO Breakfast with Doug Gurr, Director of the National History Museum

Sustainability Dinner with speaker James Cameron, Chair of Crown Agents

What will healthcare look like over the coming decade? Interview with Nigel Edwards

Middlesex University announces its new Vice-Chancellor

SafeLives appoints new CEO

Do the right thing: ESG in 2024 – Interview with Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of Lamp House Strategy

A Healthy Perspective Podcast – Helen Buckingham, Nuffield Trust

New GPhC Council members appointed for 2024 and 2025

RICS senior governance appointments

An Independent Mind: Sharpening the role of a law firm NED

CLCH appoints new Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Integration

Into Film appoints Fiona Evans as new CEO

An evening for current and aspiring non-executives with Kenny Imafidon

V&A announces Director of Collections and Chief Curator

RNLI appoints new leader to take charity into third century of lifesaving

Erika Lewis appointed CEO at Connected Places Catapult

Alex Frazer Announced as the New Head of Bancroft’s

Sue Baillie appointed as Woldingham’s new Head

Royal Hospital School appoints new Head

The University of Manchester appoints Professor Duncan Ivison as next President & Vice-Chancellor

Championing the Mission – Interview with Jonathan Morgan

Quadrant Chambers appoints Sarah Longden as new COO

New Oasis Community Learning Chief Executive Announced

Rachel Kent made Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner

Steering the family business forward: Interview with Paul Drechsler CBE

Indhu Rubasingham appointed as Director of the National Theatre

Northumbria University, Newcastle appoints new members to Board of Governors

Professor Tom Crick joins DCMS as Chief Scientific Adviser

Norwich Theatre appoints Tom Sleigh as new Chair

MOSL announces Cliff Kamara as new Board member

Saxton Bampfylde welcomes Partner Hannah Scarisbrick back to the firm

Saxton Bampfylde ranked in Financial Times UK’s Leading Recruiters 2024

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and Association Welcomes Martin Houghton-Brown as Secretary General

Royal British Legion Announces New Director General

English Heritage announces New Blue Plaques Panel Members

Paul Ridd named Director of Edinburgh International Film Festival

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra announces Lord Tony Hall as new Chair

Team Consulting appoints new CEO

UK Civil Aviation Authority Appoints Rob Bishton as the new Chief Executive

The Box appoints Rebecca Bridgman as Head of Collections and Programme

English Heritage appoints Dr Nick Merriman as its new Chief Executive

Breadth and depth: leading across the regulatory landscape

Who’s Moving in Healthcare – August-September 2023

Wise counsel: bringing an external perspective to Higher Education

Looking through a different lens: a scientific scope from academia to government

Outside In: Leveraging External Perspectives in Higher Education

Samori Gambrah announced as Chair for New Art Exchange

Chris Auty appointed as new Director at London Film School

Cherian Mathews appointed as new Chief Executive of HelpAge International

Dr Dave Smith takes helm as UK’s National Technology Adviser

Now Teach appoints new CEO

A Healthy Perspective Podcast – David Hare MBE, CEO of Independent Healthcare Providers Network

Dr Paul Thompson appointed as British Council Chair

Appointment of new CEO for GLF Schools

Bas Javid appointed new Director General of Immigration Enforcement

New CEO appointed for the UK’s national synchrotron, Diamond Light Source

University of Nottingham appoints new Pro-Vice-Chancellor for its Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Béatrice Butsana-Sita appointed new CEO of the British Red Cross

Michael Plaut OBE announced as new Chair of Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Will Gompertz announced as the Soane’s new Director

Who’s Moving in Healthcare – June-July 2023

Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr appointed as new COO at University of Bath

PA Housing announces five new non-executive members to join board

Storyhouse appoints new CEO: Annabel Turpin

Claire Wood Hill announced as new CEO of The National Brain Appeal

OnBoard Programme broadens the horizon for board membership

James Williams announced as the next Director of the Royal College of Music

A Healthy Perspective Podcast – Sam Jones

#7 Road to Recovery: Integration, inclusion and innovation in the Healthcare sector

Who’s Moving in Healthcare – April-May 2023

SCIS appoints new Chief Executive

Talk with Sir Stephen Wall to celebrate Pride 2023

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2023

Celebrating the Contribution of Trustees from Underrepresented Backgrounds to the Arts: Launch Event

A Healthy Perspective Podcast – Nick Costa, UK CEO at Ramsay Healthcare

Challenging Crisis: Learning lessons in Leadership – Charlotte Hill OBE, CEO at The Felix Project

#6 Road to Recovery: Integration, inclusion and innovation in the Healthcare sector

The Air Ambulance Service appoints new Chief Executive