Government appoints UK research and innovation head

The government has appointed Sir Mark Walport to head UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI will be established as a single, strategic body that will bring together the seven research […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The government has appointed Sir Mark Walport to head UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

UKRI will be established as a single, strategic body that will bring together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

It is subject to the passage of the Higher Education and Research Bill through Parliament.

Mr Walport will be the first chief executive of UKRI – an umbrella body that will oversee the distribution of £6 billion of research funding every year.

Jo Johnson, Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Minister said: “With his experience of running a large scale research organisation, collaboration with businesses in all sectors and his work at the heart of the government, Mark is uniquely placed to lead the establishment of UKRI and ensure the organisation becomes a major voice for UK research and innovation.”

The news comes as the government announced it is investing £15 million in research and development projects, including electric vehicles.