Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng yesterday (Wednesday 5 May 2021) announced the appointment of Indro Mukerjee as the new Chief Executive of Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Indro Mukerjee is a highly experienced technology executive and business leader with a track record of leading innovation and technology commercialisation at businesses of all sizes across the world – from publicly listed and multinational corporations to new venture and private equity backed technology companies.
Mukerjee will take up the post immediately and will be tasked with transitioning Innovate UK from a grant funding body to an agency focused on driving economic growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation, while unleashing private sector investment into research and development. As part of this, he will develop and implement strategies for investments that promote the UK as a global leader in R&D and technologies of the future, while cementing the UK’s place as a global science superpower.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “I want innovation to be at the heart of our efforts to build back better, and to achieve this we need strong leadership from experienced innovators, with business know-how, who can help unleash the UK’s vast scientific and technological potential.”
Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee said: “Throughout my career, I have had a strong personal passion for the journey from scientific discovery through to innovation and ultimately commercialisation of technology. I have seen that journey at first hand across many settings, industries, countries and types of business. I will use this experience as I lead Innovate UK and work with the Secretary of State to deliver the government’s innovation strategy.”
The appointment comes at a time when innovation is being recognised as a key driver of the UK’s post-pandemic growth strategy, with Innovate UK set to play a strategically important role and build closer connections with industry.
Since 2007, Innovate UK has invested around £2.5 billion to help businesses across the country to innovate, with match funding from the private sector taking the total value of projects above £4.3 billion.
The agency has also helped 8,500 organisations create around 70,000 jobs and added an estimated £18 billion of value to the UK economy.
Mukerjee will play an important role in ensuring the government’s fulfils its commitment to increase R&D spend across the economy to 2.4% GDP by 2027.