Innovate UK - Executive Chair

Body: Innovate UK
Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sector: Science & Technology
Location: London and Swindon
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Base pay of £180,000 per annum and up to £37,500 performance related pay based on a long-term incentive scheme.
Time Requirements: This is a full-time role. Other working arrangements can be considered.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Indro Mukerjee has been appointed as new CEO of Innovate UK for a term of 4 years. Further details can be found at the link below.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    w/c 02/11/2020 (please note this is subject to change)

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 30/11/2020 (please note this is subject to change)

  • Announcement

    05/05/2021 at 08:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

We are seeking an inspirational leader with extensive business experience, international standing and a proven track record to lead Innovate UK as its Executive Chair. The central priority of Innovate UK, under a new Executive Chair, will be to transition from a grant funding body to an agency focused on transforming the UK’s innovation capacity and capability, taking full advantage of its considerable growth in budget. 

The new Executive Chair will be expected to actively strengthen the organisation’s position within key markets, providing impactful thought leadership to the UK’s innovation system. As the pivotal funding body for business R&D, especially for start-ups and SMEs across the country, the Executive Chair will be expected to develop and implement system wide strategies for investment that promote the UK as a global leader in R&D and technologies of the future. 

Main Responsibilities, shaped by the government’s commitment to be a science superpower and working closely with the UKRI CEO, Innovate UK Council and other Research Council Exec Chairs, will be to: 

  • Set out a vision and objectives for Innovate UK, focusing on transforming UK innovation and making the most of Government’s investment in business-led innovation across the UK. 
  • Lead and develop Innovate UK’s strategic approach to the funding of business-led innovation, both directed and responsive-mode programmes, to ensure that the UK is a global leader in innovation. 
  • Actively engage with the business community, academic community and government to develop and catalyse new ideas and approaches, and communicate what Innovate is offering to businesses, as well as what it is achieving. 
  • Be a core member of the UK Research and Innovation Executive Team, led by and accountable to the UK Research and Innovation CEO, to deliver best value from the overall science and innovation funding system and actively contribute to the development and implementation of the overall strategy of UK Research and Innovation. 
  • Be a transformational leader for Innovate UK to ensure the organisation delivers the best possible innovation system for the UK. 
  • Work collaboratively across UK Research and Innovation Councils to foster interdisciplinary work and build on collective capabilities, providing support and challenge when required to further innovation across the UK. 
  • Work alongside UK Research and Innovation’s ‘Innovation Champion’ board member to promote and champion innovation and business interests across UKRI, including identifying and promoting opportunities to support business innovation. 
  • Develop and deliver the organisation’s Delivery Plan in accordance with ministerial priorities, maximising efficiency and efficacy, and ensuring value for money from public investment 
  • Represent and develop positive relationships between Innovate UK and its numerous and diverse stakeholders in government and public funding agencies, industry, higher education institutions, academic and research communities, the third sector, public and internationally. 

Person Specification

The successful candidate will be able to command confidence and represent Innovate UK at the highest level of business and beyond and be able to demonstrate the following:  

Skills and experience 

  • A highly respected senior executive of international standing with relevant experience of, and success in, leading significant business innovation, growth and transformation within technology, scientific or R&D intensive industries; 
  • An inspirational leader and communicator, able to command confidence in and have credibility across both the business community and the broader stakeholder landscape; 

Strategic vision 

  • An ability to develop and deliver a strategic vision for Innovate UK and UK business innovation generally through the development of high quality, value for money programmes built on a thorough understanding of innovation and engagement with the stakeholder landscape; 
  • An ability to advise on major business and technological trends which will have a significant impact on the Council’s role or activities and on its exposure to and management of risk; 

Leadership and management 

  • Proven leadership and management skills with a deep understanding and experience of transformational change and evidence of having successfully led cultural change and innovation;   
  • Experience of managing and building capability of a cadre of skilled professionals and programme managers and able to inspire and motivate; colleagues at all levels in the organisation; 

Breadth of understanding 

  • In depth understanding of current developments in the business-led innovation landscape both in the UK and overseas;  
  • An ability to understand and demonstrate the highest standards of business-led innovation and its wider relevance to and impact on the cultural, social and economic wellbeing of the country; 
  • A strong commercial awareness, with an in depth understanding of investments, financial products and how to remove the barriers to new businesses. 

Additional Information

The closing date for applications is 28th September at 23:00. Late applications will not be accepted.

If you are shortlisted for the role, due diligence will be carried out and your referees are likely to be contacted.

You will be asked to prepare some identification documents if you are invited to an interview – further information will be provided at that stage.

Interviews will be held online through Microsoft Teams.

This role is subject to pre-appointment scrutiny by the Science and Technology Select Committee.  

How to Apply

To apply for this post please:

  • Complete the Application Form by clicking here
  • Submit your CV and supporting statement with the subject “Innovate UK, Executive Chair” to

If you have any queries about the application process, please contact Nadia Toma at

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