‘Stimulate and reward audacity, ambition and agility’ – Sir Mark Walport

The chief executive designate of UK Research and Innovation has outlined his vision for the new organisation, which will be formed in April next year, bringing together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new body, Research England.

Speaking in Westminster to an audience of research and innovation stakeholders, Sir Mark Walport highlighted the strengths of the UK’s current research and innovation system and bodies. He also detailed the challenges and opportunities arising from disruptive change in society, technology, research and business that mean the UK needs to develop new approaches and structures.

Sir Mark said: “We are building on component parts of the funding landscape which, individually, are very strong, but there is considerable untapped potential for the whole to be much more than the sum of the parts. We need to stimulate and reward audacity, ambition and agility, where imagination and innovation are actively encouraged and important proposals do not fall foul of artificial divides.

He said that the success of UK Research and Innovation will ultimately be measured through the impact it delivers “through pushing the frontiers of human knowledge, delivering economic impact and creating better jobs and by supporting society to become stronger, healthier and more resilient”.