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Science Minister announces new Chief Finance Officer of UK Research and Innovation


Science Minister announces new Chief Finance Officer of UK Research and Innovation

Ian Kenyon, current Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of Cancer Research UK, will become the first CFO of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Science Minister Jo Johnson confirmed today (8 September 2017).

Ian will work closely with UKRI Chief Executive, Sir Mark Walport, its Board and the Executive Chairs to establish UKRI and ensure it plays a central role in delivering the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

As CFO, Ian will ensure the new organisation operates efficiently and effectively as a unified body, enabling UKRI to maximise opportunities for the UK’s world-class research and innovation base.

Ian will have oversight of UKRI’s £6 billion a year portfolio of research and innovation funding which will grow over the course of this Spending Review, as part of the £4.7 billion R&D investment announced during last year’s Autumn Statement.

Science Minister Jo Johnson said:

Ian’s extensive experience in both the private and charity sectors means he is  the perfect choice to handle UKRI’s financial management and ensure we are supporting the continued success of the UK’s innovative research base in its efforts to address global challenges”

UKRI Chief Executive Designate Prof Sir Mark Walport said:

I am delighted to welcome Ian to the team and look forward to working closely with him on the establishment of UK Research and Innovation. Ian is a superb addition to the organisation. His experience at Cancer Research UK, knowledge of the sector and expertise in financial and corporate services, will be invaluable to the organisation

Ian said:

I am incredibly excited to be appointed as the first Chief Finance Officer of UK Research and Innovation and become part of the team delivering upon the terrific opportunities that UKRI presents for the UK’s research and innovation sectors. This role builds on my experience to date and is a natural move for me from Cancer Research UK. UKRI represents a huge opportunity for the UK, building on the successes and world class science, arts and humanities that we already deliver, as well as to work more collaboratively and across research disciplines to benefit everyone in the UK and more widely and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to deliver on the vision.

Further information

  1. UKRI is a new research and innovation body which will be set up to strengthen the strategic approach to future challenges and maximise value from government’s investment of over £6 billion a year in research and innovation, rising to c.£8 billion a year by the end of the Spending Review period. It will deliver a strengthened, unified voice for the UK’s research and innovation funding system, facilitating the dialogue with government and partners on the global stage. It will build on the UK’s world class research and innovation performance enabling the system to respond rapidly and effectively to current and future challenges.

    UKRI will bring together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and the research and knowledge exchange functions of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

  2. Ian Kenyon has been Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, Corporate Resources at Cancer Research UK for the last four years where he has been responsible for the delivery of effective support and governance through the teams in Finance, Information Technology Services, Property, Procurement and also oversees programme management for many of the major projects across the organisation.  

    Ian qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse before moving into commercial finance roles in industry. He has spent nearly 20 years in the retail sector working in senior Finance Director and CFO roles at Kingfisher, Sainsbury’s, Carpetright, Carphone Warehouse and HMV.

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