We are creating a unified UKRI website that brings together the existing research council, Innovate UK and Research England websites.
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know.

Sir Mark Walport to retire as Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation next year


Sir Mark Walport to retire as Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation next year

Sir Mark Walport has announced he will retire as Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in 2020. 

Sir Mark was appointed in 2017 to create a single, ambitious organisation and provide the UK with a world class funding system to keep it at the forefront of global research and innovation.  Building on the strengths of the seven UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England, Sir Mark has led the crucial first phase of UKRI’s transformation programme, established a single operational organisation and secured a significant increase in public funding.

UKRI Chairman Sir John Kingman paid tribute to Sir Mark’s leadership and said he had laid “great foundations” for the future.  

UK Research and Innovation Chairman Sir John Kingman said: "Mark has been an extraordinary first leader of UK Research and Innovation. He has successfully realised Paul Nurse’s vision for an organisation which champions Britain’s outstanding research and enormous opportunities for innovation. He has laid great foundations for UKRI’s future, bringing in exceptional talent and securing a very substantial increase in Government funding. At UKRI, his will be a formidable act to follow.”

Sir Mark will not step down from the role until next year and has announced his intention to retire to support a managed transition.

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “It has been my great privilege to be able to lead UKRI through the first three years of its development and existence. Creating a new organisation of this importance and scale has been an enormous task.

“I am delighted that UK Research and Innovation is now very much firing on all cylinders and is extremely well placed for its enormously important role as a key element supporting the future of the UK in a fast-changing world.

“I am proud of the Executive Chairs that we have recruited to lead the nine UKRI Councils and of our outstanding colleagues throughout the organisation. I am also enormously grateful to Ministers and colleagues in BEIS, and to all of our external stakeholders who have advised and supported UK Research and Innovation throughout its early days.

“I will continue to work at ‘full steam’ (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and humanities, and Mathematics!) until my successor is identified and able to take over from me during 2020.”

Please sign up to our weekly newsletter to keep up to date: