David Wilkes

Director, Innovation Ecosystem

David has been with Innovate UK since 2014.

He has been Director of Innovation Ecosystem since November 2020. In this role he is responsible for Innovate UK’s strategy on local innovation impact, as well as oversight of Catapult centres, Agri-tech centres and the Knowledge Transfer Network.

Prior to this, David led Innovate UK’s collaboration and engagement team. This work focused on engagement with stakeholders across government and from all around the UK who are passionate about supporting innovative businesses. It also helped connect innovative businesses to partners and customers throughout the supply chain.

His career history includes 20 years’ experience in defence R&D, programme management and strategy at the Ministry of Defence (MOD). This included a period as Technical Director for the MOD’s Research Acquisition Organisation, where he ran the MOD’s first SME innovation programme, and represented the UK in several large multinational collaborations.

More recently, he spent four years on secondment to the US Department of Defense, working on strategy and coordination across $25 billion worth of R&D programmes in the US Services and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Last updated: 31 March 2022

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