Sir John Kingman has been confirmed as the chair of UK Research and Innovation, overseeing the work of the country’s seven research councils, Innovate UK, and Research England.
Sir John, a former second permanent secretary at HM Treasury, has been interim chair of the umbrella body since May 2016.
UKRI will have a combined budget of more than £6 billion when it comes into force in April and is led by chief executive Sir Mark Walport, the UK government’s former chief scientific adviser.
Greg Clark, the business secretary, said that Sir John had been “has been central to the formation of UKRI”. “As we work to establish this new organisation, Sir John has worked tirelessly to develop UKRI’s strategy and approach,” Mr Clark said.
Sir John said that it was a “moment of exceptional opportunity – and responsibility – to make best possible use of the very large increases in science and innovation funding committed in the industrial strategy”.
“In 18 months as interim chair, robust foundations have been laid for the new organisation: we have recruited a superb chief executive and executive team, a formidable board, and exceptional new talent into key leadership roles at the research councils,” Sir John said. “It is a huge privilege to be given the opportunity to continue.”