Indro Mukerjee appointed as new Innovate UK CEO

Former Watchstone CEO will take the reins to help develop the UK’s innovation capability

The government has appointed Indro Mukerjee as the new CEO of Innovate UK following the departure of the organisation’s interim CEO last June.

Mukerjee will start the new post immediately and be tasked with transitioning Innovate UK from a grant funding body to an agency focused on driving economic growth by working with companies to enable and support innovation.

The body will also be responsible for encouraging private sector investment into research and development. The Oxford graduate has been tasked with ensuring the government meets its commitment to increasing R&D spend across the economy to 2.4% GDP by 2027.

Mukerjee’s arrives with decades of leadership and investment experience, having previously been CEO of Plastic Logic, chairman and CEO of C-MAC Microtechnology, and chairman of FlexEnable. Most recently he was the chairman and co-founder of the UK Electronics Skill Foundation that aims to inspire young people to get into the electronics systems industry. He also took VideoLogic, now known as Imagination Technologies, to its IPO on the London market in 1994.

Mukerjee was also brought in as CEO of the Watchstone Group, which was under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, where he was tasked with stabilising and reshaping the high-profile insurance company.

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“Throughout my career, I have had a strong personal passion for the journey from scientific discovery through to innovation and ultimately commercialisation of technology. I have seen that journey at first hand across many settings, industries, countries and types of business. I will use this experience as I lead Innovate UK and work with the Secretary of State to deliver the government’s innovation strategy,” said Mukerjee.

Since 2007, Innovate UK said it has invested around £2.5 billion to help businesses across the country innovate, with matched funding from the private sector, taking the total value of projects above £4.3 billion.

The organisation also claims to have helped 8,500 organisations create approximately 70,000 jobs and added an estimated £18 billion of value to the UK economy.

Innovate UK was run by interim CEO Ian Campbell for over two years, before he resigned last June. Campbell had previously warned that the organisation had been given "steadily-less prominence, autonomy and capacity" at a time when government policy was looking more and more at R&D.

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