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Innovate UK
Formation1 July 2007 (as the Technology Strategy Board)
TypeThe UK's innovation agency
Legal statusNon-departmental public body
PurposeTo accelerate UK economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation
HeadquartersPolaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, SN2 1FL
Region served
Indro Mukerjee
Main organ
Governing Board (Senior Independent Member – John Fingleton)
Parent organisation
AffiliationsEuropean Network of Innovation Agencies
c. £1,200m

Innovate UK is the United Kingdom's innovation agency, which provides money and support to organisations to make new products and services.[1] It is a non-departmental public body operating at arm's length from the Government as part of the United Kingdom Research and Innovation organisation.


Innovate UK has its roots as an advisory body – the Technology Strategy Board – established in 2004, within the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), before becoming an independent body in July 2007 after the reorganisation of the DTI into the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) under Gordon Brown's government.

The original Technology Strategy Board had its roots in the Innovation Review published by the DTI in December 2003, and the Lambert Review. This reconfigured the major funding mechanism as the Collaborative Research and Development Technology Programme, transformed the pre-existing Faraday Partnerships into Knowledge Transfer Networks, renamed the Teaching Company Scheme as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and set up an Advisory Board made up of 12 people from business, venture capital and regional government. These changes all took place in 2004, with the Advisory Board being appointed in October of that year.

In the 2006 budget, Gordon Brown announced the intention to set up the Technology Strategy Board as a "non-departmental public body" operating at "arm's length" from the UK Government. It was decided to locate the new organisation in Swindon, and to recruit a team primarily with business experience.

In August 2014, the organisation adopted the name Innovate UK, and began a transition to use the new name in all its communications. However, the legal name of the organisation continued to be the "Technology Strategy Board".

Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, effective April 2018, Innovate UK ceased to report to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and became a council of the newly established UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) organisation.

In November 2021, the Knowledge Transfer Network re-branded as Innovate UK KTN as part of a reorganisation of the KTN through which it has increased cooperation with Innovate UK, while remaining a separate legal entity.[2] The re-naming of Innovate UK KTN was aimed at accelerating benefits for UK businesses by enabling greater strategic alignment with Innovate UK. Innovate UK KTN's role within the Innovate UK group is to "connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking – accelerating ambitious ideas into real-world solutions."[3] Innovate UK KTN operates as a private company limited by guarantee without share capital, with its sole member being UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body. The current Innovate UK KTN Interim CEO is Jon Kingsbury.[4] In 2024, Innovate UK KTN changed its name to Innovate UK Business Connect.[5]

Key people

Ian Campbell was appointed as interim executive chair in early 2018[6][7] and stepped down in the summer of 2020;[8] The current CEO is Indro Mukerjee.[9] Campbell was preceded by neuroscientist Ruth McKernan, who held the chief executive post for the three years leading up to the transition to UK Research and Innovation.[10]

See also


  1. ^ "Who Innovate UK is". Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  2. ^ "Announcing Innovate UK KTN". 26 November 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  3. ^ "Home - Innovate UK KTN". 20 March 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  4. ^ "KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER NETWORK LIMITED filing history - Find and update company information - GOV.UK". Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  5. ^ "Home - Innovate UK Business Connect". 20 March 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2024.
  6. ^ "Meet Dr Ian Campbell, our new Interim Executive Chair". Innovate UK. 8 May 2018. Archived from the original on 17 May 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Dr Ian Campbell". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  8. ^ Williams, Oscar (27 July 2020). "Innovate UK to launch search for new chair as Ian Campbell announces exit". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Business Secretary appoints Indro Mukerjee as new Innovate UK CEO".
  10. ^ "Dr Ruth McKernan announces she will leave her post at Innovate UK". GOV.UK. 12 November 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2021.