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Lords to question new CEO of UKRI and President of Boeing Europe


On Tuesday 21 March the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will hold a one-off evidence session with Sir Mark Walport, CEO of UKRI and Rebecca Endean, Director of Research and Innovation reform at BEIS. The Committee will then continue its investigation into the role of UK science in the Industrial Strategy and will hear evidence from Sir Michael Arthur, President of Boeing Europe as well as other industry experts.

The first session is an opportunity to identify Sir Mark Walport's priorities as he starts his new role as CEO-designate of UKRI, whilst remaining the Chief Scientific Advisor. He will also be questioned on issues of concern relating to the establishment, and work of, UKRI.

The first session will begin at 10.40am and will hear from Sir Mark Walport and Rebecca Endean. Questions they are likely to face include:

  • What criteria will be used to determine budget allocations between Innovate UK, Research England and the Research Councils?
  • What steps will you take to reconcile UKRI's UK-wide and England-only remits
  • To whom is the CEO of UKRI accountable and how will they measure the success/impact of the CEO?
  • Is there a possible conflict of interest arising from you being both GSCA and CEO of UKRI at the same time?

At 11.40am the Committee will then continue its investigation into the role of UK science in the Industrial Strategy and hear evidence from:

  • Sir Michael Arthur, President, Boeing Europe;
  • Jackie Hunter CBE, CEO, BenevolentBio; and
  • Neil Woodford CBE, Founding Partner, Woodford Patient Capital Trust.

The Committee will address issues such as how whether the proposals in the Industrial Strategy Green Paper will help to retain talented UK scientists; how taxation and regulation of research and development should be addressed and whether the strategy helps to make the UK more attractive to international R&D investors.

Questions they are likely to face include:

  • The Green Paper puts a strong emphasis on the distribution of scientific research and economic growth across the UK.  Does the geographic distribution of research matter to you?
  • Should the Government try to develop and nurture specific industry sectors or stick to the climate for business as a whole?
  • In the UK, we have a history of creating successful science-based companies – often as university spinouts – watching them grow to a certain value and then seeing them acquired by larger corporations based overseas.  Is that a healthy pattern of activity? 

The evidence sessions will begin at 10.40am on Tuesday 21 March in Committee room 4a of the House of Lords.

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