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18 September, 2020 - 22:06 By Tony Quested

Government seeks new Innovate UK lead as Campbell joins LifeArc

The UK Government is looking to recruit a new Executive Chair for Innovate UK. The position had been held on an interim basis by Dr Ian Campbell after former Pfizer Neusentis CSO Ruth McKernan vacated the role in 2018. 

Dr Campbell will join independent medical research charity LifeArc in Stevenage during the fourth quarter of 2020. He will assume responsibility for LifeArc’s business development and partnerships – a key component in the charity’s purpose of accelerating the translation of life sciences innovation into benefits for patients.

LifeArc has been through significant change, boosted last year by the receipt of nearly £1billion for monetising a portion of its royalty rights in the breakthrough oncology medicine Keytruda™. Since that time, the charity, which focuses on medical translation and technology transfer, has been reviewing how it can most effectively deploy its new capital to increase the impact that it delivers.

Commenting on the appointment, LifeArc CEO Dr Melanie Lee said: “We are delighted to welcome Ian to LifeArc’s executive team. His knowledge and experience of the UK life sciences and diagnostics sectors and the supporting infrastructure required to enable research and innovation to thrive, will boost our ability to have an impact.”

Innovate UK says it is looking for “an inspirational leader with extensive business experience, international standing and a proven track record to lead Innovate UK (IUK) as its Executive Chair.”

As part of the UK’s largest public funder of research and innovation - UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) - Innovate UK is the pivotal funding body for businesses and entrepreneurs to develop and cultivate innovative ideas and products.

Under the new Executive Chair, the priority will be to transition Innovate UK from a grant funding body to an agency focused on transforming the UK’s innovation capacity and capability, taking full advantage of its considerable growth in budget. 

The closing date for applications is 28 September 2020.

On his new position at LifeArc, Dr Campbell said: “I am excited to be taking up this role and to have the opportunity to build the innovative alliances that will help realise LifeArc’s ambitions and build on its reputation as an integral part of the UK life sciences community. At this time in the UK it is more important than ever that a charity like LifeArc can use its resources to advance the most promising medical innovation.”

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