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Q&A with Innovate UK’s Paul Gadd

Tue, 22 March, 2022

Paul Gadd, Innovate UK’s deputy director of land and maritime transport, manufacturing and materials, is due to present on ‘Building the Future Economy’ at Research for Impact 2022.

The UK’s national innovation agency, Innovate UK works to support business-led innovation, helping businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services.

We asked Paul more about his role at Innovate UK, his presentation at Research for Impact and the future of innovation and economics.

Hi Paul, can you start by explaining a bit more about the work of Innovate UK and your role there?

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. We support business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions, and we do this in three main ways. We aim to inspire; making opportunities visible and compelling, involve; bringing relevant organisations and people together, and invest; convening the resources needed, including our own.

I lead teams covering manufacturing, materials and mobility, and it’s our role to turn our ‘Inspire, Involve and Invest’ mission into action.

Why do you feel that collaboration – between industry, academia and other bodies – is important for the future of innovation?

The world is a complicated place, and it’s changing all the time. What we want as a society is also changing and this shapes the products and services we look for. To deliver the most successful products, we need to bring together as much understanding as possible.

Collaboration is key to this, with partners bringing specific skills and unique insights but also recognising that others have expertise they don’t so, by working together, greater value can be realised.

You will be presenting on the topic of the future economy at R4i, can you give us a little insight into what you will be speaking about during your presentation?

Understanding the future economy and how we might create and shape this is important as it informs our investment decisions and impacts the return on these investments. The better our understanding of the future, the better the return we can make. It’s useful to have our own understanding, but it’s also valuable if others share that view and make aligned investments, or we at least know where there are different opinions and scenarios. This is something Innovate UK consider regularly as we look to inspire and involve, and influencing where and how we invest.

R4i is concerned with R&D activities that align with the strategies of the UK to those of the European Commission, why do you think it is important to have this broader focus with regards to innovation?

The UK is part of a global market. Many of the products and services we use are global solutions, and many of the challenges we face are also shared globally. There are also potential competitors, partners and collaborators across the globe who may have highly innovative solutions.

Considering the broader context means we have the best understanding of the market, can find the best solutions overall, and gives the greatest chance of delivering solutions that deliver economically and for society.


You can register to attend Research for Impact 2022, here.

For more information please email: