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Sir Mark Walport was announced today as the chief executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The Science Minister, Jo Johnson, made the announcement.

A new body, UKRI will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and parts of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), subject to parliament's approval of the Higher Education and Research Bill. As chief executive, Sir Mark will oversee investment in research and innovation of over £6bn per year.

Dr Laura Bellingan, director of policy and public affairs at the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), said:
"We welcome the announcement of Sir Mark Walport's appointment as the UKRI's first chief executive. Sir Mark's extraordinary knowledge of the research and innovation landscape and his wealth of experience will bring huge benefit to the work of UKRI and we look forward to engaging with the development of the sector as a whole."

Currently serving as the Government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Mark Walport was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours list for services to medical research, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011. Previous roles include professor of medicine and head of the division of medicine at Imperial College London, and director of the Wellcome Trust.

During 2016, Sir Mark delivered keynote addresses at Parliamentary Links Day and Voice of the Future – events organised by the RSB on behalf of the science and engineering community within parliament.