Innovate UK
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Ruth McKernan is stepping down as CEO of Innovate UK

Innovate UK’s CEO, Ruth McKernan, has announced she will be stepping down in spring after three years in the post.

Since joining the organisation in 2015, McKernan has forged a reputation as a champion of SMEs, with the launch of loans and an investor programme. She has also played a key part in the organisation’s upcoming transition into UK Research and Innovation.

In a statement, McKernan said it had been a pleasure working for the organisation and that she was proud of what had been accomplished.

“The introduction of UK Research and Innovation is the natural transition point and an opportunity for a new leader to refine the organisation, and continue to drive business innovation in the UK,” she said.

Science and universities minister Jo Johnson said: I would like to thank Ruth on behalf of the department for her dedicated service to Innovate UK.

“Ruth has implemented a substantial change programme, improving the structures and processes of the organisation while continuing to drive the benefits of innovation across the UK.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it would shortly be launching a search for an executive chair to replace McKernan.