Science Minister announces new Chief Finance Officer of UK Research and Innovation

Ian Kenyon, current Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of Cancer Research UK, will become the first CFO of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Science Minister

Ian will work closely with UKRI Chief Executive, Sir Mark Walport, its Board and the Executive Chairs to establish UKRI and ensure it plays a central role in delivering the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

As CFO, Ian will ensure the new organisation operates efficiently and effectively as a unified body, enabling UKRI to maximise opportunities for the UK’s world-class research and innovation base.

Ian will have oversight of UKRI’s £6 billion per annum portfolio of research and innovation funding which will grow over the course of this Spending Review, as part of the £4.7 billion R&D investment announced during last year’s Autumn statement.

Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “Ian’s extensive experience in both the private and charity sectors means he is the perfect choice to handle UKRI’s financial management and ensure we are supporting the continued success of the UK’s innovative research base in its efforts to address global challenges.”

UKRI Chief Executive Designate Prof Sir Mark Walport said: “I am delighted to welcome Ian to the team and look forward to working closely with him on the establishment of UK Research and Innovation. Ian is a superb addition to the organisation. His experience at Cancer Research UK, knowledge of the sector and expertise in financial and corporate services, will be invaluable to the organisation.”

Ian said: “I am incredibly excited to be appointed as the first Chief Finance Officer of UK Research and Innovation and become part of the team delivering upon the terrific opportunities that UKRI presents for the UK’s research and innovation sectors. This role builds on my experience to date and is a natural move for me from Cancer Research UK. UKRI represents a huge opportunity for the UK, building on the successes and world class science, arts and humanities that we already deliver, as well as to work more collaboratively and across research disciplines to benefit everyone in the UK and more widely and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to deliver on the vision.”

Ian has been Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, Corporate Resources at Cancer Research UK for the last four years where he has been responsible for the delivery of effective support and governance through the teams in Finance, Information Technology Services, Property, Procurement and also oversees programme management for many of the major projects across the organisation.

Ian qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse before moving into commercial finance roles in industry. He has spent nearly 20 years in the retail sector working in senior Finance Director and CFO roles at Kingfisher, Sainsbury’s, Carpetright, Carphone Warehouse and HMV.

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