New Chair to drive City Region’s ambitions to be at the forefront of global innovation

Posted 24th March 2015
4 minutes read
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Unilever Open Innovation Vice President Dr Jonathan Hague is the new Chair of the Liverpool City Region’s Innovation Board, responsible for driving the strategic development of the City Region’s Innovation sector, on behalf of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Jon takes over from University of Liverpool Vice Chancellor, Sir Howard Newby who has chaired the Innovation Board since it was first formed in 2012.

The appointment comes as the Board is developing an Innovation Plan focused on an ambitious portfolio of activity to accelerate the development and competitiveness of Liverpool City Region’s economy.

This will be based on the City Region’s existing network of distinctive knowledge assets, including a national innovation campus at Sci-Tech Daresbury and the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter which includes world leading centres of excellence such as the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Oceanography Institute.

Key projects already putting the City Region on the map include the recently announced £65m Materials Innovation Factory; Sensor City, one of only four University Enterprise Zones awarded by Government last year; our expertise in precision medicine, and the capability, expertise and infrastructure to maximise commercial opportunities afforded by Big Data.

Dr Jon Hague, Unilever Vice-President for Open Innovation, said: “Working collaboratively with innovation partners regionally, nationally and internationally, as we have demonstrated in Unilever, is absolutely critical to helping all sectors of the economy to be more innovative. This is especially relevant for healthcare and life sciences, creative and digital, advanced manufacturing, water- & land-based biotechnology and sustainable energy.

“I am pleased to take the lead in developing a first class innovation ecosystem for the Liverpool City Region. We have a great foundation to build on and I am excited to be able to help take this important sector forward.”

Welcoming this announcement Alan Welby, LEP Executive Director of Key Growth Sectors said: “With over £341million of projects currently being developed in this sector it is timely that Jon has been appointed to lead on the innovation agenda.  Having someone with such calibre from the private sector is critical to promoting our scientific and technological expertise as well as developing links with national and international marketplaces.”

Alan added: “Over the next 12 months our focus will be on developing and delivering the programme of activities set out in the Innovation Plan to make these opportunities a reality.”