22 Jan 2024
by Rory Daniels

Institutions of Innovation: Innovate UK (week 3)

Learn about Innovate UK's long-term vision for the UK and how industry engage to make this a reality.

'Institutions of Innovation' is a new series of monthly interviews with the institutions driving the UK’s innovation policy.

This is piecing together the UK's innovation landscape; setting out the key actors, what they do, where they sit and how industry can engage, including through techUK.

This month features a special weekly miniseries dedicated to the UK's national innovation agency, Innovate UK.

The institution's responses have been provided by Esra Kasapoglu, Director of AI and Data Economy.

Esra is leading the development of AI, Digital Technologies and Data Economy and manages the innovation portfolio supporting UK businesses to grow and develop. 

She has extensive experience of leading technology and innovation programmes working for the Big Tech and global technology and consulting firms. Much of her time spent in pioneering novel innovations and shaping the future of business in multiple industries. 

Esra brings her experience, thought leadership and strategic insights to multiple innovation and advisory boards on which she sits. She provides counsel to Boards, Senior Leaders, and C-suite on building an innovation culture in environments that are changing at pace.

Week 3: What is Innovate UK’s long-term vision for the UK and how can industry engage to make this a reality?

What is Innovate UK's long-term vision for the UK’s innovation landscape? Are there any areas in which working with industry will be particularly crucial?

As part of UK Research and Innovation, Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop the potential of new ideas including those from the UK’s world-class research base, innovate and compete internationally. Our vision is to make innovation work for everyone by improving the quality of life, boosting our economy, and protecting our environment. Our mission is to build a collaborative, successful and dynamic innovation ecosystem which enables and encourages close partnership and co-creation between industry, academia, regulators, governments and investors, and stimulates innovation that develop solutions to tackle real world problems.

We are committed to delivering against strategies that UK has set out, bringing together elements of science and technology and supporting the priority areas of technology: AI, quantum technologies, engineering biology, cyber and space, semiconductors, and future telecommunications.

We want the UK to be the place of choice for those seeking to invest in or set up new innovative businesses and make a clearly tangible positive impact on the UK’s economy and society.

There is an opportunity for techUK and Innovate UK to work closely together in the formation of strategy, providing insight into the needs of UK energy, water, transport, space and telecoms sectors, health and life science businesses. Stimulating new, responsible technology solutions and enabling people in both industry and academia to broaden their skills and work flexibly across the industry-academic boundary.

How can techUK’s 1000+ industry members best engage with Innovate UK to achieve this vision?

  • Attend community or sector workshops to shape future research and innovation programmes,
  • Get involved in workshops and scoping activities organised by our programmes as they design future investments and strategies,
  • Join Innovate UK, UKRI, or other councils’ such as EPSRC’s Strategic Advisory Boards,
  • The techUK’s industry members can reach out to Innovate UK teams directly or through Innovate UK KTN and Innovate UK EDGE,
  • Visit Home | the innovation hub (ukri.org) to find out about the funding opportunities, support available and events in the Innovation Hub,
  • Leverage already established relationships between Innovate UK and techUK, through:
    • Sue Daley - Director, Technology & Innovation
    • Neil Ross - Associate Director, Policy
    • Teodora Kaneva - Head of Smart Infrastructure and Systems
    • Sophie James - Head of Telecoms and Spectrum Policy
    • Tales Gaspar - Programme Manager, UK SPF and Satellite
  • In addition, Innovate UK, UKRI or other council members can engage with techUK members at their industry events or collaborate directly through techUK working groups, be sure to invite them!

You can find out more about Innovate UK by visiting their website here.

Redefining web 3.0: Emerging economies, metaverse technologies, and the new age of the internet (with Shoosmiths)

Want to hear Esra's thoughts on gaming, metaverse & web 3.0 technologies?

There are still a few tickets left for techUK's Redefining web 3.0 event, taking place at Shoosmiths' London offices on 31 Jan.

Attendees will learn how these technologies will interact to spark innovative business models and new opportunities.

Sign up free to attend the presentations, panel discussions, networking session and tech demo area.

Click below to view our other Supercharging Innovation series:

techUK – Supercharging UK Tech and Innovation

The opportunities of innovation are endless. Automation, IoT, AI, Edge, Quantum, Drones and High Performance Computing all have the power to transform the UK. techUK members lead the development of these technologies. Together we are working with Government and other stakeholders to address tech innovation priorities and build an innovation ecosystem that will benefit people, society, economy and the planet - and supercharge the UK as a global leader in tech and innovation.

For more information, or to get in touch, please visit our Innovation Hub and click ‘contact us’. 





Rory Daniels

Rory Daniels

Programme Manager, Emerging Technologies, techUK

Rory joined techUK in June 2023 after three years in the Civil Service on its Fast Stream leadership development programme.

During this time, Rory worked on the Government's response to Covid-19 (NHS Test & Trace), school funding strategy (Department for Education) and international climate and nature policy (Cabinet Office). He also tackled the social care crisis whilst on secondment to techUK's Health and Social Care programme in 2022.

Before this, Rory worked in the House of Commons and House of Lords alongside completing degrees in Political Economy and Global Politics.

Today, he is techUK's Programme Manager for Emerging Technologies, covering dozens of technologies including metaverse, drones, future materials, robotics, blockchain, space technologies, nanotechnology, gaming tech and Web3.0.

[email protected]

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