11-strong Advisory Board established to realise vision for UK technical skills

Feb 21, 2024

An experienced Advisory Board has been established to provide counsel and direction for the Research England funded UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy.

Eleven experts within academia, research and industry have volunteered to provide objective feedback and ideas on the Institute’s strategic plans to ensure sustained success.

The Institute was established on 1 August 2023 to accelerate and fulfil the potential of UK technical skills and careers across higher education, research and innovation. The organisation builds on the success of the TALENT Programme and is the home of the Technician Commitment.

Now the Advisory Board will form a key part of the governance structure. Its members include:

  • Chair: Dr Helen Pain, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Kate Barclay, Life Sciences Industry Leader and Scientific Consultant, Kate Barclay Consulting Ltd
  • Professor Taraneh Dean, Provost, London South Bank University
  • Professor Rory Duncan, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Sheffield Hallam University
  • Paul Gilbert, Chair, Technical Managers in Universities (TMU) Network, Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences University of Liverpool
  • Mark Jefferies, Chief of University Research Liaison, Rolls-Royce Plc
  • Professor Andy Long, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Northumbria University
  • Professor Jane Norman, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Nottingham
  • Daniel Sandford-Smith, Director of Education Programmes, Gatsby Foundation
  • David Sweeney, Former Executive Chair, Research England
  • Professor Dame Melanie Welham, Former Executive Chair, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Dr Kelly Vere MBE, Director of the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy said:

“Thank you to our Advisory Board members for their guidance and feedback which will ensure we maximise impact nationally. Many of the members are familiar with the success of the TALENT Programme and recognise the need to sustain the agenda to boost technical skills and capacity in the UK higher education and innovation sector.

“Establishing the new Institute, was a recommendation published in the landmark TALENT Commission report. Now we have achieved this, we are committed to ensuring the long-term success of the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy.

“It’s vital that we take the opportunities and learnings from the TALENT Programme to establish a sustainable infrastructure that supports the future of the UK’s technical workforce, and in turn, world-class research, innovation and education. We look forward to working with our Advisory Board and supporting committees to further engage organisations and influence change with impact that can be adopted nationally.”

Dr Helen Pain, Chair of the Advisory Board and Chief Executive Officer, Royal Society of Chemistry said:

“Technical professionals have a critical role to play in the success of the UK’s research and innovation ecosystem, creating a diverse, skilled and sustainable workforce to meet demand from emerging sectors.

“The UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy delivers initiatives and programmes nationally that will make sure the UK has the necessary technical expertise and capabilities to deliver world-class research, education, and innovation.

“I am excited to be working with the Advisory Board members on this agenda, together we are working in partnership with supporter organisations, enabling the Institute to achieve greater impact.”


Notes to editors:

About the UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy

The UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy is funded by Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation. It was established on 1 August 2023.

The Institute is the UK’s advocate for the technical community, accelerating technical skills and careers in higher education, research and innovation through insights, influence, innovation and integration.

The Institute is home of the Technician Commitment. Find out more at https://www.techniciancommitment.org.uk/