MI names new Executive Management Group Chair


Midlands Innovation, a pan-regional partnership of the eight top research-intensive universities in the Midlands, is proud to announce that Professor Philip Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Leicester, is the new Chair of its Executive Management Group.

The Executive Management Group, made up of the Pro-Vice-Chancellors of Research within each of the eight academic partner institutions, helps to drive the work and focus of the Midlands based strategic research partnership forwards, together with the MI Board of Vice-Chancellors.

Professor Baker takes over the position for a two-year term from Professor Simon Green of Aston University, and knows the partnership well having been instrumental in initially establishing its collaborative health research arm, MI Health, and having previously served on the MI Health Board.

Professor Baker, said: “I am delighted to become the Chair of the MI Executive Management Group at such an exciting time for the partnership. Under Professor Green’s leadership, the Executive Management Group and MI Board agreed a new five-year strategy, and the Executive Management Group, which I have the honour of chairing for the next two years, will oversee the delivery of it and of our significant programmes.”

Midlands Innovation has a reputation for delivering initiatives that are driving forwards innovation within the higher education and research sectors, including a pilot, backed by Government funding, involving 17 universities in the Midlands working together to drive overseas investment into regional R&D ecosystem in the Midlands, which if successful, could become a blueprint for how universities in other UK regions could work together to attract greater levels of foreign direct investment into the country. In 2023 it also took the bold step of establishing Midlands Mindforge – an ambitious patient capital investment company aimed at investing in university spinouts and other early-stage IP-rich businesses in the Midlands.

Professor Baker added: “Collaboration within our partnership, within the wider Midlands region and beyond, is at the heart of Midlands Innovation. Over the next 12 months we look forward to continuing to work with our regional partners to champion the Midlands.”

Professor Baker’s term will also include a major milestone for the partnership, in 2025 it will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Commenting on his appointment, MI Director, Dr Helen Turner said: “I am looking forward to working with Professor Baker in his new capacity as Chair of the Midlands Innovation Executive Management Group, to build on our research strengths and create opportunities for our region, its people and our partners.

“I would like to thank Professor Simon Green for his tireless work in helping to drive our partnership over the last two year, during which time, Midlands Innovation has been leading innovative initiatives that are pushing the Midlands research ecosystem forwards and playing an integral part in helping the UK to realise its ambition of becoming a science superpower.”

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