UKRI welcomes new international director

UK Research and Innovation appoints Frances Wood to lead UKRI International from July 2022

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced the appointment of its new international director.

Frances Wood is currently the regional director for the UK Government Science and Innovation Network (SIN) at the British Embassy in Berlin – and covers Europe, Russia, Turkey and Israel.

SIN builds global partnerships in science and innovation across topics including climate, global health, AI and research, and currently has over 100 officers in 40 countries around the world.

Wood is set to begin her role at UKRI in July this year, commenting: “Research and innovation are global endeavours, and to deliver on UKRI’s vision of connecting discovery to prosperity and public good, we need strong and deep international partnerships. I am thrilled to be appointed as international director to lead on strengthening and deepening the partnerships the UK needs”.

Research and innovation are global endeavours, and to deliver on UKRI’s vision of connecting discovery to prosperity and public good, we need strong and deep international partnerships
Frances Wood, UK Research and Innovation

Before this, Wood worked for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as head of its economics unit. Within FCDO, Wood worked with the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and is the co-chair of FCDO Women, which aims to promote gender equality within the organisation.

Wood was also an economic counsellor in South Korea, promoting research and student links in marine energy and neuroscience and solving market access issues for British companies.

Prof Christopher Smith, international champion at UKRI, said: “We are delighted to welcome Frances to lead UKRI International. UKRI’s international reach and depth places it at the heart of the UK’s ambitions for leadership and a renewed role as a force for good in a global knowledge economy.

“Frances’ knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we develop our international portfolio in and beyond the current spending review.”


You might also like: Sir David Grant to lead independent review of UKRI

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