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Innovate UK - Peter Dirken

peter_dirken.png Peter Dirken – INNOVATE UK - Regional Manager for the West Midlands

Peter has always been interested in all things science and innovation. From a degree in Geochemistry to a Ph.D. in NMR spectroscopy to working for some of the UK’s most successful engineering companies, and now the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, science and innovation has always been at the heart of what I do. At home he reads up on human genetics or the origins of the cosmos….

It is the application of science and the impact on the UK economy and our society and environment though, not just science for the sake of science that has driven his career.

He was responsible for the product development portfolio of one of Johnson Matthey’s operating businesses in Germany, working out of JM’s R&D centre near Oxford. He left to manage a large portfolio of Ultra Low Temperature research instrument projects for Oxford Instruments and saw first-hand how one area of science (cryogenics) was being applied to grow one of the most amazing and successful UK technology companies. He spent four years working in an engineering role at JET in Culham, still the world’s largest nuclear fusion facility.

This largely private sector technology and innovation background was a perfect basis for a career with Innovate UK, the government backed agency in the UK tasked with supporting businesses innovation. He managed the Knowledge Transfer Network programme for a number of years and now looks after Innovate UK’s strategic partnership with the Department of International Trade and combines that with being Regional Manager for the West Midlands