The managing director of County Durham manufacturer Thomas Swan and Co has been appointed to the governing board of the UK’s innovation agency.
Harry Swan, who joined the Consett-based business since 2012, has joined the board at Innovate UK, formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board, which aims to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.
Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Innovate UK brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy.
The chair of Innovate UK, Phil Smith, said: “I am excited by the contribution that Harry’s appointment will bring to our board’s discussions.
“He leads a mid-sized, cutting-edge advanced materials and chemicals company and so brings a real customer’s perspective to our work.
“Beyond that, his work with the Chemical Industries Association and the recently established Chemistry Growth Partnership bring us first-hand insight into some of the strategic channels through which we engage and support businesses in key areas of potential UK economic growth.”
Mr Swan’s appointment will last until June 2017.
He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to the Board of Innovate UK.
“As managing director of an SME that has a long history of innovation, I believe that harnessing the UK’s remarkable capability to innovate is central to re-building a strong economy based on wealth generating businesses.
“To be able to contribute to the organisation that is at the heart of this challenge is a real privilege and I look forward to working with the other members of the board over the coming years.”
Mr Swan joined the business in 2002 when he was tasked with launching the carbon nanomaterials business and he took up the post of managing director in April 2006. He is the fourth generation of the Swan family to work at the company.