Dean Cook

Director – Place and Levelling Up, Innovate UK

Dean Cook is the executive lead for Place and Levelling Up at Innovate UK, the national innovation agency and a council of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

His core team of English regional and devolved nation engagement managers are responsible for strategic partnership building across the UK. The team has the responsibility for developing Innovate UK’s place research and development (R&D) approach and developing strong relationships with local and devolved authorities, governments, and local business leaders.

He also has oversight of a programme management team that will be delivering new support to innovation cluster development. This includes the new levelling up ‘Innovation Accelerator’ pilots for which he is the programme director. Dean is working widely across UKRI to deliver place outcomes, which includes collaborative delivery of the UKRI ‘Strength in Places Fund’ with Research England.

With a technical background in agriculture and food, Dean originally joined Innovate UK in 2014 as an Innovation Lead for that sector. With over 30 years of practical experience in research commercialisation, he was formerly at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Food and Environment Research Agency in York. This is where his early career was as an applied biologist before moving into various roles within the agency’s commercial and science management teams.

Dean is a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and an MBA graduate of The University of Warwick. Originally from the south of England, Dean has lived in York for 26 years and has represented Innovate UK on a number of regional economic boards across the north of England. Dean has a strong interest in innovation clusters and brings a business perspective to UKRI discussions on place based R&D.

Last updated: 21 July 2022

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