Press release

New chair of the Natural Environment Research Council appointed

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Sir Anthony Cleaver appointed as the new chair of the Natural Environment Research Council

Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, today (15 November 2013) announced the appointment of Sir Anthony Cleaver as the new chair of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:

Sir Anthony brings with him wide ranging experience across a number of sectors. His knowledge and expertise will be vital in leading an organisation that funds world-class science. I wish him well in his new role.

Sir Anthony Cleaver said:

I am pleased to have this opportunity to contribute to NERC, given its vital role in developing our understanding of so many key issues

Sir Anthony Cleaver will succeed Ed Wallis on 1 January 2014. The appointment is for 4 years.

Notes to editors

  1. This appointment has been made in accordance with the requirements of the Code of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Sir Anthony Cleaver has not been involved in any relevant political activities in the last 5 years. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the Nolan recommendations there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity to be made public. He will receive an honorarium of £16,340 per annum.

  2. Sir Anthony Cleaver is currently President of the Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership. He has held a number of Chair appointments including Chair of the Medical Research Council from October 1998 to July 2006. He has also been Chair of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) in the 1990s and in 1996 led the privatisation and subsequent flotation of UKAEA’s commercial activities. He then became Chairman of AEA Technology plc, a position he held until the end of 2001. Sir Anthony began his career at IBM becoming General Manager in 1983, Chief Executive in 1986 and Chairman and Chief Executive in 1990. He holds a degree in Literae Humaniores. The present NERC Chair, Ed Wallis, steps down at the end of December 2013.

  3. NERC is the largest funder of environmental science in the UK. Investing £330 million in cutting-edge research, training and knowledge transfer in the environmental sciences. NERC scientists study and monitor the whole planet, from pole to pole, and from the deep Earth and oceans to the edge of space. They address and respond to critical issues such as environmental hazards, resource security and environmental change. Through collaboration with other science disciplines, with UK business and with policy-makers, they make sure our knowledge and skills support sustainable economic growth and public wellbeing - reducing risks to health, infrastructure, supply chains and our changing environment.

  4. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.