Dean Cook is Director for Place and Levelling up at Innovate UK. His responsibilities include leadership of Innovate UK’s Managers for the English Regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. His programme portfolio provides support to innovation clusters including the new £100m Levelling up ‘Innovation Accelerator’ pilot for which he is the Programme Director; the new Innovate UK Launchpad programme; and co-delivery of the UKRI ‘Strength in Places Fund’, in partnership with Research England. As part of the Executive Management Team, Dean also has responsibility for leading the development and embedding Place across Innovate UK’s wider activities and developing strategic relationships and action plans with local leadership and devolved authorities. With over 30 years experience in research commercialisation, Dean joined Innovate UK in 2014 and was formerly at Defra’s ‘Food and Environment Research Agency’ in York, with an early career 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 27 years and has represented Innovate UK on a number of 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 R&D.