New director general of innovation

David Hughes has been appointed as the new Director General Innovation at the DTI

. The appointment follows a review of the department launched by Patricia Hewitt to look at the DTI's priorities, structure and support for business. Hughes, currently working as Special Projects Director at BAE Systems, will play a key role across DTI and will have responsibility for the development and implementation of innovation policy, particularly in manufacturing. Speaking at the launch of the IPPR Manufacturing Project, Ms Hewitt said: "The UK has a world class science base. In 1999-2000, 199 company spin-outs were created from universities, compared to just 26 in 1997. Now we need to raise the innovation rate in SME's, especially in manufacturing. New products and production processes are vital if UK companies are to stay competitive. "David will play a vital role in helping us meet the aims of my recent review of the DTI. His expertise and knowledge of manufacturing will be crucial to my department. Making us even better at understanding and anticipating the issues facing manufacturing, better at promoting the value of innovation and bringing us closer to industry." Hughes added: "I am delighted to be joining the Department of Trade and Industry. I believe that the DTI has a critical role in enabling British industry to drive up productivity through exploiting new technologies coming out of the science and engineering base here in the UK and around the world. This is relevant to both established businesses and start up enterprises and I can bring practical experience to that role. I think there are also real gains to be made by encouraging partnerships between small and large companies to develop innovative products, processes and services. I am excited by this challenge and look forward to working with the Innovation team and the rest of DTI."