First CEO for University Institute for commercial exploitation of environmental science

The University of Reading has appointed Colin McKinnon as the inaugural CEO of its newColin McKinnon low res £12m environmental science big data and analysis centre.

Founded in January 2015, the Institute for Environmental Analytics is a unique flagship centre developing the technologies and skills to fill the innovation gap between academic excellence and commercial exploitation in the field of environmental science.

It will enable cutting-edge environmental research to be translated into services that can help businesses adapt to environmental pressures, including the extreme events and severe weather conditions we have seen in the UK in recent years.

Speaking of his new role, McKinnon said: "I'm excited to be joining the Institute for Environmental Analytics at its inception. With untapped data growing at a faster rate than ever, there is huge potential for UK plc to lead the environmental informatics field, driving innovation and economic growth for the UK.

“My vision is for the Institute to be central to this – engaging with industry in application-led, near market research and development; spinning off new businesses; training the next generation of environmental science entrepreneurs; and providing government with data-driven knowledge to support decision-making in environmental policy fields.”  

Steve Mithen, Deputy-Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "Climate and environmental change already has an impact on every aspect of business and society and we are in an unprecedented time of opportunity for UK businesses in this space. The Institute will act as a conduit between organisations spanning the whole environmental analytics community, pulling together expertise to create value and growth for the UK. It will focus on developing the tools, techniques and people to make the UK a world leader in using environmental big data for commercial applications.”

More information about the Institute for Environmental Analytics