Gareth Davies joins the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as Director-General for Knowledge and Innovation.
Taking on top civil servant John O'Reilly's role at BIS is Cabinet Office's chief economist, Gareth Davies. The switch takes place at the end of January, just months before the general election and the next comprehensive spending review.
The higher education aspect of the role will be handed over to Philippa Lloyd, BIS' Director-General for People and Strategy.
The role of BIS Knowledge and Innovation Group
The Knowledge and Innovation Group primarily safeguards the budget for research and provides a broad oversight of policy in higher education.
The Director-General works with BIS minsters, the government's chief scientific advisor, the heads of funding councils and learned societies, as well as ministers and officials from other departments.
Davies steps in as the government prepares to finalise and publish its Science and Innovation Strategy in December. Following the 2015 general elections, the government will conduct a comprehensive spending review similar to that in 2010, when the research budget was frozen in cash terms.
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