Challenge Director, Prospering from the Energy Revolution and EnergyREV Executive Committee Member
Rob Saunders is challenge director for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programme, ‘Prospering from the Energy Revolution’. Over the coming four years, this aims to prove the future business models and local approaches that will put energy users and consumers at the heart of a cleaner, cheaper and more resilient energy system.
A Cambridge engineering graduate, Rob started his career in innovation in the food and packaging industries when leading major R&D programmes for Crown Packaging and Pepsico. He retrained in energy at Imperial College, and in a brief academic career led analysis for the UK Energy Research Centre on bioenergy before joining Innovate UK in 2011 as lead for offshore renewable energy.
Rob led the energy programme at Innovate UK for four years, helping UK businesses to grow as they develop new products that address solutions to affordable clean and secure energy supplies of the future. During that time Innovate UK supported hundreds of UK businesses, developed and launched the energy catalyst programme and set up two energy-focussed catapult centres; Offshore Renewable Energy in Glasgow & Blyth, and Energy Systems in Birmingham.