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Louis Barson, IOP Director of Science, Innovation and Skills

Louis leads the Science and Innovation, Education and Programme functions for the IOP, bringing an international background, with experience of emerging technologies and business innovation strategy. He is also executive lead for the Ecosystem Programme.


Headshot of Louis Barson, IOP Director of Science, Innovation and Skills

Louis joined the IOP in April 2021 from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), where he was deputy director for future sectors. He shaped technology policy design and delivery for emerging sectors in the UK government’s industrial strategy, and led on key technology areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and smart robotics.

Before that, he established and led the BEIS aerospace hub, supporting a research and development (R&D) investment portfolio of £3.9bn. Louis also established the ‘Innovation Gateway’ at UK Trade & Investment – a ‘front door’ to the UK innovation system for large sovereign/institutional investors and corporates, supporting UK business to engage with ‘big science’ facilities such as CERN, ITER (the European fusion initiative), and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

He is experienced in energy policy, having briefly led policy and strategy for homes decarbonisation in the government’s £9.2bn energy efficiency portfolio, worked on EU emissions trading policy, and supported long-term vision work in BEIS and the UK Space Agency to re-evaluate the business case for space-based solar power.

He has an international background with postgraduate study of Japanese philosophy and mathematical logic at Tokyo and Kyoto universities as a Daiwa and MEXT scholar, and speaks fluent Japanese, winning the SOAS spoken business Japanese grand prize in 2008.

Currently, Louis is in his final year of a BSc in physics with the Open University.