Aston University Vice-Chancellor retains UK Business Ambassador role

Professor Julia King
Professor Julia King

10th November 2010

The Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, Birmingham will continue to promote the UK’s low carbon businesses overseas as part of UK Trade & Industry’s (UKTI) re-launched Business Ambassador Network.

Professor Julia King was originally appointed to the Network in December 2009 in recognition of her expertise in low carbon technologies. The announcement that she will continue in the role was made today in a speech by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in which he announced the expansion of the Business Ambassador Network, from 24 representatives to 31.

Professor King said, ‘It is a great honour to be asked to represent the UK’s low carbon businesses. Reducing carbon emissions is absolutely critical for the future of this planet, and the UK has a major role to play in developing the technology to make this happen. I am proud that the UK is taking a leading role in addressing climate change mitigation, and see this as a major opportunity for business.

‘In my position as Low Carbon Business Ambassador, I will be doing all I can to encourage trade links between UK businesses and overseas partners, so that we can stimulate exporting and encourage inward investment, and also contribute to the adoption of sustainable technologies all over the world.’

Professor King is the author of the King Review into low carbon transport, which was published in March 2008, and a member of the Government’s Committee on Climate Change. She is also a Governing Board member of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the World Economic Forum Automotive Industry Council. Her knowledge and links mean she is ideally placed to represent the UK’s low carbon businesses.

Professor King is one of just three academics in the Business Ambassador Network, along with Lord Darzi, from Imperial College London, and Professor Malcolm Grant, Provost of University College London.

She commented, ‘It is an honour to represent the Higher Education sector in the Network. I see my appointment as a testament to the impact Aston University has on business and industry, through its research and its knowledge transfer. I look forward to being able to promote some of the innovative developments in the West Midlands through my ambassadorial role, where we have a number of companies at the forefront of low carbon automotive carbon technologies, such as Modec and Zytek.’

As Low Carbon Business Ambassador, Professor King will work with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to promote the UK’s excellence in this sector, and to ensure that all UK businesses, especially SMEs, are in a position to exploit overseas opportunities.

Business ambassadors’ roles typically involve representing the UK in high level meetings, leading missions, hosting overseas ministers and inward missions, lobbying, briefing ministers and ambassadors, and policy advice.



For more information about the Business Ambassador programme please contact Rosetta Buahin in the UKTI press office at mailto:rosetta.buahin@ukti.gsi.gov.uk or on  0207 215 8530. 

Notes to editors:

1.    The transition to a global low carbon economy is already creating business opportunities across all sectors, and the UK is a net exporter of Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) to the world by a margin of £4.4billion. Over 90% of UK companies in the sector are SMEs.

The global market value of LCEGS is over £3 trillion, and is expected to grow again by half by 2015. Already, the UK market for LCEGS is the 6th largest in the world. It is worth around £107bn – over 7% of GDP - and is set to grow by £45 billion by 2015.

2.    Aston University is a top 20 UK university according to the Independent-published Complete University Guide 2010 and the Guardian Good University Guide 2010. Aston is known for its excellent relationships with business and industry, and for its graduate employability record and diverse community. It has broad strengths in business, engineering, subjects allied to medicine, modern languages and social sciences.

  1. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media. You can also keep in touch with developments at UKTI through www.blog.ukti.gov.uk, www.twitter.com/ukti and www.flickr.com/photos/tags/ukti.