Dr. Ilan Gur Activate ARPA-E ARIA Headshot

Former ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Ilan Gur to Lead New UK Science Agency

Gur to Manage £800m Investment in Research & Development

Former ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Ilan Gur was today announced as the inaugural CEO of the UK’s Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA).

ARIA represents an ambitious undertaking by the UK government to invest in science research. Similar to ARPA-E, ARIA will focus on high-risk, transformative energy and science projects. Their high-risk research focus will allow ARIA to invest in scientific discovery that could create paradigm shifts in a number of fields. ARIA will operate with a “programme manager” model where technical experts design, develop, and manage their own research programs, similar to the “program director” model that ARPA-E successfully utilizes. In the same vein, ARIA hopes to hire talented subject matter experts with unique technical backgrounds to solve tomorrow’s challenges with minimal red tape.

During his time as a Program Director at ARPA-E, Dr. Gur leveraged his technical expertise in electrical and thermal energy storage, advanced battery management, solar energy, and new materials for energy conversion and storage while also supporting the Agency’s technology-to-market function. Prior to his announcement as CEO of ARIA, Dr. Gur launched and managed Activate, a technology fellowship program that enables entrepreneurial scientists and engineers to transform their research into world-changing products and businesses.

By design, ARPA-E Program Directors serve limited terms to keep a steady flow of new ideas and new perspectives within the agency. This model has the added benefit of growing the network of ARPA-E Program Director alumni throughout the energy innovation community. Other Program Directors have gone on to help build ARPA-model agencies within the U.S. government, lead private innovation initiatives, and conduct groundbreaking work at start-ups, universities, and established companies.

ARPA-E congratulates Dr. Gur on this exciting new stage of his career, and we look forward to seeing all the progress that comes out of ARIA in the future.

Learn more about what it takes to be an ARPA-E Program Director.