Vice-Chancellor appointed UK Business Ambassador

Julia King
Julia King

17th December, 2009

The Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, Birmingham has been named by the Government as the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador.

Professor Julia King will join a select band of 24 business and education leaders appointed by the Prime Minister since 2008, to promote the UK’s excellence internationally, to inspire UK companies to export, and to encourage inward investment.

Professor King said, ‘It is a great honour to be invited to become the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador. 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.

‘We have some outstanding, innovative businesses in this country who can become world leaders in low carbon technology, and I will be doing my best to help them achieve that. Here in the West Midlands, companies such as Modec and Zytec are starting to show what can be done and we need to ensure that many more can follow suit.’

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 for Climate Change. She is also a Governing Board member of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Transportation, and as such is ideally placed to represent the UK’s low carbon businesses.

Professor King will be one of just five academics in the Business Ambassador network, the others being the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University, the Provost of University College London, Dr John Hood the former Vice Chancellor at Oxford and Lord Darzi of Imperial College London.

She commented, ‘I am very enthusiastic about being asked to play an ambassadorial role for the UKs low carbon businesses and technologies.  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.  It is great to be joining such a distinguished group of Business Ambassadors - an indication of the positive impact which Aston University makes on business and the economy.’

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 on the Business Ambassador network, or to arrange an interview with Professor King, please contact the Aston University press office on 0121 204 4549.

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.    The other Business Ambassadors from the HE Sector are: Dr John Hood, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford; Professor Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge; Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost, University College London; and Lord Ara Darzi, Imperial College London

3.    UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government organisation 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 please visit or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at More information on UKTI can be found at: | | |

4.    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.