Former Eon chief Tony Cocker to chair Energy Systems Catapult

Energy Systems Catapult has announced Tony Cocker as its new chair.

The former Eon chief executive succeeds Nick Winser who has served as chair of the organisation since it was founded nine years ago.

As well as chairing Eon for six years (between 2011 and 2017), Cocker has also held chair roles at Affinity Water (from 2018 to 2021), the Energy Innovation Centre (2018-2020) and Energy & Utilities Industrial Partnership (2016-2017).

He also currently chairs Future Biogas, a developer and operator of anaerobic digestion plants, and Infinis Energy management, a generator of low carbon power from captured methane. Cocker also sits on the board at SSE as a non-executive director.

Cocker said: “The Catapult has created an impressive track record helping promising clean technology businesses to bring innovative energy products and services to market.

“With just 26 years left to hit our Net Zero target, this is an incredibly important and exciting time to be joining the team. We are seeing companies aiming to transform the energy system, making the transition to a zero-carbon economy easier, cheaper, more accessible, and simpler for consumers.

“There are a host of economic opportunities that innovators – large and small – can seize as we make the move to Net Zero. I look forward to helping the Catapult team to support these talented innovators to reshape the sector.”

Launched in 2015 by Innovate UK, the Catapult comprises more than 250 people, with a range of technical, engineering, consumer, commercial, incubation, digital, and policy expertise.

Guy Newey, chief executive at Energy Systems Catapult, added: “Tony will be a fantastic addition to Energy Systems Catapult. He brings a wealth of sector experience and expertise that will help bolster our mission to accelerate Net Zero energy innovation.

“We are delighted to have him on board as we move into our next phase of helping the innovators we work with create a clean, consumer-friendly energy system.”

Looking back over his tensure as chair, Winser – who also acts as the government’s Electricity Networks Commissioner – said that the Energy Systems Catapult has “come so far in the nine years since it was founded”.

He added: “We have helped deliver economic growth and supported hundreds of companies to create new products and services that will be key to getting us to Net Zero.

“Whether it is our work on Local Area Energy Planning or Warm Home Prescription, we have ignited a spark in the innovation space to create a better approach that benefits both consumers and innovators.”