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Innovate UK

Simon McWhirter

Simon is the Head of Engagement for the Active Building Centre (ABC). The ABC has been established to help deliver and prove the case for Active Buildings; that support the energy system by integrating renewable technology for heat, power and transport. Simon oversees external communications and engagement with government (UK, devolved and regional / city leadership), industry and the public. Within that he leads on policy development and partnerships to make the case for a rollout of Active Buildings nationwide and beyond. Simon joined ABC after a range of roles spanning twenty years in business development, communications and sales across the finance, communications and construction sectors.

Immediately prior to ABC, Simon spent six years as Head of Communications and Sales for HAB Housing, an innovative, multi-award-winning housing developer, where he had responsibility for the strategy and implementation of the outward-facing components of the business.  This included stage-managing the marketing around two successful multi-million pound crowd funds. 

Before that he ran his own campaigns consultancy (faugh a ballagh), including work as Director of the Grand Designs Great British Refurb Campaign (geared to deliver a deep energy retrofit programme for the entire UK housing stock) and as an advocate in the United Nations environment programme, campaigning for progressive global climate change and sustainability targets. 

Simon spent the previous five years at the global conservation charity WWF, leading their work on the sustainable homes agenda – during this time he sat on the UK government's 2016 Zero Carbon Task Force, Wales’ Low and Zero Carbon Hub, the Sustainability Board of BRE Global, and the board of the Existing Homes Alliance. Prior to joining WWF, Simon was an international tax consultant working in London-New York-Sydney, and sandwiched between it all he spent several years as a tabloid newspaper reporter.

Simon has Masters degrees in both Jurisprudence from Oxford University and International Economic and Business Law from Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan.