BEIS split into new business, energy and science ministries

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has been broken up to create new departments with more focused objectives.


Grant Shapps has been appointed head of the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, a government office that Prime minister Rishi Sunak said will ‘secure the nation’s long-term energy supply, bringing down bills and halving inflation’. 

Sunak added that a Department for Science, Innovation and Technology – led by Michelle Donelan - will drive the innovation that will deliver improved public services, create new and better-paid jobs and grow the economy.

“Having a single department focussed on turning scientific and technical innovations into practical, applicable solutions to the challenges we face will help make sure the UK is the most innovative economy in the world,” he said.

Commenting, Sir Paul Nurse FRS FMedSci HonFREng, director of the Francis Crick Institute, said: “Creating a stand-alone department for Science, Innovation and Technology is a highly welcome move in support of the government’s ambition to secure the UK’s position as a science superpower, and is necessary to bring about economic growth and societal good.

“Michelle Donelan and her team should be supported to deliver the objectives of embedding science across government departments and the Cabinet, championing sustainable R&D funding, and delivering more effective support of the UK research endeavour.

With Kemi Badenoch at the helm, a combined Department for Business and Trade has been created to support growth by supporting British businesses at home and abroad, promoting investment and supporting free trade.

Commenting on today’s (February 7, 2023) announcement, Ross Easton, interim chief executive of Energy Network Association (ENA), said: "The creation of a dedicated department focused on energy security and net zero is very welcome. These are substantial topics and it's correct that the prime minister recognises this.

"That said, the proof is not in the name or the Whitehall machinery, but in the delivery of high-quality policy which supports safe, secure, sustainable and reliable energy supplies for customers - now and in the future. That is the real test.”

“The scale and size of the UK’s energy transition will create opportunities for economic growth across the country: a department focused on prioritising its delivery and accelerating the pace of new generation is a positive step forward,” added Christophe Junillon, managing director for Nuclear & Power, EMEA, Atkins.