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  1. Janet Bainbridge OBE

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    Janet is the Chief Executive of Agri Technology Organisation for UKTI and is a non-civil servant specialist

    Janet has a personal Chair in Biotechnology and Food Science, and an OBE for Services to Science and Technology .She was a former Dean of Science and Technology and has a wide range of scientific publications. She is a national expert in the regulatory framework relating to the genetic modification of plants and has Chaired many national and international expert panels.

    She was a Senior Specialist Advisor (Government and Europe) to One Northeast from 2004-2007. Janet was also a founder member of the Science and Industry Council and was seconded from academia to the position of Chief Executive of EPICC (European Process Industries Competitiveness Centre) from 1997 until 2001 when EPICC became part of the Centre for Process Innovation.

    Prior to following an academic career, she was senior research microbiologist at J Sainsbury Limited and has maintained close links with businesses across the food chain and has delivered a large portfolio of consultancy and non-executive roles bridging the gap between public and private sectors.

  2. Richard Ball

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    Richard is the managing director of Keston Technologies Ltd, a consulting company with offices in the UK and Australia that specialises in  innovation, regional development and economic and business strategy. He is also the managing director of MCPA Software Ltd, a UK-based company that owns, develops and markets software in the area of complex chemical modelling.

    Prior to 2004, Richard was the founding chief executive of the National Metals Technology Centre Ltd., helping to better position the UK metals industry in international markets. He was also vice president of business development for UES Software Inc. based in the UK and US.

    Technically, Richard has a fundamental grounding in physical chemistry, materials and nanotechnologies to PhD level and has managed various technical teams; while at AEA Technology plc, Richard was Market and Sales Director for the AEA Nuclear Sciences business, Manager of the Analytical Chemistry Department and also established the AEA Technology Centre for Advanced Materials at Begbroke Park, in conjunction with the University of Oxford, becoming the first director of the Centre.

    Richard’s academic/university background includes published research in atomistic modelling in oxide systems and experimental crystal structure determination; Lecturer, New College, Oxford; Industrial Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford; member of the sub-Faculty of Chemistry, University of Oxford; visiting Research Fellow, Imperial College, London and adjunct senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia.

    Richard undertakes a range of monitoring and evaluation activities for research and technology development projects, both as individual projects and at the portfolio level. Current assignments include Monitoring Officer for the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) for innovation development projects in the UK; Project Technical Advisor (PTA) for the European Commission (EC) on eight multi-national, multi-partner collaborative R&D projects; International Expert for the Interim Evaluation of Research and Development for Innovation projects for the Czech Ministry of Education and Independent Evaluator for the Great Southern Development Commission (Australia) for a Regional Grants Scheme.

    Richard also works on a range of strategic studies, the development of innovation-related activities and initiatives and economic analyses, feasibility studies and business cases.

  3. Tony Burne

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    After a Doctorate in chemistry, Tony joined the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (now Defra) as an administrator and worked closely with Ministers, Parliament and the EU and many international organisations on a wide range of policy issues. These included conservation, finance, science strategy, farming, education, fisheries, livestock and health. There was a five year secondment to the FCO at the British Embassy in Washington, as well as a period in running Ministerial Private Offices. On retirement from Defra and the Senior Civil Service, Tony acted as a consultant to Defra on some science and OECD matters. Since 2004, Tony has been Secretary to the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (Ofgem) and Adviser to its Chairman, The Lord Mogg, KCMG – employed in the role as one of Beta’s consultants. Tony served as a Non-Executive Director from 2006 to 2017 and now supports Beta as an Associate with a focus on business development.

  4. Luke Dalton

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    Luke is based at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and manages the EU-funded STAR-IDAZ Global Network for Animal Disease Research. This brings together 24 of the major research funders from 18 countries world-wide, with a further 30 countries engaged through regional networks for Europe, Asia and Australasia, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. Project partners come mainly from ministries of agriculture, international organisations, industry, research councils and institutes, with the aim of coordinating their activities and aligning research programmes to maximise efficiency and add value to animal health research and innovation.

    Through STAR-IDAZ, Luke has been involved in a number of global research networks including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions intensity from improved animal health. He has facilitated a number of regional and global foresight exercises including the use of scenarios, backcasting and driver analysis.

    After obtaining a BCA in Management and BSc in Biology in New Zealand, Luke worked for the Ministry of Fisheries as a scientific observer, aboard foreign vessels fishing in New Zealand waters, before moving to the UK in 2005. He managed the veterinary medicines and antimicrobial resistance research portfolios for Defra before joining Beta in 2008 as the Project Manager for the EU-funded EMIDA ERA-Net (Coordination of European Research on Emerging and Major Infectious Diseases of Livestock).  His experience and interest in foresight and futures studies led him in 2013 to undertake an MSc in Risk Analysis from King’s College London.

  5. Martin French

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    Dr Martin French, PhD, MBA, is the founder of innovation consultancy Manor Halt. His career includes leadership roles in the pharmaceutical and med-tech industries, health technology start-ups, a Government economic development agency and as an independent consultant offering interim management, with a focus on innovation and technology exploitation.

    Martin has broad experience of developing and managing programmes and teams addressing technology innovation, product development and commercialisation. With innovation leadership roles in both private and public sector organisations Martin has a sound understanding of the UK innovation landscape and the challenges faced by companies in bringing new ideas to market. He has held Director level responsibilities in both private and public sector organisations and has significant experience of building partnerships and developing relationships with senior decision makers in businesses, Government, the public sector and universities.

    His recent roles and responsibilities include: Head of Innovation at the East Midlands Development Agency, responsible for designing and implementing a region wide innovation strategy and support programme; Interim Innovation Director, led the start-up team and development of a £multi-million innovation support programme for supply chain companies in the Derby area, working in rail, aerospace and automotive sectors; Providing market research, business development and project management support to Loughborough University academic to explore the commercial potential of a novel biosensor technology through a HEIF funded enterprise project; On behalf of a North of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) carried out a benchmarking survey of open innovation activities currently offered by LEPs, Local Authorities and their partners.

    Martin has a PhD in bioanalytical chemistry and an Executive MBA from Loughborough University.

  6. Mike Lowden

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    Mike graduated in metallurgy from Aston University in 1970 and studied for a PhD at Birmingham University before returning to his roots in the steel industry.

    After several years in research and development there he embarked on a series of functional and general management roles in the advanced metals and manufacturing sector. This gained him invaluable experience in the forging and casting of a wide range of metals; including steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys and titanium alloys.

    Latterly he has spent a number of years on new product development both at home and overseas. These developments in engineering businesses were either direct company funded or through part funding support from European Union sources.

    Mike has a long term association with Beta Technology having worked on establishing and developing Centres of Excellence for Metals (NAMTEC) and Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies (CENEX), amongst others.

  7. Peter Sheard

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    Dr Peter Sheard is the Chief Executive of Trend 2000 Ltd, a consulting firm focusing on EU project management, and Trend CP Ltd, which specialises in property development and the construction of bespoke executive homes.

    Since 1988 Peter has initiated and managed over 50 multi-national development consortia within various national and international initiatives concerning the selection, design and processing of polymeric composite materials and construction industry applications. He has also spun out and operated several manufacturing SMEs set up to exploit the results of international research. As a result of his extensive technical and commercial experience Peter is regularly contracted by the European Commission. He currently works as an evaluator in the Horizon 2020, Eurostars and Czech National programmes, a reviewer of ongoing projects within the SME programme, and is a Project Technical Advisor (PTA) on 10 projects within the FP7 NMP programme, including Factories of the Future (FoF) and Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB). He is the EU cluster facilitator for the area of ‘Joining of Dissimilar Materials’.

    This experience is also put to use in a consulting capacity where Peter has been regularly assisting universities and SMEs across Europe with innovation planning and training/mentoring for the development of proposals under the European Commission Framework Programmes and Structural Funds across a wide range of technical and scientific disciplines.

    Peter has a first degree in Economics and Materials Technology and a PhD in Corrosion of Polymer Composites. He has published over 40 articles in journals, conferences, seminars and books.