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Industry & Business Partnership Board

The Science and Technology Facilities Council operates large science infrastructures on behalf of the UK at its National Science and Innovation Campuses at Harwell, SciTech Daresbury, Boulby Underground Science Facility, Chilbolton Observatory and the UKATC in Edinburgh.

These National Laboratories serve a wide community of academic and industrial researchers from different sectors including space, pharmaceutical, advanced manufacturing, energy, healthcare and electronics.

The Industry and Business Partnership Board aims to bring together leaders of major partners in industry to build and further strengthen the connections of STFC to businesses. Industry led, it will provide advice on growing and enhancing the industrial use of the facilities, skills and capabilities found across STFC.

For more information about the Industry & Business Partnership Board, please contact Dymphie Voortman.

Core membership

Non-core members

Terms of reference

This new body aims to bring together leaders of major partners in industry to build and further strengthen the connections of STFC to businesses. It is industry led, with the aim of providing advice to STFC on how to strengthen links to and partnerships with industry and business.

The industrial and business partnership committee will:

  • Provide advice and recommendations on the industry and business strategy for STFC;
  • Define and recommend an industrial engagement plan that is effective and efficient for all parties involved;
  • Define and recommend an appropriate means of articulating the benefits of engagement for both sides, including direct commercial facility use and the manufacturing supply chain feeding into STFC;
  • Define and recommend an engagement plan for three-way STFC - industry - academia collaborations;
  • Review and capture global best practice with respect to industrial engagement by national facilities to inform strategy and engagement plans;
  • Maximise alignment to and leverage of funding mechanisms such as ISCF and other government funding initiatives and policy.

Meetings and reporting

The Industry and Business Partnership Board meets three times a year. The minutes of the meetings will be reported to STFC Council.

The secretariat for the Industry and Business Partnership Board is provided by the STFC Business and Innovation Directorate.

The above terms of reference will be reviewed annually.


  • 9 October 2019 - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory


  • 23 March 2020 - Virtual
  • 23 October 2020 - Virtual


  • 10 February 2021 - Virtual
  • 14 June 2021 - Virtual

Member biographies

Dick Elsy


Dick Elsy is the Chief Executive of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the go-to place for advanced manufacturing technology in the UK. With over £800m of assets, supporting both industry and academia, it represents the greatest concentration of advanced manufacturing research capability in Europe. Dick is a career veteran from the automotive industry, with the bulk of his time spent at Land Rover and then Jaguar, where he was engineering director. At Land Rover, where he started his career as one of the key project team members on the original Discovery programme, he became a member of the Board from where he led the creation, development, and manufacture of the Freelander. Prior to his current role, Dick was the CEO of Torotrak plc the FTSE listed developer of traction drive technology.

Dick takes a keen interest in engineering innovation at a national level as a board member of the Aerospace Growth Partnership and a member of the Automotive Council’s Technology group. He is  on the council of the UKRI-STFC and is a non-executive director of AB Dynamics, an AIM listed supplier of integrated test systems for the global automotive industry. Dick is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a holder of its Silver Medal. He was recognised for his contribution to manufacturing and technology in the UK with a CBE in 2018.

In 2020, Dick chaired the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, a collection of significant industrial and engineering partners from across the UK which manufactured and delivered over 13,000 ventilators for the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dave Rugg

Deputy Chair

Professor David Rugg FREng is a metallurgist who started his career with a PhD on Magnesium alloys around 30 years ago. After this, he spent seven years at IMI Titanium in the R+D group conducting research on alloy and process development.

For the last two decades, Professor Rugg has worked at Rolls-Royce in a variety of roles including long term, extensive and highly stimulating interaction with academia with an emphasis on titanium and zirconium research. His interests include cutting edge experimental techniques through to physics based modelling in order to address industrial problems.

For the last five years, Dave held the post of Rolls-Royce Senior Fellow, which spanned all materials and business sectors covering the full material life cycle. Leaving industry mid 2020 he now has formal interaction with Oxford and Imperial where he holds visiting chairs.

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Christine Adams

Founding Director of Mayflower Innovation Ltd

After a materials physics postdoc at CalTech in California, Christine took a position at P&G back in the UK. She quickly solved a pervading Beauty Care issue by inventing a novel material and initiating a collaboration with GE Silicones, which took it into full production under the Max Factor brand. Christine then took a post at a smaller, highly innovative company, Sira Ltd, where she worked on various R&D project from Space Science to Food Production. Sira allowed Christine to experience government first hand as a secondee into the British National Space Centre from which she was offered a secondment into the Innovation Group of the DTI (now BEIS).

Christine spend 6 months touring various highly innovative countries to learn about their innovation ecosystems and policies that had the greatest economic impact. The policies that Christine considered most productive for the UK’s disperse innovation ecosystem were suggested to the Minister of Science and most went into the forming of an arms-length body, now called Innovate UK, a ‘sister’ Research Council to STFC.

Christine continued to implement innovation policy for the next few years. Christine took the position of Head of Innovation for Fujitsu Services UK, in which her team put in place and oversaw the internal stage-gates for technology ideas.

In 2011, Christine established Mayflower Innovation Ltd, in which her services to Innovate UK as both a Monitoring Officer and also an Assessor are complemented with work for companies in grant writing and managing collaborative R&D. Christine’s day-to-day work brings her into contact with a large number of SMEs, and she is passionate about supporting these and bridging the cultural gaps between academia, government and industry.

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Darren Budd

Commercial Director BASF

Darren Budd was born in Taplow, United Kingdom, in 1967 and is married with 3 children.

He has a degree in Chemistry and went on to complete a doctorate on Transition Metal Complexation of Heterocyclic Conducting Polymers.

Darren has held a number of positions within BASF since 1996; he worked in Germany for BASF’s Venture Capital Business for 5 years before taking over as Managing Director of BASF’s in house Distribution business for the UK & Ireland looking after sales to BASF’s small and medium sized customers. From 1st January 2016, Darren took over responsibility as Commercial Director for BASF plc. This role is responsible for the Chemical Sales activities of BASF in the UK as well as the Commercial activities of BASF in the UK to develop growth.  In addition to this role Darren continues to look for innovation opportunities at UK universities and research centres and link this back to BASF’s business units and research divisions.

Currently Darren is Chairman of the Chemical Business Association and on the Governing Board’s of the IBioIC (Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre) in Scotland and the British Coatings federation, as well as being a Regional Council member of the CBI Northwest.

Outside of work Darren is Chairperson of a local Primary Academy along with being a keen Golfer.

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Gillian Burgess

Executive Vice President and Head of Research at Gruenenthal GmbH

Dr Gillian Burgess joined Gruenenthal, which focusses on discovering and developing new medicines for Pain, as Executive Vice President and Head of Research in 2020.

Previous roles include Head of Research and Site Head at Vertex’s Oxford Research Site in the UK.   She has also worked at UCB-Celltech, Pfizer and Novartis and has helped to bring several compounds to clinical development and to the market. At Pfizer, she was Chief Scientific Officer for the Pain Therapeutic Area, also served as Global Therapeutic Area Head for the Gastrointestinal Therapeutic Area and led Pfizer’s Urology Group. At Novartis, she was part of the Neuroscience leadership team.

Dr Burgess is a member of the Medical Research Council Translational Oversight Group and Confidence in Concept Panel.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Rosalind Franklin Institute. Dr Burgess received her PhD in Pharmacology from University College London.

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Dr John Burgoyne

Global Head, Custom and Speciality Systems at Oxford Instruments NanoScience

Dr John Burgoyne is the Global Head, Custom and Speciality Systems within Oxford Instruments NanoScience, leading sales, business development, and key account management of specialised, custom-engineered low temperature, ultra-low temperature and superconducting magnet systems. Since first joining Oxford Instruments in 1998, he has also worked in marketing, key account management, business development, and operations and technology management in several divisions of the company, including a year on secondment with Siemens AG Medical Solutions in Erlangen, Germany.

John’s technical background is in superconductivity and superconducting magnets, and he holds a BSc(Hons) in Applied Physics from the University of Strathclyde, and an MSc and PhD in Superconductivity and Cryogenics from the University of Southampton. Following his PhD, John performed post-doctoral work on high temperature superconductors at the University of Oxford. In 2006 he gained an MBA with Distinction from Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK.

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Justin Byrne

UK Director for Earth Observation, Navigation and Science Airbus Defence & Space

Justin Byrne – Head of Earth Observation, Navigation and Science for Airbus Defence and Space UK in addition to his transnational role as the Head of Science and Robotic Exploration Systems for Airbus. In this role, he manages the Airbus Science Prime activities within UK, France, Germany and Spain for missions including Bepi Colombo (mission to Mercury), Juice (mission to Icy Moons of Jupiter), Solar Orbiter (mission to observe the Sun) and the Exomars Rover (search for life on Mars).

For Earth Science he is managing missions including Aeolus (laser global wind measurement), Earthcare (to characterise Clouds, Aerosols and reflected solar radiation) and Biomass (measurement of forest Biomass). He is also responsible for managing the Airbus UK teams in Stevenage and Portsmouth and has held many roles within the Space Industry over the past 30 years.

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Michael Fitzpatrick

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engineering, Environment and Computing) at Coventry University

Professor Michael Fitzpatrick is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engineering, Environment and Computing) at Coventry University, and holds the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Chair of Structural Integrity and Systems Performance. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Scientist, a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining; and a Member of the Institute of Directors.

His research centres around the application of advanced experimental methods to materials engineering applications, particularly in the nuclear power and aerospace industries. His recent interests include the study of laser shock peening for life enhancement of aerospace and marine structures, and the development of novel structural concepts such as bonded crack retarders for improving airframe structural integrity. He has been a user of the international neutron and synchrotron X-ray facilities for over 20 years, for the study of internal stress and damage development in metallic materials and components.

He is a Non-Executive Director of Diamond Light Source Ltd, the UK’s synchrotron X-ray facility; and a Non-Executive Director of Feraru Dynamics Ltd, a University spin-out company developing novel technologies for improving personal safety in the workplace.

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Jessica Middlemiss

Head of Operations Dyson Institute

Jess is Head of Operations for The Dyson Institute of Engineering Technology - Dyson's in-house degree-apprenticeship programme. This role involves enabling all student-facing and administrative activities and providing a link into the Dyson technical community in which the undergraduates are embedded 3 days per week. The Dyson Institute’s ethos is centred around coupling academic rigour with professional skills to increase graduate employability and ability to thrive in industry and business.

Jess studied Materials Science and Engineering at Imperial College London where she got her first taste of characterisation and applied research working on titanium alloy microstructures for aerospace applications. Following graduation, she joined Rolls-Royce as a graduate trainee, which led to a role developing repair techniques for complex, high cost components.

In 2011, Jess joined Dyson as a Materials Engineer supporting the design teams in materials selection across all products and contributing to research into novel and high-tech materials and coatings for various functional applications. This was followed by roles as Technical Development Manager for Floorcare and Quality Manager for Personal Care and “New Category” projects. As well as conducting work aimed at enhancing the novelty, safety, reliability and customer satisfaction of Dyson’s products, Jess was also involved in scoping, guiding and reviewing a wide range of research projects aimed at delivering improved product performance and furthering Dyson’s technical advantage for its next generation of products

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Hannah Randles

Sector Manager for Health and Life Sciences for Growth Platform

Hannah is the Sector Manager for Health and Life Sciences for Growth Platform – the Liverpool City Region Growth Company and the Innovation Agency; she also provides executive support for the Health and Life Science Board managed by the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Hannah works alongside colleagues within the City Region to support and develop the Health and Life Sciences sector with a focus on business growth, inward investment, collaboration/networking support and wider strategic initiatives. Previously, Hannah worked at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital supporting Innovation within the Trust and working with partners around the ERDF funded program Health Innovation Exchange. She has also worked in education, supporting schools to connect with business (specifically in the Health and Life Sciences sectors) and as part of a project team at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

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Scott Singleton

Director - Digital R&D at Unilever

I joined Unilever in 1990 following my PhD at the University of Edinburgh. My early career was at our Port Sunlight laboratory where I helped establish some of the advanced measurement capabilities that Unilever continues to exploit today.  My time in Port Sunlight included – delivering product innovation, IP and market authority. I moved to the Unilever Colworth laboratory in 1998 to strengthen applied modelling, materials and measurement expertise. I have been responsible for both larger teams and more recently deep domain research into future modelling challenges. In 2012 I helped develop the Unilever science grid – to maximise our collaborations with world leading research institutes. I personally developed the relationship with Nottingham University and the strengthened the relationship with STFC and with Hartree Centre in particular.

I take real enjoyment in the development and application of science and in working with teams and groups of individuals. My work has spanned the 6 global Unilever R&D sites. In my current role, I lead strategic thinking in areas of modelling and with respect to our digital R&D ambitions this includes both science related and ways of working transformation activities.

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Nicolas Tonello

CEO Constelcom Ltd and CEO Renuda

Following a PhD Aerospace Engineering at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, specialising in detonations and supersonic reactive flow, Dr Tonello worked in the USA for several years developing multiphase, reactive flow CFD software for aerospace applications.  After moving to the UK to take up a position leading the implementation of two-phase flow Eulerian modelling and radiation for a leading CFD software provider, Dr Tonello founded Renuda in the UK and is now director of Renuda in the UK and France, which specialises in developing software applications and conducting fluid flow and thermal studies.  Dr Tonello has 20+ years’ experience in CFD and fluid mechanics applied to a large variety of industrial problems and flow regimes, from nuclear to the process industry, with a keen interest and expertise in High Performance Computing (HPC).

In 2013, he founded ConstelCom, a software business in the HPC space which enables open-access for all to on-premises HPC via its Constellation® platform.  End-users in science, discovery and innovation and HPC centres are able to optimise resource management, increase end-user engagement and enhance productivity by liberalising access to supercomputing within a unique secure, private and collaborative environment. 

As part of his work to develop the platform and its user base, and in his Renuda activities, Dr Tonello has been working closely with UK industry, academia and with STFC and, in particular, the Hartree Centre at the Daresbury Laboratory.  Dr Tonello is a member of the Impact Advisory Panel of the UK Consortium on Turbulent Reactive Flows and the NAFEMS CFD Working Group.

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Andrew Harrison

Chief Executive, Diamond Light Source Ltd

Andrew Harrison was awarded his doctorate in chemistry at Oxford University in 1986, held a Royal Society University Research Fellow also at Oxford from 1988 before taking up a lectureship in chemistry at the University of Edinburgh in 1993. He was appointed Professor of Solid State Chemistry in 1999, and in 2002 he became founding Director of the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions in Edinburgh, which was established to explore the properties of materials and life at extremes of pressure or temperature or magnetic fields. In 2006 he was appointed Scientific Director of the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble , the world’s leading centre for neutron science, going on to become Director General of the ILL in 2011. In 2014 he moved back to the UK to become CEO of Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility at the Harwell Campus.

Andrew has chaired EIROForum, the collection of European international infrastructures, including CERN, ESO and ESA and is currently a UK delegate for the ESFRI Council of the European Commission. He has served on the RAE or REF subpanels for Chemistry in the UK as well as OxLEP.

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Alan Partridge

Executive Director STFC and Head of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories

Dr. Alan Partridge has responsibility for the leadership and development of STFC’s Large Scale Facilities; including the ISIS Neutron and Muon facility, the Central Laser Facility and RAL Space; as well as having accountability for the strategic development of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory site and STFC’s wider strategy. 

Prior to joining STFC in 2020 Alan was the Engineering and Technology Executive of Rolls-Royce’s recently merged Rotatives and Transmissions businesses; with a combined turnover in excess of $1bn; as well as responsible for two related Joint Ventures in France and Germany. Formerly he was the Global Head of Materials with responsibility for leading Rolls-Royce advanced materials development programme across five global sites (UK, US, Germany, India and Singapore); and the delivery of in-service support across the Aerospace, Defence and Nuclear businesses. Alan also held several Non-Executive Director roles including directorships at the Performance Review Institute (Pittsburgh) and Turbine Surface Technologies Ltd (UK).

Alan’s earlier experience was as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Metals Technology Centre. He also held senior technical posts within Firth Rixson Forgings and the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. Alan graduated in Physics from the University of Liverpool, before completing a PhD in Materials Science at the same institution.  He spent a number of years in academia in both Liverpool and Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, prior to entering industry.

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Neil Geddes

STFC Executive Director National Laboratories, Science and Technologies

Neil Geddes obtained his doctorate in High Energy Particle Physics from the University of Oxford in 1986. Thereafter, he joined the Particle Physics Department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory where he remained until 2001. During this time Neil spent periods at CERN and Stanford, working as a member of the OPAL and BaBar collaborations to pursue research into Quantum Chromo-Dynamics hadronisation models and matter-antimatter asymmetries. In April 2001, Neil joined the UK’s Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council to direct their e-science programme, including the setting up of the LHC Grid computing project.

Neil was the first Chairman of the worldwide LHC Computing Grid Collaboration. From 2005 to 2012 he led the e-Science Department at STFC, with responsibility for data management, scientific computing and grid technology, in support of the scientific facilities operated by STFC.

In 2012 Neil moved to Technology Department with wide ranging responsibilities covering engineering, micro-electronics, applied physics, nuclear physics and astronomy and in 2019 has been appointed as the STFC Executive Director, National Laboratories Science and Technologies.

Neil is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Institution of Engineering and Technology and has over 550 refereed publications covering particle physics and computing, and is a member of a number of National and International advisory panels on science and e-infrastructure.

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Paul Vernon

STFC Executive Director of the Business and Innovation Directorate and Head of STFC Daresbury Laboratory

Originally, a biochemist, Paul’s career has encompassed commercial finance, scientific and medical sales and marketing and international distribution. He has extensive experience in technology start-ups, having been the CEO of two medical diagnostics companies, and in technology transfer and business incubation.

From 2002 until 2014, Paul worked for STFC where he was responsible for spinning out five technology businesses, established STFC’s business development activity and latterly headed up campus development for the National Science and Innovation Campuses. He also managed UK technology transfer for the European Space Agency and established the world’s first CERN Business Incubation Centre. 

From 2014 to 2020, Paul was the founding CEO of Thornton Science Park in Cheshire and Senior Executive Director of Commercial Operations at the University of Chester.

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Ric Allott

STFC Director of Business Development, Space, Technology and Facilities

Ric has >30 years R&D, commercial and business development experience in advanced photonics based technologies. Between 1995 and 2001 he worked as a beamline scientist in the Central Laser Facility at RAL. In 2001, he joined Exitech Ltd, an innovative manufacturer of highly specialised laser micromachining systems. At Exitech he led the research, development and commercialisation of novel laser processing techniques focused on the Flat Panel Displays, Energy Efficient Lighting and Photovoltaic markets. Between 2006 and 2011 he played a pivotal role in setting up and operating a number of the UK Knowledge Transfer Networks in the photonics and plastic electronics sectors. This role was all about business development, connecting business to business and science to business. Following this he joined Polyphotonix a pioneer in OLED technology as Chief Technical Officer with responsibility for setting technical strategy and delivering the companies IP/technology.

Since September 2012 he has been developing business opportunities and maximizing economic impact at STFC and is currently Director of Business Development, Space, Technology and Facilities.

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Massimo Noro

STFC Director of Business Development, with a focus on the Daresbury Campus

Massimo Noro is the STFC Director of Business Development, with a focus on the Daresbury Campus. His role is to ensure the continued growth and success of our Daresbury Laboratory at the Sci-Tech Daresbury Campus.

Massimo joined STFC in February 2018, following a successful industrial R&D career at Unilever with a proven track record as program and people leader in a corporate environment – Unilever is a large multinational and a market leader in home care, personal care, refreshments and foods products. He gained considerable experience in managing high-budget projects and in leading large teams across sites and across complex organisations. Massimo leads on strategic partnerships with industry and local government; he manages a wide team to deliver innovation, to develop strong pipelines of commercial engagements and to provide a range of offerings for business incubation.

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Amy Plath

Head of Impact & Engagement at STFC Business and Innovation Department

Following the completion of a degree in Business with languages, Amy started out in business development before pursuing a career in marketing. She worked in financial services and investment management for 6 years before moving into professional services marketing, managing the marketing and business development function in the North of England for a global Intellectual Property firm. It was this move that introduced her to STFC and the campuses, as she built up relationships with the tenant companies and support organisations in order to generate a pipeline of work on behalf of the partners. Today she heads up a cross-campus team that strategically manages how STFC markets and communicates its offering to businesses. Her role involves storytelling – working closely with external and internal stakeholders to identify and narrate impactful stories effectively to STFC’s key audiences, in turn raising brand awareness of the organisation.

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Last updated: 05 March 2021


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