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New Executive Director announced for UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

8 June 2020

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has announced today that business development expert, Paul Vernon, will take the helm as the new Executive Director of Business and Innovation. He will play a critical role in helping STFC shape and deliver a business and innovation strategy.

Welcoming Paul Vernon to the role Professor Mark Thomson, Particle physicist and Executive Chair of STFC, said:

“Paul brings significant expertise to the role and is joining STFC from the University of Chester, where he was the founding CEO of Thornton Science Park in Cheshire and Senior Executive Director of Commercial Operations at the University.

We are delighted to be able to say that we are also welcoming back someone who has a significant amount of experience in our field and is a trusted and respected former colleague.”

Between 2002 and 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. Paul also managed UK technology transfer for the European Space Agency and established the world’s first CERN Business Incubation Centre.

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.

Paul Vernon, who will take up the post in coming weeks said that he is looking forward to working closely with the business and innovation team at STFC to help develop the organisation:

“It’s a challenging time for everyone involved in science and innovation in the UK right now but with this comes priorities and opportunities. I am looking forward to connecting with former colleagues and building new relationships at STFC, as I take overall responsibility for the provision of high-calibre professional services to departments.

One of my areas of focus will be developing and exploiting commercial relationships and business opportunities. I will also be working to support collaborative ventures and programmes with partner organisations, such as universities.“

As a member of the Executive Board, Paul will also help to shape STFC's overall future priorities and plans.

More information


Paul Vernon – Biography

In 2014, Paul joined the University of Chester as the founding CEO of Thornton Science Park and to set up the Commercial Operations Directorate.  Commercial Operations took over responsibility for many commercial aspects of the University of Chester’s activities which included the protection and exploitation of intellectual property, business development, commercial marketing and communications and the development of the University’s innovation assets, Thornton Science Park, the Riverside Innovation centre and NoWFOOD. From 2002 until 2014, Paul worked for the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) where he was responsible for spinning out five technology businesses, establishing STFC’s business development activity and  heading 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.

 

Last updated: 07 August 2020

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