CEO, Innovation Birmingham
David’s career over the last twenty years has been in knowledge transfer; working at the interface between applied research and commercial application and exploitation. His expertise and interests are directed at creating appropriate partnerships and infrastructures to promote the development and success of cross sectorial knowledge-based businesses.
He started his career as a PhD microbiologist, with research interests directed towards the application of microbes in what is now described as ‘clean technology’. In 1992 co-founded and led a startup biotech venture based on the application of biocatalysts to the paper industry. This experience developed into a wider interest in the translation of science into good and applicable technologies.
In 1998 he moved to the Babraham Institute in Cambridge to establish and lead a new Commercial Affairs Office, which developed into a wholly owned trading subsidiary, Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd. As a knowledge transfer company, BBT managed the commercial interface between the Institute and its stakeholders, promoting the Institute’s technology, know-how and facilities. The main focus became the development of the commercial aspects Babraham Research Campus building on the early successes of the Babraham Bioincubator.
In late 2008 he moved to Birmingham to develop and implement a new strategy to build on the legacy of what was then Aston Science Park’s 27 year history as the third oldest science park in the UK. This has led to the creation of the Innovation Birmingham Campus offering an urban focal point promoting digital innovation across all sectors that impact the smart city agenda. The Campus is home to over 140 startup and early stage businesses and several corporate partners. It is a meeting place for 1,500 members of Birmingham’s tech community and an interconnected centre with links to a virtual community of interest across the UK and beyond – the Campus has its first collaboration agreement with the DMZ in Toronto.