Plenary speakers

 Professor Quintin McKellar CBE, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire

Professor McKellar has been the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Hertfordshire since 2011. He is chair of the Biological and Biotechnological Scientific Research Council (BBSRC) Animal Research Club and chair of the Board of Trustees of The Pirbright Institute. He is also a member of the Government Chief Scientist Steering Group on Animal and Plant Health in the UK. He is co-chair of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) Food Economy Task Force. He is a member of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and chair of the Hatfield Renewal Project Board. In 2015 he was elected as a Board member of Universities UK (UUK), and is also chair of the University Vocational Awards Council.

Professor McKellar was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011 for services to science. He was a distinguished researcher with interests in the pharmacology of anti-infective and anti-inflammatory drugs in domestic animals.

He graduated from Glasgow University Veterinary School in 1981, and went on to gain a PhD in Veterinary Parasitology in 1984. In August 1997 Professor McKellar took up the post of Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute and Chief Executive of the Moredun Foundation. In 2004, he was appointed Principal of The Royal Veterinary College of the University of London.
 Professor Tom Inns, Director, The Glasgow School of Art

Professor Tom Inns is the Director of The Glasgow School of Art (GSA), an HEI which was ranked as one of world’s top ten art schools in the 2015 QS World Rankings.  With campuses in Glasgow, Forres and Singapore, GSA aims to be a global leader in studio-based education in art, design, architecture and digital visualisation.

Tom studied Engineering at the University of Bristol and Design at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1990 he co-founded the Design Research Centre at Brunel University, becoming Director in 1996.  His PhD explored the impact of design on innovation in small companies.  In 2000 he was appointed as Chair of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee where he became Head of Design School and then Dean before moving to GSA in September 2013.  

Tom has an active interest in how strategic design can apply principles of traditional design to society’s systemic challenges. He regularly designs and facilitates knowledge sharing workshops with innovation agencies across Europe. 

Hugh Aitken CBE, CBI Scotland Director

Hugh joins CBI Scotland after a broad national and international business career spanning three decades, including as General Manager of Microsoft Nevada and Vice-President of Worldwide Manufacturing at Oracle.

Most recently, Hugh worked for ASCC, Aitken’s supply chain consultancy. He was the company’s President in California and led work on business process simplification and supply chain optimisation for leading companies, like Hewlett Packard. Prior to ASCC, he was General Manager of Microsoft Nevada where he led the company’s operating centres for North and Latin America and its manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico. From 2010-2011, he was Vice-President of Worldwide-Manufacturing at Oracle.

From 1989 to 2010, Hugh worked at Sun Microsystems in various senior roles. In 2005, he was awarded a CBE for services to the technology industry and charity.

Between 2000 and 2006, Hugh was Chairman of the Electronics Scotland lobbying group. On taking up the CBI Director role, Hugh has returned home to Scotland and will be based in Ayr.

 Mike Biddle, Deputy Director - Fund Portfolio, Portfolio Development, Innovate UK

Mike joined Innovate UK in July 2007, in his first role he co-authored the UK strategy for Electronics, Photonics and Electrical Systems in October 2008.  Prior to this Mike worked in the Photonics industry for twelve years after graduating with a Masters in Physics from Imperial College, London.   Mike is also a Chartered Physicist with the Institute of Physics.

Mike has responsibility to help develop and deliver innovation programmes that will accelerate economic growth in our priority areas for the benefit of UK business.

Previously he was leader of the Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP) which is responding to the societal challenge of the demographic shift.  By promoting independence and quality of life, it is possible to connect UK business to benefit from the market opportunity these changes represent.  The Innovation Platform began in November 2007 and invested £50m+ over five years to drive the application of technology and innovation in the widest sense. During this time, Mike was also President of the Ambient Assisted Living Association which had similar aims and goals as part of a pan-European investment activity worth over €600m.