AURIL2017 Annual Conference
5th and 6th October 2017


Bristol Marriott Royal
College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TA 

  01223 659950

Keynote speakers


Adrian Bailey MP Chair, House of Commons Business Innovation and Skills committee

A long-serving and loyal Labour MP, Adrian Bailey has had an uneventful but steady time in parliament, having been a serial parliamentary private secretary to several Ministers during the Labour years.

The victor in the by-election of 2000 after the resignation of the Speaker Betty Boothroyd, he has held West Bromwich West ever since. He had been a serial candidate for unpromising seats in the 1970s – South Worcestershire, Nantwich and Wirral in general elections and Cheshire West in a European Parliament election.

For two years from 2005 he was parliamentary private secretary to many, first to John Hutton, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and then as Work and Pensions Secretary. In 2006 he moved back to work for the new Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Hilary Armstrong, but before the end of the year had moved to Adam Ingram at the Ministry of Defence. In 2007, when Ingram left the Government, he transferred briefly to the new Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth, but three months later left the Government himself.

Bailey won the chairmanship of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee in 2010. In the first ballot of its kind he easily defeated the senior MP Barry Sheerman and the returnee Geraint Davies. He had served on the committee for the past three years.


Professor Luke Georghiou  B.Sc., Ph.D.Vice-President for Research and Innovation, University of Manchester

Luke Georghiou is Vice-President for Research and Innovation at the University of Manchester where he is responsible for the University’s research strategy and performance, business engagement and commercialisation activities. He holds the chair of Science and Technology Policy and Management. His research interests include evaluation of R&D and innovation policy (particularly in relation to the use of public procurement and other demand-side measures), foresight, national and international science policy, and management of innovation. He has chaired or been a member of several high profile committees including the Aho Group and the EC’s Expert Group on ERA Rationales. He has an extensive list of publications including articles in Nature, Science and the Harvard Business Review. He is a member of the Academia Europaea.

Plenary Speakers


Professor Angus Laing Chair, Association of Business Schools and Dean of Business and Economics, Loughborough University

Currently Dean of Business and Economics at Loughborough University, Professor Laing was previously Head of School of the University of Glasgow Business School. Prior to this he held the Beneficial Bank Chair of Marketing at the Open University Business School where he was Director of Research. He is currently Chair of the Association of Business Schools and a member of the EQUIS Committee of the EFMD. Having completed his undergraduate degree at the University of the Witwatersrand he gained his PhD from the University of Aberdeen. His research interests centre on the consumption of professional services in contemporary societies with this work being funded by a range of bodies including the ESRC, the NIHR and the British Academy. This research activity underpins extensive management development and consultancy work with public and private sector organisations.


Owen Nicholson External Research Programme Manager with Dyson

After graduating from Bristol University with a first in Physics Owen joined the Ministry of Defence Engineering and Science Graduate Scheme.  Highlights included working as project managers in in Whitehall, Bristol Abbey Wood and an extended placement at Dstl Porton Down working within the Counter Terrorism Centre.  Owen took a year out of the graduate scheme to study for a Masters in Innovation and Technology Management at Bath University.  This brand new the course was a joint Masters from the Department of Engineering and School of Management where Owen achieved a distinction and was awarded the BP prize for highest mark in the year and best dissertation (on the Counter Terrorism Centre’s innovation programme).  After a year working as the New Technology Programme Manager for the Future Submarine Programme Owen made the leap into industry accepting a role as the External Research Programme Manager at Dyson.

Owen joined a small team at Dyson in 2011 and has helped to take the External Research Programme from a handful of projects to the £3.5M p.a programme it is today.  With over 50 projects with 16 universities the programme now funds over 42 PhDs, 20 Research Associates and two professors.   His role requires involvement throughout the project set up process and beyond including identifying opportunities, project concept evaluation, setting up all commercial arrangements and project management of individual projects.  Key achievements have included signing Dyson up as an EPSRC Strategic Partner, leading successful applications for government funding and the negotiation of the £5M Dyson Robotics Laboratory at Imperial announced this year.  The programme is continually looking to find new and exciting areas of science that could enable the next generation of Dyson products. 


Professor Roy Sandbach Innovation Strategy Lead at North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP)

Roy leads innovation strategy development for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. This responds to recommendations from the 2013 Lord Adonis review of the North East economy which recommended that the region become an exemplar for open innova-tion and smart specialisation.

Until 2012, Roy held senior global R&D positions with the Procter & Gamble Company, most recently in emerging economies. He has patents on several new-to-the-world products. One of these is a 100MM$ business in the United States.

For 2013/14, Roy was the 10th David Goldman visiting Professor of Innovation & Enterprise at Newcastle University. He has further visiting Professor positions with Northumbria University, Cranfield University and with Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design, London.

Roy is non-executive director of Arnia, a start-up business with leading edge technology designed to protect our endangered bee pop-ulation and is non-executive director with NCFE, the national vocational awarding body.

He is Fellow and Industry Council member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and is a business ambassador for NetPark, a physics-based science park in Durham.

Roy chairs the North East Prince’s Trust Leadership Group and is trustee to a number of charitable organisations, including the Centre for Life, a world-leading public science centre in Newcastle. Finally, he is a governor of Seaton Burn College, a pioneering secondary school and a patron of High Borrans outward bound centre.


Alfred Schillert Head of Board, TechnologieAllianz e.V.and Managing Director of PROvendis GmbH

Having graduated as a civil engineer, Alfred Schillert started his professional career with working for a highly innovative medium-sized high tech company in the sensors/ microelectronics sector. Here, he finally acted as an authorized representative and was in charge of the marketing sector.
Starting 1997 he worked as a consultant at ZENIT GmbH, a consulting firm for small and medium-sized technology oriented enterprises, responsible for technology marketing, innovation management, mediation of international cooperation partners, as well as for initial patent consulting.
When PROvendis GmbH was founded on October 24, 2001 he became managing director of the company. As central service provider, PROvendis is responsible for intellectual property right protection and commercialisation of patents for 24 universities and universities of applied science of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as for further research institutes.
Besides his position as the managing director of PROvendis, Alfred Schillert has been the head of board of the TechnologieAllianz e.V. since June 2004. This organization comprises 28 Patent Marketing agencies, which work for about 200 universities, universities of applied science as well as some research institutions in Germany with about 100.000 patent relevant scientists.


Professor James Wilsdon Chair, Campaign for Social Science and Professor of Science & Democracy, SPRU, University of Sussex

In December 2011, James joined the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, as Professor of Science and Democracy. He is also Director of The Nexus Network, a new ESRC-funded initiative, which aims to foster joined-up thinking, policy & practice on food, energy, water and the environment.

His research interests include the role of evidence & expertise in policymaking; the politics and practice of scientific advice; interdisciplinarity, particularly between natural and social sciences; science and innovation policy in the UK and China; the social science of the 'nexus'; and public engagement in research.

He has written for the Financial Times, Times Higher Education, Nature, China Daily, Green Futures, OpenDemocracy and Renewal. He is also part of the blogging team on the Guardian's 'Political Science' blog.


Mark Craighead, Head of Business Projects, Redx Anti-infectives Ltd

Mark initially trained as a Cell Biologist receiving a PhD from UCL in 1993 before working in academia for a number of years in New York and Manchester. In 2001 Mark took up a position with Organon focussing upon the optimisation of compounds in the area of CNS disorders such as depression and anxiety and it was here that he first got involved in working with academic collaborators. In 2011 Mark moved to, the then, fledgling Redx to coordinate outsourcing. In his years with Redx Mark has had a number of roles, all of which have involved a degree of interaction with external collaborators both industrial and academic. Mark took up his current role (focussing upon Anti-Infective research) in January of this year and is based at the new BioHub located within the Alderley Research Park.