Investment Committee Chair
Andrew has spent the last 15 years working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the UK and has extensive experience in most aspects of these businesses, including compliance, manufacturing, research and development and licensing. He spent from 2002 to 2006 as a Board Director of AIM listed company Allergy Therapeutics plc, which he helped to take to market. He is an experienced angel investor and and also a Director of The OpShop, which helps provide strategic options and opportunities for start-ups and SME’s.
Debra draws on her experience as an engineer in the mining industry, a strategic marketing consultant, a business owner and exited entrepreneur to deliver clarity of thinking and strategic direction to the governance and advisory boards on which she sits. In addition to her board work, she mentors young entrepreneurs, trains aspiring directors of early stage companies, and invests in start-up businesses in the high growth / technology space supporting the growth of NZ Inc.
CEO AUT Enterprise / Director Commercialisation
Steve leads the university in developing and promoting innovation and commercialisation both nationally and internationally. He is also Director of Perceptive - a leading market research company in NZ. Steve’s previous roles include the CEO of ecentre, the Business Development Centre at Massey University Auckland, which specialises in helping people take their ideas from Garage to Global.
Chief Executive Officer of Viclink Ltd
Prior to becoming CEO, Anne spent four years growing and developing the IP and Commercialisation team within Viclink as General Manager of Commercialisation, taking it from a team of one to a team of many, driving process and a significant increase in the numbers of disclosures. A physical scientist by training, Anne is passionate about bringing science, technology and society together.
Anne's career has focused largely on business development and science commercialisation activities for organisations such as Creative HQ (Wellington’s business incubator), the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and Izon Science Ltd, a nanotechnology start-up. She has also successfully run her own business providing marketing, business development and strategic consulting services for science and high-tech sectors.
Commercial Director, Research & Innovation, University of Canterbury
Bill is Commercial Director, Research and Innovation, at the University of Canterbury, and leads a team providing technology transfer services to the UC faculty. He has extensive business experience, both as an owner-operator and in senior management roles across a range of industries, including farming, food processing, insurance and finance, manufacturing (both heavy and high-tech.), property development, and retailing. He also has a long and wide experience as an Independent Company Director and is an Accredited Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors.
Plant & Food Research
Dr Gavin Ross has a deep understanding of biotechnology R&D, particularly in the Crown Research environment. He began his career as a research scientist studying the molecular biology of fruit ripening. In 1988 he joined HortResearch (now Plant & Food Research) as a research scientist and in the late 1990s was central to the establishment of genomics research for major horticultural crops, now integral to the Institute’s scientific programmes. After several years with Genesis R&D Corporation, in 2005 Gavin was appointed as HortResearch’s first Vice President Business Development in the USA. Here he was responsible for building the Institute’s US business and liaising with US-based clients and collaborators. In 2010, Gavin returned to New Zealand and is now the Group General Manager Marketing & Innovation. He is also the Chair of Plant & Food Research’s internal Investment Committee, which is responsible for investing the Institute’s Core Purpose funding from Government. During his career, Gavin has established an international reputation in plant molecular biology and fruit science, and has a strong network of science and industry contacts across New Zealand and the USA.
Dr Andrew Kelly is one of Australia-New Zealand’s most experienced life science investment managers. He is Managing Director and co-founder of BioPacificVentures, a specialist venture capital fund focused on food, health& agriculture. The fund had the New Zealand Government’s Venture Investment Fund as a cornerstone investor as well as the world’s largest food company, Nestlé, and New Zealand’s largest agribusiness, PGG Wrightson. It is a regular co-investor with Europe-based Inventages, the world’s largest investor in this space with over US$1.5 billion under management. Recently Andrew has co-founded BioPacific Partners, a new generation venture firm bringing global life science companies to engage with local innovation.
The first 20 years of Andrew’s career were in science and product development, including General Manager at AgResearch, New Zealand and Director of two research institutes in Australia. He has both Masters and PhD degrees in the life sciences.
Otago Innovation Ltd
David is an experienced commercialisation manager, having worked in the broad area of University technology commercialisation since 2004; much of his current commercialisation focus is around diagnostic biomarkers, physical medical devices and ICT opportunities. Prior to joining Otago Innovation in 2007, David spent a period of time as a Business Manager with FRST, and the University of Otago where he was the Acting Director Enterprise. During this latter period his focus was on the early identification of commercially valuable IP, as well as building the University’s applied research focus. David also has a background in banking and finance, having spent 13 years with the BNZ in the personal and commercial banking environments. David is the Otago Innovation shareholder representative for KiwiNet as well as being a member of the KiwiNet Investment Committee. He also serves on the board of two Otago Innovation spinout companies.
General Manager Marketing & Partnerships - Scion
Arron Judson is General Manager of Marketing and Partnerships at Scion. He has 25 years’ experience in industry with senior management roles at Toshiba and Ericsson. From 2001 he worked with start-ups in NZ, US and Asia, including GeoVector Corporation. Arron is co-owner of Astrolab a tech focused incubator in Auckland. He’s also been involved with public research working for 5 years as the Innovation Manager at the University of Auckland. He sat on the Return on Science ICT Investment Committee for five years and currently Chair Scion’s Commercialisation Committee, sit on Scion’s PreSeed Investment Committee. Arron also works actively within the start-up community as a Director, advisor and mentor.
Commercial Manager ESR
Keeping up with new and emerging technology is a constant challenge for any business. Commercial Manager Hamish Findlay says ESR is no exception and the Crown research institute is constantly monitoring developments across a wide range of sectors. “We know that we already have fantastic knowledge and experience here so our focus is on how to apply that to products and projects that will benefit our customers and help them achieve their goals,” Hamish says. Hamish says it’s important for ESR to utilise its own resources, networks and expertise to lead new developments and work with other organisations.
“It’s not just staying across new products and packages but also how people are innovating and adapting, often in ways and places outside their original intent or design.
“Being open to new technology and new partners is very important to us as we look to regularly meet and exceed the expectations of our customers,” Hamish says.
Director, Research Management Office at Lincoln University
Kevin’s background includes research management, new product development (NPD), product management and technology commercialisation. He has experience in the contexts of both commercial and research organisation environments, ranging from start-ups to corporates; and in both private and public sectors.
Kevin’s exposure to a broad range of industry sectors, through engagements and client projects enables him to translate effectively between commercial and science / technical audiences and deliver commercial outcomes from research programmes. Prior to joining Lincoln University, Kevin also worked with Lincoln Agritech Ltd, BioCommerce Centre, Syft Technologies and Landcare Research, amongst others.
Director of the Research and Enterprise, University of Waikato
Simon is the Director of the Research and Enterprise Office at the University of Waikato, leading and managing the operation and functioning of the combined research and enterprise office. The combined office spans the full range of research and enterprise activity from investigator-led and mission led external research contracting and consultancy to industry-led external research contracting, and protecting and commercialising intellectual property generated by staff and students of the University. Simon is responsible for integrating these activities to maximise research and enterprise opportunities and performance for the University. He also provides operational support to the DVC Research and leadership in implementing the University’s research strategy, and leadership of the University’s central research, innovation and commercialisation support infrastructure.
Partnerships & Programmes Director, AgResearch
Stu Hall was appointed as Partnerships & Programmes Director in August 2017. Prior to commencing at AgResearch, Stu spent the previous eight years with ANZCO Foods, the past four as General Manager Sales and Marketing with global responsibility for commercial activity. Prior to ANZCO Foods, Stu spent 15 years with DB Breweries in a number of sales & commercial roles, the last of which was National Sales Manager. Stu’s key areas of experience include sales & marketing execution, leadership and strategy development.
Biotechnology R&D Leader, Callaghan Innovation
Andrew leads biotechnology R&D at Callaghan Innovation, including natural product, food and beverage and agriculture. He has a background in materials science, microfabrication and optics.
Investment and Contract Manager Cawthron Institute
Robert heads Cawthron's research investment activities. His role involves matching research with end-users, identifying new business opportunities and working with scientists and investors to realise those opportunities. Robert also leads Cawthron's responses to major Government investment rounds and keeps stakeholders informed of research progress and outcomes. He strongly believes that an open, collaborative approach is key to achieving the best outcomes for New Zealand.