The Board oversees the performance of the organisation and of each of the co-ordinating committees; Training, Conference and Member Services.
Dr David Secher and Ms Lita Nelsen, joint founders of Praxis, became Patrons of PraxisUnico in September 2012 in recognition of their exceptional and significant contribution to Praxis and PraxisUnico over the last 10 years (2002 - 2012).
Current Board members are:
Douglas graduated with First Class Honours from Aberdeen University, followed by PhD from the University of Wales in the early 80s. A research administration post at the University of Leeds, then led to management positions at Strathclyde, Nottingham and now Newcastle. He has a passion for seeing the fruits of research into application. His brief at Newcastle covers external research funding (£180m book value), research strategy and policy, patents, licensing, spin-out companies, support for international partnerships and economic impact of the University in the region. A quasi-public sector career has been interspersed at various times with Directorships of many young technology businesses including 9 years as a Director for a midlands based civil engineering consultancy. He is the higher education representative on the NE Transition Management Board looking at the implementation of new national systems of business support. Board memberships include NES General Partner Ltd (overseeing management of an investment fund), Alcyomics Ltd ( a University spin-out company), ASTEC Ltd, Codeworks Ltd (an ICT industrial network), Praxis Courses Ltd (Technology Transfer Training), Unico (the UK research commercialisation association), NUIB pte Ltd (Singapore), Clarizon Ltd (a University spin-out) and the Advisory Boards of a European Programme seeking to professionalise technology transfer training and, until early 2009, the Institute of Knowledge Transfer.
Richard lives in Cambridge and is Chief Executive of FD Solutions.
Richard is a chartered accountant. He qualified at Ernst & Whinney ( E&W) in Edinburgh in 1984 and moved to London with E&W ( now Ernst & Young). After a few years with The Arts Council and then Island Records he became Financial Controller of Samuelson Group plc and Finance Director of Samuelson Communications Ltd at the age of 28.
In 1990 he moved to Laserpoint Communications Ltd in Cambridge as Finance Director. In 1991 he was appointed as Managing Director as part of an agreement to put the company into administration. He restored its solvency and returned it to its founder a year later when he joined FD Solutions.
Since then he has developed particular expertise in manufacturing, food, technology and not-for-profit businesses, where he has reorganised and implemented systems to match the management’s needs and particularly improved cashflow. Richard’s most significant achievements in this period are:
- · Implemented a turnaround at an entrepreneurial manufacturing business from a loss-making operation to £35m turnover in four years, making £4m profit along the way. Richard managed the cashflow to targets negotiated with lenders & creditors, and improved systems for invoicing and reporting using Sage Line 100 and then Sage Enterprise.
- · Helped establish a VC-backed invoice discounting operation with turnover of £100m and a back-office of only 30, by designing and implementing a system based on Systems Union Sun. Richard then helped the same management team develop a European business.
- · Trebled the size of an NHS organisation by negotiating a contract with the Department of Health.
- · Reorganised the senior management of a small specialist engineering manufacturer turn around his business from loss making to profit making, groom the business for sale, complete a sale, then within 12 months complete a buyback and a few years later a further sale to a European manufacturer.
- · As co-founder of FD Solutions, Richard has overseen growth of the business from start-up to established provider of flexible finance director services. He also sits on the Finance and Taxation Committee of the BioIndustry Association.
Alison Campbell's career has largely been at the academic-industry interface, both in industry and the public sector. As an independent consultant, Alison specialises in academic/business collaboration and commercialisation. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning; project management; business development; and technology transfer. She also delivers training and development, nationally and internationally.
Most recently, as Managing Director for King's College London Business Ltd she ran research commercialisation and enterprise across the range of academic disciplines at the University. Her remit has included business development and collaboration, IP management, consultancy, out-licensing, start-up company creation, clinical trials, executive education, research management and capturing the impact of research and innovation. Previously Alison worked for the UK Medical Research Council, with responsibility for commercialisation of the intra-mural research programme. She has been Division Director within the MRC, Technology Transfer Group and was latterly CEO at MRC Technology. A graduate of University College London, she completed her PhD in chemical biology at Imperial College London and then moved into industry as a research scientist at Celltech Ltd.
Alison has served as a non-executive director of a number of high technology companies and is currently a non-executive director of PraxisUnico, the UK organisation that supports knowledge transfer and commercialisation, and Chair of its training committee. She led the merger of Praxis and Unico in 2009. Alison has acted as an adviser to a number of government agencies including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Research Councils UK, the BBSRC, JISC, Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.
Alison was awarded an OBE for services to Knowledge Transfer in 2010.
Prior to his role at Oxford, Phil occupied a number of roles at Bournemouth University, finishing off with Acting Head of the Centre for Research and Knowledge Transfer where he developed the IP management and Technology Transfer function, and was also responsible for the development and management of research.
In a previous life his PhD was in synthetic organometallic chemistry, but following a Royal Society postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Auckland, he became a research administrator at the University of Bath. He also spent time in Brussels working for UKRO, briefing UK universities on European Research Framework Programmes. In order to get a more relevant degree, he obtained a Masters in Intellectual Property Management from Bournemouth University.
Phil spent six years on the committee of ARMA, the Association of Research Managers and Administrators, latterly as deputy chair. As well as the PraxisUnico Board, he is also on the Member Services Committee. Phil has two small children, and his outside interests are now dictated by their social lives, rather than his own.
Dr O’Hare has a first class MA (hons) in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and a DPhil in Experimental Nuclear Physics from Oxford. She started her career as a Senior Analyst and Programmer in Network Services at AT&T and later worked at Syntegra as its Technology Appraisal Manager and in the Royal Mail Research Group where she was Head of Information Exploitation Research.
Her previous Enterprise post was at Reading where she established and headed up the Technology Transfer Office. She is a member of the Institute of Physics and the British Computer Society, and a Chartered IT Professional, Chartered Engineer, Registered Technology Transfer Professional and Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce.
At London Metropolitan University she was responsible for Enterprise strategy and HEIF funding, overseeing a team of 22 staff as well as income delivery of some £15M per annum. In addition, she managed a wide portfolio of Continuing Professional Development programmes, the Metropolitan Works Centre for digital design and manufacture and the Accelerator incubator and student hatchery amongst other things. She is also Chair of the Conference Committee of the PraxisUnico Board.
Patricia has been Head of Business Development at Royal Veterinary College since 2002, leading a team of six to develop all aspects of the College’s commercial interactions. In addition, she is Deputy Director and Company Secretary of the London BioScience Innovation Centre – the bio-incubator owned by the College.
Patricia has worked in technology transfer in the biosciences from academia to industry for nearly twenty years – originally at Imperial Cancer Research Fund, followed by a short time at British Technology Group, focusing there on marketing for the pharmaceutical group. She then joined Royal Postgraduate Medical School, managing consultancy; clinical trials; research collaborations; and technology licensing. In 1997, RPMS merged to become part of Imperial College. Patricia subsequently became Head of the Medical Sciences Team of the merged technology transfer companies – IC Innovations Limited, which concentrated activities in spin-out creation.
Patricia has a BSc in Biochemistry and previously worked in research administration, scientific public relations and marketing.
Stuart is currently Spin-Out Company Development Manager at University of Strathclyde his responsibilities inlcude:
- Managing the University’s portfolio of shareholdings, valued at over £5m in 40+ companies, including spin-outs.
- Managing the spin-out process for over 40 opportunities, many of which have resulted in thriving spin-out companies.
- Writing, advising and managing successful bids for over £6m of public sector commercialisation funding, including the £4m Synergy Fund, formed in 1999.
- Negotiating and managing the exit process for University shares in 6 spin-out companies, raising over £1.5m for the University.
- Working with a variety of venture capitalists, business angels, banks and professional advisers on financial and other support for new and existing companies.
- Developing and managing the £550,000 Technology Talent Initiative, which funds three Glasgow-based Universities to contract with Chief Executive Designates of pre-start spin-out companies, and which has led to the creation of 9 spin-out companies, which have in turn raised over £3m of seed funding.
David Secher is an independent consultant in the areas of research commercialisation, intellectual property and technology transfer - in the UK and internationally. Recent assignments include work in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Chile, Lebanon, Jordan, Mexico and Europe. He is based in the University of Cambridge and is a Life Fellow and Senior Bursar of Gonville and Caius College. In 2002, together with Lita Nelsen of MIT, he founded Praxis (now PraxisUnico), the leading UK technology transfer training organisation and he has served as chairman or as a director of that company since then. For his contributions to creating "environments that favour enterprise, specialising in the practical aspects of commercialising the results of academic research", he received the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2007. In 2012, along with Lita Nelsen, he was appointed to the new position of Patron of PraxisUnico
Previous roles include Chief Executive of the N8 Research Partnership (a collaboration of the eight most research-intensive universities in the North of England); Director of Research Services, University of Cambridge; Director of Drug Development, Cancer Research Campaign (now Cancer Research UK); and Director of Monoclonal Therapeutics, Celltech Ltd. As a consultant, he has advised universities, governments and individuals on commercialisation of intellectual property, as well as acting as a non-executive director of high technology and investment companies.
David graduated from the University of Cambridge (Churchill College) with first class honours in biochemistry. His PhD work at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology was with the late César Milstein (Nobel Prize-winner for discovery of monoclonal antibodies). Together with Derek Burke, David made and patented the first monoclonal antibody to human interferon.
David Secher (together with Ms Lita Nelsen) became a Patron of PraxisUnico in September 2012 in recognition of his exceptional and significant contribution to Praxis and PraxisUnico over the last 10 years (2002 - 2012).
Trustee, Malcolm Skingle CBE
Director of Academic Liaison, GlaxoSmithKline
Malcolm Skingle has a BSc in Pharmacology/Biochemistry and a PhD in Neuropharmacology. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 35 years and has gained a wide breadth of experience in the management of research activities. Part of his former role as a research leader in a Neuropharmacology department involved co-supervising collaborations with academics in the UK, Europe and USA. He has more than 60 publications including articles on the interface between industry and academia.
For more than a decade he has managed Academic Liaison at GSK managing staff in Stevenage, Research Triangle Park and Philadelphia. His role involves close liaison with several groups outside the Company e.g. Government Departments, Research and Funding Councils, Small Biotechnology Companies and other science-driven organisations. He sits on many external bodies including the NC3R’s Board, the CBI academic liaison group and several UK University Department advisory groups. He also chairs several groups including a regional Science and Industry Council, the Diamond (Synchotron) Industrial Advisory Board, the Inner Core Lambert working group on boilerplate agreements and the ABPI group working on academic liaison.
Malcolm has also been awarded a CBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of his contribution to the pharmaceutical industry as well as an Honorary Professorship from the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and an honorary DSc from the University of Hertfordshire.