Dr David J Hardman MBE - Chairman

Dr David Hardman

David is Chief Executive Officer of Birmingham Science Park Aston’s Innovation Birmingham Campus. Since arriving in late 2008, he has led the rebranding of the Park and the creation of the Campus strategy, in order to pave the way for the £35 million Digital Plaza development. Key to the strategy is integrating Innovation Birmingham’s activities into the city’s economic development plans

By embracing the opportunities offered by the latest ICT collaboration platforms, David is driving the concept of the ‘Science Park Without Walls’ by bringing in global support to drive Birmingham’s knowledge economy

Previously, David spent 10 years based in Cambridge leading the commercial development of the Babraham Research Campus, focused on support for healthcare and biotech translation and bio-ventures. David was awarded an MBE for services to science in 2009.

As a PhD microbiologist, his research interests were directed towards the application of microbes in what is now called clean technology, and as part of this work he co-founded a start-up 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 and creating appropriate partnerships and infrastructures to promote the development of knowledge-based businesses.mercial development of the Babraham Research Campus, focused on support for healthcare and biotech translation and bio-ventures. David was awarded an MBE for services to science in 2009.

David is also on the board of Birmingham Science City and Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP’s Business Support sub group.

George Walker

George Walker MRICS - Vice Chairman

George Walker, MRICS, is a General Practice Chartered Surveyor who spent twenty-five years working in the coal industry. He worked for British Coal until 1997, when as Principle Estates Surveyor for Scotland, he was involved in the sale of the core mining business and surplus land and property as part of the coal industry privatisation process.

George has been Park Manager at Pentlands Science Park for ten years and is responsible for all aspects of property and facilities management on the site and is a member of Moredun’s Senior Management Group.

He attended his first UKSPA Members’ Meeting at Sunderland in 2001 and has attended most meetings since.

George also currently serves on the Edinburgh Science Triangle Project Board is a multi-disciplinary partnership aiming to promote the city region as a world-class science destination. It is a pioneering collaboration of universities and research institutes, science parks, local authorities and the national economic development agency Scottish Enterprise.

George attended UKSPA Board meetings as Scottish ‘Observer’ for two years prior to election to the full Board in October 2008. George is currently Chair of the Scottish Science Parks Group which meets two or three times a year and provides a forum to discuss issues of specific relevance to the Association’s Members in Scotland and ensures that full account is taken of Scottish views and activities.

Mike Tock

Mark Tock, Honorary Secretary and Treasurer

Mark leads University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP) which, uniquely, is both on one of only four University Enterprise Zones and one of 6 UK Space Agency pilot incubator sites. UNIP is a profitable business supporting the growth of a community of over 100 tech-driven and knowledge-intensive organisations based within 11,000m2 of office space co-located with university research facilities.

Mark’s current responsibilities cover all aspects of property and facilities management, strategic development, developing business support, stakeholder management, business development, marketing and events.  Mark also provides advisory and mentoring support to developing incubators in Malaysia and China.

Since 2005 Mark has been led a number of incubation and science park projects and has been responsible for soft infrastructure, tenant relations, and strategic development at Liverpool Innovation Park (LIP), and Sheffield Bio incubator. He also briefly operated his own business support consultancy for Biotech and Healthcare start-ups.

Initially trained as an Applied Biological Scientist, mark holds a PhD in Biology (Genetics) from Leeds and followed a research career until gaining his MBS from Edinburgh Management School. Mark also holds a PG Cert for Business Incubation, Coaching, and Mentoring from Huddersfield. 

James Chaffer, Director

James ChafferJames is Product Director of UKSPA CLARITY, the Association’s unique software tool designed to facilitate the management of Science Parks, Technological Innovation Centres and Business Incubation Environments.

With a degree in Software Engineering from The University of Sheffield, James started work at local IT company ra Information Systems (ra-is) in 1996, and has been involved in numerous database projects, ranging from cemetery management and tree management to accounting and stock control.

However, his primary focus for the past 12 years or more has been the management of multi-occupant buildings, initially looking at commercial serviced offices before switching the focus to innovation-led environments.

This work has culminated in the development of UKSPA CLARITY, which aims to be a single software solution for the management of the sales pipeline, space occupancy, rent & service billing, conferencing, tenant surveys, assets, repairs & maintenance, contract management, visitor security, digital signage and financial & KPI reporting.

James has been an active member of UKSPA since 2007, working closely with many of the current membership to help them implement efficient software systems, as well as assisting the executive team with data management.

He has also travelled abroad to represent UKSPA, most recently in Scandinavia and China.  He can invariably be found at Members’ Meetings and other events, where he is always available to discuss both the benefits of UKSPA Clarity and more general membership issues applicable to Business Affiliates.

Dr Sally Ann Forsyth - Director

Sally ann Forsyth

Sally Ann was appointed as Chief Executive Office of Norwich Research in September 2013.  The aim of the role is to bring the Partners together, develop the proposition and grow the Park to its full potential as a world class science park.

Her previous role was Director of Science Parks for Goodman Limited, the major Business and Science Park developer in the UK.  As part of this role, she is Director for Harwell Oxford, a joint venture between STFC, UKAEA and Goodman and Colworth Science Park, a joint venture between Unilever and Goodman.  At Harwell she was responsible for the establishment of the Oxford Enterprise Zone, inward investment by Element 6 (De Beers) and the European Space Agency that led to the establishment of the UK Space Satellite Catapult Centre.

Prior to joining Goodman, Sally Ann was Principal with Unilever Ventures where she focused on technology spin outs and led Unilever’s activity to develop best practice in open innovation. 

With more than 19 years experience within Unilever operating companies Sally Ann has undertaken a range of roles including Head of Technology Licensing and Strategic Alliances for Unilever Bestfoods, Internal Consultant and External Research Programme Leader.

Sally Ann holds a BSc (Hons) in genetics from Edinburgh University and a PhD in molecular biology from Cambridge University.  She started her career  through the Unilever management trainee scheme and is a qualified Chartered Global Management Accountant.  

Graham Hewson - Director

Graham HewsonGraham joined Imperial Innovations as the Incubator Manager in 2010. He is responsible for the day to day running of the facility working closely with spinouts and companies renting laboratory and office space from the College.

Graham organises events to support the businesses while also helping connect companies with industry experts to help their businesses grow. He provides support to the organic growth spin outs through the Innovations start up packages, helping these companies set up bank accounts, branding and websites.

He has been working in Incubation for over 10 years and has previously managed a successful digital media Incubator in London’s Tech City. Graham has a MBA from the London Metropolitan Business School.

Tracey Smith - Director

Tracey SmithTracey Smith is managing director of York Science Park Ltd (YSPL) and her tenure their spans eight years, three of them at the helm.

Tracey manages a growing team and 137,000 sq.ft. of specialist space including the Innovation, Bio and IT Centres and grow-on space for larger companies at Enterprise House.

In addition the portfolio has grown to include The Catalyst, embedded space on University of York's new Heslington East campus, which provides space for digital, IT, media and creative companies, and Springboard which is located within the Ron Cooke Hub and provides a low cost start-up solution for early-stage companies.

As a member of the Institute of Directors, and committee member for the North Yorkshire branch, Tracey completed the Diploma in Company Direction, and has mentoring experience with a passion for facilitating the growth of business, improving performance and developing people. Tracey is a director of York Professionals and is also a member of the Young Enterprise North Yorkshire Board supporting Young Enterprise within York and North Yorkshire.

Tracey's role as MD involves working with the YSPL board on the strategy and direction for YSPL in order to facilitate the development and management of the space. Opportunities for knowledge- sharing and transfer are actively promoted ensuring collaboration between the commercial companies and the University of York.

Mike Herd - Director

Mike HerdMike Herd is the Executive Director of the Sussex Innovation Centre, a business incubator that is based on the University of Sussex campus in Brighton. Anothert opened  at No1 Croydon in 2015 and a third site will open in central Brighton in 2017.

Mike has worked closely with the centre’s members since it was formed in 1996, building relationships with local investors, academics, funding bodies and technical experts.

Mike won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2013 and has worked to develop over 300 businesses based at the centre and supported many hundreds more.  In that time over 30 of these busineses raised investment of more than 1 million GBP, with many more achieving healthy exits through trade sales or flotation.

Dave Hockton

Dave Hockton - Director

Dave Hockton is Senior Operations Manager at MIRA Technology Park an 842 acre transport cluster based in Leicestershire.  Dave manages the day to day operation of the park, the management of the property portfolio and the rapidly increasing tenant base.

MIRA Technology Park is home to some of the world’s leading transport based vehicle manufacturers and tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers to the automotive, aerospace, rail and defence industries including the Horiba-MIRA Engineering and Testing businesses.

With outline planning permission for 2M ft2 of development and Enterprise Zone status the park has been transformed over the last six years into a campus style environment attracting investment from both private and public sectors.

With 20 years’ experience in the MIRA, Horiba-MIRA and MIRA Technology Park businesses with a professional background in IT followed by a career change into Property and Estate Management in 2009, Dave has led the operational development of the park including speculative developments creating office, laboratory and workshop spaces with occupancy levels in excess of 98%.

Prior to joining MIRA Dave spent time running IT departments in the Higher Education sector at DeMontfort University and in the telecoms industry at GEC Plessey Telecommunications and also a spell as a self-employed IT consultant during the dotcom boom.

Dave holds a Master’s degree in Computing from DeMontfort University, is a member of the British Computer Society and a Chartered IT professional.