The strategic direction of the Association is determined by a nine person Board, elected by the UKSPA membership alongside UKSPA’s Chief Executive.
John Leake – Chair
John is Business Growth Director for Sci-Tech Daresbury, one of the national science and innovation campuses in the UK. He worked for Unilever, ICI and Ineos over a period of 15 years in a variety of roles in engineering, sales, marketing & global business management both in the UK & USA.
He moved to Sci-Tech Daresbury in 2006 with responsibility for attracting the critical mass of companies to the campus, delivering the support programmes to help these companies grow and developing strategic partnerships with local, regional and national organisations. The campus now is home to a community of 150 science and technology companies from start-up companies to international corporates such as IBM, Hitachi and Croda.
He is a member of the Liverpool City Region LEP Investment Board and has previously sat on the Liverpool City Region LEP Digital and Creative Sector Board and Cheshire and Warrington LEP Innovation Board. He is also member of the Advisory Board for fund:AI, a new investment fund focused specifically on early stage, high growth artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data science investment opportunities in the North of the UK.
James Chaffer – Chief Executive
James was appointed as Chief Executive of UKSPA in January 2022. Prior to this, he served as Operations Director for the University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP), where he was responsible for 100,000 sqft of office space for technology startups, spin-outs and SMEs.
James is an experienced technology professional, with an extensive background in financial and management software development. Prior to making the switch to running an innovation environment, he accumulated almost 25 years in the software industry, primarily providing management systems and consultancy services to innovation, incubation, science and technology park clients across the UK. During this time, he also served as a non-executive director of UKSPA for six years, representing the interests of Business Affiliates on the Board.
The ambition of the Association going forward is to enhance its standing and influence with national and local policy-makers, in order to further promote the significance of its Member locations to the national Innovation Strategy and future economic prosperity.
Rhian Hayward MBE – Vice Chair
Rhian joined AberInnovation as CEO in January 2017 and has led the construction of the £40.5m Campus and the development of initiatives that support early stage tenant businesses and entrepreneurs in food, bioprocessing, nutrition and agri-tech technology development. In recent years she has held various public appointments including membership of the Welsh Industrial Development Board for Welsh Government.
Previously Rhian founded a consultancy business to assist investors in the due diligence around technology-based businesses and before that accrued 25 years of experience in the commercialisation of life science technologies in the private and public sectors. Having held a variety of marketing and business development roles in university spin out companies during this time and technology transfer roles in the Higher Education sector, she was awarded the MBE for services to Entrepreneurship in Wales in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2016
Ian McFadzen – Company Secretary and Honorary Treasurer
Ian is Chief Executive of Plymouth Science Park and an experienced innovator and executive business leader with a proven record of delivering a range of high quality STEM outputs, gaining value from the triadic relationship between academia-industry-government.
Ian joined Plymouth Science Park Ltd as CEO in 2017 after enjoying 10 years at the University of Plymouth in a range of leadership roles, including Commercial Director and Head of the Marine Innovation Centre. During this time he helped establish the Brixham Laboratory; a former Astra Zeneca site now owned by the University of Plymouth and operating as a small science park.
His career began as a cell biologist at the Institute for Marine Environmental Research, where he enjoyed 14 years delivering research projects for UNEP, UNESCO, Unilever and a range of collaborative programmes across Europe. He conceived, incorporated and operated two technology-focussed companies, including Biovault Ltd a major accredited human tissue bank and stem cell repository; building investable management teams and raised blended finance portfolios.
Ian has held and continues to hold a number of NED and Trustee positions, including university spin-outs, the Ocean Conservation Trust and the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.
Dr Sally Basker – Director
Dr Sally Basker has been Chief Executive Office of Exeter Science Park Ltd (ESPL) – since March 2017, in which time she has created and implemented a scale-up business plan and strategy that has generated significant momentum and is on-track to grow ESPL threefold (200 – 700 client staff) by the end of FY2021.
Prior to being appointed CEO at ESPL, Sally had 15 years’ board/senior-level experience in the highly regulated aerospace, defence, navigation and nuclear sectors. This involved building teams and changing cultures, creating and implementing strategies for high-value science/technology products and services, delivering policy and strategy advice to private and public sector clients, and leading advocacy to minister-level globally.
Dr Glenn Crocker MBE – Director
Glenn Crocker is an experienced CEO, company founder, non-executive director and investor in the life sciences sector. He has been CEO of BioCity Group since mid-2003, shortly after it was founded.
He has a DPhil in Immunology from Oxford University and qualified as a chartered accountant with EY, focussing on working with biotech companies in Palo Alto, California and Cambridge, UK, where he headed up the UK Biotech practice for EY.
BioCity builds, funds and grows life science companies at its four incubator sites in the UK.
Glenn is a non-executive director of a number of companies and consults on business incubation, start-up creation and cluster growth. He has been directly involved in investing in life science companies through BioCity’s own or managed funds since 2006.
In 2014 Glenn received an MBE for services to the biotechnology industry.
Philip Macdonald – Director
Phil is the Managing Partner of Oberlanders and our Lead Partner for their Science and Research portfolio.
The Science and Research sector is a bedrock of the practice. Oberlanders became Business Affiliate members of UKSPA in 2017 and since then Phil has been a regular attendee and speaker at conferences and events. Phil has worked with the majority of current Scottish UKSPA members as well as leading projects on major science campuses in Cambridge, Oxfordshire and London. He has also provided consultancy work for major research facilities overseas.
Phil’s experience includes over 200,000 sqm of space for science and research, including laboratories for research and teaching, specialist cleanroom or licensed and controlled environments, as well as associated breakout and collaboration spaces. Clients have included public sector/institutional clients as well as developers and science park tenants.
Over the past 20 years he has seen the sector evolve and grow and has excellent insight into the current and future requirements of tenants. He understands the pressure and challenges of the ever-changing demands of scientific research and the need to create agile space in an efficient, affordable and environmentally sustainable manner.
Prashant Shah – Director
Prashant is the co-CEO and co-founder of the o2h group. He has led the design and execution of the Mill SciTech Park, an award-winning boutique renovation of a disused heritage site in Hauxton, Cambridge. The o2h group is headquartered in Cambridge, UK and has nurtured a footprint encompassing UK/USA and India.
As a serial entrepreneur from the dot-com era now covering life-science and tech, he co-founded a drug discovery company that was acquired by a major public company. He is an active ecosystem, community and culture builder. Interests include seed investing (a portfolio of almost 50 companies), services and product/IP development.
He holds various board positions including the Eastern Powerhouse, Techbio/Biotech NED and chair positions including Form the Future and is a Research Fellow of the Judge Business School.
Prashant began his career with the strategy group of Accenture in London. He is an author and has a BEng, an MSc, in which he worked on the Human Genome Program at the Sanger Centre. He also has an MPhil in Management from the Judge Institute, Cambridge University.
Jo Stevens – Director
Jo Stevens is Managing Director of Oxford Innovation with over 20 years’ experience of providing business development and incubation support to innovative, high growth companies. Prior to joining Oxford Innovation, Jo worked on several regeneration projects in the Thames Valley, developing opportunities for a range of social and community enterprises.
Appointed as Oxford Innovation’s Managing Director in 2017, Jo has previously had responsibility for the overall development of OI’s network of innovation centres. Jo led the research project looking at business survival and growth across 15 centres over a 10 year period, which was published in July 2014 and has also undertaken numerous feasibility studies for new innovation centres, undertaking site assessments, brand development, operating models and business plans for funding.
Grant Bourhill – Board Observer
Grant has worked in innovation throughout his career, in various sectors including space, low carbon energy, consumer electronics and defence. At Surrey Research Park, he is focussed on scaling companies, rejuvenating the Park for enhanced sustainability, and creating a vibrant innovation community across the region.
Previously, as CEO of Leicester Science Parks, he led the creation and delivery of a new £100m+ facility for the Space Sector. Before this, with the Energy Technologies Institute, he led the development of clean-energy products and services for the residential market. He also spent 8 years with Sharp, bringing several world-first consumer electronic products to market.
He holds an MBA from Oxford’s Saïd Business School.
Emily Roberts – Early Career Professional Board Observer
Emily has worked for Menai science park since 2013. From Caernarfon, North Wales, Emily graduated from Bangor University’s school of Psychology in 2009. She worked across Wales as a research project support officer, developing Welsh language measuring tools for young children.
Starting as an administrator back in the day, Emily is now the Operations and Customer Experience Manager for M-SParc. Emily believes strongly in ensuring there is a space for women in Science and Technology, and in providing services for young people in Wales to start their own businesses.
James Latham – Early Career Professional Board Observer
James Latham, MRICS, is a Director at Pioneer Group, where he is responsible for the asset and development management activities across various life science and high-tech campuses across the UK. Previously, James was Development & Leasing Director at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and prior to this, Associate Partner at Carter Jonas where James advised landlords, occupiers and developers in the Life Science and Technology sectors.
James has a first-class degree from the University of Reading in Land Management and has been a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) since 2013.