Discovery Park, one of the UK’s leading science parks has announced a number of changes to its senior management team to drive forward the site’s future growth and development.

The new team will provide additional insight, experience and knowledge of the life science sector that will support the evolution of Discovery Park as a global centre for the life sciences and technology and ensure that it remains a significant force for years to come.

Mayer Schreiber, part of the investment consortium which purchased Discovery Park in November 2016, takes over as CEO, having previously been Head of Investment and Strategy. Toby Hunter, previously CEO, will remain as senior consultant overseeing a number of key projects linked to the site’s future development.

Dr Martino Picardo was the first CEO of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst in Hertfordshire, an ambitious concept to develop an incubator and accelerator for science business.  He joins Discovery Park as Chairman of a newly formed Board of Directors, bringing insights from more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector.

Mark Pettler has vast experience and a great track record in delivering robust and resilient operational services. He joins the Board of Directors as Chief Operating Officer, and will be overseeing the smooth running of the site and its facilities, and ensuring the site is capable of facilitating future growth.

Amanda Lennon joins as Head of Strategy and Innovation. She has a remit to create a strategy for growth that includes international and national collaborations, innovation and entrepreneur support programmes. Amanda will be supported by interim Head of Business Development, Graham Howieson in raising Discovery Park’s profile as a key UK and global centre for both life sciences and technological innovation.

Speaking about the changes, Mayer Schreiber, said:

“Since I joined Discovery Park in November 2016 my focus has been to further enhance Discovery Park’s offer as a global centre of excellence for science research and innovation – from startup right through to full scale production.

“The time is now right to  bring  new expertise to our management team to help drive Discovery Park’s future growth and develop its full potential.

“The new team brings a lot of experience in life sciences; pharma development and the convergence of complimentary sectors as well as operational delivery. It will allow the continued development of this fantastic science community, further facilitating growth for the park and also delivering robust and resilient operational services.”

“I am delighted to welcome Martino Picardo to Discovery Park. He will be joining the Board as Chairman driving strategic growth to Discovery Park. He has a lot of experience with an excellent reputation in the industry. I am very much looking forward to working with Martino as we continue on this exciting journey.”

Martino Picardo, speaking about his new appointment as Chairman, added:

“It is a truly exciting time to be joining Discovery Park. I am looking forward to working with Mayer and his Executive team to deliver what is a truly visionary plan for the park.

“I’m also looking forward to the creation of the Board, to help in the delivery of the vision and to meeting as many staff, tenants and stakeholders in the near future.”

The brief for the new look management team is to build on the successes of the past, which has seen Discovery Park grow from five companies to 150+ creating over 3,000 jobs in five years.  Renewed focus will be placed on providing the right environment for the needs of today’s life science and complimentary sector companies, such as Big Data and AI, given that technology continues to influence global trends, opportunities and business models significantly.

Mayer, continued:

“We are working on a strategy and masterplan, which will be published later on this year. This will outline how we plan to further develop the site, and develop our community, which will facilitate collaboration and great science.

“Our hope is that our development plan will bring significant economic benefits and jobs to East Kent and contribute to the wider support for the life sciences sector, recognised by politicians at local and national level as a key driver for economic success both here in the South-East and for UK plc.

For the new CEO the one thing that has struck him in his time at Discovery Park is the passion people have for the place and the positive and supportive environment. He sees that collaborative spirit and supportive ecosystem as key to the site’s future success.

“This is no ordinary commercial property space. What is unique about Discovery Park is the environment with businesses sharing and working together for the benefit of each other,” he said.

“We want to further enhance Discovery Park’s reputation as a leading world class facility. We are looking to provide a vibrant and more diverse strong ecosystem that our companies can benefit from and have easy access to. That includes an accelerator and bio-incubator programme which will allow start ups to have stronger chances of successes – from developing their initial concept and raising capital right through to production.”

Submitted on 06/06/2018