Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, CEO of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), thanks her colleagues and collaborators after being honoured in the 2021 New Year Honours list. Sally Ann has been awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to business and science.

A champion for the UK Life Sciences, Sally Ann has led the strategy, growth and development of a number of internationally recognised science clusters in the UK, most recently at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. Such vibrant ecosystems bring academics, entrepreneurs and major corporates together in a collaborative and supportive environment, helping companies to grow and deliver economic benefit to the UK, as recognised in the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

Sally Ann said: “It is a great honour and privilege to be awarded an OBE. I am passionate about the translation of leading UK science into world leading innovations that improve peoples’ lives. I am immensely grateful to all the colleagues and collaborators that I have worked with over the years for all of their support, generosity with their expertise and hard work to achieve this”.

Minister for Life Sciences Nadhim Zahawi said: “The UK’s thriving start-up and scientific research communities are the envy of the globe – they play a crucial role solving some of society’s biggest challenges and fuelling economic growth.

“Under Sally Ann’s leadership, science parks across the UK are bringing these brilliant minds together to develop vital therapies to treat, prevent and even cure diseases. I commend her on this well-deserved accolade.”

SBC Chair Professor Jackie Hunter, PhD, CBE, FMedSci commented: “Huge congratulations to Sally Ann. She is an outstanding leader and a role model for women in science.  This is a well-deserved honour that recognises her pioneering role to create some of the UK’s most important science clusters”.

After earning a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Cambridge, Sally Ann joined Unilever as a management trainee and later led Strategic Alliances and Open Innovation within the Unilever Foods and Discovery divisions. As part of the founding team of Unilever Technology Ventures Sally Ann gained further insight into the needs of growing companies. 

After Unilever, Sally Ann joined Goodman International as Director of Science Parks responsible for the development and management of their UK portfolio where she gained invaluable property experience. She has been responsible for the strategy, growth and development of leading UK science parks including Colworth Science Park, Harwell Oxford, Norwich Research Park and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. 

Jon Green, Board Director of SBC and Chairman of One Nucleus, the life sciences membership organisation for the Greater London-Cambridge-East of England corridor added, “Sally Ann has always been a great advocate for the UK Life Sciences Sector. I congratulate her on this award.  She has helped many early-stage companies capitalise on their ideas to become successful businesses in their own right. This work continues at SBC which has grown to become a leading location for investment in life science companies in the UK.”

Dr Glenn Crocker MBE, Chairman of UKSPA said, “I am delighted to see Sally Ann’s immense contribution to the science park movement recognised. Sally Ann fully understands what a significant role science parks play in the success of companies developing cutting edge technologies and indeed has been instrumental in creating some of the leading parks in the UK, most recently around the fast growing cell and gene therapy cluster in Stevenage.”

A supporter of collaborative working, Sally Ann is Director of the Hertfordshire Local Economic Partnership (LEP), Board member of the Stevenage Development Board and is a former Director of the UK Science Park Association (UKSPA), UK Smart Specialisation Hub, Oxfordshire LEP, Norwich Business School and the Quadram Institute. She has presented to a number of parliamentary select committees and served on Government advisory boards for both science and business.