Innovation Advisory Board

The Innovation Advisory Board (IAB) advises NERC on its strategy for strengthening the delivery of economic growth and other societal benefits (impact) from its research and innovation investments.

The board helps us find the most effective ways to engage stakeholders, translate research and support innovation. IAB also monitors and evaluates the effectiveness and impacts of NERC innovation investments.

The IAB meets three times a year and supports NERC Council, through the director responsible for innovation, by providing non-executive strategic advice and advocacy.

IAB members come from a range of industry sectors, government departments and civil society. Current membership comprises:

Dr Davies gained a first class degree in Natural Sciences (Physics) and then a PhD in Materials Science at the University of Cambridge before joining ICI in operations. Progressive leadership roles in the chemicals, steel and cement industries, serving the textiles, energy, automotive, engineering and construction sectors, were followed by a move into the support services sector in 2005, providing environmental and facilities management services.

As managing director and chief executive of three businesses in the sector, Stewart delivered both strategic direction and operational performance in the context of increasing awareness of environmental limits for customers and supply chains. He served as business commissioner of the Sustainable Development Commission (2006-2010), as member of the Governing Board of Innovate UK (2009-2015), chairing its Resource Efficiency Steering Group, and board member of Decom North Sea (2013-2016). He is currently chairman of the Environmental Services Association and is a fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Mr Allison is Global Head of Mott MacDonald's Climate Resilience Initiative. In the last three years he has developed and promoted Mott MacDonald's response to the issues surrounding climate change and the management of the impacts, both in terms of institutional and infrastructure interventions. Mr Allison's team focuses on the means of improving the resilience of infrastructure and society in general and on the means of financing the huge commitments which flow from the Paris Agreement.

With an operational background, Mr Allison has over 35 years' experience in the development of essential infrastructure in the water supply and wastewater sectors and in risk and uncertainty management. His understanding of the risks and opportunities associated with project finance, and the mechanisms by which public sector support can leverage private debt and investment has seen him advise government clients, private financial institutions and developers on public-private collaborations, having steered a number of water sector project finance schemes to successful completion.

Mr Allison has also advised a number of European clients on the institutional aspects of delivering safe and effective utility services and in how to tackle underinvestment in asset systems.

Dr Baker completed a PhD in hydrogeology in 1994, before joining AEA Technology to undertake consultancy, principally for the nuclear industry, focusing on the migration and remediation of radioactive and non-radioactive contaminants in the environment.

In 2003, Adrian joined the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (Dstl), an executive agency of the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). He led aspects of the MOD depleted uranium research programme and investigated the impacts on the environment of military related contaminants. In 2007, he became chief scientist for the Environmental Sciences Department of Dstl, with responsibility for the scientific and technical management of a unit of 250 people. This role included responsibility for technical quality, capability management, innovation, intellectual property and impact. In 2015, Adrian became a fellow of Dstl, one of the most senior scientific roles in the organisation. He is currently engaged in gaining impact for the MOD from environmental science and technology developments in academia and industry, with particular focus on marine autonomous systems and resilience.

In 2011, Adrian joined the Science & Innovation Strategy Board (now the Science Board) of NERC. He spent four years on this board providing strategic advice to NERC on science and programme issues. He also contributed to the development of NERC's capital plans through membership of the Joint Capital Advisory Group.

Dr Buckley-Golder is Innovate UK's Head of Research Engagement, with responsibility for developing and managing the organisation's relationships across the spectrum of UK research organisations and funding bodies; securing stronger connectivity across the science and innovation landscape; increasing business engagement with the UK research base; and enhancing the mechanisms for accelerating the successful commercialisation of ideas arising from UK academic research.

Debbie graduated in physics from Durham University, followed by a DPhil from Oxford University Materials Department funded through a CASE Award. She followed her studies by working for a period in the corporate research laboratories of Metal Box Ltd, but subsequently has spent the largest part of her career to date working in the public and private sector on energy and environmental technology analysis, advising UK and European government on technology research investment, policy development, analysis and implementation. Whilst working for AEA Technology plc, Debbie progressed to senior management positions, including as technical director for the National Environmental Technology Centre and operations director of a key business unit within the company, providing services to clients on safety, environment and business risk management.

Building on her experience of working at the interface between business, academia and government, Debbie joined the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) in 2010 as Head of Knowledge Exchange, with responsibility for the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Programme (KTP) and the Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs). In September 2013, Debbie moved to her current role as head of research engagement.

From 2006-2010 Debbie was a visiting industrial fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA), and a member of the Science & Technology Facilities Council Innovation Advisory Board.

Professor Chapman is professor of climate resilience at the University of Birmingham and the Director of Knowledge Transfer in the College of Life & Environmental Sciences. Lee is an academic who has built virtually his entire career on knowledge exchange activities and is passionate about the increasingly important role that universities need to play in contributing to economic and social impact.

After successfully setting up and selling on a university spin-out company based on his PhD studies, Lee has spent the last 15 years engaging extensively with industry via a number of co-designed research projects to improve the weather and climate resilience of UK infrastructure. Something of a serial entrepreneur, he is once again in the process of commercialising his most recent award winning work based around the emerging Internet of Things.

A retailer through and through, Mr Gillies previously worked for Kingfisher plc as Group Sustainability Director responsible for corporate affairs, government affairs and 'Net Positive' - the group's quest to become a restorative business. He also spent 29 years at Marks & Spencer, in a variety of disciplines including stores across the UK and Canada, HR, planning, facilities, store design and procurement. His last five years saw him become the main driver and inspiration behind Plan A.

Richard is on the advisory boards of Living With Environmental Change (LWEC), a partnership that funds, carries out and uses environmental research and observations to ensure that decision-makers in government, business and society have the knowledge, foresight and tools to mitigate, adapt to and benefit from environmental change; Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), an organisation working with business to create a just and sustainable world; and Critical Eye, an organisation providing a safe and trusted environment in which leaders can collaborate to share knowledge, solve problems and gain perspective on a diverse range of business issues.

Mr Griffiths is currently Director of the Met Office Business Group, which delivers services to industry, working at the forefront of weather and climate science for protection, prosperity, and well-being. He also holds a non-executive role on the board of NEMS CBS Ltd, a not-for-profit company that holds contracts to deliver NHS services on behalf of commissioning groups.

He started his working life in 1982 as a graduate chemist at ICI and then moved into mainly commercial roles in marketing, purchasing and international planning. He moved to Ohio USA in 1994 as part of the management team of an ICI start-up business. He returned to the UK in 1996 to lead ICI's Automotive Paints Technology & Marketing group up until the business was sold to a US competitor in 1999.

At this point Mr Griffiths moved to ICI's Engineering Services business to help manage its divestment to the Swiss-Swedish engineering ABB group and he then transferred to ABB to lead the post-acquisition change programme. He left ABB in 2001 to join a subsidiary of National Grid as Director of Marketing & Business Development which included responsibility for the business unit in China. In 2007, Mr Griffiths managed the transfer of the subsidiary from National Grid to the Hamburg-based Germanischer Lloyd company and then led the post-acquisition programme. He left Germanischer Lloyd in 2008 to set up his own consulting business working with clients in UK, Germany, Netherlands and China until re-entering the corporate world at the Met Office in 2010.

Since being at the Met Office, Mr Griffiths has been involved in a number of industry initiatives with partner organisations in transport, energy and media markets. Throughout his career, he has worked for organisations strong in science and engineering to bring their capabilities to market.

Dr Jensen is Chief Executive of UKWIR Ltd which develops and procures a common research programme on behalf of UK water operators addressing one voice issues. Dr Jensen has been in this role for over five years. He started his career as a geologist working on earthquake research in southern California and later in geothermal energy research. He spent three years researching the degradation of materials in sea water environments particularly relating to the North Sea oil structures.

Dr Jensen subsequently spent over 20 years working in the electricity industry initially addressing safety cases for nuclear reactors, as Station Chemist at Tilbury power station and then National Power's environment planning engineer engaged in negotiating emissions with regulators. He spent a period in trading electricity and fuels, followed by a period in international business development. His most recent positions were as Head of Environment and Head of Research & Innovation at RWE.

Mr Kass commenced his career as a government scientist, working on air pollution. He then spent nine years as an environmental consultant, undertaking a wide range of environmental assessment and other environmental planning activities. Gary moved into the public sector in 1995, becoming head of the environment and energy programme at the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology. Gary spent three years as a policymaker, working as assistant director in the Science & Society Directorate of the Office of Science & Innovation in the (then) DTI. In this role, he established and led a programme to engage members of the public in constructive dialogue on new and emerging areas of science and technology, and a programme of research to explore public attitudes towards science, engineering and technology.

Gary joined Natural England (NE) in 2007, shortly after it was created. He is principal specialist in strategic futures, leading the design and delivery of a programme of futures-oriented analysis and synthesis on a range of issues that could affect the future of England's natural environment. In this role, Gary played key roles in both the National Ecosystem Assessment and the formulation of the Natural Environment White Paper. In April 2013, Gary also became Deputy Chief Scientist, driving leadership in science and evidence across the organisation. In addition to supporting work to assure the quality, relevance and impact of Natural England's science and evidence, he has a particular role in helping to ensure that the science and evidence professions in NE are as effective as they can be.

In February 2016, Gary took an interim position as Defra's Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, setting up and leading the Chief Scientific Adviser's (CSA) Office, ensuring that Defra has access to the evidence, expertise and scientific advice it needs to support policy development and implementation. He also established an 'innovation incubator' within the CSA's Office to bring through new and emerging technologies, such as earth observation and data science.

Gary is a visiting professor at the University of Surrey, working with the Centre for Environmental Strategy.

Gary is a chartered scientist, fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and fellow and vice-chair of the Institution of Environmental Sciences.

Mr Middleton is a business leader of energy, insight and intuition. His experience spans the running of major industrial redevelopments, high-value insurance in the City, taking a company from seed to sale, and creating a business area that blends commerce, academia and high-tech modelling. He has been a director of environmental consultancies for over a decade and currently helps organisations gain the most benefits from nature (ecosystem services).

A joint-honours degree in physics and earth science was complimented by a masters in engineering to give Mr Middleton a deep understanding of numbers, a problem-solving attitude and innate creativity. He has written numerous articles on a broad range of environmental topics, but including climate change risk and mitigation, the circular economy and global sustainability. Mr Middleton was voted one of the 20 top eco heroes of 2010, alongside Prince Charles, Bill Gates and Al Gore. He is a chartered environmentalist.

Dr Owen's career has spanned private, public and voluntary sector organisations and she has a track record of achievement in developing and delivering projects to support more sustainable development.

Dr Owen was the lead commissioner for local and regional issues with the UK Sustainable Development Commission from 2005-2011, working with the politicians and executives of the UK and its devolved governments. An engineer by training, Dr Owen has been working in the field of sustainable development since 1991. She has first-hand experience of the chemical industry and of waste management operations. From 1996-1998, Dr Owen was an NGO project manager on a wide range of environmental education projects internationally. She first worked in the public sector as Head of Conservation and Policy at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, from 1998-2001. In 2001, she established the sustainable development team in Yorkshire Forward, one of nine English regional development agencies. Dr Owen has also established and run her own freelancing consultancy businesses and has worked for the Environment Agency in policy development. Dr Owen led consultancy firm Arup's sustainability consulting work from Leeds for five years before joining the University of Leeds to undertake an EPSRC-funded PhD exploring the factors that affect the diffusion of green technologies.

Dr Owen currently leads the MSc Sustainability & Consultancy programme at Leeds, which focuses on undertaking a real research project in industry in place of a more conventional dissertation and which requires extensive partnership working with consultancy firms and clients. She is also a member of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Green Economy panel.

Until recently, Mr Oxley was Operations and Business Development Director for the N8 AgriFood Programme, a multi-disciplinary food and agriculture sustainability programme, based in the North of England. However, in summer 2017 he left N8 AgriFood to pursue a more commercially focused role in the public-private sector.

Mr Oxley holds a degree in chemistry from Heriot-Watt University, and a MBA from the University of Durham, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC, CChem) and the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI). He has a long-standing passion for sustainability in its broadest sense across the environment, social and business domains, and spent time studying the impact of corporate social responsibility on an organisation's recruitment success during his MBA.

Prior to joining the N8 AgriFood team, Mr Oxley worked for 24 years with BP in a variety of technology leadership and project roles at sites across the UK and France. These included the construction of a novel biofuels research facility in a BP-DuPont partnership, the launch of a graduate development programme, and a period on secondment to the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) working on sustainable bioenergy development.

Dr Price currently works for Reckitt Benckiser in the Global Sustainability team. He has 20 years' experience of working across a diverse group of industries (multinational, consultancies and contract research organisations). This experience has provided strong insights into environmental science needs for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and chemical sectors.

He has a strong background in chemical risk assessment and exposure science. He has led a number of research programmes to develop the scientific approaches to support chemical risk assessment, interacting with industry trade groups, government scientists and academics across the globe. He has a keen interest in developing, translating and embedding new environmental science into policy and decision making to help steer industry uptake of safe and sustainable chemicals for use in commerce.

In his current role he works closely with R&D colleagues to support the development of safe and sustainable brands assuring safety of consumers, employees and the environment.

Dr Royse is the Science Director for geoanalytics and modelling at the British Geological Survey (BGS). She has substantive experience in the development of environmental models to understand how the earth will behave in response to natural and human induced environmental change. Her role also includes responsibility for product and service innovation at BGS where she has specific expertise in research translation, data and IT innovation.

In 2011 she won an OpenMI Association award for the novel use of model linking technologies in the development of groundwater catastrophe models. Her work for the NERC PURE (2014-2015) programme is focused on the development of methodologies for the capture and reuse of natural hazard models. She has a strong background in knowledge exchange (KE) and stakeholder engagement having completed a NERC KE Fellowship (2010-2014) in probability, uncertainty and risk in the environment working to translate natural hazard research to the financial service sector. She is a trustee of the geological society of London and an associate editor for several geoscience journals.

Dr Salter is a high level innovator and idea generator specialising in bridging the gap between academic research and translation of that research to create business opportunities. Currently he works for AB Agri at Board level to identify new areas of innovation, drive innovation forward, coordinate research effort across different business units and identify sources of research funding via collaboration with other businesses and government funding bodies. He sits on the BBSRC/NERC Sustainable Agriculture Research & Innovation Club (SARIC) funding panel as the AB Agri representative, the BBSRC Agriculture & Food Security Strategic Advisory Panel as an industrial advisor and the NERC Innovation Advisory Board as an industrial advisor.

Prior to AB Agri he was a key player in the establishment of a synthetic biology team being responsible for the design and management of a new build laboratory complex. This included the purchasing of capital equipment, managing the capital expenditure budget, initiating and managing health and safety policy for the team and managing biological safety.

He returned to commercial work following a 20 year period in academic research where he rose to the position of associate professor running an independent research group and teaching undergraduate and post graduate students. He is a specialist in molecular analysis techniques and has a number of significant publications from his research work.

Professor Snape is the Principal Environmental Scientist and Associate Director within AstraZeneca Global Safety, Health & Environment (AZ SHE), where he has worked for almost 23 years. Professor Snape trained as an environmental microbiologist and conducted his PhD at Cardiff University on the bacterial metabolism of nitrate esters that are widely used as explosives and cardiovascular drugs (1995). His PhD was funded by the Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA; now the Defence Research Agency). Whilst being based within AstraZeneca, he immediately followed his PhD with a three year post-doc to develop improvements to standardised regulatory approaches to assess biodegradability and persistence; this was funded by the UK Department of Environment (now Defra).

As Associate Director for the AZ SHE research and foresight programmes, he is responsible for overseeing the strategic leadership, technical implementation, management and delivery of projects funded with these programmes. He currently supervises four post-doctoral scientists and six PhD students.

Professor Snape has published about 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed international journals and has co-organised, co-chaired and co-sponsored numerous Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) sessions and workshops on PBT assessment, the application of genomics in ecotoxicology, pharmaceuticals in the environment, and the environmental dimension of antimicrobial resistance.

He is Chair of the Environmental Risk Assessment working group of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and sits on their Pharmaceuticals in the Environment Governance Team. He is a former elected member of the European Centre for Environmental Toxicology & Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) Scientific Committee where he was the technical lead for environmental exposure and persistence assessments; and he is the Federation of European Chemical Industry Associations (CEFIC) technical lead for environmental persistence and biodegradation assessment. He represents AstraZeneca on the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) AMR Alliance Working Group for the Environment and is a member of the SETAC Pharmaceutical Advisory Group. Professor Snape is also is a member of the NERC programme management board for environmental omics, is a member of the University of York Environmental Sustainability Institutes (YESI) advisory board, and is an honorary professor at the University of Warwick.

Mr Southwood is one of the founder members of Temple Group (formerly Temple Environmental Consultants Ltd) set up in 1997 and now operates as the group Chief Executive Officer and Chair. Temple is a service leader in environment, planning and sustainability working in various sectors principally infrastructure (large programmes and projects), government (local and central) and property/development.

Mark has built an extensive network in the industry through working with a wide range of clients in the private, public and NGO sector, other practitioners through Temple's associate network of about 150 senior professionals, via professional institutes and as a result of collaborative research programmes for government working with academia and research institutes.

Mark's technical experience includes developing environmental policy and strategy for the Greater London Authority (GLA), Transport for London (TfL), Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), and National Society for Clean Air (NSCA) (Environmental Protection UK (EPUK)) and he has led various research and policy matters for Defra, Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) and Department for Transport (DfT). He also contributed to the EU Fifth Environmental Action Programme (towards sustainability) and Future EC Noise Policy through Directorate-General of the Environment, Nuclear Safety & Protection (DGXI). He has acted in a specialist (and expert) capacity on a wide range of topics including noise and vibration, contaminated land, air quality, water resources and waste. He has led numerous sustainability appraisals, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and prepared Sustainability Statements and Environmental Statements for a diverse range of clients including very large infrastructure schemes (£10 billion+) as well as a variety of mixed use developments.

He has good experience of operating at board level with NGOs including Construction Industry Research & Information Association (CIRIA)(CEEQUAL) and South East Construction Built Environment (SECBE) and has worked as an executive board member on a number of formal joint ventures working on major programmes and projects.

Mr Whitaker has 30 years' experience in the re(in)surance business and for the last 20 years has specialised in risk and innovation and linking academia, government and finance.

Dickie has written and presented extensively on these subjects and has operated globally having worked in both London and New York. He has co-founded and works for The Lighthill Risk Network, FiNexus Ltd, Oasis Palm Tree Ltd and is Chief Executive of Oasis Loss Modelling Framework Ltd.

IAB terms of reference (PDF, 63KB)


NERC 10th Innovation Advisory Board Meeting - 14 June 2018

NERC 9th Innovation Advisory Board Meeting Agenda (PDF, 69KB) - held 15 June 2017

NERC 8th Innovation Advisory Board Meeting Agenda (PDF, 67KB) - held 9 February 2017

NERC 8th Innovation Advisory Board Meeting Summary (PDF, 55KB) - held 9 February 2017