Inspirational science business leaders recognised ahead of conference

The UK’s top business leaders have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to science and innovation.

Professor Adrian Hayday FRS, of the Francis Crick Institute and King’s College London, and Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK were both awarded the prestigious Business of Science Leadership Award, presented ahead of the second Business of Science Conference 2017.

Judges commended the strong business leadership of the winners, praising their ‘incredible contribution as inspirational leaders’ and the work they have done to actively engage and promote science at the highest level.

Acclaimed academic Adrian Hayday was commended for his extensive dedication to research and Juergen was recognised for his work championing manufacturing and engineering skills.

On the evening, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell was also presented with a special recogition award for outstanding commitments to the science industry, in partcular her efforts in attracting the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) to Manchester in 2016.

The theme of inspiring the next generation and driving the commercialisation of great science continued throughout the day-long conference the following day, which saw more than 200 delegates descend on the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

Amongst the speakers, Sherry Coutu CBE, ScaleUp Institute and Founders4School highlighted the ability of science-based businesses to scale up faster than companies from other sectors, including digital, while warning that the fall-off in interest in STEM subjects among youngsters aged between 10 to 18 is a threat to the UK’s competitiveness. 

Other speakers included Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, Richard Carter, managing director UK and Ireland of BASF and Dr George Baxter, CEO of ERI Ltd at the University of Edinburgh.

Breakout sessions were held throughout the day with themes including ‘science and the vibrant economy’, ‘unlocking the science assets of the North’ and ‘encouraging innovation though engineering’.

Steve Bennett, managing director of Science North Limited and founder and organiser of the Business of Science event series, said: “From the inspirational business leaders who have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to science on a national level to the expert speakers who shared their insights at the conference, it’s incredible to see the dedication out there to science.

“We need to continue to celebrate great science, encourage commercialisation and innovation and entice our younger generation into the industry in order for the UK to compete globally in the sector. A huge thank you to all of the Business of Science sponsors who helped to make the conference, dinner and leadership award possible.

Steve was joined on the the judging panel of the Business of Science Leadership Awards by Richard Carter, MD, BASF UK, Steve Elliott, CEO of the Chemical Industries Association, Professor Gail Cardew of The Royal Institution, Richard Jones, CFO, Mereo BioPharma and Dr Neil Murray, CEO, Redx Pharma Plc, awards sponsor.