28 June 2012 - 30 June 2012

Putting science, government, business and innovation together

Chair: Sir Keith O’Nions FRS

We had assembled a diverse group for this conference, with government, business and the scientific world all well represented, even if we would have liked more participants from the emerging economies.  Innovation proved in some ways an elusive concept, but skilled chairmanship kept our eyes on the practical ball: how can we stimulate greater innovation of the right sort at company, country and international level?

The definition of innovation was elusive but for us it was more about exploitation of ideas than invention, and could be as much about processes as products. Social and economic innovation was as important as commercial innovation, but less our concern on this occasion. Two key preconditions for encouragement of innovation were pressure and support. Getting the right mixture of the two was tricky.

For companies, leadership, speed and flexibility in picking up ideas, and openness to ideas from outside were some of the ingredients for success. A basic minimum of Research and Development (R&D) capacity was a necessary but not sufficient condition in many sectors, though not all, but beyond that there was little obvious correlation between a company’s spend on R&D and its capacity to innovate. Open innovation was an increasing reality, and a potential leveller between large and small companies. The other main issue was availability of the right finance at the right time. Here there were still important gaps, not least for smaller companies looking to take products to market.

In terms of what made countries strong at encouraging innovation, a good ‘ecosystem’ was seen as essential, much though we disliked the word. This was not a matter of ethnic or other national characteristics, but of the presence of the right pressures, incentives, institutions and values, and the absence of obvious barriers. Favourable conditions included encouragement of independent thinking; valuing education and learning; encouragement of risk-taking and toleration of failure; celebrating entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers as much as artists; and diversity, including from immigration.

We spent a lot of time on the role of governments. We somewhat surprised ourselves by agreeing that it was crucial in many respects, even if the inspiration came from the private sector, and even though the tension between the internationalisation of business and science and the national frontiers of government policy was increasing. Governments had unique convening power, and a fundamental ability to affect the overall environment for good or ill. Concepts such as industrial policy were now being rehabilitated, though not necessarily in the same form as in the past. Protecting jobs and picking company winners were out, while picking sectors, focussing support on them and aligning all the actors behind these choices were in. Areas like procurement could be more effectively used. Finance remained the most difficult area, where well-designed schemes which companies could not easily ‘game’ were hard to identify and implement.

Support for universities and science was clearly important, but again there was no obvious correlation between the proportion of national GDP spent on science and economic success, at least beyond a minimum of 1.5%.

On the international front, we thought developed and emerging economies had a lot to learn from each other, but an effective international ecosystem was hard to find, at least outside regions such as the EU. We looked at the importance of Intellectual Property regimes for innovation and believed a rethink of their role was needed. Another key area was standards.  Above all the presence of geographical clusters, however paradoxical in today’s connected world, was fundamental for attracting global talent. These had to start organically, rather than be artificially created by governments, but they could be nurtured thereafter.

Our conclusion was that promotion of effective partnerships between universities and research institutions, business and government was the way forward. Governments should not hesitate to use their convening power to achieve this. Major national or international challenges, and missions set by governments, could drive innovation helpfully, but even in their absence, alignment of the key actors behind a few strategic choices could make all the difference.

What sort of innovation?
We were clear that the capacity to innovate was a crucial requirement for success in the modern world.  But inevitably we wrestled with the right definition.  We agreed that not all innovation was good, as exemplified by some recent financial sector innovation, and that innovation was in any case a means to other ends, not an end in itself.  We also agreed that it was not the same as invention, being more about bringing thoughtful ideas to the market in ways which created value.  This should not be seen just as commercial or financial, but could also include, for example, social or environmental value.  Another way of putting this was that innovation meant turning ideas into cash, not cash into ideas.  Innovation in government processes and social areas was just as important as commercial innovation, though even harder to define, and to some extent outside the immediate remit of the conference.  For example healthcare was desperately in need of more innovation, not so much in products (though these could be much better spread) as in systems.

Even in the commercial area, innovation was not all about products.  Some of the best innovation came from incremental improvement to production processes, and progressive implementation of ideas, not form radical eureka moments.  The overall aim was to create growth and jobs, not new products as such.  In any case the key question was not about the end results, which could be very different in different areas, but about how innovation should be best encouraged.  What were the preconditions for successful innovation?  We saw two vital components as pressure, from competition or adversity, and support, ie the right incentives.  Both were needed. The trick was to find the right combination of the two.  Too much support could be as bad as too little. Against this background, we looked at the conditions for success in more detail in two particular contexts, companies (or organisations more generally) and countries.

Leadership – to set the culture and aims of the organisation – was a crucial driver for the encouragement and reward of innovation.  Beyond this other characteristics of success included:

  • speed and flexibility in picking up ideas;

  • clear channels for staff ideas to be put forward, with peer review more useful than hierarchical submission;

  • responsiveness to customers and clients, who were a major source of innovative ideas;

  • good R&D capacity;

  • down-time for staff to consider and Develop new ideas;

  • hard work on implementation – innovation was 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

Company spending on R&D was a necessary but not sufficient condition for innovation for most companies.  Studies suggested that relatively few new ideas came out of company R&D facilities, and that there was no automatic correlation between company R&D spending and successful innovation.  Apple was innovative through design, not invention, and put relatively few resources into R&D. Conventional R&D was also not particularly relevant to the IT software sector.  There were also commercial sectors with virtually no R&D which were still highly innovative, for example retailing.  Nevertheless for most manufacturing industry, a decent R&D capacity, to provide the necessary basis of knowledge and facility for testing/implementation of ideas, was fundamental.

Was it still important for companies to produce their own ideas?  Participants thought that this was less and less the case.  Open innovation, based on easy access to information freely available on the internet, was not just a buzzword but a daily reality.  This helped reinforce the point that the source of innovation really did not matter. The internet and open access were also potentially great levellers, since small companies could now have the same access to information as large multinationals, and might even be quicker and more imaginative in making use of it.  But a minimum level of internal capability was always needed to turn ideas from outside into effective, marketable solutions.

A further factor mentioned by many participants was the attitude of financial markets. Innovation flourished best where a longer view could be taken. Quarterly reporting was unhelpful in this context, and financial support ready to look several years ahead was vital. One thing consistently lacking for start-up companies was financial support for early phase commercialisation. Regular banks would not touch it, venture capitalists seemed largely uninterested, private equity was inappropriate, and governments struggled to find ways of directing their support effectively. This was a real gap which governments could help to bridge, perhaps through going back to old-style industrial investment banks. But a lot of care was needed in designing incentive and assistance schemes. We should remember the ‘1:3:10’ rule – for every dollar spent on research, three would be needed for development and 10 for commercial exploitation.

The concept of an effective ‘ecosystem’ cropped up a good deal, even though as a piece of jargon it was little appreciated around the table.  Essentially this meant a situation where policy, people and resources were aligned in ways which encouraged effective innovation.  Was there something deeper at work in successful countries too, ie a ‘national culture’ favourable to innovation?  Many thought so, but warned against ascribing this to ethnic or other inherent characteristics of particular populations.  It was more about the openness of societies, and the effectiveness of national institutions.

Features of societies favourable to innovative thinking included:

  • pressure/adversity, e.g. no natural resources, or military vulnerability, both of which drove the use of brainpower instead.  Necessity remained the mother of invention, as the extraordinary burst of creativity in conflicts such as the Second World War showed;

  • personal freedom, and encouragement of independent thinking, particularly in educational institutions;

  • valuing education and new learning;

  • encouraging risk-taking, tolerating entrepreneurial failure, and not looking down on wealth;

  • celebrating entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators as much as artists and philosophers;

  • access to capital to take ideas forward;

  • diversity, particularly openness to immigration and outside influences, but also gender diversity.

We agreed that many of these areas were nuanced and hard to measure, if indeed they were measurable at all, and that easy generalisations should be avoided.  Nevertheless we believed that a combination of most of these characteristics was necessary for countries and societies to be genuinely innovative.

The role of governments
This led on to a theme which ran throughout the conference: the role of governments in promoting and encouraging innovation, and in coordinating and aligning the other key actors.  There was a range of views on display, from those whose instinct was that the government should essentially stay out, pursue ‘do no harm’ policies, and stick to creating a level playing field, to those who argued that governments were always a key part of the process, whether we liked it or not, and could make a significant positive or negative difference.  There was no such thing as a government-free zone. Opinion in the conference seemed to shift more in the latter direction as discussion went on.

However there was a basic dilemma here.  Science and business were increasingly international, as knowledge, ideas and people flowed ever more freely around the globe.  Products could be designed in one place, produced in another and sold everywhere.  Large companies were less and less identifiable as belonging to, or even based in, a particular country.  National governments, on the other hand, remained the prisoners of geography and frontiers.  They were bound to be most interested in creating jobs and growth in their own country, particularly where taxpayers’ money was involved, although they could obviously promote open approaches to international trade and investment, to everyone’s benefit, at the same time.  We had no ready answers to this dilemma, but thought it was in some ways easier to deal with for small countries such as Singapore, Ireland and Denmark, less bothered about national champions or national security sensitivities, than for large ones worried about both. We also agreed that the one thing governments should not do, to encourage innovation, was prop up failing industries or companies. They should be exposing them to competition instead, to make sure they felt the necessary pressure.

Nevertheless, we thought that the intellectual and political context in developed countries was changing.  Faith in the magic of market solutions had weakened, as the financial and economic crisis had deepened.  There was now a greater readiness to accept that governments and government regulation did have an important role to play. Concepts such as industrial policy or industrial strategy had been to some extent rehabilitated.  They did not need to be protectionist in nature (in the EU they would in any case continue to be constrained by state aids rules). And their past results had not been as disastrous as sometimes suggested, e.g. the rise of Airbus and the survival of Rolls Royce. Meanwhile views on where and how governments could intervene effectively had evolved with experience. Governments were now more wary, rightly, about companies ‘gaming’ financial incentive schemes, and about picking winners in the sense of national champion companies.  However that still left a wide field where government policies were vital.  In particular governments had a power to convene other actors which was too often ignored and underplayed.

Other areas where governments could play a fundamental role included:

  • creating a favourable overall business environment, not least through the regulatory and tax regimes;

  • procurement: governments could use their purchasing power much more proactively to promote innovation (we heard examples from Denmark and Estonia);

  • skills: governments had the responsibility to provide the right pipeline of trained scientists, engineers etc;

  • sectoral support: if there was reason to be wary of picking companies as winners, there need be no such inhibitions about picking sectors.  These did not need to be always high-tech or cutting-edge, but making choices and focussing support on the chosen areas was essential. Only the very biggest countries could try to do everything;

  • finance: the most difficult area, since it was easy to waste money on ineffective incentive schemes and tax credit initiatives. But there were certainly also gaps in capital provision for rapidly growing companies from banks and the venture capital industry;

  • support for science: as with companies, there appeared to be no direct correlation between success and the proportion of national GDP spent on science and research, at least above a 1.5% minimum level. Nevertheless a minimum of basic, non-commercial research had to be funded by governments. There was scepticism about the effectiveness of government-funded laboratories, but some counter-arguments and counter-examples too.

In the scientific context, the role of universities attracted a good deal of attention. They were seen as important drivers of innovation. Many universities were also increasingly aware of the need to be close to industry, and to value correctly their own ideas. Government policies had played a role in this change in many countries. However there was disagreement about the extent to which research could be divorced from universities’ basic educational function, and about the extent to which there were risks in too close associations with the commercial world. The distinction between basic and applied research was also not straightforward. It was suggested that there was a lot of non-applicable applied research still going on in some universities. Academics were also still largely measured in old-fashioned ways. If success was judged by papers published, lots of papers would be published, not necessarily to good effect. Overall what was needed was an intelligent mix between scientists choosing what to research, and being told where they should be looking. It was not an either/or situation.

The international context
We thought that the concept of an effective ecosystem was harder to apply to the international context, particularly in the commercial context. International collaboration in promoting innovation was easier to manage in areas of major global challenge such as climate change, the battle against disease and food security. Open innovation applied here too, since information could be more freely shared.

Were there effective models for international promotion of innovation? The EU had increasingly sophisticated mechanisms and funds designed to do this, though there was some scepticism about their real-world impact hitherto. We also heard of examples where, even in the commercial area, companies in the same sector could get together to encourage and fund fundamental research of benefit to all, with competition in the down-stream areas of implementation and exploitation of discoveries, rather than in the basic knowledge.

We also looked at who should be learning from whom in today’s world, emerging from developed economies or the other way round? We saw this as a two-way street. Some of the big emerging economies such as China and India were moving from a phase of adoption of existing technologies and techniques to the more difficult phase of genuine innovation needed to enable them to overtake the major developed economies. To help them do this, and stay entrepreneurial in the coming years, they needed to learn from countries such as Japan and Korea which had gone through similar transitions. The developed countries had meanwhile to move away from complacency about their place in the world, and learn from the hard work ethic and investment optimism of some of the emerging economies, as well as innovative approaches to health in countries like India. They could not realistically imitate the heavily state-directed industrial strategies of countries like China or Singapore, but had advantages of individual freedom and readiness to challenge existing wisdom which were important factors in today’s world. The problem was that even if they returned to healthy growth, it might be a jobless variety of growth which still left peoples and governments facing serious economic and social problems.

We looked at how far the international intellectual property regime was important for innovation, and heard contradictory views. Some argued that the ability to protect the future value of an idea was vital to incentivise innovation, particularly for small companies, and that weaknesses in the current IPR set-up had to be tackled. Others suggested that patents were expensive and mainly of benefit to lawyers. In the real world, the ability to move quickly to implement and commercialise an idea stayed with the originator, whatever the patent position. Many big companies were taking out less and less patents, and trying to sell those they would never use. Most of the best ideas and innovations had never been patented. We should even think about moving back to a patent-free world. This was seen by most as going too far, but the idea stimulated a vigorous exchange. There was a need to think afresh about what exactly we wanted our patent regimes to achieve. Meanwhile innovation should certainly not be measured by the number of patents taken out.

Agreed international standards were another way in which innovation could be helped in particular product sectors. Countries or regions had sometimes stolen a major march on their competitors by securing acceptance of their standards, but all could benefit if the process was tackled in a consensual way.

Finally we looked at the role of clusters in fostering innovation. There was agreement that they were important in bringing together like-minded entrepreneurial types and a critical mass of idea-sharing, and in creating a favourable physical environment, however paradoxical that might seem in an internet age where physical proximity meant less than it had ever done. The ability to meet, socialise and discuss seemed to be more relevant than any sharing of facilities or common access to services involved. Clusters also helped interdisciplinary fertilisation. Ideas and talent were increasingly mobile, and could move anywhere in the world where costs and facilities were conducive, but the presence of clusters was also a sine qua non for a country to be successful in attracting growing companies and entrepreneurs.

Some participants issued warnings against the artificial creation of clusters. Putting up buildings and trying to attract companies into them was unlikely to work. The best clusters were essentially the result of organic growth, though governments could obviously play a facilitating role.

The way forward
So how could we answer our exam question about the best way of putting science, government, business and innovation together? We could find no obvious solution to the tension between nation states and globalisation, but within that, the main emphasis was on the promotion of effective partnerships. Governments, with their convening power, were often best-placed to take the lead. The key was to align all the elements so that they became self-reinforcing.

One particular way was through leadership in setting major challenges, nationally or internationally. The space race in the US was seen as one obvious example which had driven a significant leap forward in American science and technology, with spin-off benefits in many areas nothing to do with space. The international health challenges of finding solutions to diseases like HIV or malaria provided other examples. In general mission-driven science could often be the most productive, and it was usually governments which had to set the missions. In the words of one participant, things usually moved forward not because people saw the light but because they felt the heat.

Short of such major challenges, governments could still pick strategic investment areas, work with industry, universities and research leaders in coherent ways, and put everything behind their choices. Coordination was often the key.

More widely there was a need to think much more about innovation outside the commercial and industrial area, to ensure we were innovating in economic, social and environmental areas – processes as well as products. There was a requirement to deliver value to citizens as much as to customers and consumers. But developing this was a theme for a different conference.

This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference.  No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.


CHAIR: Sir Keith O’Nions FRS (UK)
Rector, Imperial College London (2010- ).  Formerly: Director General, Science and Innovation, and Department Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (2006-09); Director General of the Research Councils; Chief Scientific Adviser, Ministry of Defence (2000-04); Member, UK Government's Council of Science and Technology (1998-2000); Head, Earth Sciences, University of Oxford (1995-2000).  A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Serge Dupont

Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada (2010-).  Formerly: Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs (Privy Council Office), and Special Adviser to the Minister of Natural Resources on Nuclear Energy Policy (2009-10); Assistant Deputy Minister, Financial Sector Policy, and Director General (Analysis), Tax Policy, Finance Canada (2001-08).

Mr Graham Fox
President and CEO, Institute for Research on Public Policy, Montreal (2011-); Member of the Board of Directors, University of Ottawa Heart Institute.  Formerly: Strategic Policy Adviser, Fraser Milner Casgrain; Vice-President, Public Policy Forum; Executive Director, KTA Centre for Collaborative Government.  A Member of the Canadian Ditchley Program Advisory Committee.

Mr Tom Jenkins OC, FCAE
Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer (2005-) and a Director (1994-), Open Text Corporation, Waterloo, Ontario.  Formerly: Chair, Government of Canada's Innovation Panel; Member, Government of Canada's Competition Policy Review Panel; President and Chief Executive Officer, Open Text Corporation (1994-2005).

Dr Jaspreet Khangura
Emergency Medicine Resident, University of Alberta (2012-); MSc Neuroscience Candidate (2011-) and MSc Evidence Based Health Care Candidate (2011-), Balliol College, University of Oxford; Rhodes Scholar.

The Honourable Kevin Lynch PC, OC
Vice Chairman, BMO Financial Group.  Formerly: Clerk of the Privy Council; Secretary to the Cabinet; Head of the Public Service of Canada (2006-09); Executive Director for the Canadian, Irish and Caribbean Constituency, International Monetary Fund, Washington DC (2004-06); Deputy Minister of Finance (2000-04); Deputy Minister of Industry (1995-2000).  Chairman of The Canadian Ditchley Foundation (2010-) and a Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Dr Li Shizhong

Executive Director, MOST-USDA Joint Research Center for Biofuels, Institute of New Energy Technology,Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Hans Müller Pedersen

Director General, Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (DASTI), Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, Copenhagen (2012-).  Formerly: Deputy Director General, DASTI (2003-11); Head of Administrative Secretariat, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (2002-03); Head of Administrative Division, National Agency for Industry and Trade (2000-02).

Dr Jens Rostrup-Nielsen FREng
Founding  Member, Scientific Council, European Research Council (Chair, working group on Innovation); Affiliate Professor, KTH Stockholm.  Formerly: Executive Vice President (R&D), Haldor Topsoe A/S.

Mr Linnar Viik

Lecturer (2000-) and Board Member (2003-), Estonian IT College; Governing Board Member, European Institute of Innovation and Technology; Founder (2004) and Chairman, Keelevara Ltd.  Formerly: Director of Skype Access at Skype Technologies Ltd (2007-09); Adviser to the Prime Minister of Estonia (1999-2001).

Mrs Marie-Anne Brodschii

Vice President of Innovation, Veolia Environnement.

Professor Martin Curley BE, MBS, PhD, MRIA, FBCS, FICS, FIEL, FIAE

Vice President of Intel Corporation (2012-) and Senior Principal Engineer and Director, Intel Labs Europe (2009-); Co-Director, Innovation Value Institute, National University of Ireland Maynooth; Chair, European Union Open Innovation Strategy and Policy group.  Formerly: Global Director of IT Innovation, Intel.

Dr Reon Brand

Senior Director, Foresight and Socio-cultural Trends, Philips Design; Member, Association for Professional Futurists.

Mr Andrew Wyckoff

Director, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, OECD.  Formerly: US Congressional Office of Technology Assessment; US National Science Foundation; The Brookings Institution.

Dr Igor Fedyukin

Deputy Minister of  Education and Science of the Russian Federation (2012-).  Formerly:  Director for Policy Studies, New Economic School, Moscow (2007-12); Advisor to the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation

Professor Max von Zedwitz

Director, GLORAD Research Center for Global R&D Management and Reverse Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai.  Formerly: Vice President, PRTM Management Consultants; President, AsiaCompete Int'l Ltd; Professor of Strategy and Innovation, Tsinghua University, Beijing.

The Lord Aldington

Senior Advisor, Deutsche Bank AG, London (2009-); Trustee, Institute for Philanthropy (2008-); Vice President of the National Churches Trust (2008-); Deputy Chairman, Royal Academy Trust (2003-); Member, Oxford University's Court of Benefactors (1990-); Chairman, 2019 Committee, New College, Oxford.  Formerly: Chairman, Deutsche Bank London (2002-09); Chairman, Stramongate Ltd (2007-11).  A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Dr William Cannell
Adjunct Professor, Imperial College London. 

Dr Claire Craig CBE
Director, Government Office for Science.  Formerly: Director of Strategy, Office of Fair Trading, Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.
Dr Dougal Goodman OBE FREng
Chief Executive, The Foundation for Science and Technology; Chairman, The Lighthill Risk Network; Visiting Professor, University College London and Cranfield University.  Formerly: Deputy Director, British Antarctic Survey (1995-2000); BP (1980-95).

Professor Sir Michael Gregory CBE FREng
Head, Manufacturing and Management Division, Department of Engineering, and Head, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge; Chair, UK Manufacturing Professors Forum; Member, UK Government's Analytical Group on Manufacturing.  Formerly: Executive Director, Cambridge MIT Institute (2005-08); Springer Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley (2008-09).

Lord Hennessy of Nymphsfield FBA
Crossbench Peer, House of Lords; Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary College, University of London (1992-); Fellow of the British Academy.  Formerly: Chairman, Kennedy Memorial Trust (1995-2000); Co-Founder, Institute of Contemporary British History (1986); Leader Writer and Columnist, The Times (1982-84).  A Member of the Council of Management and Programme Committee and a Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Mrs Emma Hughes
Vice President and Managing Director, Yet2.com Europe Ltd.

Dr David Kingham
Chief Executive, Tokamak Solutions UK Ltd, Culham Laboratory; Non-Executive Director, NHS Innovation South East.  Formerly: Managing Director, Oxford Innovation (1991-2009); Chairman, Research and Development Society (2008-2010).

Sir Richard Lambert
Chancellor, University of Warwick (2008-).  Formerly: Director-General, Confederation of British Industry (2006-11); Member, Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England (2003-06); Financial Times (1966-2001): Editor (1991-2001).

Mr Roger Leech
Open Innovation Portfolio and Scouting Director, Unilever Research & Development.

Mr Ehsan Masood
Group Editor, Research Fortnight and Research Europe; Tutor in International Science Policy, Imperial College London.  Formerly: Nature (1995-99 and 2008-09); New Scientist (1999-2001).

Mr Andrew Miller MP
Member of Parliament (Labour) for Ellesmere Port and Neston, House of Commons; Chair, Science and Technology Select Committee; Board Member, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

Ms Chi Onwurah MP
Member of Parliament (Labour) for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, House of Commons; Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science and Digital Infrastructure; Board Member, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.  Formerly: Head of Telecommunications Technology, Ofcom.

Professor Sir Adrian Smith FRS
Director General, Knowledge and Innovation, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) (2010-).  Formerly: Director General, Science and Research, BIS (2008-10); Deputy Chair, UK Statistics Authority; Principal, Queen Mary, University of London (1998-2008); Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of London (2006-08).

Mr Paul Stein FREng FRAes FIET
Chief Scientific Officer, Rolls-Royce plc, Derby.  Formerly: Science and Technology Director, Ministry of Defence; Managing Director, Roke Manor Research Limited (Siemens AG); Member, Siemens UK Executive Management Board.

Dr Diana Walford CBE MD FRCP FCRPath FFPH
Non-Executive Director, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Deputy Chairman, Council of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Trustee, Sue Ryder; Member, Advisory Board, Economic and Social Research Council's Genomics Policy and Research Forum; Member, State Honours Committee.  Formerly: Principal, Mansfield College, Oxford (2002-11).

Mr John Weston CBE
Chairman: MB Aerospace, AWS (manufacturer of circuit boards and wiring harnesses), Torotrack (manufacturer of continuously variable automotive transmissions), Fibercore (manufacturer of specialist fibre optic cables), Lo-Q (systems company in innovative queuing devices).  Formerly: Chair, software, design engineering and on-line learning companies; CEO, BAE Systems.  A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

The Rt Hon David Willetts MP
Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Havant (1992-); Minister for Universities and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2010-).  Formerly Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (2007-10); Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills (2005-07), Productivity, Energy and Industry (2005), Work and Pensions (1999-2005).  A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr David McGrath

Head, Global Innovation Scouting, Corporate Business Development, Nokia Corporation, London; Head of Digital Identity & Trust Business, Nokia Corporation.  Formerly: Head, Business Innovation & Consulting, Global Strategy & Business Development, Motorola, USA (2000-08).

Professor Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL

Chancellor, University of Kent (2006-); Founder, Market & Opinion Research International (MORI); Chair, Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee.  A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.

Dr James Decker

Principal, Decker, Garman, Sullivan & Associates, LLC, Alexandria, Virginia; Advisory Board Member: Michigan State University, Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  Formerly: Principal Deputy Director, Office of Science, US Department of Energy.

The Honorable Anita Jones
University Professor Emerita, University of Virginia; Trustee, In-Q-Tel; Board Member, SAIC.  Formerly: Director of Defense Research & Engineering, US Department of Defense; Trustee, Science Foundation Ireland.

Professor Mehran Mehregany
Goodrich Professor of Engineering Innovation and Director of the Wireless Health Program, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland (based in San Diego); Founder and Director, NineSigma, Inc. 

Mr O’Neil Outar
Vice-President (Advancement), The University of Alberta (2012-).  Formerly: Chief Advancement Officer, The University of Alberta (2010-12); Senior Director of Global Initiatives, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2008-10); Senior Director of Institutional Initiatives, MIT (2004-08).

Lady Judge CBE

(Formerly The Hon Barbara Thomas) Director, NV Bekaert SA (Brussels); Director, Statoil (Norway); Director, Magna International (Canada); Chairman Emeritus, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (2004-10); Chairman, UK Pension Protection Fund (2010-).  Formerly: Executive Director, Samuel Montagu & Co Ltd; Director, News International; Commissioner, US Securities and Exchange Commission.  A Governor and Member of the Council of Management, The Ditchley Foundation.