Former Oxford Instruments CEO takes chair of UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund Advisory Board

Andrew Macintosh

The UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) has appointed Dr Andrew Mackintosh as the new Chair of its Advisory Board. UKI2S enables and accelerates the commercial success of innovative companies from the UK’s publicly funded research base ranging from nuclear fusion to agrifoods and from synthetic biology to AI and space technologies.

Dr Mackintosh has had a distinguished career in industry and investment as a former CEO of FTSE listed Oxford Instruments before later leading the creation of the Royal Society Enterprise Fund, a pioneering initiative in bringing together scientific expertise and early-stage investment. He was a Board Member of the Intellectual Property Office and a Trustee of the Design Council and is now Chair of two early-stage technology companies, Sphere Fluidics and Oxford Quantum Circuits.

(You can read our interview with Dr Ilana Wisby, CEO of Oxford Quantum Circuits pages 82-84 of the Summer 2021 edition of Business & Innovation Magazine). 

He has a longstanding interest in enhancing the commercialisation and wider economic impact of UK research. Since 2015 he has been a non-executive director of Ploughshare Innovations, the technology transfer organisation for the UK Ministry of Defence, and recently led a joint Treasury, BEIS and Cabinet Office project ‘Exploiting Knowledge Assets’ to look at how the UK might unlock the hidden value across all areas of government. This led to the publication in April of this year of ‘The Mackintosh Report: Getting smarter: a strategy for knowledge & innovation assets in the public sector’ and the launch of an initiative with £17m of government funding to support commercialisation of publicly owned technologies and ideas through advice and investment.

Karen Lewis of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) said: “Andrew brings a unique combination of deep expertise, strategic insight and extensive board level experience to a key role for UKI2S for the years ahead. We look forward to working with him.”

Liz Kirby of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) added: “Andrew’s career has followed a fascinating pathway that takes in many aspects of UKI2S activities, including the development of deep science in a commercial and industrial context. He really understands the journey that many of our portfolio companies are on. His experience as a fund manager and in advising government adds to this rich background and makes him an ideal person to lead the advisory board over the coming years”

Dr Mackintosh said: “As we drive our economy in new directions after Brexit and we recover from the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we exploit fully the commercial opportunities that arise from our world-leading science base. UKI2S plays a key role in providing both funds and expert advice at an early stage and I am proud to have the chance to contribute to the organisation’s development.”

The Fund is independently managed by venture capital specialist Midven. Mark White, Investment Director of the Fund added: “We are very pleased to welcome Andrew to the UKI2S Advisory Board. This is a particularly exciting time for UKI2S following UKRI’s recent announcement of a £10 million funding boost for our support of early-stage businesses arising from world-class scientific research in the UK and we look forward to working with him.”

The UKI2S board would like to express its gratitude to Dr David Lawrence who has been a highly valued member of the Fund’s Advisory Board since 2015 and has acted as Interim Chair since the retirement of Ian Taylor in December 2020.