John Chinn, Cobrey Farms – Chair

John runs Cobrey Farms in a family partnership with his wife, Gay, and their two sons Henry and Christopher. The partnership owns 500ha (1250 acres) near Ross-on-Wye and, in addition, rents/manages in excess of 900 ha (2,250 acres) around Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Production encompasses asparagus, blueberries, potatoes, green beans, rhubarb, combinable crops, broiler chickens and a small vineyard.

Fraser Black – CEO

Fraser has over 30 years’ commercial experience (sales, marketing, and business and market development) in the Bioscience industry. He has lived and worked in UK, Germany and the US in a variety of sectors that included President of Hoefer Pharmacia, San Francisco, Vice-President of Service, Americas for Amersham Biosciences and Global GM for Scientific Asset Services for GE Healthcare, Life Science Division. Fraser has taken leadership roles as Managing Director of BioCity Scotland and latterly as Managing Director of James Hutton Limited where the emphasis has been very much on the interface of academia, industry and government to drive industry lead Commercialisation of IP by building a Professional Services delivery approach.

Caroline Drummond MBE, Hon DSc, NSch,
HonFSE, FRAgS, FIAgM, FRSA, FSB, CEnv, BSc(Hons) Agric Chief Executive of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming)

Caroline has been running LEAF, the farming and environmental charity since it started in 1991. She graduated in Agriculture and has broad practical agricultural experience from across the globe. Her work focuses on encouraging more sustainable farming practices and building better public trust and understanding of farming, food and the environment – values that she is personally extremely passionate about. She is actively involved in many industry partnerships and initiatives. In 2009 Caroline was awarded the MBE, she has an Honorary Doctorate from Harper Adams University, a Nuffield Scholarship and was awarded Honorary Fellowship for the Society of the Environment. Caroline is actively involved with the British Nutrition Foundation, North Wyke, the Agri-tech initiative (CHAP), the IAgrM, and the Science Museum.

Hannah Senior – Non Executive Director

Hannah is an Agri-Tech entrepreneur.  As owner and CEO of PBS International, world leader in pollination control, Hannah has forged product development & research collaborations with organisations in plant breeding and seed production world-wide, taking her to agricultural research stations across 5 continents.  After a rural Yorkshire upbringing, she obtained an MA from Oxford (double first) and spent her early career at Tesco during the dot-com boom. Here she pioneered online and affiliate marketing, before transitioning to strategy consulting, serving board-level multinational clients.  She holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, at which she chaired the Conference on Entrepreneurship, bringing together the student, VC and Silicon Valley entrepreneurial community.  She mentors start-up Ag-tech companies, serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Plant Breeders, and has an enduring commitment to enhancing economic and environmental sustainability within agriculture.

John Bloomer – Non Executive Director

John has 30 years’ commercial experience in international agribusiness, 25 years of which were in senior management and leadership roles in the agrochemical, biotechnology and seeds businesses of ICI, Zeneca and Syngenta.   Since 2012 he has been an independent consultant and adviser within the international agricultural technology industry, bringing to a wide range of clients his experience in strategy, sales and marketing, R&D, licensing, mergers & acquisitions, creating and managing joint ventures and initiation of public-private partnerships.   John has a strong network within the agricultural technology sector and is also a Non Executive Director of Elsoms (Spalding) Ltd.

Jonathan Lea – Non Executive Director

Jonathan has wide international experience as a Finance Director and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He was previously Group Finance Director of FTSE 250 business Coats plc and, in the not-for-profit sector, was CFO of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), where he became interested in the sustainability of the food production and distribution system. He is also currently a Trustee of the Internet Watch Foundation, where he chairs the Audit Committee and Treasurer of the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

Andrew Swift, Fera Representative Director

Andrew is responsible for all aspects of business at Fera Science Ltd, a joint venture partnership between Capita and Defra. He was interim CEO of CHAP during most of 2016. Prior to his appointment as CEO of Fera in 2015, Andrew worked for Intertek where he was responsible for developing Intertek’s business across all its main service lines in the Middle East and North Africa. He is based in Sand Hutton near York.

Charlie Whitmarsh, Frontier – Founder Member Representative

Charlie studied agriculture, trained as an agronomist and achieved BASIS and FACTS qualifications and began his career with UAM at Redhill in 1984. The company was later acquired by Cargill Plc, where Charlie became regional sales manager for East Anglia and the South East. He took on the role of business manager for the northern region in 1995, based in Lincolnshire, and relocated to West Sussex three years later to manage the southern region. On the creation of Frontier Agriculture in 2005, he became arable inputs director, with the title changing to crop production director in 2014. Charlie is responsible for crop production strategy, coordinating agronomy, seed and fertiliser.

Dr Ian Campbell – Director for Health and Life Sciences

Ian is an experienced executive in the life sciences and joined Innovate UK in October 2016 as Director for Health and Life Sciences. Prior to that, he most recently served as Chief Executive of Arquer Diagnostics, a company developing and commercialising immunoassay tests for cancers of the urinogenital tract. He was also Chief Executive of Imperial College spin-out company, Molecular Vision, developing a disposable, quantitative point-of-care diagnostic platform, before the company was acquired by Abingdon Health in 2012. Ian has also served as Commercial Director with Bespak Europe. Ian has a strong scientific background, gaining his PhD at the University of Glasgow.

Ian Cox- Innovate UK Observer

Ian joined Innovate UK in March 2015 as Innovation Lead for the agri-tech Centres within the agri-food team. Ian is leading the roll out of a £90 million capital programme for the development of a number of Centres for Agricultural Innovation (including CHAP) as part of the UK’s Strategy for Agricultural Technologies. Before joining Innovate UK, Ian worked at The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), in a variety of roles ranging from business development to science support. Working with the scientists, he helped win several £multi-million contracts. Ian has also held a number of senior positions within the water and environmental industries. With a degree in Microbiology from the University of Leeds, Ian also has an MBA from Sheffield Business School, is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Biologist and is a registered PRINCE 2 Project Management Practitioner.