Fraser Black – CEO

Fraser spent 2 years at NERC Institute of Virology Oxford as a research scientist before moving to the first step in his commercial roles with Amersham International. He has over 30 years’ commercial experience (sales, marketing, and business and market development) in the Bioscience industry. He 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. He has a passion for both the development and adoption of innovation to drive health and wealth. Fraser was recently on the Board of Opportunity North East which secured £30M for a Life Science Innovation Hub in Aberdeen and is a member of The Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group, that advises the Scottish Government.

Ruth Bastow – Innovation Director

Ruth has a strong background in genetics and molecular biology with a Ph.D in Plant Biology from the University of Warwick and several research posts in at a number of institutions nationally and internationally. Ruth left the bench in 2004 to pursue a career in science strategy, policy and communication initially as the coordinator of the UK Arabidopsis Research Network (GARNet). She established the UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF) and was awarded the Society of Biology Presidents Medal for her support of the UK Plant Sciences Community. Ruth has held leadership roles as Head of the ELIXIR UK Coordination Office at the Earlham Institute and was Executive Director of the Global Plant Council where she coordinated the international activities of 28 member national, regional and international plant, crop and soil societies to facilitate the development of plant science for global challenges such as world hunger, energy, climate change, health and well-being, sustainability and environmental protection. As a farmer’s daughter with an outstanding scientific publication record in world-renowned journals, Ruth is well placed to drive forward an innovative and collaborative R&D programme at CHAP that will support sustainable agriculture production at home and abroad.

Kelly Riley-Crowther – Finance Director

Kelly has spent over nine years working in the construction industry fulfilling many roles. Most recently she has held a senior, board level position in a SME within the manufacturing sector. Kelly has been successful in enhancing budgetary systems, business planning and cost management. She holds an MSc degree and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Linsey Cresswell – Commercial Director


Linsey has a strong commercial background (technical services, sales, marketing, business development) with experience throughout the Life Science Sector, leaving the laboratory bench over 30 years ago.Linsey has worked for  Amersham International plc,  GE Healthcare and set up her own company in 2005, LLC Associates Limited, to provide commercial resource to the Life Science Industry with another ex GE colleague

Linsey holds a science degree and an MBA.

Chris Delf – Business Development Manager

Chris joins CHAP as our new Business Development Manager. Chris comes from Nufarm and has been involved with agronomy and crop protection throughout his career. He has been employed as both technical and commercial specialist in a variety of global and national crop protection businesses. When accepting the role he said “I enjoy meeting people, discussing the opportunities for collaboration and finding solutions to difficult problems. I am always keen to exploit commercial opportunities where both parties benefit. It’s a win-win scenario”. Chris’ role will be to promote and sell all CHAP services across the UK. I know the plan is for him to meet as many of you as possible as soon as possible.

Darren Hassall- Head of Marketing

Darren has wide commercial and journalistic experience and joins the CHAP team as Head of Marketing. Darren is York-based, with a media background, most recently coming from the commercial arm of Minster FM radio in York. Before this, he built and ran a food and drink magazine and website where he played an integral role in the design and development of both the hard-copy magazine and website. He was responsible for the overall branding of the organisation as well as taking the lead on the marketing and communications strategy. He consequently became a digital marketing and social media expert and led a team of ten. From 2000, he spent a number of years working at the Metro newspaper in London and at a public sector recruitment agency. He is a fluent Japanese speaker and spent six years in Tokyo teaching English as a foreign language at both a private school and a medical university.

Richard Glass – Innovation Hub Lead

Richard has over 30 years of experience working with R&D projects and field trials dealing with crop protection with a wide range of crops and climatic zones for both the private and public sector. A farmer’s son, born in County Durham he worked in Latin America, France and Spain before joining the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, Central Science Laboratory (CSL) in 1991. During a career at CSL and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) he coordinated EU and EFSA funded projects dealing with pesticide exposure and improving exposure risk assessments. This involved a number of projects developing aggregate and cumulative exposure models and projects supporting the Safe Use Initiative, particularly in southern European Member States. Richard has also managed several Defra funded projects dealing with spray drift and bystander/resident exposure. In 2014 he returned to the private sector managing field studies in the EU and south east Asia. He continues to be a trustee of the Association of Applied Biologists, with specialist groups dealing with biopesticides, sustainable agriculture and pesticide application.

Jenna Ross – Innovation Hub Lead (Rothamsted)

Jenna will be based in Rothamsted as the Innovation Hub Lead. Jenna has a strong background in biocontrol and has an impressive CV. In addition to her research experience Jenna has also completed her MBA, received a Nuffield scholarship and has been the winner of 2 prestigious awards – Land-based Aquaculture Higher Education Learner of the Year award and the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS).

Louise Saw – Membership Scheme Manager

Louise joins the team as Membership Scheme Manager. Initially she will be researching the different types of membership schemes and working with stakeholders to identify the best one for CHAP. Louise’s background is in Project Management, she has over 15 years project, partnership and stakeholder management. She is a skills expert with broad knowledge and experience in UK education systems. She joins us from the Bio-renewables Development Centre where she was managing a bio-refining project, funded by Innovate UK, to reduce waste from sugar cane processing in India. Louise has also recently gained economic development experience by developing the Skills Service for the Leeds City Region Enterprise partnership, a service which sourced training and offered grants of £500-50k to help businesses grow.

Karen Donal – PMO Manager

Karen is an experienced Project/Programme Manager, leading and controlling projects as wide ranging as warship support to most recently bringing innovative new technology in to warehousing and logistics. Karen is skilled at managing client relationships, and is looking forward to collaborating with the organisations Partners, industry and academics to deliver successful projects for CHAP.

Katie Edwards – Office Manager

Katie is our Office Manager having previously spent ten years in commercial and administrative process improvement roles, working within Education and MOD market sectors.  In addition to her Office Management role Katie also provides required support to the CHAP Executive team.