IOP Business Forum: The right place at the right time – access to finance for science-based companies in the North East

16 October 2013
09:30 – 13:00
NETPark Incubator, Sedgefield, Durham

Organised in collaboration with Business Durham.


Useful links



Professor Brian Tanner FInstP FHEA FRSA
Dean for University Enterprise, Durham University

Brian Tanner

Brian has strategic responsibility across Durham University for enterprise, business relations and technology and knowledge transfer. He was Head of Durham University Physics Department from 1996-1999. From 2000-2005 he was Director of the North East Centre for Scientific Enterprise and subsequently the Director of the newly established University Technology Transfer Office.

Brian is a non-executive director and Deputy Chairman of the Durham Physics Department spin-out, Kromek Ltd., whose headquarters is at NETPark, Sedgefield. He is Chief Scientific Advisor to NETPark, a non-executive director of RTC North Ltd. and Chair of the County Durham Economic Partnership.


Dr James Johnstone
Metrology Theme Manager, Nanotechnology KTN

Dr James Johnstone - Metrology Theme Manager, Nanotechnology KTN

James assists companies and academics in translating research and development into the market.

He is involved with several activities in his current KTN role on Energy Harvesting and Graphene and has completed a report on the barriers to commercialisation for nanotechnology as part of the FP7 CSA NanoCom project. He has assisted several companies and organisations in finding collaborators and grants.


Dr Richard Exley
Head of Proof of Concept Funds, Northstar Ventures

Dr Richard Exley

Richard previously worked at Forward Venture Management and as Head of Intellectual Property at the University of Sheffield where he was responsible for a range of successful spin-out and licensing deals. Richard also spent nine years with VG Instruments/Fisons Plc where he held various marketing and product development roles.

Richard graduated from Cambridge with a BA in Natural Sciences, and has a DPhil from Oxford. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago and the Planetary Sciences Research Institute.


David Lussey
Chief Technology Officer, Peratech

David Lussey - Chief Technology Officer, Peratech

David founded Peratech in 1996 to commercialise the development of Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC); a unique nano-tech, electro-active composite that is extremely sensitive to external stimuli. 

It uses quantum physics, in a simple way, to respond to various mechanical and electrical inputs.

David’s background is in theoretical and applied military science.


Tom Smyth
Deputy Head, BIS Yorkshire, Humber & North East

Tom Smyth

Tom leads BIS strategic engagement with key stakeholders within the North East of England, including the North Eastern and Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnerships.

His remit is to encourage sustainable economic growth though supporting work in key areas. Tom also has a role in supporting and explaining the new economic landscape, supporting the regional joining up of the Skills Funding Agency, UK Trade and Investment and BIS contracts for business improvement. At a national level, Tom leads the BIS local team’s engagement with the chemicals and process industries.


Stephen Lightley
Chief Operating Officer, North East Access to Finance

Stephen Lightley: Chief Operating Officer, North East Access to Finance

Stephen is an experienced finance professional with some 30 years’ experience in a range of positions in Newcastle and Scotland. After 13 years with KPMG, he became a Regional Partner with Haines Watts. He was a former CEO and Finance Director of an AIM listed professional services company, of which he was a founding partner.

Stephen was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of North East Access to Finance in July 2011.

Organised in collaboration with
Business Durham
Netpark Net

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