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6th Meeting of the 196th Session (2016-2017)

What can Shaw, Wilde, Churchill, Bush and Pasteur teach us about innovation?

Professor R P Tooze

Professor R P Tooze

Professor R P Tooze FRSC FRSE
Managing Director
Sasol Technology (UK) Ltd

On Monday 27th March 2017, at 7pm

The topic of innovation continues to exercise the public and private sector alike. Recent economic and political changes will only serve to heighten this debate. Whilst it seems incontrovertible that the translation of knowledge for the benefit of society is a laudable goal, there seems to be little consensus on how best to achieve this or even what constitutes innovation. Innovation can occur in all sectors, but success may depend on these acting in concert.

Using a thirty year career in the chemical industry as a reference I will attempt to highlight some common problems and pitfalls that bedevil the theory and practise of innovation and advocate an alternative model for productive innovation involving two key stakeholders, industry and academia.

Following a PhD in Chemistry from Imperial College London under the supervision of Nobel Laureate, Professor Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson Bob joined ICI and has subsequently worked in the chemical industry for over 30 years. This career has spanned various businesses and locations but always in R&D. He joined Sasol Technology UK in 2002 and was made Managing Director in 2004. He is currently Chair of Chemical Sciences Scotland, sits on the Scottish Industrial Biotechnology Development Group, the Energy Technology Partnership Advisory Group and served on the Scottish Science Advisory Council. He has wide experience of collaborative research having chaired the Industrial Board of a network of 40 of the leading Catalysis Laboratories in Europe and also currently chairs the Industrial Advisory Panel of the UK Catalysis Hub. Bob holds an honorary Professorship in Chemistry at the University of St Andrews giving lecture courses in the field of catalysis. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2013.