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Professor Iain Gillespie

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)

0116 252 5256

The University of Leicester
University Road
United Kingdom

Dr Iain Gillespie currently serves on the University of Leicester Executive Board as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise). He was previously Director of Science & Innovation at the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the UK’s leading funder of environmental science. Prior to that he was the Head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Biotechnology Division (2001-2011), and Head of the OECD’Science and Technology Policy Division afterwards.

He led OECD’s work on open innovation in the life sciences, the development of knowledge markets, and collaborative mechanisms for management of IPRs, as well as more general work on realising the bioeconomy. His other main responsibilities at the OECD were research infrastructure and funding, human resources for science and technology, evaluation and monitoring of innovation systems, governance of international cooperation on science, technology and innovation to meet global challenges, social innovation, demand/supply side integration and societal engagement.

Prior to the OECD, Iain worked in academia (UK and Middle East) and in the biotechnology industry (Agricultural Genetics Co Ltd, Cambridge) before joining government service in 1991. He held policy posts in the UK Departments of the Environment, of Health and of Trade and Industry as well as in the Cabinet Office where he ran a small policy unit in support of the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor, developing advice on issues as diverse as climate change, human cloning, the use of scientific advice in policy making and risk. Just before joining OECD, Iain was the government’s secretary to the Pharmaceutical Industry Competitiveness Task Force (PICTF), reporting to the UK Prime Minister.

Iain is a scientist by training with a PhD in Microbiology. He also holds an MA in International Relations and European Politics and an MBA with specialisms in knowledge management and innovation. He was educated at the Universities of Edinburgh, London and Kent at Canterbury, as well as the Open University in the UK.

Research Interests

Dr Iain Gillespie will be focusing principally on open innovation and knowledge markets in the life sciences, as well as the development of the bioeconomy. He will work with Innogen colleagues to develop new strategic partnership opportunities with the private sector, foundations and others, as well as to concentrate effort on developing our life science innovation consultancy role.

Completed research