• About us

    Founded originally in 1962, The R&D Society aims to be the authoritative and
    representative voice of industrially-focussed R&D in the UK


    Our vision is to help make the UK the best environment in the world for research and development

    Founded more than 50 years ago, the underlying aim of the R&D Society continues to be the authoritative and representative voice of R&D in the UK. In this context, as the R&D landscape has changed, we have recognised the need to embrace such influences as globalisation, greater access to knowledge, the reduction in budgets and changes in funding mechanisms, and new areas in which R&D is taking place. We also recognise the move towards multi-faceted collaboration, the increasing importance design, and approaches such as end-user driven innovation. With all of this in mind, our focus is on making the UK one of the most attractive global environments for R&D, with a particular emphasis on realising its potential to impact social and economic wealth in the UK.

    A number of events of the past 18 months including the UK's decision to leave the European Union, the desire by the UK government to develop a new industrial strategy, as well as uncertainty for UK industry through acquisitions of companies such as Vauxhall, ARM and the threat of closure of parts of Corus have increased the need for a debate about the role of R&D in the UK and particularly how government should support it to maximise its value to the UK economy.

    Through public events, round table meetings and canvassing of opinion from key stakeholders, we seek to understand the and influence the key factors that drive industrial R&D in the UK, and maximise its contribution to UK economic and social wealth.


    To achieve its objectives the Society engages in a number of activities

    • Running of high profile events with attendance from R&D leaders and government
    • Providing input into policy relating to R&D



    We are currently looking to establish a Strategic Advisory Board that will help us direct the aims and objectives of the Society and also allow us to be seen as a credible voice for R&D in the UK. We are also looking at ways we can collaborate with other organisations with related objectives to allow us to be more effective in what we plan to do. We plan to hold an AGM within the next few months to coincide with a future event and following that to reopen membership. If you require any more information or have some suggestions for events or other ways in which the Society might develop, then please feel free to get in touch.


    President Sir Richard Sykes

    Chair Iain Simpson, IXICO

    Chief Executive 


    Executive Board

    Linda Barron, Barron Gould

    David Hughes, Business Innovation Group

    Nico Macdonald, London South Bank University

    Uday Phadke, Cartezia


    Legal and administrative

  • Who’s involved in the Society

    Our Board, Chair, President and Chief Exec

    Iain Simpson


    Iain is currently chair of the Society, a role he also held from 2008–2010. Prior to that he has held various roles within the Society, including developing a special interest group in benchmarking and best practice and being a Board member for the past 15 years.


    Iain has a 30-year track record of multidisciplinary technology and product development, including business development, project management and technology assessment in US and European markets – with a strong emphasis on medical devices and bioinstrumentation. His careers has included roles at THORN EMI, as well as several leading technology consultancies in the Cambridge Cluster. He currently works for Ixico, a London-based company focussed on developing technologies to support clinical research and clinical practice mainly in the fields of brain health and neurology.


    Iain has written and presented papers on a range of topics particularly relating to the pharmaceutical industry but also covering technology licensing and product development. He has also chaired sessions at several international conferences and presented on the UK R&D environment. He also lectures on drug delivery to the Cambridge University Masters in Bioscience course.

    Iain graduated from University College London with a first class honours degree in physics and a PhD in experimental solid state physics. He also has an MBA in Technology Management from the Open University.

    David Hughes

    Board member

    David is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and holds an MSc in Engineering and an Honorary Doctor of Technology, Loughborough University. He is a Chartered Director (IoD) and currently works with three management consultancies advising companies on innovation strategy. This has included product development projects in large companies through to working with SMEs on manufacturing strategy and business plan development.


    David has also worked on strategic development projects with City and Brunel Universities and chaired advisory Boards at City and Nottingham Universities. In 2006, David completed a four-year term with the DTI (BIS) as lead Government official developing and implementing Government policy on innovation. He was responsible for creating and establishing the widely acclaimed Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK).


    Prior to this appointment, twenty years executive level management experience with major global businesses – Ford, Lucas, GEC-Marconi and BAEsystems. Experienced manager of multinational project teams and change leader and an approved Cabinet Office project assurance reviewer.

    Linda Barron

    Board member

    Linda is co-founder of product development studio Barron Gould, based in central London. Since 1990 Barron Gould has consulted to international goods and services clients on how product improvements can be unlocked through the innovative use of technology. These solutions are enhanced by a mix of Barron Gould’s experience and know-how in style and colour trend demographics, advanced design methodologies, materials and colour science and advanced manufacturing; dimensions where clients can achieve significant competitive advantage. Clients have included DuPont, Herman Miller, Kodak, Motorola, Philips, Gillette, Exxon Mobil and UK Sport.


    For the past 10 years the consultancy has been developing technologies that work seamlessly with computer-aided design, eliminating traditional analogue interventions and enabling rapid manufacturing on an industrial scale with mass customisation potential. Barron Gould’s latest venture, driven by demand from the construction and marine industry, is to develop methods for cost-effective development of complex geometry surfaces which meet exacting requirements of accuracy, quality, cost and timely delivery.


    Linda graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, c college of the University of the Arts London, with a first-class honours degree in fashion design, and designed for Missoni in Milan for several years before founding Barron Gould with partner, John Gould.


    She is a founder and Advisory Board member of the Materials and Design Exchange, part of the Knowledge Transfer Network; the KTN is funded by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency. She is also active as a Project Monitoring Officer for Innovate UK.

    Dr Uday Phadke

    Board member

    Dr Uday Phadke read Engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge and then went on to do a PhD in Aero-thermodynamics at the University of Sussex. He has worked in a wide range of academic, technical, commercial and strategic roles in Europe, North America and Asia over the last three decades.

    He has a wide and deep technical background in a number of technology areas, including aerospace engineering, digital signal processing, remote sensing, electronics, computing & software, medical diagnostics, engineering design, media and telecommunications, financial technologies and digital media.


    He has been actively involved in the building of over 100 technology firms over the last two decades, as an advisor, mentor and investor, working closely with technology transfer offices, innovation agencies, incubators and accelerators. He has also been part of the founding team at a number of technology advisory and consulting companies since the early 1980s. Since 1997 he has been Chief Executive of Cartezia, the technology business builder based in Cambridge, UK.


    He was Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge from 2011 to 2016 and is now actively involved in several innovation policy development initiatives in Europe and Asia. His new book on science and technology commercialisation, Camels, Tigers and Unicorns, was published in early 2017.

    Nico Macdonald

    Board member

    Nico Macdonald is the former chief executive of the Research & Development Society and co-author of BIG POTATOES: The London Manifesto for Innovation. Since the late 80s he has been working in R&D and innovation in media and design for clients including Euromoney Publications, the Guardian newspaper, Haymarket Publishing, Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, The Sunday Times (News UK), Creation Records, the British Film Institute, the Royal Academy, the Design Council, and the Crafts Council, as well as many of the UK’s leading communication design studios.


    He has written extensively on for publications including the Guardian newspaper, the RSA Journal, World Link (the magazine of the World Economic Forum), Eye magazine, DCM (the UK Design Council magazine), Blueprint and Creative Review in the UK, and BusinessWeek.com, PRINT, the AIGA Journal and I.D. magazine in the US. He is author of 'What is Web Design?' (RotoVision, 2003). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


    He has lectured and taught on media, design, and innovation at many universities including Goldsmiths College, the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, and the National Film and Television School.

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Privacy Policy
The Research and Development Society Privacy Policy
This privacy policy sets out how The Research & Development Society (The R&D Society) uses and protects any information that you give us when you use this website.
We are committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
We may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 08 April 2018. 
Any personal information we hold about you is stored and processed under our Privacy Policy.  Our policy complies with UK law accordingly implemented, including that required by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force on May 25 2018.
1.	Data Controller
The data controller is The Research and Development Society, registered in England with company number 01014555 and  registered  address 7 Quidditch Lane, Lower Cambourne, Cambridge CB23 6DD. 
2.	What information we collect about you
We may collect the following information:
•	name and job title
•	company name
•	contact information including email address
•	demographic information such as postcodes, preferences and interests
•	other information relevant to surveys, calls for evidence and policy input that we participate in and which are relevant to the objectives of the Society 
3.	What we do with the information we gather
We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and for the following reasons:
•	Internal record keeping. 
•	We may use the information to improve our products and services
•	Send you updates from The R&D Society  
•	Direct marketing purposes in the form of newsletters or event information.
•	From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. We may contact you by email, phone, fax or mail. We may use the information to customise the website according to your interests.

4.	Security
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. To prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. However, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. We will always do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted over the internet.
5.	How we use cookies
A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences. 
We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system. 
Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. 
You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.
6.	Links to other websites
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
7.	Controlling your personal information
You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:
•	if you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may change your mind at any time by writing to or emailing us at admin@rdsoc.org
•	You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you.  

8.	Third parties
The R&D Society will not share your information for marketing purposes with companies outside of The R&D Society unless we have your permission to do so. 

In facilitating and processing your personal information we may disclose your details to any of our employees, officers and selected third parties insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes as outlined in this privacy policy. 
We use MailChimp as our marketing automation platform. (include the links to Mailchimp’s Privacy Policy and Terms) Your personal data will be transferred to MailChimp and processed by MailChimp. Mailchimp will perform processing activities such as the collection (via sign up forms) and storage of personal data, and the transfer of personal data to certain of MailChimp’s sub-processors. 
In addition, we may disclose your personal information to third parties:
-	To the extent that we are required to do so by law or in accordance with any legal proceedings. 
-	In the situation that The R&D Society merges or works in partnership with other organisations, provided their privacy terms are equivalent to those of the R&D Society. 
9.	International data transfers
Information that we collect may be stored and processed in and transferred between any of the countries in which we operate to enable us to use the information in accordance with this privacy policy.

Information which you provide may be transferred to countries (including the United States) which do not have data protection laws equivalent to those in force in the European Economic Area. 
10.	Removal of your information
If you wish us to remove personally identifiable information from our website, you may contact us using the details below.  This may limit the service we can provide to you.
11.	Retention period for personal data
Except as otherwise mentioned in this privacy notice, we keep your personal information only for as long as required by us:
•	to provide you with the services you have requested;
•	to comply with other law, including for the period demanded by our tax authorities;
•	to support a claim or defence in court.
12.	Complaints
If you complain about any of the content on our website, we shall investigate your complaint.
If we feel it is justified or if we believe the law requires us to do so, we shall remove the content while we investigate.

If you are in any way dissatisfied about how we process your personal information, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office. This can be done at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
13.	How to contact us
Please contact us if you have any questions about our privacy policy or information we hold about you. If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.

You can contact us by email at admin@rdsoc.org or write to us at The R&D Society at 7 Quidditch Lane, Lower Cambourne, Cambridge CB23 6DD