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    Tony Hart joins RDS Board

    June 2023

    The RDS Board is pleased to announce that Tony Hart has joined the Board of the RDS. This follows the decision to re-focus the RDS as a Commercialisation Think-tank focussed on understanding how science and technology-enabled innovations are translated to deliver significant commercial impact.


    Tony worked for a number of leading ICT corporates in the UK and US, Digital Equipment Corporation, Research Machines PLC, Intel Corporation and Cisco Systems, in the SME networking, videoconferencing and IPTV sectors across the UK and Europe. Since 2005 he has worked as a consultant and interim Business Development Director for a wide range of technology companies in sectors as diverse as education, internet TV, smart meters, social enterprise and sustainability, building on close links with academia and the digital technology sector across the UK. He was also Head of Smart Oxford, working with public and private sector organisations to develop Oxford as a smart city, energising an ecosystem to support businesses across the region.


    Iain Simpson, RDSChair said ‘We are delighted that Tony Hart has joined the RDS Board to support our strategy to become a leading think-tank in the commercialisation of UK Research & Innovation’.


    Tony Hart said ‘I am very pleased to join the RDS leadership team to accelerate thinking about how our strong science and technology base can be harnessed to create significant commercial and social impact’.

    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    R&D Society refocusing on the commercialisation of R&D

    R&D Society Press Release

    March 2023

    The R&D Society, is refocusing its activities to become the UK’s leading independent think-tank on the commercialisation of R&D and the voice of industrial R&D in the debate around how science and technology can best support economic growth in the UK.

    We make evidence-based recommendations for the commercialisation of science and technology, which help policymakers and businesses understand the impact that their policy and innovation decisionshave on the UK’s economic growth.

    The government has repeatedly championed Britain as a “science and technology superpower”, rightly highlighting our universities’ world-leading artificial intelligence and life sciences research.

    But such research can improve lives, deliver value to our society andstrengthen our economy ONLY if it is commercialised and applied in the real world.

    It is time to focus on action.

    For Government, thismeans engaging with industry and other stakeholders to build an effective Commercialisation Infrastructure. Government’s role is to develop and implement effective policies, allocate public sector resources and implement interventions that enable businesses to commercialise innovation from multiple sources.
    For Businesses, this means working to increase the likelihood of success in bringing to market new products, processes and services.

    For Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) practitioners in both the public and private sectors, this means getting involved in the debate and sharing your views with other members of the R&D Society.


    Dr Iain Simpson, Acting Chairperson of the R&D Society commented “To ensure the UK can deliver economic growth through being a science and technology superpower, we need to identify and address the weakest links in our innovation ecosystem. The Society looks forward to making its contribution to realising this vision, by acting as a voice of Industrial R&D and providing evidence-based recommendations that support the commercialisation of science and technology”

    Read our vision statement here

    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    Strategic collaboration with Triple Chasm Company

    June 2022

    We are delighted to announce a new partnership with the Triple Chasm Company focussing on developing a better understanding of the innovation landscape in the UK.


    The R&D Society and the Triple Chasm Company share the same goals of improving the translation of ideas into commercial, social and environmental impact. The research collaboration is focused on generating practical insights for innovative high-growth companies, enabling them to better focus their efforts.

    The R&D Society will promote Triple Chasm research and tools to its membership resulting in better data-driven decisions, leading to faster, more sustainable growth.

    Iain Simpson, Chairperson of The R&D Society said:

    "We seek to maintain UK as one of the most attractive global environments for R&D, with a particular emphasis on realising its potential to impact social and economic wealth. With this in mind we are delighted to form a strategic partnership with the Triple Chasm Company to support applying its research-based methodologies to develop a better understanding of the innovation landscape in the UK linking the micro, meso, and macro factors that ensure economic growth and sustainability."

    Dr Phadke, CEO of the Triple Chasm added:

    “We are delighted about this new partnership which should enable more rigorous evidence-driven approaches which go beyond simple macro-economic notions of market failure, productivity gaps, and volatile investor sentiment.“

    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

    Patron of the Research & Development Society

    April 12 2021

    The Research and Development Society is saddened to learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on April 9, 2021. We offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and all the Royal Family at this difficult time.


    His Royal Highness was a patron of the R&D Society; our former and long-standing Administrative Secretary, Clive Jones notes in a history of the Society that “In 1969 steps were taken to obtain the Patronage of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. After lengthy negotiations with Buckingham Palace, His Royal Highness eventually attended an Evening Meeting held at The Royal Society in May 1970 and thereafter kindly consented to become the Society’s Patron”.


    His passion for reserach and development spanned a whole spectrum of activities; he served as Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh from 1953 to 2010 and the University of Cambridge from 1976 until 2011; played a key role in establishing the Royal Academy of Engineering, commissioning the Prince Philip Medal which is awarded biennially by the Academy to an engineer of any nationality who has made an exceptional contribution to engineering as a whole, through practice, management, or education. He had a strong interest in the industrialisation of science and engineering, visiting research centres and laboratories, mines and factories, engineering facilities and industrial sites with the objective of understanding and contributing to the improvement of British industry, a key area of focus for the R&D Society.


    I was fortunate enough to meet him at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party in 2015 and experience his ability to combine both interest and wit when speaking on a subject. After asking about the Society, he then went on to ask me what I did for my day job. When I explained that I worked in medical devices, he was quick to quip that he has “been on the wrong end of a few of those in his time”.


    He will be sadly missed not only by those who had the fortune to be acquainted with him, but by a much wider population throughout the world who appreciate the enthusiasm and support he has given to so many important causes. Those of of us who experienced his passion and support for research and development, know that his legacy in this field will be more enduring. His recognition of the importance of the application of science to industrial output is particularly pertinent at the present time, as the UK government works to redefine its industrial strategy around a new “Plan for Growth” initiative. His ability and willingness to challenge the status quo will be sorely missed.


    Iain Simpson


    Research and Development Society