23 February 2021

Entrepreneurship in the evolving landscape of the chemical industry

Organised by:

SCI’s Mid-careers Group

Online webinar: 14:00 - 16:30 GMT

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


This is the fifth event of the SCI Mid-Career Group and has been designed to provide a platform for knowledge exchange and learning for mid-career professionals and organisations working in the chemical or chemistry using industries.

The aim of this event is for key speakers and SCI members to share and discuss perspectives on how entrepreneurship is evolving in the chemical industry and has the potential to flourish in response to wider change or disruption. Underlying drivers of innovation such as the rise of the digital age, and adaption of ways of working to the global pandemic are expected to be addressed to help equip mid-career professionals with tools and strategies to support their businesses in the future.

Delegates are expected to include business and HR leaders as well as mid-career professionals and the event will be interactive including workshops. All delegates will be expected to participate in a constructive way in facilitated workshop style activities to help identify solutions and best practices which can address the aims of the event.


Dr Jane Jin

Oxford University Innovation

Dr Jane Jin is a Senior Licensing and Ventures Manager at Oxford University Innovation, focusing on commercialising the outcomes of Oxford University's research through licensing and creating spin-out companies. She managed the formation of four spin-out companies since 2018 including recently a rapid CoVID-19 diagnosis social venture called Oxsed Ltd in 2020. Jane started her career at an innovation management consultancy at Cambridge Science Park where she helped global consumer and industrial companies such as P&G to identify and evaluate technologies and products for new market opportunities. Jane graduated from University of Leeds as the Top Medicinal Chemistry Graduate of the year 2006 and completed her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge in 2010.

Ross Burn


After completing his PhD in 2007, Ross joined AstraZeneca as a Senior Analytical Chemist to develop techniques to improve reaction understanding in process R&D. Ross’ analytical expertise and entrepreneurial mindset was pivotal to the founding of CatSci in 2011 and as CEO led the company’s transition from catalyst screening to become the award-winning chemical process research and development partner that it is today. CatSci has achieved a CAGR of >50% over the last five years and now has a talented team of nearly 50 staff. Most recently, Ross was shortlisted as a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Cardiff Business Awards 2020.

Rafael Hunt-Stokes and John O’Sullivan


Metallogen are the 2020 SCI’s Bright SCIdea Challenge winners for their solution to dual problem of shortages of heavy metals used in huge quantity by the electronics sector, and the subsequent contamination of farmland close to mining sites in the developing world. Metallogen’s titanium oxide nanoparticle assists the natural process of phytoremediation to isolate these extracted rare metals to be sold on the market. Currently, Rafael and John are studying at the University of Oxford for postgraduate degrees in Particle Physics and Materials Science respectively

Steve Rannard

University of Liverpool

Steve studied for his BSc (1988) and D. Phil (1991) at the University of Sussex. His D.Phil, sponsored by BP, focussed on novel block copolymers for dialysis membranes. After leaving Sussex, Steve spent 16 years in UK industry including Cookson, Courtaulds and Unilever at the Port Sunlight Laboratories. He is the cofounder and Vice Chair of the British Society for Nanomedicine and has led the foundation of three spinout companies, IOTA NanoSolutions Ltd, Hydra Polymers Ltd and Tandem Nano Ltd. He joined the University of Liverpool in September 2007 and his current research interests include the utilisation of different nanotechnologies in healthcare applications.


14:00  Welcome and introduction
Chair Dave Freeman, Mid-Career Group

14:10  Team Metallogen & the Bright SCIdea Challenge 2020
    Rafael Hunt-Stokes and John O’Sullivan, Metallogen

14:25  Enabling academic spinouts at Oxford University Innovation
Dr Jane Jin, Oxford University Innovation

14:40  Blue Oceans, Antifragility & Agile Business: re-thinking the path to innovation
             to create better outcomes

 Ross Burn, CatSci Ltd

14:55  From Industry and Spinout to Academia and Joint Venture.
               Some Experience and Learnings

Steve Rannard, University of Liverpool

15:15  Breakout discussions
15:20   Room 1- Steve Rannard, Rafael Hunt-Stokes and John O’Sullivan             
              Room 2- Ross Burn and Dr Jane Jin 

15.40   Room 1- Ross Burn and Dr Jane Jin 
              Room 2- Steve Rannard, Rafael Hunt-Stokes and John O’Sullivan  

16:00 Closing remarks

Booking Process/Deadlines

Booking terms and conditions


Organising Committee

Dan Smith, CatSci/ Mid-Career Group
Mihiro Sunose, Sygnature Discovery/Mid-Career Group

Conference Team

Email: conferences@soci.org
Tel:+44 (0)20 7598 1561