5 February 2019

Leaders of the future: Innovation for mid-career professionals

Organised by:

SCI's Mid-Career Group

London, UK

This event is by invite only

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


This is the inaugural event of the SCI mid-career group. In the next 5–10 years, businesses across many sectors globally will face a drop off in valuable experience and leadership skills as the ageing population sees many business leaders move into retirement. Although the population in the UK comprised 10.1 million people of between 50 and pensionable age in 2016, this figure is expected to leap to 13.8 million by 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics. The number of those between 16 and 49 years old will, in turn, drop by 700,000. With industry facing a period of unprecedented change and new technologies being introduced at an increasing rate, we must act now to ensure sustainable growth in innovation through strong leadership. This event aims to review the challenges and potential solutions. Focus will be given to innovation in the chemical industry and particularly what will be needed from our mid-career professionals. Delegates from across businesses will include business and HR leaders as well as mid-career professionals and the event will be interactive with workshops and opportunities for networking.

A 'mid-career professional' is defined as someone who:

  • has greater than 10 years' career experience
  • is in a 2nd or 3rd role or has developed specialised expertise in a particular area
  • wishes to develop in their current role or is thinking about their next step up the career ladder (e.g. technical to managerial role, department change)

The meeting will officially launch the SCI Mid-Career Group and give delegates an opportunity to input into the scope and direction of future activities, and to build new networks which will become invaluable as they progress in their careers.


This event will be of interest to the following;

  • Business and HR leaders looking to share and develop understanding of future challenges around experience, leadership and skills gaps as well as developing sustainable growth in innovation.
  • Mid-career professionals who are interested in future needs of innovation in the chemical industry. Attendees current roles will encompass Marketing, Business Development, Technical, Innovation Managers, R&D scientists/leaders and patent executives.
  • Start-ups looking to develop their leaders or processes to ensure a pipeline of activity led by innovation
  • Start-ups looking to develop a pipeline of innovative leaders in their organisation
  • Investors in innovation leadership

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. Information and input (survey) will be requested ahead of the meeting to support the agenda.

10.00 Registration and refreshments
10.30 Welcome and introduction
10.45 The UK chemistry-based industry in a changing global landscape
Sharon Todd, Chief Executive Officer, SCI
11.10 Growth in innovation and the needs of industry
Robin Harrison, Global Innovation Director, Synthomer
11.35 Refreshment break
11.55 Developing mid-career professionals for the industry of tomorrow
Ian Honeywell, Talent and Development Manager, Johnson Matthey
12.20 The importance of building innovative leaders – a company director's perspective
Simon Hirst, Chief Executive Officer, Sygnature Discovery
12.45 Lunch
13.45 From Medicinal Chemist to HR Programme Lead
Gemma White, HR Talent Programme Lead, GSK
14.00 Workshop strands – led by Synthomer, Johnson Matthey and Croda
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone and being able to use transferrable skills
  • Active career path management
  • Managing exposure in the company and building your network
15.45 Refreshment break
16.05 Workshop feedback session
16.35 Wrap up and next steps
17.00 Networking reception
18.30 Close

Venue and Contact


14/15 Belgrave Square

Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org


Attendance to this event is free of charge, however places are limited. Please contact conferences@soci.org to register your interest in attending.

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Exhibition and Sponsorship

An exhibition will take place alongside the conference for companies and related organisations who may wish to exhibit. Please email conferences@soci.org for further information and prices. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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