Easton, Gyimah and Kukula join OUI board

17th August 2020

OUI welcomes former universities minister, former PraxisAuril chair, and PVC for Development at Oxford to the board.

Oxford University Innovation, the university innovation arm of Oxford University, is welcoming Sam Gyimah, former minister for universities, Dr Angela Kukula, Director of Enterprise at the Institute of Cancer Research and Robert Easton, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Development at Oxford University, to its Board of Directors.

Gyimah spent ten years in politics and government, and a further ten years in business and finance. He is the former UK Minister for Technology, international Science, Universities and Innovation. During his time in politics, he was a Minister in four departments and a trusted personal advisor to a U.K. Prime Minister, David Cameron, as his Parliamentary Private Secretary and formed part of his Cabinet.  Prior to politics, Gyimah worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, working on mergers, acquisitions and capital raising, and subsequently became an entrepreneur. Gyimah read Philosophy Politics and Economics and was the first Black British President of the Oxford Union Society.

An internationally recognised technology transfer specialist, Dr Kukula is Director of Enterprise at the Institute for Cancer Research and the immediate past chair of PraxisAuril, the UK’s professional body for technology transfer. Angela was the inaugural Head of IP and Commercialisation at Aston University responsible for initiating all of the University’s technology transfer activities. Prior to her role at Aston University, Dr Kukula has worked for a number of academic and private organisations in the UK and abroad, including Oxford University Innovation, Novartis KK, Boerhinger Ingleheim KK and Osaka University. She received her Bachelor’s degree, in Biochemistry, from the University.

Dr Robert Easton (BSc ARCS DPhil FCGI) is the current Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Development and External Affairs) which includes the Public Affairs Department, Development and Alumni Relations, and the International Strategy Office. He was a veteran of the Carlyle Group where he was a Global Partner. He is a serial investor in technology driven, small and start-up businesses, supporting entrepreneurship in the UK and an advisor to Oxford Sciences Innovation. He is a major donor to Oxford University, the British Heart Foundation and the Young Vic Theatre, in addition to many other causes covering science, innovation, conservation, sport and music. He holds a Doctorate in organic synthesis from Oxford University.

Sam Gyimah, presently an independent strategic advisor on sustainable finance, said:

“The world is changing, and the UK needs to take advantage of this. Innovation is helping change society and is the bedrock of the businesses of the future. Oxford has demonstrated it is uniquely placed to bring great ideas to life, by commercialising them, and supporting these ventures to grow and prosper. It is a huge privilege for me to play a small part in turning world class ideas into reality.”

Matt Perkins, Chief Executive Officer at Oxford University Innovation, added:

“The depth of expertise, experience and knowledge Robert, Angela and Sam bring to OUI is simply world-class. They represent truly exceptional additions to an already great line up on the OUI board, and their insight will prove invaluable in shaping both OUI and the Oxford Cluster in the months and years ahead.”

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