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Darren Browne is University's new Commercial Director

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Darren Browne has joined the University as our new Commercial Director.

He will lead the development and delivery of a commercial strategy, which will predominantly focus on strengthening and leveraging external Business Partnerships, and aim to enhance our income from strategic academic and non-academic activities.

Darren will also help identify commercial opportunities in the context of our core academic mission. This will complement the strong activity already being led by Matt White in his role as Campus Commerce Director. He will lead the teams in Research and Enterprise Services (RES) and the Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC).

Darren brings strong commercial experience to the role, having worked in the corporate sector as well as innovative start-ups for more than 20 years. He started his business career with Hays plc, going on to become the Managing Director of its IT division and managing staff across three continents. He then established his own public sector outsourcing company that was listed on the London Stock Exchange. For the past 10 years, Darren has been investing in starts-ups working on artificial intelligence, financial technologies and digital currencies.

As part of this reorganisation, Chris Reeve, Property Services Director, will take over as the Managing Director for the Thames Valley Science Park (TVSP) alongside his current role, and work with colleagues in each of the teams to leverage the synergies which already exist.

In the final element of this change, David Gillham will step down as Director of TVSP and Interim Commercial Director, and will be leaving the University at the end of June 2019.

Chief Financial Officer Samantha Foley said, “Darren is an outstanding business leader with a strong track record of success. He is well-known within the Thames Valley business community and understands the impact that successful partnerships and strong commercial mindset have on the future of all organisations.

"I am thankful to David Gillham for his work as the interim Commercial Director since November 2018, and Director of TVSP and Special Projects before that. The insight and experience that David brought to the role have been invaluable and I am grateful for the work he has put into laying the foundations of our commercial approach."

Darren Browne said, “I am excited to lead the University’s commercial activity at a time of significant change and opportunity. I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues and the wider business community in the Thames Valley and beyond.”

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