Roz Bird is CEO of Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP, the organization that manages Norwich Research Park. Find out how his big ideas will not only benefit the local economy and community, but also future generations and society as a whole.
Every month, those who work at the pioneering heart of Norwich Research Park tell us how their work is shaping the world we live in. Read their stories here.
What is your role at Anglia Innovation Partnership?
Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP works in partnership with all institutions and companies based at Norwich Research Park. This includes the Earlham Institute, Quadram Institute, John Innes Centre, Sainsbury’s Laboratory, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Our role is not science but science park management.
Anglia Innovation Partnership is about venue building, community development, event organization, networking, marketing and business attraction. It is the glue that holds everything about the park together to create jobs, raise awareness and maximize the commercialization of research for the benefit of society.
As Managing Director, my role is to lead the team working on everything from asset and facility management, development programs, strategic marketing, communications, budgeting and finance, and our new strategy corporate and our environmental, social and governance strategy. I am passionate about careers, education and inspiring young people by raising awareness of all the jobs available at Norwich Research Park – from science and professional services to events, catering and recruitment.
What can you tell us about the business strategy?
Launched in early May, the business strategy creates a funding pipeline for Park researchers to test their ideas in the marketplace and provide them with expert business advice. They can seek help developing a business plan, funding for prototyping, and joining a community of like-minded entrepreneurs at our networking events.
Once a business has been established, it can then apply for a seed fund which we have set up with QUBIS, the commercialization arm of Queen’s University Belfast, who are leaders in their field. There are high net worth individuals in Norfolk who want to support start-up businesses in the area and we can help attract and secure this private investment for businesses in the park.
Part of our campus has corporate zone status, which helps make it a more attractive place to start a business, and as we expand the campus by 800,000 square feet, there will be new business opportunities. valuable job in plant science, plant production and resilience. , human health and the human microbiome.
We aim to have a long-term social impact, which means communicating these opportunities to future generations. For a node of economic activity to thrive, you must interest young people who are in school today in local jobs. I want to find out how we can develop this place in a way that attracts big business and local talent – people who want to change the world.
What makes Norwich Research Park unique?
There are over 100 science parks in the UK, but only five of them are campuses supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) – and of these five, Norwich Research Park is the only one country to have three BBSRCs – locally funded research institutes. This allows our researchers to collaborate in distinct specialties. We also have UEA – a top 20 university – keen to play its part, as well as the clinicians at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
We produce ingenious answers to important technological questions – and Norwich can comfortably rival Cambridge in world-class science and facilities. Researchers and companies based at Norwich Research Park work on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with real global impact. One way to maximize that impact is to commercialize research, which is one of my goals as CEO.
How did you end up working in Norwich?
I started working for the UK Science Park Association as a Business Development Manager in 2002 and my first science park job was at Granta Park in Cambridge. I realized that science and research parks were real beacons of economic development that could inspire young people, support businesses and help individuals realize their dreams.
I graduated in Property Management from the University of Reading, became a Marketing Specialist through the Chartered Institute of Marketing, then became a Commercial Director at MEPC, where I worked for 15 years, from first at Granta Park with biotech companies like Pfizer and MedImmune, then at Silverstone Park, where I worked with cutting-edge engineering companies and helped set up the Silverstone Technology Cluster, before coming to Norwich Research Park in May 2022.
Why did you decide to pursue this career?
I’ve always been interested in science, but it wasn’t my best subject at school! Growing up in Littleport and Ely, Cambridgeshire, my parents used to take my sister and I shopping in Cambridge on a Saturday. I noticed the construction of the Cambridge Science Park. It was a profound moment, because it gave me hope that there was a range of jobs there. This experience made me realize how important it is to talk to young people about the different careers available and inspire them to work hard and do their best.
I also remember realizing that as a teenager, compared to my friends, I was very fond of taking the lead, making decisions and taking responsibility. I realized this when I took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s awards program. I was good at communicating and being organized, and those are all skills I use today. So I try to encourage young people to try new things to help them figure out what they’re good at.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I love visiting the North Norfolk coast with my partner, our daughter and our dog. I’ve always tried to keep in shape by going for a run, but I must admit that I prefer the sensations afterwards than doing it!
I was born in Ely and the cathedral is my favorite building in the world. I also love visiting Norwich Cathedral and all the old churches in East Anglia.
It is a great privilege to work here and, in addition to everything else, I look forward to becoming more involved in researching how Norwich Research Park can support and work with communities in Norwich.
Roz Bird is CEO of Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP at Norwich Research Park. You can follow her on Twitter @RozMBird