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Professor Alan Barrell

Alan Barrell, Entrepreneur in Residence
Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning,
Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

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Download Biography - 12 June 2013

Alan Barrell has spent almost 30 years in senior executive positions in technology based industries and has become one of Cambridge's most articulate promoters of entrepreneurship. He was a founder shareholder in Library House Ltd, and is now Entrepreneur in Residence at the University's Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning and Visiting Professor of Enterprise at the University of Bedfordshire School of Graduate Business Studies. He is also Distinguished Guest Professor at Xiamen University, Visiting Professor at Shanghai College of Science and Technology and at the Fujian International School of Economics and Business, Fuzhou and Guanzi University, all in China. He has taught at Tsinghua University Beijing, Fudan University in Shanghai and Minjiang University, Fuzhou City. He acts as Consultant to the China (Shanghai) Public Practicing Base for Entrepreneurs. His interest in China, its history, people and culture has become a major feature of his life and work. Other appointments include Senior Enterprise Fellow, University of Essex, International Fellow, Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge, and International Research Fellow, Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki.

He has been Chairman of Health Enterprise East Ltd, an organisation seeking to exploit innovative inventions, processes and procedures in the National Health Service within the Eastern Region since it was set up five years ago. Following a scientific training and six years working in clinical laboratory medicine in the NHS at the start of his career, he worked around the world with Baxter Healthcare and was its UK Chief Executive for six years. Subsequently, he joined Domino Printing Sciences plc as Managing Director. Domino became a public company and now has a market capitalization of more than Euros half a billion. Following six years with Domino ,he joined Willett International Group, an industrial electronics company, and was its CEO, building its global business into a major success.

He was then instrumental in launching the Cambridge Gateway Fund, a 70 millions Euros fund, to support early stage technology businesses in the region and became its Managing Partner, and has been involved with a number of charities including the Papworth Trust, the Royal Society of Arts, the Centre for Tomorrow's Company and The Prince's Trust. He is currently International Advisor to Youth Business China.

He has also chaired the Cambridge Enterprise Conference and works closely with a number of Science Parks and Innovation Centres in Cambridge, elsewhere in the UK and overseas. He received The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2006.

In 2009 Alan became Chairman of Eagle Genomics Ltd, and Pneumacare Ltd., and a Director of Probe Scientific Ltd. All are entrepreneurial early stage Life Science Companies.

In October 2009 The Regional Strategic Health Authority for the East of England appointed Alan Chairman of the NHS Innovation Council and in November he accepted an invitation to act as Chairman of the External Advisory Board of NACUE – the National Consortium of University Entrepreneurs, an organization which grew in its first year to have 40,000 members and embrace 80 University Enterprise Associations.

Alan is a member of Cambridge Angels and Sophia Business Angels (France) and advises numerous early stage companies internationally.

During 2010 Alan devoted increasing time to supporting Innovation in Health care and was appointed in October 2009 Chairman of the NHS East of England innovation Council.

In August 2010, Alan was elected Entrepreneur in Residence, Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice, McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario. This appointment was renewed for a further three years in 2013. Alan has been doing extensive work on cross border investing and technology transfer involving UK and Canada, supported by Industry Canada, the Government of Ontario The British High Commission in Ottawa and The Canadian High Commission in London.

On February 1st, on behalf of the President of Finland, Ms. Tarja Hanonen, Alan was conferred the honor of Knight First Class – Order of the White Rose of Finland by the Finnish Ambassador to UK – Mr. Pekka Huhkaniemi in recognition of his services to the development of Creative and Innovative University Education in Finland – largely through his activities at Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki.

During a working visit in February 2011 to Sendai in Japan, Alan was appointed Distinguished Guest Professor at Tohoku Fukushi University, by the President, Professor Koki Hagino.

In 2012 Alan Barrell, worked as a founder director of the International Commercialization Alliance which seeks to encourage best practices in turning research into good products.

During 2012/2013 work on the development of new approaches to entrepreneurial education and new pedagogical methods to develop effective entrepreneurs has proceeded through more collaborations between Universities and companies in UK, Finland, USA and China and Alan has been significantly involved. This includes work on the Advisory Board of the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship at University of Cambridge.

Professor Barrell is involved in the organization Start Up Generation and works extensively with start ups in a number of companies. In June 2013 the book “Show me the Money” a book about fund raising was launched – authors Professor Barrell, David Gill of St John’s Innovation Centre Cambridge and Martin Rigby Venture Capitalist.

Updated June 12th 2013


Alan Barrell

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Download and view the latest presentations and downloads from recent events:

Entrepreneurship 101

30 June 2014 | 34 MB

Canada's Entrepreneur Institute features 3 broadcasts by Alan in June - 'Entrepreneurship 101' 'From Silos to Ecosystems' and 'The Continuum of Entrepreneurial Finance' - see all here.

Business Cycle Management and Strategic Planning

17 June 2014 | 43 MB

Lecture given to delegation of CEOs and Chairmen of independent companies from the City of Chengdu

The Crowdfunding Phenomenon

16 June 2014 | 3 MB

RSA continues to support projects with Crowdfunding and Alan Barrell speaks about it at Regional Conference

See all downloads >>