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Professor Alan Barrell

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

Contact details

Chairman MedTech International Ltd
Chairman Bactest Ltd
Chairman Eagle Genomics Ltd

Download Biography - December 2014

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 and at University of Lahti also in Finland.

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 1 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.

Most recently, Alan has become Chairman of Eagle Genomics Ltd, and Pneumacare Ltd., and a Director of Probe Scientific Ltd. All are entrepreneurial early stage Life Science Companies. He is a Director of two Chinese Companies – Global Youth Development Organization (Beijing) and INVAGLO (Shanghai).

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 Trustee Board of NACUE – the National Association of College and of University Entrepreneurs, an organization which grew in its first year to have 40,000 members and embrace 100 University Enterprise Associations. He is also advisor to Start Up Generation an international organisation supporting start up companies around the world.

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

In August 2010, Alan was elected Entrepreneur in Residence, Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice, McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario and was re-appointed in March 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 and The Canadian High Commission in London. He was a founder director of the International Commercialization Alliance based in Toronto.

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 Huhtaniemi 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.

During 2012 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. Extensive work has been undertaken in Entrepreneurial Education in Latvia and other Baltic States. In 2013 further educational development work with University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic University as well as Singapore Institute of Management has been undertaken.

In August 2013 the book "Show Me The Money – How to raise the cash to get your business off the ground" co-authored by Alan Barrell, David Gill and Martin Rigby was launched and the first printing was sold out in six months. Now reprinted and selling worldwide.

In October 2014 the Vice Chancellor at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge awarded Alan the degree Honorary Doctor of Business Administration and in the same month he was appointed Advisor to the Chinese Ministry of Education on Entrepreneurial Education and elected a Professor at the Shanghai Academy of Arts and Design.

In December 2014 Essex University Business School elected Alan an Executive Fellow.

Updated December 2014


Alan Barrell

Alan's world

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 >>