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A*STAR And Exploit Technologies Launches The Distinguished Technopreneur

10/23/2008 2:27:17 PM

Exploit Technologies will launch the Distinguished Technopreneur Speaker (DTS) series on 30 October 2008 to seed innovation and entrepreneurship in Singapore. A slew of distinguished technopreneur speakers will be invited at regular intervals to share their experiences on science and innovation. These speakers are selected based on their proven track record of exploiting technology and innovation to create value-add and wealth for their community. DTS aims to engage entrepreneurs, industry professionals, researchers, scholars and students and inspire them to explore the potential of entrepreneurship, innovation and emerging technologies as envisioned by the new economy.

Professor Stephen G Davies (right), Chairman of Chemistry and Waynflete Professor of Chemistry, a highly successful serial entrepreneur and an accomplished Oxford professor in research, will be the first Distinguished Technopreneur Speaker at the inaugural seminar on 30 October 2008.

As a brilliant entrepreneur, Prof Davies founded Oxford Asymmetry and VASTox. Oxford Asymmetry was floated for £58 million in 2004. The company offers chemical genomics technology to aid drug discovery. The Department of Chemistry at Oxford has leveraged a unique investment model to reap good financial results. It established a novel partnership with IP Group Plc (formerly Beeson Gregory) to produce £20 million towards financing the new £60 million Chemistry Research Laboratory opened by HM The Queen in 2004. In return for this upfront sum, the bank receives half of the University equity in Chemistry spin-outs for 15 years. Already in the short history of the deal eleven new companies have been created. Several of them have had second round funding, and Vastox and Oxford Catalysts had successful IPOs on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with a combined market capitalisation of over £100 million.

As an accomplished academic, Prof Davies received his B.A. in 1973 from New College, University of Oxford and D. Phil (supervised by Dr. Gordon Whitham) in 1975, also at the University of Oxford. Prof Davies subsequently held an ICI Postdoctoral Fellowship (1975-1977 with Prof. Malcolm Green) and a NATO Fellowship (1977-1978 with Prof. Sir Derek Barton) before joining the CNRS at Gifsur- Yvette collaborating with Dr. Hugh Felkin. He returned to Oxford in 1980 to a University Lectureship and then Professorship, as well as a Fellowship of New College. He has since published over 375 research papers, and has been the recipient of a variety of awards for his contribution to organic synthesis, including the Hickinbottom Fellowship (1984), the Pfizer Award for Chemistry (1985, 1988), the Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Organometallic Chemistry (1987), the Royal Society of Chemistry Bader Award (1989), the Tilden Lecture Award (1996) , the Royal Society of Chemistry Award in Stereochemistry (1997), and the Prize Lectureship of the Society of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Japan (1998).

Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR, said, "We are privileged to have Professor Stephen Davis, a technopreneur par excellence, as the inaugural Distinguished Technopreneur Speaker. His sharing of rich insights and perspectives with the local scientific community will no doubt inspire and encourage some of them to take the road less travelled. Indeed, the Distinguished Technopreneur Speaker Seminar is a useful platform for researchers to learn from other scientists, both successes and failures; share experiences with other entrepreneur scientists; and network with a range of people that can be their partners or mentors in their entrepreneurial pursuits.”

Mr Boon Swan Foo, Executive Chairman of Exploit Technologies and Chairman of the Technology Transfer Network, added, "The launch of the Distinguished Technopreneur Speaker series marks an important milestone in Exploit Technologies’ steadfast efforts to seed the spirit of innovation and enterprise in both our local industry players and A*STAR scientists and scholars. We are honoured to have onboard Prof Davies as the first Distinguished Technopreneur Speaker. We understand that Prof Davies has been very successful in bringing good science to the market. It is a remarkable that the IP Group Plc is willing to bankroll one-third of the new Chemistry Research Laboratory, in return for half of the University equity in Chemistry spin-outs for 15 years. This unique model speaks volume of the trust an investor has in both the University’s research and its business model for spin-offs. Prof Davies has much to share with the Singapore audience. We hope that Prof Davies and future speakers will inspire a new generation of technopreneurs in Singapore."

Prof Stephen G Davies, Chairman of Chemistry and Waynflete Professor of Chemistry, said, “A*STAR and Exploit Technologies have provided a timely platform, through the Distinguished Technopreneur Speaker series, for like-minded friends around the world to interact and inspire one another on the technopreneurship journey. I am certainly looking forward to sharing with the Singapore audience my passion and stories as an entrepreneur and a chemist.” Prof Davies will be in Singapore from 29 to 31 October 2008. He will be presented with the Distinguished Technopreneur Speaker Award at the seminar on 30 October 2008.

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