Imperial Innovations Board Change

Published: Jul 17, 2013

Staying up-to-date has never been simpler. Sign up for the free GenePool newsletter today!

17 July 2013 -- Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, “Innovations” or “the Group”), a leading technology commercialisation and investment group, announces that Susan Searle has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer. Russ Cummings, Chief Investment Officer and a director since the Group’s flotation in 2006, has become Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.

Russ Cummings previously worked at Scottish Equity Partners where as director in the Information Technology Group he was responsible for investment in high growth technology companies. Previously, Russ worked at 3i Group for 16 years including being a director in their UK Technology Group and at Rolls-Royce Motors as a development engineer. Russ has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London.

Martin Knight, Chairman of the Group, said:

“On behalf of the Board and the Group as whole, I would like to thank Susan for her considerable contribution over the last nearly 20 years, 11 of which have been as Chief Executive Officer. She led our Admission to AIM in 2006 and two subsequent equity fund raisings.

“During her tenure, she transformed the Group from an operational division of Imperial College London, as its technology transfer office, to a major independent venture capital and technology licensing business.

“Thanks to her efforts, Innovations now has a stable platform from which it can deliver its long-term ventures and licensing business objectives. We all wish her well for the future.

“Russ has an excellent track record in early stage investing and high growth companies spanning both the healthcare and technology sectors. He was recruited in 2006 as CIO to build the investment team. He has played a significant role on the boards of two of our flagship investments, Nexeon and Circassia.

“Russ has been a key part of the management team and is ideally suited to lead Innovations in the next phase of its development.”

Susan Searle said:

“I feel privileged for over 11 years to have led the management team at Innovations in building such a great company that it is today. But I have decided that now is the right time for me to step down. The timing of this decision is both good for me and for the business and enables my successor to make a very smooth transition to his role.

“The business is currently in a strong position and has recently concluded an additional £30m of funding from the European Investment Bank, enabling the Group to grow its investments still further. Innovations has some very exciting companies in its portfolio which we have worked hard to support and are based on world class science, with high quality management and are backed by strong investment syndicates.

“The Innovations story is set to continue and thrive in the long term and I wish it and the team every success.

“I now plan to go plural and to join a number of both larger and smaller public and private companies across a range of sectors, including biotech, engineering and technology, and investment in the UK and internationally.”


Imperial Innovations Group Plc 020 7594 6506

Martin Knight, Chairman

College Hill 020 7457 2020

Adrian Duffield/Tim Watson/Rozi Morris

J.P. Morgan Cazenove 020 7742 4000

Michael Wentworth Stanley/Alec Pratt

Imperial Innovations -

Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment. It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise. Innovations acts as the Technology Transfer office for Imperial College, providing IP protection, licensing and business-building services, gining it very early access to research outputs from this leading research university.

Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London, Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL, supported by collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business. These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income. Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:

• leading the formation of new companies and providing facilities in the early stages

• providing significant investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate the transition from R&D to products

• providing operational expertise

• helping to recruit high-calibre industry figures and experienced entrepreneurs as executive management and Board members

Innovations raised £140 million in January 2011. In the year to 31 July 2012, it invested £37.9 million (2011: £35.1 million) in 29 ventures, and made 11 investments in new companies. In July 2013, Innovations obtained a £30m, 12-year loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to invest in the biotech and therapeutics sectors.

In its current portfolio of around 80 companies, Innovations’ most advanced assets include Circassia, which develops innovative treatments for a wide range of allergies, and Veryan, a medical devices business developing improved stent technologies.

Help employers find you! Check out all the jobs and post your resume.

Back to news