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17 March, 2021 - 14:16 By Tony Quested

Investment star turn is new Babraham chair

Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd, which oversees the development and 24/7 management of the Babraham Research Campus has confirmed Jo Parfrey as new board chair. 

Jo has been a non-executive director on the BBT board for over four years and has chaired the company’s Audit Committee. She succeeds Dr Andy Richards who has formally stood down from the role after many years’ service. Dr Richards remains an active supporter of the campus.

Jo is a knowledgeable and successful investment professional with over 20 years’ investment experience, 10 of which have been in the private equity industry. A qualified accountant by training, but with a science background, she has worked in the corporate finance departments of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies.

Passionate about growing businesses, Jo has worked closely with entrepreneurs and management teams, building a proven track record of working with businesses to drive strategic initiatives and deliver outstanding  results. 

She has extensive non-executive experience and her current portfolio includes Octopus AIM VCT plc – which invests in emerging UK companies – Start Codon, a Cambridge healthcare accelerator focusing on supporting highly disruptive and translational innovations in which BBT is a founding shareholder, and Ieso Digital Health, which is dedicated to improving digital access to evidence-based mental health therapy.

Already considered to be one of the UK’s leading hubs to support early-stage bioscience enterprise, the Babraham Research Campus is home to the Babraham Institute and over 60 bioscience companies – a community of over 2,000 people.

Jo said: “I am thrilled to take on the role of Chair. The Babraham Research Campus is an outstanding location, offering bioscience companies an exceptional platform for start-up and  growth and a supportive community within which early ventures can stress-test their innovations whilst benefiting from an incredibly well networked set of multi-disciplinary experts.

“Working in partnership with UKRI-BBSRC and the Babraham Institute, I am looking forward to supporting the business as it continues to facilitate the development of the Campus through the provision of additional space, enhanced support for companies starting and scaling their ventures and proactive engagement with the next generation of life science innovators to encourage and nurture talent.”

Derek Jones, CEO, BBT added: “We are delighted to welcome Jo to the position of BBT Board Chair. Having served as a non-executive director Jo is a much respected colleague whose cross-sector experience, insight and dedication to the continued evolution of the Campus has proven invaluable.

“Her new role coincides with the appointment of three new previously announced non-executive directors.  Collectively, we look forward to continuing to support our dynamic Campus community, which enables discovery research and business to come together to accelerate innovation and further strengthen links between academia and the commercial world, creating new jobs and opportunities to benefit the Campus, the Cambridge cluster and the UK.

“I would also like to express the board’s gratitude to Andy for his unwavering support, drive and expertise during his term as Chair. Our continuing success is built upon his enthusiasm and encouragement. I am sure that Andy will continue to be involved with the Campus and our growth.”

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