University of Nottingham Innovation Park appoints new operations director for next phase of growth

James Chaffer, the new Operations Director at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park.

Based on the former Raleigh site at Triumph Road in Lenton, The University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP) has appointed James Chaffer to take over as Operations Director as it enters a new phase of development which could see it double in size over the next 10 years.

James comes from a technology background, having graduated in software engineering. He went on to join a software start-up which developed a solution that is today used by innovation, research and science destinations across the country to help manage sites and customers relationships.

James said: “UNIP has become one of the most prominent destinations for the research-to-commercialisation journey in the Midlands and it’s a real privilege for me to become part of the team delivering an ambitious vision for its future growth.

“One of UNIP’s most powerful selling points is its status as part of the University of Nottingham, which is renowned nationally and internationally for its research impact and for a commitment to the local and regional economy that ranges from SME support to long-term industrial partnerships.

“That has played a significant part in UNIP’s ability to attract and collaborate with a number of technology businesses who are on their own exciting growth journeys.”

UNIP is home to more than 100 businesses employing hundreds of people and a number of specialist research institutes developing the technologies of the future for manufacturing, energy and health sciences.

It is now developing a delivery plan that will enable it to grow in line with University’s wider mission of enabling transformational research which delivers impact at societal scale.

In the short-term this plan may include the development of follow-on space which helps some of the businesses based at UNIP to scale-up and grow further whilst enabling new companies to move in.

Prof Chris Gerada, who chairs the UNIP board, said: “UNIP is not only a prestigious environment and a major centre for research and innovation, but also tangible evidence of the University’s long-term commitment to making a difference to the world around us by bringing academic expertise, technology research and innovative businesses together.

“We are delighted to welcome James as our new Operations Director. His experience in developing solutions that enable innovation destinations to grow in line with the organisations they serve will be vital as UNIP enters a new phase of expansion.”