Contact Details

Atlas Centre , Harwell Campus, Didcot, OX11 OQX

  • Tel 01793 442 000

Science and Technology Facilities Council

STFC is a UK Research Council which funds and delivers science and technology to advance our knowledge of the Universe.  We use our expertise, capabilities and facilities to drive industrial innovation.

We support Oxfordshire’s high-tech entrepreneurs and SMEs through a range of tailored innovation opportunities, initiatives and collaborations including:

  • Our Harwell Campus where companies in our network are located on site can benefit from:
  • Business support and incubation programmes such as our award-winning Innovations Technology Access Centre and ESA Business Incubation Centre
  • State-of-the-art laboratory facilities, equipment and technical expertise
  • Technology transfer opportunities from organisations such as ESA and CERN
  • Innovation, cluster and networking events and funding opportunities
  • Commercial exploitation of STFC and university academic research
  • Industrial access to big science facilities for collaborative research and development

[email protected]

Tim Bestwick

Executive Director of Business and Innovation

Dr Tim Bestwick is Executive Director of Business and Innovation at STFC. Tim is responsible for developing the campuses (of which Harwell is the largest), working with businesses and producing new spin-out companies and licensing technology. He is an engineer by background, educated at Cambridge University and London Business School, and has spent much of his career in technology companies large and small.

Chris Bee

Chris Bee

Head of Business Development

Chris leads the development of STFC’s portfolio of projects for industry and international partners, where customers from global industry, academia and government can benefit from unique scientific insight, technical experience and technology. STFC’s innovative technology, systems and infrastructure development stems from the exciting, edges of the universe science it is engaged in as a UK research council. Chris is an Astrophysics graduate from the University of Bristol who started his career as an Applied Physicist with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) working on respiratory and aircrew protection programmes. As a senior scientist in this domain he developed new business for the Health and Safety Executive’s research arm, HSL, prior to moving into technical business development across a full range of human factors and high-hazard testing. Chris was the Business Development Manager for RAL Space (STFC’s space department) from 2007 to 2012, acquiring broad knowledge of spacecraft engineering and science programme drivers, developing business in a wide range of instrumentation, development, testing and study projects.

Elizabeth Kirby

Head of Innovation

Dr Elizabeth Kirby is Head of Innovation, part of the Business and Innovation directorate at STFC working to increase the economic and societal impact from STFC’s research and innovation. Liz manages a team who are focused on developing STFC-owned intellectual property opportunities - arising in the STFC National Laboratories - into commercial licenses and spin-out companies.

Liz has a degree in Chemistry and a DPhil in Physical Chemistry from the University of Oxford. She joined the commercial team in a start-up company spun-out of Oxford University, and built-up expertise in intellectual property management and IP strategy. Later Liz spent 7 years at the University of Reading as their IP/Legal Advisor. In 2012 Liz joined STFC as Licensing Manager and is based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

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