Tom is Deputy Director for UKRI’s £68m Transforming Food Production (TFP) Challenge, delivered by Innovate UK and BBSRC, supporting industry-led R&D across traditional agricultural and novel food systems such as alternative proteins and vertical farming to catalyse the transition to net-zero food systems. He leads Innovate UK’s Future Economy ‘Novel Low Emission Food Production Systems’ programme, which complements Defra’s £270m Farming Innovation Programme, being delivered by the TFP team. He also leads UK-Canada bilateral activities and the new partnership established with Protein Industries Canada.
He was previously Assistant Director at Biosciences KTN Ltd where activities focused on commercialisation of new technology for food and non-food markets, managing two special interest groups for the Technology Strategy Board focussing on synthetic biology and algal bioenergy. He currently chairs the BBSRC-funded AlgaeUK Network management board, with a focus on engineering biology approaches for commercial applications in algae.
A biochemist by training, Tom has a BSc and PhD (plant molecular biology) from the University of Leeds and has worked at leading universities and research institutes in the UK and Europe.