press release
Published: 04 July 2022

Surrey Research Park (SRP) appoints new Chair of the Board

Surrey Research Park, a centre of excellence in innovation, is pleased to announce Kathy Slack OBE as its new Chair of the Board, commencing mid-July. 

Kathy is a highly respected and well-known figure across private and public-sector bodies in Surrey and the wider South-East. She has held several senior industry-facing roles, most notably as Board Director and Chief Executive of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (EM3 LEP), a role she has held for the previous decade. She has positioned the EM3 LEP as one of the most successful across the country, drawing in over £230m and supporting the growth of key clusters of activity both here and overseas. She has also been the Cluster CEO for four business growth hubs across Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex, and Berkshire.  

Kathy takes over from Isabel Fox, who is a General Partner of Outsized Ventures, an early-stage deep-tech VC fund. She is also a main Council Member at Innovate UK and Senior Advisor to Oxford Science Enterprises. Isabel has recently closed her new investment fund, much quicker than anticipated, requiring her greater focus on the investment fund. Isabel will step down as Chair but remain on the SRP Board as a full Board Member.   

Kathy Slack OBE, comments: 

“I am delighted to become the new Chair of Surrey Research Park. With over 200 companies and 4500 staff, and with clusters in space, health, digital and the environment, it is the jewel in the crown of the local economic landscape. Innovation and our national economic competitiveness have never been more important, and I look forward to working with the rest of the Board, the University and a wide range of partners to grow further the economic impact of the Park. I am delighted that Isabel is remaining on the Board and would like to thank Isabel for her work as Chair in positioning SRP for further growth.”     

Isabel Fox comments:  

“This is a bittersweet moment for me. While I am delighted to have closed my investment fund ahead of schedule, I am naturally disappointed to be stepping back from my role as Chair of the Research Park. However, I look forward to remaining on the SRP Board and contributing to the extremely exciting opportunities in the pipeline.” 

Grant Bourhill, CEO of Surrey Research Park, comments:   

“Kathy and Isabel are vocal champions for innovation, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to now work with both and the rest of the SRP Board as we turn our refreshed strategy, focussed on growth, sustainability and widening our innovation community, into reality. I would like to thank Isabel for the huge support, encouragement, and guidance that she has provided.”       

Professor David Sampson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation at The University of Surrey, comments:  

“The University of Surrey and Surrey Research Park are hugely symbiotic, and our strategies for the future are deeply intertwined. The University has worked closely and successfully with Kathy and her team at the Local Enterprise Partnership, and so I am delighted that this relationship can continue further at the Research Park as we build out our innovation ecosystem. Both Kathy and Isabel are exemplary advocates for scaling innovation, which resonates perfectly with the ethos and focus at the University.”  

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