At Syniad Innovations, we combine scientific creativity, technological know-how, systematic entrepreneurship, professional management, and executive leadership in a single, unique organization.
R. Miller Adams is the Managing Partner at Pier 70 Ventures and a Board Member at Accenture Federal Services LLC. He has over 30 years of experience in private equity, venture capital, aerospace and defence, technology development, wireless communications, and the regulated utility industry. He also serves on the board of Cristo Rey Jesuit Seattle High School, Seattle University, and the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. He is known for his expertise in managing diverse technology investment portfolios and has a broad global network of technology, business, academic, and government leaders.
Dr. Spike Wilcocks currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at Oxford Nanopores (LSE: ONT). He has been instrumental in guiding the company’s strategic direction and taking it from its launch to a £3.5B IPO.
Dr. Wilcocks holds a D.Phil. in Biochemistry from Oxford University, where he developed a deep understanding of the latest advances in the field and honed his skills in strategic thinking. He has leveraged this knowledge and expertise to guide Oxford Nanopores to the forefront of the industry, creating new technologies and innovations that have made a major impact on the biotech and nanotechnology landscapes.
Dr. Kirsty Hewitson is a leader in innovation and technology transfer, having held various senior positions in academia and industry. She is currently the CEO of Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network, where she leverages her expertise to drive innovation and growth in the UK.
Previously, Dr. Hewitson served as the Vice President of Strategy & Innovation at the National Nuclear Laboratory and as the Director of Helsinki University Innovations. She also held a Glasstone Research Fellowship at Oxford University, where she earned her M.Chem. and D.Phil. degrees.
Throughout her career, Dr. Hewitson has demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing innovation and driving progress in her field. She is known for her strategic vision and ability to build strong relationships with stakeholders across academia, government, and industry. With her extensive background and deep understanding of the innovation landscape, she is well-positioned to continue leading the Knowledge Transfer Network and driving growth in the UK’s innovation sector.
Neil Rutter is an offset funding specialist with a wealth of experience in the field. He has held several senior positions in the defence and aerospace industry, including General Manager of Textron Systems Canada Inc. and Senior Manager, Industrial Participation at Lockheed Martin. With a background in law, Neil is licensed as an attorney in both Canada and the United States, bringing a unique perspective and legal expertise to his work. Additionally, he has served as an Artillery Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, providing him with a strong foundation in military operations and strategy. Throughout his career, Neil has demonstrated a deep understanding of offset funding and a commitment to excellence in all his endeavours.
Dr. Clifford is a researcher and Assistant Professor at the UBC Department of Materials Engineering. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree and a Ph.D. from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at McMaster University. Dr. Clifford’s expertise and current research focuses on the development of advanced materials for wearable healthcare monitoring and functional biointerfaces.
Phil Swift was one of the founders of ARC Financial Corporation in 1989 and has held senior management positions in the company, including President, CEO and Executive Chairman, before assuming his current role of Founder and Director. ARC Financial Corporation is recognized as one of Canada’s leading energy private equity firms and has over $5.3 billion of capital under management. In addition, Phil has extensive equity investment, corporate advisory, and direct investment management experience. Mr. Swift’s private investment holding organization is the Ayrshire Group. A large focus of Ayrshire’s business has been investing in commercial real estate. Ayrshire has invested over $395 million in real estate in Alberta since 1999.
Mr. Swift holds a Bachelor of Science (Math) degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Swift has served on the board of directors of approximately 20 corporations. He is past president of Alberta, and past international director, of the North American Society for Corporate Planning. He is a past member of the advisory board of the University of British Columbia Business Faculty. He is a recipient of the Warren Bennis Award for Leadership Excellence and the Pinnacle Award for achievement in entrepreneurship. Phil has spoken at numerous energy and private equity conferences in Canada and internationally. He has co-authored a book published by McGraw Hill entitled “In Search of Leadership – How Great Leaders Answer the Question “Why Lead?” Mr. Swift has also been active in the community and philanthropy and has served on a number of community organizations and foundation boards. He is a co-founder and Chairman of the Pacific Impact Investor Network (PIIN) at UBC Sauder School of Business. He is a Past-Chairman of the Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine and has been increasingly involved in philanthropic projects overseas through the Swift Family Foundation.
Professor Tim Vorley is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Oxford Brookes Business School, and is the lead for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise within the Vice-Chancellor’s Group.
Prior to his role at Oxford Brookes, Tim held positions at the Universities of Sheffield and Cambridge, and at the Saïd Business School (University of Oxford). He currently leads the Innovation Caucus, co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Innovate UK, and has previously led several projects funded under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Horizon Europe and ESRC.
Tim is an economic geographer by training and his research focuses on entrepreneurship, enterprise and regional economic development. He works extensively with a number of central government departments and agencies, as well as with Local Enterprise Partnerships and local government bodies. He is a member of the ESRC Strategic Advisory Network, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Skills and Talent Advisory Group, and chairs the ESRC’s Transforming Business through Social Science advisory group.
Tim is also the Vice-Chair of the Small Business Charter, created by Lord Young, which is leading the delivery of the Help to Grow Management programme through business schools across the UK.