Technology transfer company, Ploughshare Innovations, has announced James Kirby as its new Chief Executive Officer.

James, who will officially take up the role on 1 July 2014, is no stranger to technology or the defence sector having worked for both QinetiQ and the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) predecessor.

James KirbyHe has a proven track record with over 25 years of commercial leadership in complex technology and science-based businesses in both the private and public sectors. With 12 years of combining business strategy and technology ventures, he has proven expertise in spin-outs and licensing and bringing research through to commercialisation.

This includes most recently managing Aurix, an audio mining software company and QinetiQ spin-out which was acquired by Avaya.

Ploughshare Innovations was formed in 2005 to commercialise and exploit Dstl’s intellectual property generated from its research.

In welcoming James, Jonathan Lyle, Dstl’s Chief Executive, commented:

“James’s commercial experience and technical background present a compelling combination to take Ploughshare forward and I look forward to working with him.”

James added:

“I’m very pleased to be joining Ploughshare, it presents a stimulating opportunity not only to optimise the original investment and work in science and technology but also to create even wider scope for its application and uptake.”

James takes over from Dr Pete Hotten, who is moving on after nearly five years of leading Ploughshare to work in the private sector.

In thanking Pete for the contribution made during his tenure, Piers White, Ploughshare Chairman said:

“The board and I would like to thank Pete for leading the company during its early growth phase and his enthusiasm and tireless commitment during his time as CEO. He leaves with our best wishes and the company better placed to maximise the technology transfer opportunities arising from Dstl research.”


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