Members added to Innovation Birmingham board

City business leaders will “drive entreprenurial community.”

Two of Birmingham’s most prominent business technology leaders  – The Binding Site CEO Charles de Rohan and IBM Executive Architect Dr Rick Robinson – have joined the board of Innovation Birmingham as non-executive directors.

The appointment of de Rohan and Robinson completes the new board line-up, which follows the selection of Professor David Lock QC as chair; the first from the private sector since 2008, the year Birmingham City Council acquired the Innovation Birmingham Campus and the wider Birmingham Science Park Aston in its entirety.

Charles de Rohan is the CEO of The Binding Site, the Edgbaston-based manufacturer of immunodiagnostic products, which has over 400 employees at its Birmingham headquarters, and a global turnover in excess of £60 million. de Rohan has worked in the diagnostic industry for over 20 years and was previously CEO of London stock market-quoted Genetix Group, a fast-growing cell imaging and analysis company that was sold to Danaher Corporation in 2010.

Dr Rick Robinson is an Executive Architect at IBM, responsible for the development and delivery of Smarter City solutions for IBM’s customers in the UK and Europe. He is a member of the Academy of Urbanism and a contributor to the World Cities Network, Sustainable Cities Collective, and UBM’s Future Cities Community, which included Rick in its list of ‘Top 20 Leaders in Urbanisation’.  Rick is the chair of Birmingham’s Smart City Alliance.

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “In order to help deliver our stated objective of being a catalyst of Birmingham’s innovation agenda, we need an engaged board comprised of leaders across key sectors of the knowledge economy. As we move forward with the iCentrumTM building, engagement and buy-in from such tech leaders – who can act as our ambassadors and work with us to shape the offering – will help Innovation Birmingham drive the city’s entrepreneurial community. I am delighted that Charles de Rohan and Dr Rick Robinson have joined the board at this crucial stage of our development.”

David Hardman continued: “iCentrumTM and the additional proposed Digital Plaza buildings will create a fourth generation science park environment that will garner a new level of international profile for this city. The next few years are set to be very exciting for all those working for and with Innovation Birmingham.”

In addition to the two new board members and new chair, the Innovation Birmingham board comprises Cllr Sir Albert Bore, Cllr James McKay, Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Aston University Vice Chancellor Professor Dame Julia King, Lloyds Bank Area Director Andy Youngman, and Innovation Birmingham CEO Dr David Hardman MBE.

Dr Rick Robinson, IBM Executive Architect and Innovation Birmingham board member said: “For the past few years, I have worked closely with the Innovation Birmingham team and a number of the tech start-ups based in the Entrepreneurs for the Future Centre. The range of facilities, incubation support and dynamic tech cluster community is a vital aspect of Birmingham’s Smart City characteristics. I am delighted to have a formal role on the Innovation Birmingham board. “

Charles de Rohan, CEO of The Binding Site and Innovation Birmingham board member said: “The linkages, projects and opportunities for corporate innovation that can – and should – be fostered between tech entrepreneurs and the med-tech sector are extensive. I am also keen to work with Innovation Birmingham and its stakeholders to drive better communication between the burgeoning Edgbaston medical quarter and the rapidly growing number of tech businesses located across Eastside.”