T: +44 (0) 1794 301052 E: info@ploughshareinnovations.com

Our Team

Our Team
Our Team
James Kirby, CEO
James Kirby, CEO

James has a 25 year track record of commercial leadership in complex technology and science based businesses, in both the private and public sectors.

He joined Ploughshare in July 2014 and 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’s) predecessor. With 14 years of combining business strategy and technology ventures, he has proven expertise in spin-outs and licensing, and bringing research through to commercial success.

Away from the office, James enjoys taking to the water in his boat.

Steve Callister, COO
Steve Callister, COO

Working closely with Ploughshare’s numerous licensees and spin-outs, Steve brings the benefits of his experience of other industries and technology transfer issues.

Steve’s early career was spent in management consultancy with Price Waterhouse, followed by various technical and general management roles with Thames Water. He then worked in business development roles for a number of small environmental companies, before leading a university spin-out business in the water sector. He has a first class BSc in Physics and a PhD in Polymer Physics from Bristol University.

Steve is often to be seen competing in road cycling events, or playing hockey for Winchester Warlocks.

Jim Ashe, VP Commercial
Jim Ashe, VP Commercial

Jim has an outstanding track record in delivering successful business results in demanding high technology markets.

He has held senior management positions in large Blue Chip organisations and in Private Equity backed businesses. Amongst his achievements: he was instrumental in building the team and developing the micro fabrication facility and operation for Xaar on the Cambridge Science Park – which led to a full listing on the London Stock Exchange; he headed up the European Operations for a fully listed Japanese electronics company and led the Sales and Marketing functions at Intense Ltd – generating multi-million pound sales from scratch.

Jim is a Chartered Electrical Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and an Honorary Lecturer in the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow.

Skiing and Golf are perennial favourite activities that Jim pursues in his spare time.

Noel Botha, VP Commercialisation
Noel Botha, VP Commercialisation

Noel is an entrepreneurial business manager and innovation specialist, with a track record of success in realising commercial value from innovation.

Previously, Noel was a founding director of Orion Innovations, successfully guiding new businesses through start-up and early stage development, helping to turn-around and grow established businesses through market diversification, new venture creation, and acquisition. He has worked with government, academic and public sector research bodies, NGOs and innovation agencies to foster and accelerate innovation and growth.

Gordon Scott, VP Business Development
Gordon Scott, VP Business Development

Working with new and existing licensees in support of the commercialisation of technology, Gordon brings a wealth of business experience to the process.

His commercial career began as business development director at InSync Technology, after which he worked for Brunel University. Prior to this he had a successful career leading product development teams in the broadcast industry. He holds an MBA from Henley.

Gordon is a competitive racquetball player, but with a young family any spare time is a rare bonus.

Kirsty Hewitson, VP Life Sciences
Kirsty Hewitson, VP Life Sciences

Kirsty's expertise is the identification, development and commercialisation of life science assets through licensing opportunities and spin-out vehicles.

Kirsty has previously been Director, Life Sciences at Helsinki Innovation Services and Chief Scientific Officer at Union Life Sciences Ltd. Both companies were focused on the scientific and commercial development of early stage life science projects originating from Universities throughout Europe. Prior to these positions, Kirsty played a crucial role in the establishment of a successful Oxford University spin out, ReOx Ltd.

In her spare time, Kirsty enjoys participating in physical endurance events.

James Monks, Commercialisation Manager
James Monks, Commercialisation Manager

Having worked in industry and for Dstl, James is very well placed to help Dstl and potential partners build successful partnerships.

He has been instrumental in designing and delivering life-saving battlefield protection technology, as well as leading collaboration between the UK and international partners.

James very much enjoys a good dry Martini.

Clare Gould, Operations Manager
Clare Gould, Operations Manager

Clare spent a large proportion of her working career in telecommunication before joining Ploughshare in 2010. She was appointed the Operations Manager in December 2014 and is responsible for the day to day running of the office and management of the Operations team, overseeing all operational aspects of the business including IT, HR and Finance.

Andrea Linscer, Finance Manager
Andrea Linscer, Finance Manager

Andrea joined Ploughshare in June 2009 and manages the financial interactions for Ploughshare, she has 20 years of experience in accounts and is a part-qualified accounting technician. Previous jobs include working for Berkeley Homes, Williams Motorsport as well as experience in a defence background having served in the WRAF.

Maureen Levey, Senior Operations Administrator
Maureen Levey, Senior Operations Administrator

Maureen has many years of experience in pensions, payroll and HR. She is adept at helping others to understand their pay and benefits and making sometimes complex information much easier to digest.

Maureen is the Senior Operations Administrator, responsible for the office administration and HR function for Ploughshare.

Currently studying for a CIPD Intermediate Diploma in HR Management. She enjoys running and socializing.

David Hazelton, CDE/Dstl Secondee
David Hazelton, CDE/Dstl Secondee

David is a Chartered Physicist on secondment from the Defence and Security Accelerator (formerly the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE).

With several years’ experience as Deputy Technology Manager  with the CDE, David has a breadth of experience with innovation in defence science and technology. He started as a graduate in Dstl, and worked in experimental physics and computing applications before moving to the CDE in 2013. David ran his own online business while at university, and is passionate about helping small science and technology enterprises succeed.

When not at work or with his young family David enjoys a good philosophical debate over a few real ales.

Our Board
Piers White MBE, Chairman
Piers White MBE, Chairman

Piers was appointed as Chairman to Ploughshare Innovations in 2013. He previously held a number of executive roles in financial services including; Service Director for Barclays UK branches; senior executive roles at Flemings; UK Chief Executive Officer of Insinger de Beaufort, the Anglo-Dutch private investment bank. He is also a non-executive director at Nominet, the Ordnance Survey, The Hyde Housing Association, ACS International Schools Ltd, Chair of Courier Facilities Ltd and a Governor of Croydon College. He was awarded an MBE for public service in 2009.

Jenni Henderson, Non-Executive Director
Jenni Henderson, Non-Executive Director

A non-executive director on the Ploughshare board, and has enjoyed a varied career in Dstl and its predecessor organisations.

Her previous roles have included a secondment to MOD as the research customer for part of the Corporate Research Programme, and leading the team that implemented the Defence Technology Centres. Earlier in her career, Jenni specialised in simulation research, specifically developing approaches to automating the representation of commander’s decision making in training simulations.

Andrew Mackintosh Non-Executive Director
Andrew Mackintosh Non-Executive Director

Andrew is currently chairman of Sphere Fluidics Ltd., a biotechnology tools company aiming to transform the search for new drugs and medicines. He is a member of the Steering Board of the Intellectual Property Office and of the Diplomatic Excellence panel of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as the investment panel of the Design Council’s Spark product innovation fund. Andrew has over 30 years of commercial and general management experience in publicly and privately owned high-technology businesses, during which time he has been the CEO of spin-out companies from both Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

His most recent executive role was as the founding chief executive of the Royal Society Enterprise Fund, a unique early-stage technology investment fund set up by the Royal Society and supported by philanthropy.

Andrew has a PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.He has held non-executive director roles with several companies and served on national and regional committees concerned with technical innovation and competitiveness.He speaks fluent French and conversational Japanese.

David English, Non-Executive Director
David English, Non-Executive Director

David is the Finance Director at Dstl and previously was at the Ministry of Defence where he was the Head of Business Strategy & Governance, for the Department’s corporate finance team. During this time, he led on the MOD’s asset sales programme and managed the Department’s relationship with its Trading Funds, including Dstl. Before this he had a wide range of roles across Defence, including responsibility for approvals and performance management in Defence Equipment & Support, financial planning and scrutiny within MOD Centre, and was a Private Secretary to the Defence Secretary leading on equipment and personnel matters.

In 2005 he completed a Masters in Business Administration at Imperial College London. David originally joined the Ministry of Defence in 1996 having completed a BEng in Avionic Systems at Bristol University and some hands-on engineering with GEC Marconi.

Mike Carr, Non-Executive Director
Mike Carr, Non-Executive Director

Mike Carr, previous Chief Scientific Officer for British Telecom (BT) joined the Ploughshare Innovations board on 1 May 2016 as a non-executive director.

Mike brings experience from an extensive and esteemed international career in telecommunications, related research and associated innovation having developed BT’s licensing and venturing business.

Mike also has other board roles including Innovate UK, the Enterprise Committee of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Ordnance Survey and Astigan Ltd. an Ordnance Survey joint venture. Mike is currently Deputy President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and was awarded an OBE for services to innovation in 2017.