13th edition


December 3rd & 4th, 2024


December 11th& 12th 2024


Deborah Spencer

Senior Manager, Deputy Head of Industry Research Partnerships MPLS division
United KingdomUniversity of Oxford

Deborah has a bachelor’s degree from the University of London, an E*MBA from Copenhagen Business School, a MSc from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD from Dundee Business School focused on Life Sciences Intermediaries.

Deborah is currently responsible for developing activities under the Industrial/Innovation Strategy across the University of Oxford and is a senior member of the Innovation & Business Partnerships Team, where she engages with industry to build strategic partnerships that leverage the research strengths from the University.

She has previously worked at the Oxford Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) as the Life Sciences specialist for the Region and helped to establish the Health Tec Cluster at the Harwell Science Campus as part of her remit. This role allowed her to engage with many life sciences and biotech companies in the region and beyond.  Deborah has also worked in senior positions at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee and also as the leader of the Cluster Network BioDundee for a few years. In addition she has also worked for a couple of the UK Research Councils – the MRC and BBSRC. While at The University of Edinburgh, she led on the successful establishment of a new genomics centre.  Then once she moved to the University of Oxford she used her previous genomics experience to spearhead the funding for the new £30m Nucleic Acid Therapies Accelerator (NATA).

Deborah has now been in Oxford for 5years and has been involved in a range of large initiatives that involved growing a consortia. She is currently project managing a relatively new programme that brings together 2 different sectors (Quantum Computing and Drug Discovery) and has 6 partner organisations, called the QuPharma programme. Then in 2021 she co-founded The Oxford Water Quality Centre that brings together under one umbrella, research from across the University to solve a myriad of problems related to water. Some of the themes that impact on human, animal and plant health, include AMR, hormones and pharmaceuticals in wastewater.

Developing strategic alliances and partnerships is an important part of the work she has done in the last 15years and she will be presenting some of the learning gained along the way.

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