School of Chemistry - Business Partnership Unit

Introducing the Business Partnership Unit Team


Welcome to the School of Chemistry Business Partnership Unit (BPU) Website, where our experienced team stimulates innovation by building mutually beneficial partnerships between the School, Business, Industry and the Community.

Our Business Partnership Unit (BPU) is a team of Knowledge Exchange professionals and Business Science Fellows (BSF) who focus on developing the School’s business and impact related activities. The focal points for the BPU are; to provide specialist advice, to broker new relationships with industry, to facilitate technology disclosures, and to secure investment for our industry-facing research and commercialisation.

Since 2013, the BPU has trained 12 BSFs, who received mentoring from KE professionals, academics, entrepreneurs and industrialists. Our 30+ BSF alumni include two company CEOs and four patent agents, who identify commercial opportunities and support the training of current BSFs.

Meet the Team

Dr. Trevor Farren - Business Development Director
Telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 66175

Dr. Farren is an experienced scientist, business development professional and commercial manager. He has over twenty years experience gained within both industry and academia of taking innovative concepts to commercial reality.

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As a senior manager with the Courtaulds Group (later Acordis PLC) he led business development activities within a wide variety of chemical, fibre and polymer products businesses and initiated several new ventures both within Europe and the USA. In 1999 Dr. Farren and his team were awarded the Akzo-Nobel prize for commercial innovation.Dr. Farren joined the University of Nottingham in 2001 to set up a Business Partnership Unit; the first such unit to be embedded within an academic School of Chemistry. The Unit aims to generate an entrepreneurial culture among staff and students and strengthen links with industry. In this role he has initiated and managed a complex portfolio of research, knowledge transfer and outreach projects which have generated over thirty patents, several licenses and numerous interactions with industry. Dr. Farren has also initiated several innovative training courses in business / entrepreneurial skills aligned to the Chemistry Using Industries.Dr. Farren has been responsible for the formation of four spin-out companies. He chaired the board of directors of CellAura Technologies Ltd. and has successfully led the company through two investment rounds. Dr. Farren also acts as a director / professional advisor to three other businesses. He also leads the Chemistry Innovation Laboratory project, which promotes links between the School and regional SMEs.Dr. Farren is a keen champion of knowledge transfer. He has mentored over twenty post doctoral Business-Science Fellows, helping to develop their innovation and entrepreneurial skills. Many of these individuals now hold key positions within industry or as knowledge transfer professionals.Outside of his professional commitments, Dr. Farren is a strong advocate of the performing arts, chairing the board of trustees of a registered charity that encourages individuals to play musical instruments and to bring music to a broad cross-section of the public.


Dr. Nick Bennett
Telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 13418

I joined the University of Nottingham in February 2012 to manage the ChemEnSus project.

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I joned the University of Nottingham in February 2012 to manage the ChemEnSus project. This multi-partner collaboration is focused on the application of coordination chemistry to the generation of new multi-functional porous materials to deliver high impact scientific and technological advances, and provide innovative solutions for many of the key issues of the 21st Century around climate change, and environmental and chemical sustainability. ChemEnSus will develop new materials for hydrogen and gas storage, sieving and purification, for carbon capture and chemical reactivity, and for applications in sensing. As a member of the Business Partnership Unit, I am responsible for identifying new industrial partners and seeking commercial opportunities to exploit the research outputs from the ChemEnSus project.

I have eight years’ experience of working within business and academia having previously been employed by AstraZeneca, Peakdale Molecular and Birmingham Science City. Prior to these positions I completed my PhD at University of Nottingham under the supervision of Professor Gerry Pattenden.

Dr. Joe Dawson
Telephone: +44 (0) 115 74 86268

I manage a number of projects across the Schools of Chemistry and Pharmacy and also coordinate incoming analytical services rendered activity in the School of Chemistry.

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After the completion of my Ph.D in 2009 I spent the following 3 years as a post-doctoral research scientist and laboratory manager. Over my research career I principally focussed on the synthesis and characterisation of biocatalysts towards the clean production of hydrogen. I have always concentrated on research which had potential industrial application and through this I gained an interest in the commercialisation of research.

This interest led to my career change from research scientist to my current role working in technology-transfer in the Business Partnership Unit as a Business Science Fellow. I previously worked on an European Research Council Proof of Concept grant to appraise the commercial viability of novel metal-organic framework (MOF) materials.

I now manage a number of projects across the Schools of Chemistry and Pharmacy including a ERC RISE Programme – FutForm (Prof. Allen), EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account - Photochemistry (Prof. George and Prof. Sir Poliakoff) and DFID Capacity Building in Porous Materials (Prof. Mokaya). I also coordinate the incoming services rendered activity for the School of Chemistry and in this capacity I manage client relationships, devise and develop strategic analytical programmes and deliver business critical scientific outcomes for SMEs and large Companies. My role involves market appraisal, business engagement and intellectual property strategy.


George Marshall
Dr. George Marshall
Telephone: +44 (0) 115 74 86268

Following both an MSci in Chemistry and a PhD in bio-inorganic chemistry at the University of Nottingham I joined the BPU in 2016 and now manage the Chemistry Innovation laboratory and coordinate Services Rendered activity across the School.

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My research background is as a synthetic inorganic chemist. As an undergraduate I carried out a Masters project on 'The Synthesis of Arene Bridged Lanthanide Dimers’ and following this I studied for a PhD examining the roles of metals in biology through the synthesis and study of transition metal coordination compounds based on the active sites of metalloenzymes.

My interest in the activities of the Business Partnership Unit developed during my time as a PhD student through my involvement in projects with local companies. Following my PhD I joined the BPU team to work on a project sponsored by an industrial partner which will focussed on delivering next generation products to a global market place. Following this I begun to manage a portfolio of projects with a range of businesses and now coordinate both our incoming Services Rendered activities and the Chemistry Innovation Laboratory, both of which support businesses of all sizes to work with the University on collaborative projects.


Hannah Photo_crop
Dr. Hannah Prydderch
Telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 13523

I joined the BPU in July 2019 to support and deliver research development and business facing projects in the School of Chemistry.

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My work in the BPU consists primarily of business development and analytical laboratory work delivered through Service Rendered and Chemistry Innovation Laboratory Projects. I am additionally involved in providing research development and teaching and learning within the School of Chemistry. Alongside this, I am working with Prof. Frank Kirkland to support the research activity of the University’s Propulsions Futures Beacon of Excellence.

I obtained my MSci (Hons) in Chemistry with an Assessed Year in Industry at the University of Nottingham in 2012. I undertook my Year in Industry in the at Lubrizol Ltd. and my final year project involved investigating the interactions between gold nanoparticles and cellulose nanowhiskers. I completed my PhD in organic/materials chemistry from Dublin City University which focused on the design and synthesis of low toxicity biodegradable ionic liquids and their applications in materials science. Following this, I undertook postdoctoral research at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, funded by a Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA), which aimed to demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of a colloidal polymeric nanoparticle drug delivery system. I carried out further postdoctoral research at the University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham on the synthesis and characterisation of novel elastomeric biomaterials from renewable sugar-based building blocks.

Mr Tom McInally 
Telephone +44 (0) 115 95 13197

Following a career in the Pharmaceutical industry as a Medicinal Chemist, with Fisons, Astra and AstraZeneca I joined the University of Nottingham in September 2011.

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My role as a Business Science Fellow is two-fold. Firstly to mentor 4th year MSci chemistry students who are engaged in a research project in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, to design and synthesise novel compounds targeted at a poorly treated respiratory target and secondly to use my knowledge and experience of industry in interactions with SME’s in the East Midlands.   
I have a broad knowledge of the key aspects of the drug discovery process and  recently have experience of working in collaboration with scientists in Japan, in the field of Toll Like Receptors (TLR) agonists. This research project  identified a compound now undergoing clinical trials as a novel treatment for allergic diseases. I also have a long standing interest and expertise in high throughput synthesis and purification equipment and techniques.
In the BPU I hope to be able to use my experience to maximise interactions with other academic groups and industrial parties especially in the field of drug discovery.
Dr Divneet Kaur
I joined BPU team in May 2019 for managing the Nottingham Research Chemicals (NRC) programme.

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I am responsible for managing the day to day activities of NRC, engaging academics and industrial partner(s) to identify and promote novel and commercially viable compounds, generated from the research and teaching activities in the School of Chemistry. 

I gained my PhD from the Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi, India, in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, after completing my Industrial training with GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage, UK, in medicinal drug discovery. I worked as National Postdoctoral Fellow at the CSIR- Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India on validating novel targets and designing small molecule inhibitors for Tuberculosis drug discovery, including developing novel strategy for tackling anti-microbial drug resistance. I have been associated with the UoN since Feb 2017, working on implementing in silico drug discovery methodologies with various medicinal chemistry approaches for developing novel inhibitors for basal-like breast cancer target.


Contact the BPU


Business Partnership Unit

School of Chemistry
University Park Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 74 86268