Frank Whittle's successors: How government can best support aerospace innovation

Added on 03 February 2010 by Royal Aeronautical Society

Lord Drayson assesses the role of government in the achievements of the UK’s aerospace industry to date.

He outlined the challenges facing the sector over the next few decades – those affecting scientists, business leaders and policy makers before considering how lessons from the past should inform a successful and strategic approach to the future.

2009 Whittle Lecture

Recorded: Wednesday 17th June 2009

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About the speaker:

The Lord Drayson

Minister of State for Science and Innovation, DIUS Science and innovation minister

Paul Rudd Drayson has a BSc (Hons) in Production Engineering and a PhD in Robotics. Between 1986 and 1991, he was Managing Director of Lambourn Food Company and in 1993, he co-founded the vaccine company PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc in Oxford where he was Chairman and Chief Executive until 2003. Between 2001 and 2002, Lord Drayson was Chairman of the BioIndustry Association and of the Oxford Children’s Hospital Fundraising Campaign from 2002-2005. From 2003 to 2005, he was Science Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Said Business School at Oxford University and in June 2007, Lord Drayson became a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Council.

Lord Drayson was raised to the peerage as Baron Drayson, of Kensington in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in May 2004. In May 2005, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Procurement and became a Government Spokesman for Defence to the House of Lords. In March 2007, he was promoted to become Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, serving until November 2007. Lord Drayson was also appointed as Minister of State for Business and Regulatory Reform at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, serving between June 2007 and January 2008. In November 2007, he took a leave of absence from the Government to compete in the American Le Mans Series in the US.

In October 2008, he returned to Government and was appointed as the Minister of State for Science and Innovation, taking up a seat in the Cabinet and becoming a member of the Privy Council in November of that year.

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