Sir John Chisolm

Sir John is a Cambridge graduate who started work in the automobile industry but then in 1969 moved into the nascent computer software industry where he specialised in applying increasingly powerful computer hardware to complex mathematical modelling problems. In 1979 he co-founded CAP Scientific Ltd, which grew rapidly to become a core part of the CAP Group plc and subsequently the Sema Group plc of which he was UK Managing Director. In 1991 he was asked by the UK government to become CEO of the defence research laboratories and take on their transformation into a commercial organisation. In due course this resulted in an internationally successful technology services company and was floated on the LSE as QinetiQ Group plc. In 2006 he took the Chair of the Medical Research Council and during his tenure oversaw the successful development of new models to translate its world class research for clinical and economic benefit. In 2009 he also took the Chair of NESTA where he has guided its transition out of the public sector and its re-orientation towards stimulating both social and economic innovation. In 2013 he led, as Executive Chair, the creation of Genomics England Ltd. This government initiative was aimed at projecting the UK into global leadership in genomics by mobilising the scale of the NHS alongside the country’s deep science. The success of that mission became universally recognised when Genomics England announced its 100,000 whole genome dataset in December 2018. He has served on the board as a non-executive director of a number of public and private organisations, is a past president of the IET and the electronics industry trade association and holds a number of honorary Doctorates and Fellowships, including the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was knighted in 1999.

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