Professor Timothy Dafforn will bring his expertise into the heart of Whitehall as at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). 

Professor Dafforn, Director of Knowledge Transfer, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham will be unveiled by Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock at the Federation of Small Business summit in Liverpool. Alongside Simon Devonshire, entrepreneur and Director of Wayra Europe, his role will focus on life sciences and helping small businesses grow during their year-long tenure.

In his new appointment, Professor Dafforn will work with BIS on the exciting new industry of synthetic biology, which is believed to have huge potential for the life sciences and energy sectors. 

He combines his career as a scientist with entrepreneurship and has founded two tech spin-out companies. 

Professor Dafforn said, “I am very excited about being entrepreneur-in-residence for synthetic biology. It comes at a particularly interesting time in the development of synthetic biology which has the possibility to solve a number of challenges that face the world.

I hope that over the next year I can help catalyse these developments. “Over the year I will draw together government, industry and academics to catalyse the development of new opportunities based on synthetic biology. New technology often results from a close interaction between the academic science base, industry and government.”


  • Professor Timothy Dafforn works as the Director of Knowledge Transfer, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. In 2003 he founded Dioptica Scientific Ltd (DSL) to manufacture and sell a new optical component that provided novel insights into the fundamental structures of molecules. In 2011 he founded Linear Diagnostic Ltd based on the discovery of a new synthetic biology reagent that could be used for pathogen detection.
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