NEWS: New NIAB Board Chair - Dr David Buckeridge

28 Jun 2023
from left to right NIAB CEO Professor Mario Caccamo, Board Chair Dr David Buckeridge and former Board Chair Jim Godfrey
David Buckeridge has been elected as Chair of the Board at the crop research organisation NIAB.

Dr Buckeridge has 35 years of operational management experience in the life science and agribusiness industries. With a PhD in genetics and plant sciences from the University of Wales, David began his career with AstraZeneca, spending 20 years in a variety of management positions globally. After serving as Group CEO of Advanta BV, the largest independent agronomic seed business in the world at that time, David led its exit from private equity ownership and advised on its successful initial public offering to the Indian stock market in 2007. Subsequently, he has played a senior advisory role to both strategic and financial investors in the life sciences and agribusiness, focusing on the operational and strategic planning aspects of these industries. He has served as director and chair of a range of companies in the agribusiness, pharma and public health industries, and is currently Chair of the Board of Protealis and of Cycle Pharmaceuticals and an independent director of Velcourt Ltd.

David succeeds Jim Godfrey who retired in November 2022 after chairing the NIAB Board for seven years and now takes a position on the Board of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany Trust.

Announcing the changes NIAB chief executive Professor Mario Caccamo said:

“Over the past 15 years NIAB has more than trebled in size through investment in new scientific skills and partnerships, and increasing commercial activity, and we are extremely grateful to Jim Godfrey for his support and guidance throughout this period. I would also like to thank Steve Ellwood, who is a member of the NIAB Board and served as Chair from November 2022 until Dr Buckeridge was in a position to take on the role.”

Dr Buckeridge said:

“This is an exciting time for NIAB as the organisation moves to the next step in the ambition to become an integrated research and knowledge transfer hub for the entire crop improvement and production pipeline, not just from a UK perspective but globally.

“I look forward to working with Mario and the Executive team in ensuring NIAB reaches its potential in leading applied crop research and innovation now and in the future."


NIAB Board
NIAB is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, set up in 1996 when the Institute was privatised, and is subject to Charity Commission regulations. The Board of Directors are the trustees of the charity but appoint the Chief Executive (CEO) to manage the day-to-day operations. The Board is made up of non-executive directors with a wide range of pertinent experience and skills from the business and science sectors who, in conjunction with the CEO, establish and develop NIAB’s policies and objectives. They are also a valuable resource in contributing and supporting new business ideas and opportunities.
Although a not-for-profit organisation, truly independent and unaffiliated to anyone, the Board also has a duty to ensure that NIAB is profitable and meets its obligations to its stakeholders.

Current members of the NIAB Board include: Dr David Buckeridge (chair), Steve Ellwood, Dr Helen Ferrier, Dr Nigel Kerby, Professor Alison Smith, Professor Ian Puddephat, Robert Lowson, Jonathan Regan and Guy Smith.

National Institute of Agricultural Botany Trust
The National Institute of Agricultural Botany Trust is a registered charity which owns all the land and buildings used by NIAB. It has a specific object to support NIAB in the pursuit of its objects including the provision of land, facilities and financial support. The Trust is administered by a Board of Trustees.

Current members of the Trust include: John Elliot (chair), Jim Godfrey, Dr Charles Looker, Richard Pemberton and Richard Macdonald.