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University of Southampton Science Park welcomes new chief executive

Published: 5 March 2007

The University of Southampton Science Park has appointed Peter Birkett as its Chief Executive with effect from 2 April 2007. Peter joins the highly successful science park from defence research group Qinetiq and is taking over from Don Fox, who will retire on 31 May after 11 years at the helm.

Established by the University of Southampton in 1983 and previously named after its location in Chilworth on the city's northern outskirts, the 45-acre site has become one of the most successful university science parks in the country. Plans are currently underway to expand the science park's business into the nine-acre Benham Campus on land adjacent to the current activities.

"I am delighted and privileged to be taking over the University of Southampton Science Park at such a stimulating time," says Peter. "The opportunity to lead the company through an exciting development programme, as part of the vibrant entrepreneurial community on the science park, is a challenge I am really looking forward to."

Science Park Chairman, Alan Walker, comments: "Under Don Fox's leadership in the past decade the University of Southampton Science Park has confirmed its position as the leading science park in the South of England. In this time it has expanded considerably to become the thriving science and technology community that it is today, comprising a wide range of companies from very small start-ups to major international groups.

"I would like to thank Don for the tremendous contribution he has made to the Science Park since 1996, and to welcome Peter to his new role. We look forward to the park's future success, in particular the expansion of the Benham Campus, which will provide further development opportunities for science and technology companies from both the region and the global community."

Notes for editors

The University of Southampton Science Park is a 45-acre development - just a mile from the M3 motorway and one hour from London. It provides high-quality office and laboratory space in attractive landscaped surroundings. It is home to science and technology based companies of all sizes, from fast growing start-ups to international household names.

The Science Park is owned by the University of Southampton and the close links between the two organisations give tenant companies access to some of the UK's leading scientific expertise. Facilities at Southampton Science Park include a business incubator and enterprise hub with support services for SMEs, broadband, generous parking, and an on-site luxury hotel - Chilworth Manor.

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