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Former 3M BIC CEO honoured with OBE

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Congratulations to our former CEO, Liz Towns-Andrews, who was recognised for her achievements to industry and academia in the New Year Honours List.

A chemist by trade, Liz, who is also Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of Huddersfield, has held numerous directorships of spin-out and start-up companies and understands the needs and challenges of SMEs.

It was Liz’s vision that led to the creation of the 3M BIC, to create a platform where businesses could access university capabilities. Seven years on and the centre has accommodated 51 tenants that have created a total of 74 jobs, supported over 348 businesses, 93 network members and 640 potential entrepreneurs, as well as invested over £4m in technology.

The 3M BIC’s success led to the University of Huddersfield winning the THES Entrepreneurial University of the Year award in 2013.

Liz was rewarded for her dedication to business in 2013 when she was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, which recognises individuals who have played an important role in promoting enterprise skills and supporting entrepreneurs.

She was named Forward Ladies’ STEM leader in Yorkshire, North East and Scotland in 2016, has an MBA, is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and sits on numerous local, regional and national advisory boards and committees relating to academia and business.

She has also mentored several female staff at the University of Huddersfield and has been a role model and mentor for Aurora, a women-only programme with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

The citation alongside the OBE describes Liz as a “trailblazer in science” and outlines her accomplishments in the field of research and enterprise since she joined the University of Huddersfield in 2009.

On receiving her honours, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan, said: “ I was never in any doubt that Liz would make a great contribution to our University…but it is now clear when she came to us in 2009 it was an inspired appointment and she has duly been an inspirational figure.”

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