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The 17th Duncan Davies Memorial Lecture: The Challenges of Innovation

Sir Tom McKillop on the scale of the challenge the UK faces in ensuring innovation flourishes.

Innovation, the key driver of wealth creation and progress in society, is vital to the UK and Europe yet we have been steadily losing ground in terms of international competition. The scale of the challenge we face will be described and Sir Tom will reflect on learning from his own long experience of industrial R&D.

Sir Tom McKillop was appointed Deputy Chairman of The Royal Bank of Scotland is September 2005 and became Chairman in April 2006. The Royal Bank of Scotland is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services groups with over £750 billion in total assets and more than 140,000 employees engaged in retail and corporate banking as well as insurance, wealth management and other financial services. This appointment followed a long career in the pharmaceutical industry. Born in Ayrshire, Tom received a PhD in Chemistry at Glasgow University, and later joined ICI's Corporate Research Laboratory at Runcorn. He moved to ICI Pharmaceuticals Division in 1975 and held a number of positions in research. In 1989 he was appointed Technical Director of ICI Pharmaceuticals, a role in which he had international responsibility for Research, Development and Production. In 1994, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Zeneca Pharmaceuticals - Zeneca having demerged from ICI in 1993 - and, on completion of the merger of Astra and Zeneca in April 1999, he became Chief Executive of AstraZeneca PLC, a position he held until retiring on 31 December 2005. He received a knighthood for his services to the Pharmaceutical industry in 2002.

Currently Sir Tom is also a non-executive director of BP plc, Pro-Chancellor of Leicester University, a Trustee of the Council for Industry and Higher Education, and a Trustee of The Darwin Trust of Edinburgh. Sir Tom is married with three children and several grandchildren. His interests include sport, reading and music.

The Duncan Davies Memorial Medal is awarded annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to research and development and its management.


Sir Tom McKillop | talks | www


Date and Time:

23 November 2006 at 6:15 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Royal Society
6-9 Carlton House Terrace
+44 20 74 51 2500
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Organised by:

The Research and Development Society
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£40, £20 members

Available from:

Visit http://www.rdsoc.org, email rdsociety@royalsoc.ac.uk or call 020 7451 2513.

Additional Information:

Meeting fee includes refreshments and wine reception. An optional dinner follows - add £45 to meeting fee.

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