Joint release from the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York

New CEO for White Rose University Consortium

The White Rose University Consortium (White Rose), the UK's most successful university collaboration, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Julian White as its new Chief Executive. He will take up the position on 01 February 2005 and will be based at the University of Sheffield.

Dr White has spent more than a decade in high level roles in Yorkshire. His experience in business, regional economic and academic spheres makes him well-equipped to lead White Rose. He is formerly an executive member of the EU-funded South Yorkshire Objective 1 Directorate, where he co-managed the Business and Enterprise team, and was responsible for investing over £125 million in initiatives to transform the economy of South Yorkshire. These initiatives included driving the £50 million South Yorkshire Investment Fund and the Invest for Growth grant schemes, which has deployed some £35 million to over 700 companies, creating 2,000 jobs. Other areas of responsibility included the promotion of university knowledge and technology transfer and the development and delivery of strategic initiatives to support business clusters in advanced manufacturing and metals, bioscience, environmental and energy technologies, food and tourism.

Prior to this, Dr White was General Manager of BioIncubator York Ltd, raising £1 million to create an organisation, which identified and selected bioscience projects, nurturing them through to start-up companies. He also spent eight years in biomedical research and led a research team within the pharmaceutical industry identifying and developing new product opportunities.

Dr White said, "The Consortium is an exemplar of successful university collaboration in the UK; it adds value to its members and has a role in helping to inform and deliver the Regional Economic Strategy. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to drive its future. It's in great shape already, with a talented and dedicated team, and continuing commitment and support from the Vice-Chancellors at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. I'm looking forward to building on its strengths and anticipate even greater achievements in the future."

Professor Bob Boucher, Chair of White Rose, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield said, "This is an important strategic role for all three universities, requiring vision, a clear sense of direction and strong leadership. Julian has these qualities in abundance and we are delighted that he has accepted this position.

"The White Rose consortium has been an extremely successful and innovative organisation in its 8 year history it has proved to be an invaluable asset to all three universities, and I look forward to working with Julian to take it forward to further success future."

Notes for Editors: 1. White Rose is a strategic partnership between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, and is widely acknowledged to be the most successful collaboration of its kind in the UK. It was cited in the 2003 DfES White Paper The Future of Higher Education as an example of excellence in collaboration. Since it was formed in 1997 it has generated more than £60M of additional funding for the three institutions. By selectively combining strengths, particularly in science and technology, White Rose can develop or bid for initiatives attracting external funding and resources that might be outside the reach of the Universities individually. Many of its projects have been realized through partnership with regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which supports the Consortium's efforts at the highest level as part of its regional economic agenda.

This approach has led to an array of initiatives encompassing research, teaching and learning, and enterprise activities. These include collaborative research projects, commercial exploitation of research through Yorkshire Forward-backed Centres for Industrial Collaboration (particle physics and tissue engineering) access to venture capital through the White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund, industrial partnerships such as the Faraday Packaging partnership and joint postgraduate scholarships. In 2004 White Rose, together with Sheffield Hallam University, successful bid to deliver the DfES/Wellcome Trust's £23 million flagship National Science Learning Centre and also secured one of the six regional centres across the UK. Its most ambitious project to date is a bid (in partnership with Yorkshire Forward) to host the prestigious £1 billion European Spallation Source research facility in Yorkshire, one of three site bids from across Europe.

2. A graduate of the then Liverpool Polytechnic, Dr White gained his PhD from the University of London, St Mary's Hospital Medical School where he researched novel treatments for peptic and duodenal ulcers in a collaborative study with Beecham Pharmaceuticals. In 1993 he graduated with an MBA from the University of Hull. He is married with two daughters and is the Vice-Chair of Governors for a local primary school.

Please contact Danielle Reeves or Lindsey Bird on 0114 222 5338/5339 or email mediateam@sheffield.ac.uk.