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New role to catalyse links between academia and businesses

Dr Michael Capaldi has been appointed at Newcastle University to build strong relationships between academia and businesses

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | July 10, 2018 | People

Dr Michael Capaldi will take on the position of Dean of Innovation and Business at Newcastle University, starting in September this year, and will become a Professor of Practice.

The newly created Deanship recognises the importance of catalysing links between academic and commercial partners to help enhance research and development opportunities in businesses.

Dr Capaldi will work across the University to facilitate links between academic and commercial partners that will increase skills provision and strengthen the University’s portfolio of external funds. He said: “I am really looking forward to getting started at Newcastle University and joining a team that is committed to establishing the University as a leading regional, national and international driver of the industrial economy. 

“I am inspired by the team’s focus upon academic excellence whilst being mindful of its industrial heritage, giving rise to excellent initiatives, such as its commitment to big global challenges through its National Innovation Centres or its involvement with Science City. The University’s ethos aligns closely with my own, having spent nearly 30 years in industry and now using that experience to help bring industrialists and academic closer together to drive innovation in a way that is complimentary and additive.”

Dr Capaldi originally trained in medical biophysics but moved into industry where he spent time in research and development, as well as commercial roles, before moving into general management. 

The University’s ethos aligns closely with my own, having spent nearly 30 years in industry and now using that experience to help bring industrialists and academic closer together to drive innovation in a way that is complimentary and additive

Half of his 26-year career in industry has been spent working for large multinational companies, the other in entrepreneurial roles as Chief Executive of small venture backed high-tech/biotech organisations. Dr Capaldi has raised more than £60m of venture funding for smaller companies; listed two companies on the London Stock Exchange; and been involved in a number of business mergers and acquisitions.  

Since 2010, Dr Capaldi has worked at the University of Edinburgh where he has directed an externally funded programme that’s been successful in helping drive the region's business engagement agenda. 

The UK Government target of growing research and development investment from 1.7% to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 can primarily be delivered by closer working between academia and industry. 

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