DR CHRISTOPHER VAN ESSEN
MA (Natural Sciences) Cambridge; DPhil (Metallurgy & Materials) Oxford
Chartered Engineer; Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (formerly the IEE)
IIMR Investment Management Certificate
EMPLOYMENT (most recent first)
April 1998 – April 2005 TTP Venture Managers Ltd
Executive Director (and Compliance Officer)
Responsible, with David Connell, for the establishment of TTP Venture Managers Ltd as a TTP subsidiary, its regulation by the FSA, the initial fundraising, recruitment of four further executives, and the ongoing investment activities. Retired in 2005
1988 - 1998 The Technology Partnership plc (TTP)
Christopher was one of the founders of TTP and was on the Management Committee for these 10 years. At first he was responsible for market development in the Nordic Region and elsewhere. He initiated and ran numerous assignments in the fields of Innovation, Technology Assessment and Technology Management for international clients. He was active in maximising value from TTP’s patents and IPR, through TTP’s agreements with Black and Decker, Electrolux, Fisher-Price and others, as part of the licensing team. For 16 years he also ran an annual assignment for the Finnish Institute POHTO (technology management seminars based on studies of firms in the Cambridge area). By April 2005 TTP and its subsidiaries employed 280 people, and the main demerged companies a further 750 people. The company is still successful and Christopher is still a shareholder.
1985 to 1988 PA CONSULTING SERVICES
Marketing Director (based in Copenhagen)
Responsible for relationships between the technology unit in Cambridge and customers and prospects throughout Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
1974 to 1985 PA TECHNOLOGY, Cambridge (now PA Consulting, Cambridge Technology Laboratory)
Joined the technology and innovation company, then known as ‘Patscentre’, when it had 35 people, under Gordon Edge, and helped to grow it to 300 people, ending as Divisional Director of the 50-strong Applied Science Division.
Before 1974 Christopher worked as a scientist in University and Government laboratories. He was a specialist in electron-beam technology and was a co-author of the book Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis of Crystalline Materials (Applied Science Publishers, 1979).
Christopher was a visiting lecturer at the Saïd Business School, Oxford in 2004/5 and was chair of judges for the Oxford University Business Plan Competition in 2005 and 2006. From early 2006 to late 2013 he served on the Innovation and Emerging Technologies Panel of the IET (formerly the IEE), Europe’s largest engineering society, and was a judge for the IET Innovation Awards 2010 and 2011. From 2007 to 2011, when the RDAs were discontinued, he also served on the Science and Industry Council (SIC) of EEDA, the Regional Develoment Agency for the East of England. He is still on the selection panel for SBRI contracts, under the scheme being rolled-out by the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK).