One of the most prominent figures in Birmingham’s tech and business community will step down at the end of this year after almost a quarter of a century working in the sector.
David Hardman has announced he is leaving his post as Birmingham managing director for Bruntwood SciTech but will continue to play a role in the future of the company as a part-time consultant.
His career within the science park sector dates back to the late 1990s when he worked for Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge before joining what was then called Aston Science Park in Birmingham in 2008.
Over the years, it has undergone a few name changes and is now Innovation Birmingham Campus and is owned by Bruntwood SciTech, the Manchester-based commercial property group which acquired the site next to Aston University from the city council in 2018.
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During his tenure as managing director of the campus, Mr Hardman has overseen several new developments including the iCentrum tech hub and the new £30 million Enterprise Wharf which is currently under construction.
He also led the launch of business programmes for start-up companies such as Serendip and Entrepreneurs for the Future while last year Bruntwood SciTech announced a tie up with University of Birmingham to build a new life sciences campus in Selly Oak.
In 2017, he was given an inspiring leader award for his work nurturing and promoting the city’s tech and start-up community at the Birmingham Young Professional of the Year Awards.
Mr Hardman is planning to continue in his other roles in the city’s business community including as a board member with both Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and West Midlands Combined Authority.
He said: “In the fast-moving digital innovation space so much happens in such a short time.
“What I am sure of is that, given the acceleration in adoption of digital technologies during the pandemic, the importance of the Innovation Birmingham Campus as a focal point for the city’s digital entrepreneurs has never been greater.
“The expansion of the campus will build on my 13 year legacy and it will continue to grow in importance as a catalyst for the economic growth of the region.
“I will continue to work with Bruntwood SciTech, leading the development of a new innovation district for the city, working alongside the ten partner institutions in the newly formed Birmingham Knowledge Quarter Alliance.
“I’m also looking forward to developing and launching the Serendip Ideator as a means of linking diverse digital talent with the innovation agenda, offering inspiration to drive aspiration and opportunity promoting greater social mobility to support and encourage the city’s digital entrepreneurs to thrive.”
Jamie Clyde will take on a permanent role as innovation services director and regional director for Bruntwood SciTech, covering the Innovation Birmingham Campus and the company’s presence in the South East.
Mr Clyde will work closely with Mr Hardman on the continued expansion and development of Bruntwood SciTech in West Midlands while Kath Mackay picks up responsibility for the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus in Selly Oak in her new role as life sciences director.
Kate Lawlor, chief executive of Bruntwood SciTech, added: “After 23 years in the science parks industry and innovation sector, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to David for everything he has achieved for Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK science and technology sector.
“We’re pleased that David’s expertise will remain with Bruntwood SciTech a little while longer and wish David, Jamie and Kath every success in their new roles.”