Professor David Secher is the recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion 2007, as announced in the London Gazette on Saturday, 21 April 2007. The award recognises Secher’s leadership role in advancing enterprise in the UK and improving the UK innovation and knowledge transfer sector. Most particularly, Secher has played in promoting a culture shift in enterprise and innovation amongst researchers and business managers. Professor Secher co-founded the UK’s pioneering research commercialisation (technology transfer) training programme Praxis, with Lita Nelsen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA) and was founding Chairman until 2006. The establishment of Praxis addressed a critical gap in the existing skill base and ensures that the UK has a trained workforce can maximise research and further business for the full benefit society and the economy.
Since 2002, approaching 1200 individuals have been trained through Praxis, and Praxis is now recognised as standard training for knowledge transfer staff. Through its training, Praxis fosters a network of best practice across sectors and with mobility within the employment market sees this best practice actively transferred amongst sectors as KT professionals move between industries.
Secher is also Chairman-elect of Unico, the UK’s research commercialisation organisation representing universities and other research institutions. Unico provides thought leadership on pressing issues in innovation and offers a range of services including national conferences, strategic fora, and the annual UK commercialisation survey. He is also a member of the AUTM (Association of University Technology Managers, USA) Membership Committee.
Professor Secher is Chief Executive Officer of N8, which represents the eight most research-intensive universities in the North of England. The N8 group provides leadership and coordination in university-based research in the North of England and will further the application of research to the economic benefit of the region.