The role of the board of directors is to manage the company, meaning it is responsible for achieving the company’s aims, strategy, policy and results.
The board of directors is accountable for this to the supervisory board and to the general meeting of shareholders. In discharging its role, the board of directors shall be guided by the interests of the company, taking into consideration the interests of the company’s stakeholders.
We will have this two tier system to ensure that the appropriate checks and balances will be in place.
Chairman and Founder
Chairman and Founder: Colin Francis
Colin is the founder and CEO of Neurogenics Ltd. He has spent most of his career in executive and CEO roles. His economics and econometrics background has moulded his expertise in business turnaround, efficiency driven business transformation programmes and organisational process re-engineering.
One of his core skills has been to build teams and boards of diverse talent in his work in the private, public and defence sectors. For over ten years he ran an international consultancy company working for a number of blue chip companies. His personal passion has been cocoa and how to solve the problems associated with cocoa as a commodity in relation to the poverty of its growers. His interest in cocoa began as a boy on his grandparent’s plantation.
His initial interest was, the problems of cultivation, growth and increasing yields. His attention then moved to the problems of processing, fermentation and market preparation as part of the chocolate making model. It became obvious very quickly that unless producers could add significant value themselves that they would continually be trapped in the traditional imperial commodity transaction model.
Since 2005 his attention has been focused on harnessing the powerful botanical extracts in what he now terms “Pure Cacao” and applying them to a range of modern diseases particularly cardiovascular disease. He is however keen to pursue its potential impact on neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases.
Dr Roger Carline
Dr Roger Carline: CEO
Dr Roger Carline manages a successful consultancy to businesses in the fresh produce, nutraceuticals and intellectual property licensing sector focussing on commercial advantage in botanical innovation. This includes new product and service development, use of intellectual property and strategic partnerships for market diversification. He is an entrepreneurial executive manager and expert in the use of technical acumen to convert market analysis into equity value and revenues by re-focussing existing resources and efficient creation of new capability. This has included the creation of new and cross market products and services. With numerous successful product launches, license deals and strategic partnerships across multiple market sectors (fresh produce, food ingredients, food manufacture, medical devices, electronics & telecoms, engineering and aerospace) his impact has created, secured and profitably grown start-up, small and medium size business, including those within groups with charitable and exploitation of IP and patent design, crafting and submission having worked on numerous patents with various industries
Originally a successful defence research physicist Roger’s passion for the creation of commercial advantage from knowledge and innovation grew from roles focussed on identifying and realising the commercial value of his colleagues’ and his own research. Success led to a senior role working for the UKs central government, regional and devolved administrations, and industry leaders to invest a 9 figure sum in 23 business’ use of next generation technology and subsequent creation of his own consultancy to continue to support commercial pull through. An ever-increasing exposure to new markets and technologies led to strategic leadership roles (CEO, MD, BDD & NED) in successful next generation engineering and bio-technology start-ups. With the successful turn-around and sale of a University spin-out ingredient and bio-technology business and spin out of a new electronics business from the University of Newcastle Roger pursued a personal interest in health and food by joining a 100 year old but failing horticultural research institute, EMR, as MD of a newly created commercial subsidiary. Success using these skills for EMR turned the organisation resulting in its sale to NIAB. Roger was retained as the Group commercial Director until 2018 after a successful integration of both business groups.
Supervisory Board Member
Dr Jenny Readman
Supervisory Board Member: Dr Jenny Readman
Jenny has particular expertise in the area of specialist and fine chemicals. She has worked with a wide range of companies, from entrepreneurial start-ups to large global organisations and has facilitated opportunities from strategic concept to full commercial realisation.
Her range of commercial skills and knowledge of fine chemical manufacturing make her an asset to our supervisory board.
Supervisory Board Member
Ian Pilkington: Advisory Board Member
Ian has a quite unique background with significant relevance to the company. Currently running a consultancy and management support practice in the UK, the core work is advising food and drink businesses on growth and manufacturing strategies – from factory planning through to performance improvement – delivering sustainable results through people. In terms of management services, the company supports manufacturing organisations seeking to implement projects, such as contract manufacturing and factory relocation, or wanting to adopt a culture change program around performance and ownership.
Prior to starting his own practice, Ian had extensive experience in blue chip manufacturing, working with Arla Foods and Nestle in the UK, as well as running several sites for Nestle across the Far East. Ian’s experience has seen him set up factories in China and achieve world class performance standards inside 12 months, and play a key role in rationalising the dairy business for Nestle in the UK.
His food related career actually began in researching aspects of cacao, and Ian has first hand experience of life on a cocoa plantation, living in Malaysia and working on projects to improve the flavour through adapting fermentation processes. He also managed a factory in Malaysia which processed cocoa beans into powder, butter and cacao liquor, prior to running several chocolate plants in the region. His experience with cacao literally extends from field to factory to chocolate bar.
Supervisory Board Member
Allan Fletcher: Advisory Board Member
Allan Fletcher carried out CNS drug discovery research on anxiolytic, antidepressant and cognitive-enhancing drugs at Hoffmann-La Roche and Wyeth-Ayerst Research before co-founding Cerebrus Ltd, the first U.K. neuroscience research start-up company.
In 1999 he returned to the North East (having been born and raised in Stockton-on-Tees) to join the University of Durham to teach biomedical sciences.
Advisory Board Member
Dr. Safwan Akram
Dr. Safwan Akram: Advisory Board Member
Dr. Muhammad Safwan Akram is working at School of Science & Engineering as a Senior Lecturer in Biologics & Process Engineering.
Safwan obtained his PhD in Analytical Biotechnology from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge where he also did his post-doc developing low cost diagnostics.
Prior to that he completed his M.Phil in Bioscience Enterprise under the auspices of Cambridge /MIT Partnership. His work has been published in reputed journals like Nature Biotechnology, Lab on a Chip & Annual Reviews of Analytical Chemistry and has been cited over 1000 times.
He has been awarded Medimmune Award (2014) and CambridgeSens Innovative Idea award (2009) for research excellence. He has also recently won ‘Star Award for Outstanding Teaching’ (2018) voted by the students.
He regularly peer review papers for Analytica Chimica Acta, Lab on a Chip and Scientific Reports amongst others. He is a fellow of Higher Education Academy and member of Royal Society of Chemistry and Pakistan Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.