Frazer Macdonald, International Knowledge & Innovation Unit (Global), BEIS
I am always impressed with Nick but Nick has been particularly impressive this year. It continues to be a busy and demanding time for the Asia Pacific team with a growing interest in innovation in the region. China, Japan and SE Asia have been pushing for more engagement on innovation. When I have turned to Nick for help and support in what we can do, he has always delivered. For example with China we had a high level delegation coming in for NDRC to discuss innovation collaboration. Nick was immediately able to pull together UK innovation experts from Innovate UK, the Catapult Centres and BIS for a productive discussion with the Chinese. He has also been very focused in delivering the first UK-China Innovation Experts Group meeting in November. He has again engaged a wide range of interested parties from UK and China and developed a strong agenda for the day. With all these events, he is not seeing them as one offs but connecting them to the wider strategic engagement with the country/region.
Nick seems to know everyone. He makes many different connections with people involved with China in particular but also with Japan. A real success this year has been Nick’s work with the China expert group. He has brought together the right people independent of government to provide the UK and Chinese government with advise on barriers to collaboration on innovation. This culminated in a paper that went to the NDRC at the beginning of March and will open a new door to collaboration with China’s most powerful ministry.
Matt Crossman, Regional Director South-East Asia, UK Science and Innovation Network
Your engagement in discussions with Innovate UK for the Newton Fund activities in S-E Asia (and particularly Research and Innovation Bridges in Malaysia) has been very useful as has your knowledge of the wider UK innovation landscape.
We were also very grateful for you helpful comments in developing the Innovation and Research Partnership with Singapore that was agreed around the State Visit in October last year.
Andrew Gill, fellow consultant
I have been working with Nick on the ‘High Value Manufacturing Landscape refresh, which I am leading for the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing. Nick took the initiative o become involved and has become a member of the HVM Steering team. He has commissioned additional work from the refresh in order to ensure that opportunities for international collaboration in HVM are adequately covered. Nick’s contributions have been insightful and timely and will result in a more rounded output.
Nick Baird, Chief Executive, UK Trade & Investment
Many thanks for the fantastic efforts in putting together the G8 Innovation Conference for last Friday. It was, quite simply, superb. The speakers were brilliant, the location exciting and fun, the audience exactly what was needed, and the attention to detail phenomenal. It was absolutely on a par with the 2012 Olympic BBE events. Feedback from everyone, including No 10, has been extremely positive. Very well done!
David Rowan, Editor, WIRED Magazine
Congratulations, all, on an impressively curated and smoothly organised Innovation Conference on Friday. I heard a ton of positive feedback and was proud to be involved - the quality of the speakers was really top-class, and the production and venue exceeded high expectations. I speak at a lot of events, but this one will always be a stand-out.
Simon Elliott, CEO, Garden of Ideas
Nick is magic.
It is rare to find a grounded, innovative, international, outward looking, forward thinking, commercially grounded, creative all in one person. We found him in Dr Nick Rousseau. His sensitivity, skills and intelligence when advising Garden of Ideas on handling communications with investors, developers and UK Government representatives including the Consul General in Shanghai and, when needed, personally representing us and presenting GOI project to them in China was first class.
This has been central to ensuring the initiative is understood and taken seriously by the Shanghai Consul General and securing a commission and the necessary investment for a feasibility study for the first Garden of Ideas.
Mapping not only the Government process from his first-hand experience, but sensitively understanding the roadmap to achieving results is a quality that has had impact and brought confidence to all stakeholders. Nick's knowledge of new businesses, risk, finance, new and forward thinking projects, market testing, try outs and incubation, are a boon to any Innovative startup small or large.
He is able to draw important information, assemble clear lines of question and deliver well rounded reports that truly shape our teams thinking.
I would highly recommend Nick as a person who can link people together with great sensitivity, understanding and focus internationally. So many skills in just one person. Had Harry Potter had half of Nicks skills he wouldn't be stuck teaching Magic at Hogwarts.