Cambridge Enterprise investments have contributed £178 million to the University over the last 15 yearsRAFA ESTEVE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The University of Cambridge has announced that Dr. Diarmuid O’Brien will be taking over as Chief Executive of Cambridge Enterprise from Dr. Tony Raven in September 2021.

Dr. O’Brien arrives to Cambridge Enterprise from his role as Chief Innovation & Enterprise Officer at Trinity College Dublin. He has also held senior management positions at university-founded start-up companies including NTera, Xolioc, and Deerac Fluidics.

Cambridge Enterprise is the commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge. It was established in 2006 to support academics in the licensing of their research and innovation.

Since its foundation, the company has invested £29.8 million in 139 companies based on University intellectual property. In the last 15 years, Cambridge Enterprise investments have provided £178 million to the University.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope, announcing O’Brien’s appointment, said: “I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Dr O’Brien as Cambridge Enterprise’s new Chief Executive. He has an impressive track record of working in higher education and with business and government, and his expertise in innovation will be an enormous asset to the University.”


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He continued: “Under the direction of Dr Tony Raven, Cambridge Enterprise has thrived and grown into one of the most vibrant knowledge transfer centres in the sector.” Toope concluded by saying, “I am delighted that Dr O’Brien will drive forward this extraordinary success story.”

Dr O’Brien said on receiving the position: “The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s top research universities with a global reputation for the impact its discoveries have made. It will be a great privilege to support Cambridge academics in applying their research to some of the world’s most challenging problems and to work to enhance the broader Cambridge innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

Chair of Cambridge Enterprise, Ajay Chowdhury, praised O’Brien’s “great ability to bring together government, industry, and academia”, saying his joint experience in business and universities “make him the ideal candidate to lead Cambridge Enterprise in the years ahead.”