Dr David Milne, OBE, FREng, FRSE, FIET
Founder and Non-Exec Director, Wolfson Microelectronics Plc
Dr David Milne graduated in Physics from Heriot Watt University in 1965 and completed his PhD at Bristol University in X-ray Optics in 1968 where he worked on a new fundamental determination of the Avogadro number using X-ray interferometry. In 1970 he was appointed to the Wolfson Microelectronics Institute in Edinburgh where he became director in 1973. He took the Institute private in 1985 forming a company specialising in IC design for third parties.
The company transitioned into a fabless semiconductor company in 1995 addressing the emerging market for digital consumer applications and has since established a world wide reputation for its audio products used in many iconic digital consumer products. It listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2003 reaching a market capitalisation in excess of $1bn in 2006.
He has kept a keen interest in education and the commercialisation of research. He created a strong interaction between the Edinburgh University and the electronics industry for which he was awarded an OBE in 1984. He was appointed an honorary Professor at the University in 1998, was a member of the University Court from 1998 to 2007 and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science in 2008. He also has honorary degrees from Bristol and Heriot Watt Universities and recipient of the IEEE Millennium medal for his contribution to electronics.
As Vice-President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh he led the Commercialisation Project with Scottish Enterprise which has formed the basis for much of the subsequent government investment into technology transfer for company creation and growth in Scotland.
Since stepping down as CEO of Wolfson in 2007 he has become Chairman of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, Chairman of Elonics, a start-up fabless semiconductor company and remains a Non-executive Director of Wolfson Microelectronics. He is Chairman of the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation.
Chris van der Kuyl BSc (Hons), FRSE
Chief Executive, brightsolid Limited
As CEO of brightsolid, one of the UK’s internet pioneers (formerly Scotland Online), Chris recently led the Company’s acquisition of the Friends Reunited Group from ITV. The deal, which is currently going through OFT approval, will make brightsolid a formidable force in the online genealogy and social networking areas. Chris’ expertise covers start-up, development and market listed businesses in the technology, media and entertainment sectors. He is Chairman of the Tayforth Group, which has interests in video games development, technology and intellectual property, and of 4J Studios, a next generation video game development studio.
Chris’ experience has equipped him n delivering successful and substantial fundraising exercises in the private equity, corporate venturing and listed markets and he has an exceptional track record of developing committed employees whilst keeping an ever-watchful eye on the bottom line. Chris contributes regularly to the business and enterprise agenda and is a member of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow Programme at the World Economic Forum. He is dedicated to helping build the next generation of business people by encouraging enterprise education in Schools, Colleges and Universities. He is also a member of the Smith Group, which advises Scottish Government on educational matters.