Innovation Symposium speakers

We will be live-streaming the symposium on our YouTube channel.

Find out more about our impressive line-up of guest speakers below, or view our full programme.

Professor Ivan Andonovic

Strathclyde University

Ivan Andonovic Ivan Andonovic, Professor of Broadband Networks, graduated with a BSc (Hons.) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Strathclyde and received a PhD in photonics in collaboration with neighbouring Glasgow University. He is currently member of the Centre for Intelligent Dynamic Communications Systems (CIDCOM) at the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Strathclyde University.

He joined Strathclyde in 1985 following several years at Barr and Stroud (Pilkington Optronics) where he was responsible for the design, manufacture and test of optical guided wave devices. He has held a two year Royal Society Industrial Fellowship in collaboration with British Telecommunications (BT) Labs during which he investigated novel approaches to broadband networking. Professor Andonovic’s research interests’ centre on the development of broadband networks, access and home networking and wireless sensor systems more commonly referred to as the ’Internet of Things’. He has edited two books and authored/co-authored six chapters in books and over 380 journal and conference papers and funding in excess of £20M.

He has been chairman on the IET Professional Group E13, held a BT Short Term Fellowship, Visiting Scientist status at the Communications Research Laboratories of Japan, Visiting Professor at the City University of Hong Kong and Princeton University, USA. He was Topical Editor for the ‘IEEE Transactions on Communications’ and was Technical Programme Co-Chair for the ‘IEEE International Conference in Communications (ICC07)’. Prof. Andonovic is a Fellow of the IET, holds Senior Member status within the IEEE and is Member of the Optical Society of America.

He was co-founder, Director and Chief Technology Officer of two high profile start-ups; Kamelian Ltd., a technology start-up focusing on the design and manufacture of advanced semi-conductor devices and Silent Herdsman Ltd a technology company providing a range of cloud based animal health services, the foundation data being acquired through a highly scalable wireless sensor platform. He was also a member of flagship Scottish Enterprise (government agency for economic growth) establishment team of the Intermediary Technology Institutes (ITIs), aimed at bridging the gap between basic research and company growth.


Dr James Andrews MRCVS


James and HomerDr James Andrews is a veterinarian turned management consultant and co-founder of Felcana, a digital health platform for pets. Having trained at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, James practised as a vet before turning his skills to the commercial world, developing hardware and software solutions for pet owners and vets alike. James’ focus is on digital innovation in the veterinary space and he ardently champions the adoption of novel technologies within the veterinary community.



Dr Payam Barnaghi

University of Surrey

Payam Barnaghi Payam is a Reader in Machine Intelligence at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a member of the Institutefor Communication Systems (ICS) at the University of Surrey. Payam is also an adjunct member of the Graduate Faculty at Wright State University.

Payam is  a senior member of IEEE and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Payam is technical lead of the Department of Health/NHS TIHM for Dementia and was co-ordinator and Principal Investigator of the EU FP7 CityPulse project on smart cities and large-scale data analytics.

Payam’s recent activities include associate editor of the IEEE Internet of Things Journal and Elsevier Journal of Digital Communications and Networks (DCN), member of the editorial board of Elsevier Heliyon, guest editor of a special issue of IEEE Intelligent Systems on Web of Things, and a special issue of IEEE Internet Computing on Physical-Cyber-Social Computing.

Payam is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Advisory Committee and the EPSRC Peer Review Associate College. Payam is the programme leader for Electronic Engineering for Medicine and Healthcare at the University of Surrey.

Payam’s main research goal is to develop intelligent information communication, discovery and retrieval methods for cyber-physical and social systems. He works on machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), semantic web, service computing, adaptive algorithms, data-centric networking, big data, stream processing and information search and retrieval to solve problems and develop new technologies for the future Internet/Web and healthcare systems.



Ms Amanda Boag MRCVS 

Junior Vice-President, RCVS 

Amanda Boag

Amanda graduated from Cambridge University in 1998. She then undertook two consecutive small animal internships first at the Royal Veterinary College, London and then at the University of Pennsylvania.

She returned to the RVC to do a residency and remained as a Lecturer in Emergency and Critical Care from 2003-2008.

During that time she was very involved with running of both the referral and first opinion emergency service as well as teaching on veterinary undergraduate, postgraduate and veterinary nursing programmes.

Amanda is Board certified in both Internal Medicine and Emergency and Critical Care.

In September 2008, she took up the post of Clinical Director at Vets Now where she has a wide ranging role overseeing clinical and professional standards within the business.

She has published many peer reviewed articles and book chapters and is Co-editor of the BSAVA Manual of Emergency and Critical Care.

Amanda acts as a veterinary consultant for Pet Blood Bank and is Past President of the European Soceity of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. She is currently Inaugural President of the European College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and a Trustee of the British College of Veterinary Specialists. She received the BSAVA Melton Award in 2011.


Dr Guen Bradbury MRCVS 

Innovia Technology

Guen BradburyGuen Bradbury uses her training in pharmacology and veterinary medicine to bring fresh insight to Innovia Technology’s pharma clients. She worked in companion animal practice for several years, then in anaesthesia, both as a clinician at Edinburgh Vet School and in critical care on trials of a bio-artificial liver.

Guen is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh, and still does lecturing and small-group teaching at the University of Cambridge. In her spare time, she runs a rabbit behaviour teleconsultancy and is currently finalising a textbook on the subject. Her experience in biotech is helping her develop the perfect sourdough culture.


Francesco Cardoletti


Francesco Cardoletti is the founder and CEO of PawSquadFrancesco Cardoletti

He has been has been working with high-growth companies for the past 15 years. Previously Francesco was CEO and Product Manager in successful FMCG and FinTech startups in London and New York. He specialises in product development and accelerating growth at any stage in a company’s life cycle. He now lives in London.



Dr Greg Dickens MRCVS 

Innovia Technology

Greg dickensGreg Dickens has the role of strategist and trouble-maker at Innovia Technology - his job is to create ideas and guide companies through innovation, while also highlighting any weaknesses in their approach or plans. Pepsi, Boeing, Nike, Lego, Merck, Bayer, Ethicon, and DePuy Synthes have all used Greg’s outside perspective to generate market-leading concepts and to stress-test their innovation processes.

Before working at Innovia, Greg ran his own innovation company and was, for a short period, the Head Vet at a primate conservation institute. He has also earned a living as a fire-breather on major motion pictures and as a professional athlete. If he has spare time, he takes photos of bugs.



Dr Adam Little

Texas A&M University

Adam LittleDr Adam Little is a veterinarian and entrepreneur who works on creative solutions to addressing human and animal health issues. He has a BSc and DVM from the University of Guelph and is the first veterinarian to attend Singularity University, a prestigious Silicon Valley-based institution which explores the fast moving technologies and their impact on the world. In addition to serving as a Board Member with the Catalyst Council and Veterinarians without Borders, Dr Little serves on faculty with Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences as Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Dr Little is the President of Exponential Vet Inc., where he assists veterinary stakeholders in harnessing the rapid of pace of change to grow their business. He is also co-founder of FuturePet which is building technology to upgrade the client experience of veterinary practices.



Iain MacLaren-Lee

AgriGenomics, Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd

Iain MacLaren LeeIain studied molecular genetics at both Glasgow and Oxford Universities before working in the commercial teams of Invitrogen, Sigma, and Cellectricon.  He spent the last eight years working for the global market leader in genomics technology (Illumina), primarily focused on the introduction of genomics into routine agricultural testing.  

Iain joined Oxford Nanopore Technology this year with a focus on deploying Nanopore’s highly innovative and disruptive new technology in the fields of agriculture and food. 



Professor Stephen May FRCVS

President, RCVS

Stephen May

Stephen May graduated from Cambridge in 1980. After spending time as large animal house surgeon at Liverpool and in general practice, he undertook further training in equine surgery and diagnostic imaging, at Liverpool, subsequently gaining Diplomas in Veterinary Radiology and Equine Orthopaedics.

He then studied for a PhD at the Royal Veterinary College, followed by a return to Liverpool as Lecturer in Equine Orthopaedics, and was recruited to the Royal Veterinary College in 1993 to rebuild the equine clinical services, and expand the equine research focus.

In 1997, he became Head of the Farm Animal and Equine Clinical Department. He was appointed the College’s Vice-Principal for Teaching from 2000 to 2013, and currently holds the post of Deputy Principal.

His broader contributions include being Vice-Chairman of the Horse Trust, and a member of the Higher Education Academy Panel involved in the award of National Teaching Fellowships. He is currently Vice-President of the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation and a past President of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Having come from a clinical and applied research background, Stephen set about converting himself into an “educationalist”, adding generic educational theory and discipline-related pedagogical research to his largely empirical teaching skills!

He was challenged to expand the College’s educational vision from a training school for veterinary surgeons to an educational academy for the whole veterinary team, both at first degree and also postgraduate degree and CPD levels. New Bachelors, Masters and professional certificate programmes have followed, alongside radical development of the BVetMed itself.

At every stage, attempts have been made to inform change with best practice from elsewhere, and research the impact and efficacy of changes that have been made. Notable achievements have been developments in assessment and learning, in communication and technical skills, and distance and blended learning models of delivery.



Dr Umang Patel

Babylon Health

Umang PatelUmang is an NHS Paediatrician, he served as a clinical fellow for the NHS Leadership Academy and a trustee of Attend, the UK’s national charity for volunteers. Umang has joined Babylon from Aviva, where he was the Director of Clinical transformation and responsible for a series of new initiatives in the model of healthcare delivery.



Anthony Roberts

RCVS Director of Leadership and Innovation

Anthony Roberts

Anthony is responsible for the delivery of the strategic ambition to become a Royal College with leadership and innovation at its heart. Leadership work includes the implementation of a programme to support the next generation of veterinary leaders and develop leadership opportunities across the veterinary professions, and the completion of the RCVS governance review to ensure that we are an effective and efficient organisation, better able to lead the profession and serve the needs of the public. Innovation incorporates the development of initiatives to ensure the veterinary professions are at the centre of innovation in the animal health sector, to position the professions as open to innovation, and to ensure the RCVS serves to foster innovation whilst continuing to protect animal health and welfare.

Anthony also leads the development and delivery of a programme of work to prepare the College and the profession for the impact of Brexit and the implementation of evidence-based measures to drive the transition to a supportive ‘learning-culture’ in the veterinary professions.

Anthony has worked at the RCVS for seven years and has been responsible for delivering key projects such as the First Rate Regulator Initiative (2012/13) and the launch of the new Practice Standards Scheme (2015).

Prior to joining the RCVS Anthony worked in public affairs and media relations at the British Plastics Federation, the trade association for the UK plastics industry.

Anthony holds an MBA from Warwick Business School (2016), an MA (Hons) in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Edinburgh (2004) and the CIPR Diploma in Public Relations (2009).


Professor Dimitrios Spyridonidis MRCVS

Warwick Business School

Dimitrios SpyridonidisDimitrios studied Veterinary Medicine in Greece (Aristoteles University, Thessaloniki) and in 2001 he became a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and worked in the field of small animal practice and public health in the UK.

Dimitrios holds a PhD in policy innovation and implementation and an MSc in International Health Management at Imperial College Business School London. His primary research interests fall into the broad categories of innovation and leadership, however much of his recent research falls into the intersection of these two areas.

Prior to joining Warwick Business School, Dimitrios was at Henley Business School. Dimitrios has taught leadership, leading for innovation and leadership development around the globe including UK, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, South Africa, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Dimitrios has worked extensively in executive education, developing middle and senior managers in leadership and Innovation. He also consults organisations on Innovation and Leadership topics across sectors.


Dr Nuala Summerfield MRCVS

Virtual Veterinary Specialists

Nuala SummerfieldNuala graduated from the University of Edinburgh Veterinary School in 1998. Following her graduation, she spent four years at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, where she completed an internship in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery and a residency in Veterinary Cardiology.

Nuala has spent the past 15 years working as a Veterinary Cardiology specialist in academia and private practice in the UK, France and Switzerland, assisting veterinary surgeons in the diagnosis and treatment of their canine and feline patients with heart disease. These invaluable experiences and professional interactions have served to highlight both the importance of collaborative care as the key to improved patient outcomes, as well as the strong desire of veterinary professionals in practice to improve their skills and knowledge to optimize their patient care.

Recognising the need to make specialist veterinary healthcare more easily accessible and available, and seeing the timely opportunity to do this through a real-time, collaborative and educational digital platform, Nuala created Virtual Veterinary Specialists (VVS) in 2017.

Through VVS, Nuala hopes to continue to create and develop ideas, products and services that will solve real problems, positively impact the lives of veterinary professionals, owners and pets worldwide and help shape the future of specialist veterinary healthcare.


Professor Richard Susskind

Richard Susskind Professor Richard Susskind OBE is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to major professional firms and to national governments. His main area of expertise is the future of professional service and, in particular, the way in which the IT and the internet are changing the work of lawyers. He has worked on legal technology for over 30 years. He lectures internationally and advised on numerous government inquiries.

Richard lectures internationally and has been invited to speak in over 40 countries and has addressed audiences (in person and electronically), numbering more than 250,000. He has written and edited numerous books, including Expert Systems in Law (OUP, 1987), The Future of Law (OUP, 1996), Transforming the Law (OUP, 2000), The Susskind Interviews: Legal Experts in Changing Times (Sweet & Maxwell, 2005), The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services (OUP, 2008), Tomorrow’s Lawyers (2013), and has written around 150 columns for The Times. His work has been translated into 10 languages.



Dr Chris Tufnell MRCVS

Senior Vice-President, RCVS 

Chris Tufnell

Following a degree in Agricultural and Environmental Science from Newcastle University, Chris worked for a year in Zambia before returning to study for a veterinary degree at Glasgow University.

He graduated in 1999 and worked in mixed practice in Herefordshire with Peter Jinman where he was exposed to the rigours of agricultural practice in an area of family farms. He subsequently moved to West Berkshire to a predominantly equine practice.

Chris runs an equine and companion animal practice which employs five vets and seven support staff. Shortly after graduating he served on the RCVS Education Strategy Steering Group which laid the foundations of the Professional Development Phase (PDP).

Despite a busy practice and family life with two young sons Chris has made regular charity trips to Africa and India. Seeing the suffering of the third world at first hand has made him all the more appreciative of the opportunities available to us in our society. Currently living near Newbury, Chris chairs the Greenham and Crookham Commons Commission.

In addition to his role as RCVS Vice-President, Chris is also the sponsor of the RCVS programme to support innovation in the veterinary professions and works to ensure the RCVS meets its strategic ambition to become a Royal College with ‘innovation at its heart, and to support this creatively and with determination'.



Christopher Woolard

Financial Conduct Authority

Christopher WoolardChristopher is the Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). He is also a member of the FCA’s Board, chair of the FCA’s Policy Steering Committee and a non-Executive Board member of the Payments Systems Regulator. He joined the FCA in January 2013.

The Strategy and Competition Division comprises the FCA’s policy, strategy, competition, economics, market intelligence and communications functions. It also includes the FCA’s Innovate work, launched in October 2014 to encourage innovation in the interests of consumers.

Innovate offers three main services: direct tailored regulatory support for innovative firms; the Regulatory 'sandbox' which provides support for innovative firms who are ready to test their propositions in the market; and the advice unit which provides feedback to firms developing automated advice and guidance models. The FCA's Innovate work also supports RegTech by facilitating collaboration, knowledge sharing and conversations around new technologies that support better regulation. Lastly it engages with firms, governments and regulators both in the UK and internationally to build relationships which help foster innovation. This includes establishing FinTech cooperation agreements.

Prior to joining the FCA Christopher was Group Director and Content Board member at Ofcom – the UK’s communications market regulator. He has spent most of his career in regulation or policy development including working at the BBC and in government as a senior civil servant. He is a Sloan Fellow of London Business School.