Tim Hammond, who spent the past 24 years at the University of Durham and was programme lead at Northern Accelerator, retired at the end of January.

Tim Hammond

Tim Hammond, director of research and innovation services at Durham University, retired yesterday after 24 years with the institution.

Hammond was also the programme lead of Northern Accelerator, a collaboration of six universities in England’s northeast — Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland, Teesside and York — to boost commercialisation activities. For more on this collaboration, read our in-depth look at Northern Accelerator, with insights from Hammond.

Hammond joined Durham in 2000 from industry, having been a technical manager at ICI in the chemical and pharmaceutical business that was eventually demerged before joining forces with Swedish pharmaceutical firm Astra to become AstraZeneca.

His initial focus at the university was a project to help businesses access university support to drive environmental sustainability, leading to the realisation that Durham’s commercialisation capabilities needed to be upgraded.

He went on to create Durham’s tech transfer operation together with Prof Brian Tanner and in 2010 became director of commercialisation and economic development.

In his farewell interview with the university, Hammond said: “In my time at Durham, the university has transitioned into a strong anchor institution engaged with and supporting the regional economy. The present devolution deal presents a fantastic opportunity to take this activity to another level which I know that my successors are grasping with both hands.

“I look forward to seeing a number of these programmes come to fruition, maximising the tremendous impact of our international leading research upon our local communities.”

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).