GLOBETROTTING business chief Patrick Allen, has been named as managing director of Huddersfield University’s £12m Enterprise and Innovation Centre.
He played a key role in ensuring that a rebranded Co-operative became one of the most go-ahead and high profile retailers in Britain.
And his globetrotting career has seen him work on behalf of some of the biggest businesses in the world, boosting their brands.
Now, Allen’s latest challenge is to ensure that the ground-breaking Centre at the university achieves its full potential.
Equipped with the most up-to-date technology, it will provide space and facilities for large, well-established companies plus dynamic start-up firms. It will also ensure easy access to research and facilities at the university.
Mr Allen described the Centre as a “unique proposition” and he is in no doubt that it will be a major boost to the regional economy.
“My ultimate vision is to leave a legacy, not just for the centre itself but for the university and the Kirklees area, so that when people look at Huddersfield they will say it is world class for innovation and growth.”
Manchester-born Mr Allen has an academic and a business track record.
Originally a student of social psychology and philosophy, he moved into the study of business and trained as an accountant before moving into executive development and starting his own consultancy.
His CV includes work for the likes of IBM, Allied Domecq, Rolls Royce and Emirates Airlines.
He took on a new challenge at the Co-op, joining its management executive and taking charge of marketing.
After a massive rebranding exercise, the Co-op group’s market share rose dramatically from a position outside the top 50 of British retailers to a place in the top six.
Mr Allen said: “Universities often fail at business development because they attempt to ‘spin-out’ companies and are not backed by sufficient commercial acumen.
“In contrast, the Enterprise and Innovation Centre will be ‘spinning-in’ companies both large and small.
“There will be expert help and advice on matters such as finance, access to global markets, design and legal issues, plus access to the university’s technological know-how.”
The development of the Centre is on schedule and contractors should hand over the keys during the May.
There will be a ‘soft launch’ in June and an official opening later in the year.