Minister for Science and Innovation (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
Responsible for innovation, Technology Strategy Board, science policy and wealth creation from science, Research Councils, Foresight programme – science and society issues, Space, National Measurement Office, Design Council, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), Energy Technologies Institute, Commission for Environmental Markets and Economic Performance, British Standards Institution, UK Accreditation Service, Life Sciences (including Office for Life Sciences and pharmaceutical sector), low carbon economy
Born in 1960, Paul Rudd Drayson was educated at St. Dunstan’s College, London and Aston University. In 1982, he took a BSc (Hons) in Production Engineering at Aston sponsored by BL Cars at Longbridge, followed in 1985 by a PhD in Robotics.
Between 1986 and 1991, he was Managing Director of Lambourn Food Company. In 1993, he co-founded the vaccine company PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc in Oxford and was Chairman and Chief Executive until 2003. He floated PowderJect on the London Stock Exchange in 1997. Over ten years he built PowderJect into one of the world’s leading vaccine companies with operations in the UK, USA and Scandinavia, until selling it for £540 million in 2003.
Between 2001 and 2002, Lord Drayson was the Chairman of the BioIndustry Association and was active in the industry’s campaign to tackle animal rights extremism. He was Chairman of the Oxford Children’s Hospital Fundraising Campaign from 2002-2005. The new Children’s Hospital at the John Radcliffe in Oxford opened in early 2007. From 2003 to 2005, he was Science Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Said Business School at Oxford University, involved in the teaching of entrepreneurship to MBA students. In June 2007, Lord Drayson became a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Council.
Lord Drayson was raised to the peerage as Baron Drayson, of Kensington in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in May 2004. In May 2005, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Procurement and became a Government Spokesman for Defence to the House of Lords. In March 2007, he was promoted to become Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, serving until November 2007. Lord Drayson was also appointed as Minister of State for Business and Regulatory Reform at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, serving between June 2007 and January 2008. In November 2007, he took a leave of absence from the Government to compete in the American Le Mans Series in the United States.
In October 2008, he returned to Government and was appointed as the Minister of State for Science and Innovation, taking up a seat in the Cabinet and becoming a member of the Privy Council in November of that year. In June 2009, Lord Drayson took on additional responsibilities as a Minister at Defence.
Lord Drayson and his wife have five children, they live in London and Gloucestershire. His hobbies include motor racing, and fencing. In 2004, Lord Drayson started racing historic single-seaters and sports cars, moving into modern single-seaters in 2005 in the Formula Palmer Audi championship. In 2006, he raced modern GT cars for the first time with Barwell Motorsport in British GT. In 2007 he competed in the British GT sportscar championship, again with Barwell and team-mate Jonny Cocker, racing a unique bio-ethanol fuelled Aston Martin DBRS9, achieving a historic first win for a bio-fuelled race car, and coming second overall in the championship. In June 2009, completed his first race in the Le Mans 24 hours, the culmination of a lifetime’s ambition.
- 27 Nov 2009 Feedback on Science: So What?
- 26 Nov 2009 Student advice
- 16 Oct 2009 On the strength and independence of UK science
- 6 Oct 2009 STFC, The Sunday Times and CERN
- 8 Sep 2009 What do you think about Science coverage?
- 9 Jul 2009 UK Innovation Fund
- 7 Jul 2009 BIS and my new role
- 19 Jun 2009 My conversation with @Harkaway
- 16 Apr 2009 I’m now on Twitter
- 13 Jan 2010 European Cleaner Racing Conference
- 10 Dec 2009 Appleton Space Conference
- 11 Nov 2009 Financial Times: Global Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Conference
- 23 Oct 2009 Nikkei BP Climate Change Symposium
- 15 Sep 2009 Oxford Capital Partners annual investors forum
- 9 Sep 2009 Low Carbon Vehicle event 2009
- 1 July 2009 World Conference of Science Journalists
- 17 Jun 2009 Frank Whittle lecture