Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has appointed Colin MacEwan to a new senior role as director of commercialisation & innovation.

Mr MacEwan is currently chief executive of the British Beet Research Organisation, which is jointly funded by British Sugar and the NFU, a post he has held since 20111. His previous roles have included managing director of Agrovista and chief executive of The Arable Group, during which time he oversaw its integration with NIAB to become NIABTAG.

In his new role, he will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of a growth-focused commercialisation strategy, with key priorities the championing of an entrepreneurial culture across SRUC; maximising the development of new products, intellectual property and services to attract new customers, partners and investors; and driving effective business diversification and income generation.

“We are really delighted to have attracted someone of Colin’s calibre and experience,” says SRUC principal and chief executive Professor Wayne Powell. “We are confident that he will continue to build on his long track record of success and innovation within senior, commercially-focused agricultural roles and we look forward to welcoming him to SRUC later this summer.”

Mr MacEwan adds: “There can be no doubt that future of Scottish agriculture will depend upon its capacity to innovate. I feel privileged to be in the position to help SRUC play a central role in supporting that innovation process and in so doing maintain and enhance Scotland’s global reputation as an agricultural nation.

“In my career in the agricultural research and advisory sector I’ve come to realise that success depends on productive partnerships. My role at SRUC will be to actively seek out opportunities for sustainable partnerships that add value to our industry and the SRUC.”

Paul Kenward, managing director of British Sugar, comments: “In his time at BBRO Colin has used his change management skills to transform the organisation.  He leaves the BBRO in a much stronger position to face the challenge of a more open, competitive world.”

The SRUC has also appointed Professor Jamie Newbold as its new academic director. He is presently chair of animal science at Aberystwyth University and director of research and enterprise at its IBERS. He has worked in Wales since 2003 after 13 year at Scotland’s Rowett Research Institute.

“As SRUC’s new academic director, Jamie will bring world class knowledge and experience of the academic environment which will be essential to successfully uniting our research and education activities and ensuring that they are fully integrated with our commercial activities,” adds Prof Powell.