Robert holds an MSc in Biotechnology from University College London, with a spell at GlaxoSmithKline R&D and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Southampton from an industrial CASE studentship with Actinova. He completed a postdoctoral appointment at the National Institute for Medical Research, London, studying fast protein-protein kinetics measured using biophysical methods.
Robert runs the EPSRC funded Research to Enterprise programme for research students and staff; an integrated university-wide programme of skills workshops, business mentoring, a popular annual event featuring well known entrepreneurs, an annual off-site residential enterprise school and other events such as Enterprise Futures at Media City. The programme has to date involved thousands of participants and was one of the first of its type in the UK.
He is involved with several biotech start-up companies including Alergenetica, an allergy vaccine R&D company based in Tenerife, Spain which has raised significant amounts of grant and venture capital finance. Between 2005-6 he was based for one day per week at the University of Manchester Incubator Company Ltd (UMIC)
Robert is also a regular writer on technology transfer issues and has written for a number of publications including national newspapers. His published academic work includes the areas of biotech start-ups and entrepreneurial intentions among scientific researchers. He has presented his work internationally at conferences including in the UK, USA, Korea, Brazil, Sweden, Ireland, Spain, France, The Netherlands and Poland.