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Honorary Degree Orations
Dr Peter Davies CBE
Public Orator, Professor Chris Backhouse presented the Honorary Graduand at the Degree Ceremony held on Monday 18 December 2006 at 10.30am
Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Lord Lieutenant, Honorary Graduands, Ladies and Gentlemen, Graduates and Granduands
Pera International is a UK-based group specialising in assisting companies to achieve product, process, and operational innovation. It has a particular, but not exclusive, focus on technological innovation and on companies with manufactured products. Pera is now the hub of a leading European network supporting manufacturing innovation and is the largest private-sector provider of international technology partnering services to British companies. Pera currently has 25 offices in 14 countries in Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Chief Executive of Pera International, Dr Peter Davies, stands before you.
Peter Davies background is as a scientist. He graduated with a first class degree in Physics and Maths from Reading University moving on, in 1972, to complete a PhD in Theoretical Physics at the University of London. His early career was spent at the Science and Engineering Research Council, the forerunner to today’s EPSRC where he worked with Sir Geoffrey Allen to grow the, then, new engineering programmes. In the early 1980s he was appointed to the Central Policy Review Staff (the Cabinet’s “Think Tank”) and principle adviser to the Government Chief Scientist of the day Sir Robin Nicholson.
For over 30 years Peter Davies has been engaged in stimulating innovation strategies in manufacturing companies. Not always putting himself in the limelight he has been a tremendous influence on innovation in the manufacturing sector often acting at the interface of Industry and Academia. In the 1980s he was the founding director of, what was then, the UK’s largest joint industry-university research centre, between Rover Group, its suppliers and Warwick University, This became a national model. He founded a programme of technological assistance for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises which became the model for the manufacturing competitiveness element of many UK regional programmes.
In the 1990s Peter became more involved with Loughborough University being an initiator of the multi-million pound PRIME Faraday Partnership involved in leading edge design and manufacture of electronic enabled products. As this partnership has developed his contribution to Loughborough University has grown through his involvement with several major research initiatives. His technical and political advice has been invaluable to the success of these projects.
In recent years Peter has been in the forefront of developing practical ways to stimulate and enable business innovation, in particular assisting companies to develop innovation strategies and to establish truly international partnering to deliver their product and business strategy. Pera has established more product-development partnerships across Europe than any other organisation, making world-class innovation affordable for over 2000 companies in the last five years.
For his services to Business Innovation Peter was awarded the CBE in 2003.
Therefore, Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you, and the University, Dr Peter Davies for the Degree of Doctor of Technology, honoris causa.