Having worked in Aerodynamics, Formula 1 racing cars, mail handling equipment and developing the worlds first DVD players, Mark stumbled into lifesciences having moved to The Technology Partnership in 1997. In 2001 Mark Gilligan set up Syrris Ltd to develop cutting edge new technologies for acceleration of R&D Chemistry. Four years later a US-based sister firm was established to meet growing needs. Meanwhile, Syrris was being contacted about possible development of microfluidic technologies in other application areas, so Mark won a UK government competition and set up Dolomite Microfluidics to create a Microfluidic application centre to meet these rising demands. Through the mid ’00s Syrris’ growth accelerated and it established distribution relationships across Asia, Europe and Latin America. New Syrris subsidiary companies were launched in Japan, India and Brazil, and Blacktrace was created to cap three years of explosive expansion. With a now unstoppable momentum, the group restructured in Jan 2013 to make Blacktrace the holding company, and acquired new talent in Glass Solutions and Centeo. Mark leads the Group as the CEO.
The Board of Directors of Blacktrace sets the long range strategy and governance of the Group. All major investments are decided upon at Board level, and the executive team works in partnership with the Board to balance the short, medium and long term goals of the business.
Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer
Director - Chief Financial Officer and Chief Technical Officer
After completing a PhD/Postdoc in materials/manufacturing engineering at the University of Cambridge, Andrew Lovatt entered technical consulting with Scientific Generics (now Sagentia). He gained insight into the technical challenges faced by a range of industries from packaging (high strength designs for cardboard cartons), healthcare (intelligent beds to colostomy bags[!]), to control systems and sensors (novel 3D position detection and control). Andrew moved to Syrris Ltd in 2002 to gain experience with an end-to-end product design, manufacturing and sales company. He worked as Head of R&D at Syrris for a number of years, and later CEO of Dolomite. Now as Blacktrace Group CFO and CTO, Andrew has overall responsibility for technology and operational matters such as finance and business processes. He also sits on the Group Board.
Director - CEO, Dolomite Bio
Mike Hawes leads the Dolomite Bio Brand activity globally and sits on the Group Board. Mike holds a first class MChem from Exeter University and previously worked for GSK and Pfizer, inventing novel automation products and synthesizing NNRTI drug candidates. Mike was the first scientist in the Group when he joined Syrris in 2002. After spending time as a Project Chemist and Technology Application Leader, Mike became Head of Marketing in 2006, then Head of Sales and Marketing in 2008 and then CEO of Syrris in 2010. In 2013 Mike took responsibility for commercial aspects such as marketing, strategy, new product creation and grant funding across the Blacktrace Group. Mike has managed Syrris to become the world leader in lab scale flow chemistry systems and automated batch chemistry reactors and is regularly invited to speak at conferences on the subject.
Director - Regional Director
Richard founded Syrris Ltd with Mark Gilligan in 2001, moving to the USA in 2004 to manage the Group’s US subsidiaries. Richard’s background includes fast-track product and process development in consumer, medical device and industrial sectors. Before Syrris, Richard was a General Manager in Mettler Toledo’s Automated Chemistry Group, starting up and leading a 50-strong team in design and manufacturing of automated drug synthesis equipment. He worked in technical consulting at The Technology Partnership and PA Technology, and in helicopter rotor design at Westland Helicopters. Richard has an MA in Engineering from Cambridge University and a Diploma in Management Studies.
Adrian has 30 years of boardroom experience, primarily in the technology, legal and educational service sectors. He was a very successful CEO for three companies over 17 years. Previously he was a finance director, venture capitalist and Chartered Accountant. Adrian is now an active angel investor with a portfolio of more than 30 investments in a wide range of businesses, many with a strong technology bias. He is also a non-executive chairman/director and a consultant to a few public, private equity backed and private sector businesses.
David is an Investment Director with Maven Capital Partners where he focusses on private equity investments and heads up Maven’s Edinburgh office. His current Investments include Blacktrace, Vermilion, Endura, Crawford Scientific and PayWizard. David started his career as a scientist with GSK. After completing his PhD, he moved to international consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie (and then parent Deutsche Bank) where he supported the healthcare banking team, advising clients on their corporate and licensing strategies; and performing due diligence projects on companies, products and technologies. David joined Aberdeen Asset Management in September 2007 as Fund Manager for the White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund, an early stage seed fund investing in new technology emerging from the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. David has a First Class Honours degree in Pharmacy, a PhD (Molecular Biology/Gene Delivery) from the University of Bath and a MBA with distinction from Edinburgh University.