Norman Apsley   Chief Executive Officer


Dr Norman Apsley joined the Northern Ireland Science Park Foundation in 2000, as its first Chief Executive, on return from England where he was involved for some thirty years in applied research and the commercialisation of research.

Norman was born in Larne, and educated at Larne Grammar School and at the then, New University of Ulster, achieving a First Class Honours Degree in Physics. Then Norman went to Cambridge University to study amorphous semiconductors at the Cavendish Laboratories. Norman became a Fellow of Jesus College and an SERC Research Fellow.

In 1979, Norman joined RSRE (now QinetiQ), one of Europe's foremost applied physics laboratories. For ten years, he researched a wide variety of microwave and optical devices, publishing some 70 scientific papers and patents. He served on several of the MOD extramural funding committees and directed many programmes of semiconductor device research in universities and industry. He became Superintendent of the Liquid Crystal and Optical Signal Processing Division in 1990, then led the Business Development team for Electronics Sector in 1993 and became Director of that Sector in 1995 and Site Director in 1996.

Since 2000, Norman has steered the Northern Ireland Science Park from an initial concept to physical embodiment, headquartered on 25 acres of Queen’s Island with its growing array of bespoke science park buildings for high technology industry and, in which, is embedded an innovation ecosystem linking wantrepreneurs, business angels, risk capital, and a volunteer workforce of sucessful business professionals and entrepreneurs. This has been modelled on the work of Mary Walshok and the highly successful CONNECT programmes that she co-founded in USC-SD. Mary is a regular visitor and mentor to the staff in NISP CONNECT.

Professional appointments include Vice President (Business and Innovation) at the Institute of Physics, membership of Matrix, the Northern Ireland Science Industry strategy group and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the Electronics, Communications and Information Technology Institute of Queens University Belfast and the new NI Centre for Composite Materials. He is also a visiting Professor at the University of Ulster. He is Honorary President of the NI chapter of the Association of Science Education.

Norman is also a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering and The Irish Academy of Engineering.

In June 2012, Norman was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, in recognition of his contribution to science and economic development.

Shauna Collins   Personal Assistant