Professor Sir John Michael Taylor


Honorary Fellow
Chairman, the Web Science Trust; formerly Director-General of the Research Councils and Director of Hewlett Packard Laboratories Europe

John Taylor was Director General of Research Councils (DGRC) in the UK Office of Science and Technology and chairman of Research Councils UK for five years until December 2003. He was responsible for the UK government Science budget of around £2 billion per year and the seven UK Research Councils which funded research across the whole spectrum of science and technology in UK universities and research institutes. He advised the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Cabinet minister for Science directly on all aspect of the science budget.

He was formerly director of Hewlett Packard Laboratories Bristol, the European arm of HP’s worldwide long range research laboratories, where he developed major programs of research in the areas of information utilities, information appliances and mathematics, including internet security, wireless communications, telecommunications and personal digital imaging. Earlier, he lead various research groups at RSRE and ASWE in areas including secure computing and communications, and command and control.

He was President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1998-9, and chaired the UK Technology Foresight Panel in IT Electronics and Communications until December 1998. He is an honorary fellow of Emmanuel College and sometime visiting industrial professor at Bristol University and visiting professor at Imperial College, London. He holds a number of honorary doctorates.

John Taylor completed his term as chair of Roke Manor Research Ltd in 2010 when the company was sold by Siemens to Chemring.

He was a founder member of the advisory board of the Web Sciences Research Initiative (WSRI) from 2006-8. This evolved into the Web Science Trust (WST) and he served as chair of the WST Trustee Board from 2009-2014, since when he has been an Honorary Fellow of the WST.

He was chair of the Shadow Science and Industry Council of the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) from July 2004 – February 2005 when the full South West Science and Industry Council (SWSIC) was established.

He was a member of the Oxford University Engineering Advisory Board from 2005- 2010; of the Imperial College Tanaka Business School IPGC (Innovation and Productivity Grand Challenge) advisory board from 2005-2009; and of the Investors Advisory Committee of the London Technology Fund from 2005-2012

He was a member of the steering group for the Royal Society Report on Science in the Services Industries, which was published as “Hidden wealth: the Contribution of Science to Service Sector Innovation” in July 2009

He served on the International Science Advisory Group of NICTA (National ICT Australia) from 2007-11

He created the UK e-Science program in 2001 while DGRC. In 2009 the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society published a 3 part issue in Vol 367 reporting the 2008 e-science All Hands Meeting, and again in 2010 published a second 3 part publication in Vol 368 reporting on the 2009 e-science All Hands Meeting. He participated in the Research Councils UK (RCUK) International Review of the UK E-Science program in 2009, which published its report, “Building a UK Foundation for the Transformative Enhancement of Research and Innovation” in February 2010.

While DGRC he also led the UK Foresight Cognitive Systems project (2001-3) and the results of this were published in a book in 2006 to which he contributed the introduction (Cognitive System: Information Processing Meets Brain Science, Morris et al, Elsevier Academic Press, 2006).

He was a member of the HM Treasury Infrastructure UK Engineering & Interdependency Expert Group (EIEG) from 2010-2013.

He read Electrical Sciences at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and completed his PhD at Cambridge University Engineering Dept in 1969. Who’s Who gives his interests as sailing, photography, music and family. He and his wife Judy have 4 children and 12 grandchildren and continue to divide their time between Cheltenham and St Mawes, where boating continues unabated