January 2021

Rowena Burns steps down from Manchester Science Partnerships and the Oxford Road Corridor Board

After a successful tenure, Rowena Burns is stepping down from her roles as Chair of Manchester Science Partnerships, Non-Executive Director at Bruntwood, and as a member of the Oxford Road Corridor Board.

“For many years Rowena has been a driving force in the Oxford Road Corridor partnership – successfully leading innovative large-scale capital developments and cutting-edge initiatives. And whilst she will no longer be on the Board, in her role as Chair of Health Innovation Manchester, the partnership will continue to have a close working relationship with her”

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester

Rowena joined Bruntwood as Chief Operating Officer in 2006, became Chair of Manchester Science Partnerships in 2012, and was appointed to the Oxford Road Corridor Board in 2013. Rowena spearheaded the rebirth of Manchester Science Partnerships, an organisation devoted to driving the growth of Manchester’s knowledge economy, working alongside Manchester City Council, University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Salford City Council, Cheshire East Council and Bruntwood Sci Tech. 

In her role as Chief Executive, and more recently as Chair, Rowena led on several Oxford Road Corridor based projects, including the expansion of Manchester Science Park, the establishment of the Citylabs campus, securing Enterprise Zone status, and CityVerve – the UK’s only IoT smart city demonstrator. Additionally, she led the collaboration between the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Manchester which resulted in global diagnostics company QIAGEN establishing their new research and development hub at the campus. 

Most recently, as CEO of Manchester Science Partnerships, Rowena was a founding partner of Health Innovation Manchester, dedicated to accelerating the introduction of innovations which will deliver improved health benefits for the people of Greater Manchester. Rowena, as Chair of Health Innovation Manchester will continue to focus on driving the success of the regional health economy.

Rowena stated “For me, this feels the right time to move on from Manchester Science Partnerships, but with my role at Health Innovation Manchester and my wider life in the city region, I don’t feel I am moving far away at all!”. 

Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood and Oxford Road Corridor Board member, said “As a member of the Manchester Oxford Road Corridor Board, Rowena helped to shape the vision of what is now one of Europe’s leading innovation districts and a globally recognised place of excellence. Her legacy at Bruntwood is equally transformative – due to her belief in partnership, collaboration, diversity and inclusion and community engagement. She can take credit for the fact that today we are a business-led by a number of formidable female leaders”.