Business development

Jennifer Forster: head of business development

Jennifer Forster

Jenny heads up the business development team, which is responsible for promoting the BGS's services, data and information products to a wide range of current and prospective clients. This is achieved through exhibitions, seminars, one-to-one meetings and the provision of promotional material targeted at a wide variety of sectors. Clients include central, devolved and local government; government agencies; the EU; policy makers; insurers; environmental industries; homebuyers; value-added resellers; utilities, and companies directly involved with water, energy, minerals and waste.

Marketing managers in the team are responsible for key areas of external work including, energy, water, minerals and data products. They also act as client managers to key customers within both the public and private sectors.

You may wish to contact a member of the business development team to discuss your particular data needs or problems or to arrange a meeting — perhaps at one of our events? The following will tell you more about the staff within the team who can be contacted through our central Enquiries help desk:

Business development team

Jennifer Forster: head of business development
Business manager for:
  • Geology and Landscapes England
  • land use, planning and development
  • minerals

Jenny works with these teams to identify opportunities and develop commercial and externally funded projects. Jenny joined the business development team in 2003 with a business studies degree, and obtained a marketing professional postgraduate diploma in 2005. She has expertise in event management, market research, branding and corporate marketing.

Lily Cullen Coates: business development team
Business development and BGS international travel coordinator

Lily joined the Business Development team as 'Business development and BGS travel coordinator' in September 2018. Lily provides the essential administrative support and back-office services for the business development area to run smoothly. Lily assists with collating bids and expressions of interest for externally funded UK and overseas projects and manages travel documentation for all colleagues travelling overseas. Lily joined BGS in October 2016 as an 'Apprentice Business Assistant' undertaking an evidence based NVQ qualification in business administration within the Informatics team, before taking the role on full time. Before joining BGS, Lily previously worked in a managerial role at Powerleague Fives Ltd. Lily has over 7 years administration, events and management experience.

Jo Booth: business development team
Business manager for:
  • climate change
  • energy
  • Geology and Landscapes Wales

Jo joined the business development team in 2013 and has core responsibility for marketing bid analysis and developing bids in energy. She began working for the BGS in 1997 and has worked in various aspects of the business, giving her expertise in procurement, contracts, project management and the financial and resourcing aspects of bid preparation.

Hugh Barron: business development team
Business manager for
  • Earth hazards and systems
  • Scotland

Hugh is the business development team's sector manager for Scotland, working with both public and private sectors, mainly in geothermal energy and infrastructure development. He is well connected with the Scottish Government having been seconded to the SG Planning Division from 2015 to 2017, working on surface coal mine policy and providing technical advice on conventional and unconventional oil & gas and geothermal energy.

Hugh coordinates the Accessing Subsurface Knowledge (ASK) Network and represents BGS on the SEPA Scottish Environment Web (SEWeb) Partnership Advisory & Development Group and the Scottish Geodiversity Charter Working Group. He is a Chartered Geologist, Chartered Scientist, a member of the Geological Society Geoconservation committee and former chair of the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) Scotland.

Before joining BGS in Keyworth as a biostratigrapher in the late 1980s, Hugh worked as a geologist and pressure engineer in the offshore oil exploration industry in Europe and the Middle East. He has a BSc in geology and a research MSc in palynology, both from the University of Aberdeen. He transferred to the BGS Edinburgh office in 1994 where he served as a field geologist, mainly in central and southern Scotland, but has also worked in Morocco and the Isle of Man.

Sally Stone: business development team
Events and Marketing Co-ordinator

Sally took over as Events and Marketing Co-ordinator in June 2017. She joined BGS in 2013 as Business Assistant for the GeoAnalytics and Modelling Directorate. Sally is a senior administrator with over 25 years' administration, project and events management experience within the Civil Service and Public and Voluntary Sectors and has a Masters in Public Administration Certificate.

Mike Ackroyd: data licensing and commercialisation
Business manager for:
  • data licencing and commercialisation

Mike joined NERC in 2009, working on the commercialisation of innovations at the BGS. In 2012, he transferred to the UK business development function of the BGS, maintaining his previous responsibilities plus management of data sales to partners seeking to develop data products and services for the commercial sector. He has a BA in geography from Hull University.

Mike's background is in the commercial sector, having spent 20 years working in buying, marketing, store and area management roles with Boots. His previous position was in commercial airport management working at Birmingham Airport, where he had responsibility for income generation from car parking, taxis, on-site advertising, negotiating retail/catering concessionaire trading terms and coordinating the fit out of new trading partners.

Laura Platt: science grants coordinator

Laura joined the BGS in 2017 and helps staff across all directorates to access research grant funding from UK, EU and other international funders. Laura’s responsibilities include horizon scanning to identify grant funding opportunities, providing general understanding of the grant funding landscape, provision of rules and guidance information, proposal reviews and writing support, submission of proposals and other general help to facilitate staff in submitting winning bids.

Laura previously worked in a research support role at the University of Sheffield and as a researcher and analyst in the industrial and academic sectors. She has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Leeds and a PhD in Polymer Chemistry/Energy from the University of Sheffield.

Sean Burke: business development team
Senior hydrogeologist, groundwater

Sean joined the BGS in 2012. After graduating in environmental geology at the University of Sheffield in 1996, he undertook an MSc in groundwater engineering at Newcastle University in 1997, followed by a PhD in geochemistry again at the University of Sheffield in 2001. Sean has worked in environmental consultancy academia and the Environment Agency for over 14 years. He currently manages several projects including demonstration test catchments.

Research areas