Leadership

Andrew Diprose

Andrew Diprose

Chief Executive Officer

Andrew is CEO and leads the RootWave team. He joins from Alpha Financial Markets Consulting which he helped grow from a start-up to the world’s largest dedicated investment management consultancy.

Robert Diprose

Robert Diprose

Founder and Chief Research Officer

Robert founded Ubiqutek in 2012 and is our Chief Research Office. He joins from QinetiQ where he spent 10 years as a systems engineer. He holds an MBA from Birmingham University and is a former Chairman of the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Birmingham.

James Holdgate

James Holdgate

Chief Operating Officer

James is our Chief Operating Officer and leads our product development and operations. He joins us from Vax where he held the role of Head of New Product Development. He brings over 20 years of experience in consumer products and medical devices and expertise in product development, project management, team leadership and lean systems.

Stephen Jelley

Stephen Jelley

Global Head of Sales

Stephen is Commercial Director and joins us having held the position of UK & Ireland Sales Manager for Dunlop Protective Footwear where he worked closely with customers in the Agriculture and Retail sectors. During his career, he gained a wealth of experience in both Sales & Marketing roles, helping to transform businesses for market leading companies such as General Electric, Philips Electronics & Honeywell.

Laura Wrench

Laura Wrench

Head of People

Laura is our Head of People and brings a wealth of HR experience from a variety of sectors including facilities services, construction and engineering, manufacturing and education. As a Chartered MCIPD professional, Laura has a passion for attracting and retaining talented individuals by providing an engaging and diverse working environment where everyone can contribute to the success of the business.

Board of Directors

Andrew Diprose

Andrew Diprose

Executive Director

Andrew is CEO and leads the RootWave team. He joins from Alpha Financial Markets Consulting which he helped grow from a start-up to the world’s largest dedicated investment management consultancy.

Willem Broekaert

Willem Broekaert

Non-Executive Director

Willem Broekaert is currently Managing Partner of V-BIO VENTURES, a life sciences venture fund which he co-founded in 2015. V-BIO VENTURES supports innovative companies in the sectors of therapeutics, diagnostics and agricultural improvements. Earlier, Willem Broekaert was the founding CEO of the nutrition company FUGEIA, a spin-off from the University of Leuven in Belgium, and was the Vice President R&D of the entrepreneurial agro-biotechnology company CROPDESIGN, now part of BASF. Willem Broekaert is part-time professor at the Faculty of BioScience Engineering at the University of Leuven. He holds a MSc and PhD in BioScience Engineering from the University of Leuven, and a Master’s degree in agricultural economics from ESSEC in Paris, France.

Thomas Gatacre

Thomas Gatacre

Non-Executive Director

Thomas is currently the active chairman of Jellycat, a soft toy company which he started 32 years ago. Jellycat now has sales of £70m, 80% of which is sold outside the UK. Previously Thomas worked in insurance and farming. He is a board member of the body that looks after the family estate, property, monuments and garden of de Wiersse in the Netherlands.

Lars McBride

Lars McBride

Non-Executive Director

Lars has over 40 years’ experience in business, including as an Executive Director for a diversified global industrial group and Finance Director of FTSE 250 company when it sold for £630m. Lars is an experienced Chairman and Non-Executive Director and currently holes numerous board roles at small businesses.

Thomas Ritchie

Thomas Ritchie

Non-Executive Director

Tom is an Investment Manager at the Rabo Food and Agri Innovation Fund, the venture capital division of Rabobank, where he has gained over 10 years of investment experience within food and agriculture. Tom focuses on equity investing in companies striving to improve the sustainability and environmental impact of agriculture. Tom is an Investment Panel Member for the Rothamsted SHAKE Climate Change Fund and is an advisor to a number of UK agribusinesses. Tom holds a first class degree in Economics and Business from The University of Exeter.

Pieter Vis

Pieter Vis

Non-Executive Director

Pieter is investment manager at Pymwymic, an impact investment cooperative based in the Netherlands. Prior to Pymwymic, Pieter worked at Transmark Renewables, a geothermal energy developer with projects in Chile, Turkey and the Netherlands. Pieter has more than 15 years experience in private equity transactions, finance, and project management. Pieter holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering & Geoscience from Delft University of Technology and a Master in European Business from ESCP Europe.

Technical Advisory Board

Johan Driesen

Johan Driesen

Technical Advisor

Johan Driesen received the MSc degree in 1996 as Electrical Engineer from the KU Leuven, Belgium. He received the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering at KU Leuven in 2000. In 2000-2001 he was a visiting researcher in the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK. In 2002 he was working at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Currently, he is a full professor at the KU Leuven and teaches power electronics, renewables, drives and electromobility. He conducts research on distributed energy resources, including renewable energy systems, power electronics and its applications, for instance in renewable energy, storage and electric vehicles.

Within EnergyVille, the research collaboration specializing in energy in smart cities and buildings, in cooperation with VITO and Imec, Johan Driesen is involved in the programmes on power electronics, distributed energy resources, electric vehicles and storage interfaces.

Johan Driesen is also the programme director of the international master programmes in energy at KU Leuven and within the EIT-KIC InnoEnergy, a pan-European consortium supporting education and innovation in sustainable energy, the Education Director for the Benelux area.

Paul Mitcheson

Paul Mitcheson

Technical Advisor

Paul Mitcheson received the MEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2001 and the PhD degree in 2005, both from Imperial College London. He is currently Professor of Electrical Energy Conversion in the Control and Power Research Group in the Electrical Engineering Department at Imperial and has research interests wireless power transfer and power electronics. He is a fellow of the higher education academy and senior member of the IEEE. He was general co-chair of PowerMEMS 2013 and IEEE Wireless Power Week 2019. He sits on the Executive Committee of the UK Power Electronics Centre.

Farmer Advisory Board

Henry Chinn

Henry Chinn

Farmer Advisor

Henry Chinn is a partner in Cobrey Farms who are the largest asparagus grower and packer in the UK, with production in Herefordshire and East Anglia. He has over 20 years experience as a farmer, producing a range a hand-harvested vegetables and soft fruit as well as potatoes, beetroot, cereals and poultry. He has a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Nottingham and worked as a farm business consultant before returning to the family business.

Stephen Briggs

Stephen Briggs

Farmer Advisor

Stephen is a practical farmer, consultant & Soil and Water manager at Innovation for Agriculture, part of the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE). Stephen been providing farm business consultancy throughout the UK and internationally for over 20 years and has delivered soil, water and crop advice and training to many UK farmers. He has previously worked for DFID, FAO, the World Bank & private Co’s in Africa, India & China.

He guest lecturers at Universities and has held posts on UK Government Policy and Research and Development Committees. Author of ‘Organic Cereal and Pulse Production’ (2011, and contributing author to ‘temperate agroforestry’ (2018) and ‘The Agroforestry handbook’ (2019)). Stephen was a 2011 Nuffield Farming Scholar studying Agroforestry around the world. He was the first vice chairman of the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF) and is active in influencing agricultural policy at UK and EU levels. Stephen was a founding director of ‘Speedwell Farming Ltd’ and Director of Anglo Chinese Food Ventures (ACFV) and he was a founding Director of the Institute of Organic Training and Advice. Stephen works with private companies, NGO’s, Governments, and local authorities to develop innovative sustainable food production and conservation programmes integrated with other land use systems.

At home, Stephen farms 270 acres of land in Cambridgeshire & in Rutland growing cereals, root crops, vegetable and fruit crops and is pioneering agroforestry, with the UK’s largest system on 125 acres, growing apple trees and field crops together. Agroforestry – 3D farming, mixing trees with crops and or animals on the same area, is a perfect example of ecological intensification. In 2017 Stephen and his wife developed and opened a 4500sqft farm shop and cafe followed by an education centre in 2019 – forging links to local communities and capturing supply chain value.

In 2020 Stephen was awarded the Nuffield Bullock award for the Scholar who has best demonstrated a change in outlook and activity stimulated by their Nuffield Scholarship.

Stephen has an MSc in Soil Science with experience in soil and water management combining research, development, farmer engagement & training, consultancy, policy development work and practical farming. Stephen and his team are leading soil and water management innovation in the UK. He believes that there are huge opportunities to engage stakeholders and farmers and further advance their understanding of our most vital resources.

Hugh Forsyth

Hugh Forsyth

Farmer Advisor

Hugh Forsyth is Farm Director of Tubbs End Farms which is a family run farm and contracting business based near Kineton, Warwickshire. The company provides a range of agricultural services to farmers and landowners, from whole farm contracting to individual operations and agronomy. Hugh is BASIS and FACTS qualified and has just recently completed the Worshipful Company of Farmers Course in Advance Agriculture and business management and has 25 years experience in arable farming and contracting operations.

Charlie Hart

Charlie Hart

Farmer Advisor

Charlie is a graduate of the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester with a degree in Rural Land Management. With 20 years in farming, he has a broad knowledge of agricultural systems with particular expertise in UK government agri-environment policy and schemes.

An arable, beef and pig farmer from his home in Cornwall, Charlie has implemented several successful environmental schemes and provides a farm consultancy service across a large and diverse client base across the UK.

Charlie has also been a member of Sainsbury’s Beef Development Group for the past 6 years, undertaking commercial trials for Sainsbury’s as their Beef Concept farmer whilst advising on their beef supply policy.

Neil Walker

Neil Walker

Farmer Advisor

Neil Walker farms about 4,500 acres (2,500 owned) in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, with more than 40 years’ experience in the industry and a degree in Agriculture from the University of Reading.

His typical cropping rotations including wheat, barley, oilseed rape and beans. The farm includes significant areas dedicated to wildlife habitat improvement and areas managed under countryside stewardship. He has an interest in renewable energy, with 300 acres of solar panels.

Neil is one of the first large commercial-scale goat farms in the UK, established over thirty years ago. Milk is now traded from six goat farms to customers across the UK.

Neil is co-founder and director of Cornish Country Larder, a specialist cheese producer sold to Milk Link (now Arla) in 2011. He is ex-director and chairman of farmers buying group with over 300 members.