ESACT Innovation Award 2022

Dr Richard Wales and Mr. Neil Bargh

Dr Richard Wales and Mr. Neil Bargh are recognized as innovators in automated cell culture technologies to support clonal selection and process development for biotechnological products, biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, as well as cell and gene therapies. Notably, they were instrumental in the development, design and technical evolution of the Ambr® bioreactor systems, which closely mimic production bioreactors. The Ambr® systems have been widely adopted by the biopharmaceutical industry worldwide to accelerate process development and bring life-saving biotherapeutics to the market place.

Following a first degree in Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia and subsequently a PhD at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Richard  Wales completed a 4-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Warwick investigating the mode of action of the cytotoxin ricin.  Subsequently Richard spent 6 years in the Ag-Biotech sector with Dalgety and DuPont, joining The Automation Partnership (TAP), later to become TAP Biosystems, in 2001. His various positions at TAP always combined both a technical and commercial perspective, working closely with both the engineering and marketing teams, and potential customers to bring new systems to the market. On acquisition of TAP Biosystems by Sartorius in 2013 he transferred to Sartorius central R&D function. Following a 2-year stint in Sartorius business development group, in 2019 he joined the newly established Corporate Research Group led by Sartorius CTO. Currently he has several roles in that group including programme coordination, technology scouting and as head of the Concept-to-Prototype group.

Neil Bargh graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1992, after completing a 4-year Master of Engineering degree course.  Subsequently, Neil joined the Automation Group of The Technology Partnership (TTP).  Neil stayed with the same group as it as it transitioned into The Automation Partnership (TAP), later to become TAP Biosystems in 2001 and then acquired by Sartorius in 2013.  Early in his career development projects included: automated inhaler testing machines, the original compound storage “Haystack” system and SelecT, a fully automated robotic T-Flask maintenance system.  Following a 9-month career break in Australia, Neil has been responsible for the development of ambr® 15, ambr® 250 HT, ambr® 250 Modular and ambr® Crossflow.  In 2017 Neil Joined PA Consulting but returned to Sartorius 16 months later to continue his technical leadership role: developing new products that assist biopharmaceutical research and development.