Chief Scientific Adviser for National Security
Policy Leaders Fellow, Centre for Science and Policy
Alex van Someren was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser for National Security in July 2021.
Alex was previously an entrepreneur and venture capital investor focusing on investing in early stage ‘deep technology’ start-ups. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, an Honorary Professor of Computer Science at the University of Manchester, and a current member of the Royal Society’s Science, Industry and Translation Committee. During 2019 he was the Visiting Clore Innovation Professor at the Royal College of Art.
Alex left school to join Acorn Computer in the 1980s, where he was involved in the development of the BBC Microcomputer & Acorn Electron.
He subsequently co-founded ANT Ltd in 1990 to produce networking products, including web browser software licensed to the Oracle Corporation. ANT plc was listed on the London AIM market (AIM:ANTP) in 2005 and later acquired by Espial plc. In 1996 he co-founded nCipher Ltd. with venture capital backing to develop internet security products using advanced cryptography, before leading the company to an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in 2000 (LSE:NCH) at a £350 million valuation. nCipher plc was acquired by Thales SA in 2008.
Alex lives in Cambridge, UK and is married with three children. He was appointed an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge in 2005, and was until recently Chairman of the Development Committee of Kettle’s Yard, one of the University of Cambridge Museums.