President - Lord Drayson
Managing Partner, Drayson Racing Technologies Honorary President of the Motorsport Industry Association
Born in 1960, Paul Rudd Drayson was educated at St. Dunstan’s College, London and Aston University. In 1982 he took a BSc (Hons) in Production Engineering at Aston sponsored by BL Cars at Longbridge, followed in 1985 by a PhD in Robotics. He was awarded an Honorary DSc in 2007.
In 1993 he co-founded PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc, in Oxford and was Chairman and Chief Executive. He floated PowderJect on the London Stock Exchange in 1997. Over ten years he built PowderJect into one of the world’s leading vaccine companies with operations in the UK, USA and Scandinavia selling it for £540 million in 2003.
Between 2001 and 2002, he was the Chairman of the BioIndustry Association and was active in the industry’s campaign to tackle animal rights extremism. He was Chairman of the Fundraising Campaign to build a new Children’s Hospital in Oxford from 2002-2005 and the new Children’s Hospital at the John Radcliffe in Oxford was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2008. From 2003-2005, he was Science Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Said Business School, Oxford University involved in the teaching of entrepreneurship to MBA students.
He was made a working Peer in the UK Parliament’s House of Lords in May 2004 and was appointed as Minister for Defence Procurement and as Government Spokesman for Defence in the House of Lords in May 2005. In June 2007 he was appointed as Minister of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in addition to his responsibilities in defence and was made a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Council.
In 2004 Paul started motor racing. In 2007 he competed in the British GT sportscar championship, racing a unique bio-ethanol fuelled Aston Martin DBRS9, achieving a historic first win for a bio-fuelled race car, and coming second overall in the championship. In November 2007 he took a leave of absence from the Government to compete in the American Le Mans Series in the United States, a key step towards his goal of racing in the Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race.
Paul returned to the British government in October 2008 as Minister of State for Science and Innovation and Minister of State for Defence Acquisition Reform with responsibility for the UK’s science research budget, defence science & technology budget, innovation policy and space programme. He attended the Cabinet and was a member of the National Economic Committee. He was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in November 2008.
Paul achieved his ambition of racing in the Le Mans 24 hours in 2009 and 2010, coming 3rd overall in the 2010 Intercontinental Le Mans Championship. Following the change of government in May 2010 Paul has returned to the back-benches in the House of Lords and his previous career as a science entrepreneur.
Paul is Managing Partner of Drayson Racing Technologies, a business formed by Paul and Elspeth Drayson to develop and promote green technology in motorsport. Paul is married to Elspeth; they have five children and live in Gloucestershire and London, UK.