Research Manager, Challenge Prize Centre

Olivier Usher

Team

Innovation Lab

Join Date

November 2015

What I do

Oli is Research Manager (Technology & Innovation) in the Challenge Prize Centre, helping identify and flesh out new prize topics and providing input into the design and development of the Centre’s prizes.

Biography

At Nesta he has participated in the development of a range of prizes, from driving innovation in aquaculture in India to the Open Up Challenge for small business fintech solutions in the UK. He leads the Challenge Prize Centre's work to identify and scope out new topics, and has worked on projects ranging from the safety of infrastructure to assistive technology for people with paralysis to the introduction of drones in cities. As part of this horizon scanning role, he oversees the Centre’s 'Challenges of our Era' research events series.

He previously worked in science public relations, including a period as Public Information Officer for an ESA centre in Munich, where he coordinated European media relations for the Hubble Space Telescope. He has also worked in journalism and co-authored a popular science book, The Universe through the Eyes of Hubble. He sits on the general committee of the British Science Association.

He holds a first class degree from UCL and a Master's from Cambridge, both in History and Philosophy of Science.

Outside of work, he enjoys cooking (preferably with lots of cream and butter, influenced by the French side of his family), Belgian beer and learning Italian.