Cambridge Network welcomes Andy Harter as new Chair



Dr Andy Harter FREng FIET FRSA, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RealVNC, has been appointed the new Chair of the Cambridge Network.


An innovator and entrepreneur, Andy is a former Cambridge News Businessman of the Year. He heads RealVNC, the Cambridge technology success story which has won three Queen's Awards for Enterprise and the Royal Academy of Engineering’s prestigious MacRobert Award.

“Cambridge is remarkable, combining a world-leading University and Europe's most significant and successful high-tech cluster. It has been my great privilege to have lived here for some 35 years, having studied, taught, worked and been an entrepreneur,” he said.

“Cambridge Network is the region's original high-skill membership organisation and it is an important part of the business scene. It does something that I believe in passionately – it connects people, and it is a huge honour to be asked to head the Board, which includes some of our eminent Cambridge leaders.

“The quality of the debate about what makes Cambridge special and successful and how it should continue to develop is better now than at any time previously. This debate will guide the strategy of Cambridge Network, which will be to build and expand upon our existing successful activities and to become of even greater relevance and benefit to our members and the region generally.

“Our mission is to be a catalyst for connectivity and opportunity, and we are also now stepping up to take on the promotion of Cambridge nationally and internationally, working with partners to attract both public and private inward investment.”

Claire Ruskin, Cambridge Network's CEO, said: "I am delighted that Andy is our new Chair and I am certain that he will bring his passion for Cambridge business to all that we do.  We are having a great year, developing and growing what we take on, including agri-tech and now leading an initiative to improve inward investment for the region.  The services we deliver for our members continue to improve all the time, helping us achieve our overall mission, which is to make even more difference to business in and around Cambridge.  

“Through Cambridge Network our members share ideas, lessons and resource, as well as collaborating for recruitment, development and retention of their people."

Andy Harter succeeds Bill Parsons, former EVP of HR at ARM. Claire added: "Bill has made a fantastic contribution of ideas for over ten years, and I’m delighted to say that he will stay on the Board."

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said: “As President of the Cambridge Network, I am delighted that Andy Harter is taking over as Chair.  The University enjoys a strong relationship with the Network and I look forward to working with Andy in the future.”

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert also welcomed the appointment. He said: "This is an important time for Cambridge, as we seek to continue our success and cope with the challenges it brings. I'm delighted Andy is taking over as Chair; he has an excellent track record in Cambridge in business, and also as someone who cares deeply about our city."

Adding to the welcome, Dr Hermann Hauser, Founder of Amadeus Capital Partners and a Founder and long-standing Director of the Cambridge Network, said: “I am delighted that Andy has agreed to chair the Cambridge Network. He is a highly successful entrepreneur who lives and breathes Cambridge, and will bring considerable expertise, vision and energy to the Board.”

Dominic Jermey, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment, said: “On behalf of UK Trade & Investment I am delighted to hear about the appointment of Dr Andy Harter as Chair of the Cambridge Network.  Cambridge is such an important technology cluster for the UK, not only as a magnet for inward investment, but also as a platform from which so many companies have grown internationally.  Andy’s experience, and his leadership of RealVNC Ltd, which has been honoured with two Queen's Awards for International Trade, will ensure a strong focus on the international agenda as the Cambridge cluster develops from strength to strength.”

From one of Cambridge Network’s most active members, Simon Segars, CEO of ARM, said: "Cambridge is the premier technology hub in Europe. I congratulate Andy on his appointment and look forward to continuing our partnership with Cambridge Network to expand the impact we have internationally."

Another active member, Marshall of Cambridge, is also supportive. Robert Marshall, Group Chief Executive, said: “It is great news that Andy Harter has been appointed Chairman of Cambridge Network, one of the most influential membership organisations in Cambridge.  We have been members of Cambridge Network since its original formation and since then it has become a powerful voice for the high-tech community in Cambridge.  
“Working with Cambridge Network’s indefatigable CEO, Claire Ruskin, I know that Andy will ensure full engagement with all those other organisations which have the continued success of Cambridge in their sights, to ensure our great City has a bright future for everyone who lives and works here.”

Professor Andrew Blake, Laboratory Director of Microsoft Research Cambridge, commented: “I am delighted that Andy Harter has been appointed as Chair of the Cambridge Network.  He is a shining example of what Cambridge does so well. He is a tenacious innovator whose business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit have enabled some of the finest communication and remote access technologies, which are used globally on over a billion devices today.  I have every faith that Andy’s new appointment will help take the Network to the next level, raising the profile of the City’s high tech cluster, and opening up the doors to further opportunity.”

From local government, Mark Lloyd, CEO of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The Cambridge Network plays a vital role in bringing people together from business to academia to cultivate new partnerships, share ideas and grow local success.

“Andy will be an excellent Chair and well placed, not only to continue this success story, but to build upon it locally, nationally and internationally. His dedication to the City and cultivating new ideas is clear in his own co-founded business, RealVNC, which proudly has its heart in Cambridge.  Local Government has a role to play in helping the local economy and business and we look forward to working with Andy in his exciting new role, seeing how we can do our bit to support and further the goals of the Network.”

John Bridge, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “Andy’s vast experience as an entrepreneur and innovator has provided him with exceptional knowledge of the Cambridge cluster. He brings with him a clear vision for the future of the city and the role Cambridge Network can play in helping our most innovative enterprises reach their potential.

“We are delighted to hear that Andy has taken this key role and the Chamber looks forward to working in partnership with Cambridge Network as he works to make his aspirations for the Cambridge cluster a reality.”

Dr Andy Harter
Andy Harter has an MA and PhD in Computer Science from Cambridge.  He was Director of Engineering and Research at the AT&T Cambridge Laboratory, where he led many hardware and software projects and their successful commercial exploitation.  

One such project was VNC®, a system that lets one person take over another person’s computer screen to help them fix problems. In a bold but deliberate move, he made this freely available in 1998, helping to create the remote access market.  In 2002, he founded RealVNC to commercialise the technology. The software is now on over a billion devices, on more different kinds of computer than any other application and is even an official part of the internet.  The software is embedded in Intel Chips, Apple Desktops, Google Software, mobile phones and cars.

RealVNC has won three Queen's Awards for Enterprise in three years and the Royal Academy of Engineering’s prestigious MacRobert Award.

The Cambridge News 2011 Businessman of the Year, Andy is a Fellow and Trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow and Trustee of The Institution of Engineering and Technology, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Chartered Engineer, a Visiting Fellow of Cambridge University Computer Laboratory and a Fellow of St Edmund's College Cambridge.  
He is also a Fellow of the London College of Music and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, supporting the arts, charities and social enterprises with advice, stewardship and financial assistance. Beneficiaries include The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Britten Sinfonia (Trustee), Cambridge Music Festival, Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, Press Relief and the Computer History Museum (Trustee).

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Cambridge Network is a membership organisation based in the vibrant high technology cluster of Cambridge, UK. We bring people together - from business and academia - to meet each other and share ideas, encouraging collaboration and partnership for shared success.

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