RD&I Board

RD&I Board

Management of the innovation process is clearly an imperative in the strategy for developing a technology company, with managerial competence, coupled with entrepreneurial flair, is key to managing the inventive-to-innovation transition. 

The managerial structure and function must align with the standards of best practice and the Innovation Management System Framework (ISO 56002). 

As part of MagrowTec’s project with GB Innovation, MagrowTec has aligned with the “Byrne ARC Model for Innovation and R&D Management”, together with the prospect of collaborating on the development of the model-based upon foundational considerations relating to sustaining and disruptive technologies and stage sequencing revisions for effective innovation.

To facilitate this need, a MagrowTec RD&I Board has been set up, with the additional remit to serve as a vehicle through which Innovation and R&D initiatives can be implemented under the headings of:

1) RD&I Governance & Leadership and input into policymaking and decision support

2) RD&I Planning & Operations

3) RD&I Diagnostics

4) RD&I People & Training and RD&I Marketing support. 

Prof. Gerry Byrne (GBI) and Prof. Anthony Furness (CSO, MagrowTec) will drive this activity, with prospect too of having marketing representation.

Structuring the Innovation Management within MagrowTec will be assisted by the full deployment across the company of best-practice Innovation (incorporating R&D), based upon the Innovation Management System Framework, ISO56002 (Guidance Standard), relating to which Prof. Byrne sits on the NSAI Technical Committee (TC45).

The R&D and Innovation board membership comprises:



Professor Gerry Byrne is one of Ireland’s most senior international chartered engineers and has been actively involved in applied, industrial R&D and Innovation for over 30 years. Gerry is a senior advisor to the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and is the Chief Scientific Officer of ReaDI-
Watch Ltd. He is the former Dean of Engineering at University College Dublin. His current focus in on the Management of RD&I in industry.


Gary Wickham, founding member & CEO of MagrowTec is an accomplished and highly experienced entrepreneur & businessman. Gary began his career in Henkel Loctite Ireland where he held several senior management positions which included building Loctite’s first ever cleanroom facility for the Biomedical and Microelectronic product ranges.

Following his MBA Gary joined Reheis Pharma Ireland as Managing Director with a turnover of €40million. In 2003 Gary co-founded StayCity apartment hotels, a highly successful international business with a turnover of €125 million and over 3000 employees.

Gary Wickham, CEO, MagGrow.    
Picture by Shane O'Neill, Coalesce.


Mel has over 25 years international experience in senior management roles with companies such as Rentokil Initial (UK), Fiserv (USA) and Changing Worlds (Ireland) bought out by Amdocs (USA).

While having extensive experience in senior finance roles from the early 90’s he has also developed his skills across sales, operations and general management with a particular lean towards scaling businesses.


Anthony is a Chartered Engineer and a Doctoral-qualified practitioner in research, previously engaged with MagrowTec on a consultancy basis, and now operating as MagrowTec’s Chief Scientific Officer. 

Through the consultancy projects he has contributed to the scientific and technological foundational development of the company, now extended to assisting the CEO and the Executive team of Agricultural Magnetics Ltd (MagrowTec) in developing the company’s corporate strategy with regard to research, corporate vision, product and business development, including leadership in progressing the scientific and technological standing of the company.

 Anthony’s career spans over 40 years industry-facing, with academia, commercial organisations, government and industry-representative bodies, including involvement in European projects, in a technical capacity, and later with respect to food security and precision livestock farming. The latter led to an invitation to become a Visiting Professor at Harper Adams University, a position he has held, on yearly invited basis, for over six years, with projects that have cultivated a strong interest in physics and electromagnetics applied to biological systems, engineering applied to precision agriculture and the links with MagGrow on foundational studies. The consultancy base has also helped develop a strong focus on strategic thought-leadership with abilities to generate, analyse and evaluate concepts, research models and polices.



Dave Byrne is Founder & CEO of ReaDI-Watch Ltd. which provides a digital platform for companies to manage RD&I in real-time and accelerate business results. Prior to founding ReaDI-Watch, Dave led a team of 10 consultants working with some 100 companies over 7 years to implement lean Innovation & R&D management structures, strategies & processes. He helped Gerry grow GB Innovation into a successful RD&I consultancy firm since 2014 in the company leadership team. Dave holds an MSc in Finance from Smurfit School, UCD and a BComm International from UCD.