Contact Dr Paul Quinlan


Dr Paul Quinlan is a creative business leader with 38 years’ experience in Innovation and business development within the Food & Beverage, Agribusiness and Life Science sectors. After joining Unilever R&D with a PhD in Biochemistry from Bristol, Paul went on to hold many leadership positions in Unilever - directing innovation programmes, new business development, partnership/ecosystem development, strategy and operations. Most recently Paul was part of the leadership team that successfully navigated the complex transition of Unilever’s tea business to a standalone business, now owned by a private equity fund.

Paul is experienced in product development, innovation strategy, intellectual property management, new business development and building partnerships/ecosystems. He is particularly passionate about innovation and finding a better way to do things; within Unilever he has often been at the front end of developing new technologies, testing new organisation models, and piloting new ways of working!

Having learned early on the power - and fun - of collaboration, Paul has delivered by building effective partnerships both within and beyond the borders of organisations. A particularly fruitful collaboration between Unilever and Cranfield University led to the development of the Innovation Accelerator where each year students from multiple schools across the University compete in teams to develop solutions to Unilever’s real innovation challenges, culminating in a final pitch and awards session.

A focus throughout Paul’s career has been the development of health and nutrition-based innovations and functional foods. He has also published >30 scientific papers in this field. This has included development of a biotechnology derived ingredient for infant nutrition, development of health claims and new functional foods for global tea brands such as Lipton, PG Tips and Brooke Bond; hunger management technologies for SlimFast, and development of vitamin/mineral fortified food products for D&E markets

Current activities

Paul’s current activities include mentoring of startups/SME’s; consulting with organisations on innovation management; teaching/lecturing; and chair of a Board of trustees for a UK charity.


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