Phil Webster

Principal

Principal

Education

Newcastle University (UK)
MSc Industrial Biotechnology
University of York (UK)
BSc Biology

Phil is a Principal in the Global Technology & Innovation Management Practice of Arthur D. Little, and is based in London. He has worked internationally across the healthcare and life sciences, agri-food and chemicals sectors.

Since joining Arthur D. Little in 2006, Phil’s work has focused on helping businesses set innovation strategy and identify new growth opportunities underpinned by effective science and technology. He also works with the corporate innovation centers and quality management functions of some of the world’s largest companies to improve their capabilities through better business processes, organizational structures and governance models.

He also works with universities, research institutes and Government in setting national science policy, defining technology roadmaps and finding effective ways to use and manage intellectual property.

Before joining Arthur D. Little, Phil worked in the agricultural biotechnology industry. He has a passion for achieving responsible business performance through innovation, and particular interests in sustainable agriculture, clean energy and renewable chemicals.

Recent Publications

The Future of Innovation Districts
  The way in which organizations innovate, and places where they are based to do this, have changed profoundly over the last decade due to two overall trends – convergence and disruption. Companies have moved away from closed innovation models to more open approaches in which organizations and places work in collaborative ecosystems and networks, forming “uncommon partnerships” between previously unrelated industries.
Appetite for disruption – Making the most of the future of food
Being the leader of a global food and beverage business has been anything but easy over recent years. Going back a decade, the industry had a reputation for being fairly stable and conservative, dominated by a limited number of global brands that delivered steady growth and margins. Since then, the industry has been shaken by a succession of disruptions, including sluggish demand for traditional core products, rapidly changing consumer patterns and preferences, accelerating technological developments, and evolving attitudes towards the environmental and social impacts of food production.
The next generation of corporate incubators
While large organizations have enthusiastically embraced the creation of in-house corporate incubators to identify and support breakthrough growth opportunities with start-ups, the results have been disappointing for many. This article argues that to overcome these challenges and successfully scale up new opportunities, corporates have to embrace next-generation models.
Corporate/ start-up collaboration
Why is it important for large corporations to work with start-ups? It’s well known that businesses are being disrupted faster than ever before. Innovation launch and adoption cycles are dropping. For credit cards to reach 100 million users? 25 years. Online banking? 10 years. WhatsApp? 2 years. Candy Crush? A matter of months. Entrepreneurial start-ups are one of the main driving forces for this acceleration. Almost 65% of Fortune 500 companies joined the list in the last 20 years.
Driving transformation in research & technology organizations
Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) are under growing pressure to stay abreast of rapidly evolving business or national science and technology priorities and to demonstrate greater impact. They therefore undergo continual strategic and operational change to adapt, but in some cases, transformation programs can underperform. Often this is because there is no real incentive to behave differently due to problems with how performance is measured and reported, and how incentives are created and aligned.

Phil is a Principal in the Global Technology & Innovation Management Practice of Arthur D. Little, and is based in London. He has worked internationally across the healthcare and life sciences, agri-food and chemicals sectors.

Since joining Arthur D. Little in 2006, Phil’s work has focused on helping businesses set innovation strategy and identify new growth opportunities underpinned by effective science and technology. He also works with the corporate innovation centers and quality management functions of some of the world’s largest companies to improve their capabilities through better business processes, organizational structures and governance models.

He also works with universities, research institutes and Government in setting national science policy, defining technology roadmaps and finding effective ways to use and manage intellectual property.

Before joining Arthur D. Little, Phil worked in the agricultural biotechnology industry. He has a passion for achieving responsible business performance through innovation, and particular interests in sustainable agriculture, clean energy and renewable chemicals.

Recent Publications

The Future of Innovation Districts
  The way in which organizations innovate, and places where they are based to do this, have changed profoundly over the last decade due to two overall trends – convergence and disruption. Companies have moved away from closed innovation models to more open approaches in which organizations and places work in collaborative ecosystems and networks, forming “uncommon partnerships” between previously unrelated industries.
Appetite for disruption – Making the most of the future of food
Being the leader of a global food and beverage business has been anything but easy over recent years. Going back a decade, the industry had a reputation for being fairly stable and conservative, dominated by a limited number of global brands that delivered steady growth and margins. Since then, the industry has been shaken by a succession of disruptions, including sluggish demand for traditional core products, rapidly changing consumer patterns and preferences, accelerating technological developments, and evolving attitudes towards the environmental and social impacts of food production.
The next generation of corporate incubators
While large organizations have enthusiastically embraced the creation of in-house corporate incubators to identify and support breakthrough growth opportunities with start-ups, the results have been disappointing for many. This article argues that to overcome these challenges and successfully scale up new opportunities, corporates have to embrace next-generation models.
Corporate/ start-up collaboration
Why is it important for large corporations to work with start-ups? It’s well known that businesses are being disrupted faster than ever before. Innovation launch and adoption cycles are dropping. For credit cards to reach 100 million users? 25 years. Online banking? 10 years. WhatsApp? 2 years. Candy Crush? A matter of months. Entrepreneurial start-ups are one of the main driving forces for this acceleration. Almost 65% of Fortune 500 companies joined the list in the last 20 years.
Driving transformation in research & technology organizations
Research and Technology Organizations (RTOs) are under growing pressure to stay abreast of rapidly evolving business or national science and technology priorities and to demonstrate greater impact. They therefore undergo continual strategic and operational change to adapt, but in some cases, transformation programs can underperform. Often this is because there is no real incentive to behave differently due to problems with how performance is measured and reported, and how incentives are created and aligned.

More About Phil
  • Newcastle University (UK)
    MSc Industrial Biotechnology
  • University of York (UK)
    BSc Biology