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John Busby

John Busby was born 4 June 1930, is married with two grown-up daughters and lives in a converted barn in Suffolk. His hobbies include developing a wild life sanctuary in a 5 acre field and woodwork.

From being a project manager in ICI he was appointed in 1968 as Director of the Centre for Industrial Innovation at the University of Strathclyde. The purpose was to offer contract research to Scottish industry, but when he found it consisted mostly of branch factories where R & D decisions were taken outside Scotland the task became one of stimulating a revival of Scottish inventiveness. When financial support for innovative projects, offered by a Scottish investment manager was rejected by the University, he resigned - his vision of creating a science-based sector based on University research was frustrated.

When the locality of his home on the beautiful North Ayrshire coast was threatened with a major steelworks and refinery he acted as a technical advisor to local protesters. Realising that there was a conflict between heavy industrialisation and the creation of a new science-based R & D sector he acted as a consultant for local protest groups engaged in public inquiries, using his background in the chemical industry and power generation to great effect.

In 1975, the need to support the family forced a return to project management and a new career in the dairy industry. He built a major automated city dairy in Zurich, followed by export sales in Europe, South America and the Far and Middle East. Major projects in Venezuela, Iceland and Saudi Arabia resulted and visits to around 40 countries gave him a broad view of the world’s economic and social life.

As a business development manager he was active in Eastern Europe during the breakdown of communism and witnessed the problems of uncoordinated transition to capitalism and the those of the merging West and East Germany. He acted as leader and co-ordinator for the milk sector of comprehensive food supply studies undertaken for the UK Know How Fund for the Former Soviet Union in Russia and in the Ukraine. He also acted as milk industry specialist for an EU-supported private farm sector development study in the Moscow Region.

"Retirement" includes building a chemical spray dryer in Germany, providing a technical-German translation service and Visual Basic programming. He wrote "A National Plan for Survival in the 21st Century" as a manual to guide the country through a difficult century when the oil, gas and perhaps most of the coal runs out. His unique background in project financing and negotiation, power generation, chemical manufacture, agriculture and food processing together with an experience of "peso" capitalism in Argentina and "rouble" communism in Russia gives his plan credibility.

Author's website: The Busby Report

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