EURIM Key Officers - Biographical Notes
The Earl of Erroll
President: The Lord Renwick
Secretary General: Sarah Chilman
Consultant: Philip Virgo
EURIM Chairman: The Earl
Erroll (Merlin) has worked in IT most of his life as well as
spending 22 years in the Territorial Army. He is also one of the
Hereditary Peers who was elected to stay in the House of Lords,
where he takes a particular interest in ICT, Countryside & the
Environment, the Constitution and Scottish matters.
on software development in the accounts and agricultural field, he
subsequently freelanced, developing portfolio management,
communications and general bespoke databases, ending up as Director
of Development at GiroVend, working with electronic purses and
smartcards. He then moved into marketing and business training and
went on to become chairman of an e-procurement consultancy. In the
ICT sphere he is a member of the Global Trust Center International
Council and the PGP Business Advisory Board.
Parliament, he plays an active role in several ICT groups,
especially those looking at regulatory issues involving
Communications, the Internet, Personal Identity and Government Data
Sharing, linking this with a Local Authority perspective through his
work on the board of LASSeO (The Local Authority Smartcard Standards
e-Organisation). He sits on the council of PITCOM (Parliamentary
Information Technology Committee), is on the board of EURIM
(European Information Group), is Secretary of apComms (All-Party
Communications Group), Chairman of the All-Party Group on
Entrepreneurship, and Treasurer of the All-Party Group on Risk and
Adventure in Society. In 2007 he sat on the Science & Technology
Select Committee’s sub-committee on Personal Internet Safety and is
currently a member of the House of Lords Information Committee.
President of ERA (examining the impact of regulation on business
online) and also sits on other bodies such as the Information
Systems Security Association (ISSA) and the Nominet (UK) Ltd. Policy
an extensive network of contacts across government, industry and the
city, and is a professional public speaker, especially on ICT,
security, legislation, the citizen and the state, and the internet,
as well as traditional themes.
more traditional role Sir Merlin Sereld Victor Gilbert Hay, 24th
Earl of Erroll, 25th Lord Hay, 24th Lord Slains, 12th Bt (Moncreiffe
of that Ilk), 28th Hereditary Lord High Constable of Scotland, 32nd
Chief of The Hays takes an interest in charity as a member of the
Court of the Fishmongers’ Livery Company, as Vice-President of The
Royal Caledonian Ball, through The Highland Society of London and
the British Red Cross Queen Mother’s Memorial Fund. He helps
promote Scotch Whisky as a Patron of the Keepers of the Quaich and
is one of the founders of Secret Sommelier, a weblog about wine.
He is married to Isabelle, who runs a farming estate
in Bedfordshire. They have four children.
See Biography Summary
EURIM President: The Lord Renwick
Lord Renwick was a
member of the House of Lords from 1973 until November 1999. His
special interests include the processes of innovation and change,
informatics and telematics, the application of technology, and space
and special educational needs.
parliamentary peer he was at times a member of the Select Committee
on Science and Technology, the Select Committee on the European
Communities and Sub Committee B (Energy, Transport and Technology).
He was the Honorary Secretary of PITCOM (the Parliamentary IT
Committee) and of the Parliamentary Space Committee and a member of
the Parliamentary Scientific Committee and the All-Party Disablement
Group among others. He was also a Council member of the National
Council for Educational Technology, now BECTA.
Born in 1935, he
was educated at Eton and spent his National Service with the
Grenadier Guards. He then went on to start a career in the city with
Morgan Grenfell in 1957 and then moved to W Greenwell & Co in
1959 where he stayed until 1980, becoming a partner in 1964. He was
a Director of General Technology Systems Ltd from 1975 - 1993. He
has acted as an advisor to various companies in the UK and the USA.
He is a fellow
of the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Geographical Society, and
the Zoological Society of London. He is a member of the Foundation
for Science and Technology. He was also Vice President of the
Combustion Engineering Association, Chairman of the Dyslexia
Educational Trust and Chairman (now a Vice President) of the British
Lord Renwick is married and has two sons by a previous
EURIM Deputy Secretary General: Sarah
joined the EURIM team in 2010. She is a self-employed consultant and
events co-ordinator with clients from both Westminster linked groups
and business with interests ranging from Europe to space and
As Deputy Secretary-General of EURIM Sarah
assists EURIM with events, industry/member liaison along with
providing day-to-day support in the running of the organisation.
She has been active in politics for over 15 years
including working in Westminster as a Political Assistant for Ian
Taylor MP, being involved in several leadership campaigns, General
Elections, the Welsh Referendum, the Tory Reform Group (TRG) and is
currently the Secretary/Organiser of Conservative Europe Group (CEG).
Sarah is a former editor of TRG's publication Reformer and
during her time in Westminster was involved in several publications
including assisting with the Conservative Science Technology
Engineering and Mathematics Taskforce report.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with
her two lively little boys, volunteering at her son's school,
watching West Wing, and drinking a nice glass of vino - but not
necessarily in that order!
EURIM Consultant: Philip Virgo
Philip has been associated with EURIM since it
was relaunched in January 1994 . He was the first executive officer
to be appointed and has carried the designation Secretary General
He was an LCC scholar at Dulwich College, an
exhibitioner at Peterhouse, Cambridge (where he read History) and
the first graduate trainee programmer for STC's
Microwave and Line Division in Basildon. He then moved to ICL where
he re-wrote and decimalised the Group Sales Ledgers before they
sponsored him on the MSc programme at the London Business School. On
return to ICL he ran the tri-partite (ICL-DTI-DoE) planning exercise
to produce Computing Development plans for the about-to-be-formed
Regional Water Authorities and later served as Comptroller and Business Development Manager for Public
In 1977 he moved to the Wellcome Foundation as Corporate Planner responsible for R&D,
Export Division and the European Subsidiaries (including exercises
on the potential of new technologies for improving health care,
including of aging populations). At Wellcome he became involved in
national IT Policy issues, helped draft the technology policies of
both main parties for the 1979 election and in 1981 was the founding
"Industry Vice-Chairman" of the Parliamentary Information
Technology Committee (PITCOM).
In 1982 he returned full-time to ICT and joined
the National Computing Centre (NCC) to handle National Issues and
set up a Technology Assessment Service. Shortly afterwards he was
given responsibility for the NCC Microsystems Centre: the flagship
"awareness programme" of the day. From 1983-1989 he ran
the City C3 Club, bringing together high tech investors and
fund-seekers. He was a founding director of the Federation Against Software Theft
(FAST), ran the NCC studies into reasons for the IT Skills
Crisis of the mid-1980s (and the actions likely to be effective).
provided inputs to successive Ministers on how best to advise small firms and
encourage investment in innovation. After leaving NCC in 1986 he was
retained as an advisor until 1992.
Philip was Finance Executive of PITCOM from
1982-2006 and remains on the Council and Programme Committee. He was
an external advisor to the High Tech Unit of Barclays Bank
(1983-89), Campaign Director for the Women in IT Campaign (1989-92),
IT Skills Advisor to the West London TEC (1991-2, a Specialist
Advisor to the Information Committee of the House of Commons
(1993-4) and has been Strategic Advisor to the Institute for the
Management Information Systems (previously IDPM) since 1993.
He has served on many advisory boards and committees,
including nearly 20 years as a directly elected member of the
Council of the British Computer Society where he was acting Vice
President (Professional) when the BCS Professional Development
Scheme was launched. He was a founding member of the IT (City of
London Livery) Company and currently chairs the Security Panel. He has
written extensively on the social and economic impact of new
technologies and how to handle them, whether from a political or
is married with one son.