Nigel Gifford OBE – Founder, Ozoneering
Nigel was brought up in Dorking, Surrey UK. His father was a chef, restaurateur, and owner of the Watermill restaurant, still a popular venue today.
After school he studied at the College of Aeronautical Engineering, Chelsea in the 1960s followed by an apprenticeship with an international airline specialising in aircraft management and logistics.
Unable to fly, due to colour blindness, 11 years in HM Forces followed where he took up his father’s lead into army catering. He built a reputation for feeding soldiers in hostile environments and on expeditions. His service culminated in 1976 as a member of the successful Army Expedition to Mt Everest (29,028ft). Elite adventure projects and expeditions have been a constant theme of his life.
On leaving the Services, he has specialised in the management of niche SME businesses in a variety of markets, including innovative design work in UK Special Forces equipment as well as the military and adventure aviation sectors.
Nigel has brought various high-altitude projects to market, including the first ever civilian HALO parachuting programme from 29,500ft in the Himalayas. From 2011 he was managing director of the Ascenta™ HALE platform project acquired by Facebook in March 2014.
Two years later he formed Windhorse Aerospace Limited to build a novel UAV for humanitarian aid to be made with edible components.
In 2017 Nigel and his Windhorse team were finalists in The Katerva Awards. The award is considered the Nobel Prize of innovation in global sustainability.
Both, he, and the aircraft have been profiled in Time Magazine, Forbes, Wired, and The New Yorker for leadership in innovation.
While Nigel remains Chairman of Windhorse Aerospace, he is managing director of Ozoneering Limited, the SkunkWorks which works on a variety of innovative, unusual, and disruptive solutions.
He has also been drawing on his knowledge and experience gained in food research and technology for military operations, the application of nutraceuticals, and the design of novel foodstuffs. This is to develop a range of revolutionary “primary shock” feeding programmes to modernise humanitarian food aid into disaster and conflict areas that can be delivered by a variety of methods.
Besides being a Katerva finalist in 2017, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1996 for services to British interests overseas, has a UK Design Council award for innovation and has been a nominee for the prestigious Boardman/Tasker Literary award for his book on expedition planning and logistics.
He holds a skydiving FAI “D” licence and has made over 1000 freefall descents from a plethora of different aircraft.
For speaking engagements, presentations and workshops, Nigel is represented by Joanna Jones of the Atlantic Speaker Bureau. 01202 734817