Meet our Manufacturing, Materials and Mobility sector team experts bringing together the areas of: Manufacturing and Materials High Value Manufacturing Advanced Materials Land Transport Automotive Connected Transport Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Rail Aerospace and Electronics Sensors and Photonics
The Manufacturing, Materials and Mobility sector team are a group of experts bringing together the areas of:
- Manufacturing and Materials
- High Value Manufacturing
- Advanced Materials
- Land Transport
- Connected Transport
- Connected & Autonomous Vehicles
- Electronics, Sensors and Photonics
Our vision is for the UK to be among the very best places in the world for businesses to innovate and grow in order to maximise the economic and societal benefits of innovation over the long term.
To this end, our mission is to drive sustainable economic growth through business-led innovation, by investing in innovation and giving innovative businesses of all sizes in all sectors access to the knowledge, partners, investment and markets they need.
We are the UK’s innovation agency. We work across UKRI and with partners to drive sustainable growth by investing in high-potential entrepreneurs and businesses across the UK
Our team is focused on delivering the above in the Mobility, Manufacturing and Materials sectors.
Here’s a chance to meet the team as they introduce themselves below.
Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer
In the role of Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer, I am responsible for the Grand Challenge sector teams and Innovate UK’s European and International activity.
I joined Innovate UK in 2013 as Director for the Catapult Programme. I was previously Director for Innovation at the UK Government’s then Department for Business Innovation and Skills where my role included sponsorship of the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) as well as other bodies within the UK innovation ecosystem such as the Design Council, Nesta, National Measurement System, BSI and UKAS.
I joined Innovate UK from a career in the private sector.
Paul Gadd, Interim Deputy Director Land Transport, Manufacturing and Materials
I joined Innovate UK in 2014 as the lead on low emission vehicles, went on to be the lead on connected and autonomous vehicles before heading up the Land Transport team and then finally my current role.
Mobility is fundamental to business and society, whilst manufacturing and materials underpin huge parts of the UK economy and exports.
The team currently delivers 100s of millions of pounds of support for industry led innovation focused on these key sectors. This support comes from both Innovate UK and a number of government partners.
Prior to joining Innovate UK I worked at Horiba-MIRA including project managing Innovate UK supported projects, and prior to this works worked at Caterpillar focused on developing a diesel engine for off highway vehicles.
The Manufacturing and Materials Team
Robin Wilson – Interim Head of Manufacturing and Materials
I joined Innovate UK in 2009 to establish the High Value Manufacturing team, which we have recently combined with the Advanced Materials team to provide a wealth of innovation expertise and industrial experience across a wide range of manufacturing and materials technologies and applications.
Since joining Innovate UK, I have engaged with companies across all areas of manufacturing and have been instrumental in setting up the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and developing the High Value Manufacturing Strategy for investing over £200 million per year into innovative UK manufacturing technologies. I am a founding member of the Additive Manufacturing Steering Group and helped develop and launch the UK’s Additive Manufacturing Strategy for 2018-2025.
Neil Morgan - Innovation Lead for Advanced Materials
I joined Innovate UK in 2007 to start the manufacturing programme and since then, have had a variety of roles including Head of Energy, Medtech Specialist and Programme Lead for Investor Partnerships. After completing my PhD in advanced alloys for medical devices, I worked in manufacturing industries in the UK and USA for over 20 years including Johnson and Johnson in California.
Immediately before joining Innovate UK, I ran a consultancy business that provided technical support to start-up companies and due diligence for private equity investors working in the Medtech sector.
Lien Ngo – Innovation Lead for Advanced Materials
I am responsible for helping businesses exploit completely novel substances, such as two-dimensional materials and nanomaterials, as well existing materials, such as high-performing composites and light metal alloys. I also work closely with the Emerging and Enabling Technologies team and with UKRI.
Ellen Pope - National Contact Point for Advanced Materials
I provide advice and support for UK organisations interested in applying into the Horizon 2020 European programme. My specific area covers Nanotechnologies and Advanced Materials calls. Prior to joining Innovate UK in September 2017, I was doing a PhD in materials at the University of Bristol.
Selina So – Impact & Performance Manager for Advanced Materials
I am responsible for supporting the Advanced Materials portfolio of projects and help understand the impact of our funding. Previously I was in the Aerospace team and was responsible for delivering the Innovate UK Highly Innovative Technology Enablers in Aerospace (HITEA) programme as well as helping businesses understand the Horizon 2020 funding opportunities.
Prior to Innovate UK, I have held various positions within the aerospace and defence sector. My experience is predominantly in project and portfolio management as well as data analysis.
Chris Needham - Impact & Performance Manager for Manufacturing & Materials
I joined Innovate UK in 2018. I support a wide portfolio of projects across High Value Manufacturing sectors to maximise their innovation objectives and deliver results which will enable growth.
Prior to joining Innovate UK I was employed in a variety of high precision manufacturing sectors including Automotive, Aerospace, Motorsport and Healthcare - as well as 10 years working for the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) supporting SMEs to develop, innovate and grow.
Malcolm Hannaby – Innovation Lead, Manufacturing Chemicals and Process Industries
I rejoined Innovate UK in January 2018 having also worked there during 2011 to 2013. My focus is on the manufacturing innovation in our critical and underpinning Chemicals and Process Industries. I also spend part of my time to delivering the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge.
Prior to joining Innovate UK I have worked in senior roles in the Chemicals Industry in locations all around the world for almost 30 years.
Paul Bello - Innovation Lead for Industrial Biotechnology
In mid-2017, I sea-changed to Innovate UK as the technology lead for Industrial Biotechnology within the High Value Manufacturing, Materials and Mobility sector team. Here, I oversee some 30 projects across the Industrial Biotechnology Technology Readiness Level (IB TRL) landscape, and some £13 million of cumulative UK and EU funding.
I am originally from Melbourne, Australia and my background covers over 30 years in Health and Life Sciences, specifically human stem cell research, product development and marketing, and their therapeutic applications. I also led facility operations, partnering and contract technology transfers and regulatory issues. I’m currently based in Cambridge, UK and bring cognisance of the vibrant Cambridge biotechnology community.
Craig Sharp - National Contact Point and Global Innovation Lead - High Value Manufacturing
I joined Innovate UK in 2014 as the National Contact Point (NCP) on the Manufacturing side and provide advice and support for UK organisations interested in applying into the Horizon 2020 programme – specifically Factories of the Future, Energy Efficient Buildings and Process Industries (SPIRE) calls. I’m also the UK contact for the 3rd Eureka Smart manufacturing call.
Prior to joining Innovate UK I worked in programme management, collaborative R&D and engineering roles within industry and the public sector.
The Land Transport Team
David Tozer – Interim Head of Land Transport
I joined Innovate UK in 2017 to programme manage the low emission vehicle portfolio, namely Integrated Delivery Plan (IDP). Now as Senior Programme Manager I continue to deliver for government co-funders and industry in the low emission space but also work in partnership with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) while supporting the wider land transport team.
Before joining Innovate UK I worked for Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), a government supported agency tasked with delivering a more resource efficient and circular economy in the UK.
Dr Francesca Iudicello – Programme Manager for Automotive
I joined Innovate UK in January 2019 to work as Programme Manager on the Integrated Delivery Programme (IDP) for technologies in Low/Zero Emission Vehicles.
Before joining Innovate UK, I worked in the automotive industry for nearly 9 years: Ford, Ricardo, Delphi and Dana.
Michael Fritchley, Impact and Performance Manager for Land Transport
I joined Innovate UK in May 2011 and took up the role of Impact and Performance Manager for Land Transport in January 2019. My main roles include providing support to the Monitoring Officers, providing portfolio analysis and maintaining a strong relationship with stakeholders such as Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
My previous role inside Innovate UK was Monitoring Manager within the Operations department where I was responsible for all of the Monitoring Officers.
Joe Lyford – Programme Analyst for Automotive
I joined Innovate UK in September 2015. I support in the delivery of the various UK automotive programmes we manage, primarily in the low & zero emission vehicle space which includes the Integrated Delivery Programme (IDP) and Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) funding platforms.
Prior to this role I worked within our Operations directorate managing a portfolio of grant funding competitions and supporting the successful applicants to deliver their projects.
Steve Sopp – Relationship Manager for Advanced Propulsion Centre programme (APC)
I joined Innovate UK in July 2017 to support the APC, a £1 billion 10-year programme supporting industry led development of low carbon propulsion technologies. I also support the UK’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) programme, which provides 100% funding for Research & Development (R&D) services that address public sector challenges.
Before joining Innovate UK, I was a senior advisor at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) supporting the UK’s innovation agenda. I have a background in engineering as a development engineer at an engine manufacturer, and sector experience as a Type Approval engineer at Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), and as head of vehicle primary safety at Department for Transport (DfT).
Karla Jakeman – Innovation Lead for Connected Transport and Communications
I am the Innovation Lead for Connected Transport, seeking solutions which use innovative technologies to leverage a smarter, greener and more sustainable future mobility systems for the efficient movement of people and goods around the world. I am the relationship lead for Highways England at Innovate UK and also focus on working with Local Authorities, customer experience and mobility as a service amongst many other areas.
Prior to this I worked for 15 years for a large automotive company as a Design Quality Engineer.
Rav Babbra - Interim Innovation Lead for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and Low Emission Vehicles
I joined Innovate UK in September 2016 as a Senior Project Manager in the Business Change team. I am currently on a twelve-month secondment to the Automotive team helping deliver programmes, including our low carbon and autonomous vehicles activity with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV),the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
I focus on supporting our portfolio of live projects, including helping our partners and stakeholders understand the impact of our connected and autonomous vehicle funding in bringing new technologies to the market and supporting UK economic growth. I also support CCAV, OLEV and BEIS in understanding the impact of the projects on the UK economy.
Richard Morris -Innovation Lead for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles
I joined Innovate UK in November 2017 as the Innovation Lead for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles after 28 years in the automotive industry (mainly Nissan & MIRA). I help facilitate competitions funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) for collaborative R&D and UKCAV test bed. My experience in such R&D projects and developing novel automotive test facilities has provided a good technical basis for the role. I also support CCAV and Zenzic in a consultative role where appropriate.
I am enthusiastic about new innovations and making connections across industry to allow excellent projects to form and succeed.
Kelvin Davies - Innovation Lead for Rail
I am responsible for leading Innovate UK’s initiatives relating to rail & light-rail, particularly focusing on the significant programs Innovate UK delivers on behalf of the Department for Transport and Network Rail. The role requires providing support to multiple projects across the railway industry, including activities that deliver greener railway technology, enhance customer experience, improve the resilience of the railway, reduce noise, benefit the environment, and support rail-freight.
The rail team also enjoys excellent relationships with the funding bodies supported by Innovate UK and working closely with these teams continues to deliver benefits to both organisations.
Rhianne Montgomery – Programme Manager for Rail
I joined the Innovate UK rail team in January 2018, having previously spent a significant length of time in the rail industry. I spent nearly 10 years working for Network Rail, both within maintenance roles and delivering high-value construction projects.
Within my current role I am responsible for the smooth-running of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) £36 million Rail Innovation Programme, delivered by Innovate UK on behalf of DfT. I am also privileged to be supporting Network Rail with their current CP6 innovation activities.
Katherine Ferguson - Impact and Performance Manager (CAV, Rail, Connected, RAI)
I joined Innovate UK in Jan 2019 after 12 years with the Ministry of Defence where I initially managed research and development within the Defence, science and technology laboratory (Dstl). I then became Programme Manager for the UK’s nuclear deterrent programme, and subsequently headed up procurement for the Army and Joint Forces Collective Synthetic Training programme.
Previous roles include senior manufacturing engineer/ project manager in the power industry, and later Hewlett Packard responsible for numerous computer peripheral production lines in the UK and overseas.
Marco Landi - Innovation Lead - Vehicle to Grid and Electric Vehicle Charging
I joined Innovate UK in October 2017. I lead innovation activities on Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), aiming for a better and smarter interaction of EVs with the Power Grid, and effectively bridging the gap between the Automotive and Energy sectors.
Before joining Innovate UK I worked for Jaguar Land Rover, designing charging systems for EV line-up, and as a visiting scholar at University of Illinois, developing algorithms for battery characterisation, and management of EV aggregations in a V2G framework.
The Aerospace Team
Dr John Morlidge - Head of Aerospace
In the role of Head of Aerospace I am responsible for leading the Innovate UK participation in The UK ATI Programme, which represents a £3.9 billion joint Government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace design and manufacture.
The programme is coordinated and managed by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK. All three organisations work in close collaboration to deliver a coherent portfolio of projects to meet the objectives and priorities of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy. The portfolio includes, strategic projects addressing large-scale technology and capability challenges, collaborative research and development projects and the aerospace supply chain focused National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP).
Prior to joining Innovate UK, John spent over 15 years in the private sector working in a variety of senior roles including engineering consultancy, R&D technology transfer and strategic management positions. His technical expertise is in materials science and instrumentation, specialising in structural heath monitoring and the prevention of corrosion and degradation of materials in demanding environments. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
Justin Davies-Trigg – Senior Programme Manager for Aerospace
Leading the Innovate UK programme management for projects funded by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme, in partnership with BEIS and ATI. Supported by a Programme Management team the portfolio represents a £3.9 billion investment up to 2026 between government and industry to maintain and grow UK Aerospace capability, including large strategic projects, CR&D, and the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) supply chain initiative.
Prior to joining Innovate UK, I spent 10 years in the aerospace sector in various technical and management roles within large UK companies. My technical areas of expertise are primary aircraft structures, systems installations, cabin systems, and aircraft conservation.
Justin Simmons – Aerospace Programme Manager
I joined Innovate UK in 2018 as Programme Manager for Aerospace. I am primarily responsible for the Propulsion portfolio of the ATI programme, supporting delivery in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI).
Prior to joining Innovate UK, I spent 14 years working in the aerospace sector supporting companies such as Rolls-Royce, Leonardo, Airbus and Mitsubishi in a variety of engineering and project management roles covering flight test, material science and aircraft systems.
Alfred Ng - Innovation Lead for Aerospace Technology
I joined Innovate UK in 2017 and took up my current role of Innovation Lead for Aerospace (Technology) in February 2018. I lead the competition and assessment phase of the ATI Programme and recently have been involved with ISCF Future Flight Challenge.
I have a background in Aerospace Engineering and over 10 years’ experience in the Aerospace and Defence sector, having worked in Airbus, Moog and MBDA and various roles and teams in the MoD, including UAV, Hawk and Typhoon (Typhoon Support Programme Manager and Typhoon Meteor Integration Project Manager).
Note, my surname Ng is pronounced as ‘ung’.
The Electronics, Sensors and Photonics Team
Andrew Tyrer – Deputy Challenge Director for ISCF Robotics Challenge and Head of Electronics, Sensors and Photonics
Since April 2018 I have been the Director for the ISCF Robotics Challenge delivered by UK Research and Innovation. I also manage the Electronics, Sensors and Photonics team. I joined the Department of Trade and Industry from the National Physical Laboratory, to run the Network Security Innovation Platform in 2006 and transferred to the Technology Strategy Board, now Innovate UK, on its inception in July 2007.
I have been responsible for research programmes in; Privacy and Consent, Information Infrastructure Protection, Trusted Services, M-Commerce, Cloud Adoption, IoT, Electronics, Sensors, Photonics and Robotics. I have also represented Innovate UK on a House of Commons select committee on the use of Biometric Data.
Stafford Lloyd – National Contact Point/Global
I provide advice and support for UK organisations interested in applying into the Horizon 2020 European programme. My specific area covers Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Future & Emerging Technologies.
Julian Heaton – Innovation lead for Electronics Sensors and Photonics
I’m responsible for helping UK based businesses maximise opportunity and manage risk as they develop innovative Electronics, Sensors and Photonics technology.
I joined Innovate UK in February 2018. Prior to that I held product development and innovation roles in the Telecommunications and IoT industries. I have been a director of my own company, and have worked for large companies such as Marconi, Nokia and Samsung, as well as small and medium sized enterprise.
Georgios Papadakis – Innovation Lead for Electronics, Sensors and Photonics
I am responsible for the strategic and programmatic aspects of the Electronics, Sensors and Photonics (ESP) technology and innovation areas. The ESP programme activity supports public investments on underpinning technologies and capabilities from components and devices all the way to system-level development enabling innovative solutions across various industrial challenges and application areas.
I joined Innovate UK in 2014. Prior to that I worked in the ICT and Defence & Security industries, specialising in telecommunication systems, across a diverse spectrum of roles from R&D to project management and business development.
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