To watch all the sessions from the Transport Innovation Expo please click here
Join us on Thursday 7th October to celebrate early-stage innovation in the transport sector From de-carbonisation to drone technology, innovation across the UK is seeing unprecedented advancements across the transport sector. And not only is innovation advancing, but we are seeing more and faster progress across all stages of market-readiness— from initial concept to commercial deployment.
As leaders in the transport ecosystem, both the Connected Places Catapult and the Department for Transport are deeply committed to championing new and beneficial technological developments, which is why we are proud to recognise and celebrate the best of the UK’s transport innovators, academics and entrepreneurs at our first Transport Innovation Expo.
The Transport Innovation Expo will bring together transport leaders, innovators and SMEs to showcase the power of collaboration through facilitated conversations around current sector challenges, demonstrations of novel solutions and discussions about new strategies for growth.
This Expo will showcase the impact collaboration has on accelerating research and innovation and how transport R&D has the power to create gateways into the market and seed regional economic growth.
We look forward to having you join us on Thursday 7th October as we celebrate DfT and CPC’s Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) programme, hear from different actors in the innovation ecosystem about their challenges and the opportunities they see and seek out industry solutions to connect, spark and accelerate innovation.
Collaboration between Connected Places Catapult and the Department for Transport
The Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG) programme was launched by the Department of Transport in 2014 to foster research and innovation in the sector. In 2019, Connected Places Catapult was brought on board as a delivery partner for the programme to implement a commercialisation focus into the existing framework. Since then, five TRIG competitions have been delivered – supporting over 85 innovative projects and with over £3.5m of grant funding. Our current active TRIG programmes include: TRIG: Accessibility, TRIG: Drones, and TRIG: Zero Emission Flight.
Highlights will include:
Following the launch of the Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG 2021) programme, experts from across the Department for Transport (DfT) will provide briefings on the four main target areas for the TRIG 2021 challenges. Each will briefly introduce the scope and need for innovative novel technologies in the following four areas: maritime decarbonisation, COVID & resilience, future of freight, and other key DfT priorities
Adopting equality and diversity practices is key in ensuring that innovation is implemented successfully. This involves ensuring new solutions are inclusive, accessible, and reflective of the needs of a wider societal group. During this panel, speakers will highlight the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in innovation processes and showcase the wider benefits for society when all groups are considered as part of the solution.
As a provider of leading innovation accelerators for cities, transport, and places in the UK, Connected Places Catapult is well situated and equipped to support innovative start-ups and SMEs who are looking to develop solutions to real world problems. In our efforts to support later-stage innovation, CPC runs several accelerators which provide business, industry, and peer-to-peer support to rapidly take businesses to the next level. During this session, the audience will hear from CPC and both of our partners and SMEs who have supported and participated in a variety of accelerators, to learn how could leverage impact for your business.
During this session, we will hear from Hannah Tew (Head of Air Mobility) about the projects and innovations which the Connected Places Catapult are supporting in the aviation sector. Hannah will give an overview of the work being taken on by Connected Places Catapult in two existing projects – the Drone Pathfinder programme and the Future of Air Mobility Accelerator.
A key aspect of successfully launching innovative products is funding. However, identifying funding opportunities and how to access them can be challenging for businesses. Regardless of what stage your business venture sits at, choosing the right type of funding, whether be capital investment or grants, is a critical aspect of successfully bringing solutions to market. During this special plane, the audience will hear from experts at Connected Places Catapult, Innovate UK, who will highlight the various opportunities available to innovators to access funding to support their business aspirations.
For many businesses, an important part of their exploitation roadmap is selling their product in international markets. While entering new markets can be a daunting and challenging part of a business’s growth, the Department for International Trade (DIT) is positioned to support the process. During this session, attendees will hear from DIT International Trade Advisors who work with local businesses In the regions where they are based, and a company . who will breakdown the internalisation process and detail the support they offer to businesses looking to break into overseas markets.
Professor Sarah Sharples is Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Transport. The CSA Is responsible for providing advice to ministers and senior officials, ensuring that science and engineering evidence and advice is robust, relevant and high quality, and that there are mechanisms for science and engineering to underpin policymaking and the delivery of services and operations. Professor Sharples will be presenting awards to Innovators currently or previously on TRIG programmes, to highlight examples of excellent technical achievement and potential Impact.
Themes discussion sessions
Transport Research and Innovation Grants (TRIGs) are programmes run in partnership with Connected Places Catapult and the Department for Transport (DfT). The TRIGs bridge the early stage, proof-of-concept funding gap in transport innovation, where small investments can de-risk emerging solutions. During this innovation showcase session, we will hear from innovators who participated in the TRIG 2020 programme where solutions were developed in the following challenges: decarbonising the transport system, COVID recovery and a traditional open call.
During this innovation showcase, we will hear from innovators who participated in the TRIG: Accessibility programme where solutions developed will make our transport systems more inclusive, removing the barriers that prevent disabled passengers from travelling confidently, safely and with ease.
The TRIG: Drones programme is supporting early-stage research and development projects that will accelerate the delivery of near-to-market drone flight and air traffic management capabilities within the UK. During this innovation showcase, we will hear from innovators who participated in the programme and discovered some great things about how we could integrate drones into UK airspace.
During this Commercial Opportunity Session, the audience will hear from Robert Vaughn, the SME Lead for the Department for Transport as he opens the Commercial Opportunity Sessions.
During this Commercial Opportunity Session, the audience will hear about: the Government’s Commitment to SMEs from the SME Crown Representative, Cabinet Office, as well as a Small Business Advisory Panel Update.
During this Commercial Opportunity Session, the audience will hear about: Net Zero – Carbon Reduction Plan, Below Threshold PPN, and Next Zero Modern Slavery
During this Commercial Opportunity Session, the audience will hear about: the Rail Transformation Agenda.
During this Commercial Opportunity Session, the audience will hear from: HS2, Network Rail, and National Highways.
During this Commercial Opportunity Session, the audience will hear from: Department for International Trade, Transport for London, and DVSA.
During this Commercial Opportunity Session, the audience will hear from: Rail Industry Association’s Unlocking Innovation Programme, CECA’s efforts to supporting SMEs meeting Net Zero, and Rail Forum Midlands’ SME Challenges.
During this Commercial Opportunity Session, the audience will hear from Robert Vaughn, the SME Lead for the Department for Transport as he closes the Commercial Opportunity Sessions.
Professor Sarah Sharples is Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Transport. Read more…
Professor Sarah Sharples is Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Transport. She is a Professor of Human Factors in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham and from 2018-2021 was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and People. She has led research in transport, manufacturing and healthcare, and currently leads the EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council) Connected Everything Network Plus. She founded and co-director of the EPSRC Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training, and has led research programmes examining implementation of new technologies in rail, highways and aviation. She was President of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors from 2015-16.
Sadia is a Supplier Development Manager and ensures the supply chain is strategically aligned to the priorities of National Highways Read more…
Sadia is a Supplier Development Manager and ensures the supply chain is strategically aligned to the priorities of National Highways, she leads on Employment & Skills to support future the future skills strategy and building capability and capacity in the Transport Sector. Through effective engagement with suppliers Sadia delivers value focused on forward skills, knowledge and behavioural approaches to create and drive changes at all levels in the supply chain. This is a pivotal role critical to ensuring National Highways enhances supplier capability, improves performance and delivers value for all parties.
Partner in Armada Technologies Limited for past year. Part of the team which successfully delivered the T-Trig project and now working on commercialising our air lubrication system for merchant shipping. Read more…
Former Deck Officer in the Merchant Navy for almost 10 years.
Over 30 years in senior management and board roles at companies such as OT Africa Line, now CMA CGM, Norfolkline (Maersk), Stena Line, P&O Ferries and Larne Harbour Limited.
MBA Graduate of Kingston University, Surrey
Partner in Armada Technologies Limited for past year. Part of the team which successfully delivered the T-Trig project and now working on commercialising our air lubrication system for merchant shipping.
Sam joined RIA in 2020. Prior to this, he has worked at Shell, Network Rail and Loughborough University Read more…
Sam joined RIA in 2020. Prior to this, he has worked at Shell, Network Rail and Loughborough University. At Loughborough he was leading the flagship Repoint Project to create fault tolerant track switching. Sam has a PhD in Railway Systems Engineering. He founded his own company, SkyBlue Engineering Ltd, in 2015, specialising in research, development and innovation consulting, and has served governments, blue-chips, SMEs and infrastructure owners across Europe.
Simon Brown is CEO at TEKTowr, an engineering solutions company. Read more…
Simon Brown is CEO at TEKTowr, an engineering solutions company that is delivering two UK Future Flight Challenge projects involving distributed ledgers, machine learning, augmented reality and multiplayer online game platforms.
He formerly held positions as Head of IT Architecture for Operations at Heathrow, and spent his formative career at NATS, the UK air traffic control provider where amongst many achievements helped deliver collaborative innovations to reduce airport ground emissions and improve punctuality with advanced algorithms.
Ken Blackley is a Programme Director in the Route Services Commercial & Procurement team within Network Rail. Read more…
Ken Blackley is a Programme Director in the Route Services Commercial & Procurement team within Network Rail. He is Network Rails ‘SME Champion’, accountable for meeting the Government target of 33% spend with SMEs by 2022 (quite a challenge when the annual spend is circa £7.4bn), represents Network Rail on the RSSB RISQS Committee and is Network Rails representative on the Rail Sector Deal on both the ‘sustainability’ and ‘exports and inward investment’ pillars. Since joining Network Rail in 1994 as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Ken has held several senior positions.
Rob is a Senior Commercial Manager within TfL’s Commercial Innovation team. Read more…
Rob is a Senior Commercial Manager within TfL’s Commercial Innovation team, which seeks to connect with innovators in the marketplace to solve some of TfL’s key problems and deliver quicker, better, cheaper outcomes for Londoner’s. Rob also helped support the development and mobilisation of an international consultancy function within TfL and worked within the Commercial Development arm of the organisation supporting the development of TfL’s real estate/property portfolio to create new affordable homes for Londoner’s and drive secondary revenue streams. Rob is passionate about supporting TfL in trialling new routes to market to enable increased interaction with innovators of all sizes.
MA EngSc (Oxon) with +40 years in Engineering Design & Rotating Machines, AMIMechE, Member IMarEST, owner of Duodrive who created the innovative Duodrivetrain™ & Motodrivetrain® contra-rotating propulsion concepts. The recent announcements by the Prime Minister & Department for Transport about #NetZeroMaritime have led to new innovations in Electric Contra-rotating Propulsion backed by previous projects on data-monitoring funded by T-TRIG.
Liz Davidson, BSc, is a co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Esoterix. She brings wide ranging experience across sectors and cultures having lived and worked in Italy, Jamaica and USA, and performed management roles in technology, manufacturing, retail, and non-profit environments for over 20 years.
Liz has been working in intelligent mobility and innovation since 2012 and set-up the first major trial of urban taxi-bus feeder services in the UK with First Group (then the UK’s largest public transport company).
Michael focuses on investment and commercialisation activities within the Catapult. Prior to joining, Michael spent his career working in the Venture Capital and consulting industries before taking up leadership positions within several early-stage technology businesses.
He has experience in shaping commercial investment propositions for £1bn+ turnover businesses and creating innovative finance and delivery models in both the private and public sectors.
Michael has led businesses in the health, finance, insurance, education and renewable energy industries, working with organisations such as the International Olympics Committee, Grant Thornton and GlaxoSmithKline. He has a strong track record in shaping product and service innovation and executing business growth strategies across multiple industries.
David Elvy, Head of Future of Freight Plan, Department for Transport. Read more…
David Elvy, Head of Future of Freight Plan, Department for Transport. Currently focused on developing a long-term cross-modal plan for freight, David has previously had a wide range of policy and communications roles in the Department for Transport including in aviation, road freight and Ministers private offices.
Paolo leads maritime decarbonisation and shipbuilding innovation at the Department for Transport Read more…
Paolo leads maritime decarbonisation and shipbuilding innovation at the Department for Transport. This includes implementing the Government’s Clean Maritime Plan and the maritime commitments in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan. As part of this, Paolo heads the £23m Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, the first large-scale demonstration programme in clean maritime technologies promoted by HMG, announced as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
Prior to this, Paolo developed decarbonisation measures in road transport policy, promoting the adoption of renewable fuels and electric vehicles in the UK as well as developing cross-modal policies on issues like hydrogen. Paolo started his experience in policy development in a high-profile Bill team in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He initiated his Civil Service career in trade and investment programmes, in the Automotive Investment Organisation and then in Healthcare UK, a DIT/NHS England joint initiative. Paolo was awarded post-graduate degrees in international relations and EU politics and is fluent in Italian and English.
After graduating with a Physics Degree, Richard worked at IBM, AT&T and Global Crossing in Network Engineering; helping to build and support their global networks. Read more…
After graduating with a Physics Degree, Richard worked at IBM, AT&T and Global Crossing in Network Engineering; helping to build and support their global networks. He then moved into technical sales, most recently running the European Pre-Sales team at Tata Communications. He is passionate about customer experience and specialises in transforming traditional business processes by leveraging the latest technology.
Mike is a senior strategy, policy and planning specialist at the Department for Transport. Read more…
Mike is a senior strategy, policy and planning specialist at the Department for Transport, he currently heads up the Department’s Strategy and Science Teams working on the COVID-19 response. As the sector moves from response to recovery, his work is increasingly focused on learning lessons from the pandemic and embedding pandemic resilience into the future transport network.
Prior to working at DfT, Mike led a programme of support for high potential, technology-led businesses at the Department for International Trade
An experienced Managing Director with over 36 years in the IT Recruitment sector Read more…
An experienced Managing Director with over 36 years in the IT Recruitment sector
Judith is a founder member of SmartSourcing a Recruitment Agency and Consultancy Services Provider, set up in 2002, offering IT, Professional Services and Management experts.
SmartSourcing operates with 25 internal staff members and typically 300 external Contractors working on Client projects.
Operating for almost 20 years, SmartSourcing is a highly successful SME with a turnover of circa 30 million and profits exceeding 1 million.
In 2020 Judith introduced a Management Buyout Scheme to ensure that the business was wholly owned by all existing staff members.
SmartSourcing is well regarded for excelling in Customer Service and Judith is passionate about raising standards in the industry. She takes great pride in running the business with honesty and integrity. The SmartSourcing model is unique and encourages team collaboration to meet the best interests of its Clients.
Judith works with many experts in her field to ensure that she remains at the forefront of legislation affecting the IT Contractor and Recruitment Industry.
Through reputation Judith was invited to join the Cabinet Office SME Panel back in 2016 and has welcomed the opportunity to support Government in meeting its target to increase spend with SME Suppliers and to support, raising the barriers to success. As SmartSourcing operates mainly within the Public Sector and is present on all key frameworks, Judith is able to share valuable insight into the challenges SMEs experience.
Marie-Claude is an experienced communications and policy professional. Read more…
Marie-Claude is an experienced communications and policy professional. Having started her career in public affairs consultancy, she moved to a policy role at the Federation of Small Businesses in 2009, before joining CECA as Industry and Public Affairs Manager in 2012, becoming Head of External Affairs in 2014. She leads the team on all policy, public affairs and media relations activity, and also plays a key role in CECA’s strategy and business development. In 2017, Marie-Claude was promoted to the position of Director of External Affairs.
Emma Hughes is an SME Development Manager at Connected Places Catapult where she works closely with UK businesses and government organisations Read more…
Emma Hughes is an SME Development Manager at Connected Places Catapult where she works closely with UK businesses and government organisations to offer tailored and high-impact business support that fosters the innovation and commercialization of novel technologies. As a connector of people, places and ideas, Emma works with UK SMEs to improve the way people connect and travel by catapulting innovation from proof of concept to commercial reality. Prior to the Catapult, Emma’s academic and professional experience in urban studies, diversity & inclusion and high-growth business development across UK, Europe and North America has given her the ability to offer bespoke advice and support to SME businesses in the UK’s built environment, transportation, and mobility sectors.
Sam joined the Strategy and Policy Team within Group Commercial in 2018. Read more…
Sam joined the Strategy and Policy Team within Group Commercial in 2018. This role involves offering advice and guidance to a wide range of stakeholders, working on a variety of commercial policies and initiatives one of which is modern slavery. Sam represents DfT at the cross-government modern slavery working group which aims to support the government’s anti-modern slavery agenda. Prior to this, she worked in a commercial role at the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency for 15 years.
Alice has been building and scaling incubator and accelerator programmes for over 10 years Read more…
Alice has been building and scaling incubator and accelerator programmes for over 10 years, originally founding Peterborough’s first startup/SME physical hub space in 2011 – ‘Ignite Peterborough’, which supported over 200 startups of varying sizes to grow and develop their business propositions across 3 programmes. Subsequently she joined the Central Research Laboratory in West London, the UK’s only focused hardware accelerator and coworking space, where she developed the community offering and managed 2 accelerator programmes supporting high tech / high growth SMEs to advance in areas such as product development, manufacturing, investment strategy, scaling and distribution. Since joining the Connected Places Catapult in 2019, Alice has developed the accelerator programme offering, working with a 18 different partners to create 7 programmes, which have sourced over 85 high performing SMEs to meet the challenges set by industry. Collectively, CPC cohorts have raised over £56m, and secured over 86 commercial contracts, harnessing a number of opportunities with investors and potential customers and the collaborative CPC SME network. Alice manages a highly skilled team who have extensive experience in working on mobility, built environment and critical infrastructure SME programmes.
At the Transport Innovation Expo Robin will provide the audience with an overview of HS2, an update on its procurement programme, will explain what HS2 is looking for from its supply chain and how suppliers of all sizes can get ready to be part of Europe’s largest infrastructure project. Read more…
Robin is responsible for delivering market and supply chain stakeholder engagement across the HS2 project, with a specific focus on leading supply chain management for the HS2 Rolling Stock and Railway Systems Programmes. He engages with a wide range of stakeholders to communicate HS2 Ltd’s requirements, build relationships and ensure suppliers remain informed, engaged and ready to compete for contracts.
Previously, Robin worked in various supply chain, procurement and commercial roles at Transport for London and Crossrail. He also spent 3 years as National Co-Chair of G4C (Generation for Change), the young professional network of Constructing Excellence which champions the change agenda in construction.
Will has over a decade of experience in delivering substantial productivity improvements, efficiency gains and saving companies millions in the process. Read more…
Will has over a decade of experience in delivering substantial productivity improvements, efficiency gains and saving companies millions in the process.
With a Doctorate in Mathematical Modelling from Lancaster University, where he focused on logistics, he worked as a Lecturer but quickly realised that his talent for analysing data, understanding the commercial models and writing algorithms to tackle complex logistical problems and improve performance would be a business in itself.
Bar a stint as a Director of British Car Auctions, Will has worked as a consultant with an array of companies making huge savings and efficiencies to their organisations. They include British Car Auctions, Europcar, Shell, Co-Opeative Group, Routemonkey, Ford and Hoyer.
Prof. Garik Markarian is Emeritus Professor at the University of Lancaster and also Chairman and Founder of Rinicom Ltd. Read more…
Prof. Garik Markarian is Emeritus Professor at the University of Lancaster and also Chairman and Founder of Rinicom Ltd. He successfully implements research results into practical systems, and this was a driver behind the Rinicom’s success. Under his management company grew to become the leading provider of secure communication solutions for security and first responder applications, winning 2 Queens Awards for excellence in business in 2013 and 2018. Prof. G.Markarian co-authored over 500 publications, including 5 text books, 42 international patents and great number of papers in the leading professional journals. His research interest include secure communications, aviation security, AI and Machine Learning, e-Health.
Fredi Nonyelu Founder/CEO Briteyellow is a serial technology entrepreneur and expert product innovator Read more…
Fredi Nonyelu Founder/CEO Briteyellow is a serial technology entrepreneur and expert product innovator. He has over 20 years’ experience in technology innovation. For the past 10 years, he has lead Innovate UK funded R&D projects in 3D Cloud Computing, Remote HealthCare Monitoring, and Connected Passenger Guidance with Briteyellow. He started out in the WiFi business, building the first city scale WiFi mesh network in the UK at Briteyellow. Prior to this he headed European Business Development for NASDAQ listed US software technology companies, providing middleware and messaging software to top tier European telcos and banks. He was awarded an MSc in Innovative Product Design Engineering from Cranfield University in 1988, graduating from Cranfield University Business School in 1989. A former chair of Milton Keynes Science and Innovation Steering Group, Fredi chairs Biztech Technology Forum, a peer-to-peer group of technology leaders across the South East Midlands
Katy is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Lead at Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Read more…
Katy is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Lead at Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Innovate UK is committed to encouraging a more diverse and inclusive innovation system that values difference and enables the best ideas to succeed. Katy’s role involves reviewing Innovate UK’s policies and processes to ensure that diversity and inclusion is embedded in everything Innovate UK does, using in house and external evidence to deliver change and monitor progress. Future work includes facilitating support for businesses so they can build diversity and inclusion into their culture and innovations, ensuring the innovations provide benefit across society, and as a consequence they result in a higher likelihood of commercial success.
Twitter: @KatyPetherick (https://twitter.com/KatyPetherick)
Prior to joining Innovate UK, Katy worked in academia, spanning roles in diversity and inclusion, public engagement, and biomedical research. She is a STEM Ambassador and co-founded the STEM engagement charity Curiosity Sussex, which brings Sussex communities together to explore and celebrate the wonder of the world around us.
Martin is a Certified Chartered accountant with over 10 years’ experience in financial and business advisory services, helping progressive SMEs through periods of growth. Martin has experience of providing financial and operational leadership as well as delivering improved controls, processes and productivity.
Martin has worked in practice in the North East, delivering financial and strategic support to high-growth tech and digital businesses, as well as guiding them through equity funding rounds with EIS/SEIS support. He transitioned into industry at Nielson House, an award-winning interior design company in the Lake District, where he helped the business grow rapidly through commercial business support and strategic advice.
At Miralis, Martin is responsible for financial leadership and strategy in the business, ensuring that the company meets its growth and performance aspirations.
Niall Riddell is the co-founder and CEO at Paua. Paua make electric vehicle charging simpler. Read more…
Niall Riddell is the co-founder and CEO at Paua. Paua make electric vehicle charging simpler. We have aggregated multiple electric vehicle charge points into one solution. Drivers can use our app to find, charge and pay for public EV charging. We focus on providing this solution to business customers as an electric fuel card with a single bill provided to simplify accounting and tax management.
Paua used the TTRIG funding to assess the feasibility of delivering a “plug & charge” capability and successfully demonstrated a proprietary approach that can be applied to all modern electric cars and across the Paua network of aggregated chargepoints.
Niall is an engineer by training with prior experience as Head of Electric Vehicles at EDF Energy and Smart Systems Director at SSE. Together with André Pinho they have been developing Paua for the last ten months.
Mark Robinson is MD of Chrome Angel Solutions and has spent over 30 years successfully transforming business performance in the transport industry. After starting at London Underground as a graduate electronics engineer, he spent the first half of his career working across a wide range of engineering management positions and major projects. As Train Systems Manager he was accountable for managing engineering for rolling stock, signalling and control & information assets. He then joined AEA Technology plc and as Director of Rail Products, led the development and international distribution of condition monitoring, decision support and asset management systems. He has extensive experience of leading organisational change and large scale transformation programmes.
In 2006 Mark was a founding partner of Chrome Angel Solutions, a specialist SME collaborating with advanced technology partners from other industries to transfer innovative solutions to railways. Since then CAS has built many successful partnerships and implemented new technologies that enhance the performance of railway assets, engineering and maintenance.
Sean Sonander is the CEO of Rinicom Ltd. He has over 10 years’ experience as a business leader, following 20 years’ experience working in the electronics and telecoms market sector. Read more…
Sean Sonander is the CEO of Rinicom Ltd. He has over 10 years’ experience as a business leader, following 20 years’ experience working in the electronics and telecoms market sector.
Sean started his career in telecoms after obtaining his PhD whilst working for the European Space Agency. Following his time as an engineer, Sean went on to complete an MBA at the University of Cranfield. This inspired Sean to refocus his career to the world of business, where he excelled.
Sean now leads a team of 30 employees as the CEO of Rinicom. More recently, under Sean’s leadership, Rinicom was selected as a wireless radio supplier to Transport for London’s Deep Tube Upgrade Programme, resulting in significant growth for Rinicom.
Sean is also a director of several other hi-tech companies involved in airport security, the shipping industry and data science.
In his spare time, Sean enjoys spending time with his family, playing football and helping local charities.
Suja Sivadasan, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Houndstooth Wireless. Read more…
Suja Sivadasan, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Houndstooth Wireless.
At Houndstooth Wireless we create counter-drone technology designed to protect facilities and events against drone intrusions. Our solution is straightforward, accessible and commercially attractive – similar to CCTV and other perimeter security devices. Suja is responsible for building partnerships with customers and channel partners.
Suja joined Houndstooth with over 20 years’ experience of leading on a variety of projects with partners including DFID, NAO, the European Commission and the US Army. Suja also holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and undergraduate and master’s degrees in Engineering from the University of Cambridge.
30 years + experience in International Business in the Caribbean, Africa and the MENA markets covering 25 different countries. Read more…
30 years + experience in International Business in the Caribbean, Africa and the MENA markets covering 25 different countries.
Mike has worked with blue-chip FMCG multi-nationals in various marketing, sales, supply chain and senior management roles, being exposed to many different cultures and business practices before joining the DIT in 2020 as an International Trade Advisor, based in the North West. Mike speaks passable German and French and gained a BSc in Management Sciences from U.M.I.S.T.
Hannah recently joined Connected Places Catapult as Director of Air Mobility, leading the newly formed Air Mobility Directorate. Read more…
Hannah recently joined Connected Places Catapult as Director of Air Mobility, leading the newly formed Air Mobility Directorate. A Fellow of IOM3 for her contribution to national strategy and a Chartered Engineer, Hannah’s career has been spent in collaborative industrial R&D.
As technical R&D manager responsible for production and innovation, Hannah started her career working for an SME who manufactured aerospace materials. More recently she has spent 7 years within the Catapult Network as partnership lead in the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. She was also an instrumental part of UKRI’s Future Flight Challenge team.
Hannah’s understanding of how to navigate across industry, government and academia means she can seamlessly offer insights and stakeholder understanding of a wider aviation system, along with complementary and in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing sector.
Passionate about ED&I Hannah is proud to be a female leader in the Aviation industry.
Experienced science and technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in Government Read more…
Experienced science and technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in Government, across all areas of S&T and at the interface with industry and academia. I fund research and innovation in the SME sector and via the Catapult Network. I am particularly interested in transport decarbonisation technologies. Past areas of interest have included security technogies, non-conventional threats, policy analysis, life sciences, systems and data.
Chris leads the vision and strategy for cloud-based destination management platform ‘You. Smart. Thing.’ Read more…
Chris leads the vision and strategy for cloud-based destination management platform ‘You. Smart. Thing.’ After 7-years in telecoms, Chris weaved in his Commercial Music BA and founded Digital Animal, a direct-to-consumer retail platform for major-label recording artists that powered loyalty campaigns for brands including NatWest and Nintendo. DA won 4 UKTI Creative Industries Awards in 3 consecutive years and Chris was shortlisted for the O2 Arena Entrepreneur of The Year award. He’s held responsibility D2C strategy for PIAS, Europe’s largest independent entertainment distributor, and prior to establishing YST helped engineer CRM campaigns for JLR, Halfords, ATOS, Google and Vodafone.
Martin has extensive experience in the leisure and hospitality sector, following a successful career in hotel management. Read more…
Martin has extensive experience in the leisure and hospitality sector, following a successful career in hotel management. After being elected to President of the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce in 1999, Martin decided to change career and take up the role of Group Chief Executive of the Leicestershire Chamber (including CEO of Business Link, Leicestershire).
After leaving the Chamber in 2014 to set up his own consultancy business, Martin also took on a number of Non-Executive roles, including Chairman of the King Richard lll Visitor Centre Trust, Chairman of The Forest Experience Ltd, and Deputy Chairman of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
Martin has a long history of working with local, region, and central government on economic development, regulatory reform, and procurement. Martin has recently completed two three-year terms on the government’s Regulatory Policy Committee. He has also served as a Champion for the government’s Red Tape Challenge and an advocate for Business Focus on Enforcement. During his time at the Leicestershire Chamber, Martin successfully piloted the Better Business for All programme and worded with colleagues from Regulatory Delivery to roll out the programme across the LEP network.
In the 2007, Martin was awarded an OBE in HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours for “services to business and the community of the East Midlands”.
Nigel is part of the team delivering Innovate UK’s innovation loans and investor partnerships programmes. Read more…
Nigel is part of the team delivering Innovate UK’s innovation loans and investor partnerships programmes. He is a director and member of the credit committee of Innovate UK Loans Ltd. Prior to this role, he headed the organisation’s support for innovative SMEs in gaining access to private sector capital to accelerate the journey from concept to commercialisation.
Nigel has a background in the financial services industry, having qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Whinney and spent over 10 years at each of Deutsche Bank and GE Capital. At GE, he established the European ‘Access GE’ programme, advising, coaching and mentoring management teams of businesses owned by private equity firms on operational excellence, acquisition integration, strategy development and leadership.
Adam Webb is the Head of Bids and Tenders within Connected Places Catapult Read more…
Adam Webb is the Head of Bids and Tenders within Connected Places Catapult. He has 15 years’ experience working with organisations to help gain access to grant funding. Currently, he leads a team responsible for developing and managing all CR&D and Commercial proposals for CPC. Adam has previously worked for Catapults and Universities, successfully leading applications for multi-million pound grants and managing large international consortia.
Alex is a specialist in the commercialisation of innovation with nearly 20 years’ of experience in complex markets, from medicine/medical devices to intelligent transport and smart cities Read more…
Alex is a specialist in the commercialisation of innovation with nearly 20 years’ of experience in complex markets, from medicine/medical devices to intelligent transport and smart cities. Understanding the regulatory and practical barriers to new market entrants, Alex has supported hundreds of high-tech, high-growth businesses, helping them to win commercial traction, enter new markets and raise over £100m in investment in four years and much more in GVA. Alex has also pioneered the improvement of public sector innovation procurement and supported the creation of new investment funds, as well as having a decade of experience working in IP, commercial and public procurement law, having negotiated and overseen thousands of agreements related to the commercialisation of technology.
Catherine is the Net Zero Business Engagement lead for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Read more…
Catherine is the Net Zero Business Engagement lead for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). She currently heads up the Together for Our Planet Business Climate Leaders campaign for Andrew Griffith MP in his role as UK Net Zero Business Champion ahead of COP26 in November. Catherine has over ten years’ experience in stakeholder engagement, having worked at Transport for London before joining BEIS in March 2020. During that time she led several high profile campaigns, including the stakeholder engagement campaign ahead of the introduction of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in April 2019.
Ben is an Accelerator Programme Lead at Connected Places Catapult Read more…
Ben is an Accelerator Programme Lead at Connected Places Catapult, currently overseeing our mobility focused programmes. With an extensive background in delivering innovation programmes for the mobility and transportation industry, Ben has worked with clients such as Go-Ahead Group, London North Eastern Railway, Hyundai, Amey, alongside local and regional government stakeholders, enabling large organisations to bring disruptive products and services to market.