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Meet our Emerging and Enabling Technologies team

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Our Emerging and Enabling Technologies sector group is the new home for our support for early stage (emerging), cross-cutting (enabling) and broad scope (open) innovation across whole economy.

Although this sector group contains the word technologies in its title, our actions are guided by the principle that no-one buys technology; they buy what technology does for them.  We have brought the following previous Innovate UK thematics under one umbrella:

  • Space
  • Digital economy
  • Emerging technologies
  • Enabling technologies
  • Creative
  • Design
  • Open

Meet the team that supports UK businesses to take advantage of Innovate UK’s Emerging and Enabling Technologies fund and connect opportunities.

Paul Mason – Interim Director of Emerging & Enabling Technologies

Portrait of Paul Mason

I took up this current role in April 2016. I joined Innovate UK as Head of Development in 2007, and became Deputy Director Research and Chief Scientific Advisor (CSA) in 2014. I oversaw the creation and initial implementation of all our first sector strategies, and led the creation of our programmes in Creative Industries, Stratified (Precision) Medicine, Agri-Food, Design and Emerging Technologies.


Tim Just – Head of Space

Portrait of Tim Just

I have worked at Innovate UK for more than five years and previously held the posts of Lead Technologist for Space and Satellite Navigation. As Head of Space, I set internal strategies, oversee the delivery of the Space Applications programme and provide thought leadership in the wider community. We also provide advice and programme delivery support to the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency (ESA).


Dr. Maria Kalama – Innovation lead for Satellite Telecommunications

Portrait of Dr. Maria Kalama

I joined Innovate UK in 2013. I was the UK lead delegate to the European Space Agency Telecommunication Programme but I have now refocused on the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Before joining Innovate UK, I spent 12 years in the space industry across Europe in consulting or as management for innovation programmes.


Carol Sunderland – Innovation Lead for Space

Portrait of Carol Sunderland

I joined Innovate UK in 2015. I manage the UK participation in the ESA Integrated Applications Promotion programme which sits within the framework of Advanced Research into Telecommunications Systems (ARTES).  More specifically, I assess the economic potential of project applications and provide business-related advice.  I also wrote the business case for further recent UK investment into the programme.


Andy Proctor MA FRIN -  Innovation Lead for Satellite Navigation & PNT,  UK Delegate to ESA Board of Navigation

Portrait of Andy Proctor

I joined Innovate UK in 2013 and represent Satellite Navigation & Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) across all Innovate UK sectors and am the UK lead delegate to the European Space Agency (ESA) Programme Board for Navigation (PBNAV). I have an engineering and business background, chair the UK Government PNT group and am a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation.

Twitter: @InnovateAndy

Andy German – Innovation Lead for Satellite Applications

Portrait of Andy German

I joined Innovate UK in early 2014. I focus on early stage and startup companies in the space applications domain, working closely with the Satellite Applications Catapult and ESA's European Centre for Satellite Applications and Telecommunications at the Harwell Campus.

I am primarily concerned with increasing the uptake of digital services exploiting space data to business and public customers. I am also a UK Delegate to ESA’s Joint Communications Board for its ARTES telecommunications programmes.

Twitter: @TSB_AndyG


Dr Craig Brown – Innovation Lead for Space and National Delegate to the ESA JCB

Portrait of Dr Craig Brown

I joined Innovate UK in 2014. I work very closely with businesses, universities and research organisations, helping them to commercialise new space products and services. I am the UK Delegate to ESA’s Joint Communications Board for its ARTES telecommunications programme, a board member of the UKSA’s Space Technology Advisory Council and also sit on the board of the UK Chapter of the Society of Satellite Professionals International. I also sit on Innovate UK’s InFocus Diversity board, working to improve access to Innovate UK support for under-represented groups.

Twitter: @InnovateCraig


Catherine Holt - Horizon 2020 National Contact Point & Global Innovation Lead for Space

Portrait of Catherine Holt

I joined Innovate UK in 2014 and am the UK designated Horizon 2020 National Contact Point for Space.  I have been involved with the EU Framework Programme since 1998. As well as European funding opportunities, I also support space businesses to innovate on a global stage. This involves assessing research opportunities on an international scale to take advantage of skills and access to global markets.


Stephen Browning – Head of Enabling Digital

Portrait of Stephen Browning

I have worked at Innovate UK for more than 7 years as Head of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) and Head of Smart as well as an SBRI account manager. Now, as Head of Enabling – Digital, I lead a team focused on supporting both the creation and the use of general purpose, transformative digital technologies. 

Twitter: @stephenbrowning


Agata Samojlowicz – Innovation Lead for Digital (Cyber Security)

Portrait of Agata Samojlowicz

joined Innovate UK in July 2014 as a Lead Technologist for Online Commerce. I have almost 15-years of experience of commercial digital activity. I started my career with T-Mobile International in their Global Content Team. After this, I worked for a number of innovative content developers and technology companies such as Disney, Capcom, Shazam and Tapjoy.

Since October 2016, I have been Innovate UK’s Digital Innovation Lead for Cyber Security. I work with companies, academia, across government and other partner organisations to fund digital R&D that will grow the UK economy.

Twitter:  @agata-sam


Matt Sansam – Innovation lead for Digital

Portrait of Matt Sansam

I joined Innovate UK in 2010, where I am currently Innovation Lead for Digital and am responsible for Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Immersive Technology areas. I have over 20 years’ experience in the games industry, specialising in full service deployment, project delivery and programme management.

Twitter: @mattsansam


Jonny Voon – Innovation lead for Digital (IoT and Distributed Ledger)

Portrait of Jonny Voon

I joined Innovate UK in 2014 and am responsible for the vision, direction and strategy of its Internet of Things (IoT) and Distributed Ledger innovation programmes. I have also designed and developed funding programmes in smart cities, health and social care, and applied cyber security.

Twitter:  @jonnyvoon


Dr Jean-François (JF) Fava-Verde – Innovation lead for Digital

Portrait of Dr Jean-François (JF) Fava-Verde

I joined Innovate UK in November 2014 to provide thought leadership on digital connectivity, including next generation networks and the Internet of Things (IoT). I am involved in 5G activities and have operational oversight of an IoT programme helping start-ups overcome the challenges that frequently arise between the development of a hardware prototype and manufacturing at scale. I am also looking at the distributed ledger/blockchain technology and the growth opportunities it represents for the UK economy.

Twitter: @jf_favaverde


Chris Jones – Head of Emerging Technologies

Portrait of Chris Jones

I joined Innovate UK in 2014 as Lead Technologist for Biosciences in the Enabling Technologies team, with a Technical speciality in Synthetic Biology. I now head the Emerging Technology team, which covers early stage technologies, recently arisen from university or corporate research activities with the potential to disrupt existing markets and forge entirely new product service sectors.  Past or live examples include graphene, quantum technologies, biofilms, energy harvesting and synthetic biology.


Jonathan Mitchener – Innovation Lead for Emerging Technologies

Portrait of Jonathan Mitchener

I joined Innovate UK in 2011, as Lead Technologist for Information and Communications Technology (ICT). I have run many Innovate UK programmes in ICT such as Data Exploration, Energy Efficient Computing and User Experience of technology. I have now taken up the role of Innovation Lead for Emerging Technologies, within the Emerging and Enabling Sector team, to identify the next set of new investment programmes with the potential to become significant technologies and/or industries in the UK.

Twitter:   @jonathan_uk



George Papadakis - Horizon 2020 National Contact Point/Global Innovation Lead for ICT & Future and Emerging Technologies

Portrait of George Papadakis

I joined Innovate UK in 2014 as the National Contact Point ICT and FET. My role is to provide guidance to UK organisations in order to understand and access Horizon 2020 as well as to increase their readiness to respond to collaborative R&D and innovation funding opportunities.


Andrew Tyrer – Head of Enabling Capabilities

Portrait of Andrew Tyrer

I manage a team of Innovation Leads in: Creative Economy; Design; Electronics, Sensors and Photonics and; Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. I joined Innovate UK to run an Innovation Platform in Network Security. Before joining Innovate UK, I worked for Serco Science, managing business development in NPL’s Enabling Metrology Division and, previous to that, their Technical Services Division.

Twitter: @Andrew_Tyrer


Nikos Pronios – Innovation Lead for Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Portrait of Nikos Pronios

I joined Innovate UK in 2014, as Lead Technologist for Information and Communications Technology (ICT), part then of the Enabling Technologies. Having run successful Innovate UK programmes in ICT, including Software Verification and Validation for Complex Systems and User Experience, I have now taken up the role of Innovation Lead for the Robotics and Autonomous Systems.


Simon Bennett – Strategic Input for Quantum Technologies

Portrait of Simon Bennett

I joined Innovate UK's Executive Management Team late in 2013. I also provide strategic input to the Quantum Technologies programme. Before joining Innovate UK, I was Chief Executive Officer of FSS (Forensic Science Service), which provided forensic support services to police forces.

Ben Griffin – Innovation lead for Design and Creativity

Portrait of Ben Griffin

I joined Innovate UK in 2014. I am responsible for the development of the organisation’s national design strategy and support programme including the ‘design foundations’ funding competition. I have a particular interest in human-centred design.


Tom Fiddian – Innovation Lead for Creative Economy

Portrait of Tom Fiddian

I joined Innovate UK in 2013, and manage activities across all the Creative Industries. I have 10 years of broad cross-sector experience, designing consumer products in the Health, Packaging, Food and Telecoms industries. I have also run consultancies for industry and government regulators.

Twitter:  @tomfiddian


Dr Fionnuala Costello - Head of Open Programmes

Portrait of Dr Fionnuala Costello

Fionnuala is responsible for the Responsive Open Scope Competitions, which are open to companies to apply for from any part of the economy. Fionnuala joined Innovate UK in 2007 and worked on low impact buildings, emerging technologies and emerging markets.  Prior to joining Innovate UK she was a business development manager and worked briefly for the EU and research councils.

Twitter: @FionnualaCostel


James Heydari - Innovation Lead for Open R&D and Smart

Portrait of James Heydari

I am the innovation lead for projects delivering game changing or disruptive commercial innovation ranging from RAAI; Space; Connected Medical Devices; and Immersive technologies through to Mining and Energy. A former scientist, investor and entrepreneur, I have held a series of executive, board and programme management roles in large-scale business programmes as well as developing hi-tech technologically innovative products.

Dr Ian Brotherston - KTP Programme Manager

Portrait of Dr Ian Brotherston

I joined Innovate UK in February 2015 and am responsible for developing Innovate UK’s knowledge exchange programme, specifically Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).  KTPs operate across all Innovate UK sectors and the Open Programme.  Ian’s interest in the collaboration between the university research base and industry started early in his career as both his PhD and Postdoc were industrially sponsored.

Twitter: @iandb1970


Jenny Powles - Catapult Relationship Manager

Portrait of Jenny Powles

I have worked at Innovate UK since April 2014 as Catapult Relationship Manager, initially working with Transport Systems, Future Cities and Digital Catapults. I now works with the E&E Catapults: Digital, Satellite Applications and Compound Semi-Conductors. In addition, I also work with the IKC centres that come under the Emerging and Enabling sector:  CSIT and, once established, Biolfilms. I am also involved with a range of cross catapult activities – an example being the Cross Catapult Research Base Group.

Brendan Vickers – Innovation Lead for SBRI/Lead Customer

Portrait of Brendan Vickers

I joined Innovate UK in April 2013 as an SBRI Account Manager with responsibility for Home Office and MOD and subsequently have helped to facilitate over 80 R&D funding competitions across a wide range of technology areas including those in Aviation Security, Counter Terrorism and Defence.


Jon Hazell - Innovation Lead for SBRI/Lead Customer

Portrait of Jon Hazell

I joined Innovate UK in 2012 as part of the SBRI team and am responsible for Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy together with its related agencies and public bodies, Department for Education, The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research, Food Standards Agency and Scottish Devolved Administration.


Dr Helen Almey - Horizon 2020 National Contact Point for Secure Societies & support for SME instrument

Portrait of Dr Helen Almey

I am responsible for the Secure Societies part of the Horizon 2020 Programme, which covers Disaster Resilience, Fighting Crime and Terrorism, Border Security, Critical Infrastructure Protection and Cyber security. I have spent nearly all my career in this area - as a researcher and Programme Manager working within government, industry and academia so I am well placed to assist applicants in Horizon 2020.

Stephen Alexander - Horizon 2020 National Contact Point for Legal & Financial

Portrait of Stephen Alexander – National Contact Point for Legal and Financial Issues

I am part of the national support team for the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding programme.  As the UKs designated Legal & Financial National Contact Point (NCP), I provide impartial advice and support on all aspects of the rules and procedures for participation in Horizon 2020 – everything from ‘why do it?' to the proposal process, funding, grant agreements, cost claims, reporting, audits and consortium issues.


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1 comment

  1. Comment by Constantina (Tina) Lekakou posted on

    Message for Ben Griffin, Design Lead, Innovate UK:
    Title: 2018 Materials Research Exchange/Seminar: Design for Materials Commercialisation

    I could contribute a talk for above event on:
    "Materials design for innovative products of the future"
    with one or more case study from my work on "material design for soft robotic for non-invasive abdominal surgery", or "fabric design for drapability and permeability in composites manufacturing" or "material and process design for organic electronics"

    Please let me know whether you are interested.

    all the best

    Tina Lekakou