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Meet our Manufacturing, Materials & Mobility Team

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: ISCF, Support

The Manufacturing, Materials and Mobility sector team are a group of experts bringing together the areas of:

  • Land Transport
  • Automotive
  • Connected Transport
  • Connected & Autonomous Vehicles
  • Rail
  • Aerospace
  • Manufacturing and Materials
  • Electronics, Sensors and Photonics (ESP)
  • Digital Security by Design
  • Robotics

We are the UK’s innovation agency, working across UKRI and with partners to drive sustainable growth by investing in high-potential entrepreneurs and businesses across the UK.  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.

Our team is focused on delivering the above in the Mobility, Manufacturing and Materials sectors. Here is a chance to meet the team as they will introduce themselves below.

Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer

Portrait photo of Simon Edmonds

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, Deputy Director, Land Transport, Manufacturing and Materials

Portrait photo of Paul Gadd


I joined Innovate UK in 2014 as the lead on low emission vehicles, then on connected and autonomous vehicles before heading up the Land Transport team and 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 delivers 100s of millions of pounds of support for industry-led innovation focused on these key sectors.

Prior to joining Innovate UK I worked at Horiba-MIRA including project managing Innovate UK supported projects, and before this works worked at Caterpillar.

The Land Transport Team

David Tozer – Head of Land Transport

Portrait photo of David Tozer

I joined Innovate UK in 2017 to programme manage the zero-emission vehicle project portfolio. In 2018 I was appointed Senior Programme Manager where I continued to deliver for Government co-funders and industry in the zero emission vehicle space while working in partnership with the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

In 2020 I formally took up the role of Head of Land Transport which oversees Innovate UK’s efforts across Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Rail, Connected Transport, Zero-Emission Vehicles and Vehicle Charging. Before joining Innovate UK I worked for Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP), a government-supported agency tasked with delivering a more resource-efficient and circular economy in the UK.

Neale Ryan – Senior Programme Manager, Automotive

Portrait photo of Neale Ryan

I joined Innovate UK in June 2014 and over the last 6 years I have worked across all aspects of Innovate UK's automotive related activities. I am currently focused on delivering our £200m autonomous vehicles programme with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and a large Vehicle to Grid programme that is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Before that, I've been involved in all our automotive programmes, including our low carbon vehicles activity with APC, OLEV and BEIS. I have also helped establish two major ISCF programmes, the Faraday Battery Challenge and Driving the Electric Revolution.

Prior to Innovate UK, I've been involved in a wide range of business support and innovation programmes, including equity funding and coaching support for high growth firms. I've also worked in academia, helping to develop industry relationships on research, innovation and skills.

David Spence – Senior Programme Manager

Portrait photo of David Spence

I joined Innovate UK in 2017 as Programme Manager for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, primarily responsible for delivery of the collaborative R&D portfolio on behalf of CCAV and BEIS.

Now, as Senior Programme Manager, I am responsible for delivery of Zero-Emission Vehicle activities; working alongside the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to understand and translate the current policy and strategy to deliver zero-emission innovation.

Before joining Innovate UK I worked for the Home Office as a Programme Manager for Protective Securities, Public Order and Fire.

Dr Francesca Iudicello – Programme Manager for Automotive

Portrait photo of Dr Francesca Iudicello

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.

Louise Mothersole - Horizon 2020 UK National Contact Point and Global Innovation Lead for Transport

Portrait photo of Louise Mothersole

I am the Horizon 2020 UK National Contact Point and Global Innovation Lead for Transport. My role includes supporting any UK applicant to EU funded research and innovation programmes in the transport domain to help them maximise their chances of success.

As part of the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement, UK organisations are fully eligible to participate, and be funded by the European Commission, in Horizon 2020 initiatives right through until the projects complete, even if that is in 2023 or beyond. I also seek and develop international collaboration opportunities in the transport sector – all domains including air, maritime, road and rail.

Michael Fritchley, Impact and Performance Manager for Land Transport

Portrait photo of Michael Fritchley

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

Portrait photo of Joe Lyford

I joined Innovate UK in September 2015. I support in the delivery of the various UK automotive programmes we manage, primarily in the low and 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)

Portrait photo of Steve Sopp

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

Portrait photo of Karla Jakeman

I am the Innovation Lead for Connected Transport, seeking solutions that 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.

Richard Morris -Innovation Lead for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Portrait photo of Richard Morris

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 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

Portrait photo of Kelvin Davies

I joined Innovate UK in 2015 to lead the organisation’s initiatives relating to rail & light-rail, particularly focusing on the significant programs delivered on behalf of the Department for Transport and Network Rail. The role provides support to multiple projects across the railway industry, including activities delivering greener railway technology, enhancing customer experience, improving the resilience of the railway, reducing noise, enhancing station security, supporting gauging and infrastructure examination, benefiting the environment, and supporting 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 these organisations.

Katherine Ferguson - Impact and Performance Manager (CAV, Rail, Connected, RAI)

Portrait photo of Katherine Ferguson

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.

The Aerospace Team

Dr John Morlidge – Deputy Director, Aerospace

Portrait photo of Dr John Morlidge

In my role, 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 in partnership with the Aerospace Technology Institute, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK.

I also support Future Flight, an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programme that aims to revolutionise the way people, goods and services fly. The programme looks to support the development of a novel integrated aviation system by bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders and technologies in electrification, digital and autonomy to create new modes of air travel and capability.

Prior to joining Innovate UK, John spent over 15 years in the private sector working in a variety of senior 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

Portrait photo of Justin Davies-Trigg

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

Portrait photo of Justin Simmons

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

Portrait photo of Alfred Ng

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’.

Craig Sharp - Programme Manager, Aerospace

Portrait photo of Craig Sharp

I joined Innovate UK in 2014 as the National Contact Point for Horizon 2020 Advanced Manufacturing & Processing. I took up my current role in 2019 and look after the NATEP and ATI Smaller Businesses portfolio of the ATI programme – both heavily focused on supporting SME engagement and participation.

Prior to joining Innovate UK I spent over 25 years in programme management, UK and international collaborative R&D and engineering roles within industry and the public sector.

The Manufacturing and Materials Team

David Elson – Head of Manufacturing & Materials

Portrait photo of David Elson

I joined Innovate UK in 2013 to lead and grow our work with the marine and maritime industry, then transitioned to a strategic business role in Clean Growth before moving to my current position. As Head of Manufacturing and Materials, I lead a talented and experienced team focused on helping the UK industry to innovate and thrive on our pathway to Net-Zero. A key part of this is our sponsorship of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to support companies to design, develop and deliver innovation.

I am a Naval Architect by training. Prior to joining Innovate UK I worked in design offices and shipyards in the UK and overseas.

Robin Wilson – Innovation Lead, Manufacturing

Portrait photo of Robin Wilson

Since joining Innovate UK in 2009, I have engaged with small and large companies across all areas of manufacturing to bring our support to the most challenging technology innovations across a wide range of potentially rewarding market sectors.

I was instrumental in setting up the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and developing our strategy for investing over £200 million per year into innovative UK manufacturing technologies. More recently I have led the development of our Net Zero Manufacturing and Materials Strategy, through which we aim to transition the majority of our future funding towards clean growth and circular economy innovations.

Selina So – Impact & Performance Manager for Advanced Materials

Portrait photo of Selina So

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.

Malcolm Hannaby – Innovation Lead, Manufacturing Chemicals and Process Industries

Portrait photo of Malcolm Hannaby

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 international funding opportunities.

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

Portrait photo of Paul Bello

In mid-2017, I ‘sea-changed’ to Innovate UK as the lead for Industrial Biotechnology (IB) within the High Value Manufacturing, Materials & Mobility sector team. Here, I oversee a diverse project portfolio across the IB and Bioeconomic landscape supported by both UK and EU funding, and act as an advocate for our business stakeholders, BEIS and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

I am originally from Melbourne, Australia and my background covers over 35 years in Health & Life Sciences, specifically human stem cell research, product development & marketing and their therapeutic applications. I also managed facility operations, business partnering & contract technology transfers.

Amy Peace – Innovation Lead – Circular Economy

Portrait of Amy Peace

I joined the Manufacturing and Materials team in May 2020 to focus on integrating Circular Economy and Life Cycle Thinking into Innovate UK’s strategy and programmes.

My background is in the chemical industry, with roles at ICI, INEOS, Chemicals Northwest and Britest - all centered on sustainability, but ranging from new technology and tools development to policy shaping and leading manufacturing excellence programmes.

In recent years, I have coordinated EU cross-sector projects through Horizon2020:SPIRE on pragmatic approaches to sustainability evaluation and addressing the barriers to industrial exploitation of research & innovation projects.

Abishek Ramesh – NCP for Horizon 2020 & Global Innovation Lead

Portrait photo of Abishek Ramesh

As the National Contact Point (NCP) for Horizon 2020 (EU framework research programme) and Global Innovation Lead for Advanced Manufacturing & Materials sectors, my primary responsibility is to raise awareness, provide specialist advice and practical information to UK organisations on all aspects of participation in Horizon 2020 grant funding.

I have keen interest in pursuing science diplomacy to promote greater international research collaborations to drive UK’s sustainable high value manufacturing growth strategy.

Before joining Innovate UK, I was a Systems Engineering consultant for UK MoD and I also led various future civil aircraft R&D projects at Airbus.

The Electronics, Sensors and Photonics Team

Andrew Tyrer – ISCF Challenge Director for Robotics for a Safer World and Head of Electronics, Sensors and Photonics

Portrait photo of Andrew Tyrer

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.

Julian Heaton – Innovation lead for Electronics Sensors and Photonics

Portrait photo of Julian Heaton

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 enterprises.

Georgios Papadakis – Senior Innovation Lead – Digital Security by Design

Portrait photo of Georgios Papadakis

I am responsible for digital security and cybersecurity across Innovate UK’s programme activities, ranging from secure capabilities underpinning the computing hardware infrastructure to technologies for secure and resilient IoT systems and applications.

Since joining Innovate UK in 2014, I have been responsible for UK’s engagement in European Research & Innovation programmes and for the strategic and road mapping aspects of the Electronics, Sensors and Photonics technology and innovation areas.

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.

Mark Emerton – Senior Innovation Lead, Robotics & AI

Portrait photo of Mark Emerton

I joined Innovate UK in 2018 and have predominantly worked to deliver the ISCF Robotics for a Safer World challenge. Now as the Senior Innovation Lead for the challenge I lead on future strategy for the ISCF challenge and the Robotics sector in general, working to secure and deliver new R&D funding for the sector and ensure existing R&D projects exploit their technologies.

Before joining the Innovate UK I worked as a Systems Engineer in the Defence industry, specialising in unmanned and autonomous systems, including four years in the public sector at the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL)

Trias Gkikopoulos, Innovation Lead Robotics & AI

Portrait photo of Trias Gkikopoulos

I joined Innovate UK in October 2019 to work for the delivery of the ISCF Robotics for a Safer World Challenge.

Previously I founded and run a drone design and fabrication start-up and helped set up and support the University of Dundee Aeronautical society while holding an honorary Lecturer position in Mechanical Engineering.  Prior to that I worked as a researcher in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology, holding a Ph.D. in gene regulation

Stafford Lloyd – National Contact Point/Global

Portrait photo of Stafford Lloyd

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.


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  1. Comment by Dan posted on

    Thanks for this update, really useful information.

  2. Comment by Tim M posted on

    Great to see the government focusing on developing manufacturing as this sector has been neglected by past governments. I work at a precision engineering company in the West Midlands and feel it is important to promote manufacturing. People look upon engineering as a dirty, physically hard industry to work within but this is not the case. Things have come a long way of late and many companies are gearing up for industry 4.0.

    Anyone interested to know more about manufacturing can follow the below links:

    Kind regards


  3. Comment by udayavani posted on

    nice article