New Anglia Innovation Board

Tuesday 7th December 2021 14:00-16:00 By MS Teams



Tim Green Deputy CEO Cefas

James Allen Innovation & Sector Manager New Anglia LEP

Julian Munson Head Enterprise Zones & Innovation New Anglia LEP

David Parfrey Executive Chair AIP LLP / NRP

Howard Partridge Regional Manager Innovate UK

Ian Pease

Jo Middleton Scott Cogman

Johnathan Reynolds (Chair) Katie Snell

Sarah Steed

Helen Lewis

Prof. Mohammad Dastbaz Prof. Fiona Lettice

Jai Raithatha

Apologies: Mark Ash

Vince Muspratt Lisa Roberts Lisa Perkins David Taitt

Business Development Manager Economic Policy and Strategy Manager Project Coordinator

LEP Board Member

Innovation and Sector Coordinator Director of Innovation and Engagement

Director of Research and Innovation Division Deputy Vice- Chancellor

Pro-Vice Chancellor Research & Innovation Head of Economic Development

Executive Director of Growth, Highways & Infrastructure

Director of Growth & Development Head of Strategy

Adastral Park & Research Realisation Director Chairman at Hethel Innovation


Norfolk County Council New Anglia LEP

New Anglia LEP New Anglia LEP

Norwich University of the Arts


University of Suffolk UEA

Suffolk County Council

Suffolk County Council

Norfolk County Council New Anglia LEP


Hethel Innovation


Welcome from the Chair – Introductions, Apologies & Minutes

  • Johnathan Reynolds - Welcome:

  • Ran through minutes

  • Asked Howard about KTN. Howard said they would become part of the Innovate UK family.



Scott Cogman – Connected Innovation:

  • 2-year project funded jointly by NSF and SIGIF.

  • Peer Network Group has been well attended. Met monthly at the start and bi-monthly since. Invitations extended to emerging innovation hubs. Focused around key topics to benefit the network.

  • Progress to date has been really encouraging:

    • Completed capability mapping with hubs and understood their wants and needs.

    • Two events delivered to date by TechEast. Four more planned.

    • Hub events planned for early 2022.

    • Deliverables:

      • CRM module being shared with hubs ahead of schedule to support sector and cluster development and marketing.

      • Tech Suite being installed at Hethel and OrbisEnergy – ahead of time and joint event planned Q2-3 2022.

  • Further developing the NSU website – plan for greater focus on hub content. Portal would have a dynamic events calendar across hub network.

  • Greater collaboration between hubs themselves and external networks.

  • Shared network group has been created on LinkedIn to create a community around this.

  • Capability mapping:

    • Provided SWOT analysis (will share slides after meeting).

    • Mapped regional capabilities and cross-referenced with seven technology families identified in the Innovation Strategy.

    • Talked through grow-on challenges identified by the innovation hubs.

    • Issue of engaging the long-tail of non-innovative businesses across Norfolk and Suffolk.

  • Innovation Strategy – seven technology families:

    • Mapped capabilities and showcased strengths in these areas.

    • Working with TechEast to deliver events to showcase strengths and setting out the challenges –set out events programme.

  • Emerging opportunities:

    • Opportunity to link CI project further with industry councils and sector groups to drive cross-sector innovation.

    • Strong focus on innovation as a catalyst for clean growth.

    • Building on engagement with Catapult network.

    • Supporting emerging opportunities around marine science and space. E.g. Cefas year of marine science events in 2022; and cross-sector application of satellite applications technologies.

    • Thematic discussions around challenges and opportunities e.g. grow-on space, gaming, recruitment / careers inspiration.


  • Johnathan Reynolds – do we have table with hubs and mapping against each of the technology families.

    Would showcase any gaps. (Scott – this is certainly something that could be pulled together with the capability mapping information we have).

  • Julian congratulated Scott on the huge amount of work achieved ahead of time and the approach taken by hubs. We would like to see some sustainability model so this is covering as many of the innovation centres, co-working spaces, and incubation models across the region.

  • Johnathan Reynolds – useful to create a knowledge bank of recorded webinars. Can break down individual presentations and share with likes of Norfolk’s Knowledge Hub run by the Chamber.

  • Johnathan Reynolds – What do start-ups need, and small businesses want? Understand their needs are evolving.

  • Ian Pease – conversations with the likes of MENTA have shown individuals coming together by design.

  • Tim Green (Cefas) – the regional/geographical impact of hybrid and innovation. Drawing on more and more colleagues who are potentially located in different geographies.




Julian Munson - Regional Innovation & Levelling Up:

  • We discussed the Innovation Strategy back in the summer. We have practically applied the strategy and technology families in our work e.g., connected innovation.

  • Need everyone to benefit from levelling up agenda. See risks in comprehensive spending review which talked about a greater share of the record R&D spending going outside London, SE and East. See challenges for our LEP area given the statistics.

  • Chris Starkie and Julian Munson have both caught up with George Freeman over the last two weeks. He is keen to hold two national roundtables with relevant government departments and business leaders in places. Putting a business case together now. Need to shine a light on inequalities on innovation in our region. We have a number of data sets which compares Norfolk and Suffolk with other regions.

  • Linking in non-innovative businesses with innovation programmes and support.

  • Howard - Innovate UK has published their action plan setting out their role and being more pivotal in joining up the landscape, levering government innovation spend, etc.



Julian Munson – innovation updates:

  • Broadland Food Innovation Centre development moving forward nicely.

  • Seen a lot of interest towards Innovation Grant Mentoring Scheme. Keen to ensure we sustain projects like this.

  • Keen to support with innovative solutions to public sector challenges. Currently exploring health and social care.

  • Investment catalyst – change in CNTC personnel has stalled this work slightly. Conversations picked up with Anglia Capital group. Platform has been sent out to investment community, focusing on scale-ups across all sectors in N&S.

  • Talking to ORE Catapult around how the F4OR New Anglia programme might be funded in future. This has been successful in supporting businesses to get involved in the offshore wind supply chain. Cohort model was incredibly valuable – this is now being rolled out in every regional model and Nuclear AMRC are looking to adapt for the Fit for Nuclear model.

  • Question – Johnathan Reynolds asked around Blue Tech and mentioned that Port of Felixstowe have a project with Sizewell and Cranfield University around clean maritime project. Would be good to pick this up.



Howard Partridge – Innovate UK:

  • Innovate East event planned – will work with ARU in Peterborough. Will send out a please save the date.

    Hope to reach companies across Norfolk and Suffolk. A Net Zero theme.

  • Action Plan launched – five themes. Focusing on future economy, net zero, health and wellbeing, technologies, supporting businesses to grow rapidly and global opportunities. Making innovation ecosystems more apparent. Hope to have some good SBRI news for this region soon. Making better use of design. Better linking businesses with research base. Responsible innovation – better societal impacts.

    Helping innovative companies to enhance the capabilities of their staff.

  • KTN coming in-house will show customers that there is no wrong door to the Innovate UK family.


Innovation Board Updates

David Parfrey – Norwich Research Park:

  • Moving swiftly into enterprise phase. Raising funds to support spinouts.

  • Trying to raise capital to complete building of next significant build.

  • New containerised controlled environments have arrived on site.

  • Development of entrepreneurial skills on site.

  • David is now leaving Norwich Research Park as the foundations are now in place for the next phase. Handing over to new CEO soon and will support with the transition behind the scenes.

  • All expressed deep gratitude for all of David’s work at Norwich Research Park and support for the innovation ecosystem.

    Fiona Lettice – UEA:

  • Opened Productivity East with three small events to launch. Lots of interesting follow-ups.

  • Consulting with regional stakeholders on what a civic university means for them – digital platform. 60th year in 2023 with results set to be published.

  • Launching themes around research and innovation expertise. Launched Climate UEA and Creative UEA.

  • Recruited team for the Broadland Food Innovation Centre – Alexander Larter joined as Food Innovation Cluster Manager.

Ian Pease – OrbisEnergy:

  • Occupancy has remained strong and some positive enquiries coming in for bigger offices from clean energy businesses.

  • Have resumed larger-scale networking events. Few events with EEEGR that have been well-attended.

  • Couple of huge announcements on the horizon around offshore wind in December and January hopefully.

  • On Friday last week, New Anglia LEP signed an MOU with City of Virginia Beach reflecting long-standing work around offshore wind, ICT/Digital and Agri-Food.

  • Working with Hydrogen East and other partners on a study around Lowestoft PowerPark – identified interesting synergies around local area that hydrogen could play an important role in. Planning application for hydrogen electrolyser in PowerPark – already moving from feasibility to action.

    Jai Raithatha – Suffolk County Council:

  • Children’s support and adult community services – working closely with Tech East to share problems and address these with solutions.

  • Looking at ways AI can support in-house solutions e.g., archiving.

  • University of Suffolk partnership with Innovation Labs at IWIC.

    Tim Green – Cefas:

  • Spending review gives them good opportunities. 3-year review gives them more stability and confidence.

    Seeing a lot of demand from partners that provide them with funding.

  • Small degree of growth for Cefas at the moment – recruiting.

  • Marine natural capital work will be of interest.

  • Continuation of Cefas’ international activity – positive for impact and profile.

  • Small celebration next week – royal visit to open Cefas’ building in Lowestoft and then off to East Coast College.

    Johnathan – asked for written updates from Adastral Park & Hethel Innovation. Katie to include in minutes. Johnathan – closing remarks:

  • Will update following tomorrow’s meeting of the chairs of the LEPs’ sub boards and industry councils which will focus the discussion around innovation.