New Anglia Innovation Board

Tuesday 14th June 2022 14:00-16:00 MS Teams



David Taitt


Hethel Innovation

James Allen

Innovation & Sector Manager

New Anglia LEP

Julian Munson

Head Enterprise Zones & Innovation

New Anglia LEP

Howard Partridge

Regional Manager

Innovate UK

Jo Middleton

Scott Cogman

Economic Policy and Strategy Manager

Project Coordinator

Norfolk County Council

New Anglia LEP

Johnathan Reynolds (Chair)

Katie Snell

Prof. Mohammad Dastbaz Jai Raithatha

Lisa Perkins Ian Pease Sarah Steed Roz Bird

Richard Osborne (Guest)

Apologies: Vince Muspratt Tim Green Helen Lewis

LEP Board Member

Innovation and Sector Coordinator

Director of Research and Innovation Division Head of Economic Development

Director of Innovation and Engagement Business Development Manager Director of Innovation and Engagement Chief Executive


Director of Growth & Development Deputy CEO

Director of Innovation and Engagement

New Anglia LEP

New Anglia LEP University of Suffolk Suffolk County Council BT

Suffolk County Council Norwich University of the Arts Norwich Research Park AstroAgency

Norfolk County Council Cefas



Welcome from the Chair – Introductions, Apologies & Minutes

  • Minutes approved.

  • Introductions made, noted Roz Bird from NRP first Innovation Board meeting.

  • Actions noted:

    • Lisa Perkins to follow up action.

    • Ellen Goodwin action complete, notes provided as follows:

Community Renewal Fund (CRF) – Road to Net Zero and Enabling Self-Employment – delivery extensions have been granted for these two LEP led programmes.

Road to Net Zero Business Support Programme (Norfolk £660K, Suffolk £520k) is a pilot initiative designed to pro-actively pivot business support and grants on a net zero future, building business advice expertise, and developing a portfolio of tested interventions.

Enabling Self-Employment (Norfolk £620k, Suffolk £404K) will deliver self-employment support across Norfolk and Suffolk with a particular emphasis on enabling and supporting disadvantaged communities. The project offers an uplift in support in East Suffolk and Great Yarmouth via the borough and district council.

Interim reports were submitted for both Programmes at the end of March. At the same time Ministers stated that requests for extensions would be considered due to the delivery challenges of some projects nationally. As such extensions requests were submitted and have since been accepted for both Programmes. Both programmes are working with partners to ensure delivery by the new deadline of December 2022.


REF Results 2022


  • Pleased with results, first submission.

  • Exceeded own expectations.

  • Impact cases viewed as internationally excellent

  • Environment nationally excellent.

  • 8 units of submission for the next REF.

  • Invested in approx. £2m investment for professors to lead on extinctions.

  • Lots to play for, for the next REF.


  • Submit entirely to unit and assessment 32.

  • 71% of research classified as world leading and excellent.

  • 2nd strongest arts consultants in the country.

  • 4* top category for research.

  • More affirmation about research direction, will develop two new research institutes.

  • One on arts and health – a wide scope. Second on creative technology – knowledge exchange and research.

  • Creative technology driving sectors forward.

  • Opportunity for food and Agri-tech – more scope for these areas where strong partnerships can be made.


  • UEA provided a paper for the Board ahead of meeting.

  • Highlights – 91% world leading international excellence and research.

  • Need to amplify this via LEP communications

    Questions & Considerations

    How can we consider other collaborations with world leading universities/RTOS?


  • NRP looking at marketing, the activity and potential.

  • Aim to make sure people understand the activity opportunities including NRPs position in relation to the competition.

  • Ensure the right messages engage internal businesses and local businesses.

  • Working with partners to help promote the story.

  • Good if the research team at NRP can communicate with others, on the Innovation Board.


  • For information, the USA are looking at how to build on efficiency – “Citizen Science,” One Thousand Elders, different academics working with 1000 people in the area for research purposes.

  • Does not just work with community but looks to integrate those people into what further research should be done.

  • Looks at how we can work closer with communities to help with research and determine further research.

  • How align research strengths with economic growth opportunities is a challenge.

  • Need to understand the balance.


  • Citizens Science aspect is powerful. Alluded to in the space strategy too.


  • Messaging important. Needs to be translated to businesses and other sectors.

  • Look at how to join the dots between sectors.


  • Local level messaging across the region and between organisations is important.


  • Digihealth innovation hub being created. Designed to bring greatest minds together linking into universities.

  • UEA and UoS to be key partners.

  • Must give visibility to the nation.


  • Ref commercialisation. Ultimate purpose to increase GVA and add value to the region.

  • Catapults accelerate research. Opportunity to get more value out of Catapults.

    Innovate UK

  • Pushing companies towards the Catapults is important.

  • Think about Cambridge and how to leverage it. They have great relationships with NRP, Haverhill and Universities.

  • Innovation is a contact support, more business on site.

  • Get more people together, micro events/online events.


  • Think about the audience, there are different messages for Politicians, Entrepreneurs, Academics etc.


Board Member Updates:


  • Some small businesses struggling with cash flow

  • Rise in cost of raw materials hitting hard.

  • Working with them to develop repayment plans.

  • Overall good picture but tough for small companies.

  • Demand for incubator facilities high.

  • Hethel phase 4 – challenge securing match funding.

  • Working on FEP and the developments.


  • High profile new businesses joined OrbisEnergy – “Wood” within a modest sized office and Deutsche Windtechnik

  • Two new starts in June. One obtained from SNS Conference.

  • Footfall improving.

  • Connected Innovation event 5th July – offshore wind v digital. Working with OWCF. Half day event focuses on ORE Catapults Offshore Wind Road Maps.

  • Imogen Stevenson joining ORE Catapult in August as Andy Holyland replacement.


  • Build side, seeing 150 companies’ part of the ecosystem. Some businesses have bought each other out hence the drop in numbers.

  • Building Digi-health innovation hub, launches in July.

  • Technology day 21st June – setting up expo for companies connecting to research.

  • Suffolk show attended. Best stand won representing education.

  • New and revitalised approach to Tommy Flower’s Network – more challenge-orientated scenario with post graduate students.

  • 5 October – will be aiming to launch Digital Industries Innovation Hub and tying together a Robotics Festival at Adastral Park.

  • Space Enterprise Lab opportunity at Adastral Park. Working with the LEP and the Catapult.


  • Cassius Programme looks at assisted technology for +18-year-olds. Nominated for a public sector award.


  • Plugging Innovation Grant Mentoring Programme, funding ends soon.


  • Working with GYBC to set up a university centre working with East Coast College.

  • Centre ready for September 2023, courses – nursing, technology, and art.

  • Working with James Paget hospital with special nursing programmes.

  • 400-500 learners for the centre, Degree courses.

  • Ipswich set up first mock court room.

  • Launched legal advice centre, had number of referrals.


  • Launched Enterprise Strategy 11th May.

  • Looked at pipeline of funding, included investment representatives and mentors.

  • 6 companies went through hot house bootcamp, waiting on results.

  • Delegation from Dubai hosted (with LEP)

  • Series of events to be run, BBQ 250 people this week for the researchers and people on site.


  • Studio East Research and Feasibility Project – research report to come in next week.

  • Strong appetite for this region around creative technology solutions.

  • Finished a collaborative project with a company in the region – academics and students have been involved. Will share more details next time. It looks at a model for low budget production.


OrbisEnergy re New Anglia MOU signed with US Viginia, covers digital and agri-food too. Worth exploring this MOU further.


Business Support and Innovation Structure

How can we leverage the support that is being offered; have a growth hub in contact with SMEs every day of the week. Need to look at how we bridge the gap between the services and the business community.

Look at how we use/deploy growth hub advisors, communication across hubs etc.


  • Start with the need, then look at the menu of options and help pick out the right programmes to support.

  • Target audience, what are their needs and how can we target them to help meet the need.

  • Identify priorities, gaps etc.

  • Catapults take the research/research challenge and push it out as an innovation challenge to industry.

    Look to align funding and support around it to help identify the market opportunity.


  • Often confusion around business support programmes which are short term. Short term landscape of government funds not always helpful and difficult to plan.

  • Do not have clarity on public policy or economic landscape as changeable at times.

    Innovate UK

  • Role of KTN and Innovate UK Edge – strengthen relationship with the family.

  • Growth hub and Edge has a good relationship.

  • Edge is taking part in all events under CI programme.

  • Next regional event 7th December, hybrid, at the Cambridge Arc, brings Edge and businesses together.



Grow on Space

  • Paper circulated by Scott (shared to the Innovation Board previously)

  • Looking for those who might want to be on the task and finish group for the workshop to deep dive into this topic. And/or those who would help with the format of the workshop.

  • Email Innovation Board and others which might want to contribute with specific ask/as well as Inward Investment/Enterprise Zone team who might want to dovetail into.

  • OrbisEnergy not in a position to build a new premises, but does have strong relations

    with district councils. Link them together for potential grow on space. Look at how it fits in with their work.

  • Innovate UK – many businesses want to stay part of the ecosystem, a satellite unit still connected would be of benefit to those organisations.

  • Cambridge has a lack of space/lab space. Might be an opportunity.

  • Bidwells are all over Cambridge Arc events – do we need to get those sorts of organisations interested.

  • Discussed the BT Robotics Event being one of the Innovation Hub Pilots as part of the Connected

  • Innovation Project / Funding allocation. The board raised no objections to this. Scott to share the event details with the Board.


  • Commissioned to help pull together a plan for the space sector (led by the LEP).

  • Draft plan is still being finalised – view to launch in the autumn.

  • Leading the country in the use of space data in agri/offshore/marine. People are unaware of this.

  • Trying to give tools as to how we can leverage it and speak to the wider country about what is happening.

  • Broadly, clear a lot is happening and is not shouted about.

  • Broken down into an overview, aimed to N&S and outside.

  • Cassius Service is the type of application that can make use of the space sector.

  • UKSA keen on a presence in the area.

  • Hethel innovation – a company has components that are sitting on the planet mars.

  • Monthly rocket launches from East Anglia.

  • Citizen Science, there is an opportunity to engage with universities.

  • Draft to be shared with subgroup (space steering group) then will be shared out.


Innovate UK

  • Centre Process Innovation – could be helpful for businesses at NRP.

  • No one’s mentioned all the business networks - Tech East for example. Go to where the businesses are.

  • Business as usual



- None


  • Lisa Perkins to speak to BT teams regarding clean growth and net zero meeting.

  • Discussed the BT Robotics Event being one of the Innovation Hub Pilots as part of the Connected

  • Innovation Project / Funding allocation. Scott to share the event details with the Board.