New Anglia Innovation Board
Monday 11th December 2023 14:00-16:00
MS Teams
Welcome from the Chair Introductions, Apologies & Minutes
- Approved the previous Minutes from the 14th September Innovation Board meeting.
- Action: Lisa Perkins happy to provide an update on Adastral Park vision at Q1 meeting 2024 (Action
was to update at this meeting).
Innovate UK New Anglia Local Action Plan
Johnathan Reynolds, Chair:
The feedback from the launch event last week at Adastral Park has been overwhelmingly positive.
Johnathan Reynolds (Chair)
Julian Munson
James Allen
Scott Cogman
Ian Pease
David Taitt
Julie Schofield
Prof. Darryl Newport
Lisa Perkins
Howard Partridge
Peter Brady
Laura Hill
Nicolette Jeffreys
Gary Jennings
Tim Green
Nick Goodwin
Steven Wilson
Sarah Steed
Prof. Mohammad Dastbaz
Jon Rees
Jai Raithatha
Chris Starkie
Rob Hancock
Board Member
Head of Enterprise Zones and Innovation
Innovation & Sectors Manager
Innovation Hubs Coordinator
Business Development Manager
Head of Business Partnerships
Professor Energy & Sustainable
Adastral Park & Research Realisation
Regional Manager
Chief Executive Officer
Innovation Mentoring Project Manager
Clean Growth Manager
Innovation Director
Chief Operating Officer
Head of Innovation and Business
Director of Innovation and Engagement
Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Principal Oceanographer
Head of Economic Development
Asst. Director
New Anglia LEP
New Anglia LEP
New Anglia LEP
New Anglia LEP
Hethel Innovation
University of East Anglia
University of Suffolk
Innovate UK
Innovation Labs
Norfolk County Council
New Anglia LEP
Oxford Innovation
Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP
Freeport East
Norwich University of the Arts
University of Suffolk
Suffolk County Council
Norfolk County Council
Suffolk County Council
Praised both the teams at BT and Innovate UK for their support in delivering the event.
Howard Partridge, Innovate UK (slides are shared):
Echoed thanks to James and Julian for their hard work at New Anglia LEP and the New Anglia
Innovation Board for their input in previous meetings which helped to shape the plan.
We have the Local Action Plan here and the launch event went well. It was good to get the CEO of
Innovate UK across to showcase why this region in so special.
The Action Plan itself strengthens strategic partnerships; provides targeted innovation support; and
engages and inspires innovation. We now need to maintain our collaborative ways of working to
deliver this.
Innovate UK Innovation Hub can be found here -
Julian Munson, New Anglia LEP:
Feedback from Innovation Board was incredibly helpful in driving the Action Plan. Thanked Innovate UK
team and team at the LEP.
Monitoring and Delivery of Action Plan
Lisa Perkins, BT:
The quicker we can get to specific deliverables and outcomes, the better. When we are at ‘what looks
good’ for delivery is the best outcome.
Howard Partridge, Innovate UK:
One of the commitments is to work up a dashboard and monitor progress against the action plan. Can
be thinking about a December 2024 event focused on ‘what have we achieved in the last year’.
Johnathan Reynolds, Chair:
Potential to hold a parliamentary reception to showcase the incredible work here with regional MPs.
We should be using them to influence to put the region in front of key opportunities such as the
comprehensive spending review.
Really pleased that both leaders of County Councils attended the event with senior teams.
Exploring with Innovate UK how we can further cement Innovate UK’s relationship with the Innovation
Upcoming Innovate UK opportunities:
Howard Partridge, Innovate UK:
Agri-Tech Launchpad. Round 1 offered share of £2m grant funding MFA (£25k-£100k) and CR&D
James Allen set out that there are some fantastic bids that have been developed across the region,
with exciting agri-tech companies bidding for MFA and collaborative bids with the research institutes
on Norwich Research Park, University of East Anglia, University of Suffolk and across the wider
geography for the Launchpad.
Nick Goodwin, Norwich Research Park:
Fantastic opportunity for UEA and research institutes. Would welcome more notice for future rounds.
Where the Innovation team sits within the LEP transition
Johnathan Reynolds, Chair:
Planning New Year workshop sessions with senior team, board members and council leaders.
We as a board are keen to see the initiatives continue region wide as it currently does.
Both the New Anglia Innovation Board and Connected Innovation will be delivered on a two-county
delivery model with employees sitting in either council like the Inward Investment team has done.
Keen for the ‘wiring’ to be hidden so that it is clear to businesses how to access support and the
region’s networks.
The County Councils have made it clear how well regarded the Innovation Board is and how influential
it has been and can continue to be in supporting the innovation ecosystem and important strategies for
the region.
Funding for Connected Innovation continues to the end of March 2025 regardless of the transition.
Keen to ensure that the profile achieved by the New Anglia LEP is continued post transition.
Have had a great success in securing senior IUK / UKRI visits to the region this year.
Both councils appear to recognise the value in cross county delivery and the success that this has
Creative East and Launchpad programmes will continue across both counties.
Keen to deliver on the strategies and ambitions outlined in the Action Plan.
Focus is on the team / staffing first where will they sit and work from logistically.
How can we create a ‘virtual’ team in these arrangements.
Lisa Perkins, BT:
Fragmentation does concern. Keen not to lose the momentum and the progress made through the
Innovation Board and Connected Innovation. What mitigations have been put in place to avoid risks
around fragmentation and are the Councils on board with a shared vision for innovation? Needs to be
on a risk register clearly somewhere and monitored, so that if we are not seeing the impact that we
have been used to seeing we can take action.
Howard Partridge, Innovate UK:
The Innovation Board is a very effective forum.
The board has paved the way for the Innovate UK Action Plan and has set out the regional innovation
Innovate UK is strongly encouraging other areas of the UK to do what is being done here to drive the
innovation agenda in places.
Johnathan Reynolds, Chair:
Agreed that it is absolutely essential we do not go backwards, and that the only way can be forwards. It
is important that the innovation team continues to operate as a virtual team to avoid the risks of
Ian Pease, Orbis Energy & SCC:
Utilise the Connected Innovation network as a hot desk location for the CI team OrbisEnergy keen to
support this and would hope other members would as well.
Freeport East Innovation Priorities
Steven Wilson, Freeport East (slides shared):
Continuing to pitch Freeport as green energy hub focused on offshore wind, hydrogen production and
zero emission fuels.
Talked through partnership behind the Freeport.
Funded by DLUHC areas of significant deprivation in 45km radius, so need to ensure innovation
supports levelling up.
Captures Adastral Park, Innovation Labs, Knowledge Gateway in Colchester and Gateway 14.
Focusing on 4 key areas to drive ambition as most innovation-driven UK Freeport:
o Increase public and private sector innovation spending in Freeport.
Have been bidding into freight innovation fund and various hydrogen bids. Partner in
clean maritime research partnership.
Will allocate some of their own funds to support businesses to innovate. £800k
innovation and skills fund / clean energy fund.
Leveraging access to gov’t innovation networks – working with IUK EDGE (one company
lined up for GBIP), supporting ORE Catapult’s Launch Academy, links with Connected
Places Catapult and connected with KTN. Investor relationships e.g., ACG and
o Use Innovation as an anchor for attracting new investment to Freeport East
Showcasing opportunities in new sectors such as green hydrogen, digital and clean
Seeing healthy pipeline for G14.
Aiming to build new dedicated Freeport East innovation cluster as a core offer to
support existing key sectors and retain new investments.
o Strengthening the physical and virtual places and connections that aid innovation thinking and
activity (particularly areas less well served currently)
Freeport East aiming to deliver new innovation centres at G14 and in Harwich. Business
case approved by BMSDC’s Cabinet for G14 Skills Innovation Centre.
Vital node of connected innovation network.
o Work to facilitate the deployment of innovations across our region to drive productivity and
tackle local social and economic disparities.
Looking to explore how new innovations in mobility, clean energy, healthcare and
education can be connected into local service delivery.
Hydrogen offtake and green hydrogen hub reports published.
28 February 2024 event with connected places catapult and Clacton coastal academy.
o Still await endorsement from DBT to formally use the Freeport proposition pitchbook on
Freeport East. Strong links into Japan, China, Korea, Turkey, US, etc.
Lisa Perkins, BT:
How can we at BT get more involved with the Freeport East innovation initiatives and find out more
about what is happening.
Steven Wilson, Freeport East:
This is being followed up and processed internally regarding being an innovation volunteer and more
information will be shared on this.
Have used the BT site DigiTech and Innovation Martlesham to work from and host events.
Been involved with partners from both on regional bids too.
Happy to pick up this conversation on an individual basis.
Events planned in Ipswich, Felixstowe and Colchester in the coming months and will circulate with the
Peter Brady, Orbital Media:
Approval for G14 Innovation and Skills Centre is significant in the region.
Very important for the local area in terms of innovation and skills and plugging a gap in the market in
the area.
Will hopefully help to supercharge the existing networks in the region too.
Generative AI bid has been successful nationally and this could be landed at the Skills and Innovation
Centre as a regional centre of excellence for AI.
Member Updates
David Taitt, Hethel Innovation
Not much change since the last meeting.
Occupancy is high and growing at the BFIC.
Chris Starkie has joined the HIL board.
Chief Executive of Hethel Innovation to be appointed soon to replace Alice Reeve.
Phase 4 development remains the focus at Hethel Engineering Centre.
Keeping an eye on the County deal as to how this may pave the way for this.
Gary Jennings, Oxford Innovation:
Occupancy has increased and stabilised.
UKSPA meeting held at the EpiCentre and CBI regional meeting too.
Discuss with tenants around their carbon footprint and doing business.
Carbon literacy trained Gary.
See how this can support businesses and give them a competitive edge.
How can this be applied to the wider CI network.
Ian Pease, OrbisEnergy, & SCC
The ORE Catapult Launch Academy graduation event will be held at the Hold in Ipswich on 10th January.
ORE discussion about future developments across the three counties.
What has worked well and what can be improved in 2024.
East Wind Cluster event in October 120 industry professionals attended and the next event is at
Hethel on the 13th February. Cross sector theme to the event:
15-year celebration of Orbis Energy in November.
East Suffolk Council have just started work on the Nexus development and could provide some grow on
space for businesses and build on clean energy cluster.
Will make up the next stage of the Powerpark. Should be up and running in 12-18 months.
Generate stand at Amsterdam Energy event supported by Robert Edge from Freeport East.
Julie Schofield, UEA:
Launching 2030 strategy in January 2024.
Partners on Global Agritech programme with Lincoln and Cambridge regions / universities.
Will see more visibility on this in the coming months.
Supporting a number of businesses through the Agri-Tech and Food Tech Launchpad competitions.
Keen to know when the next round of this will be launched so they can prime their support for this.
Joint hosted the last Norwich Research Park Enterprise Tuesday event Hothouse event pitching
their innovations to judges and a packed audience.
Sync the City hosted at the end of November 47 pitches and the highest number of participants.
Laura Hill, Norfolk County Council:
The Innovation Grant Mentoring Project is working across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Supporting a number of businesses with bids into the recent Agri-Tech Launchpad competitions.
Working with a number of businesses in preparation for the next round in 2024.
95 businesses registered for webinar with 40 attending really successful and will build upon this with
additional workshops in January / February time.
Will share links when they are available.
Lisa Perkins, BT:
Innovate UK conversations off the back of the Action Plan.
Specific to Adastral Park but will feed into the regional piece.
Space Cluster picking up pace and an announcement should be shared before Christmas around this.
Skills continuing to host events at Adastral Park and engagement into schools. Focusing on AI and
demonstrating the showcases.
British Science Week focus on big event around this in March.
Will be a sustainability element involved in this as well.
Next year’s festival will be Secure Tomorrow security around digital networks and infrastructure
theme. Build on the Sustainability Festival.
Greentech Innovation Centre conversations happening off the back of that event.
Will present on more at a future board meeting.
Idea for a Security Innovation Centre too.
Peter Brady, Orbital Media:
Several initiatives they are involved in cannot announce yet.
New locations being looked at with the Innovation Labs team hopefully should be announced in the
New Year.
Working with the DWP to inspire and support and mentor jobseekers.
Launching across East Anglia and seeing great results.
Keen to leverage our AI expertise in the region and build on recent bid successes.
Tim Green, Cefas:
Prospect of some challenging times on the horizon with changing government landscape.
Seeing lots of opportunities and regional collaboration with the universities.
Research vessel renewal business case being put together.
Looking to get into government to secure support 9-year window.
Secure long term scientific research.
Connected Innovation Network Update:
Connected Innovation was firmly mapped out in the local action plan with Innovate UK, so a golden
opportunity to maintain momentum building on its engagement with EDGE, KTN, Catapult Network,
There have been a number of communications and branding updates:
o The new website which signposts to all key funding opportunities, innovation support available
and key events.
o New branding for the Connected Innovation Programme which includes the new video on the
website, the innovation prospectus presented at the CI Conference in March and banners for
o We are in the process of developing a newsletter which will capture all of the fantastic things
happening across the CI network, our key clusters in the region and monitor against the Local
Action Plan.
Since the last Innovation Board, we have supported the Norwich AI Summit; the Agri-TechE REAP
Conference and the Local Action Plan launch.
Supporting local events too such as the KLIC and Connect event in King’s Lynn this week with
innovation and business support on offer for businesses.
We have covered off the huge amount of exciting conversations around the agri-tech launchpad that
the team secured, and we will cover the creative cluster activity later.
It is worth us mentioning that a proposal went into Barclays Ecosystem Partnership Programme to
support our tech sector working closely with Akcela, Innovation Labs Group, Norfolk and Suffolk County
Presenting on Connected innovation at the ORE Catapult Launch Academy graduation event.
Supporting the Games Cluster, with funding to University of Suffolk to work with the Creative East
team, Norwich University of the Arts, Game Anglia, UKIE, etc. to map our gaming cluster and the needs
of the sector / opportunities moving forward. Great to see UoS also getting TIGA accreditation, in
addition to NUA.
Katie is supporting the Fintech Futures work funded by the Norfolk Investment Framework, with a
report and Aviva hackathon in the pipeline.
Slush Conference:
The team attended Slush Conference in Helsinki earlier this month on behalf of NSU this was a great
opportunity for us to meet with companies and innovation ecosystem players across Europe covering
agri-tech, cleantech, gaming, etc.
New Anglia LEP Innovation Updates:
Julian Munson, New Anglia LEP:
Space East:
Julian still chairing the steering group but work being led by Stuart Catchpole and doing a fantastic job
in growing the cluster.
Supporting regional and national bids awaiting announcements on all of these.
Working closely with Adastral Park on another regional initiative.
Stuart and Julian went to Belfast to the UK Space Conference to connect with other regional clusters
across the UK.
Space Enterprise Lab being launched next month at BT. First facility in the East of England. Funded by
East Suffolk Council, Suffolk County Council and the LEP and hosted at BT.
James Allen, New Anglia LEP:
Create Growth / Creative East:
DCMS doubled the size of Create Growth regions from six to twelve.
New Anglia LEP secured funding from DCMS to deliver a local scale-up and investment readiness
programme (Creative East) across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Additionally, this
secures locked-off innovation funding from Innovate UK for the Create Growth regions.
Creative East is being delivered by the team at the UEA.
The second cohort completes this week in Ipswich, following the completion of the first cohort earlier
in the year (which had a Norwich focus).
The next two cohorts will be hosted in Cambridge and Peterborough in 2024 but open to creative
industries businesses from across our create growth region.
Feedback from businesses has been really positive.
In terms of the locked-off innovation funding secured through the programme:
o CGP Competition 1 (£10,000-£30,000 grants): this closed some time ago and projects are well
on their way, due for completion soon.
o CGP Competition 2 is currently open until the new year, and this is focused on investor
partnerships for creative industries businesses. Innovate UK is looking to match fund
investment secured by investors as part of the proposal.
o CGP Competition 3 should be live towards the end of March 2024 and is likely to be a similar
format to Competition 1 with grant funding, but at a higher level (c.£70,000).
Similar to the Agri-Tech Launchpad, the Connected Innovation team have been promoting the
opportunities to companies presented by the free bid writing and grant mentoring support on offer
through the Innovation Grant Mentoring Project. These referrals led to some successes with Round 1
and we hope that continues!
Nicolette Jeffreys, New Anglia LEP:
LEP Clean growth Event - Agri-food industrial decarbonisation with an innovation showcase 21 Feb
2024. Link -
Peter Brady, Orbital Media and Innovation Labs Group:
Thanks to the Connected Innovation team for all of their support and hard work this year.
Johnathan Reynolds, Chair:
Next meeting likely to be in mid to late February 2024.