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North East Local Enterprise Partnership appoints Innovation Director

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed a highly-experienced Innovation Director.

Alan Welby will lead the LEP’s Innovation Programme, which aims to drive delivery of key programmes and stimulate investment in innovation and its ecosystem in the North East of England.

Alan joins the LEP from Liverpool John Moores University, where he was Director of Research, Innovation and Partnerships and was responsible for the delivery and management of a £25.7m annual programme of community, commercial and collaborative activity.

Alan said: “I am delighted to join the LEP as Innovation Director. I am very pleased to be working back in the North East and am looking forward to delivering results.

“I have always wanted to make a positive difference and this role will allow me to do so as innovation is so important when it comes to competing in a global economy.

“I am inheriting a lot of good work and the North East has a great track record in cutting-edge innovation.

“It is a very exciting time for innovation in the region and I am looking forward to getting started.”

Alan graduated from the University of Newcastle in 1994, with a BA (Hons) in Government and European Community Studies.

As Innovation Director, he will also play a pivotal role in helping to deliver the North East Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).

Helen Golightly, Executive Director, said: “We are determined to define the North East as an innovation hot spot in Europe – an exemplar in ‘smart specialisation’ and open innovation systems and practice.

“We are therefore thrilled to welcome someone of Alan’s calibre to the team. We are confident his skills and vast experience in the innovation field will help us achieve our goal.”

Home / Innovation Week

ENGIE North East innovation event a great success

Innovation is certainly where the conversation and the action are at.

On Wednesday 8 June 2016, as part of ENGIE’s global Innovation Week programme, the company hosted a high-profile ‘Creating the Cities of Tomorrow’ conference and exhibition at the Cobalt Business Park, looking at the future challenges facing our cities and citizens, and how innovative approaches are needed to generate sustainable solutions.

Gathering together businesses small, medium and large, local public sector organisations, academics and investors, including North Tyneside Council, North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Newcastle University, Ctrl-Shift, Arjuna and Blue Prism, the day proved to be a genuine inspiration for innovation, according to Mike Hedges, Partnership Director at the ENGIE/North Tyneside Council partnership.

Over the course of the day, respected national and international speakers held a range of workshops and masterclasses for over 150 delegates from across the region, on topics covering developing personalised services, to minimising environmental impacts.

Hans Möller, Innovation Director at the North East LEP, spoke on Innovation and a Healthy Economy and how organisations need to bring in ideas from outside the business and bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to encourage disruptive innovation. The LEP’s vision is for the North East to become one of Europe’s innovation hotspots and has earmarked £100m for innovation.

Delegates heard how innovation is rarely the result of one big thought from a single corporation or lone individual. Instead, it is usually down to collaboration among organisations, communication between different people and combinations of technologies.

Putting its money where its mission is, ENGIE is investing more than £1.5bn over the next three years to support and promote innovation. It is also investing hugely in building effective partnerships that foster the collaboration, communication and combinations, which drive successful innovation.

In the North East, ENGIE UK is a key member of the local innovation network, and is working closely with North Tyneside Council, the North East LEP, Newcastle University’s Cloud Innovation Centre, Northumbria University and Newcastle City Council, among others, on regional innovation programmes to help create a bright future for the area and its citizens.
At its conclusion, delegates confirmed that the cities of tomorrow event had already established important new relationships – that is innovation at work.

For a round-up of the day, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTuwR9nFavo

On Friday 10 June, the final day of Innovation Week 2016, Hans Möller along with Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of North Tyneside Council, supported ENGIE’s showcase event held at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in London at which Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, gave a speech on innovation in front of an audience of around 200 innovators, intrapreneurs, investors, influencers and industry representatives. Hans and Patrick shared ideas and contributed to the debate, gathering further inspiration for innovation to bring back with them to the North East.