Alan Welby has been named as the new innovation director for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
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.
He 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.
Welby 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.”
Welby 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.”