Profile | Introducing Lorraine Acheson, Innovate UK Manager for Northern Ireland
Lorraine Acheson has recently been appointed as Innovate UK Manager for Northern Ireland.
Lorraine is based in the Invest Northern Ireland Bedford Street office and will work closely with the Innovation, Research and Development team. In this feature Lorraine introduces Innovate UK and the opportunities available for Northern Ireland businesses.
Innovate UK is tasked with identifying and driving the science and technology innovations which will grow the UK economy.
Innovate UK is the UK’s Innovation Agency, tasked with identifying and driving the science and technology innovations which will grow the UK economy. It is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Innovate UK will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, and over the last decade it has invested over £2.2bn in more than 11,000 projects involving over 8000 organisations across the UK. It does this primarily through competitive grants across its four key sectors: health and life sciences (including agri-food), manufacturing and materials, infrastructure systems and emerging and enabling technologies (including cyber, space and digital, as well as other areas).
Innovate UK runs core competitions every six months for each of these sectors, as well as for its Open Programme, which is cross-Sector. In addition, it runs a range of other funding competitions with Government partners, for example through SBRI and the Newton Fund. In Northern Ireland, £4m was invested in local companies by Innovate UK in 2016/17, with companies including: BrainWaveBank, Senergy, AppAttic, Smart-ventilation Moy Park, Seagate and Randox.
My role is cross-sector and involves promoting Innovate UK across the region and equally understanding regional capabilities and clusters and promoting these within Innovate UK centrally. I work closely with Invest Northern Ireland and on starting my role I was struck by the breadth of support and funding on offer to Northern Irish businesses across the business eco system, particularly around innovation, research and development.
I work closely with Invest Northern Ireland and on starting my role I was struck by the breadth of support and funding on offer to Northern Irish businesses across the business eco system.- Lorraine Acheson, Innovate UK Manager for Northern Ireland
Innovate UK forms part of this landscape and I’m delighted to be working alongside local partners to encourage business engagement in innovation, research and development, and ultimately grow the UK economy.