Meet the Team

Meet our dynamic team

Meet our dynamic Innovation SuperNetwork team working across a range of projects to provide finance and support to SMEs in the North East.

Operations & Compliance

Elaine Dinsley

Head of Finance

Elaine is a qualified ACCA chartered accountant with over 25 years financial experience in a variety of public and private sector businesses, including SME, medium and large corporate.  At the SuperNetwork she is responsible for company financial accounting, strategy, planning and reporting and leads in the financial delivery of company projects and compliance.

Laura Kemp

Head of Operations

Laura works across both the Innovation SuperNetwork and the region’s tech cluster, Dynamo North East. Laura leads the Service Delivery Centre and Future of Entertainment clusters, she explores challenges in these areas and works with North East businesses to create and develop solutions.

Joy Webb

Finance Officer

Joy has a depth of experience from her varied career in finance roles and now assists the ISN Head of Finance, CEO and Directors and wider team with behind-the-scenes administration, finance processing and all round internal support of people and projects.

Kevin Collier

Business Process Officer

Kevin’s expertise lies within data integrity & accuracy, performance reporting and impact of funded projects. Kevin also holds experience in partner liaison and creation of new digital systems to improve business efficiency & efficacy.

Gill David

Business Process Officer

Gill has significant experience working in compliance, audit, evidence preparation, reporting, and evaluation. She is responsible for managing the highly regulated compliance processes associated with public funding, procurement and overseeing the collection of evidence for reporting and audit purposes across a range of projects.

Communications & Engagement

Shelley Armstrong

Head of Communications & Engagement

Shelley takes a strategic and holistic approach to engaging audiences, changing perceptions and building communities. She has a track-record of delivering often complex communications projects in the non-profit sector working with high-level stakeholders.

Jen Taylor

Events & Communications Manager

Jen leads in the strategic delivery of all events across Innovation SuperNetwork’s different programmes. With a background in marketing, communications and delivering large scale business events, Jen takes a holistic approach to engaging audiences.

Natalie Barras

Digital Marketing Officer

Natalie is a knowledgeable digital marketing specialist and works across the SuperNetwork’s full programme of activity to ensure our digital campaigns land with our audiences in an engaging and informative way.

Neil Armstrong

Graphic Designer

With a background in Art & Design, more than a decade’s experience in print and pre-press, and an art studio where he produces his own original work, Neil brings creative flair to the impactful and clear digital and printed visuals, which supports Innovation SuperNetwork’s many diverse projects and communications.


Graeme Miller

Head of Innovation

With over 20 years’ experience delivering and leading teams to deliver intensive business growth support, he has worked across all five regional universities, the public and private sectors and a role with the North East Satellite Application Centre. Graeme has significant strength of knowledge across the regional innovation landscape and leads our Innovation Support team working across the region’s key clusters.

Sarah Cox

Innovation Challenge Programme Lead

Sarah is a passionate Open Innovation specialist with  a breadth of knowledge in the development of successful innovation programmes and interventions across a range of sectors. She leads the delivery of Challenge North Tyne and her work combines best practice from design-led innovation, agile project management, lean start-up and systems thinking.

Charlotte Hope

Innovation Manager

Wayne Bryant

Digital Cluster Programme Manager

With specialisms in innovation, intellectual property & technology transfer, Wayne works with North of Tyne-based businesses to support their adoption of, and work to develop, innovative tech solutions. He delivers across both the Digital Cluster Development project and the North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant.

Katrina Appleyard

Innovation Manager

As a business strategist who specialises in sustainability, Katrina works with leaders and senior teams to integrate environmental and social impact goals into their overall business strategy. At the SuperNetwork, Katrina spends time with growing and emerging digital businesses to help them embed good environmental and sustainable practice into their business models.  

Angela Lynch

Innovation Manager

An expert in design-thinking, Angela supports innovating businesses to connect, collaborate and tap into new market opportunities as part of the Digital Cluster Development project. 

Lynda Sale

Innovation Manager

Lynda has a background in the creative industries and brings with her expertise in brand and marketing to support innovating businesses as part of the Digital Cluster Development Project.

Innovation Finance

Michelle Hambleton

Ecosystems Programme Manager

Michelle has a wealth of experience in business support, delivering publicly funded projects and helping hundreds of startup and scaleup companies to launch products and services over the last 15 years.  

Charlotte Scott

Senior Investor Relations Manager

Drawing upon her experience in debt finance, venture capital, and angel investment, Charlotte combines her financial sector knowledge with hands-on business experience working within start-ups to support businesses on their funding strategy. Charlotte connects entrepreneurs seeking funding with the investment ecosystem across the North and cultivates relationships with our angel investor network, the Northern Angel Hub.

Andrew Hodgson

Senior Innovation Manager

Andrew is an award-winning Product Designer specialising in sustainable, ethical and human-centred products. As Founder and CEO of iF.Vehicles, Andrew brings his experience as an entrepreneur to support other fledging companies through the Innovation SuperNetwork support portfolio, including in the energy sector and with Access to Finance.  

Parveer Pannu

Innovation Manager

Parveer works on our Digital Cluster Development project, providing specialist support to North of Tyne-based businesses seeking investment and funding for digital and tech innovation projects.

Karl Murray

Innovation Manager

With experience supporting some of the region’s most innovative companies and running their own tech startups, Karl works in the Access to Finance team, helping entrepreneurs with investor readiness and bridging the gap between companies and investment.

Innovation SuperNetwork is the innovation arm of UMi, and provides specialist advice and support to enable businesses to do more and go further. We are led by the UMi Board of Directors:

  • Nicki Clark: CEO of UMi & Innovation SuperNetwork
  • Simon Goon: Chief Technology & Investment Officer
  • Suzanne McCreedy: Chief Commercial Officer

Innovation SuperNetwork exists to enable inclusive and sustainable economic growth that transforms and increases opportunities and prosperity for businesses & people. We bring together the innovation ecosystem, working with more than 100 organisations to enable innovation and economic growth through world-class connections.

UMi helps business go further through their own services but also working with partners in the public and private sector.  Partners like governments, charities, corporates, trade bodies, universities and many others. As an employee-owned mid-sized business UMi has a unique blend of rigour and robustness with entrepreneurial flair and creativity.  And not only that they are amongst some of the world’s leading organisations promoting and practising responsible business ethics and standards.  


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