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Supercharging Innovation Podcast

Series Introduction

Welcome to the Supercharging Innovation Podcast!

In this podcast, we are putting UK innovation under the spotlight and exploring the role of Government, businesses, the research community, private investors, and other innovative organisations in strengthening the economy through collaboration.

Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult and former Chair of the Catapult Network, talks with some of the UK’s top parliamentarians, industrial and academic leaders to get their views on innovation. Subscribe now.

Series Highlights

Hear some highlights from the podcast season!

The future of innovation
with Indro Mukerjee

Innovation is all about the future, but how will it influence and support future societies and economies as we work towards a fairer and more inclusive United Kingdom? Join Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult as he speaks with Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK, about his mission to inspire, involve and invest – building skills and driving diversity to help create real progress out of great ideas and using innovation to build a brighter future for everyone – both here in the UK and across the globe. Indro is a highly experienced technology CEO and business leader with a track record of leading innovation and technology commercialisation in businesses of all sizes across the world.

Episode 1:
Maximising the UK’s innovation potential
with Lord Robert Mair

Listen to Lord Robert Mair’s views on the role of innovation for UK economic recovery, investors & technology, levelling up, the skills agenda and equality, diversity and inclusion. Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at Cambridge University, and Member of the House of Lords, Lord Mair has an accomplished civil engineering career, specialising in underground construction and experience of leading numerous projects in the UK and worldwide. As a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, he recently took part in their inquiry into how Catapults can better contribute to delivering the UK’S R&D roadmap.

Episode 2:
Growing regional innovation ecosystems
with Juergen Maier

Listen to Juergen Maier’s views on scaling frontier industries, growing regional innovation ecosystems and how Catapults can support the levelling up agenda. Juergen is Chair of the Digital Catapult and is the co-Chair, with BEIS Business Secretary of State, of the Made Smarter Commission and Deputy Chair of the Northern Powerhouse. He is the former Chief Executive of Siemens UK, an honorary professor of Engineering at the University of Manchester and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2017 he was asked by the Government to lead a review into how to increase the digitalization of the UK manufacturing sector and was awarded a CBE in 2019.

Episode 3:
Driving collaboration between research and industry
with Baroness Brown

Listen to Professor Dame Julia King (Baroness Brown of Cambridge) DBE, FRS, FREng, share her views on the importance of blue skies research, driving innovation through collaboration between research and industry, and the opportunity COP26 presents for showcasing UK technology developments in green growth. Baroness Brown is Chair of the Carbon Trust and a Non-Executive Director of Ørsted. She was Vice Chair of the Climate Change Committee from 2008 to 2021 and continues to chair the CCC Adaptation Committee. Baroness Brown has just stepped down as a Non-Executive Director of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. She also served as a Non-Executive Director of the Green Investment Bank, supporting the development of the UK offshore wind industry. She is an engineer by training, with a career spanning academia and industry including senior business and engineering posts at Rolls-Royce and decade spent as the Vice-Chancellor of Aston University.

Episode 4:
The challenges of growing a business
with Maya Pindeus

Listen to Maya Pindeus share her views on the future of Artificial Intelligence technologies and the challenges of growing a business. Maya is a human experience designer, architect and engineer with a deep passion for Human Machine interactions. Working at the intersection of engineering, robotics and user experience, her work has been widely recognised across the industry with multiple awards and publications in Forbes, Fastcompany, the European Commission Starts Prize and others,  as well as top rankings as leading Female Founder in the AI and technology industries. Maya holds degrees from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art and has been leading commercial strategy and user experience at a number of companies before ultimately starting Humanising Autonomy to focus on her passion for creating an ethical world in which automated systems are designed around human beings, and not the other way around. As CEO, she leads Humanising Autonomy’s company strategy and oversees a world class team of commercial, technical and product talent.

Episode 5:
Creating a more connected UK research and innovation ecosystem with Ottoline Leyser

Listen to Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser share her views on research culture, the future of UK innovation and the role of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) within it. Ottoline is the Chief Executive of UKRI and Regius Professor of Botany at the University of Cambridge. Prior to this Ottoline was Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, which combines computational modelling with molecular genetics and cell biology in the control of plant growth and development. She served as Chair of the Royal Society’s Science Policy Expert Advisory Committee, Chair of the Management Committee of the University of Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy, and as a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology. In 2017 Ottoline was appointed DBE for her services to plant science, science in society and equality and diversity in science.

Episode 6:
Establishing an innovative startup to tackle online malicious content with Sasha Haco

Listen to Sasha Haco tell the story of her entrepreneurial journey, from studying for her PhD at Cambridge University to launching a business that is innovating in the application of Artificial Intelligence technologies. Sasha is co-founder and CEO of Unitary.AI, a content moderation start-up that is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect harmful videos on the internet. Sasha was listed by Beauhurst as one of the UK’s top female entrepreneurs under 30. Prior to founding Unitary, Sasha gained her PhD at Cambridge University where she had the privilege of working with Stephen Hawking to understand the mysteries behind black holes.

Episode 7:
Technology as a crucial national asset
with Lord David Willetts

Listen to Lord David Willetts’ views on how the UK innovation landscape is evolving and how the Government’s Innovation Strategy will facilitate technology development and support levelling up. Lord Willetts is the President of the Resolution Foundation. He is also a visiting Professor at King’s College London, a Board member of UKRI, as well as being on the board at Surrey Satellites and the Biotech Growth Trust. He served as the MP for Havant from 1992-2015, and as Minister for Universities and Science from 2010 to 2014, when Catapults were introduced.

Episode 8:
Championing UK innovation on the world stage
with Chi Onwurah MP

Listen to Chi Onwurah MP’s views on the impact of technology in the UK and the roles of the key players in driving innovation for sectoral and geographical development. Chi is the Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central and Shadow Minister for Digital, Science and Technology.  Chi works closely with the science and business community on issues including industrial strategy, digital inclusion, online safety and others. Prior to becoming an MP, Chi had a successful career working in the global telecoms sector as an electrical engineer in hardware and software development, product management, market development and strategy.


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