Meet the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor Delivery Board
4th October 2020
Meet the team behind the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor.
The Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor team consists of leading figures from the public and private sectors, with a wealth of experience covering a wide variety of industries.
The delivery board works with the Tech Corridor operations team to develop the strategy for the corridor. With representatives from the private and public sectors, they have a wealth of experience drawn from different industry sectors and geographical regions.
The delivery board
Chair of the Delivery Board
Chris is a disruptor with over 25 years’ experience within digital start-ups and consulting. He was appointed Chief Executive of the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce in June 2017. His primary focus, to set in place a modernisation program based around culture, purpose and digital transformation, mindful of course that any change should respect the credibility of an organisation that has been trading for over 125 years.
Chris worked in the 1990s helping shape Norwich Union Insurance’s journey to deal ‘Direct’ rather than via brokers before leaving to set up and launch its4me plc, one of the UK’s most successful online car insurance brokers and a major Norwich employer. Chris also created House Revolution – one of the UK’s first fully online estate agencies, alongside running his own business consultancy practice which has helped many organisations of all sizes across the UK successfully create or deal with digital transformation
Private sector representatives
Managing director of SmithsonHill, a partnership working to create an innovative Agri-tech ‘Future Farming’ facility in South Cambridgeshire, Emma brings her considerable experience to the delivery board, which provides overall strategic direction for the Tech Corridor, as well as helping to shape the initiative’s programmes and providing input on investment plans for the region.
A graduate of the University of Cambridge in Land Economy and a Rural Surveyor by trade, Emma has over 20 years’ experience in property development, including project manager at Hill Group and property director at Marshall Group Properties. Emma is a council member of the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry. She is Chair of Swaffham Prior Community Land Trust, who having delivered homes for the village are now working to set up the first village wide sustainable heating system in the country.
Currently Bidwells’ head of planning, Mike has 30 years’ direct experience in the planning field, split equally between the public and private sector. He has been with the property firm since 2013, and sits on its main board as well as being part of the development group at Cambridge Ahead, the membership organisation representing businesses and academic organisations in the Greater Cambridge area. Mike is heavily involved in the CaMKoX Arc initiative linking Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford, and attended the Government’s presentation on the arc at MIPIM in March 2018. He regularly speaks at conferences on this topic.
Mike served as head of planning and conservation at Broadland District Council between 2002 and 2004, and this experience provides an ideal and complimentary background for his involvement in the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor.
Helen Lewis is director of the Research and Innovation Division at UEA. She has 18 years management experience in higher education including roles as director of administration in the Faculty of Medicine at UEA and a Change Management Consultant at St George’s, University of London. Previous positions have been held at the American Institute for Foreign Study and the training and development division of the National YMCA. Helen is member of the CBI’s East of England Council, the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce board and New Anglia LEP innovation board and has previously held positions on the boards of AURIL, Cinema City, UEA’s vouncil and the board of governors of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust.
Nick is an investment manager at specialist SME investor Foresight, with responsibility for the £100m Foresight East of England Fund.
Since joining Foresight in 2018, Nick has worked on transaction in business services, healthcare, technology and aerospace. He sits on the boards of Oxford Space Systems, Biotherapy Services and Flusso
Prior to joining Foresight, whilst completing his MBA, Nick worked at Duke Street where he focussed on retail and consumer buyouts, and FPE Capital, where he worked on a number of TMT and business services transactions. He also worked as a consultant in the financial services industry for five years, working on projects across strategy and regulation.
Public sector representatives
Julie Baird, director for growth, West Suffolk Council
Trevor Holden, managing director, Broadland and South Norfolk Councils
Graham Hughes, service director, highways and transport, Cambridgeshire County Council
Graham Nelson, director of place, Norwich City Council
Chris Starkie, chief executive, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership