The team

  • Kirsten Cater - Academic Director

    Kirsten specialises in Human Computer Interaction and Tangible User Interfaces. She has designed and researched innovative technological products and software services for a range of users from school children to elderly residents in care homes, and with a range of clients from SMEs to large companies such as UKHO, BBC, HP and IBM. Kirsten is also the co-director of the Pervasive Media Studio, a collaboration between the University of Bristol, University of West of England and Watershed, which hosts a brilliant community of artists, creative companies, start-ups, technologists and academics exploring experience design and creative technologies.

  • Dave Jarman - Postgraduate Director (Taught Master's Programme)

    Dave is Postgraduate Director of the one year taught Master's Programme at the Centre and Bristol Futures Theme Lead for Innovation and Enterprise across the wider University. Dave is also a freelance Innovation Consultant, a social innovation charity trustee, an expert adviser to the National Union of Students on enterprise and employability, an independent town councillor, and the former Chairman and Director of Enterprise Educators UK, of whom he is an honorary fellow. Dave is a former University Head of Enterprise & Employability and former Head of Enterprise Education at the University of Bristol. Dave’s interest and expertise lies in early-stage start-ups, creative processes, and intrapreneurship.

    View Dave's website

  • Antony Beckett - Undergraduate Director

    Antony is currently the Undergraduate Programme Director at the Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol and was closely involved in its creation. He has worked at several UK Universities and his current area of focus in both teaching and research is innovation. He has consulted with several large UK and international companies and organisations including Avia Insurance, The British Heart Foundation and Diageo. Currently, Antony is leading a range of initiatives at the University exploring how the built environment and the organisation of space ‘scripts’ learning and teaching. This forms part of an initiative to transform learning and teaching within the University.

  • Tom Ellson - PhD Research Director

    Tom works part-time at Bristol University. He is a Partner in a consultancy firm, leading a team specialising in strategy, market entry and acquisitions. Prior to this, he worked for a transaction advisory practice within global accountancy firm EY. He has supported over £2bn of investment into predominantly small and medium sized businesses.

    His clients are based across Europe and the United States, and have included HSBC, Barclays, the BBC and numerous private equity firms. He has a doctorate from Cranfield University in strategic management and is a Chartered Mathematician with expertise in business and market modelling.

  • Keir Williams

    Keir is a creative technologist, educator and researcher. Underpinning his approach to all three is a philosophy that recognises the potential for art, design and technologies to make and take on practical and effective roles in wider society and culture. His innovation research and practice considers participatory processes and structures in relation to accessibility, performance, advocacy and the potential of ‘playing the fool’ in all three. He has created commissions for organisations including TATE, ICA London, PS1 New York and Chapter Gallery, Cardiff. His recent creative technology work has included a performance and research residency in the arctic circle, and an oral history project with the MShed museum Bristol. Recent research projects include an ethnographic study on developing technologies for SEN mixed ability classrooms and an innovation training project with former Prisoners in Bristol.

    View Keir's website


  • Simon Blyth

    Simon is an innovation consultant, design researcher and educator. He is a Teaching Fellow in Design Thinking at the Centre and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, Manchester University. Having completed a social science Phd, Simon joined Unilever R&D Consumer Science were he led the team on behaviour change and developed his interest in theories of practice. Subsequently, he moved to Unilever's Global Innovation Centre Milan, before returning to London as Global Category Head, Consumer Insight. In 2008 Simon joined the design consultancy IDEO, where he led a wide range of projects for Fortune 100 companies. In 2010 Simon set up Actant and he now consults on a wide range of commercial and social innovation projects. He’s particularly interested in critical design thinking, gender, material culture and the relation between business, design and social problems.

  • Mark Neild

    Mark has developed people’s vocational skills for 25 years, teaching flying and leadership as a Royal Navy aviator and up-skilling junior consultants while senior innovation consultant at PA Consulting. More recently he has supported aspiring entrepreneurs across 5 continents. His specialties are business model innovation, the adoption and commercialisation of technology and developing sustainable social ventures. Clients include the Cabinet Office, Vodafone, UBS, Nokia and Eircom and many technology SMEs. He was trustee and chair of an award winning charity before founding social venture Grow Inspires - promoting social inclusion through entrepreneurship. His Innovation consultancy, agileering Ltd, helps creative and technology SMEs grow by optimising their business model.

    View Mark's LinkedIn profile

  • Angela Piccinci

    Angela is an educator, writer, filmmaker and producer with interests in place, space and material culture. She's a Reader in Screen Media in the Department of Film & Television and is School of Arts Research Director. Her art- and writing practices sit between film, performance and contemporary archaeology. Her career has focused on interdisciplinary, collaborative research that links academic practices with the practices of industry, communities and the public sector. Her PhD and early research outputs used multi-sited ethnography, interviews and visual methods to understand how heritage media perform 'Celticness'. Before joining Bristol, she worked as Publications Officer for Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments and produced statutory publications and site guidebooks. She commissioned texts, print, photography and graphic design and edited publications in both English and Welsh.

    View Angela's research profile

  • Tom Metcalfe

    Tom is Creative Director and founder of Design and Innovation Studio, Thomas Buchanan Limited and a Unit Director at The Centre.

    He is an avant-garde interaction designer who crafts compelling experiences people love! His practice inherently seeks out new, innovative, and experimental ideas and methods. He has worked across a myriad of industries from art, to manufacturing, to design research, to brand activation.

    His work has included, harvesting clouds in The Scottish Highlands to make SkyPA for Innis and Gunn; creating useless objects, Chindogu, for YO! Sushi; exploring new ways of engaging with news with Trinity Mirror, funded by Google DNI; rolling out a mind-controlled beer pouring robot for various clients including TEDx Germany, Twitter Live, and Marriott International; co-creating of the UX for Senseye, a machine learning predictive maintenance platform; developing IoT objects for audiences with immersive theatre company, Raucous; the design and build of a concept store in Covent Garden, London, for fashion startup UNMADE; and developing editioned interactive art installations with Random International.

    View Tom's website

  • Ann Padley

    Ann is a Design Thinking educator and consultant. She focuses on co-creation, facilitation and mentoring to support teams engaged in project-based work and helps develop insights into new ways of working, new business opportunities, and better delivery of services. She’s worked as the director of communications for a start-up bank, knows the agency life from her time as a marketing and design thinking consultant and continues to work as an independent consultant. She has worked on a wide range of projects across industries–from tackling social isolation with a local US non-profit to jump-starting a Design Thinking initiative at a Finnish multinational.

  • Sam Crawley

    As a Chartered Engineer, Sam has consulted on Offshore Wind Projects in Europe, co-ordinated logistics for NGO medical projects in Somalia and Colombia, site managed on civil construction projects in London, Kent and Amsterdam, and even been a manufacturing change agent at a factory in Gloucester. Sam is focussed on the enterprise aspects of innovation; solving problems, developing products and services, utilising lean startup, behavourial economics and development tools to reach robust solutions.

    Sam brings his engineering experience to bear whilst teaching , helping link up industry practice with academic rigour. Sam is focussed on the enterprise aspects of innovation; solving problems, developing products and services, utilising lean startup, behavourial economics and development tools to reach robust solutions.

  • Travis Baldwin

    Travis directs Crea Inc Design, a consultancy specializing in innovation & design solutions for clients worldwide. He began at IBM designing high-volume products & strategic concepts during the 90's tech boom. Later at tech startups, he experienced product development from a different perspective. At design consultancies Frog, Kinneir Dufort, and BCG-DV he collaborated with a variety of blue chip clients around the world. At NASA he assisted in design of crew areas of spacecraft, habitats, and vehicles. He has developed hundreds of products & services, and has been awarded numerous awards & patents. Working to bring new innovation into the world is his passion, and supporting young innovators and entrepreneurs starting their careers is his aspiration. He’s thrilled to work with the bright multi-disciplinary Bristol students and share industry stories and techniques encountered over his career.

    View Travis' LinkedIn profile

  • Tim Cole

    Tim has experience of leading co-produced research, especially in the creative economy. He is a co-director of a creative tech start-up - Mayfly Sound - with local artists Stand+Stare.

    Tim is a historian, with particular interests in landscapes and the use of digital humanities approaches. He is currently working on the histories of technologies, focusing on the motor car.

  • Rob Skinner

    Rob is an academic historian interested in social and cultural histories of activism and 'everyday politics'. His research has focused on transnational connections in the history of the anti-apartheid movement, which has led him to engage more directly with community-centred collaborative and co-produced research. His current research examines our relationships with food as a political object, focussing on practices such as boycotts and buycotts. In bringing this knowledge and interest to Innovation, Rob is interested in thinking critically about the relationships between cultural and social practices and technological change.

  • Robin Brattel

    I am an active Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur in Residence and Teaching fellow in Entrepreneurship here at the Centre for Innovation.

    Having worked my way up to Director of Digital for the UK’s largest publisher by volume I decided to quit, raise capital and start two businesses at the same time – Inapub and WeGoDo. There began a decade long journey of discovery – unbelievable highs, incredible lows and a ridiculous amount of knowledge, gained. Along the way I've raised millions; built an A list team in the USA; exited a business; started a marketplace; hired and worked with some the world’s greatest talent; invested in or advised other entrepreneurs; and been hired to turnaround a business and find Product Market fit. I’m here to ensure the next batch of UK entrepreneurs understand that failure is part of the process to achieving success!

  • Peter Palmer

    Peter works part-time at Bristol University. He is the founder and Chief Operating Officer of Open Management, a global brands service consultancy with specialism in Sport, Media and Entertainment. For large blue chip corporations, Open identifies and secures new profitable income streams via building on existing IP assets to create new business from imagination to execution. Open also revives brands with compelling consumer stories, delivers licensed product design, direct to consumer retail solutions, wholesale services, event, pop up retail and licensing programmes. He has specialised in his recent corporate roles in building new and innovative business streams on a global basis, in particular as Senior Vice President of Global New Revenues at EMI Music. Peter has also worked extensively in Asia and particular China with TMALL, Le Sport, and His focus is now on how to build fast-paced innovative solutions in large scale organisations, commonly called intrapreneurship. He has also had specific entrepreneurial experience having built a consumer brand in the healthcare category from concept to angel investment to VC investment to trade sale.

  • Suzanne Cole

    Suzanne began her career in the small business environment setting up her first business before leaving school. She then worked in larger engineering organisations. Following the sale of the business, Suzanne moved into education becoming a University Programme Director for undergraduate and postgraduate business and marketing courses.  This was followed by training and consultancy roles for businesses such as HSBC, 3M, Johnson and Johnson followed.  Suzanne has worked with entrepreneurs who have successfully floated business on the UK stock market and not-for-profit start ups, providing experience across sectors and business types. She also brings a keen interest in marketing and the creation of sustainable business models into her latest role as a Non-Executive Director for Swim Wales. 

  • Andy Littledale

    Andy is a highly-experienced entrepreneur with 20 years in industry including a high profile exit to Twitter as CEO of SecondSync in 2014. He has first-hand experience of all aspects of the start-up lifecycle including ideation, business planning, team-building, product development, fundraising, scaling up, product sales, patents, corporate strategy and exit planning. Andy has a background in technical innovation (including hands on software engineering), a Master’s degree in Information Systems and Computing and excellent connections into the start-up community in the UK and internationally. He has previously held innovation roles at the BBC and Twitter and for several years ran a digital agency specialising in creative prototyping with clients including Adobe, HP, BBC and Aardman. Andy also sits on the advisory board for the Digital Cultures Research Centre.


  • Helen Stock

    Prior to entering the education sector, Helen had a successful career as an HR Manager. Having gained a post-graduate professional HRM qualification, she worked for a wide variety of employers, including BT, a local authority and a major food manufacturer and in the process gained Chartered Membership of the Institute of Personnel and Development. Following a change of direction, she then moved into the education field and taught a wide range of courses in Business, Management and Economics in a variety of educational settings. This included a large FE college where she was Deputy Head of Sixth Form, and a Sixth Form college where as a member of the Senior Management Team and Head of Teaching she had responsibility for all teaching staff. Throughout her career she has had a keen interest in entrepreneurship, including helping to set up Career Academies and helping students to successfully participate in entrepreneurship competitions. She also has had extensive experience of dealing with a wide range of student-related issues.

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