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Creative Fuse North East is privileged to have access to leading industry and business support expertise directly from our contracted Innovation Delivery Partners and from our own academics from all five North East Universities. Individuals listed here are dedicated to the delivery of a specific strand of the Creative Fuse North East vision.

These partnerships are supported by the European Regional Development Fund from the European Union.

Simon McKeown

Researcher and Digital Specialist

Simon McKeown is a Reader in the School of Computing, Media and the Arts at Teesside University. He is an active researcher involved in digital practice and culture, h...

Alistair Brown

Postdoctoral Researcher

Alistair is a part-time postdoctoral researcher at Durham University. He supports innovation projects and collaborates with SMEs in the County Durham area. Through the...

Ladan Cockshut

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ladan is a postdoctoral researcher at Durham University. She supports innovation research projects and collaborates with SMEs in the County Durham area. Ladan’s ...

Paul Richter

Co-Investigator and Project Advisor, Creative Connections Business Innovation Programme

Paul is running the “Creative Connections” business development strand with Fiona Whitehurst, Mo O’Toole and Anna-Maria Steel.

Paul is a Lectu...

Jill McKinney

Innovation and Delivery Manager (Digital Business Innovation Programme)

Jill is part of the Digital Business Innovation Programme. She will be working across the North East in the fastest growing sector, supporting software businesses to g...

Rachel Peacock

Engagement Lead, Digital Business Innovation Programme

Rachel is the business engagement lead within the Creative Fuse Digital Business Innovation Programme.

She is employed by Generator as the Digital Union Networ...

Anna-Maria Steel

Programme Consultant (Creative Connections)

Anna-Maria has been involved in the design, implementation and delivery of Creative Connections, a Creative Fuse project based at Newcastle University bringing innovat...

Nate Sterling

Research Assistant

Nate is a Research Assistant at Northumbria University. His role within the project is to explore what interventions can be tested and piloted to develop new models of...

Suzy O’Hara

Innovation Development Executive

Dr Suzy O’Hara is a digital art curator and researcher based at the University of Sunderland. Through her role in Creative Fuse North East, Suzy seeks to understand ...

Mark Adamson

Project Director

Mark became Project Director in March 2018, having previously led and coordinated the delivery of the University of Sunderland’s Creative Fuse activity.


Manos Chatzakis

Design Research Fellow

Manos is part of the Design-Led Innovation team at Northumbria, working on the design and delivery of the Get Ready to Innovate scheme.

Manos’s research f...

Neil Smith


Neil believes that design and design-thinking can bring light to complex and wicked problems, both within manufacture, industry, technology and societal issues.

David Dunn

Board Member, Creative Fuse North East

David is the current CEO of Sunderland Software City, a nationally recognised technology sector support body.

Prior to this regionally important role David held...

Mariann Hardey

Principal Investigator (Durham)

Mariann leads the Creative Fuse research team at Durham University. Her research focuses on e-heath, wearable technology and social apps for personal health monitoring...

Fiona Whitehurst


Fiona was involved in the mapping exercise that led to the Creative Fuse Initial Report and is now running the Creative Connections business development strand with Pa...

Nick Spencer

Senior Lecturer in Design Innovation

When we suspend traditional boundaries of discipline or company or community and the agendas they serve, how might we work together and what could we do?

How ca...

Lynne Hall

Reader, Computing, Engineering and Technology

Lynne Hall is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Sunderland, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and of the British Computer Society. She ha...

Richard Clay

Professor of Digital Humanities

I firmly believe that collaborations between universities and other sectors mutually benefit all involved, collectively identifying problems that are best addressed to...

Mark Bailey

Institutional Lead, Northumbria

Meaningful innovation happens at the intersection of different disciplines where the knowledge, know-how and expertise of multiple actors comes together around a commo...

Rebecca Strachan

Faculty Executive Lead, Engineering and Environment, Northumbria Team

Rebecca’s research focuses on improving the lives of people by providing enhanced technological solutions and opening up new opportunities for their academic and...

Carl Gregg

Electrical and Design Technician, Sunderland FabLab.

Carl has an interest in a broad range of design areas and has worked for a number of years teaching on various Animation and Design programmes at the University of Sun...

Helen Ross

Project Manager, Creative Fuse North East

Helen project manages Creative Fuse North East, including operations and delivery, long-term strategy and legacy planning, and project compliance and reporting. She ha...