Innovation and the Grand Challenge North East

MHM and VONNE welcome anyone from the voluntary sector who wishes to hear *PROFESSOR ROY SANDBACH* speaking of “Innovation and the Grand Challenge North East”


Wednesday 30th July from 10 a.m. – 12 noon


The Business Innovation Centre (BiC) Sunderland

There is no cost to this – tea and coffee will be available

If you are interested in attending please contact Zoe Bell at

Information on Professor Roy Sandbach

Roy Sandbach currently leads the development of a regional innovation strategy for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. This responds to the recommendations from Lord Adonis’ Independent Economic Review of the region, which challenged us to be “an exemplar for smart specialisation & open innovation” as part of a bold manifesto for change.

Roy has over 30 years global management experience at Procter & Gamble and has led development of multi-billion dollar brands. Most recently, Professor Sandbach was the 10th David Goldman visiting Professor of Innovation & Enterprise at Newcastle University Business School.

The “Grand Challenge” is one underpinning element of the innovation strategy for the region. It is intended to create the conditions for cross-sectoral collaboration to deliver truly meaningful innovations that communities can see. The intention is for the Grand Challenge to address fundamental societal opportunities that require creative and open innovation.

Professor Sandbach stated: “I have spent much of my career working to create wealth through innovation in a major global organisation.”
“Now I have the opportunity to put some of those skills to use for the benefit of my home region.”

“I am convinced that there are huge opportunities to apply some collaborative open innovation principles and processes to the way we innovate here. We are all after the same thing – more creative innovation, managed with efficiency and momentum. And these concepts could and should be applied to business and the public service”

“With the support of the whole business community and public bodies, I’m sure that we can create a more prosperous region through innovation, and make the rest of the world sit up and take notice.“

Will Hutton, chair of the Big Innovation Centre and a member of the North East Independent Economic Review team, welcomed the appointment of Roy Sandbach to the LEP’s innovation panel.

“To drive the North East ahead in a highly competitive global environment, the area has to offer something distinctive, and it can do this through open innovation. This is vital to building the high value industries of the future. ”

Paul Woolston, chair of the North East LEP added: “This fabulous offer from Roy Sandbach marks an exciting move for us, and underlines the breadth of talent and support for our Partnership.

“Roy’s commitment, energy and expertise is driving our innovation strategy which in turn will provide a route for us to compete on the world stage, create highly skilled jobs and involve local people in the area’s growth and success.“

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