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At the Innovation Network, we understand that at the heart of every successful venture, partnership or collaboration you’ll always find the same driving force – people!

That’s why it’s our mission to bring people together. We’re fortunate to meet brilliant people every day, facilitating partnerships and collaborations that deliver a tangible positive impact for the region.

In that spirit of sharing and connecting, we believe it’s only right to introduce our fantastic team, who work diligently behind the scenes to make sure the Innovation Network delivers what local businesses, organisations and academics need.

We asked members of our team for their ‘three Ps’, an alliterative challenge where individuals provide three facts: professional, personal, and peculiar.

Kicking things off we have Laura Talbot, Regional Partnerships Development Officer at the University of Sheffield, who supports businesses across South Yorkshire to develop collaborative relationships with the University:

Professional: I live for a good spreadsheet.

Personal: I’ve got a black lab that I like to take on walks in the peaks – he loves swimming so is often found jumping into a reservoir or river.

Peculiar: I’m obsessed with organisation and ‘Marie Kondo’ absolutely everything in sight.

Next up we have Lauren McConnell, Innovation Development Officer at Sheffield Hallam University, who collaborates with internal and external stakeholders to develop and deliver innovation and knowledge exchange activity for the University’s Innovation Services:

Professional: I used to work as a Drama Practitioner, delivering creative workshops to young people.

Personal: I had to rearrange my wedding 3 times due to the covid pandemic. 

Peculiar: One of my all-time favourite singers is Elvis Presley.  

Now it’s the turn of University of Sheffield Project Support Officer, Peter Hough, who supports the University’s varied regional engagement activities including the Innovation Network.

Professional: I used to create engaging copy for anti-head lice shampoo.

Personal: My knowledge of Doctor Who scares me sometimes. 

Peculiar: I don’t own a cat but routinely find one in my house.

Last but by no means least we have Rob Langley, Communications Officer at the University of Sheffield who provides communications and marketing support for the Innovation Network’s events, social media channels and website.

Professional: I once gave Sir Keir Starmer a lift to a train station (and I wasn’t a taxi driver).

Personal: I enjoy mountain biking and sea fishing, but not at the same time.

Peculiar: In my first week in a previous role, I suffered the indignity of spending the day in a skin-tight Spiderman costume!

Find out more about the team – led by Yasmin Knight, Assistant Director Regional Engagement and Innovation at the University of Sheffield, and Alex Prince, Head of Innovation Services at Sheffield Hallam University – here.