Aerial view of London during a sunset with the Shard at the centre

Meet the Fellows

The Open Innovation Fellowship grants industry leaders in innovation the chance to build networks with like-minded experts and develop new strategies.

Fellows are leaders in corporate innovation, who are passionate about driving innovation that is open, effective and inclusive.

Through the programme, the Fellows are enabled to develop their own open innovation strategies informed and validated by industry experts.

The network connects corporate innovators to equivalents across sectors and provides them with peer-to-peer support groups, allowing them to unlock their organisation's innovation potential.

The Fellowship offers a much-needed human-to-human interaction and network of senior innovation leaders, which allows me to source solutions to the problems and create new innovations every day.
Sonal Lakhani 
Global Head of Programmes and Strategic Initiatives, Barclays UK

Fellows

Find out more about some of the Fellows in our network:

  • Manish Naik

    Manish Naik

    Principal, Digital Innovation, BP
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    Manish Naik

    Manish Naik

    Principal, Digital Innovation
    BP

    Manish is an MBA professional with 12 years’ experience in operations, consulting, innovation and programme management across various industry sectors. He is a quick learner with keen business acumen and strong analytical abilities. Manish has a proven track record in leading cross-functional and multicultural teams, across the US, UK, Europe and India. His current role is focused on scanning and evangelising digital innovations in the oil and gas sector.

  • Jim Johnson

    Jim Johnson

    Director, UKIMEA Region Board Member and Digital Leader, ARUP
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    Jim Johnson

    Jim Johnson

    Director, UKIMEA Region Board Member and Digital Leader
    ARUP

    Jim is the board director responsible for providing strategy and direction for the digital transformation of the business in UKIMEA. He leads and support work to develop improved and new service offerings using digital and data-driven innovation across multiple business sectors and locations. He joined Arup in 1986 as a civil engineer. Between 2007 and 2011, he led Arup Geotechnics, Arup's specialist ground engineering consultancy practice working worldwide across all their market sectors. He subsequently went on to lead large teams for a variety of clients delivering major infrastructure projects and was also the leader of their Leeds office.

  • Sonal Lakhani

    Sonal Lakhani

    Head of Programmes and Strategic Initiatives, Barclays UK
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    Sonal Lakhani

    Sonal Lakhani

    Head of Programmes and Strategic Initiatives
    Barclays UK

    Sonal is a senior leader of the Barclays Innovation team where she heads up programmes and strategic partnerships. Sonal focuses on creating meaningful initiatives and programmes for the team. The purpose of these is to help build the supply of fintechs to the eco-system, supporting companies to grow and scale as the clients of tomorrow; identifying early signals from startups and VCs for new markets beginning to emerge or accelerate; identify and validate early stage investment opportunities and venture investments creating an informational flow between the open innovation ecosystem and Barclays. She leads the global flagship programme, Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars, and Female Founder initiatives as part of her portfolio of work. Prior to working in Barclays Innovation, Sonal worked in capital markets with a focus on trading platform sales working with some of the largest asset managers, hedge funds and banks across Europe and the UK.

  • Dan Hufton

    Dan Hufton

    Head of Technology Innovation, AstraZeneca
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    Dan Hufton

    Dan Hufton

    Head of Technology Innovation
    AstraZeneca

    Dan leads a global innovation team focused on the identification, rapid assessment, implementation and adoption of emerging technologies and novel ideas to create business benefit, aiming to influence and transform the business, and taking a strategic 3 to 5+ year viewpoint. He is an ambassador for diversity and inclusivity, and plays a leading role in driving change and ensuring AstraZeneca is a great place to work for everyone.

  • Nichola Bates

    Nichola Bates

    Head of Global Accelerators and Innovation Programs, Boeing
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    Nichola Bates

    Nichola Bates

    Head of Global Accelerators and Innovation Programs
    Boeing

    Nichola joined Boeing more than four years ago, following a decade-long career working with early stage and scaling startups, where she championed the role of the SME to government, particularly in the security and resilience sector. Nichola brings extensive experience of international business development and fundraising for growth, from strategy through to execution, with a wide network across governments and industry. Having also gained experience of working inside one of the world’s largest corporations, she has become even more passionate about the benefits of collaboration between startups and corporates. In her role as Managing Partner for Aerospace Xelerated, Nichola invests in and supports startups using AI and autonomous technologies to the benefit of the aerospace sector and related industries.

  • Sarah Balachandran

    Sarah Balachandran

    Head of CX and Innovation, Capgemini
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    Sarah Balachandran

    Sarah Balachandran

    Head of CX and Innovation
    Capgemini

    Whether it’s planning an exciting Route 66 road trip for her family, supporting startup social enterprises or running the UK’s largest public sector specialist UX agency within Capgemini, Sarah holds three values close to her heart at all times: a relentless focus on user needs through user-centred design, bringing a creative spirit that utilises an amazing diversity and seeking out inspiring innovation in everything she does.

  • Cathryn Evans

    Cathryn Evans

    Head of Philanthropy, Crisis
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    Cathryn Evans

    Cathryn Evans

    Head of Philanthropy
    Crisis

    Cathryn is the Head of Philanthropy at Crisis, partnering with our supporters to end homelessness in Britain. She led a project in the fundraising department at Crisis to develop its strategic focus for innovation, and embed the culture and processes needed to achieve this. She has been working with others across Crisis to improve the pathways to market for new product development and get buy-in for cultural change. Before joining Crisis, she raised funds for the Liberal Democrats while they were in government and for Britain Stronger In Europe during the European Referendum campaign.

  • Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith

    Head of Innovation Ecosystems, Fidelity
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    Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith

    Head of Innovation Ecosystems
    Fidelity

    A passionate disruptor, an obsessive innovator, an inquisitive researcher and a recovering technologist. With 20+ years experience across the technology and financial services industries, Aaron has an inherent desire to uncover "unknown unknowns" and to help those looking to change the future for the better.

  • Claire Holden

    Claire Holden

    Chief Innovation Officer, Hill + Knowlton
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    Claire Holden

    Claire Holden

    Chief Innovation Officer
    Hill + Knowlton

    Claire is focused on how H+K and its clients adapt to an ever-changing world, creating new communication strategies and ideas that set the agenda as well as react to it. Claire looks at how brands connect to culture and communities, apply trends and technology, and evolve to be distinctive and future proofed. Claire is responsible for H+K’s Futures Council.

    Alongside her agency-wide role, Claire leads the Adidas account at H+K, which includes global communication strategy and campaigns, as well as local execution for its London newsroom. Claire has worked with several other London-centric clients including Westfield and the London Eye.

  • Greg Baker

    Greg Baker

    Global Head of Practice Innovation, Linklaters
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    Greg Baker

    Greg Baker

    Global Head of Practice Innovation
    Linklaters

    Greg is a qualified lawyer with 10+ years of practicing experience and a committed legal technologist. Currently, Greg heads up a team of practice-embedded innovation lawyers and a multidisciplinary innovation delivery team.

  • Gráinne Allen

    Gráinne Allen

    Director of Food & Innovation, McDonald's UK
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    Gráinne Allen

    Gráinne Allen

    Director of Food & Innovation
    McDonald's UK

  • Nicholas McQuire

    Nicholas McQuire

    Director, Enterprise AI and Innovation, Microsoft
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    Nicholas McQuire

    Nicholas McQuire

    Director, Enterprise AI and Innovation
    Microsoft

    Nicholas is a globally-recognised thought leader and former 20+ year technology analyst with a passion for artificial intelligence and enterprise innovation. He was named among the top technology analysts in the world in 2019 and 2020 by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations. Moreover, Nicholas is a board member with entrepreneurial and corporate experience and a proven track record advising C-level executives and enterprise IT strategists. He is also a member of the CIO100 and Next CIO judging panels which recognise the most transformational CIOs and next generation of IT leaders in the UK each year.

  • Ashleigh Monagle

    Ashleigh Monagle

    Digital Advisory - Innovation Consulting Lead, Mott MacDonald
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    Ashleigh Monagle

    Ashleigh Monagle

    Digital Advisory - Innovation Consulting Lead
    Mott MacDonald

    As a Digital Consultant, Ashleigh leads organisations through transformation with disruptive innovation that delivers positive outcomes. Often acting as an anchor for cross-functional teams, she provides both stability and connectivity when change is inevitable. These attributes have enabled fast execution and early benefits realisation for commercial success in more than 20 projects, including a 120% decrease in internal overhead cost. Ashleigh's distinctive approach to working combines being direct, collaborative and empathetic to develop fresh and innovative insight. She believes the best solutions and teams are grown in this way, providing the perfect environment for competitive advantage to flourish.

  • Inara Khan

    Inara Khan

    Interim Deputy Director for Digital Elective Care, NHSx
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    Inara Khan

    Inara Khan

    Interim Deputy Director for Digital Elective Care
    NHSx

    Inara is Interim Deputy Director for Digital Elective Care, working on cutting edge digital pathway transformation and strategy. She focuses on understanding what technology works and how her team builds the evidence base to scale this. Prior to this, at NHS England & Improvement, she led the work on the faster diagnosis of cancer in the Cancer team and worked on the implementation of national innovation programmes in the Genomics team and Strategy team. She previously worked in local government and as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, having graduated with a masters in International Peace and Security, and a degree in War Studies.

  • Roisin Hynes

    Roisin Hynes

    Head of Digital Innovation, Customer Solutions and BIOME Lead UK, Novartis Biome UK
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    Roisin Hynes

    Roisin Hynes

    Head of Digital Innovation, Customer Solutions and BIOME Lead UK
    Novartis Biome UK

  • William Pryke

    William Pryke

    Head of Open Innovation & Tech Scouting, Openreach
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    William Pryke

    William Pryke

    Head of Open Innovation & Tech Scouting
    Openreach

    William is an experienced executive and Open Innovation specialist with more than 20 years exploiting disruptive technologies and delivering new solutions. Most recently, he was responsible for the establishment of the University of Suffolk – DigiTech Centre supporting academic collaboration with entrepreneurs, businesses and government. Formally, William is Head of the BT Infinity Lab, a group-wide accelerator programme supporting Consumer & Business which delivered a number of startup collaborations. Will recently joined Openreach to accelerate its OI programme.

  • Katie Mills

    Katie Mills

    Head of Sustainable Development & Innovation UK&I, Schneider Electric
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    Katie Mills

    Katie Mills

    Head of Sustainable Development & Innovation UK&I
    Schneider Electric

    Katie has spent the last 10 years working in the early stage tech community, working with startups in renewable energy tech through to cyber security innovations. She has invested in more than 30 startups as an angel investor and sits on multiple boards as a strategic advisor to startup teams. She now heads up the innovation and investment for Schneider Electric UK&I. Katie’s remit is to help identify market gaps and potential investment opportunities for Schneider Electric UK&I, and position Schneider Electric as a key part of the UK innovation ecosystem.

  • Tom Williamson

    Tom Williamson

    Head of Innovation, Scottish Power
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    Tom Williamson

    Tom Williamson

    Head of Innovation
    Scottish Power

    As Head of Innovation, Tom coordinates and leads on innovation policy and initiatives across the ScottishPower group. Tom has been at ScottishPower since 2009, previously working on Westminster political and parliamentary relations across the SP/Iberdrola group’s interests in the UK. Prior to joining the company, he spent five years working in Parliament, latterly as Director of the Parliamentary Resources Unit in the House of Commons.

  • Rikesh Shah

    Rikesh Shah

    Head of Open Innovation, TfL
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    Rikesh Shah

    Rikesh Shah

    Head of Open Innovation
    TfL

    Rikesh leads Transport for London’s award-winning market innovation activity to create new value for London by working with startups, corporates, academia, accelerators and venture capitalists. He set up TfL’s first Innovation Hub to help solve existing city challenges through new technologies.

    Rikesh was previously responsible for TfL’s world-leading open data programme which has 17,000 registered users and 700 apps powered by TfL data  which are used by 42% of Londoners. An independent review valued the programme's worth to London at £130m per annum.

    Rikesh also sits on the Smart London Board to deliver the Mayor of London’s vision to make London the smartest city in the world, as well as on the Advisory Boards for Doteveryone, focusing on Tech for Good, and Citytech Collaborative in Chicago.

  • Scott Heath

    Scott Heath

    Head of Innovation, Thales
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    Scott Heath

    Scott Heath

    Head of Innovation
    Thales

    Scott has worked in the rail transportation sector for nearly 10 years, initially joining Network Rail after completing an MSc in Programme and Project Management with a specialism in Innovation. He moved to Thales in 2019 to help manage their European Commission co-funded R&D as well as delivering the innovation roadmap. From 2021, he has assumed the responsibilities of the former Head of Innovation, leading an R&D and Technology team based in London.

  • Katherine Crisp

    Katherine Crisp

    Senior Innovation Specialist, UNICEF
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    Katherine Crisp

    Katherine Crisp

    Senior Innovation Specialist
    UNICEF

    Katherine has extensive experience across different sectors and disciplines, which she leverages to support the design and scale of social innovations. At UNICEF, she is leading the implementation of a global innovation portfolio management approach, building on her experience of designing and scaling youth innovation programmes.

    Katherine initially qualified as an engineer before working as a strategy consultant. Her work spans sustainable livelihood development in India, new service and financing models for disabled children, and designing a strategy to eliminate homelessness in the local area. Katherine is a Fellow of the RSA and vice-chair of governors at Windmills Junior School.

  • Tanveer Mohammed

    Tanveer Mohammed

    Head of Innovation, UST Global
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    Tanveer Mohammed

    Tanveer Mohammed

    Head of Innovation
    UST Global

    Tanveer heads up the Innovation Practice at UST Global, where he works on emerging technology across fintech, retech and healthcare sectors throughout the UK. He splits his time talking to various stakeholders across a variety of clients and technology experts across UST – bringing them together to accelerate innovation.

  • Gursheel Mendhir

    Gursheel Mendhir

    Head of Innovation and Emerging Products, Virgin Media O2
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    Gursheel Mendhir

    Gursheel Mendhir

    Head of Innovation and Emerging Products
    Virgin Media O2

    Gursheel spearheads Virgin Media O2’s move beyond commoditised telecommunications products, to fulfil the ambition of being a complete digital experience provider. Her team imagines and creates the future of telecommunications via their cross-functional incubator focused on launching ambitious digital products in entirely new markets. They experiment with disruptive technologies and potential partnerships with startups and other companies to enable product launches.

  • Fiona Dolman

    Fiona Dolman

    Director for Transformation, London Fire Brigade
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    Fiona Dolman

    Fiona Dolman

    Director for Transformation
    London Fire Brigade

    Fiona is an influential and experienced Director with a diverse career and proven operational and transformational leadership experience - from functional to enterprise level business change delivery - demonstrating a drive and energy that has created a pattern of market service improvements. Fiona has excellent collaborative working skills. She is able to simplify complexity, influence decision makers and build strong stakeholder relationships.

Become a Fellow

Apply now or speak to a member of the Open Innovation Fellowship team for more information.

Find out more

Become a fellow

Apply now or speak to a member of the Open Innovation Fellowship team for more information.