Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Microsoft. To browse the NIHR site please use a modern, secure browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Invention for Innovation - Connect Committee


Published: 08 July 2019

Version: 4.0 - April 2024

Print this document

The funding committees for the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme are multidisciplinary, comprising academic, clinical and commercial experts, as well as patient and public members. i4i has five committees: three for Product Development Awards (committee A, committee B and committee C), one for Challenge Awards, and one for Connect.

Committee members - Connect

Professor Paul Sibbons (Chair)

Independent pre-clinical Consultant

Independent Consultant

Professor Sibbons has extensive experience in pre-clinical surgery, pathology, evaluation and interpretation.

Dr Ayokunmi (AJ) Ajetunmobi Director Venture Development We are Pioneer Group

Dr Ajetunmobi oversees venture programmes that fund breakthrough life sciences startups. These programmes have launched over 100 companies that have raised over £350 million to date.

Professor Peter Bannister

Managing Director Romilly Life Sciences

Professor Bannister helps build high-growth businesses by commercialising innovative products in multiple markets and leads on R&D activities.

Dr Anna Barnes Director of KiTEC   King’s Technology Evaluation Centre, King’s College London Dr Barnes is a clinical scientist with a broad range of expertise in imaging statistics, medical technology assessment and artificial intelligence.
Dr David Brownlee Innovation Advisor  Health and Social Care (HSC) Innovations  Dr Brownlee has experience in commercialisation, intellectual asset management, research agreements, research translation, assessing the value of healthcare technologies, technology management and innovation strategy.

Professor Sanjukta Deb Professor of Biomaterials  King's College London

Professor Deb has expertise in biomaterials chemistry and researches the development of biomaterials to restore function of traumatised or diseased tissue using innovative analogue materials.

Miss Rosie Forder Public Committee Member   PPI  Representative PPI Representative
Dr Nasir Hannan General Practitioner & Partner Priory Gardens Surgery

Dr Hannan is a General Practitioner, with an interest in digital services. He is also a member of the Primary Care Leadership group for Clinical Research Network (CRN) East of England.

Mr Michael King

Investor Relations Manager/Medical Technology analyst

Advanced Medical Solutions

Mr King is a medical technology specialist within the global medical technology industry.

Dr Sara Pretorius

Clinical Test Evaluation Methodologist

NIHR Newcastle HealthTech Research Centre (NIHR Newcastle HRC)

Dr Pretorius has a background in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. She has experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods and the development and evaluation of novel diagnostics.
Professor Philip Quirke

Professor of Pathology

University of Leeds

Professor Quirke is a consultant histopathologist and has expertise in gastrointestinal pathology, molecular pathology, microbiome, bowel cancer, quality of surgery, trials and screening.

Dr Frank Ratcliff

Director of Industry and Innovation

Health Innovation Wessex

Dr Ratcliff has a background in genetics and expertise in commercial research which spans all stages from lab research and IP to major global products.

Mr Danny Roberts Public Committee Member PPI  Representative PPI  Representative
Mr Tim Robinson  Commercial Director Health Innovation East Midlands

Mr Robinson has over 20 years experience of UK healthcare, gained through roles in the NHS and a variety of commercial roles with healthcare software businesses.

Professor Jacky Smith Professor of Respiratory Medicine The University of Manchester

Professor Smith is a leading clinical academic in the field of cough. She runs a multi-disciplinary team whose focus is on understanding mechanisms underlying cough.

Dr Gary Thorpe Director Gary Thorpe Associates Limited 

Dr Thorpe's experience combines academic science with medical diagnostics and technology transfer.