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Invention for Innovation - Connect Committee


Published: 08 July 2019

Version: 3.0 - November 2023

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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 four committees: two for Product Development Awards (committee A and committee B), 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 Venture Development Manager  BioCity Group   Dr Ajetunmobi is a scientist, venture builder and storyteller. Managing venture development activity at BioCity, the UK’s largest bioscience incubator, supporting and investing in disruptive healthcare startups.
Dr Peter Bannister Managing Director Romilly Life Sciences Dr Bannister has helped build multiple high-growth businesses for markets including surgery, clinical trials and diagnostic imaging. He is an Academy of Medical Sciences FLIER trainee.
Dr Anna Barnes Director of KiTEC   King’s Technology Evaluation Centre, King’s College London Anna has a broad range of expertise in, MRI, PET, SPECT, statistics, medical technology assessment and artificial intelligence.
Dr David Brownlee Innovation Advisor  Health and Social Care (HSC) Innovations  Dr Brownlee is experienced in innovation, Intellectual Property, research contracts, commercialisation, medical devices, healthcare, diagnostics, clinical trials, R&D, collaboration, healthcare, patents, licensing and research design. 
Professor Sanjukta Deb Professor of Biomaterials  King's College London Dr Deb has over 25 years’ experience in the field of Biomaterials Chemistry. Her research relates to 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 in Bedfordshire, with an interest in digital services, is an LMC member, and a Research Cluster Lead for Clinical Research Network (CRN) Eastern. 
Mr Michael King Medical Technology Analyst  Rx Securities   Mr King monitors the global medical technology industry. In doing so, analyses the technology, the addressable market, strategy and financial potential of individual businesses and assess their value.
Professor Nick Lemoine Director Barts Cancer Institute Professor Lemoine is the Director of Barts Cancer Institute. His groups' primary research interests are in the genomics and molecular pathology of pancreatic cancer and the development of oncolytic virotherapy.
Mr Danny Roberts Public Committee Member PPI  Representative PPI  Representative
Mr Tim Robinson  Commercial Director East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN) Mr Robinson has 20 years experience of UK healthcare, gained through roles in the NHS and a variety of commercial roles with healthcare software business. Tim now uses these experiences to support innovators as part of the AHSN network.
Professor Jacky Smith Professor of Respiratory Medicine The University of Manchester, Director NIHRCRF Professor Smith has set up and runs a multi-disciplinary team of 9 researchers studying mechanisms in and treatments for cough and is currently the co-superviser of 4 PhD students.Jacky is currently leading the Rapid Translational Incubator cross cutting theme of the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and is the local Director of the Manchester Clinical Research Facility at the Wythenshawe Hospital site. Furthermore, she has also set up and runs a weekly cough clinic.
Dr Gary Thorpe Director Gary Thorpe Associates Limited  Mr Thorpe's experience combines academic science with medical diagnostics and technology transfer. Work on chemiluminescent technology resulted in two Queen's Awards for Technological Achievement and Enterprise.