Strategic Advisory Board

The Strategic Advisory Board is the main governance group to provide guidance and direction for the Hub management team.

Toby Bridges

Exec Chair
NBT Group Ltd

Toby is an experienced company director has been Marketing Director, CEO, and now Executive Chairman, of The NBT Group Ltd, his family’s 114-year-old supply chain management business. Taking the helm in 2008, he steered it through the last recession andthen scaled it through a strategic pivot, and defining a value base, people led organisation that saw turnover grow from £3m in 2015 to £14m in 2018. This achievement saw the Company attain the accolade of being the fastest growing Company in the NE Fastest 50 Growing Companies List in both 2018 and 2019. In 2014,Toby founded Vytech Solutions Limited, a technology led business that is revolutionising how supply chains work through the creation of smart inventory digital twins and Industry 4.0/IoT automation.

Tim Lawrence

Programme Director, Digital Supply Chain Hub
Digital Catapult

Tim joined Digital Catapult in September 2021 as Director of Digital Supply Chain and the Made Smarter Innovation hub. Tim has extensive experience in improving global businesses and supply chains working within the Automotive, Consumer Goods, Aerospace, Defence, Construction, Life Science and Industrial Sectors. His experience includes 25 years in supply chain consultancy, leading global companies to deliver transformation in their business and operations focused on strategy, operating model and organisational design, digital supply chain, restructuring and performance improvement. He has extensive global experience having worked across 16 different countries in Europe, US and Middle East advising over 50 different companies in that time. An inspirational thought leader, Tim develops leading insights into global supply chain management, digital and manufacturing and is regularly quoted in the press and speaks on these topics at conference platforms across Europe.

Ying Xie

Professor in Supply Chain Analytics
Cranfield University

Ying is a professor in supply chain analytics. Her own research interests cover machine learning, big data analytics, supply chain digitalisation and sustainability. She specialises in healthcare supply chain, international shipping, port management, and sustainable aviation supply chain. She has successfully won and completed several research and consultancy projects, including projects from EPSRC, Innovate UK, ERDF, Health Education England, EU horizon and industries. Ying is working with Ocado Technology to develop digital twins enabled ecosystem for social care and healthcare. Collaborating with the Port of Felixstowe (UK), Ying developed a big data driven prediction tool, to improve yard management, to tackle the challenges of traffic congestion in roads and to reduce impacts on environments. The KTP project funded by Innovate UK helps Hexcel Composites to make their supply chain more sustainable. Ying also actively works with institutions from the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Universities Group, to build the future of sustainable aviation in the UK.

Jan Godsell

Dean of the School of Business and Economics and Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy
Loughborough University

Jan's work focuses on the pursuit of more responsible consumption and production through the alignment of product, marketing and supply chain strategy with consumer needs. In particular Jan’s work focuses on the design of end-to-end supply chains to enable responsibility, sustainability, resilience and productivity. As a chartered engineer, Jan has more than three decades of combined industry experience in product development, innovation, supply chain strategy, and process improvement working for ICI, Astra Zeneca and Dyson. She has advised government and industry on supply chain strategy and its relationship to industrial and business strategy. Jan is currently a member of the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) supply chain resilience advisory group. Jan is also a member of the advisory group for the Made Smarter Innovation (MSI) challenge, the MSI Digital Supply Chain Hub and the UK Manufacturing Forum. Jan is also a co-chair of the Regional Productivity Forum for the Midlands, part of the Productivity Institute.

Ron Margalit

Global Head, Sustainable Financing
Menomadin Group

Ron is the Head of Global Sustainable Financing of Menomadin Group, a diversified holding company with investments, operations, and philanthropy focused on Africa across all major SDGs. For the past 15 years, Ron has invested in impact tech startups that operate in SSA to address gaps in delivering primary products and services to previously excluded communities. In his previous capacities, Ron served as the Founding Partner of a venture capital firm based in West Africa, the first appointed economic representative to the Board of the World Bank Group by the Government of Israel, and an advisor on innovative financing to global 500 companies. Ron is a member of the investment committee of the EU Innovation Council, a $10B initiative that invests in innovative European companies. He is also on the Board of Advisors of Tel Aviv University Global Grand Challenge Innovation and on the board of advisors of Israel’s national climate tech accelerator. Ron received executive education from Harvard Business School focused on strategy in emerging markets. He earned his MBA from Georgetown University and his bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Clive Stephens

Head of Research & Development
Cranswick PLC.

Clive has spent 40 years in the meat industry manufacturing & Retail. He has spent 17 years with Cranswick Convenience Foods as Operations and Technical Director. Previously he was at Sainsburys as a Meat Technologist .

Dr Ruth Mallors-Ray OBE FRAeS

RMR Consultants

Ruth is the Director of RMR Consultants working across Government, industry and academia to drive innovation forwards in the UK. Ruth has worked across multiple sectors to shape and frame proposals that seek to accelerate innovation through collaboration between industry, government and academia.
Ruth has held positions as the Chief Operating Officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute and Director of the Aerospace, Aviation and Defence Knowledge Transfer Network to develop a deep understanding of how government and industry work together on innovation agendas. Before moving into aviation, Ruth worked across a range of sectors including professional services, retail, engineering and oil and gas with a focus on change and engagement programmes.
Ruth is Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board for the Digital Supply Chain Hub which is steering and advising the strategic direction of the Hub.

Veera Johnson


Veera has held a number of senior and executive positions in the worlds of finance, TMT and management consulting, has been named the Asian Business Woman of the Year and profiled by the FT as a technology leader. As an entrepreneur and business leader she has been instrumental in challenging and shaping the supply chain and traceability revolution.

John McNiff

VP Digital Supply Chain & Industry 4.0

John is leading a team driving strategic initiatives for the SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions where he has been for 14 years. Their mission is to enable customers to achieve intelligent, sustainable and synchronised supply chains and operations that bring competitive advantage.

Sharon Kindleysides

Chief Executive Officer
Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport

Sharon is a highly accomplished executive and non-executive director with global experience of deploying strategy and change leadership; commanding track record in strategic and operational leadership roles in public, private and the third sector, international groups, start-ups and influential trade bodies across diverse sectors including emerging and disruptive technologies, future mobility, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), smart cities, connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and charities.

Industry Advisory Group

The Industry Advisory Group brings together representatives from across the full spectrum of manufacturing supply chain industry sectors to provide input on key supply chain challenges, insights, opportunities and areas of future development.

Richard Price

Chief Technology Officer
Pragmatic Semiconductor

Richard has spent over 25 years working in deeptech and materials research and innovation. He is co-founder and CTO at Pragmatic Semiconductor – a global pioneer in flexible integrated circuits. Previously he worked in the creation and development of multiple early-stage start-ups at the University of Manchester, OLED-T, Arvia Technology and NanoePrint. Richard holds a BSc and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Durham and is inventor/co-inventor on over 25 patent families. He is also a non-executive director at the Henry Royce Institute – the UK’s National Institute for advanced materials research.

Chris Pett

Head of Supply Chain FCAS
BAE Systems

Chris is Head of Supply Chain within BAE Systems, Air sector, responsible for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) supply chain activities. Chris has over 15 years’ experience within the Defence Sector and has worked on some of the UKs most advanced aerospace programmes in support of both domestic and international Customers. His current challenge is delivering the enablers and capabilities which FCAS requires in order to deliver a 6th Generation air system faster than has ever been done before. Chris earned a Bachelor of Science from Lancaster University and has completed a post graduate programme on Leading Management Transformation again from Lancaster University.

Philippa Makepeace

Director, Global Supply Chains
Department for International Trade

Philippa is a senior civil servant in Department for International Trade. With a focus on resilience and crisis response, her roles have included contingency planning for catastrophic hazards and threats, leading on the country’s National Risk Assessment, and responding to international and domestic incidents in the central crisis team for the UK. She most recently took up the role of Director Global Supply Chains in November 2020 where she is leading work to better understand the vulnerabilities and strengthen resilience in critical supply chains. In her previous role as Head of Consular Assistance in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Philippa received an OBE in the 2020 New Years Honours for services to British nationals overseas in recognition of her work in this area.

Kristin Hanley

VP Customer Operations
Schneider Electric

Kristin has diverse experience in both commercial and operational functions, with a passion and drive to improve the end to end customer experience to enable growth. She is a strong operations and channel marketing professional skilled in digitisation, lean process efficiency, project management, continuous improvement, strategic marketing and business development. She has been at Schneider Electric for 16 years.

Jen Hunt

Group Sustainability Director
Unipart Group

Jen is currently the Group Sustainability Director at Unipart Group, where she has worked for nine years.

Nigel Hart

Head of Digital
Rolls Royce SMR

Nigel works on the Rolls Royce SMR programme, which has been derived to deliver a market driven, affordable, low carbon, energy generation capability. The design is based on optimised and enhanced use of proven technologies that presents a class leading safety outlook and attractive market offering with minimum regulatory risk, building an ambitious vision to ensure that emerging digital technologies including artificial intelligence, block-chain, fast data and emerging digital technologies are fully embraced. By actively co-creating with a vibrant digital eco-system the UK-SMR programme will embrace the latest thinking in software engineering, deep learning, machine learning and data innovation.

Aaron Bliss

Supply Chain Transformation Lead

Aaron is currently working in supply chain transformation at Nissan. He has also managed outbound logistics engineering where he was responsible for the team that were building, managing, and reporting the outbound logistics budget in Europe, managing tenders in conjunction with purchasing on European scope for compounds and inland freight to get vehicles from plants to dealers.

James Wright

Director of Supply

James is considered an intelligent, energetic and trusted leader, with personal strengths in inclusivity and collaboration, customer focus, building effective teams and delivery of results. James has an excellent track record in operations leadership with a focus on manufacturing and supply chain strategy, sustainability, talent management, technology introduction, project leadership and operations excellence. James has over 20 years experience working for world class organisations in the Life sciences, Consumer, Industrial and Retail sectors, primarily in Europe and the Americas, including: B&Q, Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Solutions, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal, Siemens, ASML, Unilever and DSM.

Sebastian Ansari

Senior Manager - Supply Chain Transformation
Jaguar Land Rover

Sebastian is a member of the End-to-End Supply Chain Transformation leadership team. He is accountable for supply chain planning and response transformation. His objective is to optimise profit and sustainability through sensing, shaping and responding to customer demand for products and services, matching supply chain capabilities across the short, medium and long term time horizons.

Kevin Pritchard

Operations Director Europe

Kevin is an experienced group managing director with a demonstrated history of working successfully across complex sectors and industry. Skilled in strategy development and implementation, negotiation, organisational and team training and development, multi-site remote operations, budgetary planning, management, lean processes quality improvement and gemba focus., strategic sourcing, management, and services delivery and contracting. Full P&L accountability through to health and safety and risk governance in highly regulated sectors. Strong entrepreneurship professional pursuing research focused on technology led consumer behaviour models in service delivery models with Cranfield University - Cranfield School of Management.

Jeremy Ridyard

Managing Director

Jeremy has 25 years experience of growing manufacturing SME in aerospace.

Matthew Bradley

Managing Director
CNS - Community Network Services

Matthew has spent 22 years at CNS.

Grant Foster

Managing Director
Aon Risk Consulting

Grant is experienced in enterprise risk management, business continuity management
risk management outsourcing, claims consulting and advocacy, and risk financing.

Nick Davis


As Deloitte’s UK leader for Industry 4.0, Nick is passionate and fascinated by the possibilities arising from combining the physical and digital worlds, so that businesses can better design, make and operate their products. He helps industrial clients imagine and deliver their futures by adopting technology to transform their businesses - combining the delivery of core systems with new, disruptive technology such as IOT. With more than 20 years consulting experience, he has designed, delivered and recovered large-scale transformation programmes with experience in global delivery; combining people, process and technology change; working hand-in-hand with colleagues, clients and partners; and drawing on a significant breadth of services, as you would expect from a Tier 1 consulting firm. He has a specific focus on the Energy, Resources and Industrials sector, where he is responsible for Deloitte’s Enterprise Technology and Performance services in the UK.

Digital Catapult Team

Robert Learney

Head of Technology - Distributed Systems
Digital Catapult

Dr. Robert M. Learney – Head of Technology in Distributed Systems with 10 years of experience in the sector. Rob manages a team engaged in multiple collaborative projects aiming to improve the UK’s economic position through the appropriate use of this technology. These span aerospace, FMCG, food & drink, oil & gas, the nuclear industry, and construction with partners including BAE Systems, Heathrow, Ferrovial, P&G, BBC, Sony, and multiple leading UK universities. He is a published author and recognised international speaker on the transformative potential and uptake of these technologies.

Ben Ramsden

Partnerships Manager
Digital Catapult

Ben has been building communities across value chains and social networks in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia for over 20 years. From start-ups to multinationals, industry bodies to social movements, Ben's specialism in building digitally enabled sustainable & resilient value chains has been developed by working closely with leaders across every part of the food and fashion system furnishing him with an intimate knowledge of the industry and drivers for transformation at all tiers and scales.

Robert Smith

Director of AI and Data Science
Digital Catapult

Robert is a technologist, complexity scientist, entrepreneur, writer, and sought-after public speaker. He authored over 100 academic papers on complex-systems-based artificial intelligence and knowledge representation, conducted research and development projects for all branches of the US military, Los Alamos National and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, NASA, Boeing, NSF, EPSRC, The European Union, DERA, British Aerospace, and others. He is the author of Rage Inside the Machine, which was shortlisted for UK Best Business Book of 2020. Senior Fellow of the Computer Science Faculty at University College London. He also co-founded BOXARR Ltd.

Chetan Shrouti

Programme Manager
Digital Catapult

Chetan joined Digital Catapult in October 2021 as a Programme Manager of Digital Supply Chain Hub. Chetan has over 13 years of experience managing programmes to deliver R&D strategy, new products, Supply Chain enhancement, and data-driven business transformation for global OEMs and consulting firms. His work spans across several industry sectors such as Automotive, Engineering, Power Electronics, and Pharmaceutical, thus bringing cross-industry learnings into his interventions. Chetan has previously worked as a Management Consultant for KPMG in India and the UK. He is PMP and PRINCE2 qualified and has a good knowledge of the APQP framework and extensive experience in delivering high-value collaborative R&D programmes.

Jasmin Kailath

Innovation Delivery Manager
Digital Catapult

Jasmin has delivered pan-European Acceleration Programmes and co-designed internationalisation programmes and events. She has worked in Horizon2020 projects and supported start-ups by facilitating need-oriented workshops and events enabling them to scale or internationalise. She is a global sustainable entrepreneurship enthusiast with expertise in delivering acceleration programmes, sustainable business development and internationalisation.

Dana Elman

Innovation Partner
Digital Catapult

Dana is an innovation management practitioner with previous experience in consulting, innovation policy and lobbying for small businesses in the UK and Israel to access finance, and trade internationally. Currently, I'm leading the Digital Security by Design Technology Access Programme and working on digital innovation in supply chains.

Kingsley Harding

Solution Architect
Digital Catapult

With over 15 years' experience in the Technology industry, Kingsley has worked with the world's largest brands helping them understand the potential of technology to their business and designing solutions to meet their challenges. With a strong technology background, combined with a MBA and wide range of innovation roles, Kingsley is well placed to identify how to bring diverse organisations together with advanced technology, helping them to create their future. Retraining as a teacher mid-way through his career, Kingsley has a specific interest in bringing skills in learning and development to help people understand advanced technology in a way that allows them to think more broadly about its potential application and associated benefits.

Tim Lawrence

Programme Director, Digital Supply Chain Hub
Digital Catapult

Tim joined Digital Catapult in September 2021 as Director of Digital Supply Chain and the Made Smarter Innovation hub. Tim has extensive experience in improving global businesses and supply chains working within the Automotive, Consumer Goods, Aerospace, Defence, Construction, Life Science and Industrial Sectors. His experience includes 25 years in supply chain consultancy, leading global companies to deliver transformation in their business and operations focused on strategy, operating model and organisational design, digital supply chain, restructuring and performance improvement. He has extensive global experience having worked across 16 different countries in Europe, US and Middle East advising over 50 different companies in that time. An inspirational thought leader, Tim develops leading insights into global supply chain management, digital and manufacturing and is regularly quoted in the press and speaks on these topics at conference platforms across Europe.

Jem Henderson

Marketing and Comms Manager
Digital Catapult

Jem Henderson is an experienced marketing and communications professional working within the tech and digital industry for the last decade. They have previously worked on the IoTUK programme at Digital Catapult. They have also worked to support the tech ecosystem in Yorkshire as the Entrepreneur Engagement Manager for Tech Nation. They have expertise in community and ecosystem development, content creation and strategy including video and text, working with industry, government and academia, innovation, design thinking and workshop facilitation.