Funded Innovation Masterclasses and Events

The University of Cumbria offers an introduction to developing innovation activity in your business. A series of stand-alone masterclasses will explore different elements of the innovation cycle and provide an entry point into further support.

Funded Innovation Masterclasses and Events

A series of practical masterclasses and events designed to help business leaders gain the tools to shape innovative business ideas. From concept through to commercialisation, these events will equip businesses with the necessary skills and knowledge needed for today’s ever competitive market.

Business leaders can mix and match in topic areas of interest depending on where they are on the innovation journey. Masterclasses will be tailored around needs and demand from participating businesses and will encourage networking between participants.

Our Coaching for Innovation programme begins in 2022 and supports business leaders and managers to create and develop organisational cultures where innovation thrives.

Forthcoming Masterclasses and events

For details of forthcoming masterclasses, please visit our Events page.

Workshop facilitators

Lucy Harrison 

Harrison Network was founded in 2014, initially to support the growth of small businesses in Cumbria. It’s success was founded on coaching and facilitation for the senior leadership of these organisations to seek new ways of improving performance, leadership and teamwork. After considerable success in these areas, the organisation has been involved in larger, mostly Cumbrian based organisations, to support the development of soft skills for tough jobs, including human-centred leadership, entrepreneurial thinking and psychological safety.

Founded in Coaching practise and theory, Lucy Harrison has developed an innovative new approach that brings together a coaching approach with developing psychological safety and situational awareness, NALED © She has worked with the University of Cumbria’s Innovation Platform over the last three years in supporting innovation in local small businesses through a coaching approach, as well as other organisations including Sellafield Ltd, Jacobs, Lancashire Fire & Rescue and Derwent.

Lucy remains dedicated to seeking innovation to meet emerging needs in our changing world, through developing psychological safety, entrepreneurship, agility and coaching skills with organisations.

Gillian Brown

Gillian has a background in strategic marketing with global brands such as The Royal Bank of Scotland, De La Rue and NCR. She was Director of Commercialisation at ITI Techmedia before becoming an independent commercialisation adviser. She has mentored or coached over 40 spinouts, startups and early stage companies, and has led 2 university technology projects through the spinout process.  For 5 years, Gillian was CEO of Alfacyte Ltd, a therapeutics startup. Before that she was CEO of Quantilyte Ltd., a university spinout developing diagnostic platforms for veterinary applications.

Alister Minty

Alister is an experienced Chairman and non-exec director who has spent more than 20 years creating spinout and startup companies and selling technology-led products to global OEMs.He has been an investor & Chairman in five successful spinouts and startups and a founder & Managing Director of a listed IP commercialisation company; he was previously a founder & VP Sales of a listed network technology start‐up; and Business Group Manager at an imaging ASIC spin‐out which listed 3 years after he joined. He has a BSc in Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

Dr Frank Allison

Dr Allison is a Materials Engineer who has specialised in IP Commercialisation. For 8 years he was Licensing and Venture Manager at The University of Manchester. From 2014 to 2016, he was IP Commercialisation Director at Dhahran Techno Valley Company (DTVC), Saudi Arabia.In 2013, he founded FIS360 Ltd and since then the company has assessed over 500 early stage technologies, and identified and secured funding for over 100 SMEs, including academic

Gordon Short

Gordon was Founder and Managing Director of RST Projects Ltd., a pipeline inspection business servicing Tier 1 international oil & gas companies. The company was acquired by Weatherford Inc. in 2002. Gordon left the company in 2007 before exiting to become Chairman of, and investor in, two university spinouts.

Gordon has mentored or coached over 200 spinouts, startups and early stage companies. He brings specific experience of the Energy, Engineering, Technology and Digital Media sectors. He has a degree in Offshore Engineering, is a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and holder of several granted patents.

We look forward to welcoming you! For further information, please contact

Benefits of the Cumbria Innovations Platform

  • Access a unique combination of expertise and skills
  • Reduce the risk of research and development
  • Speed up innovation
  • Support the development and commercialisation of new products
  • Accelerate growth in innovative Cumbrian businesses

What else is on offer?

Contact us

If you have any question or want to speak to one of our team, please email or call:

James Livsey+44 (0)1524 510332 to find out more about digital product development

Jane Hunter +44 (0)1524 593 632 to find out more about the Innovation Catalyst

Sarah Allison+44 (0)1228 888 733 or to find out more about our innovation masterclasses & events, innovation coaching and student research placements

Chris Lambert+44 7814 076610 to find out more about the scientific facilities on offer

We look forward to talking to you.