Sussex Innovation is delighted to announce the appointment of our new Head of Innovation & Consultancy. Tanya Popeau will step into the newly-created position in the organisation’s senior management team after working as a consultant and advisor at the forefront of the United Nations’ strategic focus on innovation. Her role will involve the development of our consultancy and support programmes, with a special focus on innovation and sustainability.

Reporting to Chief Executive Nigel Lambe, Tanya will bring together two strategic objectives that are central to the incubator’s plans; helping the region’s growing businesses to develop innovative products, and delivering tailored support for purpose-led businesses that want to have greater social, environmental and economic impact.

“I’m looking forward to joining Sussex Innovation at a very exciting time,” said Tanya Popeau, Head of Innovation. “There is a very clear direction and desire throughout the company to make a positive change in the world, while continuing to focus on the team’s skills and expertise to help businesses throughout the region develop pioneering ideas into commercial successes. It’s going to be exciting to play a part in driving that agenda.”

During her work for the UN, Tanya oversaw the development of the first ever Innovation Fund in the Asia-Pacific region, addressing challenges from climate change to gender-based violence. She has carried out research on methodologies and techniques for innovating in international development for Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency, and formed strategic partnerships with organisations including the BBC, Amnesty International and Procter & Gamble whilst working at Royal Holloway University of London.

“The past 18 months have brought extraordinary circumstances for business, particularly the ambitious start-ups and SMEs we work with,” said Nigel Lambe, Chief Executive of Sussex Innovation. “Throughout the pandemic we’ve consulted with both our members and the wider community to understand their challenges and what support they need most.

“While we’re lucky to have a great team of experts who specialise in delivering insight, strategy and marketing expertise for innovative businesses, we’ve heard from lots of companies who have been forced to radically rethink their business model, products and market. We know that we can offer a lot of value by helping established business owners encourage more of an innovation mindset and manage change effectively within an already successful company – a need that Tanya is uniquely qualified to help us fulfil.”

After 25 years at the heart of the scale-up community in the South East, Sussex Innovation began 2021 with a renewed commitment to inspire mission-led businesses in the region, combining economic growth with social impact. The incubator is set to open its third innovation hub in Brighton city centre later this year.