Our Steering Committee

Our Independent Steering Committee, chaired by Sue Dunkerton OBE, includes representation from industry, the third sector, technology transfer, academia, patient and public involvement, the Department of Health, Knowledge Transfer Networks, NHS, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (YH AHSN), a representative from the host organisation, and members of the D4D team. The committee meets three times per year and provides guidance on any aspect of D4D including governance, management, technical direction, and industrial relevance.

Sue Dunkerton OBE

Sue Dunkerton OBE is Director at The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), responsible for priority themes within Health, Agri-Food, Materials, Chemistry and Biotechnology. KTN is the UK’s innovation network supporting the acceleration of innovation in UK businesses ultimately leading to UK wealth creation.

Sue was previously responsible for the Health KTN, and she continues to champion innovation in this space across the areas of Medical Technologies, Digital Health, Advanced Therapies and Precision Medicine.

Sue has a background in materials engineering and, following a career spanning aerospace and electronics, moved into the medical sector around 1990. Sue works closely with UK government and particularly Innovate UK to help represent business input to future technology and innovation strategy. Recent programmes have addressed how technology and particularly digital technology can deliver improved health and social care; delivery of a roadmap for high value manufacturing in the medtech sector and medicines manufacturing.

Professor Ade Adebajo MBE

Professor Ade Adebajo MBE is Clinical Director for Research and Development at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where he is also a Consultant Rheumatologist. Ade is a Regional Advisor to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. He has a wide breadth as well as depth of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of various rheumatological conditions. These conditions range from the common disorders such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and soft tissue conditions to the less frequent but more complex disorders such as the connective tissue disorders and vasculitides.  Ade is the author of several textbooks, over 100 publications, and is Associate Editor of Clinical Rheumatology. He is also Associate Director of Teaching at the University of Sheffield Medical School.

Ade has a long-standing interest in the involvement of patients, carers and the public in research and healthcare service change. He is an Associate of INVOLVE, the NIHR-funded national advisory group supporting active public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research. He is also Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Strategic Lead for NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for Yorkshire and Humber (CLAHRC YH), and is PPI Adviser to the Research Department at the Department of Health.

Our PPIE Lead, Lise Sproson, spoke to Ade about his career in patient involvement with research which can be found here: Interview with Professor Ade Adebajo – NIHR Devices 4 Dignity MIC (devicesfordignity.org.uk)

Professor Wendy Baird

Wendy is Director of NIHR Research Design Service for Yorkshire and the Humber (RDSYH) based at ScHARR. After graduating in Biology and completing her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences at King’s College London she worked at the University of Leicester. Wendy undertook further training in applied health research during NHS Executive Training Fellowship at Leicester. She joined Trent RDSU at ScHARR in 2003 to support the development of research capacity in the NHS staff.

The remit of NIHR RDS is to support researchers develop and design high quality research proposals for submission to the NIHR and other national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research. Wendy’s research interest focuses on inequalities in health and access to health services for both those with chronic disabling diseases and those who are socially excluded from care.

Dr Annette Bramley

Annette is Director of the N8 Research Partnership. Previously working for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Annette brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience from a career that spans numerous senior positions.  She will probably be best known to the research and business communities in the North from her most recent role as Head of Healthcare Technologies, where she has had particularly significant success in galvanising multidisciplinary research collaborations between researchers and between funders.  She also brings to the N8 strong experience of organisational change, having played a prominent role in the successful transfer of EPSRC’s grants services to a shared service centre, including the implementation of a new IT system.  Other roles in EPSRC have included Head of Mathematical Sciences, Complexity Science and Engineering.

Ms Sandi Carman

Sandi is Assistant Chief Executive on the Board of Directors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Sandi has over 20 years’ experience working in NHS acute, community, and commissioning organisations and is passionate about ensuring the delivery of high quality care. Sandi’s career started in Occupational Therapy at the Northern General Hospital and she has since gained a wealth of experience in operational and managerial roles. Sandi is a Non-executive Director for South Yorkshire Housing Association and a Joint Independent Audit Committee Member for the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Sandi holds a master’s degree in health care practice and has achieved the NHS Leadership Academy Award in Executive Healthcare Leadership

Alan Norton

Alan Norton has served with D4D since 2008. He is a full-time electric wheelchair user and lives independently with his disabled wife for 45 years. He spent most of his working life in finance holding a senior position for a multinational battery manufacturer.  Previously Alan was CEO of Assist UK a membership organisation of 62 Disabled Living Centres which gave free advice and the opportunity to try equipment to promote independent living.  He advises many organisations of Disability matters including Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions, Motability and Department for Transport.  He holds several directorships within the voluntary sector including Shopmobility and Disabled Motoring UK.  He has specialised knowledge on assistive technology and renal services.  He now has his own company Into Independence and is currently developing services in the UAE.  Alan’s hobbies are motorsport and fishing

Dr Ceri Williams

Dr Ceri Williams is currently a self-employed consultant providing support on leadership, governance and strategic research and innovation advice for UK universities and companies. She was previously Director of Research and Innovation Development at the University of Leeds where she led the strategic development of high quality research and innovation programmes and grew research and innovation funding to £200m per annum. She is led the design and development of Nexus, the University’s Innovation and Enterprise Centre, a high profile gateway that continues to help external organisations access research and innovation capabilities, people and skills within the University. She has a strong background in the delivery of transformation in current ways of working and the continuous development of a research and innovation culture through partnership working.

Prior to joining the University she led science and innovation programmes at Yorkshire Forward and developed a strong track record in economic development, research and innovation policy and strategic leadership of economic and social value creation from the universities in Yorkshire and the Humber. Throughout her career she has worked extensively with external partners including industry, funders, public sector organisations, intermediaries and local and national Government agencies.

Dr Christopher Herbert

More info coming soon…