Our advisory group is exceptionally well-networked within the business community of the South West, and its members are expert in their fields. They help us to understand the characteristics and needs of different sectors. We work with them to ensure that our activities meet those needs, and are as widely publicised as possible. At this time, we are not seeking additional advisory group members, although we expect that the group’s composition will develop as we embark on new initiatives.
Meet our Advisory Group
JOINT CHIEF EXECUTIVE COSMIC
Kate is the Joint Chief Executive of Cosmic, one of the leading social enterprises in the South West and recognised across the UK for its achievements and ongoing development. Kate is a girl geek having spent 20 years in the IT industry, many of which running a wholly female owned IT software business.
Kate specialises in Digital Futures and the strategic use of Digital to transform business processes. She is passionate about ensuring organisations use digital technology to improve productivity and thrive, particularly in the rural economy.
Kate regularly delivers lectures across the UK and internationally on Digital Transformation.
Kate is a steering group member of the South West Cyber Security Cluster, Tech South West. She is a Co-opted Governor at Marjon University and South Devon College.
Her previous career in Civil Engineering enabled her to work extensively in both the UK and overseas.
Kate has been shortlisted for the Women in IT awards, as IT Advocate of the Year, and received awards from Tech4Good, Social Enterprise UK and Venus awards. She has been listed on the WISE 100 2020 Index as Social Leader of the Year.
FOUNDER OF THE SOUTH WEST BUSINESS CRIME PARTNERSHIP
Andrew Sharman is the Founder of the South West Business Crime Centre and is a respected practitioner in the world of business crime reduction with over a decade in managing and supporting BIDs, BCRPs, Police & PCCs across the country.
Andrew is a partner of the Institute of Place Management, a Member of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management, and an assessor for the National Standards Accreditation for Business Crime Partnerships governed by Secured by Design Police Crime Prevention Initiatives.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AT THE SOUTH WEST INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Steve Mariadas is the CEO of the South West Institute of Technology. He has a wide range of experience in both industry and education having held the position of Chief Information Officer for a European airline. Since moving into education ten years ago, he has been instrumental in building digital and data apprenticeships across the region.
Steve was awarded a Technical Teaching Fellowship by the Royal Commission and works closely with the Department for Education and Gatsby Foundation.
CHAIR OF THE SOUTH WEST CYBER SECURITY CLUSTER
Robin is an experienced, sales-focussed business manager with a specialism within the Technology and Security markets. He has held senior roles within a range of companies, bringing together the skills of highly experienced teams to lead solutions and services into a range of public and private sector markets, notably the Defence and Security sectors in both the UK and overseas. He has a particular interest in cyber security, retains senior relationships relevant to the UK technology-based innovation market including those with Government, the System Integration and Prime Contractor communities and with several Academic institutions.
Robin has represented the interests of the UK SME sector within UK and International trade organisations to include UKTI, UK Council for Electronic Business (UKCeB), UK ADS Group (as a member of the Defence Small Medium Enterprise Committee) and the internationally recognised Transglobal Secure Collaboration Program (TSCP) with interest in securing supply chain interoperability. He was an invited member of the UK Prime Ministerial Trade Delegation to the US to represent UK SME Cyber Security interests.
Amongst other activities, Robin is a trusted advisor to a number of cyber security businesses as they establish market presence within the specialist sectors of defence and security markets with a particular interest in Industrial Control System provision for Critical National Infrastructure.
DIRECTOR AT SUILVEN MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS
Alan has a career which spans 24 years delivering global telecommunications and defence engineering business along with 16 years working with a broad range of technology led Start-ups and not for profit organisations.
An engineer by training he has developed strategies at Board level for multiple businesses in diverse industries around the globe whilst also providing programme oversight for mergers and acquisitions, legal and financial restructures as well as international technology and market development.
He has enjoyed working with international teams of subject matter experts to ensure the application of corporate governance, business continuity and risk management whilst assuring accountability and transparency and protecting stakeholder interests.
DIGITAL FUTURES SECTOR LEAD - HEART OF THE SOUTH WEST LEP
Vince joined the LEP in November 2020 as the Digital Futures Sector Lead. Prior to that he ran his own Business Consultancy specialising in helping businesses with Technology Digital & Web. Prior to that that he has also worked as a director of a bespoke software development company & internet marketing company.
Vince is also an experienced business advisor having worked for Business Link & on various business support programmes such as Connecting Devon & Somerset, Superfast Business, and the Heart of the South West Growth Hub.
CEO OF THE SOUTH WEST BUSINESS COUNCIL
Paul has recently left BT after 31 years after being BT Group’s English Regional Director where he responsible for developing strategic relationships with combined and local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, business, education and community organisations to focus on the success and growth of the UK’s regional and local economies.
In this new phase of his portfolio career Paul is working with a company called “Advalus” as a senior consultant in the area of technology and innovation, especially 5G, Cyber and Internet of Things.
Paul is based in the South West and sits on the following external boards:
Heart of the South West LEP
Tech South West Advisory Board
Member of the Court of Bristol University
Board Member of Surf Life Saving GB
South West Cyber Resilience Centre
DIRECTOR OF CYBER CHELTENHAM (CyNam)
Richard is one of the founding Directors of Cyber Cheltenham (CyNam), a Community Interest Company focused on the development and growth of the Cyber ecosystem in the Cheltenham and Gloucestershire region.
Richard’s career in the Cyber and National Security industry spans over 15 years, most recently as a business leader at CACI Ltd following their 2019 acquisition of Deep3 Software, a software engineering company which Richard co-founded in 2014 and led as Director and CEO.
Prior to founding Deep3, Richard held positions at the Cabinet Office’s e-Government Unit delivering pan-government services such as the Government Gateway after which he worked for Atos as a Programme Manager responsible for the delivery of mission-critical projects for customers in the National Security sector.
As a Cheltenham resident, where he lives with his wife and two children, Richard’s passion lies in supporting the development and growth of the thriving cyber community in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and the wider UK through collaboration, innovation and knowledge exchange. He is a member of the Golden Valley Cyber Leadership Board (CLB) and currently chairs the UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration Group, where he leads an initiative to develop an Operating Framework and Governance model for UK Cyber Clusters.
HEAD OF MEMBERSHIP AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AT BUSINESS WEST CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
Business West Chambers of Commerce is the largest business membership organisation in the South West. Phil manages the membership team and helps Chambers of Commerce members across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bristol, and Bath connect, grow and improve their business.
Having worked predominantly in sales, service and account management roles and more recently in business support, Phil's passion is finding ways to help customers solve their problems.
Business West is rated as one of the best companies to work for in business services and is a newly-certified B Corp. 21,000 businesses trust Business West to help them start, grow, innovate and export - as well as lobby the government on their behalf.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT BUSINESS CYBER CENTRE
Tom is the business development manager for the Business Cyber Centre (BCC), the UK's first business-led cyber centre. Tom has a strong background in commercial and residential property, as well as working with start-ups and micro-SMEs through to large corporates and MoD primes. As lead for the BCC, Tom is focussed on mobilising the physcial premises whilst establishing the commercial startegy for the BCC as a start-up business.
FOUNDER OF CYNAM (CYBER CHELTENHAM) AND OWNER OF INFOSEC PEOPLE
Chris Dunning-Walton is the Founder of CyNam (Cyber Cheltenham) and Owner of InfoSec People, a leading cyber security recruitment business. An expert in CISO and CxO Executive Search, Chris is a vocal advocate of diversity and inclusivity in cyber with a passion for enabling meaningful connects within the sector.
ASSISTANT DEVON NFU COUNTY ADVISER
Ed Humber has the role of assistant Devon NFU County adviser which involves working with 2,900 British Farmer and Grower members across the county to ensure they are supported, well informed, and represented at all levels. This involves anything that could impact or benefit their business, both now and in the future.