About Us

The Essex Innovation Programme has been running for nearly 10 years. In that time we have worked with over 1000 companies helping them to start up, bring new products to market and to grow.


We have seen companies go on to introduce new products to market, to work with major partners in developing business ideas, working with universities, reach new markets in the UK and abroad, recruit new staff and/or directors, increase turnover, restructure their business, gain new patents and whole host of other achievements.

In 2014/15 we...

  • Helped over 100 companies to increase their productivity
  • Secured £822,289 additional investment in R&D
  • Supported businesses to secure £3,159,691 of additional funding
  • Assisted 31 businesses to launch
  • Safeguarded 41 jobs
  • Created 54 jobs
  • Enabled 11 Knowledge Transfers with universities

What We Do

The Essex Innovation Programme (EIP) is helping companies, both early stage and established, to develop their creative and innovative commercial development ideas.

We work with companies at various stages of their operation...

  • Start ups
  • Small businesses
  • Established businesses
  • Young entrepreneurs

How We Can Do It

We operate a number of activities to help businesses to grow.  These all work together and are deployed depending upon the bespoke need of each company. These include . . .

1. Business professionals

Our team of experienced private sector business professionals are working with companies on a one-to-one basis to deliver value bespoke solutions that facilitate growth for the company. They provide ‘critical friend’ assistance to help companies to innovate and grow.

2. World class manufacturing business support

We work in partnership with the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), University of Cambridge, helping manufacturing companies to grow their profits, become more sustainable help companies to scale up.

3. Funding/Finance

Whilst we are not a fund holder we have in depth knowledge of the grant and funding landscape and work to maximise successful applications by Essex companies to government-funded grants.

4. Academic & industrial partnerships

Helping Essex companies access the academic knowledge and expertise of our Universities to help companies to fast track their development and growth.

5. Events, workshops & sector networks

To stimulate business collaboration, support innovation, share best practice and to help Essex businesses access vital information for business development.

6. Ford Mentoring Programme

A partnership project giving businesses in the county the chance to work with experienced Ford professionals.

7. Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme

Encouraging youth entrepreneurship.

8. Economic projects

We undertake ongoing short run projects to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Essex.

Business Professionals

Sally Brazier
Sally Brazier
  • Management of all aspects of design, including: identity, brand, literature, websites, products and services, space planning and interiors, etc.
  • Marketing: esp. competitor analysis and communications
  • Intellectual property issues such as copyright, design right, design registration, trademarks, and patents
  • Trained facilitator in creative problem solving

With extensive practical experience business and design as a consultant, as a design adviser and as a general business advisor. Database of professional designers of all disciplines.

Graham Broughton
Graham Broughton
  • Strategic marketing from fast moving consumer goods to technological and scientific products
  • New product concepts and briefing design consultants
  • Access to finance
  • International trade and export driven companies
  • Companies wanting to diversify their products/distribution
  • IP issues (process and registration)

Over 30 years of experience in working with diverse businesses in all aspects of marketing from product concept to launch and recommending / introducing distribution partners. Experience in preparing companies for investment.  Experienced in the problems faced by small businesses and start-up companies.

John Hawker
John Hawker
  • Assistance for early stage companies to manage the new product design process from concept to production.
  • Access to a wide range of specialist service providers. Patenting, prototyping, regulatory compliance, grant funding, international marketing, UK, European and Far Eastern manufacturing.
  • Innovation management, new product development, commercial exploitation, supply chain management.

With over 40 years’ experience as a consultant at board level with international clients, John has worked with global companies to help them to develop innovative new products and successfully exploit them in international markets.

Hugh Parnell
Hugh Parnell
  • Extensive experience in low carbon, clean and environmental solutions businesses
  • Early stage business funding and development activities
  • Cross-border transactions including stock market flotation
  • Management information, strategy review and business planning 

With over 16 years of experience in strategy implementation and planning for the environmental sector and extensive skills in corporate finance including access to capital, equity finance and other sources of funding.

Lesley Anne Rubenstein-Pessok
Lesley Anne Rubenstein-Pessok
  • International business and market development
  • Networking and contact building locally and overseas
  • Getting companies 'investment ready'
  • Direct sales (B2B and B2C)
  • Import/Export
  • Securing distributors, strategic and joint venture partners 

Over 20 years’ experience in providing international business development services in medical, IT, electronics and engineering sectors, helping companies to develop their markets, business focus/understanding as well as helping to form balanced management teams by understanding their strengths and weaknesses and 'hand-holding'.

Emma Wakeling
Emma Wakeling

Business Innovation Manager

07921 397050


Leading on the Essex Innovation Programme and developing new support mechanisms to enable Essex businesses to grow. Managing a team of experienced private sector business mentors who work closely with multi-sectoral established businesses and start-ups to embed innovative practices. Focusing on product (including intellectual property), process, organisational and marketing innovation. Developing key collaborative strategic partnerships with industry and academia.

Danielle Putt
Danielle Putt

Innovation & Sector Development Officer

07880 092887


I work within the Enterprise Team to support, coordinate and manage the delivery of a range of activities to deliver the above, including; providing businesses with access to first class innovation support, supporting and developing the delivery of vibrant sector networks, anticipating challenges affecting businesses' competitiveness and plans for growth, and developing and delivering specific and generic solutions.

Helen Quinnell
Helen Quinnell

Innovation Manager

07918 904941


I work with innovative SMEs across Essex providing a range of support to enable business growth through the Essex Innovation Programme. This includes business mentoring for start-ups, early stage and established companies, signposting to funding and finance, as well as arranging networks and events to provide opportunities for business collaboration.