Regional Development Group

The Regional Development Group (RDG) acts as the interface of collaboration and partnership between YU member institutions and between universities and other partners in Yorkshire working together on place-based development.

Chair of the RDG

Dr Liam Sutton

Associate Director, Research & Innovation, University of Bradford

Liam leads Research and Innovation Services at the University of Bradford, holding responsibility for ‘end-to-end’ support services for research and innovation projects, and for nurturing a research environment of excellence and inclusion at England’s top-ranked University for social mobility. Liam is co-author of Bradford’s strategies for both Research and Innovation and Business and Community Engagement.

Liam studied Chemistry at Oxford and Nottingham, before postdoctoral research at Sheffield, Erlangen-Nuremburg (as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow) and Leeds working on organic materials and self-assembly chemistry. He joined chemical multinational Clariant as an R&D Chemist in 2004, then returned to Sheffield in 2006 to take up a business development role at the Polymer Centre. Polymer Centre Manager and MD of spin-out FaraPack Polymers Ltd from 2008, he went on to develop the Science Faculty’s Knowledge Exchange Strategy and the Sheffield Science Gateway. He joined the University of Bradford as Head of Knowledge Transfer in 2013 and was promoted to Associate Director in 2018.

Liam’s ambition for the Regional Development Group is that we make the diversity of our sector count in the economic, social and cultural development of our region.

Members of the RDG


Andrew Jones

Head of Careers, Employability and Enterprise at Leeds Arts University

Professor Cathy Barnes

Director of Research and Enterprise at Leeds Beckett University

Patsy Gilbert

Vice Principal and Director of Performance at Leeds Conservatoire

Claire Newhouse

Dean of External Engagement and Impact at Leeds Trinity University

Professor Wayne M Cranton

Dean of Research at Sheffield Hallam University

Susan Cooke

CEO of 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, University of Huddersfield

Josine Opmeer

Acting Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Hull

Marc Eatough

Head of Regional Development and Engagement at the University of Leeds

Andrew Jackson

Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of York

Dr Sarah Want

Director of Partnerships and Regional Engagement at the University of Sheffield

Marc Fleetham

Director of Business Development and Knowledge Exchange at York St John University