Lydia Smith       01223 342242

Dr Lydia Smith joined NIAB in 1997 with a broad remit to expand the research base. She developed and led Novel and Non Food Crops Research for 10 years and still contributes to this area. Her interest in diversification of farm species has led to interactions with and between academics and business through R&D demonstration events and initiatives such as the Cambplants Group. A plant ecologist by training, she initially worked on reclamation of damaged or contaminated land to agricultural/amenity use. Dr Smith applies her experience in plant microbial interactions and application of ecological principles to farmed environments.

It was clear that farmers and other stakeholders needed a source of information relating to the botany, agronomy and application of new crop species. Innovative research programmes in mainstream agricultural food production often lacked an effective pipeline for translation of research to products; including information transfer and discussion with users. To meet this need, Lydia set up NIAB Innovation Farm, to provide a forum for research and innovation providers to interact directly and to engage with students in the longer term. The Innovation Hub is a natural progression; providing physical space and assistance for piloting or testing innovations in close partnership with the grower community when needed.

Lydia SmithLydia Smith

Denise Elliott       01223 342227

Denise Elliott joined NIAB's Crops and Agronomy Department in 2012. She has 10 years' experience of working in plant science and agriculture, 12 years of running her own international business and has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Toxicology.

As Industry Liaison Manager for Innovation Hub, Denise develops contacts with, and then supports, food related businesses with ideas and projects based on waste reduction, recycling and efficiency. She also makes links between growers, industry, research and academia. Denise is the first point of contact if you are interested in working with the Hub.

Denise ElliottDenise Elliott

Vivien Sulik       01223 342454

Vivien is the first point of interaction with those wishing to use the site or interact with other Hub users. With a broad background in commercial and academic life, Vivien is Site Coordinator at Innovation Hub, in charge of administration and coordination as well as meeting and events arrangements. She works closely with Lydia Smith in the day to day running of the Hub.

Vivien SulikVivien Sulik

Innovation Hub, Soham, Cambridgeshire CB7 5UW

01223 342454


Map showing location of Innovation Hub

Innovation Hub can be reached from the A14 near Newmarket to the South and the A10 near Ely to the North. From the A142, turn into Hasse Road. You will find us 2.1 miles (4 minutes drive) along Hasse Road, on the right, after G's Growers. Please take care when driving due to the undulating road surface.

Find us on Google Maps

Steering group

Management of the Hub is led by Dr Lydia Smith in close collaboration with a steering group including

Belinda Clarke
Agri-Tech East (CHAIR)
Melissa Goodman
Produce World
Jeremy Macklin
Hutchinsons Ltd
Charlie Kisby
G's Growers
Martin Lutman
Tina Barsby
Peter Worsey
Richard Swannell
Darren Hill
East Cambridgeshire District Council
Jane Thomas
Simon Bowen
Matt McLaren
Andrew Burgess
Produce World
Nick Allpress
Allpress Farms
Joe Halstead
Agrigrub Ltd