Rhianne Lucas joined Innovate UK in 2018, as part of the rail team responsible for delivering the Department for Transport’s rail innovation programme. Rhianne’s background is in rail engineering, as a qualified engineer, having spent a considerable number of years working for Network Rail delivering high-value investment projects across the country.
Rhianne is passionate about public sector procurement and supporting SMEs working with government, which led her to her role prior to Innovate UK, working at Crown Commercial Services delivering technology procurements across government. It was this drive to make working with government more achievable for a wider supply chain that saw Rhianne take on her current role within Innovate UK as the SBRI Portfolio Manager.
Innovate UK is the custodian of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) within the UK, for which Rhianne provides advice across numerous government departments and support to those departments currently and looking to engage with SBRI. More recently, Rhianne has been working closely with The Cabinet Office and Crown Commercial Service to increase the uptake of innovative solutions across government. The focus of SBRI is to deliver cutting-edge solutions to the public sector, across all sectors.
Through SBRI, the UK trialled the first hydrogen train. We developed 3D printed bionic arms for children needing prosthetic limbs. We responded to COVID-19 through innovation, working towards a cleaner recovery from the pandemic. The UK is a country of pioneers, who have so much more to offer to the public sector over the coming years.