SBRI Healthcare Lead Director, EAHSN
Karen is the National Director for the Small Business Research Initiative – SBRI Healthcare. She is supporting the network to develop its role in economic development and wealth creation.
In leading the SBRI Healthcare programme for NHS England, Karen supports small enterprises to be funded to develop technology solutions for healthcare problems and supports the work of the NHS England Innovations team in their relationships with industry.
Formerly Director of NHS Midlands and East Karen supported the work of the regional health authority and the Public Health Team to promote closer working across all government. Karen led on relations with Local Government supporting the development of Health and Wellbeing Boards across the Midlands and East Cluster area.
A Board member of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) for nine years until 2012, Karen championed the work of the Regional Development Agency (RDA) in business development, communications, and equal opportunities. Karen was also board member of EEIDB, the service provider for Business Link in the East of England. The Business Link service provided specialist business advice and support to start ups, SMEs and high growth companies across the region.
Karen has also worked as a special adviser to the then Secretary of State for Health – Patricia Hewitt MP. With a specific remit to handle media and communications, she also had responsibility for managing relationships with national stakeholders representing employer, patient and community interests.
Prior to her role in Westminster Karen was a campaigns and communications director for several national Trades Unions, the Labour Party and voluntary sector organisations.