Subsea Expo

Access. Connect. Grow.

Driving business growth in the South West (Innovate UK / DASA Webinar)

Driving business growth in the South West (Innovate UK / DASA Webinar)

08 December 2021
Venue: Webinar (15:00 - 16:00)

This event has concluded. The webinar is now available for GUH members to view, and the presentation files are available below:

DASA overview - pdf
Innovate UK Edge - pdf

Delegates learned how Innovate UK and DASA are empowering innovative businesses to grow and achieve their industry- and society-transforming ambitions.

We heard from Dr. Deborah Watson, Innovate UK EDGE and Mike Madden, Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) how the organisations can help your business succeed and bring the benefits of your innovation to national and international audiences.


Tony Laing
Manager of Projects
Global Underwater Hub

A senior international professional with a career spanning over 37 years within the energy sector, post developing his initial career in the defence industry. With extensive experience in UK and Norway, significant assignments have been delivered in Africa, China, India and Japan, both as a technical authority and commercial roles. For over 20 years, Tony has grown businesses both at a Director level and leadership role in a range of organisations, from large corporate organisations to small medium size enterprises including pre-revenue/start-up technology businesses.

Tony believes that technology and innovation can be adopted and adapted across many industries, and this balanced with robust commercialisation will build and accelerate growth, bringing high value returns.


Dr Deborah Watson
Innovation and Growth Manager
Innovate UK EDGE

Dr Deborah Watson manages the Innovate UK EDGE team of innovation and growth specialists in the Great South West. She has extensive experience managing University and business partnerships, helping innovative businesses to make our area the best place to live and work.

Deborah’s career started with PhD in Physics, followed by research management at EPSRC. She then ran the regional Universities Association in South West England, delivering research and innovation partnership projects. Periods as a Non-Executive Director of SWMAS Ltd., as a trustee of the University of Exeter Students’ Guild, and a Governor at Petroc give her business and leadership experience. She currently delivers innovation grant training services for Granted Consultancy; runs her own company, Gradsouthwest, supporting graduates to gain employment in the region; and provides freelance consultancy, including delivering the SW England and SE Wales Science and Innovation Audit for BEIS in 2016.

Mike Madden
Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)

Mike is the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) regional Innovation Partner for the South West of England.​  ​

Mike’s role is to work with network, academic and industry organisations and individuals in the regional innovation ecosystem to offer advice on DASA opportunities, to foster collaboration and partnering between innovators, and to provide guidance on how to work with DASA, as well as defence and security more widely.  ​

Mike’s earlier careers are in both the Royal Air Force and latterly in the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).