Our team

The Data-Driven Innovation initiative has helped establish - and exists to support - five data-driven innovation ‘hubs’ at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University – creating a regional power-house for collaboration with industry partners. The hubs house expertise and facilities to help 10 industrial sectors become more innovative through data.

The DDI Team


Jarmo Eskelinen

Executive Director

Jarmo joined the DDI programme from Future Cities Catapult in London. As Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, he led Catapult's research and innovation strategy and academic collaboration.

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John Scott

Head of Delivery

John is responsible for co-ordinating the delivery of a range of DDI initiatives that enable all of our citizens to benefit from the data revolution. The role involves enacting diverse collaborations.

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Ritchie Somerville

Head of Strategy

As DDI’s Head of Strategy, Ritchie maintains the strategic context for the DDI programme, within which the range of initiatives that deliver the programme’s outcomes can be developed and delivered; assuring that the programme aligns.

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Rachel Slaski

Head of Finance & Reporting

Rachel is responsible for effecting the strategy of the DDI programme by supporting decisions on the allocation of resources and ensuring that progress against plan is reported transparently and timeously.

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Alison Muckersie

Programme Lead, DDI Skills Gateway

Alison is responsible for the development and delivery of the DDI Skills Gateway Programme. This multi-partner initiative aims to develop a strategic approach to increasing the data skills of people.

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Mark Baillie

Communications and PR Manager

Mark is responsible for the planning and delivery of communications, working across a network that covers the DDI innovation hubs, the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University. Mark also helps to co-ordinate wider communications for the City Region Deal.

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Stephanie Peebles

Communications and Engagement Executive

Stephanie supports the development and maintenance of the vital partner networks of the DDI programme, internally across the innovation hubs, the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, DDI Skills Gateway and externally through stakeholder engagement, communications and events.

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Megan Forrest

Programme Office Coordinator

Megan provides front-of-house, administrative and logistical support to the DDI Programme, including elements of stakeholder engagement, communications and events delivery.

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David Jamieson

Programme Office Coordinator

David provides front-of-house, administrative and logistical support to the DDI Programme, including elements of stakeholder engagement, communications and events delivery.

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Joy Medvecky

Reporting Lead

Joy develops the strategy and approach for reporting on the monitoring and evaluation of the programme’s performance, ensuring the management and implementation of the programme’s risk analysis.

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Dr Gemma Cassells

Lead Strategist

Gemma supports strategic and operational planning across the DDI Programme, working with internal and external partners to plan and deliver a wide range of initiatives across the City Region.

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Dr Mark Graham

Lead Economist

Mark is responsible for developing the economic and related impact analysis for all DDI business cases, related funding bids and development of monitoring and evaluation framework.

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Jo Newman

Executive Assistant

Jo is Executive Assistant to the Director, and is responsible for diary management, travel arrangements and general support. Jo has worked for the University of Edinburgh since May 2006.


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Helen Dundas

Sector Lead for Agritech

Helen works across the University of Edinburgh and engages with commercial and public sector parties, to support the development of digital skills training, adoption, research and enterprise in Agritech.


David Faith

Legal Support

David is part of the University of Edinburgh’s Legal Services team and provides legal support for all areas of the DDI programme delivery and DDI-related research and projects.

DDI Hub Contacts

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Neil McGillivray

Chief Operating, Officer, The Bayes Centre

Neil is responsible for the strategic direction, resourcing and operational (member, partner and community) priorities associated with the Bayes Centre. Neil works closely with colleagues in the DDI programme.


Michael Gray

Implementation Lead (Health & Social Care Data Driven Innovation)

Michael focuses on developing the health and social care strategy for DDI, building out the programme of activities across the TRADE themes and resources to underwrite delivery.

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Val Hughes-White

Campus Operations Officer, Easter Bush Campus

Val is the Agritech Programme Administrator within the Data-Driven Innovation programme and works closely with the Agritech Programme Lead, Professor Bruce Whitelaw, and the Agritech Sector Lead.

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Ross Clark

Project Manager, National Robotarium, Heriot-Watt University

Ross is leading the delivery of the National Robotarium at Heriot-Watt University, which will open in late 2021. Working with a range of stakeholders across academia and industry.

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Rob Baxter

Programme Manager, Edinburgh International Data Facility (EIDF)

Rob is responsible for ensuring EIDF meets the needs of its users. To achieve this, he works with stakeholders across the DDI Hubs and other organisations.

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Jude Henderson

Director of Operations, Edinburgh Futures Institute

Jude provides senior operational leadership for the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) to support all aspects of its business. She works closely with the Director of EFI and colleagues in the DDI Programme, the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and across the University to deliver EFI’s objectives in developing and scaling multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder ways of working.