Name: Sue Cooke
What is your background?
I am the CEO of the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC) and currently interim Head of Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Huddersfield. 3M BIC supports businesses with innovation, technology adoption and engagement with the research capabilities of the University. 3M BIC also hosts the University’s Enterprise Hub which incubates student and graduate enterprise, as well as the Leeds City Region Supply Chain Programme.
Whilst at Huddersfield, I have set up the Kirklees Top 100 Companies initiative with partners and has developed the Sir George Buckley Leadership Centre offering CMI accredited leadership programmes from the 3M BIC in association with the Huddersfield Business School.
What inspired you to join Huddersfield Unlimited?
I have enjoyed being involved in one of the working groups advancing the promotion of Huddersfield as a key location for a heath and med tech cluster, linking in to the University’s plans to create a new National Health Innovation Campus at Southgate. I found lots of ways to better connect the work of HU into the efforts of the University, the local authority and the regional LEP/Combined Authority. So I could see that I could help make a difference to the HU ambitions, with a group of like-minded people and was thrilled to be asked to join the Board.
Explain your role within Huddersfield Unlimited?
I represent the University of Huddersfield and contribute as a member of the HDD working group on the health, med-tech and digital agenda above.
What do you think are Huddersfield’s main strengths and how can they be capitalised on?
Having lived here for over 30 years, I see the strengths in our beautiful location in the Pennines, facing both Leeds and Manchester; the excellent education sector for all ages; and the bonds amongst communities, including a can-do business sector.
What is your vision for the town in 2030?
The University continues to go from strength to strength, our graduates gain good jobs or set up new businesses in the region, we become a much more highly skilled economy with health, digital and advanced engineering strengths alongside our traditional textiles and manufacturing heartland. Innovation drives forward the renewal of the economy and we see our town centre and local communities thriving with independent shops, cafes, tourism and cultural activities.
If you could have one wish for Huddersfield, what would it be? E.g. this could be a specific development, cultural or other outcome.
I would like to see the new National Health Innovation Campus thriving in a green environment, alongside the University Campus and Town Centre, next to a rediscovered waterfront.