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    In the Driving Seat: Liz Towns-Andrews, Director of Research & Enterprise, University of Huddersfield

    Liz has recently been involved in carrying out a review of the automotive sector in Yorkshire, and she became an NAA board member in December 2015, along with The University of Huddersfield becoming an NAA member – find out more about Liz below…

    Name
    Liz Towns-Andrews

    Company
    University of Huddersfield

    Position
    Director of Research & Enterprise

    Apart from that
    I am a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2013 which is a lifetime award. I am also Chair of the Yorkshire Universities Knowledge Transfer Directors Group.

    Association with NAA
    I joined the Board of NAA in December 2015 and the University is now a member. The University of Huddersfield has established a Turbo Charger Research Institute and has a partnership with Borg Warner in Bradford. We are partners in Yorkshire Universities (YU) and have recently carried out a review of the automotive sector in Yorkshire as part of an ERDF technical assistance programme.

    Why did you join the NAA?:
    Following the YU audit of automotive businesses and research strengths in the Yorkshire region we could clearly see the wider opportunities of working with the NAA. In my role as chair of the YU KT Directors group I can also represent the wider HE grouping across Yorkshire rather than a single institution.

    Personal
    I have been married to my husband Steve for 29 years and we have one daughter, Emma, who is a linguistics PhD student.  My hobbies include geanealogy, travelling overseas and allotmenteering!

    Favourite football team
    I’m not really a football fan. Tennis is more my sport. However, over the years I have kept a watchful eye on my home team of Chesterfield more locally known as The Spireites.

    Musical performer
    I listen to lots of different types of music but if I had to choose, it would be the Manic Street Preachers or Reel Big Fish.

    Movie
    I have to say I’m a chick-flick person and my favourite film is Dirty Dancing, I also like The Bridget Jones Diary series of films.

    Books
    Anything that has a murder mystery in it! I really enjoyed reading all the Jo Nesbo books but my favourite author is Stephen Booth because all his stories are set in my home county of Derbyshire.

    Best motoring moment
    This has to be going to the Monaco Grand Prix for my husband’s 40th birthday – walking the circuit after the race was amazing. One of my other best motoring moments was picking up my first Mercedes SL.

    Best business advice you’ve ever received?
    Not really business advice, but understanding the power of networks for all aspects of business growth and development. I have seen this in action through the Daresbury SciTech campus which I was involved in getting started when I was at the Science and Technology Facilities Council and also now at the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre in Huddersfield where we have ~600 SMEs associated with the centre. The NAA is a great opportunity for extending my personal network of contacts.

    European Social Fund
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham