Chair of DIA External Advisory Board

By Bethan Lauder

Nick Crew appointment

Cardiff University has announced that Nick Crew has been appointed chair of the Data Innovation Accelerator’ External Advisory Board. The Board will provide impartial input and feedback on the direction, strategy and interactions with small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Wales. The first meeting will be held in Cardiff on Thursday 11 July 2019.

As the chief operating officer at Airbus Endeavr - a not-for-profit company that commissions early stage research to address industry-led challenges – and a research and technology manager for Airbus Defence and Space, Nick works with businesses, academic institutions and industry partners to inspire innovation that drives economic growth.

Nick Crew said, “I am looking forward to working with the members of the Data Innovation Accelerator management team and the external advisory board to help contribute to business strength and inspire SMEs to integrate data modelling, engineering and analysis into their day-to-day business practices.”

Through the Data Innovation Accelerator (DIA), launched in June 2019, SMEs will benefit from cutting-edge data science methods that help companies realise the true value of the data held within their business.  The aim is to respond to demand from companies who have ambitions to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into the heart of their business but lack the data science expertise to help them grow.

Peter Burnap, Co-director, Data Innovation AcceleratorProfessor Pete Burnap, DIA co-director added, “The wealth of experience Nick has gained at Airbus and Airbus Endeavr, together with his passion for collaboration and co-innovation, made him the natural choice to chair the DIA’ External Advisory Board.”

Representatives from the DIA project and management team will join the DIA’s External Advisory Board. Other external members have been confirmed as: Iris Barcia, Keima; Pete Bloomfield, Digital Catapult; Avril Lewis, The ESTnet; Rowena O’Sullivan, Atradius; Peter Sueref, Centrica; and Matthew Turner, National Software Academy.

The Data Innovation Accelerator is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government until August 2021.

The Accelerator will carry out data innovation health checks and work with businesses in Cardiff, Newport, the Vale of Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Powys, Wrexham and Flintshire on collaborative research and development projects.

Professor Roger Whitaker, DIA co-director concluded, “It is a privilege to work with such a talented and inspiring group of individuals on this exciting initiative. I’m confident that their extensive experience and diverse range of skills and expertise, will help the Data Innovation Accelerator achieve tangible, measurable and impactful results for businesses across the region.”


Cardiff University is ranked 5th amongst UK universities in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework for quality and 2nd for impact, Cardiff University is an observer to the Board of Airbus Endeavr and represents academia on the Airbus Endeavr’ Executive Committee.

The Data Innovation Accelerator has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Its aim is to increase the successful translation of data science research and innovation at Cardiff University into new and improved commercial products, processes and services.

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018 it generated revenues of € 64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

Airbus Endeavr aims to grow the Welsh economy through a unique collaboration - created by Welsh Government, Airbus and Welsh Universities - that commissions world class research aligned to technological challenges.


Logo: Airbus Endeavr and partners


Logo: ERDF



Published: Thursday, 11 July 2019

Photo of Nick Crew, Chair of External Advisory Board, Digital Innovation Accelerator