CCR Appoints Colan Mehaffey to Head up Digital & Data Innovation


A delivery-focused leader and digital strategist Colan Mehaffey recently joined the Cardiff Capital Region as Head of Digital & Data Innovation.

Mehaffey’s record speaks for itself. In Scotland, Colan led the delivery of the Green Book business case to UK and Scottish governments for a state-of-the art data innovation hub in Edinburgh, securing £67m of capital funding in 2019.

He also devised a strategic delivery plan for the Health & Social Care Data-Driven Innovation initiative, a portfolio of £50m of revenue funding at the Usher Institute of the University of Edinburgh.

With an extensive portfolio of experience, ranging from strategy production to leadership of major innovation programmes, Colan’s work will now underpin CCR’s interventions in supporting digital and data innovation capability for the region. That in turn drives that innovation in CCR’s priority sectors for economic growth, such as cybersecurity and the creative economy.

Key to Mehaffey’s work is developing digital and data innovation in ‘clusters’ related to CCR’s priority sectors.

“When we talk about a cluster, what we’re talking about is an innovation-led group of businesses, research organisations, academia, and the public sector” says the Irish-born digital leader.

“What we want to make sure is bring in entrepreneurs as part of the development of our clusters, and also capital; ensuring the finances are there to invest in our clusters for future growth and to make them robust.”

“Ultimately we want to generate wealth for our citizens and that can come in many forms – increased economic investment in the region, inward investment and in terms of social value and social benefit.”


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When Gavin Powell came to CCR in July to drive the Innovation & Clusters agenda, he brought with him two decades’ experience of working within the priority sectors of our Region. We spoke to Gavin about why he’s so excited about his latest challenge - and a future built on the ingenuity of many different industries …

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