Professor Roy Sandbach aiming to inspire in Newcastle University role

ONE of the most innovative thinkers in Britain has been picked to inspire fresh ideas among the region’s companies as the 10th Goldman Visiting Professor of Enterprise and Innovation.

Professor Roy Sandbach, Professor Savvas Papagiannidis and James Timpson OBE

ONE of the most innovative thinkers in Britain has been picked to inspire fresh ideas among the region’s companies as the 10th Goldman Visiting Professor of Enterprise and Innovation.

Professor Roy Sandbach has been developing one of the world’s biggest brands for the last 30 years, and has led global innovation programmes at Procter & Gamble in Newcastle.

He takes over from James Timpson as the latest high-profile figure to be picked by Newcastle University Business School for the role.

“It’s a tremendous honour for me to accept this role. It’s going to be a real vehicle for me to talk to businesses about innovation, drive jobs and help the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future,” he said.

“More and more students are thinking about setting up companies and I welcome the chance to help drive them through.

“I think the North East is a very creative environment.

“I am full of admiration for those people with new ideas, and hope I can help turn those into real business opportunities.

“It is a particular pleasure for me to be able to do this in my home region, among friends and at the university where I gained my PhD. Most of all, it will be an honour to build on the legacy of David Goldman.”

Sunderland-born Sandbach has attained a wealth of educational roles, including heading business engagement for the Centre for Competitive Design at Cranfield University; a trustee at Newcastle’s Centre for Life; sitting on the Industry Council of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and he is a business ambassador for NetPark in Sedgefield.

The David Goldman endowment was established at the Business School in 2001 to create a legacy in memory of David Goldman, founder of Newcastle software giant Sage Group

In March, Prof Sandbach will take over the professorship from James Timpson OBE, chief executive of the family firm Timpson Group.

The Business School has also announced that its new, permanent David Goldman Professor of Innovation and Enterprise is Savvas Papagiannidis. As an alumnus of the university, with 16 consecutive years of studying at the university, Prof Papagiannidis has achieved two PhDs, two Masters and founded three e-businesses.

He aims to investigate how e-business technologies affect social and business environments, organisational strategies and underpinning business models.

Professor Papagiannidis said: “I hope that in my new position I am able to make an impact by leading the development and delivery of the innovation and enterprise agenda of the Business School, by encouraging sustainable relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

Timpson said: “This role is all about imparting knowledge and more importantly, inspiring enterprise.

“However, it isn’t a one-way process: I have also been educated by the students and businesses I have met over the past 12 months. It has been a great experience and I am delighted to have been given such an esteemed role.”

The Goldman family established the endowment in 2001 to create a legacy in memory David Goldman, founder of the Sage Group plc.

The Goldman endowment funds a chair in the Business School, a David Goldman Doctoral Studentship, the David Goldman Visiting Professorship, and Annual David Goldman Lecture.

If you would like to attend the Goldman Lecture on March 13, please email


PAST David Goldman Visiting Professors of Innovation and Enterprise:

2012-13 – James Timpson, OBE, chief executive of Timpson Group

2011-12 – Tom Maxfield, entrepreneur and former sales director for Sage Group

2010-11 – Will Dracup, founder and chairman of Nonlinear Dynamics

2008-10 – Dr Tony Trapp, chairman of IHC Engineering Business.

2007-2008 – Fiona Cruickshank, co-owner and director of SCM Pharma.

2006 -2007 – Paul Callaghan, chairman of Leighton Group.

2005-06 – Chris Thompson, managing director of Express Group.

2004-05 – Mark I’Anson, technology entrepreneur.

2003-04 – Paul Collard, chief executive at Creativity, Culture and Education.

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