Our Customers

We help our clients deliver successful innovation. Whether designing new programmes, leading agile technology trials, transforming innovation culture or training intrapreneurs we make sure the benefits of innovation are realised.


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Ingenuity Leeds
Mitra Innovation Logo

Mitra Innovation are a digital transformation company that help major brands globally create new products and services, integrate systems and platforms and improve their customer experience. They also operate Mitra Ventures which develops their own product offerings often in partnership with other global technology companies such as WSO2, AWS and Creatio. Downstream Innovation has been helping define and articulate their propositions in the fields of AI, Data Analytics, Cloud migration, Devops, Co-development and Managed Services. In addition we have helped them engage with corporate customers and partners securing new business and revenues.  A recent example of this is a new trial with Openreach of Dynamedics a new venture in the employee health and wellbeing space.

“Matt brings an experienced and creative perspective to Mitra Innovation’s marketing strategy.  He helps us to package our company’s values, capabilities and technology into market-facing propositions that stand out from the competition.  Innovation is a key part of the value Mitra delivers to our customers, and working with Matt has helped us to bring our innovations front and centre in our services. His contributions are critical to shaping our go to market strategy as we build the business.”
Clayton Locke, Head of Client Services

“We’ve been working with Matt at Downstream Innovation for the last 2 years and he has played a critical role in helping us define our innovation strategy and propositions as well as articulating and communicating them both internally and to our target audience customers. He combines technical depth with a broad understanding of digital technologies combined with creative flair and senior level communications skills. I highly recommend Downstream to any company looking to drive innovation for their business and customers.”
Ashok Suppiah, CEO

VRtuoso are a world leading Virtual Reality training organisation. Only 3 years since founding they boast corporate customers around the globe as well as winning the Tech UK Startup Prize. Downstream Innovation has been supporting VRtuoso in it’s meteoric rise with a range of services:

  • Project managing the creation of their global public cloud platform
  • Leading the development of their private cloud “on prem” solution for large corporate customers
  • Developing use cases and collateral for different industry sector customers of VRtuoso such as BT and their enterprise customers in the high street retail sector.
  • Developing storyboards that bring together training and learning objectives with the power of VR technology.  This has been done for customers such as O2 and Northumbrian Water.
  • Delivering proof of concept trials of new 5G networks for VRtuoso customers such as BT, EE, Belfast Harbour and Glasgow University Nano-tech Centre
  • Leading on the global deployment of VRtuoso technology for companies such as Pfizer and Neom

“The use case work produced by Downstream Innovation was totally amazing and delivered in record time! I was really impressed with the range and depth of research that Matt had done ensuring the use cases were realistic and really showed the power and USP of our product”

Francesco Furnari, CEO

“As a start-up working with large corporates was always going to be a challenge.  Working with Downstream Innovation and Matt has brought a wealth of experience which has enabled us to work effectively with organisations like Pfizer, Neom, O2, EE and BT. Matt understands how these organisations think and operate and has been able to guide us through complex issues such as security, commercial models, procurement and deployment. He is outstanding at managing stakeholders at the most senior levels and brings deep commercial experience too. He also brings creative skills, designing use cases and storyboards that have bridged the gap between technology capability and customer and user benefits..  It’s fair to say without the support of Dowsntream Innovation we might not have the success we do today.”

Mehdi Daoudi, CRO

UrbanScan are an exciting new 5G IOT company based in Israel. Downstream Innovation has been engaged to help with business development in the UK, identifying specific customer use cases for their technology and developing R&D collaboration opportunities with UK companies.

“Matt joined UrbanScan as a strategic consultant a few months ago, and I must say he is head and shoulders above any other consultant I worked with over the last 20+ years. He combines deep knowledge of technology and R&D with extensive business experience, and his unique people skills and problem solving capabilities allow him to transform ideas into action. From the first day we felt that he was an integral part of the team, enthusiastically advancing our agreed upon agenda. I highly recommend Matt to any company in the IT, Telecom, or IoT sector that wishes to further advance its innovation and business activities.”

Gil Zwirn (CEO & Founder UrbanScan)

L Marks are a world leading corporate innovation services provider delivering startup engagement, accelerator labs and intrapreneurship programmes.  As L Marks’ Internal Innovation Specialist, Matt Lawson has designed and been part of the delivery of all the L Marks internal innovation programmes. Previously Director of Applied Innovation at BT, Matt is able to draw on over 20 years of experience bringing together diverse groups of technology and business experts to plan, structure and lead innovation events and programmes that are both exciting and engaging for participants and that also lead to downstream delivery plans and tangible business outcomes. New L Marks programmes include Sumitomo 0-1 Challenge (Sumitomo 0-1 Challenge)  which was designed by Matt and DPD Fusion (DPD Fusion) which Matt both designed and co-led.

New L Marks programmes include Sumitomo 0-1 Challenge which was designed by Matt and DPD Fusion which Matt both designed and co-led.

“I have worked with Matt in my different roles for several years, including during his time at BT.  When it came to developing our own internal innovation and L&D practice at L Marks, I knew Matt how pivotal it would be to bring him in as part of the team.  As our Internal Innovation Specialist, he has been able to use his years of expertise and experiences into making our programmes a success.  Matt’s insight, diligence, and brilliant personality has led him to become a trusted colleague and highly regarded the rest of the team and our corporate partners.  He’s an absolute pleasure to work with and has made a tremendous impact on our operations and generated valuable results through our programmes.”

Daniel Saunders, CEO

As part of Cambridge University, Judge Business School lead the world in education for intrapreneurship, entrepreneurship and innovation best practice.  Matt (Downstream CEO) has been supporting them with a range of innovation services:

  • Coaching and programme design for executive education
  • Speaking on the MBA and Masters in Entrepreneurship programmes on topics such as “Innovation in Education” and “Innovation in Government and Public Services”.
  • Mentoring students on the Master in Entrepreneurship Programme
  • Developing a new corporate innovation case study for their global MBA programme

“Matt is a joy to work with. He brings with him a wealth of innovation and entrepreneurial knowledge and is able to engage with a broad set of audiences to help them advance their projects.”

Jeremy Hutchison-Krupat, Senior Lecturer in Innovation and Operations Management

Downstream Innovation has designed and run a series of collaborative 1 day research commercialization workshops for Norwich Research Park (NRP). These Explorer Forum events are designed to bring together academic and research experts from Norwich Research Park organisations and UEA with commercial business leaders to identify opportunities to create new commercial collaborations by applying research capabilities and IP to solve current industry challenges and opportunities. So far 2 events have been designed and delivered during 2023 with further events planned for 2024.

On the successful passing of the precision breeding bill NRP wanted to use the Explorer Forum, funded by Anglian Innovation Partnership (the Science Park Management Entity for Norwich Research Park) via their campus-wide Enterprise Strategy, to determine the opportunities of using gene-editing in the sugar beet industry, covering current challenges, exploring new approaches and defining early future opportunities. This idea was born through conversations with Dr Jonathan Clarke, Head of Business Development John Innes Centre (JIC), and Professor Mark Stevens, Head of Science British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO).

The Norwich Research Park Explorer Forum Outputs:

  • Helped researchers understand and relate to real world challenges faced by the sugar beet industry
  • Helped industry understand the potential knowledge, capabilities and intellectual property provided by researchers at Norwich Research Park (in the field of GE)
  • Identified overlapping “sweet spots” where challenges were identified to address together leading to a new opportunity
  • Defined how the opportunity could be pursued with a tangible plan and practical next steps for moving forward

Attendees included: British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO), John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Earlham Institute, Tropic Biosciences, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), British Sugar, local grower, National Farmers’ Union, and international seed breeder. Following the Gene Editing in Sugar Beet Explorer Forum workshop a successful innovate UK proposal was submitted in July 2023 to develop this technology to combat Virus Yellow control in sugar beet.  This is in collaboration with BBRO, British Sugar and Tropic Bioscience and the John Innes Centre. Mark Stevens, Head of Science at BBRO, stated that this was a direct output of the workshop. Please click here to read the news article.

“The Norwich Research Park Explorer Forum is part of a wider Anglia Innovation Partnership campus-wide Enterprise Strategy and provides funds (up to £5k) to enable exploratory meetings and activities between the research and the business community to identify new innovations which have potential to address business problems and ultimately, it is hoped, global grand challenges. Downstream innovation has been crucial in developing an effective and creative methodology for the Norwich Research Park Explorer Forums which is focused on developing real tangible outputs. We have had excellent feedback from attendees of these all day facilitated workshops, with Matt’s dynamic personality keeping everyone engaged and enthusiastic during these energy intensive sessions.”

Dr Kirsty Culley, Science Collaboration Manager, Anglian Innovation Partnership

Maly provide compliance software and consulting services to the Pharmaceutical industry.  Their solution tackles the complex regulations and processes around packaging and labelling for drugs and medicines. However they are exploring whether a new broader compliance management solution might lead to new customers and revenues.  They engaged Downstream Innovation to help them innovate this potential new solution:

  • Identify industry specific compliance needs and pain points
  • Explore the competitive landscape and identify a market gap
  • Identify and articulate a compelling proposition and pitch
  • Generate use cases and create a working prototype
  • Carry out exploratory interviews with target users
  • Business development and identification of potential early clients

“Clear, Professional, Thorough. We have been working with Downstream Innovation for nearly a year, to help us prepare to market a new product.  We have found their process to be incredibly thorough touching on areas of the business that we would not have thought of.  As a result our business has become much more adept at understanding the implications of decisions and being more aware of when we need to do more investigation. On top of this Matt and Mick (who we have dealt with) are both very personable and professional.”

Richard Maly, CEO

UEA approached Downstream Innovation to lead the design and delivery of an exciting online “sandpit” innovation event. The event brought together social and natural scientists, commercial enterprises, startups, government organisations and charities to create new collaborative research and innovation projects in the challenging fields of Diet & Health, Sustainable Food Production and Food Chain Resilience.

Sandpit is a one day competitive co-creation workshop where diverse teams from multiple organisations and a wide range of disciplines come together to solve challenges and capture new opportunities over a short period of time. Through a series of facilitated creative sessions solutions are identified, feasibility is explored and realisation plans created. The aim was to accelerate innovation and achieve weeks or even months of progress in a single day.

Downstream Innovations role covered all aspects of creating and delivering the event: designing the agenda, briefing and communications, facilitation and training, supporting technology, ensuring outcomes. The event successfully created 6 new collaborative projects that are being taken forward for funding.

“Matt’s meticulous attention to detail and structured approach paid dividends in ensuring that a team of novice facilitators were fully prepared, motivated and confident in their ability to deal with whatever confronted them on the day”

“Matt’s leadership was exemplary. He knew exactly when to hold the line, when to listen to the team and showed great empathy with a group that was encouraged to share ownership of the event”

“The event was fantastic – exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure and, most importantly, great fun and rewarding. We ended the day with half a dozen prototype research projects that stand every chance of progressing, which is a fantastic return on the investment, which was worth every penny”

Andrew Fearne, Professor of Value Chain Management, Norwich Business School

Experienz are a new startup working in the ESG space. They have developed a platform that deals with the problem and complexity of managing, tracking and reporting on all aspects of ESG across an organisation. It includes gathering data on employee experience, reporting on emissions and CO2, CSR programmes as well as governance and ethics. Downstream Innovation have been supporting experienz with developing their proposition and designing their content, engaging with potential corporate clients and coaching the team on their pitch.

“When I started working with Matt, experienz as a product was in its very early stages. It has come a very long way and Matt has been pivotal in getting it where it is today. His deep understanding of technology and innovation helped us take experienz to the place where we envisioned it to be. He has always been available whenever we needed guidance, has always been very approachable and while helping the product and the organisation, he coaches people in the process. I have personally experienced this, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him.

Matt’s vast experience working in large organisations such as BT, enables him to understand different audiences and delivers the message that resonates with them. And it is amazing how he seems to do it with such ease. His contribution has been and will be a big part of the success of our business.”

Emaali Gunasekera, Business Development and Product Development, Experienz


Openreach operate the UK’s critical digital infrastructure.  Every day their field engineers build, operate and maintain the UK’s physical communications networks upon which every business and household depends. Continual innovation is vital to ensure that they are constantly delivering on the growing demand for high speed services, adapting to operational challenges and supporting their work force in a rapidly changing world.  They approached Downstream Innovation for support in identifying new technology innovations from around the world that could potentially solve a list of 10 key challenges for them as well as providing support on the processes they should use to manage new innovation opportunities into proof of concept testing and implementation.

“Openreach has been working with Matt and the team at Downstream Innovation over the last year to design and deliver a global technology scouting programme sourcing startups and technologies that can address some of our most difficult business and operational challenges. They’ve also been providing me and my team with invaluable guidance on innovation process, management and implementation. Working with Downstream has been a fantastic experience – they’re insight, experience and global networks have unlocked new opportunities, approaches and solutions for Openreach that have the potential to deliver significant business impact. My thanks to Matt, Mike and Richard, we look forward to continuing our work with Downstream Innovation in the future!”

Ahmed Mohammed

Head of Open Innovation & Communications

Ingenuity Leeds

Ingenuity is a collaboration between Leeds City Council and Munroe K to develop a new UK leading smart cities innovation hub at White Rose Business Park in Leeds. Ingenuity engaged Downstream Innovation to help them develop the strategy and delivery plans for the new innovation hub.  This covered everything from what services should the hub offer for different target groups, what types of programme the hub should adopt, how the hub should operate, grow and measure it’s performance as well as guidance on the physical design and layout of the facility itself.

“Matt’s wealth of knowledge and experience has been instrumental in helping us to develop and shape a strategy and delivery plans for our smart cities innovation hub and programme. Matt’s pragmatic yet challenging approach meant that the whole process has been one of collaboration and learning. At every turn Matt has the ability to draw out the right solution without taking a directive approach. All of the above, coupled with a host of key introductions from within Matt’s own network, has made for an inspiring and enlightening experience.”

Mark Mildren

Co-Founder, Ingenuity

Director of the Future & Head of Marketing, Munroe K

Ingenuity Leeds

GAIA Insights is a virtual boutique firm providing customized leadership development solutions that participants describe as “life-changing”. Since 2012, we design and deliver premium programs around the world that are highly personalized, for sustained results. Together with carefully selected experts from our global network we develop authentic, inclusive and courageous leaders who lead from within. GAIA Insights is a Certified B Corporation and a Supporter of the Terra Carta.

“Downstream Innovation have supported one of our leadership development programs with Matt Lawson in the role of an innovation expert. He led a series of business projects that participants worked on over the period of one year. His role was to teach them about innovation methodology and help them navigate classic pitfalls, such as dealing with change and failure, having to pivot and sustaining motivation throughout. Participants appreciated his guidance and felt they could always turn to him for support and honest feedback. Matt helped them stay on track and to grow through the struggles of innovation. Working with Matt was a pleasure. We appreciate his expert knowledge, his optimism, flexibility and desire to learn. We look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.”

MoneyReady are an exciting new start-up offering fun, engaging and gamified financial education to primary and secondary school children. They will fill the current gap (lack of material and resources) schools face in delivering the financial education required by the national curriculum by providing a scalable platform that supports schools, teachers, parents and children.

“Matt was an invaluable help when starting my business. He was quick to grasp the vision and concept, and was professional, thoughtful and thorough in his approach. Matt supported me to refine my proposition and produce a comprehensive, high quality technical specification, providing deep business and technological insight. The software developers and designers that Matt introduced me to all spoke highly of him, which further served to confirm the high regard in which Matt is held amongst his peers. Benefiting from Matt’s extensive knowledge, experience and network enabled me to take my business to its next stage of development with confidence. Thank you Matt.”

Helen Driver, Founder MoneyReady

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