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The Adapt Team

Based in The Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia, the Adapt Group is business facing and entrepreneurial. Building on the university’s research and leadership in sustainability and environmental issues, the group was formed in 2011 and a diverse range of projects and consultancy assignments have been successfully delivered during this period. Our current activity focuses on providing businesses with commercial services from The Enterprise Centre and investment funding. Get in touch to find out more about how we could work with your business via

Team members

  • Angela Macdonald

    Tenancy and Business Development Manager

    Profile: Angela is responsible for the management of tenancy, marketing and business development.  Angela manages the tenancy process and customer service standards and leads on marketing and developing the services offer. Angela has a strong administrative background, working since 1995 within a variety of schools and departments at the University of East Anglia. 
  • Fergus Rolfe

    Team Manager, The Enterprise Centre Commercial Services

    Profile: Fergus manages the strategy and commercial activity of The Enterprise Centre, developing relationships, strategy and initiatives within the business-facing low carbon sector. Fergus is an experienced project manager of numerous sustainable development projects; with a strong focus in the low carbon built environment sector.  He has delivered of a wide range of projects including life-cycle analysis, sustainable material implementation, building performance monitoring, and the delivery of carbon reduction measures and initiatives. 
  • James Griffiths

    Chief Investment Officer, Adapt Cocoon

    Profile: James is currently seconded to Adapt Cocoon Equity and is responsible for ensuring the development and delivery of this new joint venture. James previously worked as Programme and Fund Manager of the Adapt Innovation Funding team, having joined as Portfolio Manager in 2012.  James has worked with a diverse array of early stage companies in areas such as analytical measurement technology, IT and communications, biomedical technology, and cleantech. He is a Chartered qualified accountant with expertise in the operation and analysis of high technology SMEs.
  • John French

    Chief Executive Office (CEO)

    Profile: John is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Adapt Group, and holds the UEA Chair in Enterprise and Sustainability. Since establishing the first ERDF funded project (InCrops) at UEA in 2008, John has led the development of projects valued at over £50m for the University, including the Low Carbon Innovation Fund, The Enterprise Centre and Adapt Cocoon Equity.
  • Julia O'Rourke

    Events and Marketing Coordinator

    Profile: Julia is responsible for developing and manage marketing and events activity for The Enterprise Centre Commercial Services Team. Julia has over fifteen years’ experience in events, marketing and public relations in both the public and private sector and is a UEA graduate.
  • Joanna Elks

    PA to the CEO and COO (job-share)

    Profile: Joanna provides executive PA support to Professor John French (CEO) and Penny Wright (COO) in a job-share role with Lucie Waterman. She has previously worked within Adapt providing clerical services on a variety of projects and within the University’s Alumni, Conferences and Events team.  Jo’s background is primarily administration and she has also enjoyed jobs within the travel industry which has enabled her to travel the world.
  • Lucie Waterman

    PA to the CEO and COO (job-share)

    Profile: Lucie provides executive PA support to Professor John French (CEO) and Penny Wright (COO) in a job-share role with Joanna Elks. Lucie joined the team in 2009 in a joint role, working as executive PA and Project Administrator on the Enterprise Centre project. Lucie has previously provided support to several of the ERDF funded projects within Adapt and her background lies in administration, recruitment and the travel industry.
  • Marisse Slack

    Finance Officer

    Profile: Marisse is an Adapt Finance Officer, with a focus on Adapt Commercial Services.  Her particular areas of responsibility are invoicing and debt collection for tenanted space, events and room hire in The Enterprise Centre.  In addition, she can answer queries about supplier invoices for the Adapt Group.
  • Penny Wright

    Chief Operational Officer (COO)

    Profile: Penny's remit is to direct, administer, and co-ordinate the internal and external operational activities across all services of the Adapt Group. Previously Penny co-ordinated the ERDF projects delivered by Adapt, leading on the relationship with funders, co-ordinating delivery, reporting and compliance activity.  Prior to joining UEA, Penny worked in a variety of manager and director roles in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
  • Saffron Myhill-Hunt

    Team Manager, Innovation Funding

    Profile: Saffron joined the Low Carbon Innovation Fund in 2012 and has played a major role in delivering the Fund and completion of 24 investments. Saffron is an experienced manager of SME businesses, particularly in the low carbon consultancy, manufacturing, installation and energy service sectors and is also a part-qualified accountant currently studying for Chartered status with CIMA.
  • Sam Burton

    Investment Analyst, Creative Industries

    Profile: Sam works across all sectors with a specialism in the creative industries. She is responsible for engaging with businesses and supporting the development of applications to innovation funding streams. Previously Sam was a lecturer in Film and Moving image at Norwich University of the Arts and Film Professional Practice at University Campus Suffolk. Sam worked as a consultant in the creative industries, and at regional screen agency Screen East as Talent Executive, as well as working on the Screen East ERDF Low Carbon Fund for Film, Television and Computer Games.