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Lou Cordwell OBE Appointed Professor of Innovation and Special Advisor to The University of Manchester

  • Digital Industries Leader Lou Cordwell OBE Appointed Professor and Special Advisor to The University of Manchester
  • Lou Cordwell will advise on how to enhance the University’s role as a key driver of the regional economy
  • She will be part of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research

Lou Cordwell, OBE, has been appointed Professor of Innovation at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) and Special Advisor to the Office of the President and Vice-Chancellor.

Prof. Cordwell’s responsibilities include providing strategic guidance on innovation ecosystems to the University and contributing to the work of MIOIR and AMBS.

She will work with leaders across the University to advise on how the University can enhance its role as a key driver of the region’s economy, including by strengthening existing, and developing new, collaborative relationships with local and national government, business, and other external stakeholders.

Lou began her career working for WPP before founding the Manchester-based digital design studio, magneticNorth (mN). In 2021, mN merged with Fluxx, creating the UK’s leading design and innovation consultancy, Magnetic, where Lou continues to be involved as Chief Creative Officer.

She has spent the past two years building a team and the strategic masterplan for ID Manchester, Europe’s most ambitious Innovation District project.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “I am delighted that Lou is joining the University of Manchester. The wealth of experience she brings as an entrepreneur and innovator, and as a leading advocate for Greater Manchester on the national and international stage, will be enormously valuable as we work to further strengthen our role as a driver of prosperity for our region and the UK.”

Head of AMBS, Professor Ken McPhail, added: “Innovation is very much at the heart of our purpose here at AMBS. We recognise the importance of this across our teaching, learning and engagement with the business world. Lou’s appointment and engagement with our colleagues and our students will help us in our work to redefine business through the lens of innovation and responsibility.”

Commenting on her appointment, Lou said: “I am delighted to be joining the University as it heads into its exciting third century. The University is the most significant innovation asset in the UK's second-largest city region, with a hugely important role in shaping and scaling the innovation ecosystems and impact of the city region and the UK.”

Lou is also Chair of Greater Manchester’s Business Board (LEP) and an angel investor, particularly focusing on female tech founders. Lou was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours for services to the creative and digital economy.

About Manchester Institute of Innovation Research

The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research is a centre of excellence in the field of innovation studies, building on a 50-year tradition of innovation and science studies in Manchester.

The Institute comprises a group of internationally renowned scholars and experts and supports a broad expertise across various academic disciplines. With more than 50 full members, approximately 30 PhD researchers, and a range of associated academics, it is one of the world’s leading research centres in our field.

The Institute is at the heart of innovation-related research and forms one of the largest components of the University of Manchester Research Institute (UMRI).

Visit the MIOIR website >>