Steering Board

A Steering Board for the Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology Partnership has been appointed to oversee strategy and direction, provide developmental support, and monitor delivery and progress.

Membership of the Steering Board comprises the Project Directorate (Director, Deputy Director, and two Co-Directors), the Senior Project Management Team, a representative of the Postdoctoral Research Fellows, a representative from the AHRC, and external members. The Board meets twice a year.

External members have been appointed based on their relevant industry expertise and knowledge base, and commitment to the BFTT Partnership.

They will advise the project directorate and research teams on specific aspects of the R&D programme, particularly where their expertise and sectoral interests supports R&D delivery and objectives.

Eva Von Alvensleben

The Fashion Pact

Eva is a corporate change-maker, driven by purpose and aims for strong results that prepare businesses for the future. Eva has longstanding experience in the field, with a passion for enabling global multicultural teams to deliver step-change and create sustainable value through a clear strategic approach, change management and strong execution. Having graduated in international management from Bocconi University, her career started in strategy consulting, enabling international businesses to thrive economically. By having obtained a higher education degree at HEC University in Sustainable Development, she combined her passion for business and purpose. Eva joined the Kering Group, a global pioneer and leader in sustainability and innovation, building the worldwide strategy to “craft tomorrow‘s luxury” across all 20 brands. Eva is an advisor on the British Fashion Councils Positive Committee and a mentor to multiple young entrepreneurs. She currently holds an Executive Director and Secretary-General post at The Fashion Pact – a global coalition of companies in the fashion and textile industry (ready-to-wear, sport, lifestyle and luxury) including their suppliers and distributors, that are committed to a common core of key environmental goals in three areas: stopping global warming, restoring biodiversity and protecting the oceans.


Roberto Battistoni


Roberto is the EMEA ESG and Sustainability Software Lead for IBM, covering business development, innovation and sustainability; he is passionate about innovation that can be significant for the industry and IBM.

Roberto’s experience spans 20+ years and various roles, including Analytics, Client Management, Business Development and team leadership. Roberto has recently architected a partnership between IBM, Industry and Academy to pilot a textile Sustainable Supply-Chain solution. A contributor to Retail Week on sustainable purpose and technology, Roberto covers several advisory roles, including at Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology (BFTT), Fashion District and UAL. He is also an active member of the TLA Circular Economy & Retail Tech.


Dr Paul Brickell

London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)

Paul trained as a molecular biologist and was a Professor of Molecular Haematology at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, where he established an interdisciplinary childhood cancer research department. Paul changed his career in 2002 to contribute to regeneration in his ‘hometown’ of east London. Through the Bromley by Bow Centre and Leaside Regeneration, he contributed to the early visioning of the Lower Lea Valley and delivery of new homes, business workspace and associated infrastructure. The practical involvement of local people was central, creating opportunities to improve skills, get jobs and develop small businesses. Paul joined the London Legacy Development Corporation in 2011 to help promote physical, social and economic regeneration through the development of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Inclusive Innovation District. Paul’s non-Executive roles include chairing Poplar HARCA, a housing company, and Infracare London, which builds and manages health and social care facilities.


Tara Luckman

Flourish CSR

Tara consults on Sustainable Fashion projects, having previously held roles with responsibility for environmental stewardship at and Tesco plc.

A Program Leader schooled in textile science with established capability in the retail environment. Tara is passionate about transforming the fashion industry with a 20 year record of delivering change on the international platform.

Having worked across all areas of impact for fashion products from raw materials to end of life. Tara builds strategic, comprehensive approaches to responsible fashion, collaborating over the early adoption of industry initiatives such as Better Cotton, Sustainable Apparel Coalition and ZDHC. Partnering with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at LCF, Tara initiated the commercial adoption of circular design strategies at ASOS.

Core skills and competencies include:

  • Sustainable fashion consultancy services for brands & retailers
  • Strategy building, stakeholder engagement & communication of sustainable fashion
  • Integration of sustainability in commercial operations

Sue Tilley

Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP)

Sue Tilley is Economic Strategy Manager for Business at the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP). She works on various initiatives, facilitating and leading collaborative projects to deliver new investments and economic growth for Leicester and Leicestershire. Sue has been working in economic development for 11 years. Initially, Head of Inward Investment for Leicester and Leicestershire; she subsequently managed the £21m Regional Growth Fund Programme, ERDF projects, and programmes LLEP Business Gateway (Growth Hub). She understands the challenges and demands of running a fashion business first-hand, having grown her own fashion manufacturing company from start-up to a turnover of £2.5m and forty employees. Sue’s breadth of experience means she understands the diverse and complete needs of the textiles business from start-up to scale up, board level and plc.


Joanna Billingham

AHRC Investment Manager

Jo joined AHRC at the end of 2017, following a successful career as a lecturer in Art and Design. She initially trained in Theatre Design before working for several years in the Animation industry, starting out as a watercolour artist on backgrounds at Richard Williams’ studio in Camden. This role led to work as a designer and art worker in advertising and children’s TV across various London studios including Studio AKA, where Jo worked with the team to create designs for CGI and interactive projects. Jo then went on to pursue her own art practice, gaining an MFA in painting from Goldsmiths in 2008 before embarking on a teaching career.


Joanna Norman

Director, V&A Research Institute

Joanna Norman is Director of the V&A Research Institute. Her background is principally curatorial, with projects including exhibitions (Baroque, V&A 2009 and Treasures from Budapest, Royal Academy of Arts 2010), media collaborations (Handmade in Britain, V&A/BBC4 2011-12), permanent gallery redevelopments (Europe 1600–1815, V&A 2015) and new museums (the Scottish Design Galleries at V&A Dundee, opened 2018).  Joanna has published widely in association with these projects, as well as on the history of performance and on period rooms and the reconstruction of historic interiors inside and outside the museum environment. As Director of VARI she oversees the V&A’s research activities, including academic partnerships and postgraduate programmes, R&D for exhibitions, research affiliations and a portfolio of externally-funded research projects relating to the V&A’s collections and practices, including its internationally renowned collection of textiles and fashion.


Alisdair Aldous

Director of Knowledge Exchange, UAL

Alisdair has over 12 years of experience in the Higher Education sector with a strong interest and experience in applying creative and critical practices towards business and social innovation and a strong commitment to principles of inclusivity and sustainable development. He is the Director of Knowledge Exchange at the University of the Arts London (UAL), where he leads on the overall strategic coordination and development of UAL’s Knowledge Exchange activities and the internal and external monitoring and reporting of UAL’s institutional performance. Knowledge Exchange describes a wide variety of academic-led and impact-driven activities that UAL jointly delivers with the public, private, third sector and local community organisations, as well as policies and practices around working with such organisations. Alisdair also manages a central funding service, which provides expert support to colleges and academic staff to apply for specific types of UK and EU collaborative project funding.


Prof Jane Harris

Director of UAL FTTI, and Chair of Digital Design and Innovation(Chair)

Jane draws upon over 25 years experience in transdisciplinary research, with a background in textile design and extensive experience of computer graphic imaging.  Jane’s role includes working with internal and external stakeholders including industry partners, up to Government Ministerial level.

Jane devised novel approaches to the digital representation of dress and textiles. With a track record of leading collaborative industry and academic research and development initiatives, involving cross disciplinary creative industry practitioners. Jane’s experience includes board-level representation in sector-leading organisations such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and advisory roles for the EU, EPSRC, AHRC, ACE and Arts Foundation. She is Director of Research and Innovation (Stratford) and Professor of Digital Design & Innovation at University of the Arts London. Core skills and competences include:

  • Strategic leadership and project direction
  • Design research in digital and material cultures
  • CGI for fashion and textiles
  • Knowledge Exchange



Prof Kate Goldsworthy

BFTT Deputy Director

Kate is Professor of Circular Design and Innovation and Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Design at UAL, a world-leading research centre using practice research to innovate, steer and support circular economies and communities around the globe. Kate’s design research operates at the intersection of materials science with design and sustainability principles. As industry and Governments raise the priority of sustainable business, Kate has undertaken a range of industrial consultancy projects for fashion and textiles organisations including Worn Again Technologies Ltd, Filippa K, VF Corporation and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Core skills and competences include:

  • Laser finishing for fashion and textiles
  • Circular economy and circular design research
  • Sustainable business consultancy in the fashion sector



Prof Rebecca Cain

BFTT Co-Director

Rebecca combines expertise in transdisciplinary design with an enterprising mindset.  She leads collaborative research projects which draw together different disciplines across design, the arts, sciences and humanities around complex societal challenges, with high levels of partnership involvement. She is the Associate Dean for Enterprise in the School of Design and Creative Arts at Loughborough University, Professor in Transdisciplinary Design and is the current Vice-Chair of the Design Research Society.

Core skills and competencies include:

  • Leadership and project direction
  • Knowledge Exchange
  • Transdisciplinary research methods

Prof Susanne Kuechler

BFTT Co-Director

Susanne’s extensive experience and expertise in material cultural studies includes working with a wide range of industrial partners, and understanding the opportunities represented by, and innovating with, alternative materials. An anthropologist of international renown, Susanne leads a forward-thinking Department at UCL, which consciously seeks to bring anthropological insights to bear on contemporary industrial challenges.  Susanne has led large-scale RCUK, EU Commission and consultancy projects with businesses seeking to understand the cultural impacts of their practice. Core skills and competences include:

  • Uptake and acceptance of new material innovations
  • Culture and commerce
  • Ethnographic research

Prof Graeme Evans

Former BFTT Director

As the former BFTT Partnership Director, Graeme draws on over 40 years experience in project management in international industry working for UK and US as director of a design consultancy and cultural facility; and as a leading research and policy expert on the creative industries in UK and Dutch universities. He has led over 30 research projects for Research Councils, UK government, the European Commission, cultural agencies and industry/trade bodies. In his role as a research centre and institute director, he has attracted over £25m in R&D funding. This has included leading large research consortia working on themes such as city growth, electric vehicles, sustainable design, rapid prototyping and digital clusters (e.g. Digital Shoreditch/Tech City). Graeme regularly advises the UK Culture Ministry and other agencies, as well as overseas cultural and economic ministries (e.g. OECD) on creative city and industries strategy, including programme evaluation and investment appraisal. He has held chairs/professorships in Design at both Brunel and Middlesex Universities, specialising in sustainable/urban design and innovation. He is currently Emeritus Professor at the University of the Arts London,  where he previously served as Professor in Creative and Cultural Economy.



Amy Hulme

Project Manager

Amy has over ten years of experience working with businesses, charities, and government, developing, and delivering programmes and interventions that make a positive impact on communities and individuals. She is skilled in designing and delivering complex, capacity building projects, building relationships and building movements and networks for change. A trained community organiser, Amy was part of the team who built the Living Wage Foundation into one of the biggest fair pay campaigns globally, working with employers such as IKEA, Lush, Aviva and several Russell Group Universities. Before joining UAL, Amy was the Director of Practice at The Social Change Agency, overseeing multiple complex programmes and contracts (including for KCL, Youth Futures Foundation and Climate KIC), managing and developing a team. An alumni of Manchester Metropolitan University, Amy has a degree in Clothing Design and Technology and worked in the fashion industry as a designer before moving to the third sector. Core competencies include:
  • Project and budget management
  • Cross-sector partnerships and network building
  • Business strategy and development

Ashleigh Dunn

SME R&D Manager, UAL

Ashleigh has 15 years of consultancy and business development experience across the corporate and HE sectors, delivering impactful programmes. She is highly skilled in successfully brokering long-term relationships between commercial and educational organisations in developing novel technologies for competitive advantage, with a focus in R&D in environmental sustainability. Ashleigh has extensive experience in delivering long-term business strategies and was previously director of a charity in the arts sector. Before working at UAL, she delivered multidisciplinary programmes in leading environmental consultancies and high profile HEIs across the UK, Latin America and Asia. She has a degree in Sociology, Economics and International Development and is also an alumna of Chelsea College of Arts, qualified in Interior Design. Core competencies include:

  • Multidisciplinary engagement across HE, Business and Charity sectors
  • Environmental sustainability and development of novel technologies
  • Business strategy and delivery

Sue Bagwell

BFTT Project Evaluator

Sue specialises in research on small business policy and practice. Key areas have included ethnic minority, migrant and refugee enterprise, the fast food sector, and creative industries.  Her experience includes over 20 years of evaluating a range of programmes and projects for the European Commission, central and local UK government, Research Councils, academic institutions, the private and not for profit sector. She is competent in the use of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and believes in working with organisations to identify what has worked well and why, and to identify the lessons learnt that can help inform future practice. Her studies have frequently incorporated the development of policy documents and toolkits designed to provide practitioners with practical support in tackling complex issues.