What is a “Technical Innovation Officer”?

Richard Dron
Richard Dron – Technical Innovation Officer

Let me introduce myself! I’m Richard, and I am the University of Salford Business School Technical Innovation Officer. Some of you might have met me last year, because I was a student studying an MSc in Information Systems Management.

Through connections I made on my course I heard about this position, applied, and here I am. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting me yet, I’m sure you will soon. I try to be involved in multiple projects, and there are lots of ways that our paths could cross.

If you are a student, a company or a colleague at the Business School, my role connects to all of you!

Business innovation projects

For example, just recently I went to talk to the new cohort of MSc Information Systems Management students about industry placements and internships.

Salford Business School offers students an opportunity as part of their studies to work on live industry problems and build their final dissertation research on this valuable work experience. Having worked in industry myself, I can tell you that when I recruited new colleagues…

it is not just education that I have considered in my decision to appoint, but more likely, the demonstrable skills of the candidate that have led me to a decision.

One of recent internship successes is Peace Oshiafi, who completed a real world project researching the potential audience for a fitness application developed within the Business School.

Peace Oshiafi (MSc. Information Systems Management)
Peace Oshiafi, MSc. Information Systems Management

She is a real advocate of internships and placements, describing her decision to take this route as a “eureka moment“:

“Before my Business Innovation Project module, I was very keen to work towards a career path as a Data Analyst and had my mind made up to look for a work placement or  internship. I had an opportunity presented to me through the Centre for Digital Business on the digital fitness project which I grabbed with both hands.


The internship helped me understand the practicality of market research and data analysis in the real world on a live industry project. I learned how to use IBM SPSS during this time, which is one of the leading statistical analysis tools. It is a skill that is in high demand from data analysts across the globe and was one of the tools I used to analyse the data gathered and make recommendations for the project based on my findings. If you want to bridge the gap between theory and hands-on experience, seize the internship opportunities.

My overall experience in three words is Engaging, Insightful and Rewarding.”

Coming out of this internship, Peace is interviewing for some fantastic industry roles and she now has valuable and necessary skills to succeed in the industry that she wishes to work in. Here at the school we are all confident that she has a bright future.

Facilitating internships is only part of my role. There are lots of other projects happening in the Business School and exciting innovative things to keep me occupied. At the moment I’m getting involved in these fantastic University projects.

Technical innovation projects

  • JEMSS – This is a fantastic project to develop an innovative Digital Europe focused Masters programme addressing the needs of a growing Digital Marketing industry and encouraging the #passion4digital in the next generation of digital marketers.
  • Creative Hive – This is a free blogging hub for anyone to set up a showcase of their work that encourages collaboration and opportunities, enables a personal web space to be created and produces a searchable central pool of creative ideas and projects. Anyone is welcome to join and we encourage you to join our community.
  • Search and Social Media Marketing – This is an amazing course run by Salford Professional Development. We have fantastic speakers from the digital media industry and academics delivering a ground-breaking search engine optimisation (SEO) and Social Media Marketing CPD course designed to improve digital marketing skills. The course runs face to face at MediaCityUK and has a flexible/distance option also.

Soon I will be off to a conference on digital health and fitness wearables, trying to get together a presentation for the British Academy of Marketing and helping to organise the Creative Entrepreneur event on the 25th of November – see the video below for more details.


So much to do, but it’s all very exciting. Drop me a line if you would like to talk about any of the exciting projects at Salford Business School.