We spoke to Monika Dabrowska, Innovation Director at Fareham Innovation Centre and Ocean Village Innovation Centre

1. What is your background and what did you do before this role?
I have a Master’s degree in Political Science with specialisation in Journalism. I obtained post-graduate diplomas in International Business and European Administration: Project Management and completed courses in Management of EU-funded projects. This has given me the know-how of the processes and guidance to consistently secure EU funding for organisations on behalf of which I have prepared grant applications. With over ten years of experience in strategic development, access to finance, assessment and implementation of small and large-scale innovative projects, I have supported businesses, academic institutions and local authorities. I have also advised and assisted in the management of EU-funded projects across different industries.2. What attracted you to the role of Innovation Director?
What inspires me is to empower organisations with the knowledge to reach their potential. This role gives me the opportunity to help companies grow using my experience, skills and contacts across the innovation ecosystem. I find it very rewarding when I see businesses succeed with my support.
3. What are you looking forward to in this role?
Fareham Innovation Centre and Ocean Village Innovation Centre are home to over 100 innovative businesses from a great variety of sectors, and I am excited to be working with them. I look forward to getting to know these companies, understanding their needs and supporting them with a view to obtaining funding to finance their solutions and develop their business. I am also keen to learn more about new technology and innovations.
4. What are your aims?
My main aim is to create a local ecosystem where organisations support each other. My first contribution will be to organise workshops and events in which I will share my knowledge, expertise and build relationships within this community. I want to serve as a platform for our businesses to exchange their know-how, experience and contacts. I am confident this will not only be beneficial for the participating companies but will also reinforce the reputation of Fareham Innovation Centre and Ocean Village Innovation Centre as well-recognised names in the business centre market.
5. What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy travelling and have visited 30 countries so far. I like to learn and experience different cultures, customs and food. In my free time I try to keep active mainly by attending spinning classes and taking walks. I also like to relax and recharge with a good movie after a hard day’s work. I am fascinated by fast cars and dream of driving in a Formula One car.