Mrs Jennifer Milligan

Mrs Jennifer Milligan

Head of Regional and Civic Engagement

Research & Innovation



Senior Innovation Funding Manager

Leading the Innovation Funding team in the Research and Commercialisation Office providing, I provide advice and support to help deliver successful innovation and applied research proposals.The focus of our team is to develop partnerships projects with businesses or other organisations where we can translate the expertise within the University to make an economic, social or environmental impact. We can support partnership development, project development, bid writing and liaison with funders.


BSc - Earth and Life Studies (1989)

After graduating, I spent the first 11 years of my career working as a VAT Inspector for HM Customs and Excise.

I then moved to the Government Office for the South West where I worked as a European Social Fund Manager where I was responsible for ensuring that a £168m Programme was delivered on time, on budget, meeting all European Commission Regulations. I also established strong partnerships across the South West Region to facilitate Programme delivery and developed the ESF Framework setting out the strategic priorities for the Programme.

Whilst at the Government Office, I became the Economic Relationship Manager for Cornwall. I was responsible for the identification, implementation and delivery of economic performance indicators within the Cornwall Local Area Agreement (LAA). This involved working with the Economic Portfolio Holder of in Cornwall Council to ensure clear buy in from the Local Authority and working with numerous stakeholder across the County to agree targets and a delivery plan. I also established and chaired a Regional South West Skills Group to ensure a consistent approach to the setting and monitoring of targets and to capture best practice.

On leaving the Government Office, I took up a position as the Digital Skills and Inclusion Manager on the Superfast Broadband Project where I was responsible for developing, implementing and delivering digital skills and inclusion across Cornwall. 

I then moved to Cornwall Council as the Commissioning and Partnership Manager in the Economic Development Service. I led and managed the ERDF Communications team and also developed the Cornwall Smart Specialisation Strategy and led Future Economy strand of the European Structural and Investment Fund Strategy that set out the priorities for investment for the Research and Innovation Strand of European Programmes.  

In 2015 I became the Senior Innovation Funding Manager at the University of Plymouth where I work with the academic community, professional services and external partners to deliver grant income into the University. 


Roles on external bodies

University of Plymouth representative on the Digital Skills Partnership

HE representative on the Heart of the South West European Structural and Investment Fund Committee