The Projects

Fellows are working in small teams on the following projects.

Department for Education Logo

Harnessing the potential of digital solutions in education

The challenge:

Covid-19 highlighted the potential for digital, data and technology in education; not just to deliver the remote education that has been required during the pandemic, but how it can be used to improve outcomes as children return to school and college. While some schools and colleges were no strangers to digital tools and had embraced technology for some time, for many the past year has forced a step change which has been challenging. DfE must now enable all schools and colleges to take advantage of the opportunities that technology presents. Within DfE, the pandemic has highlighted where more can be done to harness the full potential of digital solutions.

Department of Health & Social Care logo

Designing high-impact data solutions in the fight against Covid-19 and beyond

The Covid-19 pandemic emphasised the value of UK health and care data and non-health data insights as a unique and precious resource. It is critical that we harness the potential of our data capabilities to:

  • Accelerate the UK’s world-leading medical research and generate new, state-of-the-art treatments, diagnostics and health technologies with UK patients benefitting first.
  • Provide local and national decision-makers with the best analysis, assessment and advice relating to the state of the current Covid-19 epidemic in the UK and overseas, and future challenges.
  • Make the UK a globally leading hub for life sciences and health tech to attract investment, create jobs, benefit the NHS and save lives.

To achieve this mission we must make high-quality UK health data and non-health data and insights available for research, innovation, and care, whilst maintaining the highest standards in privacy, security and public trust for the public, patients and the NHS.

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office logo

Unlocking the power of data to address humanitarian crises

How can FCDO leverage UK expertise in data and digital technology – particularly new opportunities provided by geospatial, earth observation and predictive analytics – to respond more rapidly and effectively to international humanitarian crises? Promoting science and digital technology to offer faster and cheaper delivery for crisis response is a priority for UK Official Development Assistance.

There are three specific data challenges that hamper global preparedness for crises (including natural disasters, and sudden and slow-onset crises):

  1. The ability to collate, combine, analyse and model a wide range of data sources (including satellite, drone, meteorological, epidemiological and infrastructure data) to create and maintain up-to-date maps in advance of a crisis occurring;
  2. The ability to identify the most appropriate data sources to inform operational decisions where multiple national and international data sources exist;
  3. The ability to access proprietary data, such as satellite imagery and mobile data, from before the crisis occurred and also where a slow-onset emergency is suspected – something not covered by the disasters charter.

Register your interest in the second cohort. Applications open 2022

The Fellows

Johannes Petrat headshot

Johannes Petrat

 One month into the programme I feel very welcome and inspired. At the FCDO, science and technology make a real difference for people in need across the globe – I can’t wait to help.

My professional background is data science and I have worked on a range of different applications: optimising power plants, image detection in satellite images and simulation for military decision-support. Having witnessed the transformational power of technology with my own eyes, I feel passionate about how data and technology can make this world a better place. I like working in fast-paced, cross-functional teams because I believe that learning from different professions makes me more effective as a data scientist and more complete as a leader.

I’ve been living in London for a bit over five years now and I still love going to all the trendy restaurants and to the Turner collection at Tate Britain.

For the last two years I have been working in the defence industry where I build tools and solutions that help military operational planners play out complex scenarios in virtual environments. In my role as an applied scientist I research, prototype and implement models underpinning these simulations. I enjoy collaborating with the user community to understand their needs, innovate together and push the envelope of what simulations can achieve.

In my personal life, I have a drive to always learn new things; most recently I tried sailing, cooking and have been bouldering for a few years. I won’t ever get bored of my electric guitar and tennis.

A goal of mine is to blow someone’s mind with what modern technology can achieve for them.

Personal motto: Never lose curiosity

Onyeka Onyekwelu headshot

Onyeka Onyekwelu

My experience so far supports my view that innovation isn’t always about shiny tech or new tools and systems. I’m here to challenge the way we think and encourage a culture of collaboration, where people feel empowered to go after the change they wish to see.

Prior to joining the Innovation Fellowship, I specialised in public policy advocacy and strategic engagement. I’ve worked with the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI), Greater London Authority (GLA), Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Bar Associations nationally and internationally. My work has focussed on developing user-centred campaigns and projects exploringintelligent use of data, digitisation of public services, rule of law, and diversity and inclusion.

My personal motto: your current is not your constant.

Joe Blair headshot

Joe Blair

“I’ve been struck by the talent and dedication of everyone I’ve met. I’m excited to bring new ideas, and help others do the same.”

I previously spent 13 years as a digital and product leader at The Key, creating online support and cloud-based systems that are used by the majority of schools in England. For the past 18 months I have led product at ScholarPack, a cloud-based Management Information System that was acquired by The Key and is used by over 1,700 primary schools.

Outside of work I have two young children who keep me very busy. As a family we love good food, exploring London parks, and trips to the coast.

The Fellowship is a unique opportunity to influence how government works, but what really matters to me is having an impact on day-to-day life in schools and colleges.

Nicole Kayode headshot

Nicole Kayode

I’ve been amazed at the willingness, desire and readiness to move fast and innovate within NHSx – there are so many high impact projects ongoing at any given moment, and people are truly dedicated to getting the best outcomes they can.

I’m the founder of a healthcare technology startup called Medixus, which connects healthcare workers across Africa to collaborate on patient cases remotely, providing clinical decision making support and ultimately a higher quality of patient care. Outside of this, I have led product teams at all stages from idea to roll out. In the next year, my main goal is to learn as much as I can and positively impact as much as I can over the duration of my Fellowship! I hope to highlight that innovation is not only about technology, but a way of thinking and working – and to embed that within the teams I will work with.

My personal motto: You should always try to leave people and places, better than you found them – be it a smile or a job well done

Daniel James headshot

Daniel James

The opportunity to work on challenges of this scale and with a direct positive impact on society is unparalleled. It’s exciting, rewarding and super fun!

I’m Daniel James and I love turning great ideas into reality. I previously led the product team at one of Europe’s fastest growing deep-tech startups, AMPLYFI, where I was fortunate enough to work with institutions including Bayer, Harvard University’s Belfer Center and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

With degrees in Biochemistry from UCL and Bioinformatics and Genetic Epidemiology from Cardiff University, my academic research focussed primarily on the prediction of antibody structures to support the development of novel drugs to treat disease.

It is an honour to join the No. 10 Fellowship, and I look forward to being able to work with some exceptional people to strengthen our health surveillance capabilities. The UK has a massive opportunity to harness our world-leading medical research, critical infrastructure and digital technologies to help protect people at home and around the world.

Rudy Benfredj headshot

Rudy Benfredj

I’ve been impressed with the scale and ambition of the projects undertaken here. It can be a tricky environment to navigate at first but there is a healthy dose of contagious optimism everywhere you look.

Rudy Benfredj is the founder of, a digital health company focused on shortening the diagnostic odyssey of patients with rare and hard to diagnose diseases. Rudy is a computer scientist passionate about improving healthcare using information technologies. He graduated from Imperial College where he worked under the supervision of Prof. Aldo Faisal and Prof. Marek Sergot before attending the graduate program of Singularity University at NASA Ames”


Helen Balinsky headshot

Helen Balinsky 

Discover new opportunities, lead the way, and deliver the results that matter!

Helen is a 20+ year veteran of Hewlett-Packard/HP and has served in a variety of roles since joining the company in early 2001. Prior taking on the No10 Innovation Fellowship, she served as a Principal Research Scientist and Tech Lead. Helen also founded and led the pan-HP Data Science and Knowledge Discovery community with over 3000 members across the company. Her research and leadership resulted in a multitude of successful HP products and services with over 80 patents filed in USPTO and 50 patents awarded. She authored over 50 scientific publications in ACM, IEEE, and other top conferences and journals. In 2012, Helen was elected Fellow of Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications. Since 2018, she is a Visiting Professor at Royal Holloway University of London.

Register interest

Register your interest in the second cohort. Applications open 2022