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Digital Catapult appoints three new Non-Executive Directors to its Board

Posted 24 Oct 2023

Digital Catapult appoints three new Non-Executive Directors to its Board

Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, has announced the appointment of three new Non-Executive Directors to its Board who have taken up their roles as of October 2023. With these appointments, Digital Catapult maintains its women-majority Board, composed of six women and four men, in line with the organisation’s efforts to achieve greater equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels. 

  • Valerie Todd CBE was, until recently, the People and Organisation Director for Siemens UK&I.
  • Perdita Fraser is Chair of National Numeracy and Trustee of the Campaign for Science and Engineering.
  • Damien Buie is Sector Lead, Energy Transition at Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

The new appointments to the Board will continue to support Digital Catapult’s growth as the organisation marks its tenth anniversary and begins executing a new five year plan. These appointments underpin Digital Catapult’s senior level expertise in areas of digital infrastructure, supply chains, and virtual environments, which the organisation believes will fundamentally shape the digital future. The three new non-executive directors replace esteemed colleagues Jill Ridley-Smith, Rowena Ironside and Steve Thomas who are stepping down from the Board as their two-terms have concluded.

Digital Catapult is currently undertaking some of the UK’s most significant and strategically important digital technology focussed projects including the £16 million SONIC Labs programme with Ofcom funded by DSIT, the £25 million Made Smarter Digital Supply Chain Hub funded by industry and InnovateUK, and the recently launched Advanced Media Production studios, the UK’s first network of connected facilities of its kind, in partnership with Target3D and PROTO. 

In 2023, Digital Catapult celebrates its tenth anniversary contributing to UK economic growth. Since 2018, the organisation has worked with over 2,450 small businesses, 259 of which have raised a total of £577 million in early stage private investment, and in the last 12 months has achieved: 

  • 22 new academic engagements
  • 34 new industrial collaborations 
  • 25% people growth 
  • 61% increase in collaborative research and development and commercial income.

Find out more about the new Non-Executive Directors on the Board below


Valerie Todd is the former People and Organisation Director for Siemens Plc UK and Ireland and supported the business through 5 years of transformation and growth to establish Siemens as one of the largest technology companies in the world. Valerie has held senior executive positions, principally in people leadership, in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She is an experienced non-executive director, having held a number non-executive positions, including with the British Army, Pearson Education Limited, Leonard Cheshire Disability Charity and as Chair of Investors in People CIC. She is a Companion of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CCIPD). She was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for Services to Skills, Training and the Development of Young People.

Perdita Fraser is Chair of National Numeracy and Trustee of the Campaign for Science and Engineering. Perdita is an experienced director, adviser and angel investor in innovative companies in the UK and the US. She has held board roles across the private, public, third and university sectors, with specific focus on innovation-led business, promoting UK science/research, and skills, communities & place-based investment. Roles include Non-Executive Director/trustee roles at University of Edinburgh, Oversight Panel for European Social Funds England and National Lottery Community Fund. Perdita is senior adviser on AI and business to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, focused on the development of industry partnerships in AI and life sciences. A former JP Morgan investment banker, she has 20 years’ experience in cleantech startups/SMEs. She also has a variety of panel/ambassador/advisory roles with the Cabinet Office, BEIS, 25×25, Women on Boards and Changing the Chemistry. Perdita was named as one of the “100 Women to Watch” on the female FTSE Board Report 2015 and is a Fellow of the RSA. 

Damien Buie is Sector Lead, Energy Transition at Amazon Web Services (AWS). With over 20 years of experience in the energy industry, Damien is the Industry Lead for renewables, electrical networks and energy services within AWS for Energy, globally responsible for supporting its customers to accelerate the energy transition. Damien’s area of expertise is in leveraging data to drive innovation at scale. Prior to this role, Damien was the Chief Digital Officer of the renewables division of EDF, based in Paris, and led the digital transformation of the group, following on from more than 10 years of experience in North America leading innovation and product development. Damien has a PhD in Computational Physics for the University of Sydney and post-doctoral experience at University College London.