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Digital Catapult CEO to step down

Posted 27 Jul 2023

Digital Catapult CEO, Jeremy Silver, announced his intention to step down in March 2024, after what will be eight years in the role. Silver plans to focus time on a non-executive portfolio career, continuing to serve as a Trustee of the British Library and with a number of early stage technology companies.

Silver has been in the position since 2016 and has been responsible for trebling the Catapult’s size in that time to just under 300 employees and launching 20 national technical facilities around the country.  Under his  tenure in the past five years alone, Digital Catapult has assisted 260 startups in raising £577m in investment and growing their businesses by bringing innovative new solutions to traditional industry.  The Catapult has supported over 2800 businesses since its inception in 2013.

As a deep tech entrepreneur, Silver brought to the Catapult his experience as Executive Chairman of Semetric, CEO of Sibelius Software, Founder CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition and advisor to Shazam.Taking 25 years of entrepreneurship experience, Silver put it to work for the benefit of the UK’s startup ecosystem.  As a Trustee of the British Library and member of the UK Creative Industries Council, Silver is a passionate supporter of the UK’s knowledge economy and helped to design a number of key digital interventions adopted by the government to stimulate this essential part of the UK’s economy.

Silver’s legacy will persist in the form of a network of interconnected advanced media production studios and immersive content support programmes, the first of which was conceived at Digital Catapult. He has also championed the presence of Digital Catapult in Northern Ireland, in the North East Tees Valley and in the South West, particularly in Bristol and Bath.  Commenting on his tenure, Silver said, “I am delighted to have helped Digital Catapult grow from an uncertain toddler to a mature organisation over the last eight years. The first ten years of the company have demonstrated the unique impact a Catapult can make in industrial development,  for example stimulating entrepreneurship in the UK immersive content and applications sector to accelerating supply chain diversification in telecoms, from the green transition in digitising supply chains to the responsible and practical application of block chain technologies.

“The next five years are going to be super exciting as AI challenges our imaginations and our regulatory prowess. As an investor and entrepreneur it has been clear that well thought through targeted interventions can help entrepreneurs exceed their ambitions. Although it’s time to hand over the baton, I continue to believe that a combination of state and private support is the best way to scale early adoption of new technologies. I am confident that Digital Catapult will continue to drive forward responsible innovation for the benefit of UK industry and will play a critical role in building a positive digital green future.”

Professor Juergen Maier, Chair at Digital Catapult commented, “We are extremely grateful for Jeremy’s leadership which has helped 2,500 UK businesses grow in the past five years alone. With Jeremy’s unique outlook, formed in the heart of the cyberpunk era and true to its passionate and risk positive roots, he has not only made his mark at Digital Catapult but will no doubt leave an indelible imprint on the organisation as we transition into a new frontier of virtual environments, integrated supply chains and digital infrastructure.”

Digital Catapult will conduct an open application process to attract applicants for what will no doubt be a highly sought after position.

Silver’s book, Towards a Digital Renaissance, focuses on the evolution of creativity, values and business from cyberspace to the metaverse. In it, he details his journey into innovation policy making from Worldwide Vice-President of New Media for EMI Group and Head of Media at Virgin Records through to writing the first strategy for the creative industries to be published by InnovateUK (previously known as the Technology Strategy Board).

Silver also sits on the boards of AQ Ltd and FeedForward.AI and is an Industry Fellow at the University of Glasgow.