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UCL’s leading interaction design expert shares her thoughts on Digital Catapult’s 10 year anniversary

Posted 28 Nov 2023

After a decade of digital innovation our board share their reflections and look to the future…

As we celebrate Digital Catapult’s ten year anniversary we sat down for an interview with interaction and design expert and Non-Executive Director, Yvonne Rogers, to discuss Digital Catapult’s impact.

As a non-executive board member of Digital Catapult, what are you the most proud of about the organisation?

It’s been great to see Digital Catapult’s continued growth and success in exciting times for new innovation but at the same time in an uncertain climate. Digital Catapult possesses the unique ability to adapt to uncertain conditions but remain close to its core values.

What are the biggest challenges and opportunities in adopting advanced digital technologies right now?

New digital technologies are evolving at a rapid pace and some, for example GenAI, need huge computational power. The challenge facing organisations such as Digital Catapult is working out how to collaborate with and alongside the big companies to enable SMEs and startups to be able to use the new technologies so that they are fit for purpose – without being overly constrained while also ensuring what they are developing is ethical.

If you could make one challenge to your peers in the deep tech ecosystem, what would it be?

How to truly operationalise the challenge to make data and AI responsible, trustworthy, beneficial and safe for society rather than just talk about the need to do so.

How do you envision Digital Catapult in the next 5 – 10 years?

Continuing to be at the forefront of digital technology innovation especially in facilitating early adoption by SMEs and startups. Digital Catapult is in a great position to expand, by collaborating with European and academic partners in large scale consortiums who are working at the cutting edge of developing new platforms, applications and services, especially for AI.

What is your top memory from your time as a Board member? 

At the first Board meeting I attended, looking at the amazing skyline of London while listening to a Board of very intelligent, articulate and aware members steer and discuss a range of topics in a professional and cogent manner – quite different from the meetings I attend in academic settings which are a bit more chaotic and not in such wonderful settings.

What is your favourite Digital Catapult moment of the last 10 years? 

Being warmly welcomed by the rest of the board on my arrival. It felt good to be joining such a great team.

What is your favourite or most memorable partner, programme or project?

As I have only been on the board for less than a year, that is a difficult one. However, I have been most impressed by the SONIC Labs programme. What it offers and how successful it has been as a testbed for a diversity of companies and vendors – it is offering critical guidance and facilities to accelerate the UK’s 5G diversification strategy.



Yvonne Rogers

Non executive director