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Digital Catapult appoints Joe Butler as Chief Technology Officer

Posted 27 Apr 2020

Professor Joe Butler has been appointed as the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at leading advanced digital technology innovation centre Digital Catapult, starting in May 2020. Joe brings significant experience from his previous roles as CTO for the radio spectrum and Director of AI and Machine Learning at Ofcom, Director of Telecoms and Chief Scientific Advisor at DCMS, and as Digital Infrastructure Lead at the National Infrastructure Commission.

Commenting on the announcement, Joe Butler said: “I’m delighted to be joining Digital Catapult, particularly at such a pivotal time. The value of ensuring the UK is at the forefront of exploiting advanced digital technology and digital transformation has never been more clear. Digital Catapult is a unique organisation with a vital role to play in accelerating technology adoption and driving greater productivity and growth in UK businesses. I’m looking forward to helping Digital Catapult further develop its potential to address scale opportunities in the digital space, and working with Jeremy, the executive team and Digital Catapult’s board members to achieve this.”

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult added: “I am thrilled to welcome Joe to Digital Catapult and excited by what he brings to the organisation. Our working world has been turned on its head in the last few months, but investment in technology innovation has never been more important than now, in aiding the recovery, levelling up the country, addressing long term reduction in carbon emissions and returning the UK rapidly to growth. Joe’s experience and his deep technical expertise will be invaluable in mapping out the future technology roadmap of our work at Digital Catapult, as well as for all the companies we work with, at what is both a challenging and exciting time for the advanced digital technology landscape.”

Joe’s significant skillset comes from a career that ranges from startups and scaleups to some of the UK’s largest technology and infrastructure projects at the heart of the UK Government; at Ofcom, prior to leading on AI and machine learning policy and regulation, Joe worked on delivering multi-billion spectrum auctions for 4G and 5G. He was one of the authors of the National Infrastructure Commission (an independent commission chaired by Lord Adonis) report on 5G and the future of mobile communications, and spent his early career in developer and R&D roles at artificial intelligence startups and scaleups, as well as developing a state of the art physics visual fx system used in multiple blockbuster films.

As CTO at Digital Catapult, Joe will be responsible for overseeing growth and development across Digital Catapult’s focus technology areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning, immersive, 5G and the internet of things, and distributed systems. Joe joins Digital Catapult at a crucial time in the scaling and wider adoption of advanced digital technologies and their application to industry, following a year when Digital Catapult has worked with over 600 entrepreneurs and scale up businesses, and helped more than 90 companies raise over £140m in investment.