Introducing the CBI’s new Innovation Team

Felicity Burch, the new head of group for digital and innovation, explains the rationale behind the creation of the CBI’s newest directorate.

Q: Why has the innovation team been set up?

A: It was for two key reasons: in order to align our policy work more closely with our long-term goal to create the best environment for a more prosperous society and also to respond to members’ desire for us to do more in this area.

Q: What are the main objectives of the team?

A: The team’s purpose is to promote the role that innovation and digital technology can play in contributing to UK prosperity and develop policy recommendations and services that help our members to become technology leaders.

Q: What are the main projects that the team are currently working on?

A: The team has got off to a flying start with our contributions to the Autumn Statement, which is soon to be published. We are launching our innovation survey at the annual conference and are looking at how we limit the impact of Brexit on innovation funding. We are also working closely with members to ensure that we have a workable solution to data protection regulation as we detangle ourselves from Europe.

We have big plans for next year including developing a roadmap for how we increase the UK’s R&D expenditure to an ambitious target of 3 per cent of GDP and developing our understanding of the role of disruptive technologies.

Q: Who is in the team?

A: The team will be led by Tom Thackray (Director) and Felicity Burch (Head of Group), with the following team members:

Emma Collins (Principal Policy Adviser)

Emma’s areas of responsibility include data protection, cyber security, the digital single market and digital infrastructure.

Roxanne Morison (Senior Policy Adviser)

Roxanne has joint ownership of the portfolio on digital. Her responsibilities include cyber security, data protection, the role of technology and broader work on disruptive innovation.

Jessica Dickinson (Senior Policy Adviser)

Jessica is focusing on the UK’s innovation landscape as a whole, ensuring that its institutions are joined up, and with sufficient funds. This will mean working with BEIS, Innovate UK, the catapults and other research and innovation organizations to make the case that innovation must be a government priority.

Chris Cassley (Policy Adviser)

Chris will be developing our policy work on business-university collaborations, while also covering our work on the funding gap for UK science and innovation following Brexit and the impact on the UK’s research budget.

If you have any questions about the team or how you can get involved in the work they are doing, feel free to speak to Felicity. Look out for ongoing updates from the team about policy projects to get involved in and events that you can attend.

Source: CBI