Expert exchange brings tech superpowers to government

Tech experts from academia and industry will work in DSIT for up to nine months. 

The Department for Science, Industry and Technology (DSIT) has accepted the first science, engineering and technology experts on a new secondment scheme that aims to strengthen links between the tech sector and government.

three person standing near wall inside building

DSIT was created two months ago with a core mission to support science, innovation and technology. The expert exchange scheme will also drive momentum in a whole range of future technologies, including quantum computers and data science. 

Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, says that, ‘To cement the UK’s place as a science and technology superpower, we need to leverage the insight of the UK’s world-leading science and technology sectors, including ensuring that the best talent within these areas is behind our mission.’ 

 ‘Today marks the start of the UK’s finest minds joining us through the Expert Exchange and bringing their expertise to evolve and expand exciting innovations in science and technology. I hope that this new approach will bolster collaboration between the government, industry and experts.’ 

The initial phase of the exchange programme involves work with the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering to identify high-performing, mid-career academics and engineers who can provide the desired expertise. 

Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says: ‘Technology and engineering have the potential to impact every part of government policy and delivery, so it is vital that government can access the expertise it needs and that engineers develop their understanding of how to engage with policymakers. 

‘By bringing engineers into the heart of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, the government is demonstrating its commitment to advancing the pro-innovation policies that will be essential for the UK to thrive and to help tackle global challenges.’ 

Further experts from industry as well as academia are expected to join the exchange over the coming year. The scheme may even become a two-way process, with the potential for civil servants to join tech companies and research bodies so that they can gain better understanding of the sector. 

The expert exchange scheme builds on the objectives of the science and technology framework set out by the government to make the UK a science and technology superpower by 2030. The secondments will help deliver on the framework’s particular objective of building on the UK’s already enviable talent and skills base.

Last month, the government outlined its ambition to make the UK a global tech superpower by 2030.

Photo by Werner Du Plessis


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