The government has appointed its former chief technology officer, Liam Maxwell, as National Technology Adviser with a remit to boost the UK’s digital economy.
Maxwell’s new role will seek to expand the government’s relationships with the digital and technology industry and establish the means to provide better public services to citizens.
Maxwell will work with a new council of experts to make use of industry expertise and push ahead with the government’s work on emerging technologies.
Such efforts will give the UK access to a global network of expertise that will attract investors to the UK and allow the nation to export opportunities based around the technology industry, according to the Cabinet Office.
Maxwell’s role will tie into work done by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) to grow the UK’s digital sector, support emerging technologies and create an environment where digital companies can develop and grow.
He will work closely with culture minister Ed Vaizey and Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock.
The Cabinet Office explained that Maxwell's appointment is a natural evolution of his work with the government's digital transformation and efforts to pursue an agenda of ‘digital by default’.
“Four years ago I was asked to come in to government and reshape the technology landscape. To move from silos to common technology, to introduce the concept of common infrastructure and open standards, and to save money,” said Maxwell.
“I’m really excited by this new challenge and the opportunity to further embed the work that is making the UK the number one place to invest in Europe. We have the skills, the infrastructure and the know-how to make our economy the most connected, the most attractive and the most digital in the world.”
Following Maxwell’s appointment, the government’s deputy chief technology officer, Andy Beale, will head up the Government Digital Services (GDS) Technology Group.
Maxwell’s new role is evidence that the government is not shying away from injecting more digital technology into Whitehall and supporting the UK’s technology sector.
However, it has yet to replace the role of chief digital officer which was filled by former GDS director Mike Bracken, who stepped down last year to move to the Co-operative Group leaving Stephen Foreshew-Cain at the helm of GDS.
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