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Bristol Digital Futures Institute welcomes its first Steering Board Chair

Jeremy Silver

Press release issued: 3 November 2021

Bristol Digital Futures Institute (BDFI) has appointed Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult, as Chair of its External Steering Board.

Bristol Digital Futures Institute was founded in 2019 with over £100m investment and support from Research England and cross-sector partners, including Digital Catapult. Its’ mission is to drive digital innovation for more inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous futures.

Jeremy Silver is an entrepreneur, author and investor who heads up the UK's leading agency for the early adoption of advanced digital technologies.

Digital Catapult works with organisations to discover new ways to solve cross-industry challenges, increase productivity and open up new markets, working with a range of emerging technologies including AI, 5G and virtual and augmented reality. This innovation activity is underpinned by a commitment to recognise the environmental, social and economic dimensions of digital transformation, to drive lasting prosperity and well-being of individuals and societies.

In his additional role as Chair, Jeremy will lead a cross-sector and high-profile board to help propel BDFI’s vision and strategy though expert advice, horizon scanning, support, and provide steer on opportunities or programmes of strategic importance.

Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult and Chair of Bristol Digital Futures Institute’s External Steering Board, said:

"It’s a privilege to take up the role as inaugural Chair of the BDFI and to work alongside a group of such talented and respected peers. What we are building in Bristol is a vital part of new global efforts to overcome the challenges created by the first generation of digital transformation and to create instead an inclusive, responsible and sustainable framework for the future, powered by digital innovation. I’m looking forward very much to working with the rest of the Steering Board to help drive the ambitious agenda of the BDFI.” 

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, academic co-director of BDFI, said:

“Jeremy is a globally recognised Digital Leader,  having worked across a diverse range of technology and creative sectors.  I am delighted to welcome him as Chair of the Bristol Digital Futures Institute Steering Board.

“I am confident that Jeremy will play a leading role in advising on our research strategy, helping us disrupt the traditional patterns of innovation and adoption, and support our ambition to drive digital  technology creation fit for the future”.   

Susan Halford, academic co-director of BDFI, said:

“Digital technologies are changing our world, for better and for worse. To harness the opportunities and address the challenges, we must fundamentally change how we innovate, better consider the interplay between technology and society, and support innovation that is ethical, socially responsible and beneficial for everyone.

“Jeremy is exceptionally well-placed to support BDFI as we drive new sociotechnical methodologies to co-create digital technologies and tip digital futures towards these ends.”  

Further information

Jeremy Silver Biography

Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult, is an entrepreneur, author and angel investor. He is a Trustee of the British Library and a member of the UK Creative Industries Council. Jeremy sits on the boards of HammerheadVR Ltd, Imaginarium Studios Ltd and FeedForward.AI. He was previously Executive Chairman of Semetric (acquired by Apple), Founder CEO of Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), a strategic advisor to Shazam (acquired by Apple), and CEO of Sibelius Software (acquired by Avid).

Jeremy was Worldwide Vice-President of New Media for EMI Group in Los Angeles and Head of Media at Virgin Records where he worked with Genesis, Massive Attack, Brian Eno and Bryan Ferry, among others. His book “Digital Medieval” is a history of the music industry online. He has spoken at TEDx Houses of Parliament, the CBI, SXSW and Midem among many trade events. He is an Industry Fellow at the University of Glasgow.

About BDFI

Bristol Digital Futures Institute is shaping a digital future that works for all by transforming the way we create new digital technology for more inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable societies.

The £100m Institute is pioneering a different approach to digital tech innovation, bringing together social and technological expertise from across the University of Bristol and collaborators in academia, industry, government, and local communities.

In unique facilities, BDFI will co-create new digital technologies with a greater understanding of how they will impact people and society in future social, political, and economic landscapes.

This interdisciplinary approach from the start of the innovation process will help drive sociotechnical change towards more positive digital futures for all. The team aims to tackle the biggest global challenges, from healthcare, to the future of the internet, to how artificial intelligence will impact our lives.

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