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April 19, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:10am

Liam Maxwell leaves UK government CTO post for new role in Whitehall

News: Departs GDS for National Technology Adviser role, despite committing to stay in the CTO position until 2018.

By Ellie Burns

Liam Maxwell is to leave his position as government CTO, taking up a new role as the UK’s first National Technology Adviser.

The job change will come as a surprise to many, especially as only a couple of years ago Maxwell committed to remaining in the CTO post until 2018.

However, the job change does keep Maxwell in Whitehall, where he will work with the likes of Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy at Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to drive forward the government’s work on emerging technologies and establish a new council of experts.

Commenting on his new role, Liam Maxwell said: "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. I’m excited to be a part of it."

With the ultimate aim of attracting investors and promoting UK export opportunities, Maxwell will link the cross-government drive to improve government digital technology with DCMS’ work to grow the digital sector.

Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey said: "With a digital sector contributing an estimated £118.3 billion to the UK economy, the role of National Technology Adviser is vital in harnessing homegrown talent to expand our digital capability.

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"As an ambassador for government, Liam will make sure we’re attracting the right investment and innovation to secure our position as a global leader."

The creation of the National Technology Adviser role, and Maxwell’s appointment to said role, has been welcomed by industry bodies that see the move as further proof that the government is taking the UK’s digital economy seriously.

Julian David, CEO of techUK, said: "The creation of a National Technology advisor is a clear indication that this Government is prioritising the digital economy. Tech is at the heart of everything government wants to achieve, and Liam’s experience means he is ideally placed to bring together public and private sector to drive growth and innovation."

Filling the CTO role left empty by Maxwell’s departure, HM Government Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andy Beale has been named as Acting CTO of the GDS Technology Group.

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