Stuart Monk - Fotolia

Government on the hunt for national tech adviser

Applicants for the role, which pays up to £135,000, will need to have “deep experience” of innovation and technology development, along with a “fantastic network” in the sector

The newly created Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) is recruiting for a national technology adviser.

The director-general level role will be to position the UK at the forefront of scientific and technological advancement, and will pay up to £135,000 a year.

The national technology adviser will also hold the role of the DSIT’s chief scientific adviser and will report to the department’s permanent secretary, Sarah Munby, as well as the government’s chief scientific adviser, Angela McLean.

According to the job advert, the role will be responsible for ensuring science and technology secretary Michelle Donelan is “provided with the highest quality advice on science, innovation and technology, with a particular focus on advising how government policy should be shaped to grow strategic advantage through science and technology for the UK”.

“This will involve working closely across industry, academia, and senior government ministers and officials in the UK and overseas,” the job advert stated.

To achieve this, the DSIT is looking for a candidate with relevant experience in the technology and innovation sector, and someone who has a “fantastic network across a combination of science, technology and digital arenas”.

The candidate also needs to show “excellent leadership skills” and be “highly accomplished in forming positive relationships” across senior positions in government, industry and academia.

The national technology adviser must also be “adept at representing and negotiating at senior levels across sectors”, have a first-class reputation, and have experience in “forming and leading high-performing virtual teams”.

According to the job pack accompanying the advert, the role brings an “exciting opportunity to shape decision-making at the future frontiers of government policy and to have an impact across a broad range of His Majesty’s government goals”.

“With an ambitious approach to critical technologies, the UK can boost innovation and competition, stimulate investment and create growth,” the job pack said.

“National planning on science and technology policy is now widely seen as a key component of geostrategic influence, security, and economic and social success. It requires coherence and collaboration right across government and externally.”

In the job pack, Munby said the DSIT, which was formed in February 2023, was “created with a single mission: to drive innovation that will deliver improved public services, boost the economy and ensure national security”.

The DSIT was created as part of a reshuffle that saw the creation of four new departments, combining responsibilities for tech-related policies that were previously split across the former Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The department has six priority outcomes, including increasing the level of private research and development (R&D) in the UK, delivering gigabit broadband, putting public services at the forefront of innovation, strengthening international science and technology collaboration, delivering legislative and regulatory reforms, and passing the Online Safety Bill.

Read more about the government and technology

  • For the first time, the UK has a Cabinet-level role responsible for all science and technology policy, as part of prime minister Rishi Sunak’s departmental reshuffle.
  • Secretary of state Michelle Donelan has defended the government’s new data reforms as providing certainty for businesses while simultaneously retaining high standards of data protection, but industry figures are having mixed reactions.
  • Government publishes baseline analysis of UK artificial intelligence sector as it pins hopes on future growth.

Read more on IT for government and public sector

Data Center
Data Management