Dave Smith appointed as UK National Technology Adviser

Smith takes up the role following the departure of Sir Patrick Vallance.

Posted 14 September 2023 by Christine Horton

The government has appointed Dr Dave Smith as its National Technology Adviser, following the departure of Sir Patrick Vallance from the role.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Smith’s expertise and leadership in the tech sector “ideally places him to guide the nation’s tech aspirations.”

He said: “Innovation in technology is one of the most important ways we can transform people’s lives, which is why I am delighted to appoint Dave Smith as the UK’s National Technology Adviser – who brings expertise and vision to this vital role.”

Sunak said the government shares Smith’s ambition of “forging a better Britain and growing the economy through technology.”

He said: “With Dave at the helm, we will champion the dynamism of the tech sector so that it can continue to thrive, attracting top talent, boosting innovation and cementing our place as a global science and technology superpower by 2030.” 

Transformative power of technology

Smith was most recently technology director at Rolls-Royce. He has also been managing director of a British tech firm working across cybersecurity and networking, before taking up leadership roles in renowned public sector and technology consultancies. 

Smith said he advocates for “the transformative power of technology and innovation to redefine societies.”

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to harness the growing potential of the British tech sector to drive growth and tackle society’s biggest challenges. Building upon the significant foundations laid by Sir Patrick Vallance, I’m eager to ensure the UK’s continued leadership and position as a global tech superpower.”

In the role, Smith will advise the Technology Secretary on the best approach to building and enhancing the UK’s technology strengths, working across government to champion the science and tech industries, and build networks across industry and academia to draw the best minds into policymaking. 

Smith will report directly to the Department for Science Innovation and Technology’s Permanent Secretary to drive forward the work of the newest government department “to drive innovation, create better paid jobs and grow the economy,” according to a statement.