Posted on February 5, 2020 by staff

BT executive to head new UK innovation group


The government has appointed BT executive Cathryn Ross to head a new expert group which aims to boost UK innovation.

Ross, Group Regulatory Affairs Director at BT, is the first Chair of the Regulatory Horizon Council, a government-backed committee which will also aim to safeguard the public.

The committee was a key recommendation from the white paper on Regulation for the fourth Industrial Revolution.

It will be responsible for advising government on regulatory reform to bolster the rapid and safe development and introduction of emerging products, services and business models in the UK; working with innovators, businesses, academics and regulators to scan the business horizon for technological innovation and trends, building on existing work and data across government; and delivering a regular report with recommendations on priorities for regulatory reform to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future.

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The government is determined to make the UK the best place in the world to do business and a key part of that is getting our regulations right. We already have a thriving tech sector, worth £184 billion to the economy every year, and this council will help supercharge this sector through more agile regulations.

“Cathryn’s leadership of the council will help us ensure our regulatory system keeps pace in a fast-changing world.”

Ross said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the inaugural Chair of the Regulatory Horizons Council. The council will play an important role in ensuring an outcome focused, and flexible regulatory system in the UK.

“Our aim will be to enable innovation to thrive while protecting citizens and the environment.”

At BT, Ross is responsible for developing and implementing the group’s regulatory strategy across the group, covering regulation in the UK and beyond.

An economist by profession, she has worked at the Office of Rail Regulation, the Competition Commission, Oftel and as a consultant.