Jo Johnson joins Tech Nation’s Board

Tech Nation, October 18, 2020 2 min read

Jo Johnson, formerly government Minister for Universities, Science and Innovation, joins Tech Nation’s Board as the fifth new Director announced in recent weeks. 

He brings extensive expertise in the technology, education and creative industries and will draw on his dedicated experience in both academia and government to support Tech Nation’s work to foster world-changing innovation in the UK. 

Stephen Kelly, Chair, Tech Nation, comments:

“I’m pleased to welcome Jo Johnson onto the Tech Nation board. We have an ambitious mission ahead of us – to unlock the growth potential of 1,000 scaling tech companies, and to generate $1bn for the UK economy by March 2022 – and every intention of surpassing those goals. The UK’s tech scaleups are key to the productivity and health of the UK economy in the digital age, to high value job creation and high-value digital exports.”

“With Jo joining us as our final appointment, we have built a truly world-leading board, with new members Anette Wilson, Eric Collins, Hussein Kanji, and Trecilla Lobo joining last month as we drive forward the support needed for the UK’s tech scaleups.”

Currently, Johnson is Chairman of education software and services group Tes Global and of Access Creative, the largest independent provider of training for the creative industries. He is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and President’s Professorial Fellow at King’s College London. A member of Parliament between 2010-2019, Jo held prominent positions in Government under three Prime Ministers, including Head of the No10 Downing Street Policy Unit and Minister of State, attending Cabinet, for Universities, Science & Innovation. 

Johnson’s previous work on policy and strategy for innovation in the UK will contribute significantly to Tech Nation’s efforts to accelerate the growth of the tech sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. He was selected, alongside the four appointments previously announced, from more than 300 candidates for the Board positions.

Jo Johnson, Chairman of education software and services group Tes Global and of Access Creative, comments:

“The UK’s technology sector and the scaling tech businesses within it, are of vital importance to the health of the UK economy. With the significant levels of investment it attracts to the UK from all over the world, and the creation of numerous high-skilled jobs, our tech sector will play a strategically important role in helping our nation recover from the effects of Covid-19.”

“I am delighted to be joining the Board of Tech Nation – an organisation whose sole purpose is to support the growth of these ambitious technology companies, and in turn further bolster the UK tech sector and support the wider UK economy.”

“As we continue our work in making the UK the best place in the world to scale a tech business, it’s crucial that we have the right board in place with the experience and know-how to deliver on our ambitious goals,” adds Gerard Grech, Tech Nation’s CEO. “I’m pleased to welcome Jo onto the Tech Nation board, who brings considerable and valuable experience across tech, the creative industries, academia and government.” 

UK tech is already worth £186bn to the economy (2019), and continues to generate highly-paid and well-skilled jobs despite difficulties faced over the last six months. Advertised roles in the sector have grown 36% since June, with over 90,000 jobs advertised a week in August.

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