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Regional economies and digital transformation (CIMR Debates and Workshops in Public Policy)

Venue: Online

Join the Centre for Innovation Management Research on Wednesday 2 March for the online debate: Regional economies and digital transformation. 

The online debate is part of the CIMR Debates and Workshops in Public Policy series.


  • Prof. David Langley, University of Groningen and TNO
  • Pierre Yves Dannet, Orange
  • Brian Macaulay, Digital Catapult
  • Dr Federica Rossi, Birkbeck, University of London


  • Saverio Romeo, Birkbeck, University of London


Digital transformation is a key strategic issue for countries and regions aiming to boost economic growth, job creation, technology development, and innovation. In particular, emerging digital technologies such as the Internet of Things, cloud services, big data and analytics, and Artificial Intelligence are transforming sectors, value chains, production systems, but also cities and communities. These technologies are expected to shape the geography of innovation and knowledge production; yet, different regions can have different abilities to successfully exploit the range of opportunities they create.

In this panel debate, we discuss the elements that need to be in place for regions to successfully harness the digital transformation with a particular attention on the 'Internet of Things', the roles of universities, government agencies, businesses, and other organisations in creating such favourable conditions, and the main challenges that regions need to address to increase their 'digital readiness'.


David Langley is Professor of Internet, Innovation and Strategy at the University of Groningen, and senior researcher at TNO, the Netherlands largest applied research organization. Also chair of the Innovation Ecosystems working group of the European Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation. A keen advocate of the European Data Strategy, his research focusses on value creation through digital transformation building upon European values.

Pierre-Yves Danet is a consultant in Smart connectivity, he was head of cooperative Research Europe at Orange Lab and has represented Orange in several European associations and board such as NEM, AIOTI, 5GIA, ETNO. He is also involved in NGI as an ambassador and French representative and also leading an initiative to create a network of Smart Connectivity DIH (5G, IOT, cybersec and AI) on behalf of the 6GIA and AIOTI. He was a member of 6GIA board and of the BDVA/DIARO Board of Directors as well as part of the Smart Network and Services Editing team and also representing 6GIA in the Transcontinuum initiative.

Brian MacAulay is Lead Economist at the Digital Catapult. He is responsible for implementing new approaches to capturing data on businesses, to measure progress, prepare market intelligence and for developing new modelling approaches of the diffusion of digital technologies. After 10 years lecturing, he has worked in senior roles in regional economics, was Director of the Innovation Index at Nesta, National Economist at the Canal River Trust before joining Digital Catapult. His main research interests are the application of complex systems to better understand innovation and economic growth.

Dr Federica Rossi is Reader in Innovation Policy and Management at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research interests focus on science and technology policy, the economics and management of intellectual property rights, innovation activities of firms and networks of firms, the economics and governance of higher education. She has authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and books.

Saverio Romeo has spent more than 20 years in telecommunications, specifically around the communications between machines. He has done that with various hats, from solution designer and strategy developer to tech policy adviser, working with companies and the public sector, from very early-stage start-ups and villages in rural areas to very large cities and large companies. While teaching on digital transformation and emerging digital technologies at Birkbeck and in various companies, he continues to run projects around IoT and emerging digital technologies with different organisaitons.  He holds three MSCs, one in Telecommunications Engineering, one in Information Technologies, and one in Technology Policy and Innovation Management.

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