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Dr Mike Short CBE

Chair of the Debate

About Mike

Dr Mike Short CBE, after 30 years in telecommunications with Cellnet / BT / O2 and Telefonica, joined the Department for International Trade (DIT) in December 2017 as the Department’s first Chief Scientific Adviser (now called Dept of Business and Trade). Since March 2023 he has been pursuing a portfolio career around innovation and research largely in telecommunications including as Chief Architect at the Satellite Applications Catapult and Distinguished Visitor at NPL.

Mike led the Science and Engineering profession and advised DIT on science, engineering and technology. He supported DIT on the technical aspects of trade, inward investment and international engineering collaboration, and worked with the UK’s research, innovation and academic communities to boost technology and engineering exports. He also represented DIT on many cross HMG committees such as Telecoms, Space, Health and Quantum, and on overseas delegations such as Mobile World Congress 2023, CES and Web Summit 2022. He was an active member of GoScience CSA activities and a Board member on Innovate UK for 4 years to Q1 2023.

Mike has 4 decades of experience in electronics and telecommunications. This included a role as Vice President of Telefonica, the parent company of the O2 mobile phone network to the end of 2016. Since 1987, he has managed the launch of 2G (GSM) and 3G mobile technologies in the UK, helped win mobile licenses overseas, established an EU office in Brussels, and later led international research (including 4G / 5G), innovation and standards for Telefonica Europe. He also was the lead contact with the UK / EU Research programmes and International Standards, and managed the engagement with UK Universities. During this period he ran trials for Mobile TV, Smart metering, Driverless cars, and IoT.

He has also led the development and collaboration in areas such as Digital health, IoT, and cybersecurity including active participation in PETRAS and iSense multi year programmes linked to key Universities.

His career includes the promotion of international technical standards in mobile and digital technology. He is a former Chairman of the Global GSM Association, the UK Mobile Data Association, and was President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology in 2011/2012. Amongst other Board roles he has sat on the Boards of ETSI , Tech UK , Innovate UK, UK 5G and UK Telecomms Innovation Network Advisory Board.

He is currently a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Surrey and UCL. He holds honorary doctorates from Brunel and Warwick Universities amongst others, and was honoured with a CBE in 2012 for his services to the mobile industry.

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