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Huw Williams

Co-Founder + CTO SMARTlab

Huw Williams is the SMARTlab’s co-founder and CTO (Chief Technical Officer), working with the team since the early 1990s when we launched in our first format at the BBC/Open University as the BBC Interactive Media Research Group (where our first task was to invent actual working prototypes and programmes that were truly interactive, bringing university education and healthcare out of the analogue age and into the hands of learners, patients and communities).

Over the years he has held many high level technology operations roles, including his prestigious appointment as Head of IT initiatives for LOCOG, the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

He has been with SMARTlab since its inception, offering many years of experience in leading innovations and broadcast/audience development. His experience in managing large teams of engineers, medical and health experts, broadcasters and scholars in the co-creation of major learning and communications projects makes him the ideal CTO for SMART-futures projects.

Huw is responsible for creative technology innovation in terms of our technological vision, interoperability and scalability of tools, accessibility and cloud serving and platforms.

Previously, he was Head of Research and Innovation for the BBC, responsible for the BBC technology innovation function across broadcast and new media technology. He was responsible for developing innovation initiatives to capture and develop ideas and improved partnerships through establishing collaborations with major external organisations such as NHK in Japan, UK universities and other research establishments.

Projects at BBC Research included leading the technology teams behind the Freesat service to develop a new broadcast service (including set-top box specification), display systems beyond High Definition and open source compression systems, as well as the BBC Backstage developer network.

Previous roles at the BBC included Head of Technology for Television and BBC News (looking at High Definition issues). As Head of New Media Development for BBC Radio and Music, he set up the technical and design teams that developed the BBC Radio websites. Before joining the BBC, he founded a number of new media companies developing interactive television software, and worked as a consultant for a range of clients.

He has recently consulted for the UK government on high level issues of security and governance in the technology sector, and is ready to return to SMARTlab-IDRC to lead interoperability and tech team management for INCLUDE with VR FIrst and partners.

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