The government now has two new advisers on tech policy.
In April we learned that Rohan Silva, the government’s Tech City star, was leaving politics to enter the very world he had spent years cultivating for others, entrepreneurship.
Silva had been close to prime minister David Cameron and had been influential with the drive to make investment into technology start-ups more appetising through the seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS) and encouraging large multinationals like Facebook and Google to embrace London.
The government had undoubtedly lost a star, but has now moved fast to replace Silva – this time with a team of two.
Two members of Cameron’s policy unit will now step forward to fill the hole left by Silva. Chris Lockwood, former US editor of The Economist magazine will take the lead and be aided by Daniel Korski.
Korski is a currently senior policy fellow at the Pan-European Council on Foreign Relations and will be taking particular interest on Tech City innovation policy work.
I think it’s a good idea to go for a two-pronged attack. One can be freed up to think big and interact with the entrepreneurial community to find out what they are after while the other can think about the solid policy work to back that up.
One small issue may be that Lockwood was identified as one of the six journalist friends that Cameron said he had whilst giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry. Cameron will be keen to put past problems with hiring (see Andy Coulson for case in point) and maintain the breath of fresh air that Silva brought with him when he entered the government through a chance interaction with George Osborne.
The coalition could have done a lot worse than recruiting a journalist, especially one who has so much experience of what has been done right on the other side of the pond. There are may lessons that can be learnt from goings-on Stateside as the UK looks to build its equivalent, Silicon Roundabout.