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Speaker Biographies

Full speaker biographies will appear here shortly, please check back regularly for updates.

Confirmed Speakers

Conor Burns

Conor Burns

MP, Bournemouth West, Alderney and Branksome East


Conor Burns MP has been Member of Parliament for Bournemouth West since 2010. Conor’s parliamentary career has comprised of roles in the Treasury, The Northern Ireland Office and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. From July 2017 – July 2018, Conor served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP.

Ian Smith

Ian Smith

5G Testbed and Trials Programme Director, DCMS


Biography will appear soon.

Martin Fenton

Martin Fenton

Director of Spectrum Policy, Ofcom


Martin is Director of Spectrum Policy in the of the Spectrum Group of Ofcom (UK). He is also Chairman of ITU-R Study Group 5, the group responsible for all terrestrial radio frequency services. Martin is an expert in international and domestic spectrum regulation; specialising in spectrum policy, interference analysis and RF performance. He has 20 years’ experience in spectrum management at the UK communications regulator, Ofcom, and its predecessor, the Radiocommunications Agency.

Bill Cotton

Bill Cotton

Corporate Director Regeneration and Economy, BCP Council


Regeneration specialist Bill Cotton is also Executive Director for Environment and Economy at Bournemouth Borough Council. His work history includes a successful spell as a town planner and he was head of tourism and economic development in Bath.

He recently helped the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership develop its business plan and his experience of major regeneration spans London, Leeds, Wandsworth, Swindon and Bath and includes significant public realm improvements and work with the private sector to create world class facilities.

Nicola Yates OBE

Nicola Yates OBE

CEO, Connected Places Catapult


Nicola Yates is Chief Executive of Connected Places Catapult, the new organisation from the combined Future Cities and Transport Catapults.

During her leadership at Future Cities Catapult, Nicola led a significant organisational turnaround of the business, implementing a new organisational structure, overhauling its financial management systems and processes, introducing a new commercial approach and developing a fresh and consistent focus on knowledge management and dissemination.

Nicola is an experienced city leader. Prior to taking up her role at Future Cities Catapult, she was City Director at Bristol City Council. She has held leadership roles at Hull City Council and North Shropshire, Harborough, East Northamptonshire and Blaby District Councils.

Nicola is currently a trustee for the independent policy think tank ‘Centre for Cities’ and is a member of SOLACE (the Society for Local Authority Chief Executives) and the Chartered Institute of Housing. She has featured in the Local Government Chronicle’s ‘Top 50 most influential figures in local government’ and was awarded ‘Woman Achiever in Housing’. In 2010, Nicola received an OBE for services to local government.

Dimitra Simeonidou

Dimitra Simeonidou

Professor of High Performance Networks, University of Bristol


Dimitra Simeonidou is a Full Professor of High Performance Networks at the University of Bristol. She is also the Director of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab, the CTO of Bristol Is Open and co-founder of the SDN start-up Zeetta Network).

Dimitra studied at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece where she received a BSc and MSc in 1987 and 1989 respectively from the Physics Department. She gained her PhD from the University of Essex in 1994 and then spent four years with Alcatel Submarine Networks where in her role of Chief Engineer she pioneered the introduction of WDM in submarine networks. In 1998 she returned to University of Essex to pursue a long-term career in academia. At Essex she established the internationally renowned High Performance Networks group (HPN). In 2000 she also founded the start-up company Ilotron which received $10M venture capital funding (3i) to develop WDM switching equipment and was subsequently acquired by the US company Altamar.

Dimitra joined University of Bristol with her team of 20 researchers in September 2012 after 15 years at the University of Essex. Her research group has now grown to 45 researchers and is consistently being recognised as one of the top Optical Networking groups in the world.

Dimitra is a leading academic and entrepreneur in the fields of Optical Networks, Cloud Networking and Software Defined Networking. Her research is focusing in the fields of high performance networks, Data Centre Networking, Software Defined Transport Networking and Smart Cities. Dimitra is in the editorial teams of leading Journals and chairs committees, conferences, standardisation groups and fora in the relevant bodies. She is the author and co-author of over 400 papers in peer reviewed journals and international conferences, book chapters, several standardisation documents and patents.

Jo  O’Riordan

Jo O’Riordan

Head of Spectrum Policy and Telecoms, techUK


Jo manages the Spectrum Policy Forum, the industry voice of spectrum users in the UK, and works with colleagues in the Communications Infrastructure team.

During university she worked at Islington Council and then the Industry and Parliament Trust, an independent, non-lobbying, non-partisan charity that provides a trusted platform of engagement between Parliament and UK business.

Since gaining a BA(Hons) in Globalisation and Governance she has managed an array of national and international policy-based events. Most recently she worked in policy and public affairs at the consumer engagement campaign behind the smart meter rollout, Smart Energy GB. Here she predominately managed the organisations engagement with MPs and local government alongside external speaking opportunities.

Outside of work Jo likes spending as much time as possible with her dog Fudge, as well as cooking, watching live comedy, and exercising.

Ian Dabson

Ian Dabson

Commercial Specialist, Infrastructure and Projects Authority


Ian has wide commercial experience having started and developed businesses at all stages to IPO/M&A.

He has delivered regeneration and transformation in large corporates as a line executive as well as managing integration and planning post merger/acquisition.

In addition to line responsibility Ian also held design authority for TMT infrastructure, OSS/BSS and process & innovation in a number of environments. He has undertaken due diligence internationally, led large procurements and provided consultancy both independently and as a SME within businesses. He also chaired BT training forum, led Openreach diversity and well being programmes, established graduate programmes and sponsored and developed performance improvement initiatives.

Ian has Bachelor and Masters degrees in Engineering and many technical and postgraduate qualifications including an MBA from London Business School.

He currently works supporting central government in digital infrastructure matters.

Luigi Ardito

Luigi Ardito

Senior Director of Government Affairs, Qualcomm


Luigi Ardito is currently working as Director of government affairs for Europe, Middle East and North Africa at Qualcomm and drive Qualcomm spectrum and regulatory policy agenda in Europe and MENA dealing with various government entities and industry organizations. Prior to joining Qualcomm, Luigi worked for over a decade at Sony Corporation both in Japan and in the UK. Luigi gained also professional experience at France Telecom and at the Italian Public Broadcaster RAI.

Luigi has extensive experience in the Media and Telecom industry as well as the Semiconductor Industry gained through his assignments at Qualcomm, Sony, France Telecom and RAI. He holds an Electronic Engineering Degree gained at the Politecnico di Torino in Italy and a Master of Business Administration gained at the Henley Management College in the UK.

Dave Happy

Dave Happy

CEO, Telinet


Following a Combined Studies degree, Dave obtained his Masters from Exeter and in the Netherlands. He has 30 years expertise in the sector, beginning with Motorola in PMR and Cellular, then building advanced fibre and coax local loop networks with Regional Bell operating company US WEST. He was the first telco employee of the business that became Virgin Media where he obtained their Operators licence, obtained nation-wide free spectrum in the 10GHz band by winning a spectrum beauty contest, helped build their first Satellite Earth Station, oversaw a £40m subsea cable project, and as a reasonable linguist, assisted with France Telecom/Orange’s acquisition of a stake in the business.

He is a former pro bono non-Executive Director of BT’s “Connected Earth” operation where he helped to secure UN support for its collection. Before setting up his own spectrum and cyber security business he was with Samsung Electronics, as Vice President of EU Affairs in their R&D operation where he was worked with (amongst others) ETSI, Tech UK and Digital Europe.

He conceived of the Ordnance Survey Bournemouth spectrum mapping project and recently hosted Ofcom’s Group Director of Spectrum and the Director of Spectrum Policy on the Orkney islands where he is now working as part of the DCMS funded 5G Rural First project, exploring spectrum sharing (“Dynamic Spectrum Access”). He is currently part of the Ofcom stakeholder group preparing for the World Radio Conference (“WRC”) 2019 which he has previously attended as part of the UK Government delegation. He has spoken widely over the years at Forum Europe, 5G World, the FTTH Conference, Westminster e-forum, Tech UK, and the UK Spectrum Policy Forum

He is also active in the cybersecurity domain and is currently assisting a major Plc with cyber issues. He has specific expertise in assisting Councils with 5G related spectrum and security issues, and recent Council customers have included Bournemouth and Basingstoke.

Louise Lancaster

Louise Lancaster

Joint Head of Barrier Busting Task Force, 5G, DCMS


Louise joined the Digital Infrastructure Directorate within the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport in 2017, initially working on the 5G Testbeds & Trials Programme before joining the Barrier Busting Task Force, where she focuses on tackling barriers to deployment of mobile networks. These include access to land, access to spectrum and consideration of the planning regime.

Before joining DCMS, Louise spent more than twenty years in the telecoms industry, working for both fibre and wireless network providers in a variety of legal, regulatory and policy roles.

Dez O'Connor

Dez O'Connor

Business Development Manager, CISCO


Dez has been innovating across the telecoms sector his entire career. Having lead product development in several service providers Dez has overseen the network evolution from 2G, to 5G. He has also ran a telecommunications management consultancy serving customers across Europe, Americas and Asia.

More recently, with Cisco systems, Dez is involved in the development of 5G and WiFi6 as well as acting as CTO in UK Governments Cisco lead 5G Rural-First consortium testbed designed to make the case for Rural coverage.

Stephen  Slough

Stephen Slough

CIO, Dorset CCG


Stephen currently holds a number of roles in the Dorset healthcare System. He is the CIO for Dorset CCG, Dorset Healthcare and Dorset County Hospital. With these roles he covers the delivery of IT services across Primary, Community, Mental Health and Acute care settings. He leads three capable teams ensuring the day to day experience of the staff and people interacting with technology at those organisations is the best it can be.

He is also the Portfolio Director for the digital transformation of healthcare services in Dorset as part of the joint health and social care transformation plan for the Dorset ICS. It is here that technologies like 5g can be used to challenge normal practice and introduce other disruptive technologies that will transform the way care is both provided and received. Our mission is to ensure that services are available and delivered not just for our urban population, but for all of the Dorset population.



Friday 5 July, 2019
09.00 to 16.00




Hilton Bournemouth

Terrace Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5EL

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