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Meet the Team: David Chow, Head of Market Intelligence

Monday, January 27th, 2020

We’re back with the second instalment in our #MeetTheTeam series.

This month, we’re launching our first State of the Nation Report. We met up with David Chow, Head of Market Intelligence, to tell us about his work and this exciting project he’s spearheaded.

Q) Tell us about your role at CSA Catapult.

I joined the Catapult just over a year ago on 14/01/19.

My role, and the part my team plays, is to maintain an informed view of the world around us and take note of the things that may or will impact what the organisation is working on, in this case, compound semiconductors and their expected use within the industry.

We highlight things the Catapult should be aware of and provide information to help the business make confident decisions in line with our corporate strategy.

We support the business through:

  • Acquisition of data – numbers are the cornerstone to strong decision making
  • Analysis – turning numbers and market observations into actionable insights
  • Trendspotting – looking at short and long-term trends to predict the ‘next big thing’

Q) What were you doing before you joined the Catapult team?

I was a consumer tech journalist who went into industry. Before coming to the Catapult, I held market intelligence roles at Motorola, EE and Samsung. I most recently consulted for technology non-profit, Cambridge Wireless which gave me insight into the impact and potential of compound semiconductors.

Q) Which parts of the technology sector are you most interested in?

When I was a tech journalist, you always had to look at tomorrow’s technology today. For me, I live and breathe electric vehicles.

My introduction to the auto manufacturer Tesla came through Wired magazine. I was one of the first journalists in Europe to write about the prototype Model S and its potential consumer impact – the car you should be thinking about buying in three years.

Fast forward ten years and I now drive a Tesla Model 3. Its ecosystem is a strong indicator of our automotive future: zero emissions and the ability to self-drive. The option for a vehicle to become completely autonomous will someday allow my elderly father to make trips to the shops and visit friends at the push of a button – independence on his terms. Compound semiconductors will be the technology enabler to make that story come to fruition.

Q) You’ve been working on the Catapult’s State of The Nation Report, tell us more.

State of the Nation is ostensibly the Catapult’s snapshot view of the world of compound semiconductors and the positive impact they have on the UK and the multiple touchpoints they create.

From improving the quality of our lives in the present and near future through everyday technologies enhanced through the application of compound semiconductors. To stimulating innovation and generating wealth for the UK through the creation of skilled jobs and valuable intellectual property that can be licenced globally.

The report examines the Catapult’s integral role in helping UK industry create and compete, acknowledging and tackling the challenges our nation faces against the rest of the world and celebrates the success stories and achievements to date.

It has been an exciting project to look at the challenges in the UK industry, but at the same time, it’s been a sobering experience by identifying issues such as impending skills shortages. We’re bringing this to the UK’s attention and looking at ways to encourage more young people to become engineers.

Look out for the publication of this report in the next few weeks.

Q) Thank you. And to finish off, tell us something surprising about yourself.

I’m friends with Bond Girl, Rachel Grant, who was Peaceful Fountains of Desire in Die Another Day.

I interviewed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay before he got his third Michelin star and ate at his booked-out restaurant Aubergine. And in spite of him not being a fan of vegetarians, his veggie food was delicious!

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