Francesca Bria

Digital and Innovation Policy Expert
Francesca Bria is the President of the Italian innovation Fund. She is Honorary Professor in the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL in London and she is Senior Adviser Senior Adviser to the United Nation on digital cities and digital rights. Francesca is the founder of the DECODE project on data sovereignty in Europe. She is an adviser for the European Commission on Research and Innovation Policy and Next Generation Internet, and she is the former Chief Digital Technology and Innovation Officer for the City of Barcelona in Spain.

Francesca has a PhD in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Imperial College, London and MSc on Digital Economy from University of London, Birbeck. As Senior Programme Lead at Nesta, the UK Innovation Agency, she has led the EU D-CENT project, the biggest European Project on digital democracy and digital currencies. She also led the DSI project on Digital Social Innovation in Europe, advising the EU on digital social innovation policies. She has been teaching in several universities in the UK and Italy and she has advised Governments, public and private organizations and movements on Technology and Innovation policy, and its socio-economic impact.

Francesca's work focuses on one of the key issues of our time, working at the intersection between technology, geopolitics and the economy. In her work she explores how people can regain sovereignty over their data and how can societies regain control not only over digital technology, data, and infrastructure, but also over the services that are mediated by smart technologies—such as utilities, transportation, education, and health.

She has been listed in the Top 50 Women in Tech by the Forbes Magazine, and in the World's top 20 most influential people in digital government by Apolitical. She has also been featured in the Italian Magazine Repubblica "D", amongst the 100 Women Changing the World.

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