Meet our Head of Innovation: Kurt Roosen

09 June 2022

Digital Isle of Man recently welcomed Kurt Roosen to our team as Head of Innovation, tasked with the responsibility to champion Digital Innovation and push forward positive change.

Before joining Digital Isle of Man, Kurt worked at Cayman National Bank as Head of IT and before that was CEO of the Manx ICT Association (MICTA) which was the precursor to the Digital Agency. Kurt was also a member of the inaugural Digital Isle of Man Board. Kurt has 35 years of experience as an IT professional across many sectors including Banking, Retail, Manufacturing, Telecommunications and Education. He has also been an entrepreneur on the Island, founding and running an innovative IoM based telecoms company with clients and staff all over the world in between working for two other banks in senior technical roles.

Today we sit down with Kurt to ask his thoughts on innovation within government, businesses and its wider impact on the economy and how he will drive forward ‘innovation’ for the agency.


Hello Kurt, and welcome to the team. To start off we’d like to know what innovation is in the realm of business?

For me innovation is positive transformational change enabled by new procedures, techniques or technology (or any combination of these). Innovation is often seen as spontaneous, but its successful implementation actually is quite formulaic, as it involves change and change has to be of the correct time, place and audience (or need) otherwise it will struggle to take hold.


As Head of Innovation what will your role entail and what was it about this role that attracted you?  

The role entails being a champion of Innovation both within Government and also to support the development of the business and general community by looking at smart ways to make things more efficient or easy to use.

The attraction to the role is being able to make a positive difference across the economy by making us look at what excellence really means in terms of delivery and technology. I would hope that I can help enhance the reputation of the Isle of Man as being a flexible and innovative jurisdiction which always looks at smart ways of achieving results.


What experiences in your past career will you draw from to excel in this role?

I have worked in transformational IT roles across many sectors in many countries around the world as well as being an entrepreneur and having senior governance roles in trade associations, professional bodies and even Isle of Man Post Office. This gives me a broad range of perspectives, whilst being a personal innovator of solutions, that allows me an insight into innovation and what support is required for innovation to succeed and prosper.


What are your plans as head of Innovation and how will you work across the different agencies to drive innovation?

My role here is to encourage Innovation so I have to collect ideas and see what I can do to advise and help progress ideas coming forward. I am also there to positively encourage suitable ambition and challenge the status quo. This involves a lot of listening, empathy and encouragement and offering the benefit of my practical experience.


Tell us about the first initiative under innovation: The Fintech Innovation Challenge?

The Fintech Innovation Challenge is a joint initiative between the Digital Agency, Finance Agency and the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (IOMFSA). This Challenge is being launched to allow the Isle of Man business community to be stakeholders in the development of creative, sustainable and technology-based solutions to current issues in the Financial Services sector, and for those stakeholders to support the winning applicant to take their proposition to market. We are seeking to encourage new ideas and people from both on and off island to participate in these challenges and to introduce innovative offerings and solutions to enable our local businesses to further grow. It is truly a very exciting development that will have far reaching benefits for the wider Isle of Man business community.