techUK - Representing the tech industry in the UK http://www.techuk.org Mon, 23 Jul 2018 04:30:45 +0100 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb UK Space Agency GovSatCom Industry Briefing http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13532-uk-space-agency-govsatcom-industry-briefing http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13532-uk-space-agency-govsatcom-industry-briefing

The European Commission recently published its draft EU Space Regulation, an overarching regulation for all EU space programmes in which GOVSATCOM has its own chapter. They further published a GOVSATCOM impact assessment that draws on the findings of an earlier European Defence Agency study and a PwC impact assessment. The UK Space Agency have been analyzing these documents internally and externally and are looking to brief industry on what the new Regulation may mean for GOVSATCOM. 

Please find below the presentation from the UK Space Agency Industry Briefing on GOVSATCOM following the launch of the new EU Space Regulation, held on Thursday 19 July.

 

The links to the documents published by the Commission on the 7th June 2018 are below: 

{bio}julian.mcgougan@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Meeting notes Fri, 20 Jul 2018 16:16:04 +0100
Ofcom Publish Changes to COP for Electronic Programme Guides http://www.techuk.org/insights/reports/item/13531-ofcom-publish-changes-to-cop-for-electronic-programme-guides http://www.techuk.org/insights/reports/item/13531-ofcom-publish-changes-to-cop-for-electronic-programme-guides

Ofcom report that people with sight impairments will be able to navigate TV channels more easily, following changes published by Ofcom to the Code governing broadcasters’ on-screen TV guides.

These electronic programme guides, or EPGs, help people plan their viewing and discover new programmes. But people with visual impairments can find them difficult to use.

So we have decided to introduce changes to the EPG Code to help ensure the following features are incorporated into EPGs as standard:

·      Text to speech. Channel information, and the text necessary for navigation, are available as speech;

·      Filtering and highlighting. Programmes with audio description, and those with signing, are highlighted or listed separately;

·      Magnification. Viewers can magnify or enlarge EPG information; and

·      High-contrast display. Viewers can switch between default and high-contrast displays.

The proposed changes will apply to EPGs made available on all new models of TV receivers for which development begins after 27 July 2018.

EPG providers will be able to use innovative methods to introduce these features, providing they prove effective for consumers. They must also submit an annual report to Ofcom on the accessibility of their programme guides, so we can closely monitor progress.

Ofcom continues to work closely with broadcasters, on-demand programme service providers and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) on other ways to increase the accessibility of television to people with sight impairment. 

This year, we are supporting the RNIB and broadcasters in an industry campaign to increase public awareness of audio description – a commentary service that describes what is happening on screen. Broadcasters including the BBC, BT, Channel 4, ITV, Sky, UKTV and Viacom will be airing adverts to promote their audio description services throughout the summer and early autumn.

techUK provided input and recommendations into the consultation. Our response and recommendations can be accessed via the link to the consultation and findings below:

Ofcom EPG Accessibility Statement

techUK will continue to review, debate and support members on this topic through our Consumer Electronics Strategy and Technology Group. For more information contact:

Paul Hide

{bio}paul.hide@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Reports Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:30:00 +0100
Matt Hancock announces £487m NHS tech investment http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13530-matt-hancock-announces-487m-nhs-tech-investment http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13530-matt-hancock-announces-487m-nhs-tech-investment

The new Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced almost half a billion pounds investment in health technology.

At a speech in his Suffolk constituency, Mr Hancock, the former digital and culture secretary, pledged £487m for technology in the NHS.

Mr Hancock also tweeted that technology would be one his ‘early priorities’ in the job.

Source: Twitter

The bulk of the money is part of the Paperless 2020 fund agreed in 2016. The money is allocated in tranches, subject to Treasury approval.

techUK has welcomed the announcement. Head of Health and Social Care Ben Moody commented:

“We have worked closely with Matt Hancock in his time as Secretary of State at DCMS, so it is great to have someone in post who truly understands the transformative nature of digital health, and the investment required to make it happen. We talk a lot about the potential of Apps and Wearables, Artificial Intelligence and Genomics but until we get basic digitisation right none of these technologies can get near to its potential”.

The announcement comes just a week after a report by the Royal College of Surgeons highlighted the desperate need for digitisation in some parts of the NHS, with research showing almost 10,000 fax machines in use in the NHS.

Read the full speech here: Matt Hancock: my priorities for the health and social care system

{bio}ben.moody@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:34:04 +0100
Colour TV 90 Years Old http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13529-colour-tv-90-years-old http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13529-colour-tv-90-years-old

As we reflect on recent viewing of the FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon LTA Tennis in UHD on 60" flat screen home TVs we can see how much Television has changed in the last 90 years.

The first technology used was electro-mechanical, and the early test subject was a basket of strawberries “which proved popular with the staff”. The following month, the same demonstration was given to a mostly academic audience attending a British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Glasgow, according to London’s Science Museum.

The Science Museum report adds that in the mid-late 1930s, Baird returned to his colour television research and developed some of the world’s first colour television systems, most of which used cathode-ray tubes. The effect of World War II, which saw BBC television service suspended, caused his company to go out of business and ended his salary. Nonetheless, he continued his colour television research by financing it from his own personal savings, including cashing in his life insurance policy. He gave the world’s first demonstration of a fully integrated electronic colour picture tube on August 16th 1944. Baird’s untimely death only two years later marked the end of his pioneering colour research in Britain.

{bio}paul.hide@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:30:00 +0100
Enabling future-fit communications infrastructure for UK’s smart grid http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13528-enabling-future-fit-communications-infrastructure-for-uk-s-smart-grid http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13528-enabling-future-fit-communications-infrastructure-for-uk-s-smart-grid

Ensuring fit for purpose comms infrastructure / connectivity is an essential feature of establishing smart grids which is itself crucial in order to meet increasing demands for electricity and Govt targets on carbon emissions. This connectivity will entail a mix of technologies (wireless, wireline, satellite) and service provision (public, private networks). Govt and regulators are vital players in terms of ensuring suitable policy environment and availability of necessary spectrum. Yet there is insufficient understanding and collaboration between the various players in this ecosystem.

The meeting brought together electricity distribution network operators (DNOs), telecoms companies (equipment vendors, infrastructure service companies and operators), Government and Ofcom to discuss:  

  • The drivers and demands impacting on the connectivity requirements for electricity distribution companies and their resultant considerations, strategies and initiatives on communications infrastructure provision (Panel 1)
  • Survey of international developments: what are utilities in other countries doing and what are the lessons for UK? (Panel 2)
  • What are the relevant (available and emerging) communications technology and network solutions that address the above challenges facing utilities? (Panel 3)
  • What are the policy and spectrum challenges in achieving fit for purpose communications infrastructure or connectivity for energy networks and how are Government and Ofcom addressing these? (Panel 4)

A particularly productive discussion resulted in 2 significant ‘take aways’ from the meeting:

  • a renewed impetus among the DNOs to come together to develop common understanding on the shaping of the communications infrastructure needed to tackle future operational demand including the resultant spectrum requirement
  • a commitment from Ofcom to actively engage with DNOs to understand these challenges and identify how best to satisfy the requirement for spectrum. 
]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Meeting notes Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:40:16 +0100
Refreshing the techUK Cyber Export Guidance http://www.techuk.org/events/roundtable/item/13527-refreshing-the-techuk-cyber-export-guidance http://www.techuk.org/events/roundtable/item/13527-refreshing-the-techuk-cyber-export-guidance

In 2014 techUK, in conjunction with the Cyber Growth Partnership (CGP) and the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), published the first ever government backed cyber security guidance; providing advice to cyber businesses on how to manage export risks.  

It sought to provide companies of all sizes with actionable information to help identify and manage the risks of exporting their products and services, along with a framework to help companies develop their due diligence processes, manage human rights risks and identify national security risks.  The intended aim was to reduce the likelihood of a buyer being able to use their technology to help perpetrate human rights abuses, as well as reducing the likelihood of reputational damage to British companies and capabilities.  

In this year’s Cyber Export Strategy, the Department for International Trade (DIT) made a commitment to working with techUK on updating the guidance, in particular for those products that do not reach an export control threshold.  

This consultation workshop will provide an overview of the guidance and explore any particular areas where members would welcome further guidance or clarity.  To register for this workshop please click here

{bio}talal.rajab@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}Charlie.Wyatt@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}dan.patefield@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Roundtable Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:59:08 +0100
techUK Propose Route to Digital Radio Switchover http://www.techuk.org/insights/reports/item/13526-techuk-propose-route-to-digital-radio-switchover http://www.techuk.org/insights/reports/item/13526-techuk-propose-route-to-digital-radio-switchover

techUK fully support a commitment and clear pathway towards a digital radio migration. We believe that it is in the interests of the listener and the broadcaster and supply chain stakeholders to find common group on which we can plan the roadmap towards digital migration. The attached member only document sets out techUK suggested path towards migration.

For more information on techUK's work in digital radio, contact:

Paul Hide

{bio}paul.hide@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Reports Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:00:00 +0100
BBC Report Record Demand for UHD Streamed Content http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13525-bbc-report-record-demand-for-uhd-streamed-content http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13525-bbc-report-record-demand-for-uhd-streamed-content

BBC iPlayer received over 1.6 million requests for its live Ultra HD coverage of the World Cup and Wimbledon.

The trial successfully delivered all 29 BBC One World Cup games and every Centre Court match at Wimbledon – all live in Ultra HD on BBC iPlayer. The most popular days were:

Rank      Date                  Peak UHD streams          Content

1              Sat 07 July         60.3k                           Sweden v England QF / Day 6 Wimbledon

2              Tues 10 July       48.1k                           France v Belgium QF / Day 8 Wimbledon

3              Sun 15 July        44.3k                           France v Croatia Final / Men’s Singles Final

4              Fri 06 July          41.6K                          Brazil v Belgium QF / Day 5 Wimbledon

5              Mon 02 July       37.3K                           Belgium v Japan last 16 / Day 1 Wimbledon

“The trial is an important step forward, showing for the first time that Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) can be delivered live and ‘free-to-air’ over the Internet,” noted Phil Layton, Head of Broadcast and Connected Systems, BBC R&D. “It’s part of the BBC’s mission to ensure that future audiences can enjoy the benefits of improved picture quality, and this trial follows on from our work ensuring viewers were not left behind by the move to HDTV, albeit with different technologies.”

“We wanted to demonstrate live end-to-end Ultra HD, but we have always felt that Ultra HD needed to be more than just extra pixels. So we also wanted to demonstrate a wide colour gamut and the Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) that the BBC and NHK have standardised. This is essential to improving the visual experience irrespective of the viewer’s screen size. Finally, we wanted to do this free-to-air, streamed to BBC iPlayer, at a scale never seen before in the UK.”

In a BBC R&D Blog Post, Layton said that to test Internet delivery, scale is needed, suggesting that scale only comes from there being compelling content that viewers wish to watch. “It is only then that we can see how the Internet reacts to carrying high bit rate live Ultra HD streams. The World Cup and Wimbledon provided scale much greater than our earlier testing.”

“Even with broadcasting there is complex functionality in TVs and set-top boxes which have an important influence on the picture quality. With Internet delivery the coupling is even greater, and the trial was again designed to allow us to work with consumer equipment (CE) manufacturers to develop the capability to deliver a standards based approach to live Ultra HD via iPlayer. We were very pleased with the response from the CE industry in the large number of compatible devices we could enable.”

“The final purpose of the trial was to show that BBC iPlayer can be used to deliver new formats. We had shown previously we could deliver on-demand Ultra HD with Blue Planet II, and now we wanted to show that live Ultra HD was also possible using today’s infrastructure and TV sets,” he explained.

According to Layton, the project has left the BBC with the ongoing capability to receive an incoming Ultra HD contribution, and to encode, package and distribute via commercial CDNs. “Over time, we will add our own CDN to this. We’ve worked with the production community to build knowledge of producing HDR content. Whilst not quite business-as-usual, the BBC now has the capability for streaming live Ultra HD content into BBC iPlayer on compatible devices.”

“The trial revealed issues around latency and buffering that were expected. However, it is clear from the feedback that a great number of viewers enjoyed seeing football and tennis in Ultra HD with wide colour gamut and high dynamic range. The trial has been extremely useful for moving live Ultra HD production and distribution forward. We clearly have some issues to work on which is to be expected from a trial of this nature, but our overall summary is that the trial has been a great success. We have managed to go from a handful of devices in laboratories to full scale Internet delivery of Ultra HD in less than six months. Each test has grown in scale and we very much hope we can continue the trajectory,” he concluded.

{bio}paul.hide@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:30:00 +0100
Stuart Andrew MP appointed as new Minister for Defence Procurment http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13524-stuart-andrew-mp-appointed-as-new-minister-for-defence-procurment http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13524-stuart-andrew-mp-appointed-as-new-minister-for-defence-procurment

Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey has been appointed as the new Minister for Defence Procurement, replacing Guto Bebb MP who resigned earlier this week. He moves across Government from a role in the Wales Office.

On his appointment, he said: “Britain boasts a truly world-beating defence industry, where some of the very best engineers and designers make outstanding equipment for our amazing Armed Forces and generate billions for our economy while they’re at it.

"Incredible sights of our first new aircraft carrier sailing through global waters and F-35 fighter jets flying through British skies are striking symbols of major procurement deals now really coming to life, and ambitious plans are in place to ensure we continue leading the way into the future.

"I’m very excited to press ahead with those plans, supporting this fascinating industry and ultimately getting the likes of new ships, jets and vehicles for the brave men and women who protect our nation every single day."

{bio}dan.patefield@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Fri, 20 Jul 2018 12:35:52 +0100
Modernising Defence Programme – Headline Conclusions http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13523-modernising-defence-programme-headline-conclusions http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13523-modernising-defence-programme-headline-conclusions

On 19 July, the Defence Secretary made the first significant announcement on the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) since the conclusion of the public consultation in April. techUK has summarised the three headline conclusions below, which the MOD intends to consider in further detail over the summer as part of the second stage of the MDP.

1. Our armed forces need to be ready and able to match the pace at which our adversaries now move:

  • Since SDSR 2015, the pace at which the UK’s adversaries can act against the nation has grown quickly
  • These hostile acts are disguised and hard to attribute, operating below the conventional threshold for what might be considered an ‘act of war’
  • The Armed Forces will need to be able to respond to threats from the ‘new’ warfare domains of space and cyber
  • To operate in the space domain, the MOD will publish a space strategy to guide future investment in satellites and other space capabilities
  • The MOD will continue to pursue an ‘integrated, collective approach to national security’ through a blended mix of hard and soft power, and will consider its ‘global defence network, to make sure we have the right military and civilian staff deployed around the world’
  • The UK needs to able to respond to future crises rapidly on its own terms, and the MDP will consider how best to rebalance training and equipment in the operational environments across the world where the UK is deployed
  • The MDP will review the UK’s overseas basing to improve interoperability with allies and partners, drawing on NATO’s readiness initiative
  • The MOD will build a ‘strategic net assessment capability’ which will examine all dimensions of competition and will assess how decisions taken by allies and adversaries may play out over the short, medium and long term
  • The MOD will also consider ‘a much more agile approach to the development of future equipment, with a clear focus on the increasing flexibility required to maintain strategic advantage’

2. A fighting force fit for the challenges of the 21st century:

  • The principles set out in Joint Force 2025 are right: ‘we want armed forces able to operate with agility and pace in the information age’, but the MOD may ‘need to accelerate elements of the programme to meet the most acute threats sooner’ and might ‘want to introduce new capabilities or equipment that provide significant advantage in the immediate term’
  • The MOD will also look to improve the resilience of Defence, to ensure the UK’s networks and systems are protected against hostile infiltration and cyber-attacks
  • To operate effectively in the information age, the MOD has stressed the need for information advantage, where future conflicts ‘will increasingly be won and lost based on who uses information technology most effectively: sensors, computing, communication, cyber and machine learning, artificial intelligence and autonomy’
  • Through the second stage of the MDP, the MOD will consider ‘how to ​enhance our ability to collect, analyse, disseminate and act very rapidly on the vast quantities of data that characterise the contemporary operating environment’
  • The MOD will look to modernise its approach to technology and innovation by taking a coordinated approach to technology and experimentation with greater central oversight – this will enable the department to pursue opportunities and novel ideas with a greater acceptance of higher levels of risk
  • To this end, the MOD intends to ‘invest in a series of “Spearhead” initiatives on key new technologies and increase our spending on innovation, science and technology’
  • To support this, the MOD will ‘publish a “Defence Technology Framework”, setting out the Department’s technology priorities so that we can focus efforts and guide strategy, investment and plans across defence as a whole’

3. Transforming the business of defence to deliver a robust, credible, modern and affordable force:

  • The MOD is examining the way it is organised and managed ‘with clearer responsibilities and accountabilities to deliver better value for money’
  • The MOD will look to exploit the approaches, processes and technologies with a proven track record of success outside of the Defence sector
  • The MOD will encourage a culture of experimentation, and will change its acquisition and commercial processes to ‘better support the rapid and incremental adoption of new and emerging technologies’
  • To create financial headroom for Defence modernisation, the MOD will consider how to drive efficiencies ‘by adopting ambitious, digitally-enabled business modernisation’
  • The MOD intends to adopt a more collaborative and demanding approach to its relationship with industry, ‘centred around an agreed set of productivity, efficiency, skills and innovation challenges’
  • The second stage of the MDP will also examine how Defence can further enhance the contribution of Defence to the UK’s overall prosperity, building on the recommendations set out in Philip Dunne MP’s independent report

Responding to the Modernising Defence Programme headline conclusions, techUK’s Head of Defence Programme Fred Sugden said:

“techUK welcomes the initial findings of the MDP and is particularly pleased to see the emphasis placed on delivering information advantage through the exploitation of new information technologies and capabilities. We also welcome the introduction of the Defence Technology Framework to provide clarity around the MOD’s technology priorities, and the commitment to reform acquisition and commercial processes to support the rapid adoption of emerging technologies, many of which are developed by techUK members. techUK has long supported the MOD in its drive to become a modern, digitally-enabled business, and stands ready to assist the MOD as it looks to achieve this through the MDP’s outputs.”  

You can read the full transcript of the ministerial statement on the MDP's headline conclusions by clicking here.

{bio}fred.sugden@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Fri, 20 Jul 2018 12:28:27 +0100
Early consumer experiences of smart meters 2018 http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13522-early-consumer-experiences-of-smart-meters-2018 http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13522-early-consumer-experiences-of-smart-meters-2018

Citizens Advice commissioned an early research in 2016 which informed that there were  high levels of consumer satisfaction, but also some areas of concern. Two years and approximately seven million more smart meters later, we are keen to see what progress has been made and whether the smart meter consumer experience has changed.

Smart meters are the ‘building blocks’ that could transform the energy market. To really achieve this, government and industry must ensure that the technology works, allowing all consumers to access new offers and services in the future.

Due to the very compressed time scale, energy suppliers are coming across a range of difficult installation problems, given the huge variation and types of homes across Great Britain. Given the pace at which suppliers are expected to deliver the roll-out, a timely response to identifying and resolving gaps in processes is crucial.

The research showed that 80% of people who had a smart meter installed were satisfied with the installation process, however nearly a fifth of those consumers not have a straight forward installation.

The research also found that multiple installation appointments, were not able to have a smart meter installed or had an appliance that was condemned, and unusable anymore.

The good news is that 55% of the respondents have noticed a positive behavioural change towards energy use, of course with some hurdles like having to provide meter readings, or having a device condemned from the network.

Expectations are that during the smart meter roll-out, consumers are given all the relevant information. More than a quarter of all respondents (26.4%), both smart meter users and non-smart meter users were concerned about how suppliers use smart meter energy usage data. However, 60% of the respondents were reassured once it was explained they can control how often suppliers check meter readings and consent was needed.

Citizens Advice Recommends:

  1. It is crucial for suppliers to inform consumers in a way that they can understand their data access rights.
  2. Consistency in delivering a “difficult” installation.
  3. No consumer in a vulnerable situation or otherwise should be left without a means to cook or heat and light their homes after having an appliance condemned.
  4. Citizens Advice will continue to monitor the scale of shock bills and industry should too.
  5. All consumers should benefit from accurate bills and energy suppliers should seek to address these issues promptly. The regulator should introduce rules to prevent all back billing for smart meter customers.

Read the full report here.

{bio}Teodora.Kaneva@techUK.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Fri, 20 Jul 2018 12:00:00 +0100
NHS App Consultation Event http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13521-nhs-app-consultation-event http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13521-nhs-app-consultation-event

Dedicated NHS colleagues and innovative players from industry took a break in the run up to the Football World Cup England v Croatia semi-final for an interactive day of industry engagement on the NHS App. The event was repeated in Leeds a couple of days later. The purpose of the events was for the NHS to engage with industry to shape the role that the NHS App can play in opening up the market and creating opportunities for suppliers to surface their digital solutions.

Juliet Bauer, Chief Digital Officer at NHS England opened the event with a strategic overview of the Empower the Person programme.

Colleagues from NHS Digital followed with presentations on the NHS App and related enabling programmes. The main focus of the day was a series of interactive roundtable sessions where industry and NHS colleagues workshopped topics from market opportunities in the NHS, to Citizen ID and many more

We look forward to continuing to work with the NHS on this initiative. The presentation from the event can be downloaded from the Industry Briefings Platform. If you attended the events, please do leave us your feedback using the available form on the platform.

 

{bio}kate.francis@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Meeting notes Fri, 20 Jul 2018 10:28:20 +0100
More companies required to publicly report on carbon and energy http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13520-more-companies-required-to-publicly-report-on-carbon-and-energy http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13520-more-companies-required-to-publicly-report-on-carbon-and-energy

The new requirements follow a consultation last year and is part of a raft of work to simplify the policy framework for energy and carbon reporting. Government is slimming down the statute book by ending the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme from next year.

Yet under the proposals published by Government this week, substantially more companies will be required to disclose their energy use and the carbon emissions they are responsible for. The new rules will apply to all quoted and large UK incorporated firms as well as LLPs.

Unquoted companies will have to report their energy use and emissions relating to gas, electricity and transport, and an intensity metric, through their company's Annual Reports. Quoted companies will have to continue to report their global greenhouse gas emissions and an intensity metric, and additionally start to report their global total energy use. 


Companies will also be required to provide a narrative outlining what action the company has taken on energy efficiency in the last 12 months.

A de minimis will exclude very low energy users: those who can demonstrate that they have used less than 40,000 kWh in a 12 month period. There will also be an exemption from disclosure in cases where Director’s think would be seriously prejudicial to the interests of the company (following concerns raised by energy intensive industries re disclosing energy use).

techUK is organising a webinar to help companies who may be newly impacted by the reporting requirements to help them understand what they need to do to prepare. To register interest please click here to contact Lucas Banach.

{bio}lucas.banach@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Fri, 20 Jul 2018 08:00:00 +0100
Science & Technology Committee report into future immigration system http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13519-science-technology-committee-report-into-future-immigration-system http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13519-science-technology-committee-report-into-future-immigration-system

Today, the Science and Technology Committee released their report ‘An immigration system that works for science and innovation’. We were very pleased to see such strong synergies between the report’s recommendations and principles for a future immigration system and our own, as put forward both in our written submission to the Committee inquiry and expressed in the oral evidence session earlier in June which our Head of Policy gave evidence at. 

We commend the Committee for highlighting the business and research need for access to the brightest and best and hope the report feeds into the imminent Immigration White Paper. 

The report’s key takeaways:  

Short-term mobility – techUK commends the Committee for recognising that short-term mobility, both into and out of the UK, is integral for research, innovation and collaboration. Similarly, the Committee notes that short-term mobility is often needed at short notice and therefore the UK immigration system must facilitate such travel.  

Breaks in continuous residency – the report calls for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) ‘Research Activity’ exemption to be made for individuals who need to spend more than 180 days in any 12 months overseas for research purposes. We have already seen softening in traditional ILR requirements in the EU Settlement Scheme’s continuous residency requirements and we hope the government continues applying this pragmatic flexibility. 

Tier 2 – 

  • The shortage occupation list – there are clear problems with the shortage occupation list for Tier 2 (General) visa. Whilst this has been temporarily relieved following the short-term removal of NHS workers, techUK is clear that there is still a need for reform. The Committee goes further in calling for the scrapping of the list, on the basis that it’s reactionary nature means it will always be out of date. 
  • Defining ‘skills’ – the Committee is acutely aware in their report that salary should not be used as a proxy for skill and techUK supports this. The Committee suggests that ‘skilled workers’ should be defined as requiring Level 3 qualifications or above. techUK supports calls to redefine ‘skilled worker’.  
  •  Annual caps – we support the Committee in calling for the removal of the cap on Tier 2 (General) visas.  
  • Visas costs – The Committee calls for the reduction in costs for both individuals and employers for Tier 2 visas. This clearly draws on our evidence on the often convoluted and burdensome visa application process for employers. 

Post-study work – techUK called for the reintroduction of the Tier 1 Post Study Work visa in our written submission under certain conditions. We are glad the Committee’s supports us in reinstating the visa for individuals with a recognised degree from a UK higher education institution as a means of ensuring the brightest and best who have been educated at UK institutions are encouraged to remain in the UK.

{bio}india.lucas@techUK.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:32:25 +0100
ONS Crime Stats: Fraud & Cyber Crime Still Dominate http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13518-ons-crime-stats-fraud-cyber-crime-still-dominate http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13518-ons-crime-stats-fraud-cyber-crime-still-dominate

The Office for National Statistics has today published estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales. The figures, for the year ending March 2018, once again reveal that a person is more likely to be a victim of fraud or cyber crime than any other offence.

The CSEW estimates that there were 6 million crimes excluding fraud and computer misuse, but this rises to 10.5 million when those two are included. So with an estimated 3.24 million fraud offences and 1.23m of computer misuse, these two crime types together account for almost half of all crimes. Crucially, the ONS report noted that “over half of fraud incidents for the latest survey year were thought to be cyber-related.”

Responding to the survey, techUK’s Programme Manager for Justice & Emergency Services, Henry Rex, said

Since October 2015 CSEW stats have typically emphasised the scale of the threat we face from cyber crime and fraud, and today’s figures are no different. An individual is more likely to fall victim to these crimes than any other. As the City of London Police have pointed out, there are still grave issues around under-reporting, and since the Crime Survey does not include crimes against businesses, the true scale of this challenge may be even greater.

Law enforcement, Government and the tech industry continue to work closely together to ensure that police are equipped with the skills and tools they need to tackle this threat. And techUK looks forward to continuing our work bringing all parties together to explore how tech can best be deployed to combat the changing threat of fraud and cyber crime.

The 31% decrease in computer misuse itself (down to 1.2 million offences) is gratifying. Given that it is attributed to a fall in computer viruses, this perhaps hints that messages around basic cyber security are starting to get through. But the fact that there has been no change in hacking offences or fraud suggests that there is still a long way to go.

{bio}henry.rex@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:38:59 +0100
Healthy Ageing Challenge Workshop http://www.techuk.org/events/workshop/item/13517-healthy-ageing-challenge-workshop http://www.techuk.org/events/workshop/item/13517-healthy-ageing-challenge-workshop

Overview

This is a joint event between techUK’s Local Government, Internet of Things, and Health & Social Care Programmes.

In the Industrial Strategy the Government identified our Ageing Society as one of the 4 Grand Challenges; its mission is that people can enjoy at least 5 extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest. This is integral given that the number of people over 75 in the UK will rise from one in 12 today, to one in every 7 by 2040.

As part of its contribution Government has allocated £98m for a ‘healthy ageing’ innovation programme to drive the development of new products and services which will help people to live in their homes for longer, tackle loneliness, and increase independence and wellbeing.

Digital technology is a major contributor to helping achieve these goals by allowing for greater monitoring and earlier diagnosis of health conditions as well as helping to energise behavioral change.

Format 

This event will bring together the tech sector with some of the organisations who are in the frontline of the challenges that our ageing society poses. They will be setting out the major challenges that they face and what type of solutions they would like to see. This will be done briefly in advance and in detail on the day so that attendees are aware of the topics which will be discussed.

Attendees will split into three interactive groups who will tackle each challenge in turn before coming back together as a group to discuss potential solutions to these challenges.

*Agenda and challenge statements to follow*

This event is pen to techUK members and public sector. If you are public sector and would like to attend, please email ellie.huckle@techuk.org

{bio}kate.francis@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}georgina.maratheftis@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}Matthew.Evans@techUK.org{/bio}{bio}kate.aziz.819@mod.uk{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Workshop Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:20:24 +0100
DCMS consultation shows commitment to homegrown cyber security skills http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13516-dcms-consultation-shows-commitment-to-homegrown-cyber-security-skills http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13516-dcms-consultation-shows-commitment-to-homegrown-cyber-security-skills

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published a consultation looking at ways in which to professionalise the cyber security sector; primarily through the creation of a Cyber Security Council that would align the vast number of different existing cyber professional qualifications and develop Royal Chartered Status for the cyber security sector.

The Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy, published in 2016, set out a series of commitments from Government on developing the cyber security profession in the UK to ensure that we have the right skills, capabilities and professionalism to meet the growing cyber threat.  The proposals set out in this consultation are designed to further these commitments, helping people enter the profession and giving employers the confidence that those within the sector have the capabilities and integrity required.

The proposed establishment of a Cyber Security Council, independent of Government, is seen as the best mechanism to achieve these aims and will be designed to bring more coherence, co-ordination and consistency to the cyber security profession.

Minister for Digital Margot James said: 

"We have some of the best people in the world working in cyber security and making sure we continue develop the capability, diversity and professionalism of the sector is a critical part of our National Cyber Security Strategy.

"This consultation sets out proposals to accelerate the development of the profession and I encourage people to share their views to help the UK remain at the forefront of the industry." 

Responding to the launch of the consultation, Julian David, CEO, techUK, said:

“The UK is in need of more qualified cyber security professionals. A skilled and professionalised cyber workforce is crucial to the growth and success of the UK’s cyber ecosystem, which in turn will benefit all UK businesses and citizens.

 “techUK therefore welcomes this DCMS consultation on developing the cyber security profession through the creation of a Cyber Security Council.  
 
“This is an important step for the UK cyber security industry, helping to set out clear pathways into the cyber profession by aligning the vast number of existing professional qualifications and developing a Royal Chartered Status as the highest standard for cyber security professionals to aspire to reach.  

“techUK will be responding to the DCMS consultation with input from our members and looks forward to working with the Council as it begins to establish itself as a visible and authoritative voice for the cyber profession.”

Supporting quotes from techUK members include:

Mark Hughes, CEO, BT Security said:

‘Estimates suggest that the UK only has a third of the cyber security professionals it needs. We need to take quick and decisive action to make more people aware of the vast opportunities offered by the cyber security profession.

BT welcomes the Government’s announcement of a consultation on a Cyber Security Council as a significant step forwards in addressing this challenge. As the UK’s largest cyber security employer, we look forward to working with our partners in government and industry to support this initiative’

Rob Crook, Managing Director, Raytheon, and member of techUK’s cyber management committee, commented:

"We welcome DCMS's lead in this very important initiative. A cyber profession will help us to explain to school children, students, parents and teachers how to develop a rewarding career in cyber and also to open doors for those with a diverse range of background and experience. I'm working with techUK to help to coordinate industry's response to the consultation which I know will be fully supportive."

To access the consultation document, please click here.


 
{bio}talal.rajab@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}dan.patefield@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:02:37 +0100
Committee urges urgent action on cyber skills gap http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13514-committee-urges-urgent-action-on-cyber-skills-gap http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13514-committee-urges-urgent-action-on-cyber-skills-gap

Today, the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy (JCNSS) has released a report into Cyber Security skills as part of its work looking at the cyber resilience of UK Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). The report, the first of two, concludes that a shortage of specialist technical skills in the cyber sector is one of the largest challenges facing UK CNI.

The Committee calls on Government to step forward and take the lead in developing a strategy to give drive and direction to the lack of cyber security skills in the UK, in particular through finalising a Cyber Skills Strategy that was originally expected in November 2016 but not now expected until late 2018. This Strategy, the report implies, would help form a more detailed analysis of the challenges and scale facing the sector, improving the Government’s ability to understand and therefore address the skills shortfall. Similarly, the report suggests that any strategy should contain a formalised implantation plan.

Some of the key conclusions and recommendations of the Report include:

  • A concern that information about the nature of the cyber security skills gap in the CNI sector is primarily anecdotal: there is no detailed analysis available of which CNI sectors are most affected, in which disciplines and at which levels of expertise the shortage is most acute, or of where these gaps leave the UK critically vulnerable.
  • Welcoming the many useful initiatives to date, but suggesting that industry be utilised more as a source of up to date expertise. In particular, the scale of educational initiatives should be scaled up to meet massive demand, and the long term nature of schools based initiatives means other methods should be employed more, for example upskilling the existing workforce;
  • Widening the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) Industry 100 initiative across Government and CNI operators, and ensuring all civil servants have basic cyber security training;
  • Calling on Government to move forward with its plan for the a Cyber Professional Body, helping to mature the profession and forging clear career pathways and entry points;

The Chair of the Joint Committee, Dame Margaret Beckett MP, said:

“We acknowledge that the cyber security profession is relatively new and still evolving and that the pace of change in technology may well outstrip the development of academic qualifications. However, we are calling on Government to work closely with industry and education to consider short-term demand as well as long-term planning. As a very first response, Government must work in close partnership with the CNI sector and providers to create a cyber security skills strategy to give clarity and direction. It is a pressing matter of national security to do so."

Responding to the report, Talal Rajab, Head of Cyber and National Security, techUK said: “We are pleased to have worked with the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy on this important inquiry into the cyber resilience of the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI).  

“The WannaCry attack last year demonstrated the negative consequences a successful cyber attack can have on our critical infrastructure and, as various CNI sectors become more digital in nature, the protection of essential services will be one of the greatest challenges facing the UK.  

“The Joint Committee’s report rightly recognises that a lack of cyber security skills in the UK is unduly affecting the ability of CNI operators to protect the critical sectors that we rely on in our daily lives.  techUK welcomes the many initiatives that Government has conducted in this space from the classroom to the boardroom. This includes the recent announcement pertaining to the creation of a Cyber Professional Body that will establish career pathways for cyber professionals to enter the sector. We also commend the ongoing work of the NCSC’s Cyber First programme inspiring young people, especially girls, to consider a career in cyber. We look forward to working with Government as it increases activities to plug the cyber skills gap and protect the UK’s critical services."

The full report can be accessed here.

{bio}talal.rajab@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}dan.patefield@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:43:05 +0100
Environmental Outlook for the Combustion Sector http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13513-environmental-outlook-for-the-combustion-sector http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13513-environmental-outlook-for-the-combustion-sector

techUK welcomes the Environment Agency’s Outlook For the Combustion Sector.  This useful overview explains the Agency’s role and the importance of environmental compliance for industries engaged in combustion activities.  It summarises the progress that has been made over recent years, outlines recent developments and set out the Agency’s future priorities.

A publication focused on combustion industries may seem at first glance to be a strange place to find the digital technology sector, but combustion plant plays a crucial role in ensuring resilience and business continuity within the UK’s data centre estate. 

Data centres are part of our core national infrastructure.  They process, store and transact digital data, enabling the ICT functions that underpin every aspect of our modern economy, and they have a long association with combustion plant in the form of diesel generators. 

However, this plant is not used to power our facilities:  data centres run almost exclusively on mains electricity.  The generating plant is in place as emergency standby, to be deployed in the unlikely event of grid power failure, or in some cases when the quality of supply is inadequate (e.g. the frequency varies or drops below the required threshold).  ICT functions are compromised by power interruptions longer than a few milliseconds, so uninterruptible power supplies are absolutely critical for data centres.   Most use a combination of batteries and diesel generators to ensure continuity of supply: the batteries provide instantaneous but short term power whilst the generators start up, a process that takes around 30 seconds.   The generators can then run indefinitely provided that they can be refuelled regularly.

We estimate that the total embedded generating capacity currently installed within the UK data centre sector is somewhere between 1GW and 3GW.  The standby capacity for the sector is relatively high because sufficient emergency back up provision is needed to cover the maximum possible load at each site, plus spare capacity in the event that any units should fail.  In reality, because of the reliability of the grid supply, data centre generators are used rarely in anger and many have never been deployed in this way.  They are of course run regularly for short periods as part of testing and maintenance routines. 

The sector complies with a range of regulations and controls relating to its combustion plant.  These controls include EU ETS, which deals with scope 1 carbon emissions.   Air quality and other pollutant emissions are currently addressed by the Industrial Emissions Directive which applies to a few of our very largest sites and is implemented through EPR (Environmental Permitting Regulations).  From next year the Medium Combustion Plant Directive and additional domestic generator controls will introduce air quality control measures for smaller installations.

We work closely with the Environment Agency to raise awareness of new legislation, we explain regulatory requirements to our operators and we explain our members’ operations to the regulator, we develop guidance materials and act as a conduit for discussion and information exchange.   This new publication will help to inform those discussions and will act as a useful reference source both for those working within the sector and external observers.

Explanatory and contextual notes: 

techUK represents the UK’s data centre industry, for whom the Environment Agency regulates emergency backup combustion plant. This sector is relatively new to regulation by the EA.  The data centre sector also works with the EA on climate change adaptation along with other infrastructure operators and reported on sector readiness at the end of the second round. The UK data centre sector is globally significant, dominating the European market.  Data centres are unusual in that the sector is characterised by significant generating capacity but negligible generating function.  With some of the largest facilities in EMEA, UK operators are often the first in the region to tackle EU combustion compliance requirements.

 

Challenges for the sector in a combustion context are:

  • Ensuring awareness of, and compliance with, regulations that are targeted at large scope one emitters.  
  • Security of supply during the transition to renewable provision and also following our exit from the EU.  While existing operators generally have power provisioning   contracts in place, constraints on supply could limit future growth.
  • Establishing ways to make better use of embedded generating capacity for load balancing / peak demand without impacting air quality or human health.

In the longer term,

  • Contributing to the development of a more proportionate regulatory regime for  combustion plant operators with very low emissions.
  • Identifying and implementing alternative solutions for the provision of emergency standby power for data centres, so that diesel power can be phased out.

 

{bio}emma.fryer@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Thu, 19 Jul 2018 08:00:00 +0100
Ofcom report shows huge growth in TV streaming services http://www.techuk.org/insights/opinions/item/13512-ofcom-report-shows-huge-growth-in-tv-streaming-services http://www.techuk.org/insights/opinions/item/13512-ofcom-report-shows-huge-growth-in-tv-streaming-services

Ofcom published their first Media Nations report looking at how the UK is changing the way it watches and listens to content. 

The biggest finding is that there has been a major shift, driven by young people, away from ‘traditional’ TV consumption to signing up to subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime (called SVoDs) and YouTube. The report also finds that overall we are also watching less television and broadcaster investment in UK content has fallen to a 20-year low, mainly because of the decision to freeze the licence fee between 2010 and 2016.

Ofcom says these findings should act as a wake-up call to broadcasters and they need to develop new ways to increase their spending on high quality original content (the biggest driver in people signing up to new services) and change their offerings to meet changing consumer demands. 

A potential short-term option is to increase broadcaster co-productions with SVoD platforms and sharing the rights. Sky and Netflix have announced a recent partnership and the BBC are trying this too. The joint funded Troy: Fall of a City saw the BBC own the UK rights, with Netflix offering it globally  and they’re trying the opposite too with Killing Eve and the upcoming Good Omens. Which model works best will only become apparent later.

Longer term Ofcom believes the Public Service Broadcasters should collaborate on a UK centric subscription service to pool resources and make more original content (a huge driver in the rise of subscription services), but this is easier said than done. Previous attempts to work together have stalled (see Project Canvas/YouView), but there have been joint-venture successes too that have radically improved the consumer experience (see Freeview and the role out of HD). The broadcasters are competitors and it will be a challenge to get something like this working, especially as we are still quite early on in the 2016-26 Charter Period. But they know something needs to be done if they want to be relevant among younger viewers and we'd encourage them to look at options for developing new services.

So it is all over for broadcast? Not at all. Some trends are concerning, but Digital Terrestrial Television is still hugely popular and profitable and has a significant trump card in the form of a very high level of consumer trust. It is still the most dominant form of viewing and the broadcasters are trying new online offerings and diversifying revenue streams. Whilst investment from broadcasters has fallen, this doesn't mean the UK creative industries are suffering. Hugely successful SVoD programmes like The Grand Tour and The Crown enjoy huge budgets and UK production bases and internationally British crews have a great reputation - see Game of Thrones as an example, as well as significant studio expansions at Elstree, Pinewood, Shepperton and Leavesden.

The report also touches on audio services and we're pleased that Ofcom recognises the importance of digital radio, which reached the 50% threshold and we note the shift from owning to streaming with revenue jumping hugely for internet delivered music services.

Key trends from the report are below:

Consumer trends:

  • More people subscribe to SVoD platforms than pay-TV platforms (15.4m to 15.1m) and the majority of SVoD subscribers also have pay-TV.
  • The average Brit watches 3 hours and 22 minutes of TV a day – a 9 minute decrease. Overall AV viewing across all platforms is 5 hours 1 minute.
  • 95% of UK homes have a TV set and 52% of sets are connected to the internet (44% via smart-TVs, rest via dongles, games consoles or laptops).
  • 67% of all VoD viewing is via a TV set.
  • 16 – 34 year olds watch 59 minutes of YouTube a day.
  • Over 54s watch over half of all broadcast viewing.
  • Overall 71% of all viewing is via broadcast, but this falls to 46% with 16-34 year olds.
  • 38% of SVoD viewing is on originally produced content.
  • 75% of consumers are ‘very or quite satisfied’ with PSB broadcasting and are a trusted source for factual and news programming.
  • 50% of all radio is listed to digitally and 75% of audio listening is to live radio.
  • 23% of all adults stream music, rising to 51% of younger people.

Market and commercial trends:

  • Total broadcast commercial TV revenues fell 3.5% to £11.1bn.
  • Pay-TV revenues fell 2.7% to £6.4bn.
  • Online audiovisual revenues grew 25% to £2.26bn in 2017. SVoD platforms grew the most with revenues of £895m, while online advertiser-funded video generated over £1bn for the first time (up 25% year on year). 30% of this stems from broadcast video on-demand players such as All 4 and ITV Hub.
  • TV advertising revenue dropped 7% in real terms to £3.9bn in 2017. Commercial Public Service Broadcasters saw a 9% fall to £2bn, with non-PSB portfolio channels falling 3% to £773m.
  • Non-advertising revenue for broadcasters (product placement, rights sales etc) increased 10% to £898m.
  • Sponsorship revenue decreased 1% to £216m.
  • Commercial radio revenue increased 1% to £557m.
  • Music streaming services have revenues of £577m,  47% of all music retail sales in 2017. This overtakes physical music sales for the first time.

Broadcast and creative industry trends:

  • Investment in UK-made content has decreased. PSBs and the wider BBC spent £1bn less (£2.5 bn) on UK made content than the 2004 peak (3.4bn).
  • 89% of total spend was on first run, original network programming.
  • Local TV continues to spend more than it makes (£20m costs and £10m revenue).
  • Spend on programmes made in the nations specifically for the nations fell 3% £275m.
{bio}craig.melson@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Opinions Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:53:00 +0100
techUK response to European Commission Android case http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13511-techuk-response-to-european-commission-android-case http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13511-techuk-response-to-european-commission-android-case

Commenting on the importance of the UK app economy following the European Commission's decision following its investigation into Android techUK said:

“The UK has a world-leading app economy which has helped to create 330,000 jobs here and has led to millions of useful, informative and fun apps being developed that are valued by consumers and businesses alike.

“The app ecosystem has benefited consumers by helping lower the cost of smartphones and has benefited developers by lowering entry costs. These benefits should not be overlooked. It is therefore important that the action taken by the European Commission does not undermine the wider ecosystem on which the app economy relies and ensures consumers continue to have a choice of devices and apps. It must focus on striking the right balance between ensuring consumer choice and supporting open source as a viable route for developers to build services and deliver content to consumers.”

{bio}harri.turnbull@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Wed, 18 Jul 2018 13:17:42 +0100
Cyber security investment opportunities in emerging markets http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13510-cyber-security-investment-opportunities-in-emerging-markets http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13510-cyber-security-investment-opportunities-in-emerging-markets

Frost & Sullivan, commissioned by the UK Government’s Prosperity Fund, has released five white papers providing an overview of emerging digital market opportunities in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil and Indonesia.

The white papers assess digital market size and forecast growth, through the lenses of cybersecurity, telecommunications and digital services, providing market data and trend analysis, along with opportunities for UK digital businesses.

The UK Prosperity Fund is committed to reducing poverty through online inclusion (getting citizens online) and stimulating digital market economies, opening up opportunities of UK and international business. To find out more on how the UK Prosperity Fund plans to further support UK digital/cyber companies in accessing opportunities in emerging markets, please register your interest here.

{bio}talal.rajab@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}dan.patefield@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 16:26:26 +0100
techUK joint AI and Cyber Working Group Created http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13509-techuk-joint-ai-and-cyber-working-group-created http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13509-techuk-joint-ai-and-cyber-working-group-created

As part of techUK’s AI Week a roundtable was held to discuss the cyber security opportunities, questions and possible challenges being raised by the development and adoption of AI technologies. At the event members highlighted the importance of demystifying and addressing current security concerns raised around AI, the potential of AI to bolster cyber security capabilities and the role AI could play in attracting more people to join the cyber security industry.

 

The event also discussed the role techUK should play in helping to drive discussion on these important areas. It was agreed that techUK has a key role to provide clarity on the current debate around the security of AI by deconstructing the current landscape and addressing current misconceptions around the security of AI technologies. It was also felt that techUK should look to promote how AI and cyber are complementary and that AI technologies can assist, not replace human decision making in cyber security.

 

Based on this feedback and call to action by techUK members a joint AI and Cyber Programme working group is being created to produce a thought leadership report that will look to demystify the current AI and cyber landscape, build trust in the security of emerging AI technologies and demonstrate the opportunities AI offers the cyber security industry including ways in which AI can be used as a tool to address the cyber security skills gap.

 

We are now looking for members to join this working group that will begin its work on 4 September. If you would like to be involved in developing techUK’s Cyber and AI report please contact charlie.wyatt@techuk.org

If you would like to hear more about the work of the AI and Cyber programmes or would get more involved please do get in touch with the relevant teams.

{bio}talal.rajab@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}Charlie.Wyatt@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}sue.daley@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 15:06:57 +0100
Securing the Cloud: Operationalising Cloud Sec Principles http://www.techuk.org/events/briefing/item/13508-securing-the-cloud-operationalising-cloud-sec-principles http://www.techuk.org/events/briefing/item/13508-securing-the-cloud-operationalising-cloud-sec-principles

Cloud computing offers a number of benefits to businesses and consumers, from flexibility to reduced costs.  Yet we often take it for granted that people will understand the many potential advantages that cloud can offers, particularly when it comes to security.  That is why in April 2017, techUK published a series of papers aimed at building trust in the security of cloud, providing consumers, SMEs and local government leaders with the information they need to better understand the security underpinning cloud. 

 

What is clear, however, is that questions and concerns relating to the security of cloud computing services continue to exist and cloud providers themselves are being called upon to continue to find ways to highlight the security benefits of their products and services in an easily consumable format.  To help address this need the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published a framework around 14 Cloud Security Principles which include important considerations such as data in-transit protection, supply chain security, identity and authentication and secure use of the service. The aim of the principles is to enable cloud companies to showcase how solutions built on their platform can implement the principles. However, as cloud security concerns continue to be raised are the principles being put into practical action and what more could be done to operationalise the advice the principles offer.

 

On 10 September, from 2-4pm, techUK is bringing together cloud computing and cyber security members with representatives from the NCSC to discuss how the Cloud Security Principles could be used to increase trust amongst cloud customers. This workshop will involve an update from the NCSC on the future of the Cloud Security Principles and an open discussion on the role of the principles and how they could be translated into practical action by industry and operationalised in a way that addresses current cloud secuirty concerns.  

 

Speaker confirmed from the NCSC

Chair: John Godwin, Director of Compliance & Information Assurance, UKCloud

 

{bio}talal.rajab@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}sue.daley@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Briefing Tue, 17 Jul 2018 15:18:12 +0100
Driving AI uptake and adoption – we need your help! http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13507-driving-ai-uptake-and-adoption-we-need-your-help http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13507-driving-ai-uptake-and-adoption-we-need-your-help

In October last year the independent review on how the Artificial Intelligence industry can be grown in the UK, carried out by Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti, was published. A key recommendation made in the review regarding the uptake of AI was for techUK to work with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Digital Catapult, and key players in industry sectors to develop practical guidance on the opportunities and challenges of successful adoption of AI across the UK economy.  

Following techUK’s engagement with the Digital Catapult and the Royal Academy of Engineering, a joint project is now underway to develop a guide for business leaders on the key steps that organisations need to consider to become an AI enabled and driven organisation. Key areas that are likely to be raised in the guide will be the importance of cloud adoption, cyber security, data protection and taking an ethical approach to business thinking around AI. This work was cited in the AI Sector Deal in April.

This project is now beginning to take shape. But we need your help.

We are looking for members willing to join a small techUK editorial working group that will provide direct input to the development of this business guide and review output that will be developed by a project delivery team made up of representatives from techUK, Digital Catapult and the Royal Academy of Engineering. In order to kick off this work, techUK is looking to bring together the techUK editorial working group for an initial meeting in early September to review the project aims, objectives and draft skeleton and to provide direct input as the guide starts to be written. Following an initial meeting the editorial working group will work virtually and via conference calls as the guide itself develops.

If you would be interested in being part of the techUK editorial working group for this project, please inform Rebecca.francis@techuk.org by Friday 3rd August  . If you would like to discuss this project in more detail please reach out to sue.daley@techuk.org.

{bio}sue.daley@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 14:55:19 +0100
Data Centre Programme Overview Q2 2018 http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13505-data-centre-programme-overview-q2-2018 http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13505-data-centre-programme-overview-q2-2018

Please click below to download the document. 

{bio}emma.fryer@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 08:00:00 +0100
How AI will affect the future of health http://www.techuk.org/events/partner-event/item/13504-how-ai-will-affect-the-future-of-health http://www.techuk.org/events/partner-event/item/13504-how-ai-will-affect-the-future-of-health

As part of NHS70 Digital Week, NHS England would be delighted if you would join them on 23 July at 4.15pm for a groundbreaking, virtual reality based, panel event entitled Are the bots taking over? How AI will affect the future of health.

This lively debate will see top health and tech leaders, chaired by England's Chief Information Officer for Health and Care Will Smart, explore the future of AI in health across patient care, tools and services, and the health and care system in England as a whole.

Attendees will also have the chance to ask questions and have them answered by the experts.

How to take part:

Thanks to The VR Concept, this free event will take place in virtual reality.

To be in the virtual space you must do a few things in advance of the event: join up to AltSpaceVR and secure your space by RSVPing here. Then, on the day:

About the panellists:

  • Chair: Will Smart - Will is the Chief Information Officer for the NHS in England. A joint appointment between NHS England and NHS Improvement, Will provides strategic leadership across the NHS to ensure that the opportunities that digital technologies offer are fully exploited to improve the experience of patients and carers in their interactions with health and social care. Prior to this role Will has held a number of senior leadership positions inside and outside the NHS, including Chief Information Officer at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, and has also held an analytics role at St. Mary’s NHS Trust in London.
  • Dr Nikki Patel - Nikki is a clinician and is the Clinical Lead and Head of Evaluation for Digital Development at NHS England, where she works on complex large scale digital projects, based on the integration of new technology with existing systems in healthcare. Nikki focuses on developing a number of digital initiatives to help patients connect to care and where possible take a digital first approach.
  • Dr Vishal Nangalia -Vishal is an Anaesthetic Consultant at the Royal Free Hospital, London, and founder of MedicalandMe which uses artificial intelligence to predict and prevent hospital deaths. He has a PhD in Medical Machine Learning, has curated one of the largest anonymised linked blood result datasets and has been able to apply advanced algorithms to real time clinical data. He has a BSc in Aerospace Physiology, an MBChB and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists.
  • Dr Indra Joshi - Indra is the Clinical Lead for NHS England’s Empower the Person Portfolio overseeing the national citizen facing digital initiatives within the NHS with a focus on Real World Evidence, data and digital health tools standards. Indra is the Clinical Director of One HealthTech, Vice Chair for the British Computer Society (Health), a consultant on digital health and an expedition medic.

*Register for this event here*

]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Partner Event Tue, 17 Jul 2018 12:57:27 +0100
How can we ensure truthfulness, online and off? http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13503-how-can-we-ensure-truthfulness-online-and-off http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13503-how-can-we-ensure-truthfulness-online-and-off

As Ofcom CEO Sharon White correctly points out in her Times article last week, social media is driving rapid change in the way people access and consume news. It has enabled people to access more diverse sources of information and has facilitated the growth of whole new types of journalism from the likes of Vice, Vox and Buzzfeed.  But social media has also suffered from a proliferation of deliberately inaccurate information varying from relatively benign clickbait to seriously harmful false stories designed to undermine democratic processes.

White suggests a new regulator might need to step in to address the proliferation of what is now dubbed ‘fake news’. On the face of it the case for regulation looks compelling. Private businesses, for very legitimate reasons, can struggle to act where they fear crossing the line on free speech. But regulators may also find that this proves difficult territory to enter. This is undeniably an extremely important issue. So how do we ensure that we address it in the right way?

Fake news is simply a new name for an old problem. Lies and disinformation have long pre-dated digital media. Indeed propagandists have often been at the forefront of exploiting new technology – whether it was the printing press or radio.

So, if we are to create an independent regulator to oversee online news we must ensure that the same standards apply offline as well as online. No one disagrees with need to combat fake news online, but it must be done legally, fairly, effectively and with due process. A new regulator that is set up to be a guardian of the truth will have an incredibly difficult path to steer.

Technology clearly plays a vital role, but it would be a mistake to consider ‘fake news’ simply as a technology problem to which there is a simple technology solution. At its very core ‘fake news’ is about fundamental untruths, how we identify them and how we respond to them as a society. But at a time when political views are particularly polarised understanding what is and isn’t factually accurate information is likely to challenge potential regulators just as much as it does technology companies today and journalists today.

In the UK we have a long tradition of highly partisan media. Coverage of the same event can be wildly different depending on the media outlets political perspective, blurring the line between fact and opinion, and even fact and fiction.

We must avoid a situation where an article that would be seen as acceptable in print format, is considered to be in breach of a new online code. Would a new regulator hold elected politicians and traditional media to the same standard of truthfulness that they would demand from social media platforms? The Daily Mail has already been banned as a source from Wikipedia for its “reputation for poor fact checking and sensationalism”.  Do we all agree that this is a good thing or is it a reflection of liberal bias in Wikipedia? There are many examples of democratically elected politicians sharing or spinning news that is misleading or outright false. This presents real challenges for established traditional media, never mind for social media platforms. How effective do we believe social media platforms need to be in identifying, verifying and taking down fake news? How would a regulator be able to keep up with the volume of decisions taken by such companies? How would it know if legitimate content was being inappropriately blocked by these companies? Is it appropriate for an international for-profit companies to be the arbiters of what is and is not legitimate news for UK citizens?

In many circumstances, ‘fake’ might be easy to spot but an equal number, if not more, it will require fact-checking, close inspection and a judgement call. What this process will look like and what resources such a regulator would have are important details that need to be thought through.

Tackling fake news is a challenge that extends far beyond the role of technology and social media companies. Politicians, advocacy groups, and traditional media all have a role to play in ensuring that a democratic society can be informed by accurate and verifiable open information. A fake news regulator will have an incredibly difficult and sensitive job on its hands. We need to think very carefully therefore about whether this is indeed the right approach. Getting this wrong could make today’s problems very much worse. So lets ask the hard questions now and ensure we build an approach that works.

{bio}antony.walker@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:59:23 +0100
techUK comment on Japan and EU mutual adequacy decisions http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13502-techuk-comment-on-japan-and-eu-mutual-adequacy-decisions http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13502-techuk-comment-on-japan-and-eu-mutual-adequacy-decisions

Commenting on the mutual adequacy agreements agreed today between the EU and Japan, techUK’s deputy CEO, Antony Walker, said:

“Today’s landmark announcement of EU-Japan mutual adequacy agreements demonstrates the fundamental importance of the free flow of data sitting alongside free trade in both goods and services. The fact that the EU and Japan have agreed mutual adequacy decisions is hugely significant in unlocking data flows between advanced digital economies. Japan is the first country to agree adequacy under the GDPR and as a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). This means the agreement potentially opens up a new pathway for onward data transfer through APEC countries. It will be important to see how the specific additional safeguards agreed by Japan will operate in practice and what that means for the operational effectiveness of this agreement. It will also be an important test-case as the UK and EU seek to agree a data flows agreement post-Brexit, by setting out the key requirements to meet the ‘essentially equivalent’ test under GDPR. Given the UK and EU’s data protection regimes are significantly more aligned than Japan and the EU, techUK would hope the UK and EU will be able to agree mutual adequacy decisions as soon as possible. 

“The EU-Japan agreement also demonstrates the benefits of agreeing adequacy decisions alongside free trade agreements, as we expect the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement also to be signed today. In a global digital economy, data and trade go hand in hand, so it is positive that the EU and Japan have been able to agree both a trade deal and data flows agreement side by side.

“It is still not clear whether the UK will be able to roll over existing EU adequacy decisions, and what the process for doing so will be. More clarity on this issue is needed to ensure data can continue to flow between the UK and countries it already has agreements with. The new Japan adequacy agreement will be a crucial one to consider as part of that process.”

 

{bio}harri.turnbull@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}antony.walker@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:37:18 +0100
Most Influential Women in UK Technology http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13501-most-influential-women-in-uk-technology http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13501-most-influential-women-in-uk-technology

techUK is delighted to see a number of its members’ employees were included in Computer Weekly’s recently published Most Influential Women in Tech longlist for 2018.

Among the more than 200 names put forward were:

  • Alexa Marenghi, global diversity and business programme manager, Microsoft; founder of Codess
  • Beatrice Butsana-Sita, managing director, IT and networks at Capita
  • Carmina Lees, managing director, Technology Consulting at Accenture
  • Caroline Graham, director change management at Barclays; head of WeAreTheCity India
  • Catherine Knivett, head of programmes at Corsham Institute
  • Charlotte Finn, vice-president global strategic relations at Salesforce.org
  • Christine Ashton, global CDO, digital office cloud ERP, SAP
  • Christine Hodgson, chairman of Capgemini UK
  • Claire Vyvyan, senior vice president, UK & Ireland commercial business, Dell EMC
  • Daryn Edgar, vice president, digital advisory, EMEA, SAP
  • Elizabeth Eastaugh, senior director, product – eCP, enterprise data platform services at Expedia
  • Elizabeth Vega, global CEO, Informed Solutions
  • Emma Lacy, public sector project manager, Oracle
  • Emma McGuigan, group technology officer, communications, media & technology, Accenture
  • Gayna Hart, founder and managing director, Quicksilva
  • Harriet Green, head of Asia Pacific, IBM
  • Helen Kelisky, vice-president, cloud, UK and Ireland, IBM
  • Helen Lamb, vice-president, strategic pursuits unit, global delivery group, Fujitsu
  • Karen Young, managing director of MDS Technologies
  • Kim Nilsson, co-founder and CEO, Pivigo
  • Kriti Sharma, vice president for AI, Sage
  • Magdalena Kron, ‎head of Rise London and vice-president open innovation, Barclays; co-founder, Geek Girl Meetup UK
  • Mandy Chessell, distinguished engineer, IBM
  • Melinda Roylett, senior director, head of small and medium business, EMEA, PayPal
  • Melissa Di Donato, chief revenue officer, SAP ERP Cloud
  • Nicola Mendelsohn, managing director, Facebook Europe
  • Pearl Noble-Mallock, head of product and cyber security, BAE Systems
  • Rebecca George, lead public sector partner, Deloitte
  • Regina Moran, enterprise director at Vodafone
  • Sarah Armstrong-Smith, head of continuity and resilience, distinguished engineer and diversity champion, Fujitsu
  • Sarah Atkinson, vice-president of EMEA communications, CA Technologies
  • Sarah Shields, vice president and GM - Dell EMC UK/I Channel
  • Sharon Moore, industry technical leader for travel and transportation, IBM UK,
  • Sheila Flavel, COO, FDM Group,
  • Sheree Atcheson, global ambassador at Women Who Code; consultant, Deloitte UK
  • Sheridan Ash, technology and investments director, women in technology leader UK, PwC
  • Shirley Creed, global corporate secretary, Dell EMC
  • Susan Bowen, general manager and vice-president EMEA, Cogeco Peer 1
  • Ursula Morgenstern, CEO, Atos Germany
  • Zoe Cunningham, managing director, Softwire

We were particularly pleased to see among these, Susan Bowen from Cogeco Peer 1, who was specifically nominated for her work in chairing techUK’s Skills & Diversity Council. It was also encouraging to see so many of our Board members included in this year's nominations list, including: Zoe Cunningham from Softwire; Sheila Flavell from FDM Group; Sarah Atkinson from CA Technologies; and Karen Young from MDS Technologies

The list also included two techUK staff members - Sue Daley, Head of Programme - Cloud, Data, Analytics & AI and Emma Fryer, Associate Director, Data Centres.

The shortlist of 50 names will be announced later this week, when voting opens.

Our congratulations to everyone who was nominated!

 

{bio}simona.paliulyte@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:12:27 +0100
techUK comments on GPP http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13500-techuk-comments-on-gpp http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13500-techuk-comments-on-gpp

The Commission is  keen to ensure that public authorities are able to make sustainable choices when buying data centre services, and therefore green public procurement criteria are being developed.   In the past, such approaches have had limited success so we have been monitoring this closely.  We responded to an initial survey, produced a pre-emptive note assessing the pros and cons of different data centre performance metrics, attended a Stakeholder Workshop in Seville on 16th November 2017 and submitted a response to the initial draft proposals in December.  At the time we were concerned that there was too much focus on individual components and not enough qualitative elements.  This meant that a data centre procurement could meet all the criteria and still deliver a hopelessly inefficient service.  In May we attended the second stakeholder workshops to comment on the second draft, which was much improved.  These brief comments are the input we made to that second draft.

{bio}lucas.banach@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 08:00:00 +0100
techUK launches new report 'Dealing with the Deals' in Parliament http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13497-techuk-launches-new-report-dealing-with-the-deals-in-parliament http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13497-techuk-launches-new-report-dealing-with-the-deals-in-parliament

On Monday, techUK launched its new report Dealing with the Deals: Existing EU international agreements and the tech sector. The report highlights that urgent decisions are needed on hundreds of different EU agreements post-Brexit. Many of these, such as Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), science and technology agreements and World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements, are important to the UK’s thriving tech sector.

While Brexit requires a fundamental redesign of the relationship between the UK and the EU, it is important to remember that it also requires a redesign of our current relations with the rest of the world.

For many agreements, such as the trade deals with Canada and South Korea and science and technology agreements, continuity will be important for the sector. However, for some trade agreements there is scope for greater ambition – such as incorporating services and procurement into a new deal with Israel, a country with a complimentary high-tech economy.

At an event in Parliament, techUK held a panel discussion to launch the report with Vicky Ford MP, member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, Stephen Timms MP, member of the Exiting the European Union Committee and Tim Durrant, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government, chaired by Giles Derrington, techUK Head of Policy for Brexit, International and Economics.

The panellists all stressed the ongoing importance of these deals. Vicky Ford highlighted how science and technology agreements are ‘extremely important’ for the UK’s international partners. These agreements are something that other countries really value. With tech being a sector that particularly depends on innovation and cutting-edge research, these agreements are an important means of promoting cross-border collaboration.

For Stephen Timms, the UK faces a clear choice between ‘alignment with or estrangement from’ the EU. For him there are clear economic consequences of each and the Government needs to base their decisions on realism, as they have done by committing to aligning with European data protection rules. For more on the importance of this, see techUK’s report No Interruptions: Options for the future UK-EU data-sharing relationship.

The act of rolling over these trade agreements will involve making some tough choices. Issues like rules of origin and cumulation are going to involve negotiating with the EU as well as the other third-country signatory. At the launch, Vicky Ford echoed techUK’s call for clarity around how the Government intends to approach this, as well as stating her expectation that Parliament will be able to make sure there is scrutiny over any changes to the UK’s relationship with existing EU trade deals.

The legislative aspect of rolling over these important deals was stressed by Tim Durrant. When turning existing EU agreements into permanent UK deals post-Brexit, each partner will need to subject them to their own processes of scrutiny and ratification. This could even be the case to enable the existing EU agreements to still apply to the UK during the implementation period. If the UK does face a cliff edge in its trading relationships with these third countries, it is crucial that businesses know of this possibility, so they can plan accordingly.

Through the EU, the UK is party to over 750 international agreements. All of these will need proactive decisions to be made about whether to roll them over, renegotiate them or let them lapse. Dealing with the Deals and our launch event emphasised how important some of these are for the UK tech sector, but also where greater ambition is possible. While the UK Government has made clear its ambitions to negotiate new trade deals post-Brexit, one thing is completely clear – it needs to ensure that it deals with the existing deals first.

{bio}thomas.goldsmith@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:32:19 +0100
Accelerating CAV Uptake on our Roads http://www.techuk.org/events/partner-event/item/13496-accelerating-cav-uptake-on-our-roads http://www.techuk.org/events/partner-event/item/13496-accelerating-cav-uptake-on-our-roads

The aim of this event is to bring the transport tech industry and public sector decision-makers together to explore two key challenges in driving the uptake of connected and autonomous vehicles on the UK’s roads:

Traffic Management: This session will examine how CAVs will change the road environment both physically and digitally, unpack what (physical and digital) infrastructure is needed to get CAVs on the road, what technology solutions exist, and the role of rigorous and robust testing and trials in the UK.
Building public trust: Having CAV capability is one thing. Getting people to use them is another. This session will look at the role of public trust driving the uptake of CAVs on the UK’s roads, and how to build and maintain trust in the technology and capability of CAVs as a safer and more efficient transport option than human-driven vehicles, as well as use cases for building trust in CAVs.
Our speakers and panellists come from organisations across public and private sectors that work on CAV tech and implementation. There will be lots of opportunities for audience engagement, and the day will wind down with a coffee and networking session in the early afternoon. The agenda for the day is:

 

0900 – 0930: Registration

0930 – 0955: Welcome and introductions from Jessica Russell (techUK) and OCC Research Team Overview from George Economides (OCC)

0955 – 1100: Session 1: Traffic Management speeches and panel

1100 – 1130: Coffee Break

1130 – 1230: Session 2: Building Public Trust speeches and panel

1230 – 1300: Event wrap-up and networking

 

techUK and Oxfordshire County Council look forward to welcoming you to the Said Business School for a morning to talk all things traffic management and public trust in CAVs.

 

{bio}Jessica.Russell@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}manar.al-muflahi@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Partner Event Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:15:08 +0100
Scotland: the brave or the natural choice for access to space? http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13495-scotland-the-brave-or-the-natural-choice-for-access-to-space http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13495-scotland-the-brave-or-the-natural-choice-for-access-to-space

Image credit: Rocket Lab

 

The space sector is probably as cool as it’s been since NASA took astronauts to the Moon, but in the UK it may seem as if this is a sector happening somewhere else, given that (at least so far) we haven’t launched any satellites (or spacecraft for that matter) from UK soil. Indeed, ask a random member of the public to name a space company, and it’s likely that SpaceX  will be the first name on their lips.

As it happens, the UK space sector is large, and growing rapidly, despite having no local launch capability. Some 35,000 (mostly high skilled) people work in the sector, which contributes about £14bn to GDP and supports £250bn. Most of this value is generated by commercialising data coming from satellites, including telecoms and television, although the public sector is also a major customer. Space is, in fact, a largely invisible input guiding your car to your destination (and Pokémon Go to locate Pikachu); enabling mobile phone calls, radio and television to be delivered; providing accurate, reliable, and secure timestamps for financial transactions; combatting illegal fishing; assisting with weather forecasts, searching for buildings without planning consent and measuring polar ice. And on top of that is the space exploration and science and research which consumers and politicians more readily think of when they think “Space”.

As this sector grows, it is also fundamentally changing, from being principally publicly funded and serving public clients, to increasingly being privately funded and serving private customers. This has been driven by technology, where activities which used to be supported by large, expensive, bespoke satellites parked over the equator (and so servicing a defined landmass), can now be supported by satellites which are much smaller, lighter and cheaper – not least through the use of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components. Such “smallsats”, are often planned as part of a “constellation” of hundreds or thousands of other smallsats, working together closer to the Earth and where each individual satellite doesn’t serve a defined landmass, but is constantly moving relative to the Earth. Some operators of traditional large, geostationary satellites worry that their technology may be rendered redundant by the smallsats long before the 15-plus year lifespan they were designed to have expires.

This step change in composition, capabilities and financing of the sector is often called “New Space”. But customers of satellites which are cheaper and quicker to build don’t want to rely on traditional rocket launches, which don’t come around very often, and where any smallsat squeezed into the payload will have little say over when the launch takes place, or even where the smallsat gets dropped off in space. And with a sizeable range of constellations being planned, it is clear that global launch capacity has become a pinch point, one which will delay new innovative services being offered and will slow down orders of smallsat construction – an area where the UK has specialised.

Hence the Government’s desire to clear the way for one or more UK spaceports – likely one spaceport for vertical launch and one for horizontal (like a plane) – to support the UK space sector. The Space Industry Act provided the enabling regulatory framework, and now the government has selected the A'Mhoine Peninsula in Sutherland as the UK's first spaceport for vertical launches, a location which offers a path to space far enough away from population centres for when things take an unexpected turn. The backing of a company with the pedigree of Lockheed Martin increases the chance that this spaceport will be a success, although the Government’s target of being ready by 2020 is still challenging.

Commenting on the Government’s announcement, Julian McGougan, techUK’s Executive Director of Satellite said:

“UK companies, supported by foreign investment, are well placed to lead the world in the “New Space” revolution, where thousands of small satellites will enable a range of innovative new services. The UK space sector has a highly skilled, high productivity workforce and invests 8 per cent of revenues in R&D - it is precisely the kind of sector which deserves supporting. The missing link so far has been a convenient, low cost access to Space. I very much welcome the government’s decision on a spaceport in Scotland which supports the UK’s already strong position in small satellites and will open up more opportunities.”

{bio}julian.mcgougan@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:07:41 +0100
Council of the Future: Is there a role for AI? http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13494-council-of-the-future-is-there-a-role-for-ai http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13494-council-of-the-future-is-there-a-role-for-ai

On Wednesday 11 July techUK hosted a roundtable discussion titled “Council of the Future: Is there a role for AI?” The event brought together techUK members and representatives from local councils to discuss how to support the adoption of AI in local government.  

To kick-off the discussion we heard from Jenny Nelson from Newcastle City Council, who shared her experience of the challenges faced by a local council adopting AI (service design, retraining and scalability) as well as the benefits it can ultimately deliver- improved customer experience, reduced cost and establishing Newcastle as a place for growth.  

Bryn Adams from DigitalGenius provided some opening remarks from an industry-perspective. He highlighted the ambiguity surrounding AI as a barrier to adoption in local councils and noted the increasing pressure on local government to meet rising customer experience expectations. He touched on the benefits adopting AI could bring to local councils, including increased customer service satisfaction and the opportunity to relieve employees time to focus on other tasks.  

Attendees discussed the best way of putting forward the business case for artificial intelligence in local government. Framing the discussion around improving outcomes for citizens, piloting technologies to show teams the art of the possible, and developing a digital strategy, like Aylesbury Vale Council, were all said to have helped councils enormously.  

The discussion highlighted that local councils often don’t see an obvious need to adopt emerging tech when they have a number of more immediate concerns and decision-making in politics is typically too short term to realise tangible benefits. However, during the discussion we heard some great examples of excellent work by early adopters in local government, most notably Chatbot from Aylesbury and WasteBot from Newcastle City Council.

Key points that came out of the discussion included: 

  • It’s important to bring the senior leadership team and elected members on the digital journey. Leadership buy-in is vital for the delivery of transformation. 
  • First the problem should be articulated, and technology framed around that. It was also identified that business analysts have a crucial role to play in helping to articulate the problem. 
  • Language can often be a barrier so we must be clear about what we mean by AI when communicating to stakeholders internally and externally.  
  • Great collaboration is needed across local government to help scale-up projects, understand where best practise is and where lessons can be learnt. Collaboration will also help to drive the market.  

In terms of how techUK could help support the adoption of AI in local government, attendees provided the following suggestions:  

  • Art of the possible sessions – techUK has a strong convening role and can bringing together councils and industry to workshop through specific problem areas whilst demoing how technologies, such as AI, can enable innovative solutions and improve outcomes for citizens on a specific issue.
  • Signpost best practice from early adopters – both success stories and examples of where adoption hasn’t worked so that councils can learn from experience.  

Following this roundtable discussion, the local government programme will set-up an Emerging Technologies Working Group with input from the Cloud, Data Analytics and AI programme, to drive some of these ideas and suggestions. If you would like to be involved in this work, please contact Georgina Maratheftis.  

{bio}georgina.maratheftis@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}katherine.mayes@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:42:58 +0100
National Spectrum Innovation, Experimentation & Engineering http://www.techuk.org/events/partner-event/item/13493-national-spectrum-innovation-experimentation-engineering http://www.techuk.org/events/partner-event/item/13493-national-spectrum-innovation-experimentation-engineering

This event is to promote the development of a new National Spectrum Innovation, Engineering and Experimentation Centre (N-SIEEC).

QinetiQ Ltd. and Aberystwyth University are partnering to create a cutting edge facility with world renowned expertise - forming a unique combination of expertise, facilities and geographical positioning to promote innovation and new product development and provide invaluable support for industries and organisations using the Radio Spectrum.

The need is being driven to do spectrum research (not just 5G) and minimise the impact of the “innovation valley” by conducting demonstrations/experiments and increasing the pace between concepts and commercialisation. It is also designed to find a way to keep up with the $bn research activities being done (via the national Spectrum Centre) in the US so we don’t end up with an spectrum innovation gap.

The event will update you on the need for the centre and its current development, how it could benefit your work, as well as learning about the facilities and expertise that could be made available to you. Most importantly it will give you an opportunity to influence the centres development by helping to define your requirements of the centre.

The ultimate aim of the centre is to: Create an ecosystem between Government, Industry and Academia to identify and “ Accelerate Spectrum Innovations through Experimentation”

 As well as supporting the commercial sector with experimentation and testing policies, the N-SIEEC will:

1.         Inspire – the next generation of engineers via STEM activities and support training via Phd’s Msc etc.

2.         Support – academic research by providing facilities for research.

3.         Accelerate – academic exploitation by conduction demonstrations.

4.         Innovate – address UK industrial strategy challenges, including transport, agritech, autonomy, space, spectrum policy, cyber etc.

5.         Collaborate -  provide a collaborative spectrum research environment for industrial, Gvt, and international research as well as an innovation hub for SME’s.

 

Registration is FREE TO ATTEND - you can register and see the agenda here.

 

 

]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Partner Event Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:36:09 +0100
Trade and Customs Compliance Group http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13492-trade-and-customs-compliance-group http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13492-trade-and-customs-compliance-group

The Trade and Customs Compliance Group is the forum for discussing issues around export controls, customs and international trade.

The group leads on all techUK’s policy work including OGELs, dual-use legislation, Wassenaar and defence exports, to customs, sanctions, international trade rules and more. The group aims to be the leading discussion forum for dual-use tech and formed from the merger of JETSECC (which focused on export controls) and ITAC (which covered trade and customs) and is chaired by David Macready of Fujitsu. The group also works in partnership with the ECJU, DIT, BEIS and the NSCS as well as other trade associations, law firms and consultants to develop industry positions.

There are three current subgroups (to be reconstituted in December 2017), covering:

  • Brexit. This sub-group is looking at what the export community wants from Brexit and how the UK should manage sanctions and how to develop legislation for effective dual-use controls
  • Customs. The customs sub-group will lead on engagement with Government on a new customs system post-Brexit, specifically examining the Customs Bill and the transition from CHIEF to CDS
  • Communications. This group will look at how the group communicates and manages external relations and raise the profile of the TCCG.
{bio}lucas.banach@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Meeting notes Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:00:00 +0100
Consumer Electronics Council http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13491-consumer-electronics-council http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13491-consumer-electronics-council

A steering group established to guide sector representation to government, broadcasters, and technical bodies on behalf of UK consumer electronics players.

As the boundaries between hardware, delivery and content merge in the connected world, the council works to help members navigate disruption and develop new strategies which continue to deliver valued customer experiences and secure future revenue streams.

The council is a must for those interested in policy, regulatory, technical and market issues within the consumer electronics environment.

The council aims to:

  • Create the best possible commercial environment for device manufacturers and key third party players to operate
  • Direct sector representation on the future of free to air television platforms and the role of sector broadcasters
  • Influence and raise profile of the CE industry within government and to media and other key stakeholders.

Chair: Richard Bass, Head of B2C Business Unit, Hitachi Digital Media Group, Hitachi Europe Ltd

{bio}lucas.banach@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Meeting notes Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:00:00 +0100
Consumer Electronics Service Forum http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13490-consumer-electronics-service-forum http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13490-consumer-electronics-service-forum

This group assembles the service manager community of consumer electronics manufacturers to discuss the latest service compliance issues, consumer law revisions, and the introduction of new technology and services. The group also supports the HEEST Apprenticeship for service engineers and is a forum for discussing product recall, electrical safety and supports customer facing staff by considering the likely future areas of customer interest.

The main purpose of the group is:

  • To update consumer electronics manufacturers about the current and future regulatory environment to avoid non-compliance and support their customer service functions.
  • To help develop industry best practice to aid efficiency and minimise costs.

Chair: Manoj Aggarwal, Vestel UK Limited

Secretary: Jo Fialho, Teac UK

{bio}lucas.banach@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Meeting notes Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:00:00 +0100
Digital Radio Group http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13489-digital-radio-group http://www.techuk.org/insights/meeting-notes/item/13489-digital-radio-group

This group meets on an ad hoc basis to discuss issues that relate to the promotion of Digital Radio in the lead up to a digital switchover.

Topics addressed include endorsement of compliant products with standards set by DCMS and agreed by industry. Guest speakers are regularly invited

The main purpose of this group is:

  • To coordinate a consensus view from the manufacturers' perspective and promote that view
  • To update the group on the progress of take up by the UK public towards switchover

Chair: Owen Watters, CEO, Roberts Radio

{bio}lucas.banach@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Meeting notes Fri, 25 May 2018 08:00:00 +0100
Low carbon infrastructure at no extra cost http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13488-low-carbon-infrastructure-at-no-extra-cost http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13488-low-carbon-infrastructure-at-no-extra-cost

The National Infrastructure Commission is required to carry out an overall assessment of the UK’s infrastructure requirements once every 5 years. This is the first of those assessments.

The first National Infrastructure Assessment sets out the Commission’s plan of action for the country’s infrastructure over the next 10-30 years. Infrastructure can inspire confidence and growth.

By 2050, the UK’s population and economy will have grown significantly. This will place substantial pressures on infrastructure. And meeting the challenge of climate change will require a transformation in energy, waste and transport by 2050. The UK is legally bound to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050. Today, around 70 per cent of emissions come from electricity, buildings, travel and waste.

The Commission recommends:

  • At least 50% renewable electricity generation by 2030
  • No more than 1 more contract for new nuclear before 2020
  • Pilots to test hydrogen and heat pumps as low carbon heating options
  • Buildings which require less energy to heat

The Commission’s modelling has shown that a highly renewable generation mix is a low-cost option for the energy system. Government should not agree support for more than one nuclear power station beyond Hinkley Point C before 2025. The National Audit Office found that this procurement model for Hinkley Point C did not provide best value for money for consumers. The Commission is recommending a ‘one by one’ approach to new nuclear plants, as opposed to the current government policy to develop a large fleet.

The analysis carried out shows slightly lower average costs for a scenario with 90 per cent renewable and less than 10 per cent nuclear compared to a scenario with 40 per cent renewable and around 40 per cent nuclear, the higher cost of managing the variable nature of many renewables (‘balancing’) is offset by the lower capital cost, which translates into lower costs in the wholesale market. Regardless if heat is predominantly electrified using heat pumps or provided through low carbon hydrogen in the future.  

In all scenarios, extra flexibility, which includes technologies such as storage, interconnection and demand side response, is a low regrets investment which reduces estimated total energy system costs by between £1-7 billion per year on average between 2030 and 2050.The Commission favours the use of existing market mechanisms – contracts for difference and the capacity market – where possible, to avoid creating more uncertainty, but incremental improvements could be made. All renewables should be able to compete; there is no longer a case for any bilateral deals, including for tidal.

But even with emissions almost eliminated from power generation and waste, the UK cannot achieve its emissions targets without transitioning away from using natural gas, a fossil fuel, for heating.

Biogas can also be used as a low carbon substitute for natural gas. It can also be converted to a range of biofuels, which may prove especially valuable in sectors where fossil fuels are hardest to replace, such as aviation. The Commission recommends that government should establish separate food waste collection for households and businesses (to enable production of biogas) by 2025.

It is cheaper to collect food waste separately and process it in anaerobic digesters, rather than send it to energy from waste plants (incinerators). Seventy-nine per cent of people who do not currently use a food waste bin would be prepared to use one if it were provided by their local council. More plastics should be recycled, including by restricting the use of hard-to-recycle plastic packaging by 2025. Better packaging design, clearer labelling, fewer hard to recycle plastics, and tougher recycling targets.

The Commission recommends that government should set a target for recycling 65 per cent of municipal waste and 75 per cent of plastic packaging by 2030. Government should set individual targets for all local authorities and provide financial support for transitional costs.

techUK supports the findings of the NIC and agrees that the road to low carbon economy looks brighter now than ever. We welcome NIC’s call for Government to be less afraid to be more ambitious in their approach to policy.

{bio}Teodora.Kaneva@techUK.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Fri, 13 Jul 2018 09:00:00 +0100
Ambition and Investment for fit-for-the-future Infrastructure http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13487-ambition-and-investment-for-fit-for-the-future-infrastructure http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13487-ambition-and-investment-for-fit-for-the-future-infrastructure

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has released the first of its 5-yearly National Infrastructure Assessments. Looking across all infrastructure sectors, taking into account current and future demands, the NIC has delivered a series of conclusions to tackle key challenges. It is exciting to see the NIC call for a more ambitious, outcomes-driven government approach to the nation’s infrastructure.

Contextualised by a brutally honest review of major infrastructure project timelines, like the 23-years-in-the-making-Mersey-Gateway-Bridge, the NIC delivers the “long-term vision” that is needed for more efficient and successful delivery of long-term projects.

Revolutionising Road Transport

Innovation in road transport is highly disruptive, and is likely to significant changes to how, who and what are using the nation’s roads. The NIC is very clear on what it sees to be the Government’s role in driving the revolution of road transport. The Government should:

  • encourage the switch to electric vehicles by making it a visibly accessible and reliable choice for car owners. According to the NIC, this should be done by subsidising installation of charging infrastructure where the private sector will not and developing policy that ensures that local authorities are prioritising these innovations by freeing up space to install chargers. Visibility and accessibility of charging points will be key to improving people’s trust in electric vehicles as a feasible mobility choice.
  • ensure that the future of transport and mobility is considered in current infrastructure planning and project delivery, as timelines can extend over decades. This should be underpinned by a framework to assess potential impacts (despite the uncertainty) that will be produced before the next five-year planning cycle for road and rail.

Transport and Housing for Thriving City Regions

Urban transport needs to be an enabler of growth, but brings with it inherent challenges, such as increased numbers of drivers on roads, and changes to how space is utilised within urban environments. Local-level leadership needs to develop strategies that allow for cities to be planned more holistically – that is, integrating transport, employment and housing planning considerations. Further to this, additional funding support should be provided to cities that have great potential for growth but face severe capacity constraints. Further to this, the development of London should not be diminished by the growth and development of regional cities, but should be complement to bring nation-wide economic and social benefits. 

It is positive to see that the NIC has carved a role for itself here in working with the Government and cities to guide and oversee future upgrades to infrastructure across the country. This will provide ambition and continuity for city infrastructure projects, pulling together the various infrastructure sectors. 

We welcome the long-term, strategic approach that the National Infrastructure Assessment sets out for the nation’s infrastructure, and the ambition it calls for from the Government to deliver improved quality of life for the people in the UK. We look forward to working with our industry members and with the Government to achieve these goals for the nation's infrastructure. 

{bio}Jessica.Russell@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Fri, 13 Jul 2018 09:00:00 +0100
Webex - Acceleration of ePrescribing http://www.techuk.org/events/briefing/item/13486-webex-acceleration-of-eprescribing http://www.techuk.org/events/briefing/item/13486-webex-acceleration-of-eprescribing

Please save the date for a short briefing to provide further details around the announcement made by the Jeremy Hunt about the acceleration of the rollout of ePrescribing in response to the WHO third global challenge on medication error.

We anticipate that there will be a lot of interest in the call thus please can we ask that only one company representative attend so that we don’t run out of capacity.

We look forward to your joining the call.

A recording of the Webex will be made available for those who cannot make this time.

 

Best wishes

Ann Slee

NHS England

{bio}ellie.huckle@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Briefing Fri, 13 Jul 2018 11:08:31 +0100
White Paper a step forward but many questions remain http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13485-white-paper-a-step-forward-but-many-questions-remain http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13485-white-paper-a-step-forward-but-many-questions-remain

Commenting on the publication of the Government’s White Paper on the Future Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the European Union, techUK’s CEO, Julian David, has set out 24 questions that need to be answered in order provide digital business with the clarity they need. 

techUK's CEO, Julian David said:

“This White Paper is a step forward but many questions remain. With just 260 days left until the UK leaves the European Union there is still a lack of clarity on many areas of importance for the tech sector. For those providing digital services far more detail is needed to assess the future impact on their businesses.

“The government accepts that their approach will mean that UK-based tech firms will not have the current levels of access to EU markets in the future. Increased friction in trade has a direct impact on jobs and investment. There is currently little evidence that export losses to the EU can be quickly offset by new trade deals with other countries.

"However, while many questions remain to be answered the White Paper does set out much needed detail on the government’s preferred future relationship with the EU. We are pleased that the White Paper goes further than a simple ‘Canada-style’ Free Trade Agreement and presents a comprehensive institutional framework.  This is the right approach to facilitate the best possible market access particularly for goods and address issues critical to business such as competition law, state aid rules and VAT.

"Companies currently exporting tech services to the EU or dependent on supply chains that are integrated with the EU will need far more detail in order to understand the extent to which the UK’s departure from the EU will inhibit their ability to export.

“We look forward to working with Government to better understand their approach to these important issues and will continue to make the case that a good deal for the UK must be one that supports the industries of the future and delivers on the promise of a deep and comprehensive partnership with the EU."

In responding to the White Paper, the questions techUK has raised include:

Overall access

  1. The paper recognises that the “UK will not have current levels of access to each other’s markets”.  In which areas does the Government expect access to be limited, and what assessment has been made on the impact on businesses operating in these areas?
  2. The paper states that the Government is proposing new arrangements that would “provide regulatory flexibility.” What assessment has the Government made of the value of providing regulatory flexibility compared to reduced market access with the EU?

Digital

  1. Does the Government commit to maintaining ongoing alignment with the EU on areas of the Digital Single Market that have extra-territorial reach, such as data protection and limitations to liability?
  2. On digital technologies, the paper states that the UK proposes “exploring new models for regulatory cooperation between the UK and the EU”.  What type of new model is the Government considering, and will this cover all regulations impacting digital technologies or only provide for certain elements of the Digital Single Market?
  3. Will any new model form part of the economic partnership, and therefore be subject to the proposed Institutional Framework, or be delivered separately?
  4. Will the UK’s proposals for the future personal data sharing arrangement be included within the institutional framework?    
  5. On telecommunication, the paper proposes “joint commitments to an open and liberalised electronic communications”.  Will such a commitment take the form of specific obligations, or simply be a commitment to ongoing dialogue in this area?
  6. On broadcasting, the paper states that the “UK is seeking the best possible arrangements for this sector” after the loss of UK’s participation within the Country of Origin Principles. Do they anticipate such arrangements enabling broadcast into the EU from the UK in the future without the need for additional licenses?
  7. Does the Government intend that the UK would secure observer status on key regulatory bodies for tech and telecoms, such as BEREC, as is suggested for bodies covering goods elements under the new Free Trade Area?

The Institutional Framework

  1. The White Paper states that “The majority of these individual agreements should sit within the overarching institutional framework”. However, it is not clear what agreements will, and will not, be within the institutional framework. What mechanism will exist for disputes arising in areas outside the institutional frameworks?
  2. The paper says that the UK and EU would be required to notify each other through the joint Committee of proposed changes to legislative proposals “where these related to specific commitments in the future relationship.” Will there be a requirement to notify potential changes in areas which sit outside the institutional framework, such as those for digital proposed in the paper?

Competition Law

  1. The paper states that the Government will seek to maintain alignment on competition law, including antitrust prohibitions and the merger control system. Will this apply to all elements of competition law, or only for these areas which sit under the institutional framework?  How would such an approach operate in areas, such as digital and telecoms, which may sit outside the institutional framework?

Migration

  1. Access to talent is critical for the tech sector.  The paper states that “The UK’s future immigration arrangements will set out how those from the EU and elsewhere can apply to come and work in the UK.”  When will these arrangements be made clear?
  2. How does the Government define “temporary business activity”? 
  3. Will any new immigration arrangement be subject to the mechanisms within the institutional framework?

Financing

  1. Will the Government seek to retain any part of the European Investment Bank or the European Investment Fund? If not, will the UK Government seek to purchase shares in the European Investment Fund?

Free Trade Agreements

  1. The White Paper states that ‘to ensure trade in goods between the UK and the EU remains frictionless at the border’ there will be ‘no routine requirements for rules of origin between the UK and the EU’. It then goes on to say that it will seek ‘arrangements that facilitate cumulation with current future Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners’. Would disputes around diagonal cumulation in these agreements be new Free Trade Agreements, or be delivered through the institutional framework?
  2. The White Paper states that the UK will ‘potentially seek accession’ to CPTPP ‘and this would be on terms consistent with the future relationship with the EU, and domestic priorities’. What are the domestic priorities that will influence this decision and is CPTPP’s approach compatible with the common rulebook for goods with the EU?
  3. The UK will ‘play a full and prominent role in the multilateral and plurilateral trade agenda’ including ‘seeking new agreements in areas of significance to the global economy such as digital’. Does this include an explicit commitment to the Information Technology Agreement and the Australian-led WTO discussions on e-commerce?

Goods

  1. The paper states that the UK intends to “seek participation – as an active participant, albeit without voting rights – in EU technical committees that have a role in designing and implementing rules that form part of the common rulebook”.  How will this be achieved and is the Government prepared to contribute to the costs of these committees work in return for access?
  2. The UK goods proposal covers all compliance activity necessary for products in UK and EU markets. It includes conformity assessments and ‘It would also apply to labels and marks applied to show they meet the regulatory requirements’. Yet in the section on an Independent trade policy, the White Paper states that: the UK ‘would also have the freedom to reach new agreements with third country trading partners on the underpinning compliance activity, for instance through the mutual recognition of conformity assessments.” How are these two statements compatible and does this mean that goods on the UK market will require an EU mark and a UK mark?

Security

  1. Does the UK’s commitment to participate in existing Justice and Home Affairs systems, such as PNR, block it from sharing data with other third-party countries? How can these systems have several levels of third-party facilitation, and how will this impact on UK citizens data?
  2. With the UK committing to full compliance and implementation of EU data exchange measures, does this prevent any divergence in future trade agreements?

Timescales

  1. Given the additional work needed to determine the new models proposed for the digital sector, and the proposals on customs facilitation, does the Government believe that the current Implementation Period is sufficient?
{bio}julian.david@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}giles.derrington@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Thu, 12 Jul 2018 15:02:00 +0100
PNTC sub-group: industry support to UK GNSS Taskforce http://www.techuk.org/events/meeting/item/13484-pntc-sub-group-industry-support-to-uk-gnss-taskforce http://www.techuk.org/events/meeting/item/13484-pntc-sub-group-industry-support-to-uk-gnss-taskforce

The “PNTC sub-group: industry support to UK GNSS Taskforce” will be a focal point for UK industry to engage with UK Government (and other key stakeholders) as the UK GNSS Taskforce delivers its mission of developing options for a British Global Navigation Satellite System.  The sub-group will seek to maximise the potential benefit of a British GNSS to UK industry and to the wider UK economy and society, in line with the objectives of techUK and UKspace.

The UK Space Agency requires that meetings of this sub-group be classified at “Official Sensitive – UK Eyes Only”, so membership is limited accordingly.

The Chair of this sub-group is Mark Cole of CGI.

{bio}julian.mcgougan@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Meeting Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:21:32 +0100
Agile Warrior Unlocking The Urban Symposium http://www.techuk.org/events/briefing/item/13483-agile-warrior-unlocking-the-urban-symposium http://www.techuk.org/events/briefing/item/13483-agile-warrior-unlocking-the-urban-symposium

CALL FOR PAPERS: Army HQ Concepts Team are holding a 3 day symposium entitled 'Unlocking the Urban' with the aim of unlocking the challenges of urban operations for future forces.

 

Why? - the traditional Western military advantages of range, speed and firepower are largely negated by the complexity of the urban environment.

Army HQ want you to contribute either by presenting and/or coming along. We need you - soldier, academic, industry or self-claimed expert - to provide us a possible key.

 

What do you get? - an opportunity to influence senior Army decision makers and expose your solutions.

  • Date - 19-21 November 2018
  • Location - RSA Larkhill, Wiltshire, UK.
  • To contribute, email: armycap-ffd-concepts-AW@mod.gov.uk
  • Please send your contributions no later than 3 September

 

The conference is structured using the well-known OODA-loop.

 

Day 1: Observe - What is the problem?

 

  • Urban operations considered in a historic perspective
  • Current urban operations and threats
  • Future urban operations and threats
  • Is the urban locked and why?

 

Day 2: Orientate - How can we unlock the urban?

 

For example by using:

 

  • Training (infrastructure, philosophy, physical, psychological preparation)
  • Equipment/technology (RAS, breaching, weapon effects
  • Information (ISR, info manoeuvre, deception, pervasive SA)
  • Organisation/doctrine. Do we already hold the key but do we need to use it differently?

 

Day 3: Decide: what are the most promising solutions now and in the future?

 

  • Linking ‘locking factors’ to proposed solutions.
  • How can we combine X-DLOD solutions to design, build and/or generate a winning force?
  • What can we do today?
  • What can we do with minor investment in the funded force?
  • What can we do with more time and money available?

 

The last step - Act - is of course up to our senior leadership.

{bio}fred.sugden@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Briefing Wed, 11 Jul 2018 15:45:29 +0100
ICO reports on data in political campaigning http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13481-ico-reports-on-data-in-political-campaigning http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13481-ico-reports-on-data-in-political-campaigning

Today, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has published a number of detailed reports as part of the ICO’s formal investigation into the role of data analytics in political purposes. These reports include an interim progress update on the continuing investigation, and regulatory action being taken, relating to Cambridge Analytica, SCL Elections Limited, Aggregate IA and Facebook.   There are details of the Notice of Intent to issue a fine, under the Data Protection Act 1998 as the investigation predates the introduction of the GDPR, of £500,000 to Facebook for a “lack of transparency and security issues”. 

 

The report also provides a detailed account on the discussions the ICO is pursuing with others including Cambridge University, eleven political parties and a number of data broker organisations as part of the investigation. It highlights that this is the largest investigation ever conducted by a data protection authority and has raised a number of different lines of enquiry. The report makes it clear that the investigation is still live with many questions left unanswered at this time, including as to whether the data protection and privacy procedures in place within UK Universities are sufficient. With the investigation continuing the ICO will produce a more detailed final report with its final conclusions later this year.

 

In addition, the ICO has published a separate report that outlines ten key policy findings and recommendations that have emerged from the investigation so far. The aim of the Democracy Disrupted? Personal Information and Political Influence report is to “draw back the curtain” and shine a light on how personal information is being used in political campaigning today. This highlights the need for greater transparency and information on information processing to retain trust and confidence of citizens in the integrity of political campaign and elections. The key policy recommendations outlined include:

 

  • Political parties to work with the ICO and others to develop a “Your Data Matters” campaign before the next General Election
  • Introduction of a statutory Code of Practice for the use of personal data in political campaigns
  • Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to hold a citizen jury on data analytics in political campaigns
  • Call for online platforms providing adverts to political parties to ensure sales teams have data protection expertise
  • ICO to work with the European Data Protection Board (EDPS) to ensure online platforms compliance with GDPR requirements to ensure users understand how data is processed in targeted advertising
  • All platforms cited in the report to urgently roll out planned transparency features in relation to political advertising
  • Government to conduct a review on gaps in regulations in relation to political advertising online

In addition, a key policy recommendation being made in the ICO’s report is the need for an “ethical pause” in the way new technologies are being used in political campaigning to allow Governments, Parliament, political parties and citizens time to reflect on the impact of technologies, including AI, and to consider responsibilities and requirements in relation to personal data.  This recommendation seems to have emerged from the ICO’s work exploring current and emerging trends in the use of technologies including social media, data analytics and AI in campaigning. As part of this analysis the ICO commissioned the thinktank DEMOS to conduct a study on current and emerging trends in the use of technology in political micro targeting. The results of this study is a report on “The Future of Political Campaigning” which is also released today.  

 

In response to the publication of the ICO’s reports Antony Walker, Deputy CEO techUK said:

“These detailed reports on what is a very complex issue highlight the importance of having a strong and well-resourced data protection regulator. They demand careful reading and consideration.  There is a very clear message from the ICO that everyone involved in data has a responsibility for building and retaining the trust and confidence of the people who use their services. Trust, however, cannot be given. It must be earned.  Compliance with the law and GDPR is just the starting point.

“This is an issue that goes beyond compliance. The ICO’s report raises real ethical questions around truthfulness, fairness and respect. techUK stands ready to help the ICO, and the new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, in developing effective policy approaches to ethical questions related to the use of data driven technologies in political campaigning.”

{bio}alice.jackson@techuk.org{/bio}{bio}antony.walker@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Wed, 11 Jul 2018 14:19:55 +0100
Home Office & MoJ Publish Reviews of Major Projects http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13479-home-office-moj-publish-reviews-of-major-projects http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13479-home-office-moj-publish-reviews-of-major-projects

Last week Government Departments across Whitehall published their Major Projects Portfolio data, in support of the 2018 Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) annual report. The Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP) comprises over 130 large and complex projects, and this annual report tracks the progress of these projects, highlights good practice and challenges, and gives each project a RAG rating.

Home Office
Of the Home Office’s 12 projects in the GMPP, seven received a rating of Amber, meaning that while issues exist, these “appear resolvable at this stage and, if addressed promptly, should not present a cost/schedule overrun.” And the Communications Capabilities Development & Home Office Biometrics Programmes were given ratings of Amber/Green, which is fairly impressive given the complexity of the programmes.

However, both the Disclosure and Barring Service, and Digital Services at the Border (DSAB) programmes were rated as Amber/Red, meaning that “successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas,” which is concerning.

And the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) was one of eight projects in the entire GMPP to be rated Red, as “successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable.” The major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality do not appear to be resolvable. The review concluded that “In the light of continuing challenges with some of the authority projects and subsequent evidence of further slippage from the main suppliers, work has started on a full scale programme re-plan. The aim is to complete the re-plan, engage in commercial renegotiations and recalculate the Full Business Case (FBC) numbers by late September 2018.
 

Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice has 11 projects in the GMPP. Two (Shared Services Evolve; Berwyn Programme) were given Amber/Greens ratings. Five were rated Amber/Red (Electronic Monitoring; CJS Common Platform; HMCTS Reform; Prison Estate Transformation Programme; Transforming Compliance Enforcement Programme), and the rest were Amber.


So of the 23 major projects across the Home Office & Justice system, over two thirds are rated Amber or Amber/Green. But the 7 projects given ratings of Amber/Red or Red will be of concern to industry and Government alike. techUK looks forward to working with the departments involved to improve their access to innovation and knowledge of market capabilities, to contribute to the successful delivery of major transformation programmes.

{bio}henry.rex@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:41:02 +0100
Celebrating 100 years of the Royal Air Force http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13478-celebrating-100-years-of-the-royal-air-force http://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/13478-celebrating-100-years-of-the-royal-air-force

In its hundredth year, the Royal Air Force yesterday celebrated both its rich heritage and future, with a magnificent flypast over central London. Formed on 1 April 1918, the RAF was born when The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service merged to create the world's first independent air force.

Large crowds gathered across London yesterday to witness almost a flypast of nearly 100 aircraft representing the past, present and future of the Royal Air Force. From the legendary Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster to the new F35 Joint Strike Fighter, the aircraft flew over The Mall and Buckingham Palace, where they were watched by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

A particular highlight included 22 Typhoons spelling out 100 as they flew in formation over the palace. The flypast concluded with the famous Red Arrows streaming red, white and blue smoke across the skies of the capital, and a large parade of serving RAF personnel.

The head of the Royal Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said:

"It is a hugely important day and the pinnacle of the centenary celebrations. Bringing together that big parade, the new colour and the flypast - this is going to be a tremendous day, and it is about commemorating all of our history, and it is about celebrating what we do today.”

techUK is enormously proud to actively support and participate in the RAF 100 celebrations, which continue later this year with the RAF 100 Dinner at the Imperial War Museum. If you would like to join us to celebrate the RAF at the dinner, you can do so by booking a ticket here.

The graphics below show the list of aircraft that participated in the flypast, as well as its route across the east of England and London. Also shown is a Typhoon, which took part in the special ‘100’ formation over Buckingham Palace:
 

                               

 

{bio}fred.sugden@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) News Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:37:43 +0100
Sell to the Home Office: Webinar http://www.techuk.org/events/partner-event/item/13477-sell-to-the-home-office-webinar http://www.techuk.org/events/partner-event/item/13477-sell-to-the-home-office-webinar

Join this webinar with Lucy Moody, Commercial Manager at Home Office, to discover the types of products and services this large central government department is looking to buy, and how you, as a small business, can stand out and be noticed to become a supplier.

Lucy is SME Champion at Home Office and works to support government’s ambition that £1 in every £3 is spent with SMEs by 2022. The Home Office is committed to strengthening links with, and sales from, small firms. Find out more in this 30 minute presentation and conversation.

Click here to register.

{bio}henry.rex@techuk.org{/bio}]]>
noreply@techuk.org (CRM Sync) Partner Event Wed, 11 Jul 2018 10:16:48 +0100