New UK France Digital Conference to Deepen Collaboration in Digital Economy

Today, techUK, Atos and Sage showed their public support for a new digital conference, announced today by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport during the UK-France Summit being held as part of President Macron’s visit to the UK.

This new digital conference aims to help both countries seize the economic and social benefits of fast-developing tech such as AI, and will bring together experts on data, cyber security, digital government and digital skills to share their knowledge.

The Rt. Hon Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who will lead the conference from a UK government perspective said that “Both countries benefit when our digital economies are strong and the event will deepen our bonds and foster cross-Channel collaboration between those at the forefront of modern technology.”

Adding to this Adrian Gregory, CEO of Atos UK&I, highlighted what the conference meant for a French company working extensively in the UK market:

“As a company that is proud of its European heritage, Atos welcomes the closer collaboration of British and French technologists.

“And as a global digital leader with a long and rich association with the UK and with ten thousand UK-based people focused on transforming our customers’ business through the best use of digital technology across the private and public sectors, we strongly believe in the mutual benefits that a closer working relationship will bring, particularly in the areas of AI, cyber security and data analytics, to forward-thinking organisations in both countries together with consumers. This will only serve to also strengthen the economies of both countries.”

Stephen Kelly, CEO, Sage, also weighed in with his take on the importance of greater collaboration saying:

“We welcome this deeper collaboration between two leading tech nations, France and the UK. For today’s digital entrepreneurs the world has no borders, only opportunities to grow their business.

We have much to learn from each other as we bring advanced technologies like AI and collective intelligence into the everyday lives of small and growing businesses to improve productivity and growth.”

techUK has already been deeply involved in cross-border work with France, particularly around AI with Sue Daley providing an overview of the UK’s AI strengths and current deployment and uses of AI at the first Franco-British AI Conference held at the Alan Turing Institute on Tuesday. Building on this she will also be moderating a panel at an AI event held at the British embassy in Paris on 13 February which will explore the challenges, benefits and opportunities for UK and France in AI and will seek to answer questions around: how AI is being used to improve productivity and reduce costs in the private and public sector? What technology to support AI?

It is major questions like these that require collaborative platforms such as the one announced today and Julian David, CEO of techUK had this to add:

“This event is a significant step towards greater collaboration between the British and French tech sectors. Both countries share similar opportunities and challenges as we build our leading digital economies through technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and cyber security.

International platforms for collaboration, such as the one announced by Matt Hancock today, provide valuable cross-border perspectives on many of the social, legal and ethical questions that will be raised as we continue to innovate.”



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