techUK - Representing the tech industry in the UK Tue, 22 Jan 2019 19:16:36 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb AI India 2019

In recent years, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on the rise rapidly in various industries. With this background, AI India 2019 is planned as India’s first global trade show focused on AI.

Organised by the Confederation of India Industry (CII), AI India 2019 will offer a unique opportunity to bring together the worldwide AI community to tackle the challenges of digital future in India, all facets of the evolving and exploring opportunity under one roof.

Taking place at the Pragati Maidan (New Delhi, 110001), The 3-day extravaganza will showcase case studies, research, applications, equipment, Next-Gen technologies and strategies from the world of Artificial Intelligence. Thereby providing an opportunity to explore and discover the practical and successful implementation of AI in India to drive business forward in 2018 and beyond.

Participant will have a never before opportunity to engage and interact with global thought leaders in the field of AI. They will also be able to network with relevant global professional and explore Business Intelligence, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, AI Algorithms, Data & Analytics, Virtual Assistants, Chatbots and more.

Some of the event highlights include:

  • Dedicated event to AI applications for enterprises
  • Network with potential clients & partners
  • Experience intelligent real-life networking application services
  • Promote brand as an AI innovator and thought leader
  • Showcase products and services to industry leaders and investors
  • Launch new initiatives
  • Associate their brand with cutting edge AI technology
  • Hear the most inspirational case studies and solutions presented
  • Join the community of world’s top technology provider
  • Engage with the industry’s leading solution providers, spearheading innovation in AI research and product development

Please visit the event page here for more information and to register



{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Partner event Tue, 22 Jan 2019 16:57:18 +0000
techUK/UKspace Positioning, Navigation & Timing Committee

This meeting is open to members of techUK or UKspace who are actively working in Positioning, Timing and Navigation industries.


Chair: Richard Bowden, QinetiQ.

Deputy Chair: Mark Dumville, Nottingham Scientific


Agenda tbc


A sandwich lunch will be available from 12:30

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Meeting Tue, 22 Jan 2019 15:31:56 +0000
Vehicle and Grid Seminar

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) are emerging as promising alternative solutions in the transportation sector to reduce or replace the dependency on fossil fuels and combat emissions commensurate with conventional internal combustion engine (ICE)

Road transportation accounts for roughly one-third of the UK energy usage thus the migration of some or potentially all of this energy usage from liquid to electrical networks will have major implications on the electrical power supply industry.

To date, opinion on the impact of future “more electric” vehicles on the UK electrical power supply network varies from a minimal to major

 The focus of this seminar is to investigate these issues.Topics for discussion include:

  • “Energy networks – the enabler, not the barrier”
  • “The changing shape of the EV Fleet Industry”
  • Our electrical networks readiness for Electric Vehicles

The business case for the integration of electric vehicles and electrical power grids: a UK and Chinese case study. 

To register for this event, please visit:

]]> (CRM Sync) Meeting Tue, 22 Jan 2019 09:33:07 +0000
Central Government Council: Vote for your favourite candidates

techUK’s Central Government Council is a representative group of members elected to help inform techUK’s central government programme.

We currently have twenty vacancies for members to join the Council. Please see list of companies that have expressed an interest to join the Council.

The primary role of the CGC is to represent the tech sector at a high level to Government and sets the strategic direction of techUK's Central Government programme, contributing to forward planning and ensuring the programme accurately reflects members’ priorities. It’s an important body for our public sector work, so please do vote!

Please read through the biographies and full statements on the file below from each of the candidates before casting your vote. 

Bear in mind that, to ensure that the Council accurately reflects techUK's public sector membership, half of the places on the Council are reserved for SMEs.

It is one vote per company and you can place your vote here.

Good luck to everyone!

Voting will close on Friday, 1st February, 17:00.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Tue, 22 Jan 2019 08:19:35 +0000
Powering Space - Techstars Startup Weekend London

A Techstars and Google for Entrepreneurs volunteer-led entrepreneurial event that will bring together Space experts, developers, businesses and designers to make our future in space a reality. If you have an idea you want to pursue or a problem you’d like to solve, this is the place to do it.

You’ll be equipped with everything you need to come along and help build a NewSpace business in 54 hours, from datasets, to space mission expertise and more. With support from mentors and the chance to pitch to an esteemed judging panel, this event will show you how accessible building a business in the space sector can be.

Are you excited by the idea of building a business in space? Do you have an idea, or a problem you'd like to solve, or do you just want to get involved in the NewSpace revolution, but don't know where to start, or who to start with? 

What is Powering Space?

Powering Space is a nonprofit focussed on Space Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and is running an event series over five months, helping you build a business in the space sector. Our Space101 event will give you the opportunities, Space102 will give you the tools, and Space103 (after the Startup Weekend) will explain where funding comes from for space businesses. Once the Startup Weekend is finished, we'll be supporting all our entrepreneurs for three months, with introductions to funding opportunities, networking events and mentoring, before holding a SpaceUp UnConference, where all our teams can pitch to investors, angels and corporates for funding and further support. 

London Startup Weekend Space is the starting point for building a whole new business. 

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team. Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can be anything, provided it involves the space sector in some way. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Your ticket includes:

  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • Opportunity to pitch your idea on Friday night
  • Use of your own .co site to get you up and running
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors, as well as opportunities to meet key players in the space sector
  • Datasets from Spire Global, Sentinel 2 and more
  • Support on the day from OpenCosmos to help you understand how to launch your own space mission
  • Access to customers to validate your business ideas against
  • Awesome space-themed swag - stickers, t-shirts and more
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.
  • Why we need you!

In order to create the most reliable and innovative design for our future with the capacity to actually launch into Space, we need you all! From entrepreneurs, designers of all types, students with a vision for the future and passionate visionaries that can already see the outer space possibilities.

Will I need an out of this world idea?

If you have an idea that you think is something that you want to take into the New Space market, we want to hear it! Maybe you’ll get an idea after to talking to all the like-minded space enthusiasts and feel up to pitching an on the spot concept? You don’t need to come armed with a proposal and we know that the weekend will be a great opportunity for everyone to come together and discuss how we will be Powering Space.


More information & registration details here:

]]> (CRM Sync) Partner event Mon, 21 Jan 2019 17:19:20 +0000
Marketing and Sales Group Committee - Application

We currently have two vacancies on the techUK Marketing & Sales Group Management Committee and wondered if you as a techUK member would like to be involved?

The Marketing and Sales Group exists to help members improve marketing and sales effectiveness by exploring new methods and technologies, and exchanging ideas. We do this by:

  •     Running regular meetings to share best practice and case studies
  •     Creating practical business papers available via the techUK web site Insights pages
  •     Producing a bi-monthly newsletter
  •     Mapping content and workshops to relevant techUK programmes of work.

The Committee consists of a group of volunteer members who have an interest in sales, marketing or both. We get together after each open meeting to plan the next workshops and published content. We take turns to organise events and produce articles for our techUK website.

To apply for the Marketing & Sales Group management committee or to nominate a colleague, please can you complete the application from the link here and return to  by COP 31 January 2019. If there are more applications than vacancies we will select based on applicants’ enthusiasm rather than experience, so the opportunity is open to all! We will let you know the results of your application after the next committee meeting.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.


{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:40:00 +0000
A place-based approach to local public service delivery

techUK is bringing its members and local public service stakeholders together to explore how a place-based approach can improve the ability to address key service delivery challenges. 

The key themes for the day will be:

  • Policing and public safety
  • Multi-agency engagement
  • Leadership and culture

More details to come. 

]]> (CRM Sync) Briefing Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:12:14 +0000
Global tech companies, partners identify tools to fight trafficking

In June 2018, a coalition of global tech companies, civil society organizations, and international institutions jointly launched Tech Against Trafficking, a collaborative effort to support the eradication of human trafficking.

By tapping into their technical expertise, capacity for innovation, and global reach, the company members of Tech Against Trafficking believe that technology can and must play a major role in preventing and disrupting human trafficking and empowering survivors. The group will work with anti-trafficking experts to identify and investigate opportunities to develop and scale promising technologies.

“We all want to leverage our resources and skills to help further the impact of the tools already out there,” says Eric Anderson, head of the Modern Slavery Programme at BT. “But to do that effectively, we first need to know how technology is currently being used, what’s working and what’s not, and where the gaps are.”

The group has embarked on an ambitious project to understand and map the landscape of existing tech tools being used in the anti-trafficking sector. Over 200 anti-trafficking tools were identified, with the majority (approximately 69 percent) working to identify existing victims of human trafficking and address and manage the risk of child and forced labor in corporate supply chains.

“We were surprised at how few of the tools are intended to directly engage with victims or vulnerable populations. Of those tools with publicly available information, only 11 percent are geared toward worker engagement, 9 percent are educational, and 2 percent focus on victim case management,” says Livia Wagner of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, co-founding organization of the RESPECT initiative*, which led the research. “Of the identified tools, we also noted a strong concentration of tech tools developed and operating in the Global North, despite higher prevalence rates of human trafficking in the Global South. This is most likely due to our lack of insight into the use of technology in these regions, and we’ll need help from organizations on the ground to better understand how tech is, or is not, being used.”

Following this initial identification process, Tech Against Trafficking is evaluating each of the more than 200 tools to better understand how they work, how effective they have been, and the barriers they face to scaling their impact. The evaluations are based on publicly available information and are ongoing as the group conducts outreach to organisations developing technology applications.  

Tony D’Arcy, head of corporate responsibility reporting, communications and customer relations at Nokia, stated, “We know this is just the start, but we are looking forward to sharing the results of our landscape mapping to understand how technology is being used to combat human trafficking across geographies and sectors. The initiative will be publishing an interactive map of these tools, with the goal of increasing collaboration and encouraging the use of innovative technology to support a multi-pronged approach to eradicating trafficking.”

Tech Against Trafficking intends to make this map as comprehensive as possible and invites all organizations using technology to combat human trafficking, in every language and every region around the globe, to review and recommend additions to the list of identified tech tools, found here. We encourage interested organizations to reach out to the BSR team with any additions.

We invite all interested technology companies to contact us to find out how to get involved.  

*The RESPECT initiative was founded by the Global Initiative, Babson College’s Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, and the International Organization for Migration.

*This was originally published on the BSR blog on 17th January.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Fri, 18 Jan 2019 11:41:40 +0000
Engaging with the NHS and building a sales Pipeline

Take a read to find out how mobile solutions provider CommonTime took a leap of faith to engage external support to help it identify and contact the right decision makers to build its sales pipeline. The evidence and results are the proof it was the right decision, so read on:

Mobile solutions provider CommonTime was looking to build its sales pipeline with NHS trusts and the wider public sector for its application development products and platform and clinical messaging solution.

However, the company was struggling to engage with NHS organisations and the wider public sector and to build a sales pipeline for its products. With a relatively small marketing team, it recognised that it needed support in identifying and contacting target individuals to help secure qualified sales leads and therefore work with an agency that had the right skills, experience and market knowledge.

In 2017, it engaged Highland Marketing to run a sales acceleration campaign to create leads, opportunities and meetings with relevant decision makers.

This case study outlines the campaign and the success that it achieved, which included delivering around five qualified appointments per month. The case study is an example of how sales acceleration activity, combined with content, case studies and PR can raise awareness of new products and their potential in the NHS, and so create opportunities, leads and grow the sales pipeline. 

Please download the full case study below.

For further information or to talk to Highland Marketing please email our

Attachment: see attached

]]> (CRM Sync) Case studies Fri, 07 Dec 2018 12:25:00 +0000
UK and Polish tech trade associations call for data flows to continue

techUK and ZIPSEE Digital Poland have today published a joint paper which outlines the importance of data transfers between the UK and Poland and calls for the continued free flow of data between the UK and Poland post-Brexit.

Once the UK leaves the EU the automatic ability for personal data to flow between the UK and EU Member States will come to an end. In an increasingly digital economy, the transfer of personal data has become crucial for businesses of every size and sector. Ensuring the continued free flow of data has been a priority issue for techUK ever since the 2016 EU referendum result given the importance to the technology industry and the wider economy.

Data transfers between the UK and Poland support a close relationship between the two countries. As the paper sets out, this includes supporting Poland’s increasingly digitised automotive industry, and high levels of tourism between the two countries. Overall the UK accounts for 11.5 per cent of global data flows, 75 per cent of which are with the EU.

techUK has been clear, including in a joint report published with UK Finance in November 2017 which you can see here, that the best solution to ensure frictionless data transfers can continue is through mutual adequacy agreements between the UK and the EU. Adequacy agreements allow personal data to be transferred between third countries and the EU, once a full assessment of domestic data protection laws has taken place.

At this stage in the Article 50 process it remains unclear what the UK’s future relationship will be with the EU. The recently defeated Withdrawal Agreement would have allowed data to continue to flow during the transition period, and the Political Declaration contained a commitment from both the UK and EU to agree adequacy by the end of the transition period. These commitments were welcomed by techUK.

In the event of No Deal between the UK and the EU, the UK Government has stated it would declare the EU adequacy given both have the same high level of data protection through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, the European Commission has confirmed that in the event of No Deal businesses transferring data from the EU, including Poland, to the UK will have to rely on alternative mechanisms set out in GDPR. The joint techUK and ZIPSEE paper sets out the problems with these alternative mechanisms and contains two recommendations for the European Data Protection Board in the event of No Deal:

  • Confirm the validity of current Standard Contractual Clauses to provide clarity and confidence to businesses that if they use SCCs to transfer personal data from the EU to the UK they will be compliant
  • Consider encouraging Data Protection Authorities in the EU to implement regulatory forbearance periods to provide EU companies with more time to prepare alternative mechanisms to transfer data and provide more time for the UK and EU to agree adequacy.


Commenting on the launch of the joint paper, Antony Walker, techUK Deputy CEO said:

“The UK and Poland are important and close partners. The ability to transfer personal data between both countries is vital for individual citizens and businesses alike. Whether it is the UK being Poland’s third largest purchaser of services, Polish citizens being the largest group of EU citizens in the UK or the increasing digitisation of the Polish automotive industry, the ability to transfer personal data between the UK and Poland is essential.

“While it remains unclear what direction the UK’s future relationship with the EU will take, it is clear that whatever the outcome is, we must avoid a cliff-edge for data transfers between the UK and Poland. A UK-EU adequacy agreement is by far the best solution to this, however in the event such an arrangement cannot be reached by the time the UK leaves the EU, techUK urges the UK and Polish Governments and regulators to explore other possible short-term solutions, including possible nonenforcement periods.”


Additionally, Michal Kanownik, President of ZIPSEE Digital Poland said:

“This could be a real issue for further cooperation of British and Polish advanced technologies industry as well as for the other members of the EU.“Many of those enterprises have long standing business practices relying on such data transfers. A change in the UK’s legal relationship with EEA data protection rules is likely to cause significant uncertainty and additional costs for all businesses who hold personal data.

“Continued stability of data flows is in the mutual interest of both the UK and the EU. This is true for all sectors of the economy that rely on data flows on a daily basis. A close relationship would also provide confidence to consumers across Europe that their personal information will continue to be subject to strong data protection rules, with access to redress if necessary.”


The joint techUK and ZIPSEE paper is available to be downloaded, in both English and Polish, below. If you would like to discuss these issues in greater detail, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Reports Fri, 18 Jan 2019 11:47:00 +0000
How to improve energy efficiencies in buildings

Back in November the BEIS Committee in Parliament launched an inquiry into how the UK can improve energy efficiency in buildings. Improving the energy efficiency of buildings can go a long way in helping the UK lower energy bills and meet increasingly tough carbon budgets. 

This parliamentary inquiry follows on from BEIS' own Clean Growth Consultations last year and targets to get all homes Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated C by 2030. These are deliberately tough targets, but we beleive that deploying the right smart technology in homes and commercial premises can go along way to delivering these targets without the need for potentially disruptive and expensive regulation in the property and building sectors. 

In our response we make a number of recommendations for different building ownership models and these are below. 

For private homeowners:

  • Maintain momentum and communicate the benefits of smart metering. Smart meters are a key part of delivering a smart and flexible energy system. 
  • Support new technologies like heat pumps. Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps can reduce energy bills but take up has been low.
  • Interest free loans for efficient smart appliances. Government could provide interest free loans for smart devices with proven energy efficiency.
  • Raise consumer awareness of the energy saving benefits of smart appliances. Given that smart appliances use less energy, a public awareness campaign of the energy saving benefits may be one way to increase take up.
  • Create the right environment and infrastructure for a demand side response service. Such a service, either acting as an exchange platform or service linking to dynamic tariffs and smart metering technology.

For private rentals:

  • VAT-relief for smart-home technology purchased by landlords. To help overcome the cost barrier for smart appliance adoption.
  • Green buy to let mortgages/insurance policies. Green mortgages are offered in the UK, though for landlords there may be benefits of green versions of other financial services.

For businesses:

  • Efficiency vouchers for SMEs. SME cash flow concerns mean they are less likely to invest in efficiency solutions than large companies.
  • Take a whole systems approach to incentives. Any new incentive system of relief or incentives needs to apply to software and whole systems, not just a single product.
  • Incentivise landlords. Offices and commercial promises are mostly rented rented, so landlords need incentives to invest.
  • Go smart from the outset. Building efficiency and smart technologies is cheaper and better from the outset compared to retrofitting existing premise.
  • Align policy with investment cycles. Different sectors have different investment cycles, so expecting industry, particularly heavy industry, to become more efficient is only workable if expectation and technology readiness are aligned with investment cycles.

The response also identified several barriers to successfully rlling out smart tech and investments in efficiency, namely: 

  • Take a long-term view. Many public sector organisations do not have the budget, or mandate to make long term estate investments with high upfront costs.
  • Poor interoperability. Ensuring the grid, devices, building systems and all the software that works between that exchanges data, makes changes and acts on the right information is essential. 
  • Digital skills and cyber security. Users and building managers need the skills and confidence in the security of their products to use them effectively.
  • Connectivity. Some of the least efficient premises are in areas with poor digital connectivity (mobile and broadband), so there needs to be ubiquitous connectivity.
  • Lack of trust/acceptance in new technologies. There is no one approach to how companies adopt technology but proving to business decision makers who are satisfied with current processes that a new, digital way is better is challenging.
  • Create and promote demand side response service. This would make it easy for landlords to offer energy management functionality.

You can download our response below and get in touch if this is an area you would like to work with us on.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Consultation responses Fri, 18 Jan 2019 09:15:45 +0000
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst?

On 7 January, prime minister Theresa May took what must have felt like a welcome break from the Parliamentary turmoil over Brexit to launch the NHS Long Term Plan.

Standing alongside NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, she claimed its publication was a “historic moment” that would “secure the future of the NHS for generations to come.”

But to make sense of its 134 pages, the plan is probably better seen as an attempt to keep a lot of stakeholders happy; or at least on board.

Say thank you for the birthday present  

The need for another NHS plan became evident as soon as May found a “birthday present” for the NHS’ 70th anniversary last July.

In the race of sustained lobbying, she pledged an extra £20.5 billion a year for the NHS in England by 2023-24, with matching increases for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

At 3.4% a year (reduced by adjustments for inflation, pay increases, and cuts to training and public health budgets) this was a lot less than think-tanks, professional bodies and unions had been looking for.

Nevertheless, the government set five tests for the NHS to meet in return for its cash. The first two, inspired by the Treasury, are financial.

The plan promises an “accelerated turnaround process” for the 30 worst performing trusts in the country, plus a rebooted efficiency drive, to get hospitals back into balance by 2020-21 and the NHS into balance by 2023-24.

It also commits the service to generating productivity savings of 1.1% a year. But, as journalists noted, it doesn’t meet another Treasury demand, for the NHS to start hitting waiting time targets again (an issue that will have to be revisited).

Another reorganisation is underway

The other tests were to: reduce growth in demand, which the plan addresses at length in chapter two, with its focus on prevention and reducing inequalities; to reduce unjustified variation in performance; and to make better use of capital assets.

After that, its text gives most stakeholders something. Chancellor Philip Hammond was able to announce a mental health programme in his budget, and May was able to announce primary and community care investments in the run-up to Christmas.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock was able to announce a “digital first” approach to GP and outpatient services that captured headlines on the day. And Stevens was able to focus on rebooting the sustainability agenda set out in the Five Year Forward View in 2014.

This aimed to reduce friction and improve efficiency by moving towards population-level planning and budgeting, creating integrated health and care services, and delivering care closer to home.

The plan says what used to be called accountable care organisations and are now called integrated care services will be rolled-out across the country by April 2021, and the number of clinical commissioning groups will be reduced to one per ICS in most cases; significantly changing the customer landscape for IT suppliers.

Technology enabled at its heart?

The need to address different, and in some cases competing agendas leave references to health IT scattered across the plan; although the good news is that it recognises that none of them will be achieved without the creative adoption of new technology.

The main tech chapter, chapter five, focuses on supporting the Forward View agenda by outlining a new model for integrated care or personal health records at a local health and care record exemplar level, from which data can be extracted for population health management, research and other uses.

Patients will be able to contribute via a care plan, while a ‘new service model’ will see them using transactional health services via the NHS App or third-party applications using the NHS Login.

The digitisation of hospitals will be addressed via an extension of the global digital exemplar programme, an “accelerated” roll-out of electronic patient records, and new cloud offers. However, key details on architecture, standards, and indeed funding are missing (or, hopefully, to come).  

Pitfalls and hard choices ahead

There are plenty of other obstacles ahead to realising both the plan and its technology ambitions. NHS performance deteriorated in December, and the attention of ministers and senior managers is being directed towards Brexit.

Some think-tanks have argued that a lack of staff is now as big a threat to health and care as a lack of money; and there was widespread disappointment that the plan was not accompanied by a social care green paper.

Overall, reaction has been that the aims and goals of the plan look right: but there will be huge challenges in meeting them. Also, that if the NHS is to have any chance of doing that, what it needs now is a detailed, costed implementation plan.

A longer version of this article has been published on the Highland Marketing website. Highland Marketing also produced a detailed briefing on the plan and reaction to it for clients and prospects, that has now been made available via an online link. Receive more analysis like this by signing up to our Healthcare Roundup newsletter.

]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Fri, 18 Jan 2019 09:59:10 +0000
UK Spectrum Policy Forum - Cluster 4: Future WRC Agenda Item

Date: Friday 12 April 2019
Time: 10:30- 13:00 (registration from 10:00, event to be followed by refreshments) 
Venue: techUK, 10 St Bride St, London EC4A 4AD

Speakers to be confirmed

Please remember that the techUK Conference Suite is wireless enabled so you can network, catch-up on emails and do your 'last minute' calls, with full access to printing and refreshments before and after the meeting.


{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Meeting Thu, 17 Jan 2019 15:14:35 +0000
Space101 - What is NewSpace?

Outer space is difficult. If you're not an astrophysicist, a rocket scientist or an aerospace engineer, the space sector can seem pretty inaccessible. Space 101 will change that so that you can find your path in the NewSpace world.

Through conversation with NewSpace entrepreneurs, established space companies and public organisations, we'll break down the jargon surrounding NewSpace, examining the challenges and opportunities that the space sector has right now, as well as where the space sector is heading.

This event is for anyone who wants to help put humanity into space, but doesn't know how they can help. If you're keen to make humans an interplanetary species, want to start a moon base or understand how satellites work, this is the event for you.

We will start with a panel discussion from industry experts talking about what New Space is and what the opportunities are in space. Then, you will have the time to discuss what you think are the possibilities are for further exploration.

After that, you will get the chance to have further conversations with the panel experts about the resources available to you all. Then you will get an opportunity to network and enjoy some refreshments. We are running a second, partner event on January 29th which will cover design processes, business thinking and how that applies to Space.

More information & registration details here:


]]> (CRM Sync) Partner event Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:19:25 +0000
Space102 - Startups Tools for Space

Outer space is difficult. From entrepreneurs, designers and thinkers to astrophysicists, rocket scientists or aerospace engineers, the space sector can seem pretty inaccessible. Space 101 will change that so that you can find your path in the NewSpace world.

With a host of experts, we'll introduce the tools, approaches and methodologies that have defined the 'tech' industry and will show you how these can be used to generate and drive innovation in the commercial space sector.

This event is for anyone who wants to help put humanity into space, but doesn't know how they can help. If you're keen to make humans an interplanetary species, want to start a moon base or want to understand how satellites work, this is the event for you.

We will be joined by 4 expert speakers who will be presenting new ways of approaching New Space exploration. They will also be presenting case studies to show you how it can be done and how you can get involved, and there will be a chance to network with the other attendees, with refreshments provided.

We are running an initial, partner event on January 23rd, which will cover the opportunities in New Space and the resources that are out there for you to use.


Flora MacLeod is a Design Lead at IBMiX, where she helps large corporates create better products. She’s worked across a huge number of sectors and industries, with experience delivering projects at Maersk, Castrol, DWP and the FSA. She gets excited about the prospect of designing for the problems of humans in space!

Olesya Myakonkaya is a freelance Innovation and Service Design consultant, innovating at scale for such organisations as GSK, Barclays, Vodafone, and Homes England, where I designed new products and services, and led organisational changes, as well as the founder of Mars Nation - a series of immersive events where enthusiasts and novices solve grand human challenges of space exploration.

Aleix Megias Homar is a co-founder of Open Cosmos and was integral in defining the early missions and success of the project. Currently, Aleix is responsible for overseeing mission development and operations. Trained as an aerospace engineer, Aleix gained systems engineering and project management experience working at ESA and in the space industry. During his last year studying Aeronautical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, he travelled abroad to complete a scholarship that took him through Germany, Sweden and France to specialize in space science and technology. After graduating, he worked in the Lunar exploration office at the European Aerospace Agency. He has been recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30 Europe in industry for his work with Open Cosmos.

More information & registration details here:

]]> (CRM Sync) Partner event Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:27:25 +0000
New techUK poll reveals members’ views on Brexit next steps

In response to the overwhelming rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by Parliament, techUK has today released results of a poll showing that 70 per cent of its members who responded to the survey believe that a No Deal Brexit in March 2019 would have a negative impact on their business. The survey also shows that 84 per cent of respondents believe the UK overall is unprepared for No Deal.

The poll, which was conducted in December ahead of the planned Parliamentary vote on the Withdrawal Agreement, sought the views of techUK members on what they thought should happen if Parliament failed to support the Withdrawal Agreement. techUK has consistently warned of the risks of No Deal and the need for an orderly exit that would allow for a close future relationship with the EU.

When asked to rank their preferences for what techUK should do if the Prime Minister’s deal failed to secure the support of Parliament, 51 per cent of the 276 respondents said that supporting calls for another referendum would be their first preference choice. Sixty three per cent of members selected a second referendum as one of their top three preferences. The second strongest first preference (16 per cent) was to support calls for a delay to Article 50 in order to allow time for further negotiations. It had almost equal support to a second referendum (64 per cent) when all three top preferences were taken into account.

Only 11 per cent of members responding viewed accepting No Deal as their first preference, with less than one third (27 per cent) listing it in their top three preferences. Very few respondents (2 per cent) selected a General Election as a first preference and only 25 per cent included it in their top three preferences.

The survey further suggests that while most larger firms (250+ staff) have taken steps to prepare for a No Deal Brexit, many smaller tech business are unprepared for the UK leaving without a deal, with 65 per cent of smaller firms (<50 staff), and 46 per cent of mid-sized businesses (50-249 staff) who responded to the survey, saying they have taken no active steps to prepare for No Deal. When asked why they have not taken steps to prepare for No Deal, many firms said it was because they were unable to predict what impact it would have (49 per cent) or were unsure what steps to take (37 per cent).

The survey also suggests that the majority of techUK members want a close relationship with the EU after Brexit, with six in ten respondents (59 per cent) supporting closer alignment with the EU compared to ‘looser’ alignment (29 per cent). techUK believes this runs counter to the view expressed in the Chequers White Paper that more flexibility over the rules surrounding the digital sector would be preferable post Brexit, even if it meant losing some access to EU markets.

Commenting on the survey, techUK CEO, Julian David, said:

“techUK has consistently warned of the dire risks of a disorderly exit from the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement would have provided a workable route forward, but this has been overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament. The UK now risks No Deal by default unless the deadlock can be broken.”

“Our polling suggests that many of our small and mid-sized members in particular do not have the resources or information needed to effectively prepare for No Deal. They want a deal that works and a future relationship that retains a high level of alignment and access to the EU market on issues that matter to the sector, such as the free flow of data, regulation and the availability of talent. We believe a simple ‘Canada-style’ free trade agreement would not be an acceptable outcome for most of techUK’s members.”

“Parliament has rejected the Withdrawal Agreement and now needs to find a workable way forward to break the deadlock. All alternative options now need to be considered including putting the question back to the public.”



Notes to editors:

  • Find the full blog post with analysis here.
  • Full results of the survey can be found here.
  • The survey was conducted online through Ipsos MORI and ran from 30 November to 10 December 2018, with all analysis and interpretation undertaken by techUK
  • They survey was issued to 773 techUK members and received 276 responses (a 36 per cent response rate).  Data are unweighted.


{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:34:15 +0000
Security & Policing Home Office Event

This official Government event is a world-class opportunity to meet, network and discuss the latest advances in delivering national security and resilience with UK suppliers, colleagues and Government officials. The 2019 event will be hosted by the Joint Security & Resilience Centre and for the first time in its history, will be attended by the Home Secretary, alongside the Minister for Security and Economic Crime.

The Minister for Security and Economic Crime, The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, recently discussed with Alan Peaford, Editor in Chief of Farnborough International News Network (FINN), the importance of public-private security sector partnerships, the role of the Joint Security and Resilience Centre (JSaRC) and why the next edition of the Home Office’s Security and Policing (S&P) 2019 is a must attend event.

For more information click here

To register to attend click here

]]> (CRM Sync) Conference Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:04:17 +0000
Government Technology Code of Practice: Industry Briefing

The Government Technology Code of Practice is a set of criteria to help government design, build and buy better technology. It’s used as a cross-government agreed standard in the spend control process. It is part of the Government Transformation Strategy.

 Tech suppliers to the public sector need to understand the implications of the Code when it comes to developing and delivering digital solutions for public services. Whether you’re a public sector sales lead, a digital engagement lead, a tech strategist or part of the CTO’s team, you’ll want to attend this event to ensure you fully understand what the Code means for you and your company.

At this event the GDS Technology Policy Team will brief tech suppliers on:

  • The background and rationale for the Code
  • The key features of the Code
  • Public authorities adoption and adherence (& lessons learned to date)
  • What suppliers need to know
  • How suppliers can help and feedback

 The speakers will also touch on the emerging introduction of the Code into the Local Authority space through the Local Authority Digital Declaration (of which techUK was a co-publisher alongside MHCLG earlier this summer).

 This event is a must for incumbent and aspiring tech suppliers to the public sector.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Briefing Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:20:00 +0000
Local GovTech partner event

Amazon Web Services will be hosting an event for Local Government Technology Partners which we are pleased to support as part of our growing the local government tech market series. At the event we’ll be joined by technology leaders from two Local Authorities, who’ll give their perspective on the market and why cloud-based technology solutions make sense for their businesses.

AWS will also discuss the special support packages they are offering TechUK members to support your journey to the cloud. 


If you're a techUK member and would like to discuss our partnering & networking events/opportunities do get in touch with Georgina Maratheftis.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Partner event Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:55:17 +0000
techUK Brexit survey results

In December techUK polled our members to seek their views on what should happen in the event that Parliament should fail to vote in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement. The poll was undertaken ahead of the meaningful vote that was scheduled for 11 December. That vote was pulled but yesterday Parliament finally had the opportunity to make its opinion known on the deal.  

The result was an overwhelming defeat, losing by 432 votes to 202, the biggest ever defeat of a Governing Party. The result of the vote shows that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration will not receive Parliamentary support as things currently stand.

In response to the defeat of the Government’s deal, techUK is today publishing the full results of our survey setting out views on a range of Brexit issues. With the Prime Minister suggesting she now intends to reach out across Parliament to explore options, we hope that the results provide some insight into the views of the techUK members who are building the businesses of the future.



The full results of our survey can be found here.

In order to ensure the anonymity of those taking part and to provide support on the design of the questions, techUK commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct an online survey. It ran between 30 November to 10 December 2018, with all of the subsequent analysis and interpretation undertaken by techUK. 

In terms of turnout, we received a 36 per cent response rate, meaning 276 members responded out of the 773 who received the invite to participate. Given that many members have policies against engaging in surveys, and the short timescales for the survey, this is viewed as a good turn out and on par with surveys conducted by other organisations.

So what did our survey say?


No to No Deal

Our survey asked a number of questions about members’ views of the impact of No Deal. Of those responding to the poll 70 per cent said that they believe that a No Deal outcome in March 2019 would have a very negative or fairly negative impact on their business. The survey also shows that 84 per cent of respondents believe the UK overall is unprepared for No Deal.

The survey further suggests that while most larger firms (250+ staff) have taken steps to prepare for a No Deal Brexit, many smaller tech business are unprepared for the UK leaving without a deal, with 65 per cent of smaller firms (<50 staff), and 46 per cent of mid-sized businesses (50-249 staff) who responded to the survey, saying they have taken no active steps to prepare for No Deal.

When asked why they have not taken steps to prepare for No Deal, many firms said it was because they were unable to predict what impact it would have (49 per cent) or were unsure what steps to take (37 per cent).

techUK has voiced real concerns about the impact of No Deal on the sector, most recently here, where we set out just some of the implications No Deal might have. With the failure of the Withdrawal Agreement yesterday, it now seems clear that the Government should look to take No Deal off the table.


What should happen if Parliament rejects the deal?

One of the key questions our survey asked was what members thought about the options available if Parliament rejected the Withdrawal Agreement. Our poll shows that, as has now transpired, if the Government were to lose the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, around half of those who responded to the survey (51 per cent of the 276 respondents) said that supporting calls for another referendum would be their first preference choice. Sixty three per cent of members selected a second referendum as one of their top three preferences.

However, in a sign of the complexity of the issue, supporting calls for a delay to Article 50 in order to allow time for further negotiations, which received 16 per cent of first preferences, was put in the top three preferences of 64 per cent of respondents.

Only 11 per cent of members responding viewed accepting No Deal as their first preference, with less than one third (27 per cent) listing it in their top three preferences. Very few respondents (2 per cent) selected a General Election as a first preference and only 25 per cent included it in their top three preferences.

techUK has consistently warned of the need for an orderly exit, avoiding No Deal, so as to allow for close future alignment with the EU. We supported the Withdrawal Agreement as a reasonable way of securing an orderly Brexit that secures our policy objectives. You can find out more about our position on the Withdrawal Agreement here.


What kind of final deal?

When asked about what kind of relationship the UK should seek with the EU after Brexit, six in ten respondents (59 per cent) supporting closer alignment compared to 29 per cent supporting looser alignment.

techUK believes this runs counter to the view expressed in the Chequers White Paper that more flexibility over the rules surrounding the digital sector would be preferable post-Brexit, even if it meant losing some access to EU markets.

This also reconfirms techUK’s view that a simple ‘Canada-style’ Free Trade Agreement would not be acceptable in terms of meeting the policy needs of many tech businesses. We published a blog on this issue earlier this week.


What we’ve said about the survey

techUK CEO, Julian David, has given his view on the survey results, saying:

“techUK has consistently warned of the dire risks of a disorderly exit from the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement would have provided a workable route forward, but this has been overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament. The UK now risks No Deal by default unless the deadlock can be broken.”

“Our polling suggests that many of our small and mid-sized members in particular do not have the resources or information needed to effectively prepare for No Deal. They want a deal that works and a future relationship that retains a high level of alignment and access to the EU market on issues that matter to the sector, such as the free flow of data, regulation and the availability of talent. We believe a simple ‘Canada-style’ free trade agreement would not be an acceptable outcome for most of techUK’s members.”

“Parliament has rejected the Withdrawal Agreement and now needs to find a workable way forward to break the deadlock. All alternative options now need to be considered including putting the question back to the public.”


The press release on the findings can be found here

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:45:00 +0000
Brit-twin Guest Blog: Transforming the UK's infrastructure

One quote that continually sticks in my mind is from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who said "The only thing that is constant is change". How very true.

Over the five years I have been at Costain the business has changed significantly, and continues to transform in response to changing market conditions. The pace of change is really quite phenomenal, largely thanks to the rapid technological advances that are leaving most industries wondering how to keep pace.

So given technology is advancing at an unbelievable rate and methodologies are evolving to cope with the pace of change, the question remains; what will emerge that will be transformational to UK infrastructure?

My view for a few years has been that Digital Twin is the largest opportunity for UK infrastructure as we stand today, which will be further boosted in the future by quantum computing
Certainly, within industry this view is starting to gain traction, not just within our technology communities but importantly executive boards.  

Digital transformation, which unlocks the Digital Twin, is recognised by the Digital Taskforce and forms a key part of realising productivity gains set out in the ICE Project 13 report.
The release of the Gemini Principles by the Centre for Digital Built Britain, which I had the pleasure of reviewing, is an excellent first step in starting to shape the principles and guidelines for a national digital twin. This report defines an infrastructure digital twin as: (in the context of Digital Built Britain) “a realistic digital representation of assets, processes or systems in the built or natural environment”.

Why do us digital twin enthusiasts believe it has such significant value?

To answer this, you need to get into the detail of what a digital twin really is. If you strip away the applications, technologies and processes that make up a digital twin you are left with enterprise lifecycle information management. Fundamentally a digital twin is about effective, consistent management of information relating to our UK infrastructures, which will unlock insight not currently possible today. Whilst this sounds very simplistic the reality is really very different; with a background in control system engineering where digital twin has evolved, I have first-hand knowledge of just how wonderfully complex these systems can be.

This complexity however is overshadowed by the value that is created as result. Having data from disparate sources integrated across an enterprise can drive tremendous efficiencies as we have started to see with Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital transformation activities.
In control systems engineering in manufacturing for example - my background - the skill is in integrating what were previously isolated systems to create a fully automated process. With digital twin this will typically extend to enterprise resource planning integration and some form of execution system to optimise enterprise as a whole.

From experience, productivity gains or increases in output are typically north of 20% through integration and process automation. Whole life cost and product management can then be continually improved and optimised using advanced analysis, unlocked through the digital twin.

Of course doing this within the confines of a factory is vastly different from the challenges faced in infrastructure, where assets are incredibly complex, often bespoke and geographically diverse. However, the underlying principles of consistent information management through integration of silo'd data and streamlined, automated process is applicable to any industry. No doubt given the incredibly diverse nature of the supply chains a national digital twin will unlock new opportunities for revenue with a more collaborative, integrated approach to the delivery and management of UK infrastructures.

To test some of these beliefs and ambitions we are collaborating with the Digital Taskforce, British Standards Institute, PETRAS, owner operators of UK infrastructure and supply chains to start to put some of the theory into practical application. This collaboration will ultimately de-risk investments across the value chain and provide valuable feedback to the Digital Taskforce who will be setting policy.

When we get this right in the UK, I have no doubt we will unlock international opportunities for UK PLC and all those committed to its success.


Kevin Reeves will be speaking at techUK's event, Brit-twin: towards a national digital twin, on Tuesday 22nd January. If you would like to read more about the event, you can access the agenda and register to attend here.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Wed, 16 Jan 2019 07:00:00 +0000
England’s Resources and Waste Strategy published

Waste policy has seldom been under as much scrutiny as is the case in the last year. In the wake of David Attenborough’s expose of the plastic threat to marine habitats, consumer interest in resources, materials and waste policy has sky rocketed.

No clearer can this be seen than in the Treasury’s recent Call for Evidence on single use plastics which received the highest number of respondents than any other consultation in its history.

It is in this context that the Government published its English strategy for Resources and Waste shortly before Christmas. Under the leadership of Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, officials had been given reign to produce a bold and radical strategy. And there is every chance that if this strategy is enacted it will deliver on this mandate.

There is a lot of detail still be worked up. The strategy signals intent rather than specifics. But rather than just a focus on landfills and incinerators, this strategy considers what can be done upstream to limit the amount of waste that is ultimately generated.

What’s clear is that the government is keen to encourage products to be designed to last longer and are easier to recycle. To achieve this a variety of instruments are being considered:

  •          Use of eco-design to set minimum requirements for resource efficient product design with a commitment to match or exceed the EU’s eco-design standards for material efficiency and to mandate the availability of spare parts.


  •          Reform of extended producer responsibility regimes. There are currently four in place within the UK covering packaging, waste electronics and electrical equipment (WEEE), vehicles and batteries. Over the next three years we can expect to see a roll out of these regimes adapted so that producers bear the full costs associated with the collection, treatment and recycling of these products, with some modulation depending on product design.  The role of retailers and the regulation of distance sellers selling product via internet platforms into the UK is also likely to feature as will data security on devices once they have become waste (which was, weirdly, missing from GDPR). Consultations will be rolled out over the coming years starting with packaging (due quarter one) and with WEEE and batteries expected in 2020 (with much of the policy development taking place this year).  techUK will be taking an active role in these discussions.


  •          Labels, labels, labels. There is a prevailing school of thought within environment policy making that if you want to drive consumer behaviour you create a label and its no surprise that Defra have signalled an intent to explore the role of ecolabels to communicate a products’ environmental performance. Whether this gains any traction, it remains to be seen. Plans to introduce carbon labelling fell flat when it failed to resonate with consumers. The EU’s eco-flower ecolabel also failed to chime with UK consumers. Guarantees and warranties will also be under scrutiny to assess when the regime could be tweaked to encourage more repair.

Elsewhere, among the policy announcements the Strategy announces plans to digitalise the movement of waste, more consistency in the materials collected from household, and a movement away from weight-based targets to “impact-based” targets. And more besides.

techUK will be working with members in responding to the Strategy through its consumer electronic  manufacturers Waste and Resources Group. This will be complimented by quarterly waste policy teleconferences, which is open to all techUK members and associate members. To register interest please drop us a line.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Wed, 16 Jan 2019 11:00:00 +0000
Three predictions for 2019 in Defence Technology

As we enter 2019, the Defence sector must look to the impacts of the digital revolution on the private sector to deliver meaningful change. In this insight techUK  looks forward to the year ahead and highlights three key areas to watch.

Faster development cycles and more agile procurement are needs not wants

As technological developments across sectors continue at rapid pace, Defence will come under further pressure to act at speed, both in terms of developing its capability requirements and also in the way it runs its business. Whilst the well-established CADMID procurement model has served Defence well for large, complex platforms, it is clearly not compatible with emerging digital technologies which can be continuously updated and upgraded.

In the private sector, weekly updates and patching are standard, and with the MOD utilising more connected devices and kit it will need to find a procurement model which can deal with this new flexibility. The days of analogue, non-connected equipment are well and truly over, as technology continues to bleed into everything from clothing to complex weapon systems.

As such, the MOD must identify where commercial practices and policies can and should change to provide the Front Line Command’s with a route to market for emerging and disruptive technologies. techUK will continue to lobby for a more agile commercial framework through our Defence Commercial Business Forum.

Digital Twins – more efficient operations

During this sustained period of budgetary pressures, technology can and should be used more to help the MOD both identify efficiency savings and increase the effectiveness of its operations. Those tasks traditionally seen as dull and monotonous like logistics, administration and maintenance offer significant opportunities in this space. techUK will  continue to make the point that in order to achieve this, investment in new technology needs to be at the very least maintained at current levels if it is to deliver long term financial benefits to the MOD.

Perhaps the most timely example of this can be seen in the concept of the ‘digital twin’, which generates real-time digital replicas of physical assets, enabling end users to reap the benefits of data analytics, reduced operating costs, early identification of maintenance issues and improved performance. Implementation of technologies like this can only benefit large, costly and complex MOD systems.

Cyber’s significance will continue to grow

Cyber security will continue to be at the cutting edge of technological development in 2019. The exponential increase in the number of devices becoming digitally enabled and connected we are witnessing presents serious challenges for Defence and in the private sector, with tangible impacts upon the physical world becoming more common. This is perhaps best typified by the recent disruption at Gatwick Airport in December 2018. Digitally enabled technologies can both disrupt and protect physical infrastructure in all sectors with complex requirements.

For Defence, this means cyber security is and will continue to be a critical priority, with new developments allowing the protection of CNI and frontline operations, but also giving us an advantage over adversaries already investing heavily in cyber and counter-cyber technologies.

techUK will continue to work with the MOD & wider government to understand its future approach to cyber security through its Cyber Programme and through its Information Superiority Forum. We will be engaging across the Front Line Commands to enable them to better understand how industry can help augment the UK’s cyber capability.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Wed, 16 Jan 2019 09:32:14 +0000
The future of AI and automation in the workplace

Rarely a day goes past without the media promoting the latest piece of artificial intelligence or automated technology that will change the workplace forever. However, once you’ve removed all the hype behind these technologies, what are there benefits that your business can reap today?

What is AI and automation?

There’s certainly plenty of misunderstandings about the potential of artificial intelligence and automation within the workplace. Firstly, many people confuse the terms AI and automation and the difference between them. Thankfully, both terms can be easily simplified: AI attempts to mimic the human ability to think and do while automation follows pre-programmed orders and rules, as shown in the graphic below:

Will robots take our jobs?

Many UK workers fear that a high number of jobs may be lost as a result of the wide-scale implementation of AI and automation. However, while automation can be brilliant at completing monotonous, repetitive tasks and AI can be programmed to mimic human ability, these technologies aren’t currently capable of creative nor innovative thinking.

Therefore, when businesses implement these technologies, it opens up the door for staff to move into more innovative roles, which require creative thinking or working alongside AI to become more productive.

What are the benefits of AI and automation for small businesses?

Lastly, there is a belief that the benefits of AI and automation are reserved for big businesses with big budgets. However, similarly to how personal home assistants have become relatively cheap for households, there are many ways small businesses and start-ups can take advantage of these technologies today.

Whether it’s getting bots to respond to your emails, sharing documents via the cloud, automated invoicing and accounting or using chatbots, these technologies have the potential to make a huge difference to the productivity and profits of businesses of all sizes.

Find out more about the business benefits of these technologies in Sage’s latest guide to AI and automation.


{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Wed, 16 Jan 2019 09:38:09 +0000
Returner Experiences: 100th placement for FDM

First published at FDM Group

FDM’s Getting Back to Business programme recently hit a proud milestone, which saw trainee Liz Hutton become their 100th placed consultant in the UK. This programme is specifically designed to provide employment opportunities for high-calibre individuals who have taken an extended break in their career, facilitating their re-entry into the workplace. Liz spoke about her journey through the FDM Glasgow Academy and how she decided it was time to get back to business.

Before your career break, what did you do?

I started off with a science degree and completed a PhD in Veterinary Medicine. My research explored how rats process information from the environment. Rats rely on their whiskers for their sensory information (cats and dogs use vision), and their whiskers are as sensitive as our fingertips. After my PhD, I worked initially in research and then moved into financial services, where I performed a number of jobs before focusing in taxes. I completed two sets of professional tax exams and worked in third-party fund administration, discretionary asset management and retail banking.

After working on tax projects and enjoying the challenges, I decided that I’d like to move more into the project world and less as a tax specialist. I found it difficult to get project-based opportunities through employment agencies, as the general trend was that I was seen as a tax specialist and I’d not be considered for project roles. My confidence in my ability to make my transition gradually eroded. A couple of agencies were very good, but there was a limit in the market for tax projects to enable me to make my transition.

How did you come across the programme?

I was scanning for jobs in Edinburgh on the S1 jobs website when I saw an advert for the programme. The FDM team helped build my confidence, and it feels great to be part of such a supportive team. Their course is structured to give you a solid basis in everything you need. Week one was especially valuable in helping me talk about me and my achievements to other people. It’s full, varied and challenging, but I do feel it is providing a sound base from which I can build in my first placement in Bid Management at HSBC in Edinburgh.

The most positive thing about FDM is how it differs from most agencies, who simply match job titles and keywords. FDM understands skill sets, and can articulate that to an employer. The employer, in turn, can have confidence in an honest appraisal of a candidate, rather than the usual mass-sending of CV’s in the hope that one hits the mark. I’m looking forward to moving into my placement and having a chance to learn and develop. I am confident that it’s not one-sided and I have something valuable to offer FDM’s client!

At FDM, we recruit, train and deploy talented people who are driven to succeed. We are a multi-award winning, FTSE 250 employer.

We realise the challenges that many people face when looking to return to work. The Getting Back to Business Programme is specifically designed to address these challenges head on. We provide intensive training to teach new skills, refresh existing knowledge and help individuals regain the confidence to return to a career in business.

Our seven week training course will ensure you have the most up to date knowledge and skills, as well as the confidence to return to the corporate world. Upon completion of training, you will be employed full time as an FDM consultant and will work on-site with one or more of our prestigious clients.

We are currently looking for technically minded returners to join our programme in Leeds, and will be hosting assessments on Monday 18th February and Tuesday 5th March, with a start date of Monday 25th March. Apply today to restart your career in tech.

We have business programmes in London and Glasgow throughout 2019, our open evenings can be viewed here.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:32:14 +0000
Tech Talent Charter Report Launch

Today the Tech Talent Charter published its first annual benchmarking report, reporting on its signatories’ state of play on gender representation in technical roles; active diversity and inclusion policies; and shortlisting female talent at interviews.

There were a number of positive findings. Namely that Charter’s signatories were ahead of the curve in many respects. Signatories gender diversity averaged at 26.13%, steps ahead of wider tech averages which put female representation between 11% and 19%. Similarly, over 70.71% of signatories had active diversity and inclusion policies in place and an additional 27.27% planned to roll out such policies in the coming year. The gravitas with which signatories are honouring their commitments to diversity and inclusion is impressive and must be celebrated. But, whilst the Charter’s numbers are positive, it is clear gender parity is a way off and as the Charter enters into its next year we must push even harder as a sector to promote diversity.

The Charter does not push for blanket diversity and inclusion policies, nor does it attempt to reinvent the wheel on possible remedies. At techUK, we believe this is crucial to the success of the Charter and the spirit embedded in it.  No two companies are the same and therefore blanket approaches to diversity simply do not work. Similarly, the Charter’s promotion of collaboration and cross-industry learnings is invaluable to signatories. The community this creates of companies listening and learning from one another is exactly how we will achieve stronger gender diversity in tech.

techUK is a proud strategic partner and sponsor of the Charter. We were there at its inception have fully supported the organisation as it became independent and has started to grow and flourish. The Charter now has a footprint across thirteen different sectors and counting (demonstrated just how core digital is across the economy).  

The Charter represents the very best of our sector – our openness, willingness to learn from each other and collaborate with our competitors. 2018 was just the start of this journey and we look forward to all that 2019 holds!

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Tue, 15 Jan 2019 15:25:17 +0000
EBA Report on crypto-assets

In this report, the European Banking authority (EBA) advises the Commission that they should carry out a 'comprehensive cost/benefit analysis' to determine whether any regulatory action is required to cover crypto-assets.

Crypto-assets, virtual currencies, crypto-currencies are a new and unregulated field and, which, together with the emergence of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as a way to raise funds, has caused some concerns among regulators. As a result, the European Commission asked the EBA to look into the sector and report with its advice.

The report makes the following findings:

  • Currently activity in crypto-assets is limited in the EU though expected to rise.
  • Most crypto-assets typically fall outside current EU financial services regulation.
  • These assets do, potentially, raise concerns over consumer protection, operational resilience and market integrity.

The Report tracks the emergence of crypto-assets and analyses whether they fall within the E-money Directive or the Payment Services Directive 2. (Note that European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has also done an analysis re whether they may be 'financial instruments' under MiFID)

The EBA notes that there has been uncertainty about the applicability of current financial services law, which has led to diverging approaches in different countries. Also, some national jurisdictions have taken action in issuing warnings to consumers or are considering banning the sale of some products.

The Report also examines the availability of accounting and prudential supervisory powers which cover the activities of financial institutions dealing with crypto-assets.

In conclusion, the EBA expects the use of crypto-assets to continue to evolve rapidy and advises continued monitoring as well as a cost/benefit analysis. 

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:56:46 +0000
National Cyber Skills Strategy - Stakehoder Feedback Session

The UK Government recently published its Initial National Cyber Security Skills Strategy with the mission to increase cyber security capacity across all sectors, to ensure that the UK has the right level and blend of skills required to maintain our resilience to cyber threats and be the world's leading digital economy.

Publication of the initial strategy introduced a Call for Views, providing all those with an interest in cyber security the opportunity help shape and further refine the strategy proposals.

DCMS is holding a number of strategy stakeholder feedback sessions during February 2019 - as an opportunity for industry to put forward their views and discuss with colleagues including across government, industry, academia, charities and training providers.

The first of these events will be held here at techUK. To book a place, please register on Eventbrite.

Further events outside of London will be held on the following dates. Details on how to register will be published soon and promoted on the techUK website.

Birmingham - Thursday 14 February
Belfast - Tuesday 19 February
Glasgow - Wednesday 20 February
Cardiff - to be confirmed
Manchester - to be confirmed

Registration: 09.30 - 10.00
Welcome: 10.00 - 10.10
Strategic context: 10.10 - 10.30
Call for views questions: 10.30 - 11.00
Breakout sessions 11.00 - 12.15
Breakout feedback: 12.15 - 12.45
Next steps and close: 12.45 - 13.00
Lunch and networking: 13.00 - 13.30

]]> (CRM Sync) Roundtable Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:28:56 +0000
Guest blog: Data gives a hand to the Government and troubled families

When the Troubled Families program was launched in 2011 by the UK coalition government, there were four key measures by which it would be judged. These were to get children back into school, reduce crime and anti-social behavior, get adults into work, and reduce the costs associated with troubled families that hit the public purse.

Initially, report after report detailed the shortcomings of the Troubled Families program – with a government-led study revealing that it had been “unable to find consistent evidence that the Troubled Families program had any significant or systematic impact” and there’s been little suggestion of significant progress.

Despite this, the intention behind Troubled Families remains good – and there are authorities delivering positive results due to it.  Let’s remember that this is the government looking for proactive ways to improve the lives and life chances of thousands of people – and changing the way the public sector can support the households most in need. And with time still left before the program ends in 2020, opportunities remain for local authorities to further access the central funding pot.

The key, however, will be looking at where Troubled Families initiatives are working, how they are working, and trying to emulate their success. For me, this is where solutions that efficiently collate, analyze and contextualize data can really make a difference.

Data Gives A Helping Hand To The Government And Troubled Families

Falling through the cracks

Data Gives A Helping Hand To The Government And Troubled Families

Let’s return to those government good intentions. Under Phase 2 of the Troubled Families program, if a local authority can identify two of the six criteria that determine a troubled family, they can obtain funding support from a central budget of £720 million to an agreed level for each organization.

Yet, while there have been numerous successes, there’s a clear issue that many experience when identifying families for inclusion in the program and accessing the funding. And from what I’ve seen and learned, it’s all about data.

Today, across the country, busy staff within local authorities are spending large amounts of time and effort trying to derive insight from information stored in numerous systems across their organizations. The inherent challenges this presents are often discussed in tech circles: siloed and fragmented data, inefficient processes, errors, time-consuming and manual work. And with only a limited number truly getting “full sight” of the data, building a holistic view is very difficult – making it really challenging to quickly identify those families who are most at need and demonstrating that their situation has improved. This lack of evidence can prevent local authorities from obtaining that essential central government funding from the Troubled Families program.

The MHCLG document Supporting disadvantaged families: Annual Report of the Troubled Families Programme 2017-18 (published in March 2018) provides the status of claims to date for all organizations enrolled in the program. Using that data, on the assumption that local authorities can claim 100% of what they are entitled to, there was a shortfall at March 2018 of £356 million still to be claimed. The program finishes in March 2020, but the majority of families need to be identified by March 2019 in order for the funded intervention to realistically occur and significant, sustained improvement to be demonstrated.

Fortunately, now there is a better way to do things.

Making positive change

Data Gives A Helping Hand To The Government And Troubled Families

It’s true that there is a lot of data available to public sector organizations about families and households in their area. But, as we know, much of it is either inaccessible, hard to see in context with other sets, or difficult to analyze. And that’s what needs to change.

By fusing and combining data sets from multiple sources, it’s possible to build a single view of a family, with rules applied that can generate alerts that identify eligibility for funding in the first instance – then hopefully an improvement in circumstances further down the line. 

Our work begins with that data-driven view of the individual/family, enabling early identification, real-time insight, and positive intervention. The only significant challenge is how many councils have – or rather, haven’t – invested in this kind of data-driven solution.

Unlike the private sector, public sector organizations have been slower off the mark to commit large efforts into the use of data as a strategic enabler. And others don’t see an easy start point or clear approach. Both things go against the idea of having a data-driven government.

The net result here is that problems with analyzing, managing, and deriving value from data end up with authorities being unable to maximize their agreed share of the money on the table now – but will soon be off the table. Fortunately, many know they have a problem. They just need to get on to solving it.

Prevention beats cure

As with many societal issues, intervention at the right moment is far more effective than trying to deal with the consequences of a problem once it’s happened. That’s a core part of the reasoning behind the Troubled Families program. If local public services organizations can spot issues or patterns, they can make the move to resolve them and prevent compounding issues. But without the ability to accurately identify potentially at-risk families, getting the program resources to make a difference is going to be extremely hard work.

Remember – this government money is available right now. But it’s also a case of “use it or lose it.” The sooner a structural change around data interrogation in the public sector is made, the better for a lot of at-risk families.

Find out more about how SAP technology can help you analyze data on Troubled Families.

]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Tue, 15 Jan 2019 10:08:05 +0000
Unravelling Product Risk Assessment (Post Incident)

We are pleased to invite you to Electrical Safety First’s summit on Unravelling Product Risk Assessment (Post Incident), which is taking place on Tuesday 26th March at Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SN from 1.30pm – 5.00pm. 

Being aware of a non-compliance or of reports of incidents or injuries involving ‘your’ product, deciding on what corrective action to take (if any) will almost certainly require an assessment of the potential risk to users of the product.

A comprehensive and well documented risk assessment will help your organisation to:

  • Decide on what corrective action is the most appropriate
  • Demonstrate to enforcement authorities that you are managing risk
  • Maintain consumer confidence and therefore brand reputation by taking swift and appropriate action

Sometimes over-simplified or perceived as a ‘dark-art’ and something to be avoided, risk assessment (post incident) is often misunderstood or incorrectly applied. Following the recognised EU format our expert panel will look at several case studies and walk through the relevant factors to be considered in order to determine the level of risk.

This interactive afternoon seminar is aimed at manufactures, importers and retailers, although it is likely to be beneficial to enforcement authorities also.

Why attend?

ü  Excellent networking opportunities and access to key figures in the product safety sectors arena

ü  Enhance your personal and professional knowledge and experience

ü  Our events are informative and engaging, offering good practice advice on product safety

ü  Have your say by participating in our Q&A sessions

ü  All attendees will receive refreshments and lunch.

Ticket Price: £125 plus VAT (booking fees apply)

Book your ticket now via our online booking system


We have a limited number of places available so please book your ticket as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!

If you have any queries about the event, then contact Neelam Sheemar, Stakeholder and Events Manager on

We look forward to seeing you at the event.

This event is supported by 


{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Meeting Tue, 15 Jan 2019 07:43:10 +0000
UK Cloud Awards nominations are open

The UK Cloud Awards celebrates innovation, technical excellence and dedication to customer service shown by cloud service providers throughout the UK’s cloud ecosystem.

The awards showcase not just how the UK Cloud market is thriving but also the confidence and leadership of UK public and private sector organisations in their adoption and use of cloud. Categories for the 2019 awards include Best Public Sector Cloud Project, Most Innovative SMB Cloud Solution and Best AI/ML Enabled Product or Service

Nominations for the awards close at midnight on 22 April 2019 so there is still time to enter. Click here for more information on the awards or to nominate an organisation or individual as Cloud Visionary of the Year!

Good luck and we look forward to seeing techUK members at the awards.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Mon, 14 Jan 2019 11:55:00 +0000
Only minuses to a Canada plus

This week we will finally learn the fate of the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement.  What happens next is anyone’s guess, but undoubtedly it will include renewed calls for the UK to abandon the Withdrawal Agreement, with its complex backstop solution to the Irish border, in favour of a ‘Canada-style’ Free Trade Agreement (FTA). It sounds a simple solution- an FTA is a deal after all.  But scratch below the surface and it’s clear that a Canada-style deal would simply not work for the UK tech sector, no matter how many ‘+’s’ it included.

First, a quick reminder of what is meant by a Canada-style deal. In 2017, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada came into force. In the words of the EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malström, CETA is the “gold standard agreement”. It marked the deepest trade deal that the EU had concluded up to that point (the newly ratified EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement goes further in some areas). As a result, CETA has often formed the centrepiece of many advocates of a harder Brexit, not least the former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, who called for the UK to pursue a “SuperCanada”. So when we talk about Canada we usually mean a gold standard FTA, perhaps with some additional bells and whistle, including on security cooperation that form the ‘plus’ aspect of ‘Canada Plus’.

The Scale of Trade

One thing worth being clear about is that the biggest difference between the UK and Canada when it comes to our EU relationship is one of sheer scale. In 2016, the total bilateral trade in goods and services between Canada and the EU28 amounted to €94.7 billion. The EU is Canada’s second-biggest trading partner after the USA in goods, amounting to 9.6 per cent of its total in 2016, and Canada in turn accounts for 2 per cent of the EU’s goods trade.

These are substantial amounts of trade, which CETA is set to increase. The European Commission’s impact assessment estimates it will increase bilateral trade by 8 per cent by 2030, and will added between €1.7-2.1 billion, or 0.01 per cent to EU GDP.

However, the trade between the UK and the EU dwarfs these numbers. In 2017, the total bilateral trade in goods and services was £616 billion. The other countries of the EU account for 44 per cent of the UK’s exports and 53 per cent of imports.

For the tech sector, the EU plays a key role as both a source of inputs and as an export destination. Frontier Economics report for techUK, ‘The UK Digital Sectors After Brexit’, found that digital-producing sectors rely on imports of intermediate goods and services in their supply chain to a much greater extent than the economy as a whole – 49 percent compared to 28 per cent. Of these the EU made up 52 per cent of goods inputs and 49 per cent of services inputs.

The scale of trade between the UK and the EU, along with the integration of the EU in UK supply chains represents a wholly different state of affairs than the trade between the EU and Canada. CETA, as an agreement, was not designed to be something to deal with the integration of economies on the scale of the EU and the UK. This is the same with the EU’s other landmark free trade agreements with Japan (€178 billion total trade) or South Korea (€105 billion).


The Impacts in Practice

Given the relative scales of trade, CETA is clearly a good deal between Canada and the EU, and one that techUK has called to rolled over into a UK-Canada agreement. However, there are a large number of practical impacts that do not work for such a closely integrated set of economies as the UK and the EU.


Services and FTAs

A CETA model, or even a CETA ‘plus’, most crucially fails to deliver for service industries. This is the most important drawback for the tech sector given that services make up 81 per cent of its exports.

Currently the UK has access to the EU’s Single Market for services. While it is not as comprehensive as the Single Market for goods, as Sam Lowe of the Centre for European Reform points out, in some areas it has managed to liberalise services trade between member states greater than some countries have managed within their own borders. Crucially, the regulatory alignment across the Single Market is a central enabler of services trade. This is because you simply can’t check whether a service is of sufficient quality and safety on the border like a physical good so instead need to rely on regulation and behind the border enforcement.

For UK service providers currently trading with the EU, the single regulatory system, under the umbrella of the same enforcement system, greatly eases the process of doing business. Outside it, additional steps would need to be taken to continue the same trade as now. These would vary across different types of businesses but could involve the need to separately register in each member state, additional capital requirements for fintech firms, or potentially the need for locally qualified medical professionals to enable the approval of medtech apps. There would be large downsides for UK services consumers as well. For example, travellers to the EU would once again be subject to roaming charges. CETA does not solve these problems – for example establishing only a framework for the recognition of professional qualifications but leaving these for future negotiations.

For example, on something like Audio and Visual Media Services, to whom tech is a significant supplier, the UK operates a huge number of channels that broadcast across the rest of the EU. In a simple Free Trade Deal this is very unlikely to continue.  It is explicitly carved out of the service elements of CETA.  Even under the Chequer’s proposals from the Prime Minister these kind of operations are under a severe threat, and close alignment is the only realistic option to enable them to continue.


Rule Takers, not Rule Makers

One of the trumped benefits of a CETA style deal is that it would avoid the UK being subject any EU laws, with the FTA itself operating as the binding document. However, the reality is that, whatever agreement we have with the EU, many UK tech companies will still find themselves having to comply with many EU laws, over which we will have even less say than under closer models of alignment, such as the Association Agreement model that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration envisages. In those models there remains a possibility of observer status and greater influence in the enforcement of regulation, but a. basic third country status, as Canada has even under CETA, would rule this out.



A key example of this regulatory cooperation issue is data flows. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has global reach, meaning that any UK company wishing to trade with EU will have to comply.  

Crucially, under a CETA model, the UK would lose any role in include the European Data Protection Board, the body that ensures the consistent application of GDPR. While it would be possible to get a mutual adequacy agreement – Canada has a partial adequacy decision, though it only applies to commercial organisations – this would not facilitate the kind of close relationship the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office currently has through the EDPB and the UK would no longer be part of the ‘one stop shop’. This is a key principle of GDPR, that reduces the burden for both businesses and data regulators by allowing one regulator to be responsible for EU-wide enforcement for businesses operating cross border. Under CETA, companies operating primarily out of the UK would no longer be able to take advantage of this.



The restrictions that CETA would bring go far beyond just services. For goods, through CETA removes the vast majority of tariffs, it does not include a customs union. Therefore, goods crossing the border are still subject to rules of origin checks as well as checks on safety and compliance. Furthermore, the UK’s participation in the Customs Union brings many other benefits beyond just the applying the same tariffs and avoiding rules of origin. These are crucially in terms of customs facilitation and relief including having a single set of rules on the import, export and transit of goods, called the Union Customs Code. These aligned systems and rules do a great deal to facilitate the ease of trading across borders and would not be available through a CETA model for the UK after Brexit.



Access to talent remains one of the top priorities for many of techUK members. Here a CETA style deal would fall a long way short of a more bespoke partnership.

When the UK leaves the Single Market it will take control of its own immigration system.  As the Government’s White Paper sets out, this is likely to mean a far stricter system for EU migrants than is currently the case.  FTAs, such as the CETA deal do usually include rules on visas and migration, but this is likely to be subject to fierce, highly political negotiation that is unlikely to give businesses the clarity they need about access to talent.

As important as migration is the mobility of staff.  This is particularly important in the delivery of so-called Mode 4 services, where a contract is delivered from one country to another via the temporary movement of staff.  This is often the case in tech projects, such as services contracts for data centres or hardware.

CETA lists highly restrictive requirements on provisions of these kind of contractual services.  A Specifically a person can move to deliver the contract for a maximum of 12 months, even if the contract runs longer, and must have a graduate level of qualification. If a business needs a member of staff to say longer than they will have to go through the full migration regime of the Member State. For smaller UK tech businesses wishing to compete with businesses from across the EU for contracts, this could lead to a significant competitive disadvantage in the length of contract they are able to offer.



Other important areas for the UK tech sector that pursuing a Canada style agreement would not deliver are around access to the EU’s science and technology programmes, Horizon 2020 and its replacement Horizon Europe, as well as access to the European Investment Fund (EIF). Tech is obviously a research and development heavy industry, and the UK’s excellent higher education ecosystem, combined with its access to the funding and collaboration opportunities that Horizon 2020 brings, has been a key plank of the sector’s success. Third countries are able to participate in some Horizon 2020 funded projects, but this is not universal across all calls and is not akin to full participation. Likewise, though it would be possible to buy shares in the EIF, the total pot that UK venture capital funds would be able to bid for would be far more restricted, as techUK’s Giles Derrington pointed out when giving evidence to the House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee.


Speed of change

A final point that should be considered when looking a simple FTA as a solution to Brexit, is that most FTAs are highly static, often only returned to every decade or so (the EU Mexico which is currently being updated originally came into force in 1997), if that. For a rapidly developing industry such as tech it is almost impossible to tell which new innovations may come up against barrier is created in the past that cannot be easily overcome within the context of a static FTA. Some attempts have been made in FTAs to overcome this with catch all non-discrimination clauses, such as language proposed for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on non-discrimination against any newly created forms of financial services. However, the EU has so far strongly resisted giving such a carte blanche in trade deals and there is no reason to think a UK/EU deal would be any different.

Ultimately therefore it is reasonable to conclude that, CETA marks a good deal for Canada and the EU, two economies separated by an ocean of which neither is the others largest trading partner. But this is not the situation for the UK and CETA just would not be sufficient for the UK’s tech sector. The Government’s own analysis estimates that a CETA-style trade agreement would lead to a 9 per cent increase in trade costs for services, and lead to a 24 per cent drop in exports to the EU. For tech, this would amount to a drop in exports of telecommunications, computer and information services of just over £2 billion a year. For all the talk of the pluses that can be added on to CETA, the fundamentals do not change that the UK needs a much closer form of relationship with the EU. As the Withdrawal Agreement comes up to vote, it worth pondering that fact.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Mon, 14 Jan 2019 11:39:00 +0000
How would a No Deal Brexit impact tech?

There have been repeated assurances from the UK Government that it is not its intention to leave the European Union with No Deal. However, the reality is that until an agreement has been ratified by both the UK and EU, the consequence of triggering Article 50 is that the legal default in the absence of a ‘Deal’ is ‘No Deal’. While it is expected that the British Parliament would attempt to block a No Deal outcome, doing so is not simply a case of voting against No Deal, but for an alternative.  What that alternative remains the biggest question facing MPs and the country.

Given No Deal remains a very real potential outcome, and as the Government increases preparations for such a situation, it is important to fully assess the impact on the UK tech industry, tested against the key priorities of the tech industry of any future relationship with the EU.

It is worth remembering that technology increasingly underpins a significant part of the wider economy, with tech companies heavily integrated into the supply chains of sectors ranging from healthcare to financial services. This means that the impact of No Deal on these sectors will also be felt by the tech companies serving those sectors. In many ways the biggest unknown for many in the sector will be what happens to their clients in the event of No Deal, something ultimately outside their control. That is one of the reasons why talk of a ‘managed’ No Deal risks the unhelpful suggestion that companies, Government or even the EU is fully in charge of the consequences of a No Deal Brexit.



techUK has been clear about the importance of data protection and international data transfers since June 2016. The entire digital economy relies on the ability to transfer data across borders. In a connected world trade involves increasing quantities of data to be transferred alongside the good or service being traded itself.

As a member of the EU, the UK has been part of the EU’s data protection framework. The framework establishes rules on how data should be protected and places restrictions on the transfer of data outside of the bloc in order to maintain those protections, while ensuring data can flow freely within the bloc. Personal data can only be transferred from the EU to third countries if the country has received an adequacy decision from the European Commission following an assessment of their domestic data protection law. In the absence of an adequacy decision individual companies will have to ensure appropriate safeguards exist before transferring data outside the EU.

The UK has fully implemented EU data protection laws, namely the recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), via the UK’s own Data Protection Act 2018. The Government has also published plans for technical amendments to this legislation to ensure it continues to apply in the UK if there is no deal with the EU. That means that a no deal situation would not change the way in which companies have to handle personal data.

However, under a no deal arrangement, the UK would become a full ‘third country’ and therefore no longer automatically deemed a suitable place for EU data to be sent. Given this will take place in just over three months’ time, there is not time to complete full adequacy assessments between the UK and the EU. The fastest adequacy agreement took 18 months with Argentina. This means businesses would not be able to transfer personal data from EEA countries to the UK without additional suitable legal mechanisms in place, most likely Standard Contractual Clauses.

Additionally, because the UK has the same data protection framework, it places its own restrictions on the transfer of personal data FROM the UK to other countries. The UK would also no longer benefit from existing adequacy decisions.

Finally, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) would lose its seat and involvement on the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and UK businesses would no longer benefit from the consistency mechanisms than exist within the EU’s data protection framework which makes cross-border compliance with data protection regulations more efficient. Instead UK businesses will have to deal with individual data protection authorities in each EU member state or establish a representative for their business in the EU.

As part of its No Deal contingency planning, the UK Government has stated it would not restrict data transfers to EEA member states; that it would continue to recognise Standard Contractual Clauses approved by the European Commission; and that it will preserve the effect of existing EU adequacy decisions. These steps cover transfers from the UK to other countries, apart from the United States, which will require a separate agreement. However, transfers of personal data to the UK would be considerably impacted by leaving the EU without a deal. The ICO has recently published more detailed information on the impacts which you can see here.

While through the work of the ICO, and good business preparation, the policy consequences on data flows of a No Deal Brexit can be reduced, the administrative burden on firms could be significant.  Many tech firms have already begun the shifting of existing contracts to identify where they might need to insert Standard Contractual Clauses, but this will take time and significant legal costs. The impact on UK business competitiveness when dealing with EU businesses could well be that the offer of contracting with a UK entity becomes less competitive compared to doing so with another EU member who will be able to rely on a strong legal basis for the free flow of data. This is why techUK believes a No Deal would have a negative impact on the UK’s role as a global hub for data flows.



In No Deal, there would be a high level of uncertainty about individual citizens’ rights and future immigration systems, with freedom of movement coming to an immediate end.

The UK Government has stated that in the event of No Deal it would protect the rights of EU citizens already living in the UK and offer a clear route to UK citizenship through a settled status scheme. Details of how this will work have been published in the Government’s no deal technical notice on citizens’ rights.

However, no such guarantee has been provided to UK citizens living in EU member states. This would be up to individual member states and so far, none of the EU27 have confirmed they would provide this guarantee in the event of No Deal.

With regards to future immigration, as a third country the UK would have no specific relationship with the EU on migration. Immigration is a member state competence and so each individual member state would have to make decisions on the migration rules for UK citizens, for both personal and business reasons. The UK will also need to design a new immigration system to recognise the end of freedom of movement. The Government’s Immigration White Paper, suggests moving the system for EU nationals to one largely identical to that for Non-EU nationals. The paper suggests the impact of doing so will be to reduce EU migration by between to 200,000 and 400,000 over the first five years, at a cost to GDP of between £2 billion and £4 billion over the same period. While the proposals do contain measures to better support companies in recruiting highly skilled workers, such as engineers, techUK views the net impact of the proposals as making the recruitment and retention of the staff needed to build and grow a tech business in the UK more challenging.

This situation does not work for the UK tech industry, which is heavily reliant on the movement of people. The tech industry is already facing a major skills shortage which threatens to limit the growth of the sector. Putting more hurdles in the way of companies attracting skills and talent into the UK does nothing to make the UK an attractive place for tech.

Alongside migration, a No Deal would also impact the ability of UK digital businesses to service contracts in the EU through the movement of staff, for example by a UK member of staff travelling to help set up a data centre operation. If we leave the EU with No Deal we will be dealt with under different countries commitments in the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The EU schedule states that, where Mode 4 delivery (travelling to another country but not establishing a business entity there) is concerned, such travel will only be permitted for three months in any 12 or for the duration of the contract, whichever is the lower. That means offering a contract longer than three months from the UK to an EU client would be increasingly difficult to service without establishing a business branch.  Even under a traditional Free Trade Deal (such as the EU’s Canadian Free Trade Agreement), this period is limited to 12 months, making it hard to compete with businesses in other Member States who could offer much longer contract terms.

This issue also works the other way because the UK’s GATS Schedule, recently submitted to the WTO, mirrors that of the EU, so EU businesses will have a tougher time offering contracts in the UK, which may have knock on impacts for competitiveness.



The impact of no deal on the UK’s customs arrangement are likely to be the most visibly stark, with immediate direct impacts on consumers as well as businesses. With no customs agreement there would be significant disruption for businesses trying to bring goods into the UK from EU27 countries. Moving goods into the country would become incredibly difficult due to the introduction of checks at the border and failure to agree the mutual recognition of goods.

In anticipation of this scenario some organisations are stock piling goods where possible. This includes technology companies who are ensuring they have supplies of, for example, spare parts. However, it is difficult for companies to know what they might need to bring into the country quickly, and therefore difficult to plan for sudden checks at the border.  

No Deal would require a new UK Customs system to be in place by 29 March 2019. There has been little evidence of progress on this to date and it is difficult to imagine a fully-fledged new customs system will be up and running in less than 100 days’ time. However, we do know that businesses would have to register for a UK Economic Operator Registration and ID (EORI) Number in order to export to the EU.

Part of the reason for increased friction in trade rising from No Deal would be tariff differentials between the UK and EU. In the event of No Deal the UK would have a full tariff regime, however the Government has said it would aim to meet the same WTO tariff schedule as the EU. The UK would also seek to continue preferential tariffs for developing countries, including the General Scheme of Preferences as well as the tariff rates found in the Information Technology Agreement which reduces most tariffs on digital goods to zero, with some notable exceptions such as fibre optic cabling required for digital infrastructure. It was also recently confirmed that the UK and EU have agreed that the Common Transition Convention will still apply even in the event of No Deal. This means tariffs can be collected at the final destination of the good, rather than at the border. This is helpful, however potential future differences in tariffs will further increase friction on trade between the UK and EU.

Additionally, relating to Customs, in the event of No Deal the UK would no longer participate in the EU’s VAT area, which will require businesses to register with HMRC in order to comply with VAT requirements, as well as registering for the EU VAT Refunds Scheme via individual EU27 tax authorities. This could have a significant impact on those selling goods via e-commerce platforms, who will now have to ensure they are properly VAT registered in multiple jurisdictions.

Finally, and crucially for tech companies, the UK will no longer be part of mutual recognition schemes, such as CE marking which is a recognised symbol that a product meets relevant regulations. In the event of No Deal, the UK Government has indicated it would unilaterally accept goods from the EU with relevant mark, including goods already on the market. However, the same will not be true for exports from the UK to the EU. Businesses would therefore have to re-register goods that were approved in the UK somewhere else in the EU in order to continue to have their mark recognised in the EU.

All of this means significant increased friction in both ongoing and future trade between the UK and EU, with delays and difficulty trying to bring goods from the EU to the UK and vice-versa. Various new systems are required in an incredibly short amount of time, and significant additional burdens placed on businesses. This will cause problems for businesses across the board, particularly those, such as tech firms, that operate on a ‘just-in-time’ model.


Access to the Single Market

Given the EU is the most important trading partner for the UK, continued access to that market is critical for UK businesses. The EU’s Single Market is governed by a whole host of rules and regulations which members of the EU agree to abide by, and help design through the EU institutions. Access to the single market by non-EU countries is possible and there are various models which exist for relationships between the EU and non-EU countries. Those models include the much debated ‘Norway’ and ‘Canada’ models which vary in their level of access to the EU’s single market. Different levels of access provide different pros and cons. However, it is clear that No Deal would provide almost no guaranteed market access for UK businesses.

The single market is based on the harmonisation of rules and regulations for businesses operating within it. Access therefore largely depends on the level of harmonisation between the EU and the third country in question. It is therefore a clear choice on whether you want to access the EU Single Market, and therefore align closely on rules, or if you want flexibility to have different rules and limit access to the Single Market.

In No Deal there would be no UK-EU trade agreement guaranteeing access to the EU Single Market. The level of access to the EU Single Market would therefore depend largely on the extent to which the UK Government diverges from existing rules and regulations. If there is significant divergence, for example of key digital policy areas such as limitations to liability or data protection, it will be difficult for UK firms to do business in the EU, unless they are able to comply with both sets of rules for different markets. This may be possible for large companies, but small and medium UK businesses will likely face a choice as to whether they focus on the UK or EU market in those circumstances.

Such regulatory divergence is unlikely to happen overnight, but the uncertainty about future alignment will have shorter term impacts on businesses as it would introduce significant additional uncertainty that is likely to be unhelpful for business planning cycles and seeking to develop new business deals with partners within the EU.

No Deal would also have some specific impacts on the harmonisation that currently exists between UK and EU activities which would increase friction between the two. This includes UK participation on EU regulatory bodies, which often shape the way rules apply and develop after they have been implemented. Of particular importance to the tech industry would be the participation of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office on the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), and Ofcom on the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). Taking the EDPB as an example, with the EU having recently passed GDPR, the EDPB will play an important role in shaping the practical application of GDPR in its early years. This could lead to an accidental divergence between the UK and EU if regulatory guidance is different in each jurisdiction, even if the laws themselves do not change.

Similarly, in No Deal the UK will immediately lose access to all shared EU databases and processes. A key one for the tech sector is the REACH chemicals database, whereby chemicals used in products are registered on an EEA database as complying with the REACH regulation. The UK has indicated it would maintain the REACH regulation and set up a UK registration system however yet again this will require a new IT system by 29 March 2019, as well as the burden on businesses to re-register in the UK and transfer existing registrations to elsewhere in the EEA.

The ability to continue accessing the EU Single Market, which has formed a key part of the British economy over the last 40 years, is key for UK businesses, and has made the UK an attractive place for non-EU countries to expand their businesses in Europe. Losing this access through No Deal would be damaging to both UK businesses looking to export to a large market on its doorstep, and for the UK’s reputation as an international business hub.



When it comes to investment levels in the UK tech industry there are three key impacts to consider in No Deal.

First, the UK businesses will no longer be the beneficiaries of various EU funding opportunities. This includes programmes such as Horizon 2020. In the event of No Deal, the Government has said it will guarantee funding for Horizon 2020 bids, although it is not clear how funds allocated to consortiums partly based in the UK will operate. In the short term this will fill the funding gap, but the longer term impact on the UK as an attractive destination for R&D investment is likely to be impacted by hindering the ability to collaborate.

Secondly, for a sector which has continuously been at the forefront of Venture Capital investment, a No Deal would have a very significant impact on the UK’s access to the funding which supports many tech businesses.  In a No Deal the UK will no longer be part of the European Investment Fund (EIF), which has been a vital source of investment for UK start ups in recent years. Between 30 and 40 per cent of all VC funds operating in the UK contain EIF money. While funds operating with EIF money are able to invest in non-EU firms, they are required to ensure that a majority of funding goes to EU businesses. No Deal is therefore likely to have a severe tightening effect on access to EIF funding for VC funds, which will in turn have an impact on funding within the sector.  Evidence suggests that the level EIF has already decreased following the triggering of Article 50, one of a number of ways in which the UK tech sector has already felt the impacts of Brexit.

Thirdly, there have been numerous reports of multinational companies already holding back investment into the UK market due to the uncertainty created by the unknown form of the UK’s departure from the EU. This will likely only be intensified in a No Deal exit given the additional friction in trade, reduced access to the Single Market, difficulty in attracting the relevant talent and additional barriers to using the UK has an international hub for data. Compounded, these factors would likely lead investors away from the UK market and to countries offering more stability and access to consumers.

Additionally, it is important to remember that business’ preparations for No Deal, which they must do while it remains a potential outcome, costs money. This is money they may previously have been ear-marked for investment into other projects. It is very difficult to measure this impact as it is essentially an alternative reality, but the opportunity cost of investing into no deal preparations should not be forgotten.


The wider picture

Concerns about business spending feed into a wider picture about the impact of No Deal on the tech industry. That is the impact No Deal would have on the wider economy. The technology industry supplies many other sectors, so impacts of No Deal on those sectors will have a knock-on effect on the tech industry. For example, the automotive industry is heavily reliant on customs arrangements, which will be significantly impacted by No Deal. Tech companies involved in serving the automotive industry, whether that is in autonomous vehicle research, the manufacturing of cars, navigation systems or fuel switching products, will feel the strain of impacts on the automotive sector. Similarly, the financial services industry relies heavily on regulatory equivalence with the EU. Without access to the EU’s financial services market the UK’s FinTech industry and providers of ancillary services to this large sector of the economy, everything from cloud services to mobile banking solutions, will be directly impacted.

In planning for No Deal there are certain issues which are simply beyond the control of individual businesses. It is very hard, if not impossible, for individual businesses to anticipate changes in the valuation of sterling or the impact of No Deal on sectors that business services, or indeed what the overall confidence in the economy will be in No Deal.

The tech sector is a fast-growing, innovative and dynamic industry, and has been pinpointed as the future of the economy. However, this sector will only be able to thrive if the ecosystem in the UK is the right one. Based on the key priorities for the tech sector, a No Deal Brexit is unpalatable for the UK tech industry. The consequences of No Deal on data transfers, access to talent, ability to move goods in and out of the UK, accessing a market of over 446 million consumers and likely investment levels, in the context of the wider economic impact, are incredibly concerning. Put simply, No Deal doesn’t work for tech.  

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Mon, 14 Jan 2019 10:20:00 +0000
Internet of Things Biannual Round-up E2 2018

The State of the Connected Home 2018 E2

For a second year in a row we have successfully  published the State of the Connected Home 2018 E2 which was released in September. The report, based on exclusive research conducted by GfK of 1,000 UK consumers, explores the knowledge and understanding of categories and ownership of connected home products and services.  The research shows the number of connected devices owned by consumers has significantly grown between 2017 and 2018, there is early evidence that some devices, particularly home assistants and smart meters, may act as a gateway to ownership of others. We will examine this trend more in our 2019 work.  

There are, however, clear barriers to take-up with cost, specifically a lack of perceived value, privacy and security of devices are also significant barriers for consumers. techUK is committed to working with industry and Government to help consumers realise the value in adopting and using connected home devices.

We will continue to work with industry, Government and to ensure that the connected home market in the UK is both an attractive one in which to test, develop and launch products as well as ensuring that it delivers value and benefits to consumers.

To take part in our work in the Connected Home, contact Matthew Evans and Teodora Kaneva, Programme Manager, Smart Energy and IoT.

Secure by Design

With the ever-growing appetite for IoT devices comes the risk of security, and of course, who does this responsibility fall to?

techUK has worked closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in  the publishing of  ‘Secure by Design’ guidance. At the heart of the review is a new Code of Practice targeted at device manufacturers, service providers, developers and retailers with the intention of improving the cyber security of consumer internet-connected devices and associated services.

techUK has been supportive of the Code of Practice as a whole, Matthew Evans and Talal Rajab, Head of Programme, Cyber and National Security, are members of the External Advisory Group that supported DCMS in the creation of this review.

As part of our engagement on the project we hosted several roundtables and conference calls with DCMS to gather feedback from members on the final draft of the Code of Practice before it launched in Autumn 2018.

Further to our close engagement in the development, techUK is also providing training on the Code of Practice. To enrol yourself follow the link.

For more information on the Code of Practice or our involvement in the Secure by Design Guidance you can contact Matthew Evans and Talal Rajab.

We’ve also been closely involved in the Government Proposals regarding setting standards for smart appliances, we held several conference calls for our members to feed into our response, you can read it here.

Digital Framework Task Group

As part of the recommendation in the NIC paper, data for the public good, to build a Digital Twin of Britain’s infrastructure and coordination for key players through a digital framework, the Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG) was formed which techUK sit on. The Group has been tasked by the Treasury to advise on the creation of a national digital twin.

Although a digital twin is practical across many specific, smaller-scale use cases, it is yet to be accomplished on a scale required to make Britain’s digital twin a reality, or as we’d like to call it, Brit-twin!

To explore the realities of building a Brit-twin and better understand its uses, we are hosting an all-day event in January 2019 at techUK. On the day, we are bringing together public and private sector, policy makers, decision makers and innovators to forge an understanding of what it may take to make the Brit-twin a reality and what the tech sector role will be to deliver this ambition. Click here to be part of the discussion.

To get involved in our on smart infrastructure and AI work, get in touch with Sue Daley, Head of Cloud, AI and Data Analytics and Matthew Evans.

The Active Home

After the successful All-Electric Hybrid Home workshop in partnership with geo, held in May 2018, techUK has explored further the possibility of creating a value proposition to the building industry which will incorporate elements of our existing Smart Energy & Utilities and Connected Home Work Programmes. More information will be available in 2019.

For more information on the Active Home, contact Teodora Kaneva.

Health and Social Care

Here in techUK we pride ourselves for our successful collaborations not only with external stakeholders but within our organisation as well. Our Healthy Ageing: Industry – Public Sector Innovation Workshop was a huge success, organised in collaboration with our Health and Social Care and Local Government Programmes.  We also partnered up with some of the organisations who are in the frontline of the challenges that our ageing society poses - HACT, the Health Innovation Network (South London Academic Health Science Network), the Local Government Association (LGA), Socitm, Suffolk Council and others - to come up with problem statements that industry and public service leaders from across housing, local government and health can workshop through solutions together. We explored innovation and challenges in social isolation and loneliness, physical activity, falls, frailty and prevention, and culture change and sign posting.

Creating environments that are truly age-friendly requires action in many sectors and many actors.  

But this is a new and growing market where technology has the potential to shape this challenge to an opportunity. Healthy ageing will continue to be a key area of focus for techUK and we are committed to bringing together the key players in this eco-system to ensure genuine and meaningful collaboration.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Reports Fri, 11 Jan 2019 11:46:18 +0000
techUK welcomes continued commitment to enhanced UK-Japan relations

“Japan and the UK, as the world’s third and fifth largest economies, are already close economic partners. Japanese companies employ 150 thousand people here in Britain and trade between our two countries totalled £28 billion in the past year.”

Technology is at the heart of the UK-Japan trading relationship and we look forward to this relationship continuing to grow. However, whilst there is significant opportunity for such growth, Japanese companies have an understandable level of anxiety regarding the uncertainty caused by Brexit and over what the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be.

It is for these reasons that in November we were delighted to launch the UK Japan Tech Forum. Hosted by techUK, the UK Japan Tech Forum is a platform to allow Japanese tech companies operating in the UK to engage with key stakeholders in government and business. The forum brings members together to discuss issues and events that may impact their growth in the UK and provides an avenue for collective concerns to be aired and discussed with the UK Government as well as for participants to explore emerging opportunities.

We echo both Prime Minister’s comments on the potential for an ever flourishing trading relationship and look forward to using the forum as a mechanism for providing tangible opportunities for Japanese and British tech companies to come together to that end. We are particularly excited to explore how companies of both nations can take advantage of the upcoming landmark events in Japan over the next 18 months including the G20, the Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

Further information on Prime Minister Abe’s visit here:


Further information on the UK Japan Tech Forum can be found here:

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Fri, 11 Jan 2019 13:36:17 +0000
Meet the City: Irvine/Orange County California

London & Partners are organising a panel discussion with the city of Irvine/Orange County, involving a senior delegation of business, life science, technology and funding experts, in collaboration with OneNucleus, the Association of British Healthtech Industries (ABHI), techUK, the UK Department of International Trade (and more partners).

The goal of this third mission to the U.K. is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science/technology industry strength and identify, connect with and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when they consider setting up a subsidiary in the U.S. and California.

Why attend?

• UK and Irvine/Orange county Life Science ecosystems:

There is great potential for exchanging expertise between the U.K. and Orange County clusters in how the regional ecosystem can be facilitated in creating and growing world class life science technology companies in biotech, medtech and digital health.

• Raise funds in California:

Information on how to access the biggest Angel and Venture capital network in the US to scale up your company.

• Access to a world class talent pool and business support:

The depth of the Irvine cluster in this field means it represents an excellent pool of talents, investors and partners for UK-based companies seeking to set-up operations in the US


14.30 - Arrival and Registration

15.00 – Welcome remarks by The Honorable Don Wagner, Mayor of Irvine

15.10 - Introduction of Irvine, Orange County and the Southern California ecosystem

15.20 - Panel Discussion with industry experts: “Building the Life Science & Med Tech ecosystem to accelerate success”

16.10 – Short break

16.20 – Panel Discussion with industry experts: “Scale-up your business in California: support available from accelerators, industry associations and government agencies”

17.10 – Networking

For more information and to register, please click here!

If would you like to meet with the delegation of experts from California offering pro-bono advices to UK life science companies that want to discuss their US expansion projects – more details here.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Partner event Fri, 11 Jan 2019 13:49:19 +0000
R&D Tax Relief - what is research and development?

What is research and development?  It depends entirely on who you ask.  A Technical Director is likely to set the bar higher than a Financial Director.  Someone in the metal forming industry will probably set the bar lower than a counterpart in the space industry.  So, who’s assessment is correct?

HMRC lists no less than 43 points that must be considered in order to form an accurate and defensible judgement on whether an activity can be classed as R&D for tax purposes.

Did your accountant or anyone in your business use these guidelines when deciding what to exclude from your R&D Tax Credit claim?  The answer when we ask face to face is almost always ‘no’.  The few that reply with a ‘yes’ often quickly follow up with an admission that they aren’t convinced their interpretation of the guidelines was correct.

We say it time and again, R&D Tax Credits are 90% about the R&D, the technical stuff, the correct identification of eligible R&D to ensure your claim is robust and will withstand any future HMRC scrutiny.  Whoever makes that call needs to be prepared to own that decision if HMRC come knocking.

Too often we are told that ‘our accountant handles our R&D Tax Credits’….but do they?  Really?

Think about it, who decides which projects or sub-projects get included?  Who trawls through spreadsheets trying to figure out how much time Gary spent writing that bit of code?  Who makes the judgement call about what proportion of equipment costs can be attributed to a project?  Who decided to not even mention the client led projects where you were on a daily rate?

The odds are it wasn’t your accountant.

So, when HMRC invoke a company-wide investigation due to errors in your R&D Tax Credit claim, who is going to step forward and own those claim documents?

So, let’s ask the question again, who handles your R&D Tax Credit claims?

If you’re starting to question whether you’ve…

  • made the most of what’s available to you
  • positioned your business as a sitting duck
  • paid for a service from your accountant that you’ve not really received

…then we suggest you speak with us.

MSC R&D work with R&D Tax Credits week in and week out.  We have Technical Analysts that have a deep understanding of your industry and the technologies you’re working with.  We have Financial Analysts that specialise in R&D related tax regimes and understand how they impact on more general accounting matters.

As we do all the work we ‘own’ the claim documents, we stand at the front of the queue to defend our work should we ever need to.  Perhaps best of all we don’t charge you a penny until you see the financial benefit that we deliver.

If you’re unsure about your historical claims, let us take a look for you.

Or if you would like to hear about us from one of our clients, please visit:

]]> (CRM Sync) Opportunities Wed, 09 Jan 2019 07:00:00 +0000
SmarterUK Biannual Round-Up E2 2018

Supercharging 2018

Last year we took Supercharging the Digital Economy north, hosting it at Cisco’s Bright Building in Manchester, and what a beautiful venue it was.

Ahead of our flagship event, Supercharging the Digital Economy, we held a campaign week dedicated to retail and transport. The week received a lot of attraction featuring opinion blogs from techUK members and staff looking at the present and future of our economy and the possibilities out there for the tech sector in retail and transport. You can read more here.

On the day, the brightest of minds in tech gathered to explore the full potential of advanced digital technologies such as IoT, AI, AR/VR and cloud to drive the UK’s economy and society. We kicked off the beautiful and sunny day with a welcome addressed by Julian David, CEO techUK followed by a keynote speech from The Right Honourable Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy before splitting the event focus between Retail and Transport. You can read more about the day here.

Also at Supercharging, Matthew Evans, Associate Director at techUK interviewed our very own Jessica Russell, Programme Manager, Transport and Smart Cities, discussing techUK’s new report, Future Mobility Services in the UK. Mathew Evans also catches up with Liliana Danila, Economist at the British Retail Consortium, to go through why technology is impacting high street stores and online shopping experiences. They look at what must be done to help both aspects of retail and ensure that retail continues to be a driving force throughout our economy. You can listen to the podcast here.

Smart Infrastructure

There has been a heavy focus on smart infrastructure from Government the past 12+ months with the release of three important papers:

In June 2018, SmarterUK and Cloud, AI and Data Analytics Programmes teamed up, in partnership with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and The Alan Turing Institute to hold a one-day design AI sprint. The event explored the potential of AI, machine learning and data science in shaping the future of existing infrastructure by bringing together civil engineers, data scientists and technologists to answer the question of “how can our existing infrastructure be adapted for predictive maintenance?”

The NIC’s Data for the Public Good paper provided three recommendations, one of which is to develop “a Digital Twin (computer model) of Britain’s infrastructure, to help plan, predict and understand our assets.” The NIC also recommends that the coordination for key players should be managed through a Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG) which techUK is delighted to be part of. The group has been tasked by the Treasury to advise on the creation of a national digital twin.

The DFTG reports into the Centre for Digital Built Britain, which seeks to understand how the construction and infrastructure sectors could use a digital approach to better design, build, operate, and integrate the built environment. Their vision is that a National Digital Twin will be a national resource for improving the performance, service and value delivered by the UK’s infrastructure.

techUK is keen to support this ambition and be involved in the efforts that 2019 will bring. To explore the realities of building a Brit-twin and better understand its uses, we are hosting the Brit-twin event in January at techUK to start working on all those questions you have about digital twins but were too afraid to ask! The event will bring together public and private sector, policy makers, decision makers and innovators to build an understanding of just what it will take to develop the Brit-twin and what the tech sector’s role will be in delivering this ambition. You can see the agenda and register to attend here..

To get involved in our on smart infrastructure and AI work, get in touch with Sue Daley, Head of Cloud, AI and Data Analytics and Matthew Evans.

Smart Cities & Communities

Throughout 2018 the Smart Cities and Communities’ work programme has focussed on strengthening leadership at the local and central levels to improve the commissioning, delivery and benefits realisation of smart place initiatives, and make our cities and communities smarter.

Local authority leadership

Local authorities are on the front line when it comes to implementing smart, place-based digital initiatives. Although they should not be tasked with delivering the nation’s smart agenda without overarching support and ambition from central government, there are steps that local authorities can take to improve their own capacity and capability. We unpack the first step - building a greater understanding of digital, data and technological solutions by establishing and maintaining “a dedicated and legitimate decision-making body that is empowered by the executive leadership of the local authority” - in our report, What makes a ‘good’ Digital Board?

The report makes a series of recommendations for local authorities to consider in the establishment and maintenance of a Digital Board.

Central government leadership

techUK believes that the smart cities sector needs greater leadership and responsibility from central government if we are to unlock the benefits this vibrant and innovative sector can provide. We have been an active member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smart Cities (the APPG) which notably produced the report, Intelligent Leadership. The APPG, under the Chairmanship of Iain Stewart MP was a force for unity in the sector and progress within central government. It is greatly disappointing to note that it has since folded due to lack of leadership and interest from MPs to take up the role of Chair following Mr Stewart’s resignation. The irony of this does not escape us and we will be building a louder central government campaign this year too.

To get involved in our future work, get in touch with Matthew Evans and Jessica Russell.


The Transport group has been focussing heavily on the Government’s Future of Mobility grand challenge as a result, which involved developing a vision for the future of transport and mobility in the UK: a truly multimodal, digitally-enabled, customer-focused ecosystem, incorporating fixed and flexible infrastructure, private and publicly operated services and a multitude of vehicles, some of which are beyond what we can imagine today. Our Future Mobility Services in the UK report, which was launched at Supercharging in October 2018, sets out the vision, highlights enabling technologies and identifies key barriers to realising the vision. The report provides three key recommendations to overcome these key barriers and support evolution of the nation’s mobility services.

Based on the membership of our group, the Transport Group splits its work across road and rail.

Road-wise, we continued to maintain our close relationship with the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), taking part in the SMMT Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) Forum, and we are proud to have supported the SMMT Future Mobility Challenge, a new initiative to make innovative ideas and solutions discoverable with a view to creating new partnerships, investments and acquisitions between the world’s leading automotive brands and innovative technology start-ups and SMEs. We are looking forward to being involved with this again in 2019.

Continuing our CAV work, we partnered with Oxfordshire County Council  to host the Accelerating CAV Uptake on our Roads at Said Business School. The event brought together the transport tech industry and public sector to explore two key challenges, traffic management and building public trust as opportunities to drive the uptake of CAVs on the UK’s roads.

On the rail side, we have been actively engaging with Network Rail, Rail Supply Group and Rail Delivery Group to develop the industry’s asks for a Rail Sector Deal. We are delighted to announce that the Rail Sector Deal was officially launched in December. It will aim to support a more innovative mindset for the industry and deliver improvements in three areas:

  1. The passenger experience.
  2. Reliability and efficiency to better support the economy.
  3. The rail industry supply chain.

We’re currently in the process of responding to two consultations:

If you would like to be part of techUK’s responses, contact Jessica Russell.

To get involved in our future work, get in touch with Jessica Russell and Matthew Evans.

Smart Energy & Utilities

The Smart Energy & Utilities Programme has been monitoring closely regulation for energy data and Electric Vehicle rollout for 2019.

techUK has been selected amongst other organisation to be part of the steering board of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce (EVET), which will inform secondary legislation this year. The objective of the taskforce is to put engagement with the electric vehicle user at the heart of preparing the electricity system for the mass take up of electric vehicles (EV), ensuring that costs and emissions are as low as possible, and opportunities for vehicles to provide grid services are capitalised upon for the benefit of the system, energy bill payers and electric vehicle owners. We are a sponsor for Work Package 4 – Data for decision making; as well as being in the core team of Work Package 3 – Technical Specification for Smart Charging. Members are encouraged to an active role in shaping our position further. To stay up to date sign up to the mailing list.

We’ve have submitted a response to OFGEM consultation on access to half-hourly electricity data for settlement purposes. The consultation sought initial stakeholders’ views on the future of suppliers needing access to their customers’ half-hourly consumption data from their smart meter, to strike the right balance between realising the benefits of settlement reform while ensuring that consumers’ privacy is appropriately safeguarded. Our response could be found here.

We’re delighted to have worked again with GfK on our annual Connected Home Survey. In September 2018, we launched the second edition of The State of the Connected Home Report, where we have illustrated; consumers with three or more connected home devices have grown rapidly; voice automated assistants have been the fastest growing category; main barriers of purchase for consumers have been cost, privacy, and security. We found evidence that some devices, particularly home assistants and smart meters, may act as a gateway to ownership of others. This will be a trend that we will examine in more detail in our work this year.

We will continue building on our achievements of 2018, and also expand beyond the Energy Utilities to the Water Innovation sector.  We are hosting Tech Making Waves in the Water Industry - Design Sprint in March.

Our views on the energy marker was published in Atos’s Digital Vision for Energy and Utilities, “The energy market is in its most intriguing place, but is it changing fast enough?”.

If you wish to get involved in our Smart Energy & Utilities Programme, contact  Teodora Kaneva, Programme Manager, Smart Energy & Utilities and IoT, and Matthew Evans.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Reports Fri, 11 Jan 2019 09:51:07 +0000
Meet the Buyer: Defence, Security and Cyber

This free Midlands Engine Meet the Buyer event will provide a dynamic and lucrative business environment carefully tailored to create, encourage and facilitate synergies in a series of 1:1 meetings with validated buyers to help you build key relationships which may result in you securing new business.

It also provides a chance to discover future opportunities in a range of Central European markets by attending workshops covering market trends, tailored support and how to take advantage of future opportunities. 

This unique opportunity presents you with the chance to:

  • Pre-book meetings – request meetings with targeted buyers and expert advisers from our global network
  • Join workshops – designed to help you identify current and future opportunities for your business within Central Europe and beyond
  • Network – meet a host of key buyers, like-minded companies, local advisers and Defence and Security Organisation (DSO)


Next steps:

  1. Review buyer listings and decide who you would like to meet
  2. Register your interest in attending (we recommend providing as much detail as possible as this will be issued to buyers to support them in selecting which companies best match their buying requirements)
  3. During the registration process please select which buyers you would like to request to meet
  4. We will contact you and advise which of your meetings have been confirmed along with a schedule for the day
  5. We will issue you with final confirmation which will include further information on workshops and additional opportunities 


Click here to register today

]]> (CRM Sync) Partner event Fri, 11 Jan 2019 10:31:56 +0000
Future Worlds makes Southampton only UK Uni @ CES for 4th year running

Frustrated by the poor translation of university research into the real world, four years ago I founded a startup accelerator called Future Worlds at the University of Southampton. The mission was simple: to help aspiring entrepreneurs at the University change the world with their ideas by growing an on-campus startup culture. Four years later and we’ve helped over 250 entrepreneurs who’ve launched over 50 companies between them. We’ve built a network of around 100 mentors and investors and launched a purpose built space that supports 15 startups in our six-month accelerator program.

Shortly after starting the initiative I was astounded to discover that the UK had no University presence at CES, despite there being a designated ‘University Innovations’ section in Eureka Park. Desperate to change that I took Future Worlds to CES in 2016 and we’ve returned every year since. Running world leading research programmes is all very well, but their results need to get into the right hands to really make a difference. The academic currency of paper writing solves part of the problem but these are rarely consumed by the companies capable of taking such innovations to market. And that’s where CES comes in.

This year we’re showcasing 30 spinouts and startups from the University of Southampton and we have 9 of our founders joining us on the stand. AudioScenic are launching their laptop sized 3D audio soundbar at the show which creates an immersive audio experience for gamers. Highfield Diagnostics is able to pattern multi-channel medical diagnostic tests onto a single paper strip using a laser technology. And IDTEX are able to embed wash-resistant RFID tags into fabrics so that high end fashion brands can combat counterfeit goods.

And we ourselves use innovation to stand out against thousands of other booths in the crowed halls of CES. We designed a custom flyer holder topped with a Future Worlds arrow that twinkles in an engaging way. We’ve built a live video streaming solution that drives two enormous screens and allows us to play one of our startup videos at the touch of a button, or stream live demos from a roaming ipad. And this year we have also developed what we affectionately call the Future Worlds Medallions – glistening battery powered Future Worlds arrows that hang on a lanyard around our necks and let us wirelessly call team members to the stand.

But does attending CES really help our entrepreneurs change the world with their ideas? Well, four years of data tells us the answer is a resounding yes! Last year at CES I forged a relationship with SkyDeck, the incubator at the University of California, Berkeley and we’ve seen four of our student startups reach great success in Silicon Valley as a result. Three of the startups we bought to the stand last year received offers of investment and this year looks to repeat that success. The profile of the University has grown internationally, not just among some of the world’s largest companies but also with our own government’s Department of International Trade, who have given us more and more support each year. So my advice to other UK universities is to go ahead and register for CES2020, so that next year we can dominate a section of Eureka Park and collectively showcase the best of British research innovations to the world.

Find Future Worlds at Stand 51560, Eureka Park

For more information, please visit

]]> (CRM Sync) News Fri, 11 Jan 2019 09:40:21 +0000
techUK pleased with immersive technology funding


Today saw the Digital Minister Margot James MP announce funding for the ‘Audience of the Future’ programme which sees millions of pounds to fund immersive tech demonstrators. Immersive technology (virtual, augmented and mixed reality) perfectly embodies the ‘Culture is Digital’ initiative and sits right in the sweet spot of stuff the UK leads the world at – tech, media, creative and culture. This is great news for the UK and we are naturally delighted the Government is funding these demonstrators and keeping the UK at the forefront of these key sectors.

The funding, part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, aims to help storytellers, creatives and cultural institutions develop new immersive experiences across three areas; performance, sports entertainment (think e-sports), and visitor experience. Combining the tens of billions the creative industries are worth to the UK with the rapidly increasing immersive tech sector is vital if the UK wants to lead the world in entertainment and media. Immersive tech is forecasted to be worth over $100 billion dollars globally by 2023 and in the UK we have over 1000 firms working in this area, turning over £660 million in the process.

We’ve extolled the virtues of immersive tech in all sectors, and whilst the most compelling, transformative and valuable user cases will probably be in the enterprise and public sectors, the potential to change how we are entertained is massive. VR experiences can create new out-of-home paid for experiences which can reinvigorate the high street, they can inspire young people, engage people in their cultural heritage and more, as well as generate serious revenues in a challenging media landscape.

The Royal Shakespeare Company has been awarded funds to create new ‘performances’ not tied to a specific location and accessed via live-streams, mobiles and VR headsets. The RSC has done more than most to bring their performances to wider audiences, working with producers to bring Shakespeare on to TV and live performances into cinemas across the UK. Therefore, they are the right fit to bring Shakespeare to life in new ways.

In sports entertainment the funding will go on a new e-sports platform called WEAVR to transform how audiences watch and enjoy e-sports. E-sports (competitive computer gaming in front of an audience) enjoy an audience of hundreds of millions. This will soon be a billion-dollar industry, so it is great to see the UK funding a demonstrator to radically transform how viewers interact with this new entertainment platform.

Finally, cultural institutions and museums have a great track record of using tech to engage audiences, so developing VR and AR based experiences are a natural progression, which is why the Science and Natural History Museums got some money too. The Natural History Museum will bring dinosaurs to life and the Science Museum visitors will enjoy a mixed-reality detective experience with 3D scans of robots. These will then be packaged and sent to towns and cities across the UK so you don’t have be just in London to enjoy them. The developers Factory42 will lead the consortia to make this happen and we know from our VR conference last year they have a fantastic track record of working in this medium.

It is worth noting that these are all demonstrators and all will have had to show scalability to get funded. The user cases are all solid and the real benefits will be when the demonstrators can scale up and be rolled out nationwide and to as many people as possible. We’re excited to see what comes out of this and maybe will have to try some out when they are done!

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) News Thu, 10 Jan 2019 15:00:51 +0000
techUK Digital ID paper launch in Houses of Parliament

On 6 February 2019, at the Digital Identity APPG, techUK will launch its White Paper on digital Identity, ‘The Case for Digital Identities’.

The launch event will be hosted by Lord Lucas, Committee Member of the APPG.

Digital identities are a crucial next step in assuring that UK citizens and businesses have secure, easy access to all digital services. Their availability and ease of use across many sectors will contribute greatly to the prosperity of the digital economy in the UK.

The techUK White Paper will highlight the importance for the tech sector in the UK of developing an interoperable framework for the provision of digital identities which operates across both the public and the private sphere.

Please Note: The meeting will be held in Committee Room 10 the Palace of Westminster, so you need to go through the Cromwell Green entrance - see this link and it is number 8 in the yellow circle. Please allow time to pass through security.


Agenda (speakers to be confirmed):

17.00 – 17.30 – Arrivals  

17.30 – 18.15 – Speakers:

                               Lord Lucas - introduction

                               techUK – outline of the White Paper

18.15 – 19.00 - Q & A with APPG and audience members

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Meeting Thu, 10 Jan 2019 14:49:53 +0000
Returner Experiences: FDM Getting Back to Business

FDM Returner, Clare Newall, discusses the her experiences on the FDM Get Back To Business programme.



Head to FDM’s blog to read more stories about their Getting Back to Business programme. 

This video was produced by FDM and used by techUK with the consent of FDM Group. You can view the original video here.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Tue, 08 Jan 2019 12:58:00 +0000
Returner Experiences: FDM Career Stories: Neha Agarwal

First published at FDM Group

FDM’s Getting Back to Business Programme is tailored to help men and women who have taken time away from the corporate field get back into the world of work. With centres around the globe, their programme is always open and ready for new applications. Neha Agarwal spoke about her career journey, and taking the brave leap of moving to and working in a new country.

How did your career start?

I graduated university in India with a Bachelor's degree in technology and engineering. I went on to work with IBM as an SAP Basis Consultant where I regularly worked with global clients and internal cross-functional teams, where I was responsible for all technical aspects. I’m a very technical person so this role went hand in hand for me. I then moved to Hewlett-Packard into a management role, managing a huge team and multiple projects. After spending about two years away from the active corporate world and moving to the UK with my husband, I struggled to get my foot in the door of a technology company.

Searching for a job on my own had become really tough with companies only seeing the two-year gap and not the potential that I had. I came across FDM’s Getting Back to Business programme while searching for jobs online and I liked how it offered an opportunity to connect me with clients that hire FDM consultants. I attended FDM’s assessment day and I felt like I fit in instantly. The team was incredibly supportive about the break I took, and I managed to land a place in the FDM Getting Back to Business Programme in April 2017.

What did you experience during your time at the FDM Academy?

From day one, FDM’s training was a refresher for all the skills one needs in the corporate world. I’d previously worked as a Project Manager but didn't have any certifications, so I sat my PRINCE2 exam and it really helped me get my foot in the door. I realised how I could pick up from where I left my career in India. I worked on financial industry awareness, business analysis, project management tools and even a SCRUM agile workshop. Everyone on my course had taken a career break and some gaps were bigger than others, but we all had the same goal to get back into the world of work. Being able to work with people who were aiming to reach the same goal and who understood what I was going through made such a difference.

I recently found out that I am pregnant and I was worried about having to take time off for maternity leave, but FDM has been extremely supportive. I’m due in October, and when I’m ready to return to work, the team behind the programme will help me apply for jobs once again.

Best advice for someone who is keen to return to work?

Don’t ever doubt yourself. I wish someone told me that earlier on! You don’t realise how easy it is to pick up from where you left off – and you’ll do so well.

Head to FDM’s blog to read more stories about their Getting Back to Business programme

]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Wed, 09 Jan 2019 12:12:00 +0000
Returner Experiences: FDM Career Stories: Neha Agarwal

This blog was first published at FDM Group

FDM’s Getting Back to Business Programme is tailored to help men and women who have taken time away from the corporate field get back into the world of work. With centres around the globe, their programme is always open and ready for new applications. Neha Agarwal spoke about her career journey, and taking the brave leap of moving to and working in a new country.

How did your career start?

I graduated university in India with a Bachelor's degree in technology and engineering. I went on to work with IBM as an SAP Basis Consultant where I regularly worked with global clients and internal cross-functional teams, where I was responsible for all technical aspects. I’m a very technical person so this role went hand in hand for me. I then moved to Hewlett-Packard into a management role, managing a huge team and multiple projects. After spending about two years away from the active corporate world and moving to the UK with my husband, I struggled to get my foot in the door of a technology company.

Searching for a job on my own had become really tough with companies only seeing the two-year gap and not the potential that I had. I came across FDM’s Getting Back to Business programme while searching for jobs online and I liked how it offered an opportunity to connect me with clients that hire FDM consultants. I attended FDM’s assessment day and I felt like I fit in instantly. The team was incredibly supportive about the break I took, and I managed to land a place in the FDM Getting Back to Business Programme in April 2017.

What did you experience during your time at the FDM Academy?

From day one, FDM’s training was a refresher for all the skills one needs in the corporate world. I’d previously worked as a Project Manager but didn't have any certifications, so I sat my PRINCE2 exam and it really helped me get my foot in the door. I realised how I could pick up from where I left my career in India. I worked on financial industry awareness, business analysis, project management tools and even a SCRUM agile workshop. Everyone on my course had taken a career break and some gaps were bigger than others, but we all had the same goal to get back into the world of work. Being able to work with people who were aiming to reach the same goal and who understood what I was going through made such a difference.

I recently found out that I am pregnant and I was worried about having to take time off for maternity leave, but FDM has been extremely supportive. I’m due in October, and when I’m ready to return to work, the team behind the programme will help me apply for jobs once again.

Best advice for someone who is keen to return to work?

Don’t ever doubt yourself. I wish someone told me that earlier on! You don’t realise how easy it is to pick up from where you left off – and you’ll do so well.

Head to FDM’s blog to read more stories about their Getting Back to Business programme

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Wed, 09 Jan 2019 12:12:00 +0000
Returner Experiences: Return@Capgemini really feels like a lifeline

“Agencies were telling me I had been out of the workplace too long and things had changed,” Geraldine explains. “I began to feel redundant and there was no place for me.”

Geraldine had qualified as a Psychotherapist while previously working in Change Management environments and decided to try working as a Counsellor but didn’t feel fully satisfied with this career change.

She then re-trained as a Handy Woman (painter and decorator, tiling, home maintenance) and set up her own business turning a hobby into a career – but it was lonely, and she missed her previous career as a self-employed Project Office Manager/consultant. One day, Radio 4 was playing in the background when the radio host opened a segment on a new initiative called Women Returners.

“Someone from Capgemini spoke on the show about their Returners programme, and it sounded like what I had been searching for,” says Geraldine. “I looked it up when I got home and found there were placements in Sale – just a mile from where I lived.”

Geraldine’s work experience and personal values made her the perfect fit for Capgemini. She was snapped up and now works as a PMO Lead at a large Public Sector client.

“I’m really happy to be back in the workplace doing what I enjoy. I’ve got a good, busy role with plenty of variety and I can see that there are opportunities to keep growing and developing with Capgemini,” Geraldine comments. “Management have been really helpful and I’m happy with the people I’ve been working with and being part of a team delivering innovative IT solutions.”

Would Geraldine recommend the Returner programme to others?

“I tell everyone I know about it – they might know someone sitting at home with qualifications and experience who feel like there’s no place for them in the workplace because they have been out of it for ‘too long’. Having the Returner programme really feels like a lifeline,” says Geraldine. “It shows that the door is not closed. People may tell you the workplace has changed, but really, project management hasn’t changed – just the tools you work with, and it doesn’t take long to get up to scratch with those through training.

“Having been back 6 months, it really doesn’t feel like I’ve been away.”


You can find out more about Return@Capgemini here.

The original post can be found on the Capgemini website and has been taken from the website with the consent of Capgemini.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Thu, 10 Jan 2019 09:38:00 +0000
Returner Experiences: Accenture Break|Through Programme

Accenture Returner, Anjali, shares her experiences of returning to work through the Accenture Break|Through Programme.

You can find out more about the Accenture Break|Through programme here.


Video content created by Accenture and used by techUK with the consent of Accenture.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Thu, 10 Jan 2019 11:01:14 +0000
Returner Experiences: My journey as a Women Returner with Capgemini

Sara Matthewman from Capgemini shares her experiences of returning to work and the value of the Capgemini Returners Programme.

A lot can happen in a year. A year ago, my day revolved around school runs, play dates and generally organising three kids, a husband and a dog. Today I have another dimension in my life…work (in a paid form)! I work with talented people who plan, implement and architect technical solutions and I’m part of that team.

I had been a full time stay at home Mum since my eldest was born, 13 years ago. Life was chaotic, busy but fulfilling and I certainly have never regretted staying at home. As the kids have grown older and my youngest started school, I began to have more time on my hands and began to think about returning to work.  Given that all the stuff I do as a full time Mum still needed to be done and a husband who has a hectic work schedule himself, my primary need was for a role where I could have flexibility to work around my family commitments. I knew I had value to give but not sure of where or how to apply it.

What to do? BK (Before Kids) I graduated with a BSc in Computing and pursued a career as a software developer (primarily Java for those that are techie minded). My career history was all very techie. Within tech I’d not really seen any evidence of flexible working or heard of anyone returning after a career break. Technology changes and development had moved at such a rapid pace I knew I was totally out of date skill wise. This was reinforced when I searched the job sites. There were lots of jobs needing software developers (me BK) but all needing framework or methodologies x and y (this is where I fell short), technology had evolved into cookbooks and camels!

Then along comes the Capgemini women returners program, focusing on recruiting women with tech backgrounds back into the workplace after a career break. I heard about the scheme via; there was no harm in applying. First step was creating a CV. I think it’s a hard task at the best of times but when there is a large gap to fill and career milestones are ten plus years ago it felt a huge task in putting something together.  My only reference to development since leaving work was in teaching coding to 10-11-year old’s. I had become a STEM ambassador enabling me to set up code clubs in schools as a volunteer and help teach coding to children. In terms of relevant experience that was as far as it went.

Capgemini - The Interview

It came as a bit of a shock when Capgemini asked me for an interview. Self-doubt had set in and my years out of the workplace had left me questioning my ability to do the job that I used to confidently do. From first contact with HR, I got the loveliest response. Whether I ended up at Capgemini or not, I was impressed with them being able to recognize that taking time out to raise a family has a value and gives a whole new set of skills and experiences that are transferable to the workplace.

The interviews were tougher than I expected. It felt like something out of the apprentice, hopping from one interviewer to another. Questions were asked from a standard corporate list; ‘A challenge that hasn’t worked out for you in your last role?’. With advice to not be afraid to use experience from my career break I duly explained how my recently acquired bathroom tiling skills had gone array.   Of course, many of the questions were about my last role and I really enjoyed these ones. I realised that I hadn’t forgotten everything I knew, and I had done some quite impressive things in my career.

I left the interview thinking that Capgemini was an amazing company with what they were doing. I’d gone in thinking that the whole process would be good experience and whether I was offered a position or not I’d be happy to have had the experience.  I underestimated how much I enjoyed getting back out into work environment, being part of a team and problem solving talking about technology. As I awaited feedback I realized I’d be disappointed to not go any further. I must have done enough as I was then asked to come back a week later for a coding test, eekk!!

I was given a heads up on what I was going to do; sit with a fellow coder and solve a simple problem however I hadn’t written any code for 10 years plus, another ‘eekk’ moment! I spent days before the interview writing/testing and learning. As it was my reviewer who sat with me during the test was lovely. I definitely didn’t blow her away with my coding skills, but I think I did enough to show the thought process was there if a little rusty.

Within a couple of days, I had heard from Capgemini that they would like to offer me something…yippee! There were a few bumps along the way from being accepted for the returner program, to finally being made an offer. The returner program was a new initiative and as I was one of the first it took a few months to get me up and running under the program, but finally started on October 2017.

First Day      

Induction day or ‘BeInspired’ as I now know it, is learning the Capgemini principles and ..being inspired. There were 40 new joiners on my induction, all at various levels and different divisions. I was the only returner (although interestingly there were a couple of people returning to Capgemini, a good sign!). During introductions I was careful not to let slip just how long my career break was (I was worried that it could be perceived negatively) and focused on asking questions of others. Fighting my initial instinct to ask about their children, I tried to focus on the technology.

Day 2

Met with my line manager who was very supportive and positive. The plan is to get Java 8 certified. Perfectly reasonable however it feels like a huge mountain to climb given that Fizz Buzz (reference for coders) is the most code I’ve written in 10 years! On route home I order Oracle Java Programmers guide…can’t be that hard can it?

One Week in …

Had my first coaching session as part of the returners program run by I wasn’t sure what to expect. Prior to the coaching I had completed a skills/strength finder. Always been a sceptic of these but was surprised by how closely I thought some of the skills aligned. Reassuringly they did reinforce what I consider my strengths; analytical problem solving and a conflict resolver…I might be in the right job! 

One thing I hadn’t given much thought on was my introduction to people. My coach recommended I give some consideration to how I introduce myself and importantly that I shouldn’t start with “I’m returning after a career break”. More “I have x years’ experience, took an extended career break and now I’m at Capgemini as …”. Also, for me to consider is my personal brand…and I'm working on that!

Work Environment

OK, so the technical stuff I expect to be hard with the challenges of catching up. Ironically what is feeling just as challenging is the office place itself. Slack/Confluence/Skype/Pinging, technology in the work place had been much more widely embraced. If I need to know anything; communicate on Slack and check Confluence!

Hot-desking. My last role I had a desk with a phone and a PC.  I sat in the same desk every day. Not so today, I have had to learn the hot-desking system! With the drive to work from home it can feel quite isolating with so many co-workers remote working or on client site. It can feel hard to integrate into a team.

Acronyms: everything is an acronym.  After some searching I now understand that I am part of the OSCE team within AD&I under CBS and hope will be placed in the AIE (I’ll let you try and guess what all that is)!

Three weeks on…

I’m ploughing my way through learning Java again with the aim of getting OCA Java 8 certification in the next couple of months. It’s a tricky little exam, designed to make you fail. I’m based mainly from home as most of my day is studying.

Woman In Tech Conference

I was lucky enough to be put forward for the woman in tech conference #WeAreTechWomen. I wasn’t really sure quite what to expect with this. There are not enough woman in technology so I’m interested in how we can encourage young girls and women and show them that there is a rewarding career in tech to be had.  Lots of inspirational guest speakers shared their stories. A common thread seemed to be that they have all at some stage felt they have had to work harder or shout louder to be seen/heard. In a Q&A session a lady in the audience explained how she was unable to get back into tech after having a career break, she was struggling to find companies that were interested in her. It made me feel proud to be part of Capgemini that they were supporting woman returning after a career break. 

First three months

I’m often asked by those around me ‘How’s work going?’. I really don’t feel as though I have started working proper. Much of my time I have been working at home studying for my OCA exam, which I finally passed after an intensive couple of months. 

Six Months On

In the six months since I’ve started I’ve spent time in the AIE (Applied Innovation Exchange) working on proof of concepts, been on numerous training courses and am now shadowing an integration architect on a client project. Every day I’m learning new technologies and ways of working. I’m growing in confidence and my technical knowledge has grown immeasurably. Tackling my knowledge gap will be ongoing, it's hard to catch-up and keep up with everything. I hope that I am showing more of what I can do, rather than what I can’t. As for the future, I hope to continue my journey at Capgemini.

In Summary

What I’ve learnt. 

Most importantly for me I’ve learnt that I can go back to work, and my family won’t fall apart. My children can survive. The much talked about work life balance can exist (though it takes a bit of effort). Flexibility is there in the workplace, I work a four-day week. I can still make the important dates; school performances, teacher meetings and I can get home early enough to be there. Yes, the house is a little messier than it used to be and that’s OK. 

From a job perspective I’ve learnt that I can still do tech. It has been a big challenge to go back to learning. Software development has changed immeasurably, but the problem-solving mindset remains the same and it is this ability to problem solve that makes a software engineer. 

I’m excited by technology and feel very fortunate that Capgemini have envisioned a place for women returners. The outlook is really promising. With continued emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and with returnships evolving and adapting, the future for woman returning to work looks really promising. 

My advice to anyone thinking of returning is go for it! You know more than you think you do and the maturity and diversity that you bring to a team is immeasurable in adding to its success.


There are a number of roles open for applications, so please visit our Return@Capgemini site for more information.

This text was taken from LinkedIn with the consent of Capgemini. 

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Thu, 10 Jan 2019 11:25:10 +0000
MOD innovation and industry collaboration

This event will explore what effects developments in the innovation space are having across the MOD.

Developments in areas such as the cyber or AI domains pervade through all aspects of Defence and this event will examine the particular challenges facing the FLC’s, as well as exploring how the MOD is developing its capabilities across the organisation. As well as leading edge, battlespace capabilities attendees will also discuss the potential for technological innovations within back office and non-mission critical functions.

Attendees will discuss the relationship between the MOD and industry, examining the state-driven threats both face and the work both can do to support UK enterprise through developing capability as well as promoting UK prosperity. Industry attendees will offer their thoughts on how industry might best support the MOD within the innovation environment going forward as part of an open and frank discussion.

{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Briefing Thu, 10 Jan 2019 11:13:51 +0000
techUK gives evidence to Parliament on Digital Government

Yesterday, our Deputy CEO Antony Walker alongside Simon Hansford (CEO, UKCloud) and Professor Chris Johnson (UK Computing Research Committee) appeared in front of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee as part of their inquiry into Digital Government. The session was a great opportunity to talk about importance of SMEs in the public sector tech market and stress the significance of digital skills in the civil service.

SME Agenda

techUK has long campaigned about the importance of a diverse supplier base which incorporates innovative smaller business, which was reiterated at the session. There is a great opportunity for Government to work together with SMEs to deliver digital transformation across public services. Antony emphasised the importance of a wide supplier base that can bring in new ideas and encouraged Government to make use of the full ecosystem of small, medium and large sized companies. He encouraged the public sector not to forget the GDS mantra of ‘user needs first’ – this must be the driving purpose for GovTech procurement, with SMEs playing a vital role in delivery. 


There is a long-term challenge within the public sector to build the skills, capacity and culture needed to deliver true transformation, but great strides have been made in this direction by introduction of Digital Academies. The Government Digital Service has done a good job in attracting the right people with right skills set, but the challenge of training home-grown talent still exists. According to our 2017 Civil Servants Survey, a shortage of skills and capabilities is regarded as the largest barrier to tech adoption in Government; 57 per cent of respondents saw it as a problem, an increase on the previous year. techUK’s Public Services Board is now working closely with GDS on a partnership initiative to help HMG develop digital skills, and we look forward to announcing the initiative shortly. As well as procurement and digital skills, the discussion also stressed that developing skills on how to work with SMEs should be a priority. 


Finally, the committee discussed cyber security practice in the public sector. There is still a sense of a slight lack of clarity of differing roles of NCSC and DCMS in this space, which should be clarified to suppliers. techUK members have also raised the need for a ministerial lead for Cyber Security such as a potential Minister for Cyber Security that would have a cross departmental responsibility for Cyber. There should also be a review in how different departments tackle cyber issues and a real focus on outcomes-based solutions. 

You can read techUK’s full evidence here.

{bio}{/bio}]]> (CRM Sync) Opinions Thu, 10 Jan 2019 10:43:15 +0000