In other news, BEIS announced the award of £9 million of funding to innovative digital technology projects to address key challenges in health care through the government’s Digital Health Technology Catalyst. The fund, which pre-dates Matt Hancock’s healthtech drive, aims to accelerate the development of digital health innovation, under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, to ensure the UK remains at the leading-edge of innovative healthcare.
Meanwhile the EU is focussed on getting as much work completed as possible before the European Parliamentary elections. This week the European Parliament voted in favour of supporting the proposed EU Copyright Directive, (348 votes in favour, 274 against and 36 abstentions). The Directive has serious flaws and fails to strike the right balance between protecting copyright and ensuring freedom of expression. It will be, undoubtedly, subject to numerous legal challenges. You can read our full comment here.
In a bit of a departure from the normal, the Pope has got involved in the robotics debate. The pontifical academy of life this week hosted a workshop titled ‘Roboethics: Humans, Machines and Health’. This isn’t completely out of the blue - the Vatican recently partnered with Microsoft to offer an international prize on ethics and artificial intelligence.
techUK news and events
Next week yours truly will be appearing in front of the BEIS Select Committee to give evidence to their inquiry into Automation in the Future of Work, there are so many exciting things happening in this space right now. You’ll be able to watch the session live on Parliament TV or follow it @techUK on Twitter.
My techUK policy colleagues Tom Goldsmith and Giles Derrington will be in Geneva for UNCTAD eCommerce Week. techUK is hosting a panel with the Federation for Small Businesses on ‘Revolutionising the Digital Rule Book – A perspective from the UK’ and will be speaking in other panel discussions through the week. Given negotiations on digital trade have recently started in Geneva, it is important that UK tech makes its voice heard. techUK will be leading the charge!
As many of you know, techUK is always keen to develop networks and promote fresh talent. The Early Tech Career Network is the perfect forum if you are new to the sector and want to meet others and learn about all the goings on in the tech world. The next meet up will be looking at IoT so if you or any of your colleagues are interested in getting involved be sure to sign up as spaces are limited. You can find out more and register here.
Finally, on April 2nd techUK is hosting a free, one-day conference on Human Rights & Tech Supply Chains. We’ve got a fantastic line up of speakers helping you and your business navigate how to approach these highly sensitive issues. To have a look at the agenda and book your place, click here.
All the best,