Welcome to our first newsletter covering what is shaping up to be an exciting, albeit rainy, London Tech Week. The weather won’t dampen the spirits of the over 55,000 attendees expected to flood our capital this week. With over 300 events happening, techUK will be here every day bringing you the highlights and taking a look at the best picks for the day ahead. There is something for everyone. The only question is: when will all you budding entrepreneurs and innovators invent a machine allowing us to be in more than one place at once?
Kicking off London Tech Week was our very own President, Jacqueline de Rojas, who opened proceedings at Plexal joined by a stellar line up including the Prime Minister who made a raft of announcements, including a Government commitment to invest a further £153m in the development of quantum computing and further investment in artificial intelligence.
The Government also published its Technology Innovation Strategy which looks at emerging digital technologies being used across the public sector and how the UK can create an environment that supports the thriving govtech market.
This was also the theme at CogX Festival of AI which opened yesterday, where there are whole stages dedicated to innovation as well as future of work, ethics and a host of other topics. Despite the rain, we would urge you to get down there and join the 15,000 attendees signed up from across the world.
Over at our offices, we packed out a room of healthtech experts to discuss NHSX with newly-installed CEO, Matthew Gould. Mr Gould outlined his mission to give patients and staff the technology that they need, stating that his key priority was creating a platform that allows innovation to flourish.
Antony Walker, techUK’s deputy CEO, also spoke at the inauguration of the Infosys’ London Design and Innovation studio with Brilliant Basics talking about the importance of design to future technology.
Enterprise Nation meanwhile played host to Square CEO and Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, who alongside SME leaders were looking at how tech can help SMEs thrive. London Tech Week is all about making those connections between large and small, business and academia, as well as inspiring the next generation.
Finally, yesterday evening, the annual London Tech Week dinner took place, this year in support of Founders4Schools, a wonderful initiative connecting today’s young people to leaders in their community to solve tomorrow’s problems. To find out more click here.
The second day of London tech week was buzzing with excitement with events going on across the Capital celebrating all things tech and innovation.
The Business Secretary, Greg Clark, announced that his Department will be rewriting the rulebook when it comes to regulation to free up businesses and innovators to test their ideas, make use of the latest technologies and get their products to market quicker. Our deputy CEO, Antony Walker, welcomed the announcement commenting that “too often in the past, regulation designed for an old way of doing things has stood in the way of new methods of working that can benefit both businesses and the public.” You can read our full comment here.
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright also was on stage talking all things AI and unveiled new guidance to help public sector teams use AI and address ethical issues.
And that’s not all, the Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden set out the Government’s ambition on Digital Identity. Speaking at the Identity Week Conference, he announced the creation of a Joint Unit to look at making holistic Digital Identity a reality. This is something techUK has long been calling for and only last month we published our Digital Identity White Paper which we are very pleased to see is now being acted on.
The sun finally shone at CogX which again played host to an amazing list of speakers on stages spread out across King’s Cross. Antony Walker chaired a session on worker engagement on how we engage workers and employees in the development and use of AI alongside the TUC and Prospect Union. A little later on our Head of Policy, Vinous Ali, moderated an excellent discussion on education and the future of work with perspectives from the OECD, industry and academia. If you are after a fuller snapshot of the CogX digital ethics discussion, why not check out our roundup of the digital ethics discussion that has taken place so far.
techUK was also delighted to be at the IBM Pavilion at CogX for the Supercharging the North drinks yesterday evening. It was packed to the rafters with people keen to get involved in tech innovation across the nation. Jacqui Davie, VP Enterprise, Industry Units, IBM, Tabitha Goldstaub, founder of CognitionX, and our own Antony Walker kicked off the celebrations.
Over at the Barbican, the LeadersIn Tech Summit kicked off with the focus this year being on futureproofing business. Our president, Jacqueline de Rojas, moderated a thoughtful discussion on digital skills and talent, whilst Sue Daley chaired a panel on emerging tech highlighting the importance of personalisation, building trust and ethical innovation.
We are now over halfway through London Tech Week – and still going! There are no signs of things slowing down, so here is your recap of day three.
Yesterday, techUK launched its new pathways tool, helping people find their Journey Into Tech as Tech Nation research revealed there were 1.7m digital tech economy job openings across the UK in 2018. Here, at techUK, we want to make sure that these opportunities are open and accessible to everyone. So, have a look at the tool and send it on to friends and family – together, let’s make tech an opportunity for all.
CogX came to a close for another year. They stayed true to their word of creating a festival-vibe right down to the need for wellies and waterproofs. As one AI festival ended, another started.
The AI Summit which will run until the end of today, has taken over the ExCeL with over 500 speakers. Our very own Sue Daley spoke about the socio-economic impact of AI in the UK. If you missed out yesterday, be sure to get down there today.
Also at the ExCeL is the Mission Critical Technologies Conference. Opening the Conference yesterday, Nick Hurd acknowledged the need to dial up ambition on technology for emergency services. techUK's Jessica Russell hosted the afternoon session on day one and will be there today, running a workshop on interoperability for policing. This formed part of several activities in the Justice and Emergency Services space this week which included a roundtable on e-Disclosure at the Home Office and Attorney General Office’s Tech Summit.
Our President, Jacqueline de Rojas, also took to the stage again at the Innovation Festival to discuss the importance of collaboration in tech, a theme running throughout this year’s London Tech Week.
techUK and DeepMind brought together some of the UK’s leading thinkers from across the health sector to discuss the emerging and transformative potential associated with applying AI in the health sector. The event provided a fantastic opportunity for attendees to gain a greater understanding of the current AI landscape and its transformative potential in health, highlighting how AI could enhance existing diagnostic and therapeutic tools and promote AI-enabled drug discovery, genomics, medical imaging, precision medicine and disease deterioration detection. The panel was also a fantastic opportunity to discuss the current barriers to innovation in this space and discuss how the UK can become a global leader in the development, deployment and adoption of AI in the health sector. For more information click here.
Our international team also remained busy taking ambitious international tech start-ups and scale ups on a “Digital Safari” and working with DIT on a packed-out event exploring the UK-Asia Pacific opportunities in tech.
Finally, yesterday evening our CEO Julian David attended the London Tech Week Reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Secretary of State Jeremy Wright.
Thursday and Friday
Believe it or not, the team was still pressing ahead with busy schedules on Thursday and Friday.
Our Director of Markets, Matthew Evans, took to the stage at the IoT World Europe Summit on Thursday to discuss the National Digital Twin programme. Tom Henderson, techUK, produced a detailed insight into what was covered there which you can view here.
Our President Jacqueline De Rojas meanwhile chaired a fascinating discussion at the Future of Work Summit. And, our international team hosted a delegation from Denver in the morning and partnered with DIT for a UK-Australia tech ‘fry up’ in the afternoon. It was a great way to host our colleagues from further afield and begin to wind-down after what has been an intense week.
On Thursday, the team also launched two reports; One into collaboration for public safety outcomes to coincide with activities at Mission Critical Technologies at the ExCel centre and another looking at the practical application of Blockchain which is to be supported at an event on June 17 at techUK.
SES Conference saw some amazing, crystal clear 8K screens find themselves in the techUK members area. The event had broadcasters, from the BBC, Sky, Insight TV, Travelxp 4K, and from 4K programme makers such as Paramax Films on how their UHD plans are evolving, and what the market is buying. The delegates looked at the state of the market and drew together the statisticians, technologists, broadcasters and retailers to discuss the state of the industry, and the prospects for broadcasters – and viewers – for the rest of 2019 and 2020 and beyond.
Finally, Antony Walker hosted the UK-India Tech Alliance with our colleagues from NASSCOM today that focused on issues around skills and regulation in both countries.
Overall it has been a very inspiring, productive and busy week for the whole team here at techUK. We’d like to thank all the organisations that partnered with us, as well as all those who participated and helped show the world that London is open and one of the best places in the world to start, grow and scale a tech business. Onto London Tech Week 2020!