One month on: Supercharging Innovation Week 2023
It’s been a month since techUK’s #SuperchargeUKTech week, in which over 50 members and stakeholders contributed insights and vlogs setting out how they believe the UK can harness, support and lead on key emerging technologies.
The week also saw several techUK events, including our Industries of the Future: Space webinar (which launched our emerging space tech activity) and our Future Visions: AI and Semiconductors webinar. You can read the event round-ups, which contain the event recordings, in the links above.
There were 5 headline themes throughout the week, the summaries of which are below.
Day 1 – Quantum Commercialisation
This day explored how we can action the UK Quantum Strategy to develop a world-pioneering quantum economy.
Contributors explained how quantum computing in the cloud works, outlined how the UK can build upon its early lead in quantum, explored the topic of quantum encryption, gave an overview of the Hartree Centre’s role in quantum, delved into how quantum technologies could transform the space sector, and asked how the UK can deliver the National Quantum Strategy. Other topics included error correction, commercial adoption, choices in quantum computing, quantum use cases, and symmetric key agreement.
Day 2 – Ethical Web3 and Metaverse Development
On the Tuesday, we asked how the UK can foster responsible innovation in the Metaverse and Web3 to supercharge the UK’s tech landscape.
Insights touched upon building trust and navigating an ethical landscape in the metaverse, Web3 and decentralised finance, Web3’s trade-off between innovation and regulation, the benefits of centralised vs decentralised systems, as well as HMRC’s and the NHS’s approach to metaverse and XR technologies. Other topics included railways in the metaverse, solving digital identity verification, digital assets and financial services, and whether there should be a national strategy for a people-centred metaverse.
Day 3 – Space
The middle of the week saw the launch of techUK’s emerging space tech activity with our collection of insights and vlogs exploring what steps the UK can take to become a superpower across a broad spectrum of emerging and transformative space technologies.
Our wide range of contributors wrote about in-orbit refuelling and servicing, satellite-enabled agriculture, space-based solar power, using AI and sensors to tackle space debris, cybersecurity in space, and space-to-space relay communication. Other contributions included pieces from the UK Space Agency on how the UK is growing into an innovative and world-leading space economy and Space Hub Yorkshire on how the UK can learn lessons from the region, plus a vlog from Satellite Applications Catapult on in-space servicing, manufacturing and assembly.
Our Industries of the Future: Space webinar explored several of these core themes, including space services, space sustainability, and the on-earth applications of space technologies. Our Chair and Programme Manager for Emerging Technologies, Rory Daniels, was joined by a fantastic panel from the UK Space Agency, Satellite Applications Catapult, Linklaters, Space Forge and Space Solar.
Day 4 – Applied AI, Semiconductors and the Future of Compute
On Thursday, we investigated how the UK can get next-generation and innovative application right.
AI was a popular theme, with insights on responsible AI regulation and assurance, sustainable AI, open-source foundation models, the effective use of data and AI, using generative AI to transform business operations, the role of understanding in AI, plus how low code AI is steering the future of productivity. We also received a vlog explaining what AI test beds are and how they work in practice.
Visit techUK’s AI page and AI Safety Hub to learn more about our work on AI. The latter contains information on the Government’s upcoming AI Safety Summit and techUK’s official pre-summit event in advance of this.
So too were semiconductors. Insights touched upon the age of AI-specific (processor) hardware, using AI to innovate in a post-Moore’s Law world, how GPU shortages could impact the AI revolution, the power of niche ideas in the global semiconductor race, developing the next generation of semiconductor chip designers, and an overview of the UK’s position on chips.
You can find out more about techUK’s work on semiconductors by visiting our UK Semiconductor Hub.
Our Future Visions: AI and Semiconductors webinar combined many of the above themes when exploring the latest developments and opportunities at the intersection of both technologies. Our Head of Data Analytics, AI and Digital ID, Katherine Holden, was joined by three excellent panellists from NVIDIA, Graphcore and RED Semiconductor.
techUK’s work on compute, including news, reports, events and guest blogs, can be found on our Future of Compute Hub.
Day 5 – Supercharging UK Technology Policy
The final day took a step back and asked what ingredients are needed to supercharge the UK as a globally competitive pioneer in applied research and innovation.
Insights covered topics such as the application of technology in the legal sector, the UK’s future tech skills pipeline, the UK’s complex landscape of R&D tax credits and VC funding, the power of open innovation, the role of innovation in sustainability, how 5G can empower the UK’s tech revolution, and how the UK can support deeptech start-ups. Other relevant insights from earlier in the year include an overview of the innovation challenge facing the UK and the event round-up from our webinar exploring what it means to be a science and tech superpower.
You can find the full collection of insights, vlogs and event round-ups on our campaign week page by clicking here.
All these technologies (and more) will also be debated and explored at techUK’s first Innovation Summit, taking place on the 8th November. You can register via the link below.
Join techUK on 8 November as we traverse the extraordinary and ground-breaking discoveries made possible by emerging technologies and explore how to supercharge this innovation into action across industries and sectors in the UK
techUK – Supercharging UK Tech and Innovation
The opportunities of innovation are endless. Automation, IoT, AI, Edge, Quantum, Drones and High Performance Computing all have the power to transform the UK. techUK members lead the development of these technologies. Together we are working with Government and other stakeholders to address tech innovation priorities and build an innovation ecosystem that will benefit people, society, economy and the planet - and supercharge the UK as a global leader in tech and innovation.
For more information, or to get in touch, please visit our Innovation Hub and click ‘contact us’.