What We’ve Learned From The Tech Nation Report
The 2017 Tech Nation report was released last week by Tech City announcing the UK as the tech capital of Europe. The report discusses key findings relating to investment, talent, collaboration, growth, jobs and productivity.
The Prime Minister Theresa May introduced the report by saying; “Today more than 1.5 million people are already working within the digital sector, or in digital tech roles across other sectors, while the number of digital tech jobs across the UK has grown at more than twice the rate of non-digital tech sectors. From analysts to web developers to software architects, these pioneers of our digital economy are at the forefront of a great British success story.”
There are some interesting, insightful and encouraging findings, so we’ve picked out some of the highlights.
1) DIGITAL TECH INVESTMENT: In 2016 UK digital tech investment reached £6.8billion, that’s 50% higher than any other European country
2) DIGITAL TECH TALENT: The UK is home to 8 of Europe’s top 20 universities, more than any other European country
3) DIGITAL TECH COLLABORATION: London hosted 22,000 Meetups in 2016, that’s three times as many as in Berlin, Amsterdam or Paris
4) DIGITAL BUSINESS GROWTH: The turnover of digital tech businesses reached £170 billion, an increase of £30billion in just five years
Making An Innovative Idea Global
Offering a solution to a problem is often where a start-up idea begins. To become a disruptor or offer a product or service that’s truly unique the idea has to be fresh, innovative and well-considered. In this article we’re going to take a quick look at an excellent example of a start-up that is disrupting on a global scale.
A Truly Disruptive Idea
What3words began when Chris Sheldrick travelled the world touring as a classical musician. He discovered that there are many areas across the world without an official address system. Home locations would be described along the lines of “past the hairdresser, four houses down on the left, between the pump and the bush” leaving visitors, deliveries and even firefighters struggling to reach their destination. For those who have travelled to areas of the world where this is an issue, such as sub-Saharan Africa, Mongolia, Costa Rica and the favelas of Brazil, you may understand why this is such an issue. Those who haven’t, you may never have even realised this was a problem that existed.
What what3words does is assign a three-word combination, like “table fork spoon,” to every three-meter square across the globe. There is no time and resource wasted trying to pinpoint exact locations of homes and doors, or any complicated latitude and longitude coordinates. This provides any and every area of the globe an ‘address.’
Consumers can use the what3words app for free for navigation, but their developer software is licenced out as a revenue stream. Courier services in Brazil are using what3words to bring e-commerce to the favelas for example. The start-up has also partnered with a number of humanitarian agencies across the world, such as Diaconia, a microfinance subsidiary of Norwegian NGO Mission Alliance. People living in Liberia without...
Why Corporate Social Responsibility Makes Sense For SMEs
Corporate social responsibility is generally something we relate to large businesses employing hundreds of people, after all these organisations have more of an impact on society. However, growing SMEs may still employ staff, deal with freelancers, clients, partners and the wider community. Any business’ activity will in some way affect the environment, the economy and society.
As any business grows, so will its footprint, and it’s corporate social responsibility that will determine whether that footprint is positive or negative. You’ll often find a company’s values will display the responsibilities most important to them, such as a commitment to being green, or giving back to the environment. Investing in staff gives them the opportunity to grow and develop, and even engage themselves in corporate social responsibility. Smaller, day-to-day to day changes are easily made such as stocking fair-trade tea and coffee in the kitchen, or using other eco-friendly products where possible.
Giles Fuchs, Co-Founder of Office Space in Town explains, “a considered SME corporate social responsibility policy is key for any ambitious business hoping to grow and can no longer be an afterthought. A business’ commitment to corporate social responsibility is now a benchmark by which to measure its appeal – younger workers have ranked corporate social responsibility as a key criterion of an employer, clients increasingly consider it as of equal value as cost and investors more and more want assurances that their investments are socially responsible.”
As part of Office Space in Town’s CSR they encourage staff to get involved in community work, and they can take time out of work to do so. Giving purpose to a role, particularly for Millennials is increasingly important, as Simon Sinek explains in his popular video asking ‘the millennial question.’
Involving your SME in CSR can be on a large...
A Boost for The UK’s AI Sector
The Government this week have been announcing details of their new Digital Strategy which aims to boost the digital economy and help to plug the digital skills gap. Artificial Intelligence is set to add £654 billion to the UK economy by 2035 so it’s no wonder the AI sector plays a key role in the strategy.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said, “Innovation is at the heart of our Industrial Strategy and the launch of the Government’s Digital Strategy underlines our commitment to this vital sector. By supporting British businesses and investing in dynamic fields such as robotics and AI, we will help put the UK at the forefront of global innovation.”
The Digital Strategy’s proposals are expected to include:
A major AI review led by Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti to identify the critical elements for the exciting technology to thrive and grow in the UK. It will consider how Government and industry could work together to back this technology, which could inform a sector deal. The UK is already a world-leader in the science underpinning this technology and the sector has the potential to grow further, from early research to commercialisation.
Government is also expected to confirm a funding boost of £17.3m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support the development of new Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) technologies in universities across the UK.
Some of the world’s most innovative AI companies are already based here in the UK, putting us in a great position to become a world leader in this fast moving and competitive sector. AI is increasingly creeping into our everyday lives, and helping all sorts of people with all kinds of things, including voice recognition on smartphones and the likes of Google Home, driverless cars, data insights...