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“This report shows the significant efforts being made by the tech community to help us combat some of the big issues facing us all during these unprecedented times. From reducing loneliness and isolation, to repurposing tech to help fight COVID on the NHS frontline and making the internet more secure – I’m proud that PICTFOR continues to play such a crucial role in facilitating the Westminster-tech world relationship at such a challenging time. – Darren Jones MP, PICTFOR Co-chair

PICTFOR as the APPG on tech has continued to provide a forum for discussion for its members, calling for collaboration between the tech sector and government to respond to the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Continuing to operate as a forum for discussion between Parliamentarians, industry, academics and other stakeholders on strategic issues facing the tech sector.

The Stakeholder Input Report – which has been sent to government to feed into the  help the national effort to support business throughout the pandemic – is the first activity in a succession of projects through which PICTFOR will continue to facilitate the sectors response to Covid-19, including facilitating further discussions between Westminster and the internet, communications and technology sectors through virtual events.

You can read the full report here: PICTFOR Covid-19 Stakeholder Input Report – April 2020.

Below is a summary of insights from PICTFOR members:

  • BCS are working with business to develop Trusted Local Networks – providing peer to peer engagement and support networks for SMEs.
  • BT are working to keep the most vulnerable connected, support those hit financially by the pandemic and to aid the NHS frontline in treating acute cases of COVID-19 while using their reach to help inform the public about the precautions they should be taking.
  • Ericsson are working with SMEs to ensure they have processes and contingencies in place to continue delivering safely during the COVID-19 crisis, whilst supporting employees through paid volunteer hours so they can help locally without being affected financially.
  • Fujitsu are continuing to support Government by refocusing existing services to alert citizens who are entering high risk areas, using their healthcare equipment tagging hardware to make the NHS more efficient and supporting those struggling with social distancing through their connectivity project BUDDYCONNECT.
  • Good Things Foundation are supporting community organisations in their efforts to keep vulnerable communities connected. They are continuing to fund raise and handle donations of tech hardware through the FutureDotNow programme.
  • Google is working closely with Government and the NHS to provide accurate, timely information across all of its channels. As well as rolling out Google Classroom, a free service which allows teachers to create classes, distribute assignments, mark work and send feedback.
  • ICAEW are continuing to facilitate discussions between SMEs and the tech world – advocating a focus on cyber security capabilities, broadband and connectivity issues, clear information on Government support and effective home working solutions.
  • Internet Association are supporting local communities and healthcare institutions by ensuring ongoing access to online tools and resources needed to continue day-to-day operations, helping to provide resources and working to ensure safe and positive experiences while using online platforms for all internet users.
  • Nominet are helping the UK stay home by helping to bridge the divide between the digital ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ and are working with Government to maintain cyber security levels throughout the pandemic.
  • TikTok are continuing to provide a safe and positive environment for it’s users, whilst tackling misinformation and promoting official guidelines on the site. TikTok will support SMEs across Europe by making available $20m in ad credits to help companies get back on their feet once economies are able to restart normal activity.

The report also features contributions from the following organisations

  • Dell
  • Facebook
  • The Federation of Small Businesses
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • McKesson UK
  • Nodes & Links
  • Renfrew Group
  • SAP

You can read the full report here: PICTFOR Covid-19 Stakeholder Input Report – April 2020.

 

If you would like further information on this topic or about PICTFOR’s programme of events, please get in touch!

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