The Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR) is one of the largest and most active All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG). We bring together engaged Parliamentarians with key industry stakeholders to discuss issues on tech, communications and internet policy, as well as many more issues facing the sector. Facilitating frequent, high-level discussions between policymakers and thought leaders across the sector, PICTFOR creates unique opportunities to exchange ideas and enhance Britain’s competitiveness as a digital economy, whilst championing those members of the tech sector who have a social purpose.
Never before has the combination of these two values been more important for the UK, both economically and socially. Continued economic uncertainty combined with persistent social division and renewed public interest in the implications of technology on our lives, has meant that organisations – of all sorts and in all sectors – must increase transparency, flex their commitments to societal good, and signpost their wider economic contributions. It is against this backdrop, and with lessons still being learnt from the UK’s societal response to the Pandemic, that PICTFOR continues to make the case that when regulated effectively and delivered equally, the tech, communications and internet sectors can and should play a central role in our nation’s physical, mental, societal, and economic health.
The Tech for Good, Tech for Growth report, built from PICTFOR industry member contributions, explores how businesses are utilising innovative technology to respond to major societal and economic challenges.
PICTFOR as the APPG on tech has continued to provide a forum for discussion for its members, encouraging collaboration between major businesses, non-profits, and research groups to discuss how to fill tech skills gaps, improve access and inclusion, protect children through the Online Safety Bill, build guardrails and regulation for AI expansion, and drive the UK’s success as a leading tech economy.
The Tech for Good, Tech for Growth report, built from PICTFOR industry member contributions, explores how businesses are utilising innovative technology to respond to major societal and economic challenges, including: responding to the trade backlogs with quantum technology; using augmented and virtual reality to improve learning in classrooms; helping consumers contend with rising energy costs; increasing coverage in neglected rural areas; harnessing AI to build skills and increase productivity; and much more.
PICTFOR, our Vice-Chairs and our members would like to thank our outgoing Co-Chair, Darren Jones MP for his support for the Group since 2017. Darren’s advocacy for the tech sector and impactful tech policy has helped to maintain a long tradition of collaboration between Parliament and the tech sector.
PICTFOR Chair, Caroline Dinenage MP
PICTFOR Treasurer, Lord McNally
Read the full report here
Below is a summary of insights from PICTFOR members:
- Arqit advances international trade security with quantum-safe encryption solutions, piloting the world’s first quantum-secure cross-border electronic trade document transaction through TradeSecureTM.
- BT Group’s Immersive Spaces fosters interactive 5G-enabled simulations for education and various sectors, benefiting institutions like Borders College and Cadoxton Primary School.
- CACI supports both public organisations through initiatives like the ‘Local Government Data Initiative’ and empowers consumers in partnership with EDF Energy, doubling user engagement with smart metres by providing effective data solutions.
- Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL) focuses on ensuring uninterrupted digital life in the UK, improving 4G coverage in rural areas, restoring TV services, and connecting people, businesses, and safety with programs like the Shared Rural Network (SRN).
- Gamma promotes “tech for good” by enhancing communication infrastructure for essential services and supports “tech for growth” by enabling personal and business growth while emphasising ethical communication.
- Google prioritises skills and education, offering initiatives like Google Digital Garage and promoting digital inclusion through accessibility features and tools, fostering a tech-driven, inclusive, and informed society.
- The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) highlights engineers’ role in fostering innovation, reducing costs, improving buyer confidence, and addresses the need for technical skills and lifelong learning to drive economic growth.
- The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) advocates for legislative clarity and international collaboration to safeguard children and users from illegal content online, with a focus on addressing issues like end-to-end encryption, voluntary measures, and detection orders.
- The Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy focuses on AI’s impact on the workforce, emphasising the importance of AI guardrails and offering insights on how AI can both improve and challenge working lives.
- The National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) collaborates with organisations to unlock insights from their data, fostering a data-driven economy, and promoting the transformative potential of data science.
- Open UK advocates for open source technology access and discusses the complexities of open source licensing in the AI landscape.
- SAP emphasises the importance of digital services for boosting productivity and calls for improved adoption of digital technology services in business processes.
- TLT highlights the UK’s approach to AI regulation, advocating for a pro-innovation stance and emphasising six core principles in regulating AI applications.
- Tech UK acknowledges the UK’s strong tech sector and provides recommendations for the government to leverage its tech strengths and compete globally, including addressing digital skills gaps, improving online safety, and promoting green technology.