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As summer recess kicks off, PICTFOR would like to thank all of our industry members, parliamentary Vice-Chairs, and Co-Chairs for your support so far this year.

We would like to thank everyone who attended our roundtable on The Implications of the Digital Markets, Consumers, and Competition Bill, as well as our fantastic speakers. Looking ahead, we’re excited to move forwards with our autumn events programme, with discussions on the future of digital regulation with members of the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) and women’s online safety. We will also be launching our annual report, Tech for Good; Tech for Growth, with an event in the House of Commons and, later in the year, we will be hosting our prestigious annual dinner in the House of Lords.

In the run up to the last party conference season before the next general election, technological and digital strategy is at the heart of every party’s agenda. PICTFOR‘s role as a forum for discussion between parliamentarians, industry, academics, and other stakeholders on strategic issues facing the tech sector remains as crucial as ever, and we are grateful for your continued interest and support.

As one of the largest and most active APPGs, PICTFOR is finding innovative ways to continue providing a forum for the internet, communications and technology sectors and interested parliamentarians to communicate on pressing topics. We will be keeping you updated on our activities in regular newsletters to further promote and engage with the tech sector as the country grapples with its economic and security challenges.


Upcoming Events

On Tuesday 24th October from 15.00-17.00, we will be holding a reception to launch our 2023 report, Tech for Good; Tech for Growth. The Report will be split into themes detailing the various community benefit and Tech for Good programmes currently being delivered by PICTFOR members and the wider tech community – and Tech for Growth, a suite of activity and proposed activity which should be prioritised by the UK Government in order to create a growth-friendly environment in the UK. The event will be an opportunity to discuss the report’s key findings and consider their implications with other PICTFOR members and Parliamentary Vice-Chairs. The launch will be held in the House of Commons Terrace Pavilion. You can register to attend here.

On the morning of Thursday 26th October, we will host a breakfast roundtable on the future of digital regulation with members of the DRCF including the CEO of Ofcom, the Information Commissioner, and the new head of the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum. The discussion will cover how upcoming legislation will impact data freedom and security, how businesses can prepare, and whether the new regulatory regime encourages innovation. There is limited availability at this event and demand last year was extremely high – please keep an eye out for an invite in the coming weeks and places will be first come first served with a waiting list in operation.

On Wednesday 29th November from 19.00, we will host our most prestigious event of the year – the annual dinner. We are delighted to have Google and BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT as co-sponsors for this year’s reception and three-course dinner in the House of Lords. The event will provide an opportunity to celebrate the ongoing collaboration between Westminster and the tech sector – please register to reserve a place here.

Later this year, we will also hold an event on Tackling Safety Issues for Women and Others Online with a particular focus on emerging technologies such as AI. From misogynistic abuse to the worlds of online dating and gambling, the discussion will cover what steps are needed to empower women to feel safe online.

We have finalised our programme of events for the year, and you can find the full breakdown here. If any members are interested in getting involved in any of our upcoming events, please contact us at admin@pictfor.org.uk.    

Event Recap

On Tuesday 27 June, PICTFOR hosted our roundtable event on The Implications of the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumers Bill, examining what the wide-ranging reforms in the draft legislation will mean for the industry.

The fascinating discussion covered the role of the newly formed Digital Markets Unit; how new regulations may interact with designated Strategic Market Status businesses; the disadvantages of lack of competition; the impact of the Bill from an economic perspective; and much more.

A huge thanks to PICTFOR Co-Chair Darren Jones MP, and our speakers: Will Hayter, the Competition and Markets Authority’s Senior Director, Digital Markets Unit; Lord Clement-Jones, Liberal Democrats House of Lords spokesperson for Science Innovation and Technology; Katie Eyton, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Omnicom Media Group UK; and Professor Tommaso Valletti, Head of the Department of Economics & Public Policy at Imperial College London.
If you would like to catch up on the event, you can view the full minutes here or watch the full session here.

Contact the secretariat here to discuss membership

Members Update

ACT The App Association 

  • New survey data and UK High Court findings have demonstrated the urgent need for action to protect the interests of small UK businesses seeking to innovate IoT technologies. The IoT ecosystem is expected to generate €12.5 billion for the global economy by 2030, with much of this innovation coming from small businesses. The licensing of SEPs is a crucial step in developing new IoT technologies, however a lack of regulation means that small businesses are being denied access to SEPs on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Find our more here.

Arqit Ltd

  • In June, Arqit announced their role in an international consortium that delivered the world’s first quantum-safe cross-border electronic trade document transaction. Orchestrated by the International Chamber of Commerce UK and Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation, this successful pilot between the UK and Singapore, supported by the Singapore Government agency the Infocomm Media Development Authority, delivered a verifiable, secure and scalable solution that will make international trade cheaper, simpler, faster and more sustainable. Arqit’s technology was used to place a quantum-secure ‘seal’ around the electronic trade documents, and facilitate their secure transfer across digital platforms, thereby removing friction from trade. Read more here.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

  • In May, the BCS Fellows Technical Advisory Group (F-TAG) worked with key member groups such as Law, AI, Software, and the Internet Specialist groups to create a proactive position paper arguing against a ‘pause’ on AI development. The paper was shared government and covered exclusively by Sky News. Read the paper here.
  • In June, BCS released an open letter calling for government and industry to recognise AI as ‘a transformational force for good, not an existential threat’. Our statement has so far attracted over 1300 signatures, including from leading thinkers like Anne-Marie Imafidon, CEO of Stemettes, and Philosopher and Professor Luciano Floridi, from the University of Oxford. Read the letter here.
  • BCS organised two roundtable discussions for the Office for AI as part of a response to a government White Paper, drawing on the expertise of BCS members and policy contacts. The first was about the impact of the new technology on marginalised communities, which concluded whilst there could be benefits for groups such as ethnic minorities, neurodiverse people and LGBTQ+ people, there were also concerns around inbuilt bias. The second roundtable was held jointly with the National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC) on managing risk and safety in engineering, how the regulatory environment outlined in the UK Government’s White Paper could work in practice, and where it might need amendments. Its conclusion included concerns about deploying AI prematurely without human oversight.
  • BCS CEO Rashik Parmar was widely quoted in the media arguing that  IT professionals should have a licence to develop AI. Rashik Parmar, chief executive of BCS, commented after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a review into the AI market. He said: “I would not want a surgeon to operate on me that didn’t have the right kind of code of ethics, was competent, ethical … And yet we allow IT professionals to build and deploy complex technologies without the same level of professionalism.” Find our more here.
  • Julia Adamson, MD of the BCS Education and Public Benefit, was also invited to appear at a House of Lords Select Committee hearing on the challenges and opportunities for computing education. Julia’s points around innovative solutions to teaching the subject, including bringing in industry and the need to broaden and balance the computing curriculum, are part of the formal record. This will also be part of our key manifesto ‘asks’ as we engage with major political parties before the next general election. We followed up this evidence with formal written evidence, now on the committee’s pages. Read the full evidence submission here.

Carnegie UK

Cloud Industry Forum

  • The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has appointed Ian Jeffs, Infrastructure Solutions Group Country Manager at Lenovo UK & Ireland as a Director and Chairman to usher in the next phase of Cloud adoption and collaboration in the UK. With his extensive expertise in the technology industry and commitment to driving cloud innovation, Ian is well positioned to work with CIF’s CEO David Terrar to lead them in their mission to promote best practices and standards within the cloud computing industry. Ian re-joined the Lenovo family in 2020 after 12 years and was part of the first team to establish the PC business in the country after its acquisition of ThinkPad from IBM in 2004. With a career spanning 25 years in senior roles in PC and data centre industry, Ian has been successful in creating thriving sales, marketing and channel businesses in large technology organisations including Tech Data, Arrow and IBM.
  • CIF has announced a new media partnership with Disruptive Live, a renowned media platform covering the latest advancements in technology and business innovation. This collaboration marks a significant step change in the delivery of high-quality and dynamic content to Cloud industry professionals in the UK and globally.  Highlights include the Launch of “Cloud Industry Forum presents TWF!” – a weekly, live-streamed news and interview show. Lasting 15 minutes, the show will provide up-to-the-minute news on cloud computing, followed by a 10-minute interview featuring prominent industry thought leaders. This show promises to keep viewers informed and inspired by the latest trends and insights.  A State-of-the-art mixed reality virtual set designed to provide an immersive and visually engaging experience for live-streamed programmes and individual events, it brings the benefits of virtual participation to a global audience. Members and attendees can expect enhanced coverage of CIF events and gain access to exclusive expert interviews and valuable insights.

Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum

  • The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) recently published its Quantum Technologies Insights Paper. What are quantum technologies exactly, how are they different from their ‘classical’ counterparts and what could they potentially achieve? What issues should the DRCF regulators be thinking about now to prepare for a quantum enabled world? This Insights Paper considers these questions, building on contributions and learnings from the DRCF Quantum Symposium held in February 2023. The DRCF aims to contribute to the global conversation by discussing examples of where our existing regulatory remits are already relevant to the nascent world of quantum, and where the voice of DRCF regulators may be important as these technologies develop and mature. Ultimately, the DRCF wants to ensure that the UK can harness the benefits of quantum innovation while protecting consumer and citizen interests. Read the paper here.

Institute of Engineering and Technology 

  • The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) recently held the first of two ‘Reflect’ events in partnership with RS Grassroots and AFBE. The panel-led session explores how companies can make and commit to positive changes and improved equality, diversity, and inclusion. Hosted by esteemed engineer Yewande Akinola and featuring showcase videos from organisations who are already reaping the benefits of greater EDI, the event is available to watch on demand here.

Information Commissioner’s Office

  • The ICO recently published a report on Neurotech. The report predicts the use of technology to monitor neurodata, the information coming directly from the brain and nervous system, will become widespread over the next decade. The report warns that newly emerging neurotechnologies risk discriminating against neurodivergent people if these groups are not put at the heart of their development. The ICO is currently developing guidance around the use of neurodata to help address these risks. Read the full report here.


  • OpenUK’s State of Open: The UK in 2023 Phase Two Report, sharing survey output, interviews and thought leadership, was recently published. These were launched on 13 July with an analyst briefing, with our friend Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and Chris Yiu, Meta’s Director of Policy speaking to analysts and press alongside myself and Dr Jennifer Barth. This second part of the report brings together UK and International “Open” thought leadership on the place of open source software, open data and open innovation in AI. With the UK’s Turing Institute and Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, the report discusses the place of open in AI along side the Open Source Initiative as they launch their call for papers and consultation on the meaning of Open Source AI. The UK’s place as a leader in AI, Open Source Software and open data leaves it uniquely placed to lead in this space. Read the report here.

Philip Virgo

  • The last of the National Network of Cyber Resilience Centres to be launched was that for London.  Philip convenes their Advisory Group. The objective is to provide an umbrella for partnerships to deliver support and services for micro-businesses and sole traders at scale at the same time as addressing the on-line safety, safeguarding, security and resilience needs of London as a both multi-cultural metropolis and the largest financial services, fintech and cybertech hub outside North Americas. To find out more information, or to get involved at the practical or political level, go here.

University College London’s PETRAS National Centre of Excellence

  • The Centre recently release a six-part animation video series on real-world scenarios posed by Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity for industry sectors, and how PETRAS research is tackling those challenges. Watch it here.
  • The Centre has published a systematic literature review: To what extent do public perceptions of connected places affect the security and sustainability of connected places? Read it here.
  • The Centre has released a report titled: Emerging Digital Technologies in Patient Care – Dealing with Connected, Intelligent Medical Device Vulnerabilities and Failures in the Healthcare Sector. Read it here.
  • The Centre recently released a series of artworks in its publication: Electric Feels: Artistic responses to research exploring human dimensions of digital energy transformation. View them here.

Parliamentary Activity

  • On 19 May, The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology announced a semiconductor partnership with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. Read the statement here. They also unveiled a new £1 billion strategy for the UK’s semiconductor sector. More details on that here.
  • On 7 June, The House of Lords debated the Science and Technology Committee report from 4 August 2022 titled “Science and Technology Superpower”: More Than a Slogan? The debate found that the report ultimately fell short of clarifying a specific, clear and differentiated long-term science strategy. Read the specifics here.
  • On 8 June, The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology announced the intention to establish a UK-US data bridge. Read the joint statement here.
  • On 9 June, The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology announced a quantum science and technologies partnership with Canada. Read the statement here.
  • On 14 June, The House of Commons held a debate on Science, Innovation and Technology. Topics discussed include the skills shortage in the tech sector, regional innovation, broadband social tariffs, AI regulation and the impact of Brexit. Read the full debate here.
  • On 14 June, The Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Chloe Smith MP, gave a speech to open London Tech Week. The speech outlined the project’s broad goals and touched on the role of AI, core technologies and research in the UK tech economy. Read the speech here.
  • On 15 June, The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology released its Geospatial Strategy for 2030. It details the UK’s ambitions for location data and technologies including AI and satellite imaging. Read the strategy here.
  • On 16 June, the Government responded to The Science, Innovation and Technology Committee’s report (published on 24 March 2023) that urged for increased efforts of diversity and inclusion in STEM. The Chair of The Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, Greg Clark MP, expressed his disappointment with the vagueness of the response. Read the Committee’s report here and the Government’s response here.
  • On 26 June, The House of Commons asked the Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge MP, about the Government’s support of innovative defence technologies. AI and Morpheus were discussed. Read the details here.
  • On 28 June, The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology announced two new agreements with Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information. The agreements bolster the UK and Singapore’s mutual commitment to furthering international cyber security, connectivity and advancements in AI. Read the press release here.
  • On 29 June, The House of Lords Digital Exclusion and the Cost of Living Committee published its report on how digital exclusion and the cost of living crisis interact. It found that the Government has “no credible strategy” to combat the digital exclusion which is harming economic growth. Read the full report here.
  • On 4 July, The House of Commons debated Clean Energy Technology and Private Sector Investment. The debate touched on energy security, carbon capture technology and general decarbonisation. Find out more here.

We are grateful to receive your contributions and encourage all PICTFOR members to keep us updated with upcoming research, reports, news or thought-leadership pieces to include in our regular newsletters.These are distributed to our industry members, Parliamentary Officers, MP’s and Peers,

The PICTFOR Secretariat

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

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