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As we move into spring, PICTFOR would like to thank all our industry members, parliamentary members, and Co-Chairs for your support so far this year.

So far this year, technological advancements and artificial intelligence have been front-of-mind, receiving consistent policy and media attention. PICTFOR’s role as a forum for discussion between parliamentarians, industry, academics, and other stakeholders on issues facing the tech sector remains a critical route to improved collaboration and policymaking, and we are grateful for your continued interest and support.

PICTFOR held its 2024 AGM earlier this month, where members elected parliamentary officers, discussed the APPG’s finances, and confirmed the 2024 events programme. Read the full minutes here.

The confirmed PICTFOR parliamentary membership is as follows:

– Alex Sobel MP – PICTFOR Co-Chair

– Dame Caroline Dinenage MP – PICTFOR Co-Chair

– Lord McNally – PICTFOR Treasurer

– Lord Clement-Jones – PICTFOR Officer

– Anna McMorrin MP

– Baroness Harding

– Bill Esterson MP

– Bob Blackman MP

– Carol Monaghan MP

– Chi Onwurah MP

– Chris Elmore MP

– Daniel Zeichner MP

– Flick Drummond MP

– Jane Hunt MP

– John Lamont MP

– Kevin Brennan MP

– Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom

– Lord Cromwell

– Lord Goddard of Stockport

– Lord Harris of Haringey

– Lord Knight of Weymouth

– Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate OBE

– Lord Patel KT

– Lord Teverson

– Lord Wei of Shoreditch

– Martyn Day MP

– Owen Thompson MP

– Sir Peter Bottomley MP

– Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP

– The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP

– Tulip Siddiq MP

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 and the upcoming general election comes into focus.

Previous Events 

Emerging Technologies in Partnership with the Information Commissioner’s Office 

On Thursday 22nd February, PICTFOR hosted our Emerging Technologies event alongside the Information Commissioner’s Office. As advancements have progressed exponentially, emerging technologies continue to change our lives across the board; from health, media and entertainment, defence, and economics. To shape our regulatory responses, reduce burdens on businesses, and support innovation, the Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO) developed their Tech Horizons Report – a future focused report examining eight emerging technologies and highlighting the possible privacy and data protection risks and opportunities they may bring. The event was hosted by PICTFOR Co-Chair Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, and we heard insights from Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Science, Research, & Innovation, Sue Daley, Director of Technology and Innovation at techUK, and Stephen Almond, Executive Director for Regulatory Risk at the ICO. For full minutes and photos from the event, please see here.

Artificial Intelligence and the UK Creative Sector  

On Wednesday 20th March, PICTFOR hosted our event on AI and the Creative Sector. As award winning novelists and avant-garde filmmakers use ChatGPT to enhance their work, industry action rocks Hollywood over AI and film, and music publishers sue AI companies for training bots on lyrics, it is clear that the relationship between artificial intelligence and the creative industries will only become more sensitive as the technology develops. This event explored potential risks and opportunities artificial intelligence poses for the creative sector. The event was hosted by PICTFOR Co-Chair Alex Sobel MP, and featured insights from Sir Chris Bryant MP, Shadow Minister for Creative Industries and Digital, Paul Clements, Music Publishers Association CEO, Professor Mark Kennedy, Imperial College London Data Science Institute Lead, Stephen Turner, PlayStation Director, EMEA Public Policy, Sophie Jones, British Phonographic Industry Chief Strategy Officer, and Lara Carmona, Creative UK Director of Policy and Engagement. For full minutes from the event, please see here.

Upcoming Events    


We will be holding an event considering how we can ensure the UK’s democracy is protected from cyber-attacks and malicious actors. As technological advancements provide opportunities for improved security and defence measures, bad actors at home and abroad enjoy a tumultuous cyber security political environment marked by rapid change and a lack of agility. Geopolitically, this dynamic can present challenges: as governments scramble to remain one step ahead, outside forces circumvent advanced security measures (and innovate new ones). This event seeks to facilitate opportunities for collaboration between industry leaders and parliament to develop security solutions fit for purpose in 2024. This event will take place in May, with speakers and event details to be confirmed in the near future.

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Rally 

We will hold our sixth annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Rally in June. The tech industry has come a long way in its promotion of diversity and inclusion, yet achieving equal representation remains a distant goal. As conversations continue to shift towards digital skills and the crucial role they play in driving economic growth, it is critical to provide individuals from diverse backgrounds opportunities to thrive in the tech sector. This event will take place on 19th June, with speakers and event details to be confirmed in the near future.

PICTFOR Hustings and Manifesto Launch 

We are holding an event examining what the tech sector needs from the next government, giving members the opportunity to share their vision. This event will also represent the launch of our PICTFOR manifesto, ahead of the General Election. Speakers and event details will be confirmed soon.

See PICTFOR’s full 2024 events programme here.  

If any members are interested in getting involved in any of our upcoming events, please contact us at admin@pictfor.org.uk.

Member Updates    

ACT | The App Association 

ACT | The App Association will host drinks and nibbles at H-APP-y Hour, a celebration of UK innovation for tech SMEs, Parliamentarians, and their staff on 26th March.

– Date: Tuesday 26th March 

– Time: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 

– Venue: St. Stephen’s Tavern – Upstairs Bar, 10 Bridge St, London, SW1A2JR 

H-APP-y hour is an opportunity to meet parliamentarians and to learn from the other innovative tech businesses in ACT |The App Association’s membership. Along with making new connections, the event will discuss the policy hurdles that must be overcome to secure the UK’s reputation as a hotbed for tech entrepreneurship and innovation for small businesses. Please confirm your attendance by emailing Stephen at stulip@actonline.org.

Cloud Industry Forum

Cloud Industry Forum’s Annual Market Survey coming soon. One of the key resources for members is the annual cloud and emerging technology market survey. Cloud Industry Forum commissions and produces regular in depth research and white papers which track Cloud adoption, any inhibitors, and market trends. They just received the survey data for this year’s report, and are in the process of writing the report and our conclusions, which they expect to publish in a matter of weeks. This year they added additional questions about the adoption of generative artificial intelligence, on sustainability, and on cyber security. The data shows that 96% of the organisations surveyed believe AI is at least somewhat important in their medium and long term plans, but nearly two thirds report that it is already in use in at least some parts of their organisation. The data shows that ESG topics, and particularly sustainability, are moving from a tick box exercise to serious attention, as they should be. The report will underline the importance of cloud technology as a key enabler for AI and other new technologies, and joins an archive of 25 papers. They hope to have a fuller analysis from the report in the next PICTFOR newsletter.

Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited 

DMSL’s Shared Rural Network has already delivered substantial improvements to mobile coverage across the UK. Since the programme was agreed in 2020, parts of the country totalling over 2000 square miles – equivalent in size to the counties of Cheshire and Lancashire combined – that were previously without 4G are now covered by at least one operator. Even more significantly, areas adding to almost 5,000 square miles – or 60% the size of Wales – now have coverage from all four operators, having previously been covered by none or just some. Find out more here.


Gamma is thrilled to once again host its flagship event, GX Summit, at the prestigious QEII Conference Centre on May 16th, situated in the heart of Westminster. This event promises to be a transformative experience for Public Sector professionals, featuring a series of enriching sessions designed to empower and inspire. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain fresh perspectives, expand your network, and chart a course for success in the digital era. Secure your spot today by registering here and be part of this transformative experience.

Good Things Foundation 

Leading digital inclusion charity Good Things Foundation has launched Digital For All this March – a national campaign to raise awareness of the serious, urgent issue of digital exclusion in our society. The campaign is made up of impactful stories from people whose lives have been transformed after getting a range of free digital inclusion support. If digital inclusion is on your agenda, get involved by:

Checking out Good Things’ billboards! Stories will be shared on billboards across the nation throughout the month to drive the public’s awareness of digital inclusion support.

– If you have stories of digital inclusion to share, or can help Good Things spread their message, get in touch at press@goodthingsfoundation.org and the team will send you a campaign communications toolkit

– Keep an eye on Good Things’ website and social media channels for more ways to get involved

Good Things Foundation have launched their Digital Futures for Good in-depth conversation series. Hear from thought leaders, policy makers, and experts on digital inclusion – from the best practice highlights through to their visions for a digitally included future nation. The second episode of the series is on April 11, 1-2pm, where Good Things’ Group CEO Helen Milner will be joined by businesswoman, philanthropist, and public servant Martha Lane Fox. We hope you can join in – register for your free ticket here.

Institution of Engineering and Technology 

Engineering and science organisations, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Women into Science and Engineering (WISE) Campaign have joined forces to accelerate the pursuit of gender equality in the UK STEM sector, with the goal of 35% of roles to be filled by women by 2030. According to recent government statistics, women make up 29% of the current STEM workforce – this remains the biggest and largest untapped talent pool for engineering, science and technology, and as the engineering skills deficit widens, the IET and WISE want to increase the pace of change.

Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy 

Minderoo have submitted written evidence to the Information Commissioner’s Office on the lawful basis for web scraping to train generative AI (Gen AI) models. Most developers of generative AI rely on web scraping publicly accessible sources for their training data. Developers either collect training data themselves, or via another organisation that has web-scraped data for them. But the use of web scraped personal data for training AI raises significant questions for the feasible enforcement and application of data protection. The organisation asked for clarity on the use of ‘legitimate interest’ for web scraping in relation to special category data (Article 9 UK GDPR); data provenance when personal data is scraped by a second data controller; the extent to which the information requirements (Articles 12-14 UK GDPR) are met; and reasonable expectations.


OpenUK published its recent AI and Openness report on 1 February and will be providing its deep expertise in open source to the UK and global market place with ongoing updates to that report throughout the year. If you are interested in learning more the report can be found here and you can sign up to OpenUK’s newsletter to be informed of our events and updates to the report here.


PETRAS has released a report on the Future Challenges of IoT Cybersecurity in UK Industry Sectors. This report aims to provide strategic advice and policy insights for the public and private sectors to address the potential implications and challenges for the adoption and use of IoT. Read the full report here.

Experts are calling for regulatory action after their research found security and privacy concerns in female-oriented technologies (FemTech) such as period–tracker mobile apps, and fertility and menopause smart devices are being used beyond health and medical clinics. Their findings have exposed a lack of research and guidelines for developing cyber-secure, privacy-preserving and safe products. Read the full report here.

PETRAS has released its 2023 Impact Report. The report documents the influence PETRAS has had on the IoT landscape in the past seven years. PETRAS has made significant strides in influencing government policy and industry practices over its seven-year journey. Initially funded by EPSRC in 2016 and later by the UK Government’s Strategic Priorities Fund from 2019 to 2023, PETRAS focused on ensuring the safe and secure development of IoT, AI, and ML technologies. Read the full report here.

Tech Against Terrorism 

Tech Against Terrorism will host a webinar series on Generative AI’s Counterterrorism Challenge and Opportunity. This first in a series of webinars organised by Tech Against Terrorism will explore the exploitation of Generative AI by terrorist and violent extremist actors. The webinar will introduce ongoing research conducted by Tech Against Terrorism analysts suggests that terrorist and violent extremist actors are early adopters of Generative AI, but that they do so primarily to produce content. Register here.

– Date: Tuesday 26 March 2024 

– Time: 1730 GMT | 1330 EST | 1030 ET 

Tech Against Terrorism was referenced in the UK Government’s voluntary guidance for internet infrastructure providers on preventing terrorism online: “We would particularly encourage infrastructure providers to make use of Tech Against Terrorism’s Terrorist Content Analytics Platform, which provides alerts to companies, as well as their Knowledge Sharing Platform, which contains a comprehensive list of pro- scribed terrorist organisations, including associated imagery and logos, as well as a list of known terrorist operated websites.” Learn more here.

Parliamentary forward look 

– 28 March – the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology’s call for evidence on Cybersecurity and Economic Growth will close. The review is examining how the UK can keep exploiting the benefits of digital technology and data for growth. Submit evidence here.

– 26 March – the House of Commons will rise for recess. Parliament will reconvene on 15 April.

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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