As we move into summer, 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 congratulate our Co-Chair Dame Caroline Dinenage on her election as Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee Chair. With her wealth of experience inside and outside of Government, we are certain that she will bring huge insight to the role.
From April’s Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to this week’s Cyber Security Playbook, it’s clear that tech strategy is at the top of the parliamentary 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 and a general election looms.
Next Monday 22nd May, we will be holding our event: The 6G Revolution – Strengthening the UK’s Wireless Infrastructure for the Next Generation. The event will be chaired by PICTFOR’s industry chair Simon Blagden CBE, Chair of Building Digital UK, and feature speakers including Dawn Butler MP, Member of the Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee, Matt Warman MP, former Minister for Digital Infrastructure, and Patricia Dooley, Head of Public Affairs at Ericsson.
The discussion will cover topics ranging from how the Government can support homegrown 6G technology, to how we can embed sustainability into the next generation of wireless infrastructure. We will also discuss whether current Government investment in R&D allows the UK to compete internationally.
You can register to attend here.
Next month we will hold an event examining The Implications of the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill. The roundtable will cover the impact of the wide-ranging reforms on the tech industry, the suitability of the CMA and DMU, the Bill’s impact on inward investment, and how UK and EU legislation compare.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
PICTFOR’s ‘Tech for Good, Tech for Growth’ Report
PICTFOR and our members are tech-evangelists, believing that when regulated efficiently and effectively, and deployed fairly, technology can and should play a vital role in helping to address the challenges we face both as a nation and a planet. Our Tech for Good, Tech for Growth report will be an extension of this belief, detailing the considerable work already underway in the sector to address the UK’s social challenges, but also the potential for technology to be used as a key driver of growth, thereby helping to address the economic uncertainty we face as well.
The Report will be split into themes detailing the various community benefit and Tech for Good programmes currently being delivered by PICTOFR members – 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. We will be in touch shortly with further details on how to submit your contribution.
On Wednesday 3 May, PICTFOR hosted our fifth Annual Equity Diversity and Inclusion Rally, focused on equipping people from all backgrounds with the necessary skills for a career in tech: “Celebrating Diversity in Tech”.
We were delighted to be joined by parliamentarians and industry members to discuss how we can equip people from all backgrounds with the necessary skills for a career in tech.
The rally featured insights from Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, PICTFORCo-Chair & Event Chair, Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Science, Research, & Innovation, Marc Goblot, Chair of the Cabinet Office Disability Unit Network for London and founder of TLA Tech for Disability, Lauren Ingram, Women of Web3’s Founder, Alaina Percival, CEO of Women Who Code, Khateeba Ahmed, JISC IT Graduate, Melissa Wills, founder of Women Like Me, Andrew Lowenthal, Out in Tech’s Executive Director, and Katherine Church, Executive Board Member at TLA Women in Tech.
If you would like to catch up on the event, you can view the full minutes here.
- Arqit has recently announced a security partnership with the industry-led and government-supported ICC Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation (C4DTI), a centre working to create an open digital trade system based on common, internationally recognised standards. A leader in quantum-safe encryption technology, Arqit will be collaborating on the development of digitally secure and interoperable solutions that facilitate adoption of digital trading processes. For more details, go here.
- BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, put together a panel briefing of experts for an APPG on the Metaverse and Web 3.0 on Monday 15 May. As well as convening the evidence session of professionals and practitioners in Parliament, BCS says it will support the inquiry with a poll of its members on their views of the Metaverse and Web 3.0, alongside an ongoing programme to engage with the tech communities about this issue.
- BCS Director of Education and Public Benefit, Julia Adamson, gave evidence to the House of Lords Education For 11-16 Year Olds Committee on 27 April. Watch the full session here.
- BCS has published a report on Helping AI grow up without pressing pause. The report argues that a pause in the development of ‘more powerful’ AI as called for in an open letter by the Future of Life Institute is not the most practical way to manage the risks of AI development. The society lays out a number of proposed alternatives to a full pause of AI development. Read the full report here.
- BCS Pride Special Group hosted its annual celebration in Partnership with Mint on Thursday 4 May.
Cloud Industry Forum
Cloud Industry Forum recently published their annual survey of the cloud technology marketplace, titled Breaking new ground with Cloud. Key findings from the research include:
- 90% of survey respondents consider machine learning either very important or critical to their business, while 86% say the same about AI.
- 82% consider ESG and sustainability credentials as important when choosing a cloud provider, and 85% would reject a provider if these credentials weren’t in good order.
- 67% say current economic challenges are affecting IT spend at their company.
- 96% say their cloud strategy has delivered against expectations, although only 43% say it has delivered totally against these expectations so far.
- Complexity of migration is the leading cause of cloud projects falling short of expectations, cited by 65%
Read the full survey here.
- Ericsson have released a report examining how companies and employees are dealing with the post-pandemic landscape and what future work life could look like given the labour market dynamics, rapid digitalization, and how employees envision the future of work. Read the full report here.
- Ericsson asked 15,145 urban early adopters of AR, VR and digital assistants, aged 15-69, in 30 major cities around the globe, to imagine living in a warmer 2030s world. For this future scenario, they were asked to evaluate 15 digital service concept areas ranging from climate-related adaptation efforts for everyday life to ways to handle dire weather events. The respondents represent 75 million citizens out of 325 million living in the metropolitan areas surveyed, which is only a small fraction of consumers globally. However, their early adopter profile makes these individuals important when exploring how consumers might use information and communications technology for daily life in this 2030s climate scenario. Read the full report here.
- Ericsson have released an article on Industry 5.0, the next phase in the evolution of manufacturing, complementary to Industry 4.0, with an all-inclusive approach. They argue that, in future factories, effective communication between humans and machines, as well as between machines themselves, will be crucial for learning, teaching and comprehension to evolve over time. A diverse range of communication channels, relying on advanced connectivity on the factory floor, will be necessary to capture voice, gestures, user input and machine and sensory data. Read the full article here.
- Ericsson have put together an update on the future of 6G and some key things consumers are likely to see in its rollout. Read the article here.
- The IWF Annual Report 2022 has launched, detailing the latest global trends and statistics on the distribution of online child sexual abuse images and videos. The report aims to provide those working in this sector with an overview of what its analysts have recorded online. IWF is Europe’s biggest hotline for identifying and removing online child sexual abuse. With 180+ global companies supporting its work, the IWF also provides a suite of services and datasets to the tech sectors to help prevent the upload, sharing and storage of online child sexual abuse. Read the full report here.
- According to a recent report from Jisc, international students studying in the UK face more difficulties in their digital experience compared to other students. To address this issue, the report suggests integrating international and digital strategies with equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), as well as curriculum and assessment design strategies. Read the full report here.
- OpenUK has published its 2023 phase one report – part of a series of reports examining the value of open-source software to the UK economy. One key finding is that, by January 2023, 4.5% of the UK population had a GitHub account, taking the lead per capita among selected other countries with high growth rates in GitHub accounts. Read the full report here.
- OpenUK’s annual survey is now live. The data collected will be used for their economic analysis, which will be shared this summer. You can complete the survey here.
- OpenUK Subset Talks, a series of digital talks across the topics from the 7 tracks at OpenUK State of Open Con, run weekly at 3pm on Tuesdays with global speakers covering all things open-source software, open hardware and open data. You can register for these talks here.
- OpenUK’s free to attend Open Technology for Sustainability Day is at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on 14 September. Highlights will include keynotes by global leader including Salem Avan Director of Policy Strategy and Governance Division at the United Nations. Content will include both curated and CFP – call for proposal- based content. To submit a session, go here.
- On 18 May, at 8am & 5pm, OpenUK will share updates at their MayTown Hall. Register here.
- The most recent edition of TLT’s Digital Futures series focused on the topic of Monetisation of Data. The team were joined by guest speaker Dr Liza Lovdahl-Gormsen of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, who has brought a class action lawsuit against Facebook’s parent firm Meta in the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook has forced users to give up valuable personal data in return for personalised targeted advertising and access to the social network. Read the full piece here.
- TLT’s April Digital Future event looked at the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) and whether we should be embracing, regulating or banning AI. Guest speaker Norman Lewis, Director Futures-Diagnosis Ltd and Visiting Research Fellow, MCC Brussels, joined TLT’s Juliet Mason, Daniel Lloyd and Emma Erskine-Fox debated the issue. Read the full piece here.
- On 3 May, The House of Commons debated the international competitiveness of the science and technology sector. The debate focused on the Government’s science and technology framework, published in March 2023. Read the full debate here.
- On 10 May, The Science, Innovation and Technology Committee published a report on Reproductivity and Research Integrity. The Report called for research sector reforms to address concerns with reproducibility of science. Read the full report here.
- On 16 May, The Department for Science, Innovation & Technology launched its Cyber Security Playbook. The Playbook aims to give local authorities practical advice on how to keep smart cities safe from cyber threats, as part of the government’s £2.6 billion National Cyber Strategy. Read the full playbook here.
- On the 17 May, the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee held a session on UK space strategy and UK satellite infrastructure. At the event, Science Minister George Freeman will be questioned about UK’s space launch prospects at the event. Watch the session here.
- On the 24 May, The Science, Innovation and Technology Committee will hold an evidence session on the Governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Read more about the event 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,
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This is not an official publication of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All Party Parliamentary groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed here are those of the group.