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The Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum

PICTFOR Newsletter – A summer update and look ahead to a busy autumn schedule

PICTFOR would like to thank our industry members, parliamentary Vice-Chairs, our Co-Chairs, Treasurer and Industry Chair for all of your support throughout the year so far.

During this rapidly changing time, PICTFOR continues to operate as a forum for discussion between Parliamentarians, industry, academics and other stakeholders on strategic issues facing the tech sector and we are grateful for your continued interest and support.

As the largest and most active APPG, 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 and all our other members updated on our activities in regular newsletters to further promote and engage with the tech sector during these unprecedented times.

Summer Update

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, our health, our way of life and our prosperity have all been in jeopardy. As a nation and as a community, we have risen to these newfound challenges and at PICTFOR, as across the nation, we have had plenty to be proud of despite the difficulties.

Our members have been amongst those at the forefront of the nation’s response to the virus, keeping the UK connected, making sure the new way of life is secure, and protecting our vital health system. Despite the pandemic, 2020 has seen PICTFOR go from strength to strength, with continued engagement with Government, engaged parliamentarians from all parties and both Houses, as well as our senior representatives from our industry members.

We have hosted virtual events throughout the pandemic with Digital Minister, Caroline Dinenage MP, Civil Societies and Lords DCMS Minister, Baroness Barran MBE; and Shadow Science, Research and Digital Minister, Chi Onwurah MP to discuss the implications of the pandemic on the sector and invited industry members to share their experiences of adapting their services during uncertain times. These events have been attended by many other parliamentarians, from both Houses and from a number of different political parties.

In June, we held our first virtual CEO Forum with Matt Warman MP, Minister for Digital Infrastructure where we discussed, amongst other things, investment into digital infrastructure and the roll out of 5G.

Thank you to all members who sent updates on their recent activity regarding COVID-19, which were included in an email update to all interested Parliamentarians. We have had positive feedback from Officers and other Parliamentarians who valued hearing updates on the latest developments and having this way to stay in touch with what member organisations are doing during this time.

You can find details of our COVID-19 Stakeholder Input Report and all of our previous events, including links to catch up, here on the PICTFOR website.

Autumn Events

We are now halfway through the 2020 events programme, with six events still to come before the New Year. We’re planning to host events on Diversity, Health Tech, Skills and Scale Up, Trade and the Global Digital Marketplace, Online Harms and our most prestigious event of the year, our Annual Dinner. If you have upcoming research or thought leadership on any of these topics, we’d love to discuss you playing a further role in these events. You can view the proposed events programme here.

As you may know, in normal times, when we can meet in-person, we offer a sponsorship package for our events – this package allows members to sponsor events which are of particular significance to them, putting forward a speaker for the panel and offering the opportunity to share research and literature with the PICTFOR community. If you have any upcoming research or thought leadership on any of these topics, we’d love to discuss how your organisation can play a further role in these events – get in touch and we’ll schedule a call.

PICTFOR is proud to be the largest and most active APPG, and we have been proud to maintain this activity during these changing times. With changes to parliamentary activities and the legislative agenda, as well as the change in priorities for members due to the current pandemic, we have re-arranged some of our planned events to reflect the needs and priorities of our members.

To discuss membership or any of the above updates, contact the secretariat on admin@pictfor.org.uk. We look forward to seeing you at an event soon.

Please note: 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 in this report are those of the group.

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

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