More than 80 per cent of organisations are not fully satisfied with their data management and warehousing initiatives, according to new research. A Vanson Bourne survey of 500 IT decision-makers in the UK and US for SnapLogic found that disconnected apps and data, outdated legacy technology and manual data movement were holding businesses back from achieving their objectives.
Biotech firm Moderna has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider, as well as its standard for analytics and machine learning workloads. The firm is pioneering a new class of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) medicines, and will now upgrade its platform and manufacturing facility with the AWS-powered research engine.
Google’s £1.6 billion acquisition of FitBit could be derailed after the European Commission (EC) opened a competition probe into the merger. The EC announced that it has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the deal and said it should have completed the process by 9 December.
Three quarters of UK enterprises are actively leveraging or testing artificial intelligence (AI), as the momentum behind data-driven technologies grows. A survey of 500 IT decision-makers based in the UK by Interxion, a cloud and data centre services provider, found that enterprise roadmaps for AI deployment over the next two years are already underway.
The majority of IT professionals (53 per cent) do not believe Huawei’s claim that the UK’s decision to ban the tech giant from its 5G network infrastructure will 'move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide'. The British Computer Society and Chartered Institute for IT surveyed its 2,962 members at the end of July, finding that over a quarter (28 per cent) did still agree with the Chinese telecoms firms’ warning that the UK’s tech development will stall without it - with 19 per cent remaining neutral.
UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of £8 million in grant funding for projects supporting the recovery and growth of foundation industries. These include cement, glass, ceramics, paper, metals and bulk chemicals – all of which are vital for the UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors. Combined, they are worth about £52 billion to the UK economy, but they face common challenges.
The number of malware attacks utilising machine identities have grown eightfold in the last decade, according to new research. Analysis of threat data gathered by Venafi, a machine identity management provider, showed a significant rise in the number of attacks using this method, with notable examples during 2018 to 2019, including high profile malware campaigns like TrickBot, Skidmap, Kerberods and CryptoSink.
Asda has struck a deal to become the first UK supermarket to use hydrogen fuel cell technology to power its fleet of warehouse lift trucks. US company Plug Power will provide the Asda with zero emission hydrogen fuel cell solutions, beginning with its fulfilment facility in Skelmersdale.
Cyber security chiefs have committed to lead a drive towards improving diversity and inclusion in the workforce after the publication of a major survey on the topics. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and KPMG UK have jointly published the first annual Decrypting Diversity: Diversity and Inclusion in Cyber Security report, which sets a benchmark for improving the experiences and opportunities for existing and future staff working in the industry.
The Coronavirus pandemic has seen investment in tech businesses targeted at improving healthcare and education surge by more than 100 per cent, according to new figures.
Data from Wealth Platform, which helps startups and scale-up companies access the Enterprise Investment Scheme, showed the crisis has prompted a spike in investments in medical testing, healthcare and children’s education businesses in the last three months.
As many as 72 per cent of organisations have put IT projects on hold, while two thirds have delayed hires due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis. A survey of 100 senior-level IT decision makers across industries - including financial services, professional services and healthcare - conducted by technology business services firm Apptio and the Technology Business Management Council, found that as the pandemic has prompted significant disruption for technology leaders.
The resilience of data centres across Europe is at risk, as the industry looks towards a permanent renewable energy infrastructure, according to a new report from Aggreko. The temporary power and temperature solutions company surveyed 700 data centre consultants across the Netherlands, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK and Ireland, finding that 55 per cent expressed at least some concern about the capabilities of the local grid and energy infrastructure’s ability to meet current demand - with respondents in the UK among the least confident.
Following a conversation between Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella and president Donald Trump, the tech giant is exploring the purchase of TikTok in the United States. The move follows a weekend of speculation around the future of the popular Chinese social media app, with concerns raised by both the president and secretary of state Mike Pompeo around user data being fed back to the Chinese state.
London's tech industry workspace TechHub has gone into administration. A message from founder and chief executive Elizabeth Varley explained that due to a significant reduction in revenue due to the Coronavirus on member companies - and without an agreement from its major landlord to proposals for a way forward - it is unable to continue.
Global technology industry deals hit $131 billion in the second quarter of 2020, despite fears that the Coronavirus pandemic could slow growth in the sector. According to GlobalData’s database, the total value of deals were up 30.6 per cent over the previous quarter and only down 0.8 per cent when compared with the last four-quarter average of $132.1 billion.
Capita is supporting the UK’s first trial of StaySafe Diary, a privacy-first contact tracing app based on a design which has proved successful in New Zealand. StaySafe Diary lets customers, suppliers and staff check in and out of businesses - such as shops, pubs and restaurants - by scanning a QR code whenever they visit the premises, but without ever having to share their personal details.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched new guidance on the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) technology and data protection. An accompanying blog written by Simon McDougall, deputy commissioner for regulatory innovation and technology at the ICO, explained that the pandemic has driven innovation in the use of technology and data – but some of the challenges for organisations using AI are constant.
Imperial College is partnering with Citi to create a new research centre focussed on responsible business leadership and technological change. The Centre for Responsible Leadership will help businesses and organisations identify practices that improve their approach to business leadership and boost performance through study of disruptive technologies, data privacy rights and ethical decision making.
The bosses of the world’s largest tech firms were given a dressing down by US lawmakers yesterday in a hearing about their sector dominance and interference with online discourse. Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google appeared before members of the House judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, which has collected 1.3 million documents and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews as part of its investigation.
Spanish bank BBVA is collaborating with Fujitsu on a proof of concept of its quantum-inspired optimisation solution. The collaboration comes after BBVA launched a number of studies to determine how quantum technologies could represent an advantage over traditional tools in different financial use cases.
The leaders of the world’s largest tech firms are set to make their case to Congress later today, attempting to avoid further regulation and scrutiny. Written testimony submitted and published yesterday gives a glimpse of their arguments, with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg arguing that “companies aren’t bad just because they are big”, rather painting the social media giant’s success as coming about “the American way, by starting out with nothing and providing products that people find valuable”.
InsurTech firm Zego has partnered with e-scooter company Ginger to provider insurance cover for the UK’s first e-scooter trial. The trial in the Tees Valley, comes after the government announced it would legalise rental e-scooters on UK roads during 12-month period to test their suitability as a mode of transport.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has begun a project with Vodafone and Forest Research to use Internet of Things (IoT) devices for forestry research. Sensors are attached to trees and connected through Vodafone’s narrowband IoT network to collect data on tree growth, temperature, humidity and soil moisture. Forest Research will analyse the data to assess the impacts of environmental change on the forests.
Mastercard and Microsoft have announced a collaboration to shape the future of digital commerce, drive startup innovation and enable financial inclusion. The partnership will accelerate Mastercard Labs’ cloud native research and development activities, enabled by Azure cloud and artificial intelligence systems to advance Mastercard’s mission to de-risk and commercialise emerging technologies and platforms for digital commerce.
A new digital platform has been launched to help empower utilities field teams and managers to make data-driven decisions in real-time, leading to greater safety, productivity and quality assurance. FYLD was built "by field workers for field workers" in collaboration with anchor customer and shareholder SGN, the UK-based natural and green gas distributor.
More than half (55 per cent) of UK consumers would be willing to carry on using a company that has leaked their data by accident, despite rising concerns about how personal data is used. A global study of 5,000 consumers by cloud customer experience firm Genesys found that 92 per cent were concerned about how companies are using their data, however it also revealed that convenience is a key factor influencing appetite for using services; even if their data has been put at risk.
Nearly half (43 per cent) of senior IT decision-makers say a lack of integration between their organisation’s technology systems has negatively affected their team’s performance during lockdown. A survey of more than 500 UK decision-makers by software and services solutions provider Advanced found that just 30 per cent of respondents have been using team collaboration software at a time when people have had to work remotely.
Midatech Pharma has raised £5 million via a placing to investors in the UK of eight new ordinary shares. The HealthTech firm, which as headquarters and a research facility is in Cardiff, is focused on enhancing and extending the lives of patients with rare and serious cancers. It develops chemo and immuno therapeutics using its Q-Sphera proprietary platform drug delivery technologies.
Land Registry has begun accepting witnessed electronic signatures for legal property documents. The new process involves a conveyancer uploading the deed to an online platform which sends a link to the signatories. Once authentication checks are completed they ‘sign’ the document electronically in the physical presence of a witness who then also signs.
A new cross-sector consortium of businesses and universities is set to provide the key to the challenge of data access for regulated industries, through an artificial intelligence-powered platform. The AIR Platform is a privacy preserving, data access and data collaboration tool that will deliver a "generational breakthrough" for how the private and public sectors operate and interact with each other locally and globally, according to Philip Treleaven, director UK Centre for Financial Computing at University College London (UCL).
A team of scientists from the University of California has launched a project to unlock the inner workings of lead batteries with the help of nanoscale technology. Working with the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI), the new industry-academia partnership based in Los Angeles will explore the fundamental processes occurring inside lead batteries as part of the consortium’s plans to deliver performance improvements in the technology for the automotive and utility grid storage sectors.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has teamed up with Innovate UK to call on companies to come up with new ideas and innovative approaches to the challenge. Robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems are just some of the potential technologies which could be used for the Sort and Segregate Nuclear Waste competition, according to an official statement.
Plans have been revealed for building a network of overhead cables along 7,500 km of the UK’s major road network, which could electrify approximately 65 per cent heavy goods vehicle (HGV) travel, at an estimated cost of £19.3 billion. A report from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (CSRF) said this could be achieved by the late 2030s, and when combined with battery electrification of urban delivery vehicles, the ‘electric road’ network would almost completely decarbonise UK road freight.
A new email phishing scam, falsely purporting to be from the Government Digital Service team, has been uncovered by the Parliament Street think tank’s cyber research team. The attack targets low-income earners and claims that the addressee will be receiving a council tax reduction of almost £400.
Crown Courts and Magistrates’ Courts are to test a digital case management platform as part of the government’s digital transformation of the justice system. From September 2020, the Common Platform will provide criminal courts with access to relevant case information for all parties involved in cases, including the judiciary, solicitors and barristers, the Crown Prosecution Service and court staff.
Businesses should focus on attracting more neurodiverse people into the workplace to help fill the skills gap in cyber security, according to a new report.The study from CREST, a not-for-profit accreditation and certification body for the technical security industry, recommended ways in which careers advice and recruitment processes can be more creative, inclusive and tailored for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.
Quantexa has closed a Series C funding round, raising a further £51.2 million. The round was led by Evolution Equity Partners, with participation from pre-existing backers Dawn Capital, AlbionVC and HSBC.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has awarded its payment facilitation and collection contract to allpay. The Herefordshire-based payment solutions provider will drive the MoJ’s channel shift towards direct debits, which it expects to realise significant cost savings.
The UK’s capability to manufacture vaccines has received a substantial boost, as the government announced an additional £100 million to ensure that any successful COVID-19 vaccine can be produced at scale. The investment will fund a state-of-the-art Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
DPD has passed its 2020 target for sustainable delivery vehicles five months ahead of schedule, with 10 per cent of its van fleet now zero emission electric vehicles. The parcel delivery firm now has the largest sustainable delivery fleet in the UK. At the start of 2020, DPD had just over 130 EVs on the road, with that number rising rapidly to 700 as delivery rates spiked as consumers turned to online shopping during the Coronavirus lockdown.
More than a third of hijacked email accounts have resulted in attackers dwelling in compromised accounts for more than a week, according to new research. A report by security solutions provider Barracuda Networks in association with UC Berkeley examined 159 compromised accounts spanning 111 organisations, finding that a specialised economy is emerging around email account takeover, using a combination of brand impersonation, social engineering and spear phishing to hijack email accounts and monetise them.
FuelActive has confirmed new investment from the Development Bank of Wales, grant funding from Innovate UK and private equity backing from Adjuvo. The Welsh startup’s fuel pick-up unit is disrupting the diesel engine and equipment industry, where operators are experiencing incremental costs due to increased maintenance, reduced operating efficiency and breakdowns, caused by contaminated fuel.
Industry-wide professional standards are to be established for data science to ensure that the public can have confidence in how their data is being used. The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) will be leading on the work along with the British Computer Society (BCS) The Chartered Institute for IT, the Operational Research Society (ORS), the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the Royal Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), to collaboratively shape and develop the data science profession.
Nearly half (43 per cent) of employees have made mistakes resulting in cyber security repercussions for themselves or their company, according to new research. A OnePoll survey of 1,000 workers in the UK during April for email security firm Tessian found that one in five companies have lost customers as a result of mistakenly sending an email to the wrong person – an error that the majority of employees (58 per cent) admitted to making.
The government is considering strengthening security laws after a report from parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) accused the government of underestimating the “immediate and urgent threat” of Russian cyber interference to the UK’s national security. In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, transport secretary Grant Shapps said ministers were considering a new law requiring foreign agents to register in the UK as part of their response to the report.
Neurovalens has raised £5.1 million in a funding round led by IQ Capital. Wharton Asset Management Company, The Angel CoFund, Techstart Ventures, Clarendon Fund Managers, and the government’s Future Fund also contributed to the round.
The government has been forced to admit that it deployed the COVID-19 Test and Trace programme unlawfully without a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), following a legal challenge from privacy campaigning organisation Open Rights Group (ORG). The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) made its admission after ORG threatened to take it to court unless it agreed to immediately conduct a DPIA.
Slaughter and May has launched the fourth round of its accelerator programme for emerging tech businesses. The law firm firm has opened applications for its Fast Forward programme, which offers £30,000 of value-add business services, including legal advice to support early and growth-stage emerging technology businesses.
Virgin Money has launched a trial of a new app designed to help first time buyers navigate the home purchase process. The challenger bank is launching the four-week Beta trial of the Home Buying Coach app in collaboration with data insights platform Life Moments.
EY and IBM have announced a global, multi-year alliance designed to help organisations accelerate digital transformation, including leveraging the hybrid cloud capabilities of Red Hat OpenShift, as well as IBM Watson, blockchain, 5G and edge technologies.
British Patient Capital has committed $65 million to back the latest SV Health Investors’ fund to support scientific breakthroughs into BioTech companies developing treatments for poorly treated diseases. The $2.5 billion government-backed programme, which is part of the British Business Bank, has made the commitment to SV’s Impact Medicine Fund (IMF) to increase its exposure to life sciences and health technology, building on a commitment to the Dementia Discovery Fund in 2018.
Digital Reasoning and Google Cloud have signed a strategic partnership aimed at bringing financial services solutions to the cloud.The AI solutions firm has partnered Google’s cloud service to help banks and financial institutions leverage the scale, reliability and performance of the cloud.
Twitter has revealed that 130 accounts were targeted in a cyber attack this week in which the profiles of prominent users including Barack Obama, Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian were hijacked with demands for Bitcoin payments. The attack, which took place on Wednesday, is being investigated by the FBI as a cryptocurrency fraud after accounts including Kanye West, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and investor Warren Buffet were compromised. Corporate accounts for Uber and Apple were also targeted.
Digital twinning firm Microshare has partnered Rackspace Technology for multicloud Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Microshare, which specialises in digital twinning tools for processes such as contact tracing, predictive cleaning, occupant wellness and sustainability, has entered into the global strategic alliance with Rackspace Technology to globally leverage solutions including Clean = Safe IoT abilities.
IBM and Verizon are partnering for 5G and edge computing solutions as part of efforts to develop innovation for ‘industry 4.0’. The computing giant has partnered with the US telecoms firm to help industrial enterprises to use edge computing to accelerate access to near real-time, improve productivity and reduce costs.
The government has published proposals for a new law aimed at protecting millions of IoT and smart devices from cyber criminals. The proposals, drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and supported by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), detail the government’s plans to raise the security standard for all consumer smart products sold in the UK.
Apple will not have to pay $15 billion dollars in back taxes in Ireland after the EU’s second highest court rejected an EU commission order aimed at cracking down on alleged sweetheart tax deals. The ruling by the EU general court annuls an order made four years ago by the EU commission which said Apple had benefited from illegal state aid following two tax rulings in the Irish courts which, the Commission claimed, had artificially reduced its tax bill.
The UK government has banned UK telecommunications companies from buying new Huawei 5G equipment and has said Huawei equipment must be removed from networks by 2027. In a landmark decision, Oliver Dowden, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport said the move would delay the rollout of high speed 5G networks by one year.
Nearly a third (31 per cent) of Generation Z expects the internet to be able to predict what they need and alert them before they need it, while developments in AI and biometrics are set to make keyboards obsolete, according to new research. A survey of 1,528 consumers aged 14-59 in the UK, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Ireland by The Center for Generational Kinetics and WP Engine, found that Generation Z, born between 1996-2015 have grown up as an internet-dependent generation with 60 per cent unable to go for more than four hours without access to the internet without feeling uncomfortable.
More than 300 electronic devices have been lost from government departments since 2018, sparking fears that confidential data could be at risk. A total of 316 devices have gone missing or been reported lost since 2018 by government departments including the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council, the Equalities headquarters and the offices of the leaders of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, according to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by the Parliament Street think tank.
Drone delivery service provider Skyports has collaborated with Vodafone and Deloitte to transport medical supplies and samples for the NHS in Scotland using drones. The live flights will take place later this year and will use mobile connectivity and space-based technology.
ETF Partners has closed its third Environmental Technologies Fund at £167 million, aiming to grow the most innovative companies in the UK and Europe. Since its launch 14 years ago, the London-based firm has backed high-impact, high-potential companies in digitally-led sustainability.
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) have opened a joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of Clearview AI - focusing on the company’s use of ‘scraped’ data and biometrics of individuals. However, in line with the the ICO’s Communicating our Regulatory and Enforcement Activity Policy and OAIC’s Privacy Regulatory Action Policy, no further comment will be made while the investigation is ongoing.
Nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of organisations experienced a public cloud security incident in the last year – including ransomware and other malware (50 per cent), exposed data (29 per cent), compromised accounts (25 per cent) and crypto-jacking (17 per cent). The latest State of Cloud Security annual survey from Sophos revealed that running multi-cloud environments are twice as likely to suffer a cloud security incident than those running a single cloud.
NAEA Propertymark has partnered with scale-up programme REACH UK to help its members navigate through the world of technology by selecting the best startups and launching them into the marketplace. REACH's PropTech programme was created by Second Century Ventures, an active venture capital fund in the global real estate technology space.
The chancellor’s Summer Statement has been called a “missed opportunity” to support the UK’s tech sector through the Coronavirus recession. Rishi Sunak signalled the country’s move to phase two of the economic recovery, with a specific focus on protecting employment and boosting job creation, while phase three will concentrate on rebuilding the economy more comprehensively and is likely to come during the full autumn budget statement.
The development of new data analytics use cases has spiked in response to COVID-19, according to new research from Qlik, which showed 84 per cent of NHS Trusts are using data analytics to support patient care and operations during the crisis. The business intelligence platform submitted a series of Freedom of Information requests to NHS Trusts during the last few months, finding that 55 per cent applied analytics to track positive infections of patients during the pandemic, while 22 per cent used analytics to identify potential staff exposure to the virus and to inform testing.
IT teams require better visibility into their networks due to the Coronavirus disruption and rise of remote working, with 73 per cent of security professionals demanding it in order to enhance cyber security efforts and speed remediation. This is one of the findings from VIAVI Solutions' 13th annual State of the Network global study of enterprise networking and security challenges.
UK cyber security startups are on track to break the funding record set in 2019, with £521 million invested in the sector amid the COVID-19 downturn. Research compiled by the London Office For Rapid Cyber Security Advancement (LORCA) found that the £496 million of investment pouring into the UK’s cyber security startups is set to top the 2019 record in just six months.
The United States is considering banning Chinese social media apps including TikTok, according to secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Speaking to Fox News yesterday, he said that US authorities were "taking this very seriously" when asked about the potential for taking measures against apps like TikTok.
British Gas has ordered 1,000 e-vans from Vauxhall as part of the largest electric vehicle order for a commercial fleet in the UK. The Centrica-owned utilities giant, which has the third largest commercial fleet of vehicles in the country, has committed to a fully electrified fleet by 2030.
The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) has announced the 17 scale-ups selected to join its fifth cohort of cyber innovators. After consulting with industry, security professionals, policymakers and a cross-spectrum of sectors, LORCA announced an open call in March for companies with solutions to challenges presented by a connected society, including supply chain security, digital identity and the digital risk associated with an increasingly connected world to apply.
Technology and manufacturing businesses can now apply for funding to develop innovative digital technologies that have the potential to transform supply chains. Through funding from the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, led by Innovate UK, business-led consortia can apply for funding for projects up to £1.5 million.
Celestia UK, specialists in antenna systems used for tracking satellites, has announced that Heriot-Watt University's Research Park will be its permanent base in Scotland after a successful five month residency at the university's Global Research Innovation and Discovery (GRID) facility. Establishing the business at the Research Park will enable the company to embark on its next development phase, which includes setting up new lab and assembly facilities, as well as providing it with a larger base to innovate satellite-on-the-move user terminals and gateway systems.
Clifford Chance Applied Solutions has launched a digital tool providing businesses with legal guidance on data protection issues and assisting in complying with both General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and local data protection regulations. The Cross-Border Publisher Data Protection tool covers a growing list of jurisdictions for businesses, with more to be added on demand.
OneWeb has entered into an acquisition agreement with a consortium led by the government - through the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - and Bharti Global in connection with its court-supervised sale process. The bid is designed to capitalise the company sufficiently as a going concern to complete the deployment of the OneWeb communications satellite system.
The Go-Ahead Group, one of the UK’s largest transport companies, is partnering with Microsoft and Power BI to unify its data to improve the passenger experience. The group operates bus and rail services across the UK, Norway, Germany, Singapore and Ireland. The partnership will see it use Azure’s Data Factory, Data Lake and Databricks to store and analyse data from across its operations.
The Ordnance Survey (OS) has launched a platform giving access to its geospatial data. The OS Data Hub will give users free access to OS MasterMap data up to a point, with up to £1,000 per month of free access other datasets, through a series of new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), alongside unlimited free access to OS OpenData products.
The Co-operative Bank is launching a free fraud awareness webinar to help small businesses protect themselves from fraud. The information session will feature members of its fraud and cyber security team, as well as experts from Greater Manchester Police and the Federation of Small Business (FSB).
Young people from across the country will be invited to share their views on key issues with the government using a new digital platform. The 'Involved' Instagram page aims to engage people aged 13 to 25 around decisions made at the heart of government, by asking questions through the app’s polling and stories functions.
A review of academic accreditation of computer science degree courses has been launched by the British Computer Society (BCS), The Chartered Institute for IT, to ensure that graduates have the skills needed to drive economic recovery and growth across the UK. The study will involve extensive consultation with the higher education sector, including the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC), the Institute of Coding, leading tech companies and government departments including Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education.
Sheffield’s five Labour MPs have written to the prime minister and health secretary to seek support for building a world class Centre for Child Health Technology (CCHT) on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. The CCHT already has the backing of companies including IBM, Canon Medical, Philips, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System.
A majority of respondents to the Biometrics Institute’s annual Industry Survey said they believed COVID-19 would change the way biometrics were used and implemented. The association polled 326 industry professionals across the world during May, finding that 60 per cent agreed that the Coronavirus marked a pivotal moment for biometrics, with technology suppliers most convinced (65 per cent) that this would be the case.
British Patient Capital, a subsidiary of the British Business Bank, has made a €57 million cornerstone commitment to Kennet’s fifth fund as it announces its €223 million close today. Kennet specialises in investing in established, high-growth technology companies which are founder-owned and ‘bootstrapped’ – built without significant external capital.
Dun & Bradstreet has raised $1.7 billion in an initial public offering (IPO), after it sold more stock than expected above its indicated price range. The offering of 78.3 million shares of stock at a price of $22.00 per share, was above previous plans to sell 65.75 million shares for between $19 and $21 per share.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) had appointed Capgemini as its strategic technology partner in a five-year deal worth £40 million. The deal forms part of the organisation’s long-term strategy, which includes commitments to simplify customer journeys and keep data safe.
New plans to cement the UK as the world’s leading research and science superpower have been set out by the government. The Research and Development Roadmap puts pursuing ground-breaking research, attracting global talent and cutting unnecessary red tape at the forefront of the UK’s long-term plan to ensure it is the best place in the world for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live, work and innovate.
New research has found that older age groups have doubled their holdings of Bitcoin every month since February, signalling growing adoption of cryptocurrency during the COVID-19 lockdown. Data compiled by in-house analysts at Mode Banking, a Bitcoin banking app, found that Baby Boomers (those aged between 56 and 76 years-old) and Generation X (41 to 55 years-old) have turned to the digital asset classes for returns as interest rates remained at historic lows during the partial shutdown of the UK economy to battle the spread of Coronavirus.
O-City, the smart city division of BPC, has joined Visa’s ready for Transit Program for its project which aims to integrate contactless payments into mass transit systems. The company has worked on open-loop systems for automated fare collection in more than 100 cities worldwide, and processes 30 million transactions per month.
The chancellor is expanding the £500 million Future Fund for UK startups hit by the Coronavirus to ensure firms which shifted their headquarters abroad can still access the scheme. It will now benefit companies that are seen as British in all but name, having moved their parent company to seek investment in the US or take advantage of accelerator programmes like Y Combinator.
As privacy concerns grow over contact-tracing technology, a new monitoring system funded under the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative will launch on 10 July that allows users with strong Coronavirus symptoms to take full ownership of their personal data while participating in national track and trace schemes. The EOSC Secretariat - an initiative that has approved €1.23 million in emergency funding for 32 projects to specifically tackle the COVID-19 pandemic - is supporting the new app that will improve contact tracing while simultaneously maintaining privacy.
Autonomous breach protection company Cynet has completed a Series B funding round worth $18 million, lead by Telekom Innovation Pool, Deutsche Telekom’s strategic investment fund advised by DTCP. Existing investors Norwest Venture Partners and Ibex Investors also participated in the round.
The government is investing £80 million into green technologies aimed at cutting carbon emissions from the UK’s industry and homes. The money, announced by energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng, will be invested in a range of programmes, including pioneering heat network trials and a programme to reduce the cost of retrofitting homes with the latest energy efficient technologies.
The UK government’s investment in OneWeb has been described as “nonsensical” by experts, who say the company makes the wrong type of satellite. The 20 per cent stake was intended to mitigate the UK’s loss of access to the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system after Brexit.
IHS Markit has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud infrastructure provider and is moving the majority of its data processing infrastructure, corporate platforms and end user applications out of its data centres to AWS to accelerate innovation and improve resiliency. Under the new agreement, the company will migrate hundreds of additional applications over the next three years.
Amazon has signed an agreement to acquire Zoox, a California-based company working to design autonomous ride-hailing vehicles. Zoox chief executive Aicha Evans and chief technology officer Jesse Levinson will continue to lead the company as a standalone business.
Three in five (61 per cent) of Brits have concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) systems being able to function without human assistance, according to new research. Fountech.ai commissioned Opinium to survey 2,000 UK adults about their views on the future impact of AI on society, finding that 44 per cent still do not properly understand how it works.
Huawei has received approval to build a £1 billion research facility in Cambridge. The Chinese telecoms giant acquired 500 acres of land in Cambridge’s ‘Silicon Fen’ in 2018 and submitted plans to build an optoelectronics research and development manufacturing centre, which were yesterday approved by South Cambridgeshire District Council.
Honeywell has claimed that its team of scientists, engineers and technicians have built the highest performing quantum computer available. With a quantum volume of 64, the machine is twice as powerful as the next alternative in the industry.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a public censure to Redcentric for committing market abuse between 9 November 2015 and 7 November 2016. The IT service provider issued unaudited interim results and audited final year results which materially misstated its net debt position and overstated its true asset position in circumstances where it knew, or ought to have known that the information was false and misleading.
UK venture capital (VC) firms have £8.4 billion in reserves, according to new analysis which suggests that it could be used to provide crucial funding for innovative companies as they emerge from the Coronavirus crisis. Data from the British Business Bank’s Small Business Equity Tracker found that VCs are currently holding a record amount of capital yet to be invested.
DHL has launched a new warehouse robotics platform as part of a partnership with artificial intelligence-backed fulfilment provider Blue Yonder. The new platform, built on Microsoft Azure, will integrate warehouse robotic systems into existing platforms at some of the 2,000 operational sites in the DHL Supply Chain.
Two years after its entry into law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been an overall success, even if there are a number of areas for future improvement. This is the conclusion of a report from the European Commission, which argued that increasing global convergence around principles that are shared by the GDPR offers new opportunities to facilitate safe data flows.
Verizon has joined forces with UK-based technology innovation centre Digital Catapult to launch an immersive accelerator programme to develop innovative 5G solutions for enterprises. The programme will enable a select number of retail and brand partners to work directly with startups and technology innovators to explore how 5G-enabled solutions can solve their real-world business challenges.
The Mayor of London is teaming up with Microsoft to support the growth of the city’s leading scale-up companies.The collaboration with Microsoft will enable the 17th cohort of companies selected for the London & Partners Mayor’s International Business Programme to tap into the technology giant’s expertise to help them grow their operations.
Amazon has pledged $2 billion worth of support for the development of sustainable technologies and services that will enable it and other companies to meet The Climate Pledge - a commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040. This dedicated venture investment program will back companies whose products and services will facilitate the transition to a zero carbon economy.
New research has revealed that most UK citizens (81 per cent) were aware of efforts to track COVID-19 through smartphone data collection, but 84 per cent were worried that their contact tracing data will be used by organisations for purposes unrelated to COVID-19. Identity provider Okta surveyed 12,000 online consumers globally, including 2,218 in the UK, finding that advertising was cited as the top purpose, with over three-quarters (79 per cent) worried about their data being used by organisations to serve personalised ads.
Accountants must upgrade their skills in financial forecasting and accounting specific software if they are to be of value in the future, according to a new study. A survey of 1,000 accounting and finance professionals in the UK by accounting automation software specialist Caseware, found that while the majority 56 per cent of accountants said they are currently carrying out tasks manually that could be automated, only 43 per cent believe this will continue beyond 2020.
New research has revealed that 87 per cent of companies are planning to accelerate their cloud migration in a post-Coronavirus world. A survey of 500 global IT decision makers based in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand by infrastructure monitoring firm LogicMonitor, found that nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of respondents believe that, within the next five years, up to 95 per cent of all workloads will be in the cloud.
Apple has announced that it is moving from Intel’s x86 desktop microchips to its own processors based on the ARM designs used in the iPhone and iPad. At its World Wide Developers Conference, held virtually for the first time due to the Coronavirus, the company said the transition would take two years.
ZeroAvia has conducted the first ever electric-powered flight yesterday of a commercial-scale aircraft carried out in the UK. The test flight is a milestone both for the UK’s net zero and green aviation ambitions, and for ZeroAvia's journey to demonstrating long-distance zero emission flights in large aircraft.
Innovate UK is opening a competition letting businesses apply for a share of £15 million to support the development of zero emission vehicle technologies and the associated supply chain. A statement from the government-backed body - part of UK Research and Innovation - said it is seeking to put green technologies at the heart of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that zero emission vehicle technologies are a key part of the UK’s efforts to meet its carbon reduction targets.
The government has committed more than £70 million to businesses working to make the UK a world-leader in quantum computing technology. To coincide with a celebration of the UK’s record in developing quantum technology last week, science minister Amanda Solloway announced 38 new UK projects that will benefit from £70 million investment in the Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
The All-Party Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blockchain has published the report from its evidence session in April on the post-pandemic role of the distributed ledger technology (DLT), stating it can play a significant role in supporting health services in the recovery from COVID-19. The report stated that in order to bounce back from the economic downturn and pressures on public services, the country needs radical innovation in data infrastructure, as opposed to fixing technologically redundant systems.
Weak protections around sensitive data mean that 14 per cent of workers have accessed confidential information at work that they were not authorised to see in the last five years, according to new analysis. A Consumer Intelligence survey of 1,000 people for DSA Connect, an IT asset and data disposal company, found that technology provided by employers had enabled seven per cent of respondents to see the salaries of their managers and colleagues.
New research from Lenovo has revealed that organisations are placing business and shareholder goals above employee needs when adopting new technologies. The survey of 1,000 IT managers across the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany at the start of May found that just six per cent consider users as their top priority when making technology investments, with 47 per cent reporting that users struggled to embrace new software.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) fought off one of the largest ever distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, according to the tech giant’s first quarter threat report. The attack, which took place in February, registered traffic of 2.3 Tbps to its online cloud - which provides critical infrastructure to some of the world’s largest websites and applications. The previous record set for an attack of this nature was 1.7 Tbps in 2018.
Andrew Tyrie has resigned from the chairman of Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), hinting at his dissatisfaction with the limits of the regulator to combat market dominance of digital giants such as Facebook and Google. Lord Tyrie, a former Conservative MP and chairman of the Treasury Select Committee from 2010 to 2017, said that he was standing down from the UK’s competition watchdog three years before his term was due to finish in order to make the case “more forcefully” for a crackdown on market abuse by multi-national companies in favour of consumer rights.
The EU has again raised the prospect of imposing its own tax on tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon after the US pulled out of negotiations for a global online services tax. The US withdrew from negotiations organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday after its delegation warned that “no progress” had been made on agreeing a worldwide approach to tax reform for tech giants, Reuters reported.
The University of Exeter and defence vehicle manufacturer Supacat are developing an off-road electric autonomous vehicle. Following the government’s ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, the project has designed the next generation of ‘green’ defence and off-road transport.
Amazon UK country manager Doug Gurr is leaving the company to take up a new position as director of the Natural History Museum. He first joined the e-commerce giant in 2011, having previously worked at Asda, and was promoted to his current position in April 2016, after leading the China arm for two years.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released an investigation report into the use of mobile phone extraction (MPE) by police forces when conducting criminal investigations in England and Wales. When concerns arose about the potential for excessive processing of personal data extracted from mobile phones, the ICO launched an investigation to understand the privacy and data protection risks.
Payfone has raised $100 million to acquire strategic assets, strengthen its machine learning capabilities and drive growth the UK and Europe. The investment was led by funds advised by Apax Digital, the growth equity team of Apax Partners.
The UK government is changing its Coronavirus contact tracing app to a model based on technology provided by Apple and Google. The previous centralised design carried out the contact-matches on a remote server, while the decentralised Apple/Google model carries the process out on the mobile, making it more difficult for the authorities or hackers to de-anonymise the records and use them for other means.
Eco homes developer Etopia is partnering with Samsung to collaborate on concepts for the ‘homes of the future’. Under the terms of the strategic partnership, Etopia will assist Samsung in assessing and testing it technology in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) houses, while Etopia will install the South Korean electronics giant’s appliances and heat pumps in its developments.
Hoxton Ventures announced the final close today of Hoxton Ventures II, an early stage European venture capital fund building on the firm’s record of finding and investing in tech unicorns like Babylon Health, Darktrace and Deliveroo. Hoxton’s strategy of finding European companies that can scale globally into large, category-defining leaders in newly forming industries has led it to becoming one of Europe’s top-performing early stage venture capital firms.
BT, NSSLGlobal and Viasat UK have announced an alliance to deliver critical defence satellite communications (SATCOM) services, supporting the modernisation of the UK’s defence and space sectors. The alliance has come together to respond to major UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) programmes, including bidding for the Service Delivery Wrap (SDW) component of Skynet 6, a MoD SATCOM programme that is expected to be awarded in 2022.
Open Banking provider Nuapay is partnering with payments startup Felloh! to reduce the cost of payments processing for charities and social enterprises. The collaboration aims to transfer £1 billion in reduced payment processing costs to donations for charities and social enterprises.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is backing a project to install biometric entry corridors for the Eurostar to enable contactless and socially-distanced travel. The project, which will use technology from iProov, will enable Eurostar passengers to pass through a facial biometric corridor to enable contactless journeys. It is planned to be in live operation by March 2021.
Mastercard is launching a global payments tokenisation service for Amazon customers.The payments giant is rolling out the service, which makes a secure digital record of stored card credentials to Amazon customers in 12 countries, including the UK, US, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey, Mexico and United Arab Emirates.
The Geospatial Commission has laid out its plan to develop a national location data framework to support future technologies by 2025. The plans form part of the recently published UK Geospatial Strategy, along with the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) and the development of harmonised and machine readable licences by next year.
The Department for Transport, in partnership with Innovate UK, has awarded 25 pioneering projects a share of £9.4 million in the 2020 First of a Kind competition, which encourages innovation in the rail industry. Inventors came forward with a host of ambitious projects to transform rail travel, including low-energy concrete slabs that automatically heat up in freezing conditions to help prevent passengers from slipping on icy platforms, and the Seatfrog Train Swap app, which will allow passengers to quickly and remotely update their seat reservation to another service.
The European Commission (EC) has opened an antitrust investigation to assess whether Apple's conduct in connection with Apple Pay violates EU competition rules. The investigation concerns Apple's terms, conditions and other measures for integrating Apple Pay in merchant apps and websites on iPhones and iPads, Apple's limitation of access to the Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality for ‘tap and go’ on iPhones for payments in stores, and alleged refusals of access to Apple Pay.
The number of global 5G subscriptions is set to top 190 million by the end of 2020 and 2.8 billion by the end of 2025, according to new research from Ericsson. The Swedish telecoms giant’s global mobility report found that while 5G subscription growth in some markets has slowed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was outweighed by other markets where it is accelerating.
The number of businesses using asset tracking solutions will reach 90 million this year, and exceed 114 million by 2025 – representing a growth of 27 per cent over the next five years. Market analysis from Juniper Research explained that asset tracking solutions enable enterprises to track cargo from dispatch to final destination; allowing increased transparency and more accurate delivery date estimations.
NFU Mutual will be including personal cyber cover as standard for new bespoke home insurance customers. The move is aimed at strengthening the company's position in the high net worth market, with NFU Mutual Bespoke offering a tailored approach to home insurance designed for those properties that have high-value contents such as fine art, jewellery and collections.
The NHS has struck a deal with Microsoft aiming to connect as million as 1.2 million staff across NHS organisations. The agreement between NHSX, NHS Digital and Microsoft will deploy Microsoft 365 software in a bid to save the health service in England hundreds of millions of pounds.
New research has revealed that 70 per cent of IT security professionals think governments will not be able to protect election infrastructure from cyber attacks. A survey of 485 IT security professionals attending the virtual RSA conference this year, by machine identity protection company Venafi, found that the profession remains largely sceptical as to whether the authorities can adequately defend election infrastructure against domestic and international cyber attacks.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is considering changing regulations to open up other different of infrastructure for broadband networks. In a call for evidence on the Review of Access to Infrastructure Regulations - open until 4 September - the government has proposed measures which would make it easier for network operators to run high speed broadband cables through the electricity, gas, water and sewer networks.
Mark Hipperson, the co-founder of Starling Bank, has launched cryptocurrency platform Ziglu following a seed funding round of £5.25 million. The app lets customers to quickly and competitively exchange fiat currency for cryptocurrencies - including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash - and monitor their balances in read time.
Biometric authentication technology provider iProov has partnered with RegTech specialists NorthRow. The move is aimed at expanding iProov's partner network and extending its services into the property, professional services and FinTech sectors.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has revealed an initiative bringing data science and user-centred design disciplines together in a GOV.UK Data Labs service. In an official blog, senior product manager Ganesh Senthi explained that it has been set up to help the public sector make better use of anonymised data in how services are provided through the GOV.UK website.
COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the shift towards digital transformation, according to a new study of technological changes wrought by the pandemic. Research conducted by Telstra among more than 120 business leaders across Asia Pacific in Europe and the US found that 93 per cent have changed their IT priorities either incrementally, significantly, or dramatically as a result.
Amazon has announced a one-year moratorium on police use of its artificial intelligence-driven facial recognition, following a growing backlash around its potential for racial bias in the wake of recent protest. When it was first released in 2016, the Rekognition software was criticised by advocacy groups which said the technology could have a disproportionately negative effect on non-white people.
The Libra Association has appointed Sterling Daines, a managing director and global head of financial crime compliance at Credit Suisse, as its new chief compliance officer. The Geneva-based independent body of payments, technology and financial firms tasked with independent oversight of Facebook’s Libra digital currency project, hired Daines following months of debate amongst governments, policy makers and central banks over the potential impact of a global digital currency.
Annual revenue of integrated fitness clothing will rise from approximately $1 billion in 2020 to $11 billion in 2025, according to Juniper Research. This rapid growth, boosted by higher pricing, will see smart clothing become the largest fitness wearable sector by revenue. Meanwhile, falling prices for traditional consumer wearables will see these products overtaken, posting a revenue in 2025 of $5.3 billion; almost half that of clothing.
The international trade secretary Liz Truss has announced a new international trade strategy for the UK tech industry, including a package of interventions to increase UK tech exports and attract international investment into the sector. With a number of digital tech sub-sectors seeing increased demand as a result of Coronavirus - including EdTech, MedTech, FinTech and cyber security - the strategy aims to open up more export opportunities across these and other technology areas.
Tech Nation has launched a Net Zero growth programme aimed at accelerating the growth of startups focused on reducing carbon emissions. It is designed to support tech companies that are building a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable future, helping the UK reach its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The Scottish Government has declared a ‘cloud first’ policy for its public sector. Reflecting the Government Digital Service (GDS) in Whitehall, Scotland’s Digital Directorate published guidance prioritising public cloud should as the default platform for user services.
Zegami, the Oxford University data visualisation spin-out, has joined an international team of medical researchers to try and find the cause of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The startup believes the project could lead to the discovery of the root cause of the condition and could help in the development of the first ever medical test for ME/CFS, new treatments, or even to find a cure.
NHS 24 has partnered with Microsoft to launch a chatbot called Ave to give the public access to information and support about Coronavirus. The bot, which was launched on the NHS Inform website, is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, and has responded to more than 40,000 queries in its first 30 days.
While awareness around gender diversity in the cyber security industry has improved, there is still work to be done to make a significant practical difference, according to a new report from CREST. The not-for-profit body that represents the technical security industry took polls at a recent gender diversity workshop, finding that only 14 per cent of attendees argued that not enough work has been done to lessen the gender gap, while 86 per cent believed that while progress has been made, it is not nearly enough.
Alibaba Cloud is aiming to recruit 5,000 technology staff worldwide from now until the end of the financial year, in areas including network, database, servers, chips and artificial intelligence. This commitment follows the announcement in April that the cloud computing giant would invest additional RMB200 billion ($28 billion) in the next three years to build the next-generation data centres.
The University of Aberdeen’s clinical research imaging facility has chosen BridgeHead Software’s Independent Clinical Archive (ICA), HealthStore, to collect, store and protect its clinical research data. Researchers in the university’s Biomedical Imaging Centre will be able to effectively manage medical images that drive understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and Alzheimer's disease ensuring better prevention, diagnostics and treatment.
IBM is to 'sunset' its general purpose facial recognition and analysis software products due to concerns around potential racial bias in the context of addressing responsible use of technology by law enforcement. Chief executive Arvind Krishna sent a letter to the US Congress outlining detailed policy proposals to advance racial equality.
Innovate UK is offering to £800,000 from the Plastics Research and Innovation Fund to invest in business projects that seek to better understand the behaviour of customers and use that to create innovative design concepts. A statement from the offshoot of the government’s UK Research and Innovation department explained that the world produces around 350 million tonnes of plastic every year, with Europe recycling about 40 per cent of its plastic waste.
The levels of cyber security confidence amongst European organisations is growing, according to a new survey, with 68 per cent seeing themselves as vulnerable - down from 86 per cent in 2018 - despite 52 per cent having experience a breach or failed a compliance audit in the previous year. A new data threat report by Thales found that a fifth of organisations intend to reduce spending on data security in the coming year, despite the rising threat from COVID-19, with remote working significantly increasing risk to sensitive data.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has reached a milestone in its migration of core legacy applications which will see an improvement in services for 18 million UK citizens. Working with IT services organisation Advanced and its application modernisation practice, it has re-platformed the Job Seeker’s Allowance Payment System (JSAPS) – the largest and most complex service of the DWP’s application legacy modernisation programme.
New research has revealed that 86 per cent of organisations said their biggest IT challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic was moving to mass remote working, and their biggest security concern was maintaining VPN capacity for staff. Check Point Software Technologies surveyed over 270 IT and security professionals globally, finding that 62 per cent of respondents said their main concern during initial lockdowns was maintaining secure remote access and VPN capacity for staff, followed by preventing social engineering attacks (47 per cent) and securing staff endpoints and home networks (52 per cent).
Despite costing hundreds of pounds more than their standard counterparts, smart appliances could be rendered obsolete after as little as two years as manufacturers stop providing vital software updates, according to a Which? investigation. The consumer organisation calculated that, on average, customers pay £855 more for a smart fridge-freezer than a standard one, £259 more for a smart dishwasher and £190 more for a smart tumble dryer.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence has published a report calling for stronger rules around the use of data in artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare technology. Following a recent hearing on AI's role in disease control and the experience of countries that have used it in fighting the pandemic, the document came to two major conclusions - firstly that there is a need for regulations on the responsible use of public data, along with a cross-border infrastructure for sharing it.
On World Environment Day, five British businesses have committed to transition to electric transport. The companies are joining international non-profit The Climate Group’s global electric vehicles initiative EV100. Through this commitment, they will be switching their fleets to electric by 2030, cutting down on transport greenhouse gas emissions.
The European cloud computing platform Gaia-X has been officially established, with the creation of a legal entity in Belgium. Set up to address Europe’s dependence on American or Chinese cloud providers, the joint venture is set for full launch next year, as a non-profit group of 22 French and German companies - including Orange, Siemens, SAP, Atos, Scaleway and Deutsche Telekom.
New research has revealed that while 68 per cent of UK businesses found the Coronavirus lockdown transition to remote working easy, 32 per cent found it difficult or very difficult. The pandemic has caused a fundamental shift for businesses: travel restrictions and mandated social distancing have meant - in a short space of time - huge swathes of the UK economy have restructured to completely different ways of working.
Foodservice wholesaler Brakes has partnered with e-commerce agency KPS to digitally transform its operations during the COVID-19 lockdown. The project opened up its business-to-business (B2B) food delivery site to the public with the launch of a new direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce offer, giving UK households an alternative to visiting the supermarket or relying on online grocery delivery slots.
NHS England and Improvement is aiming to create a unified data access layer across its range of platforms. Work has begun the on the alpha phase and it is looking for delivery assistance for the programme to consolidate processes and technology around a common platform.
Even though companies say they are committed to improving software testing, they are not following through by investing in it - and DevOps pipelines are suffering as a result. That’s the conclusion of a new survey from Diffblue among 300 developers and engineering managers in the UK and US.
Crowdfunded venture investment platform OurCrowd has launched a Pandemic Innovation Fund with plans to raise $100 million for investment in urgent technological solutions for the medical, business, educational and social needs triggered by global pandemics and other health emergencies.
More than a quarter (26 per cent) of British people feel more vulnerable to online hackers than ever as a result of COVID-19, according to new research. A survey of 1,000 UK consumers by biometric authentication firm iProov has found that despite greater awareness of the the risk of cyber breach as criminals seek to exploit the pandemic, many are using cyber security habits that could compromise the safety of their data and online accounts.
Total global spend on digital twins technology will reach $12.7 billion by 2021, an increase of 17 per cent from $10.8 billion in 2019, according to Juniper Research. Digital twins are a digital representation of physical assets that utilise Internet of Things (IoT) data, enabling use cases such as predictive maintenance when combined with artificial intelligence.
TrueLayer has been appointed to the government’s Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) payment acceptance framework for payments initiation. The agreement means the company’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can provide public sector organisations with its Payment Initiation Service (PIS).
Temporall, a UK-based startup founded by a former Google global director, has announced a £1 million seed funding round led by venture capital firm Luminous Ventures. The artificial intelligence-based analytics platform is designed to give key performance insights to leadership teams.
Dimension, a mixed reality (MR) technology company, has partnered with Microsoft to create new interactive digital experiences. The London and Newcastle-based company, which has developed interactive digital experiences with Madonna, Michael Bublé and tennis player Andy Murray has become a Microsoft mixed reality partner, meaning its content can be experienced via mobile phones, tablets, laptops and headsets such as Microsoft HoloLens.
Tech Nation has announced Stephen Kelly as its new chair, succeeding Eileen Burbidge, who has served since 2015. He has had a long career in the tech industry, starting at Oracle in 1988 as an executive of the European management team. After nine years there, he joined Californian enterprise software startup Chordiant, becoming chief executive in 2001.
Cisco has announced its intent to acquire privately held cloud intelligence platform ThousandEyes. A statement explained that by bringing together Cisco’s strength in network and application performance with ThousandEyes’ visibility into the internet, customers will now have an end-to-end view into the digital delivery of applications and services, allowing them to pinpoint deficiencies and improve network and application performance across enterprise and cloud networks.
The UK has joined the global COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) consortium. Science minister Amanda Solloway announced the plan at a virtual meeting of G7 science and technology ministers, explaining that it will give UK researchers and scientists access to the world’s fastest supercomputers.
Cloud storage company Wasabi has raised $30 million in funding to fuel further expansion.
The Boston-based company, which specialises in ‘hot cloud storage’ said the round brings total funding since it was founded in 2015 to $110m.
Digital Global Systems (DGS) and telent have agreed a three-year contract to install the CLEARSKY Drone Threat Management system at Bristol Airport, marking the first UK deployment of the system. The system was developed by DGS in response to the rising threat of unauthorised drone usage at critical infrastructure sites, including airports.
Card issuing platform Marqeta has raised an additional $150 million in new capital from an unnamed institutional investor, valuing the company at $4.3 billion. This latest financing follows its $260 million equity financing in May 2019, which was led by Coatue and included participation from Vitruvian Partners. Marqeta is also backed by Visa, Goldman Sachs, 83North, Granite Ventures and ICONIQ Capital.
More than two thirds of organisations (67 per cent) have started a legacy system modernisation project but failed to complete it, according to Advanced. The IT services provider’s 2020 Global Application Modernisation Business Barometer Report was carried out online by Coleman Parkes throughout March and April, with a sample comprised of 400 people working for large enterprises in Europe and the US with a minimum annual turnover of $1 billion. Of these, 100 people worked for organisations in the UK.
Microsoft and Workday have announced a strategic partnership prioritising enterprise planning in the cloud. Workday customers will also be able to run its Adaptive Planning software on the Microsoft’s Azure cloud and Microsoft will adopt Adaptive Planning for its global finance teams for planning, budgeting and forecasting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated manufacturers’ shift to digital transformation, with 70 per cent of organisations saying the crisis has focussed on the need for more digital procurement. A Vanson Bourne survey of 200 procurement, supply chain and finance professionals on behalf of smart procurement firm Ivalua, found that organisations believe that greater digitalisation (84 per cent) and better digital skills (83 per cent) will enable them to more effectively mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the business.
Cradlepoint is speeding up its expansion into Europe with senior hires, investment in new teams and new product offerings. The 5G wireless network edge solutions provider stated that it is aiming to win more customers across northern, central and southern Europe this year.
The computer code behind the scientific modelling of epidemics like COVID-19 should meet independent professional standards to ensure public trust, according to the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT. The lack of widely-accepted software development standards in scientific research has allowed for the ‘politicised’ undermining of confidence in computational modelling, including in high-profile models informing Coronavirus policy, the institute argued.
Facebook has rebranded its Calibra digital wallet - which will be used to store Libra digital currency - to Novi. The social media giant said that the name for financial subsidiary Novi Financial had been inspired by the Latin words 'novus' for 'new' and 'via' for 'way'.
Thriva has secured a £4 million extension to its Series A funding round from venture capital firm Target Global. This takes the London-based HealthTech startup's total funding to £11 million, following on from its initial £6 million fundraise last year, which included Guinness Asset Management and Pembroke VCT.
COVID-19 is not expected to significantly delay 5G deployments, according to a new report from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, in partnership with A10 Networks. The percentage of mobile service providers stating their companies were 'moving rapidly toward commercial deployment' has increased from 26 per cent in a survey announced in early 2019 to 45 per cent in the new survey.
Nearly half (48 per cent) of the UK public do not trust the NHSX Coronavirus contact tracing app to keep their information safe from hackers, according to new research. A Censuswide study of 1,000 UK citizens on behalf of cyber security firm Anomali found that the app, which is set to be rolled out to users from next week to support an easing of lockdown restrictions, is the focus of concerns over data handling and the risk of cyber criminals accessing sensitive information.
Education technology business MyEd has won a share of a £40 million tech innovation fund from the UK government. The Birmingham-based education technology business, led by chief executive Upkar Pardesi, former dean of Birmingham City University Business School, works with educational institutions and local authorities to digitally transform admissions and home learning.
Local authorities are at increased risk due to the lack of a complete cyber security perspective, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). A new report from its Local Digital Collaboration Unit (LDCU) explained the findings of a pre-discovery project that it launched in March, following stakeholder interviews and analysis of 163 councils’ responses to a survey on ransomware.
The number of instant messaging users will reach 4.3 billion in 2020, rising from 3.9 billion in 2019, according to Juniper Research. The market analysis predicted growth of nine per cent year-on-year, largely driven by an increased need for remote communication during the COVID-19 crisis.
To help individuals and companies build trust and preserve the fundamental values of blockchain technology, the World Economic Forum’s Global Blockchain Council developed the Presidio Principles. Co-designed at the World Economic Forum’s offices in the Presidio of San Francisco, the 16 principles aim to protect users and preserve the values of the technology so that all can benefit.
Microsoft has introduced a number of new cloud computing services across its UK Azure regions to improve data security and enable innovation through the use of robots, Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies. The company has released 10 new services for its cloud platform, including some that utilise cyber security technology to help protect systems as the cyber crime threat rises during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Miles, a pay-by-mile car insurance provider, has raised £15 million in Series B funding, led by CommerzVentures. The London-based startup, which aims to provide flexible cover to low mileage drivers - classified as those who drive less than 7,000 miles a year - using a plug-in device called a miles tracker.
Couchbase has completed a $105 million all-equity Series G round of fundraising. The round was led by GPI Capital and also included existing investors Accel, Sorenson Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, Glynn Capital, Adams Street Partners and Mayfield.
Nearly a third (30 per cent) of workers have fallen victim to phishing emails since the start of lockdown, according to new research. A survey of 491 employees and senior leaders working in UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for software and applications review business Capterra, found that while SMEs have moved quickly to transition to home working during the Coronavirus lockdown, cyber security processes have been less efficient.
The co-founder of online fashion retailer Boohoo has partnered with Avacta to develop a 10-minute home saliva test for Coronavirus. The antigen test will look similar to a pregnancy test, but will use a saliva sample rather than urine.
Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of UK businesses expect COVID-19 to bring about a new wave of workplace and industry automation, with financial services firms leading the way. A study of 500 UK business leaders, commissioned by Internet of Things (IoT) provider Pod Group, found that many respondents expect automation technology to replace a considerable proportion of their labour force over the next 10 years, with the financial services sector the most advanced in levels of automation.
Plans to create a UK LawTech research and development (R&D) environment - the Lawtech Sandbox - have been announced today by LawtechUK, a government-backed initiative between Tech Nation, the Lawtech Delivery Panel and the Ministry of Justice. The sandbox is one of four initial programmes LawtechUK has announced in the publication of its vision to help the legal sector harness technologies that improve or replace traditional methods of delivering legal services and systems.
Executives at Facebook, Google and Twitter have been recalled to re-appear before a committee of MPs who claim they failed to provide clear answers over fake news related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Following an online hearing last month, Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee (DCMS) criticised social media executives for a “lack of clarity and openness” in their responses over the ‘infodemic’ of false narratives - such as conspiracy theories around 5G broadband or claims of fake Twitter accounts posing as those of NHS staff.
More than 700 Zoom licences have been purchased by UK government departments during the COVID-19 outbreak, despite official warnings from the National Cyber Security Centre about the potential for hacking and data breach of the video conferencing software. Figures obtained by the Parliament Street think tank under Freedom of Information legislation found that a total of 731 Zoom licences have been ordered since the start of the outbreak, with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) purchasing 550 accounts, the Cabinet Office 150, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 15.
Blink, an app to connect frontline workers to their organisations, has raised £8.2 million funding as it prepares to launch today. The app has been developed over the course of 15 months in partnership with organisations including NHS, Stagecoach and Domino’s - whose workers are considered frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Business secretary Alok Sharma has announced that the government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20 million. The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the Coronavirus crisis, while supporting the UK’s next generation of tech startups.
Staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are using Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed-reality headsets to assist them in treating COVID-19 patients safely. The HoloLens and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist capabilities allow frontline healthcare teams at the trust to see everything the doctor treating patients can see, while remaining at a safe distance.
NHS Scotland has started testing its contact tracing software, with a two-week pilot across health boards in Fife, Lanarkshire and the Highlands. If these are successful, the plan is to roll-out around the country by the end of the month.
New research from Refinitiv has found that despite greater regulation and stronger enforcement action, many organisations are struggling to gain visibility over third-party risks. The fourth third-party risk survey found that on average, 43 per cent of third parties do not receive due diligence checks, an increase of six per cent compared to the responses found in the 2016 survey.
EasyJet has admitted that a highly sophisticated cyber attack has affected around nine million customers. The airline explained that email addresses and travel details had been stolen and that 2,208 customers had also had their credit card details accessed. It has informed the Information Commissioner's Office and is continuing to investigate the breach.
Over 60 per cent of consumers have stopped buying from brands that ‘stalk’ them online by using their data, according to new research. A survey of 8,000 consumers in the UK, France, India and the USA by Arlington Research on behalf of data analytics solution provider Truata also found over three quarters (77 per cent) believed that data held digitally about them should be their own property, not an asset owned by a company.
New research has revealed that a significant proportion of the population are not prepared to download the NHS Coronavirus contact tracing app – with half of respondents knowing at least one person who does not have the necessary technology. Cyber security firm Anomali commissioned Censuswide to interview 1,000 people across the UK, finding that almost a third (29 per cent) would refuse to download the app, with a further 27 per cent on the fence.
Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report has revealed that financial gain remains the key driver for cyber crime, with 86 per cent of breaches investigated being financially-driven. The vast majority of breaches continue to be caused by external actors - 70 per cent - with organised crime accounting for 55 per cent of these.
PA consulting and Hydroxyl Technologies are on the hunt for commercial partners to help them manufacture a decontamination device capable of neutralising Coronaviruses and other pathogens. The two companies have developed Airora Professional, a patented decontamination technology based on hydroxyl radicals that actively combats airborne and surface virus and bacterial infections, including Coronaviruses, Influenza, Norovirus, e-Coli and MRSA.
Organisations that put data at the centre of their strategy realise a differentiated competitive advantage by mitigating cost and risk, growing revenue and improving the customer experience. This is according to a survey of more than 900 global business analysts commissioned by data intelligence firm Collibra and carried out by Forrester Consulting.
The government has announced that organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop ways to support safe operations of novel modes of air transportation – minimising the environmental footprint and improving connectivity. Flying taxis, drones delivering medical supplies, small electric aircraft, vertical take-off and landing vehicles and autonomous aircraft are some of the innovations that Innovate UK hopes could transform aviation and broader transportation in the future.
Legal & General (L&G) is set to deploy £6 million of grant funding to HealthTech startups developing innovations in the healthy ageing market. The insurer was selected by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to distribute the grant funding to early stage companies, small businesses and social enterprises, alongside equity investment from L&G as part of the Healthy Ageing Investment Accelerator.
Progress in transforming digital services in the NHS has been slower than expected, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). It deemed recent investment in digital transformation "inadequate", adding that it is uncertain whether current funding will be sufficient to meet the government’s ambitions.
The UK’s energy network administrator has been hit by a cyber attack which compromised internal IT infrastructure. Elexon, which is the administrator for the UK electricity market, was alerted to the attack on Thursday afternoon, stating that its internal systems had been targeted, but the central data systems used to run the network remained unaffected and were continuing to work as normal.
Coronavirus contact tracing apps must only be used during the pandemic and will need to be automatically de-activated once the crisis is over, according to the EU justice commissioner. Reuters reported that Didier Reynders spoke yesterday in an attempt to allay concerns over state surveillance.
Artificial intelligence (AI) video streaming company iSIZE Technologies has raised £1.3 million in total funding after its first seed round. The London-based startup, which uses deep tech to cut the data used in streaming video, received backing in the round from Silicon Valley angel and institutional investors including Patrick Pichette, partner at Inovia capital.
New research has revealed that 80 per cent of consumers think payments technology is now key to their purchasing decisions. A OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK consumers for FinTech startup Modularbank found that just 22 per cent of respondents did not require anything more in the payments process from online merchants when it came to choosing which retailers, telecoms and utilities companies to use.
Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems business unit has partnered with digital solutions provider Iotics to drive development of digital twins for its in-field assets. It will use the technology to tap into more than 200 data sources and broker interactions in order to create digital twins and receive real-time event data across customer, supplier and partner boundaries.
The mining sector is in the midst of a digital revolution, with 93 per cent of businesses currently trialling Internet of Things (IoT) enabled projects, with two thirds of these having already deployed at least one IoT-based project. This is according to a survey commissioned by Inmarsat and carried out by Vanson Bourne among 200 senior staff working for mining companies with at least 500 employees.
New research has revealed that almost half (43 per cent) of surveyed IT decision-makers said that their organisation has been reported to the Information Commissioners' Office since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect. Apricon, a manufacturer of hardware-encrypted USB drives, commissioned Censuswide to interview 100 UK CIOs, heads of IT, IT directors and senior IT managers from enterprise organisations within the financial services, IT, manufacturing, business and professional services sectors.
More than a quarter (28 per cent) of UK businesses have automated key functions, with a third (34 per cent) planning to start Robotic Process Automation (RPA) programmes in the coming year, according to new research. A survey of 400 senior directors at organisations in the UK, France and Germany by digital intelligence company ABBYY found that 64 per cent of businesses had already used process mining technologies, which extract data from an IT system to create an events log of processes and workflow in order to help a company become more efficient.
Payment technology firm flatfair has launched a new online portal, Resolve by flatfair, to let landlords agree on a payment plan for any rent arrears accrued due to COVID-19 with their tenants. Residential landlords of all sizes will be adversely impacted by rental shortfalls. Resolve aims to give these landlords a tool to assist them in obtaining evidence of hardship and provide date stamped correspondence.
New research has revealed that while 82 per cent of people think their organisations need to focus on increasing the humanity of customer interactions, only 41 per cent view the way their organisation is using automation as helpful. Appian commissioned IDG to survey 1,200 employees across large organisations in the US and Europe, finding that 58 per cent of UK respondents thought the automation technologies used by their organisation were only 'somewhat effective' in providing all the data and context needed for a full picture of customers.
Payment technology firm flatfair has launched a new online portal, Resolve by flatfair, to let landlords agree on a payment plan for any rent arrears accrued due to COVID-19 with their tenants. Residential landlords of all sizes will be adversely impacted by rental shortfalls. Resolve aims to give these landlords a tool to assist them in obtaining evidence of hardship and provide date stamped correspondence.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has reported a significant rise in the number of people signing up to use the GOV.UK Verify digital identity service. However, the claim follows reports that it was told not to take on any more central government services and that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has begun working on its alternative service.
The government is preparing to replace the Coronavirus contact tracing app it is currently trialling on the Isle of Wight, communities secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed yesterday. The Financial Times reported on Friday that the NHS had begun developing a second app, which will use technology provided by Google and Apple, after concerns were raised about the initial app’s centralised system.
Video conferencing app Zoom has acquired secure messaging and file-sharing service Keybase for an undisclosed sum. The deal will accelerate Zoom’s plan to build end-to-end encryption that can reach current scalability.
Nearly half (46 per cent) of businesses globally have experienced a cyber security scare since shifting to remote working during the COVID-19 lockdown. A Censuswide survey of 1,000 decision makers from businesses in the UK, US, France and Germany, for cloud security provider Barracuda Networks, found that a similar amount (49 per cent) also said they were expecting to see a data breach or cyber security incident within the next month due to staff members working remotely.
The owners of Virgin Media and O2 have confirmed plans for a £31 billion merger to challenge BT and Sky in the UK. Virgin owner Liberty Global and O2 owner Telefonica have announced a 50/50 joint venture, which would have 46 million customers and around £11 billion in revenue.
The Libra Association has appointed HSBC chief legal officer Stuart Levey as its first chief executive. Prior to joining HSBC, he served as the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence during the Bush and Obama administrations, helping to set US and international policy to combat illicit finance.
HM Revenue and Customs has asked Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to remove 292 scam web addresses exploiting the Coronavirus outbreak since the beginning of the lockdown on 23 March. The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Griffin Law, revealed that of the 292 sites removed, 237 were proactively identified and requested for removal by HMRC independently, with the remaining 55 flagged by members of the public.
The EU Horizon2020 SecondHands consortium has completed its robotic platform, ARMAR-6. Launched in 2015, the mission was to develop a collaborative robot, or 'cobot' assistant to make industrial environments safer by proactively offering useful support and assistance to humans in maintenance tasks.
Ofcom has confirmed that O2 has submitted a last-minute challenge to the planned 5G spectrum auction, potentially creating a significant delay to the UK roll-out. The telecoms regulator said the firm raised concerns as part of the consultation process, relating to a technical point in the way the auction is to be organised, according to the Financial Times.
Governments, non-profits and private sector firms across finance, healthcare, enterprise software and more, have teamed up with Linux Foundation to enhance universal security and privacy protocols in the digital era. The Trust over IP (ToIP) Foundation is being developed with global, pan-industry support from organisations with sector-specific expertise.
The Coronavirus contact tracing app is set be piloted on the Isle of Wight this week, despite continued concerns around its centralised setup. The new app will alert users if they have been close to someone with the COVID-19 virus, with Health secretary Matt Hancock stating that the government is looking to recruit an “army” of human contact tracers to establish how and where the disease is spreading.
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to force tech companies to hold their spending, new research from talent.io has revealed that 38 per cent of European firms are freezing most or all of their tech recruitment. In London alone, there has been a 57 per cent drop in the number of companies creating new, permanent tech job listings.
Tim Bray, a vice president at Amazon Web Services, has quit the company “in dismay” over its firing of employee activists who criticised Coronavirus working conditions. In a blog post, the man perhaps most famous for markup language XML, said that firing strike organisers Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa in April was “designed to create a climate of fear”.
Coadjute has appointed Royal Bank of Scotland director of innovation for home buying and ownership Dan Salmons as its new chief executive. Following successful customer trials last year, the UK PropTech startup has brought in new leadership to accelerate, launch and scale its network.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company UiPath has partnered with Deloitte to help deliver its Intelligent Document Processing (DIDP) plans. The on-premise or cloud-based automation accelerator is aimed at delivering a capability which captures documents before extracting, classifying and verifying data for processing.
PwC, Cognite and OutSystems have formed a strategic partnership to deliver digital transformation solutions for manufacturing, energy and utility customers. The partnership is aimed at empowering industrial data scientists and engineers to operationalise data and develop applications by abstracting complex data pipelines, data contextualisation and application development tasks.
As the fourth anniversary of the IBM Quantum Experience approaches, the company is launching a challenge with four exercises, aimed at improving the understanding of quantum circuits. The IBM Quantum Challenge begins today, with access being given over the next few days to IBM's quantum computing resources.
The implementation of an app that traces Coronavirus contacts is necessary but must overcome “perceived Big Brother elements” to ensure the public get on board, according to the British Computer Society (BCS). The proposed NHS contact tracing app will alert smartphone users if they are in - or have been - in close contact to someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
The University of Oxford has announced a strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) focused on building new research projects relating to artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, cyber-physical systems, human-centred computing, and support to the university’s new 'Lighthouse' doctoral scholarships. This collaboration, supported by a £7 million gift from AWS to the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, will accelerate advances in AI and data science across the entire research portfolio.
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has raised $515 million for its second fund focused on crypto networks and businesses. This tops the $450 million target Andreessen Horowitz set for it and follows a similar $300 million fund created in 2018.
The UK’s tech sector suffered its its worst performance since the global financial crisis during the opening quarter of 2020, according to KPMG’s tech monitor survey. The quarterly analysis of business activity in the technology sector found the steepest decline in business activity since 2009, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to a sharp drop in non-essential spending and escalating uncertainty about the economic outlook.
Trials of novel technology that could dramatically cut the time it takes to decontaminate ambulances have taken place, following a rapid appeal by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in response to Coronavirus. Scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have tested 12 methods to speed-up the sanitising of ambulances – in some cases reducing cleaning time from an hour to around 10 minutes so more lives can be saved.
Younger Generation Z and Millennial consumers are the most lax when it comes to password and smartphone security, with some using the same password for up to 20 accounts. An online survey of 2,000 UK smartphone users aged 18 to 55 and over by OnePoll and cyber security company Clario, found that just 15 per cent of Brits have admitted to reading terms and conditions when signing up to a new app, leaving them vulnerable to being hacked if the correct security precautions are not taken.
The Department for Education and Nesta have announced the innovations that have been shortlisted for the £5.75 million CareerTech challenge, aimed at helping to support and re-skill employees as the world of work becomes more automated. The business ideas, which range from AI-driven careers advice to game-based learning platforms, are aimed at equipping adults across England with the tools and skills to navigate the rapidly changing world of work.
Social media giants Facebook, Google and Twitter will face questions from MPs today in a virtual grilling on the spread of fake news and misinformation amid the COVID-19 crisis. The online session of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will give MPs the opportunity to question the BigTech firms about their action and its effectiveness in reducing the deliberate spreading of harmful content about the coronavirus pandemic.
The Saudi G20 Presidency and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub have launched the G20 TechSprint Initiative to highlight the potential for new technologies to resolve regulatory compliance (RegTech) and supervision (SupTech) challenges. A range of operational problems have been published, with firms invited to develop innovative technological solutions to them. The problem statements identify challenges in regulatory reporting, analytics, monitoring and supervision - developed from submissions received from Financial Stability Board (FSB) member jurisdictions.
Income Analytics has launched its tenant income risk indices and benchmarks - a new and unique set of indicators for quantifying tenant income risk using data on over 355 million global companies from Dun & Bradstreet. The UK PropTech firm is aiming to redefine how the global real estate industry can access, analyse and deploy company credit data on tenants, assets and investment portfolios, giving investors and lenders real-time data on underlying tenants creditworthiness.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a sustainability collaboration with 2i and Topolytics focussed on ‘smart waste’ solutions. The tie-up will aim to boost recycling of materials and capture more value from waste through advanced data and analytics.
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has awarded almost £1 million to three projects developing technology that predicts and counters cyber attacks. The investment is part of phase two of its Predictive Cyber Analytics competition, aimed at further developing and merging the approaches explored in phase one - namely a proactive defence of UK military systems and networks.
A new report has claimed that consumers will interact with voice assistants on over 8.4 billion devices by 2024; overtaking the world’s population and growing 113 per cent compared to the 4.2 billion devices expected to be in use by year end 2020. However, monetisation of the voice assistants themselves remains a challenge, according to Juniper Research.
Zoom has chosen Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to support the rapid growth of its video conferencing service. “We recently experienced the most significant growth our business has ever seen, requiring massive increases in our service capacity," explained Zoom chief executive Eric S. Yuan. "We explored multiple platforms, and Oracle was instrumental in helping us quickly scale our capacity and meet the needs of our new users."
The NHS' Coronavirus contact tracing app will use a different model to that proposed by Apple and Google. A statement explained that with the help of GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre, it has found a way to make the software run on iPhones without users having to keep the app active and on-screen.
Job roles within tech increased by 40 per cent in the first third of the year, due to a surge in-demand within the 'hybrid-tech' sectors of FinTech, HealthTech and AgriTech, according to recruitment firm Robert Walters. The company's senior manager for technology Tom Chambers explained that in the last few years, tech startups and scale-ups have received a notable amount of funding, with the government and venture capital allocating more money towards in demand industries.
IW Capital has completed a £2 million investment in GPDQ, a startup delivering primary healthcare services by mobilising GPs, nurses, pharmacists and other specialists to meet patient demand across the UK. The multi-channel doctor-on-demand service has been using its technology platform to connect a network of clinicians with thousands of NHS and private patients through home visits, in-clinic or via video since 2015.
The UK’s intelligence services will be increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence (AI) to combat a range of online and real-world threats, according to a new report by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). The report, which was commissioned by GCHQ, is based on unprecedented access to the British intelligence community.
The government has backed 18 projects to develop digital tools to support vulnerable people under the TechForce19 Challenge. NHSX, the Department for Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have pledged up to £25,000 for individual projects worked up in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Investment Association (IA) has launched a cyber threat intelligence platform to help investment managers protect their firms. The Threat Intelligence Alert Network (TITAN), will provide a real-time dashboard bringing together alerts from law enforcement, government agencies and other relevant authorities, on cyber hazards and risks within the investment management community.
NHS Digital and NHSX have launched GP Connect, a service for general practitioners to securely share patient records with each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will give access to primary care records of patients registered at other practices, along with the ability to share appointments to increase flexibility, and for NHS 111 staff to book consultations with GPs and specialist centres.
BABB has announced that after launching in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, it can be accessed in 169 countries. The UK-based blockchain banking platform has also opened an in-app referral programme for Android users and incorporated a cash-out fiat gateway in 36 regions.
Central banks should issue a digital version of cash to prevent the trust in the monetary system disappearing, according to research and campaign group Positive Money. The report suggested that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) could give policymakers more effective tools to support the economy and maintain financial stability, particularly during times of crisis such as the Coronavirus pandemic.
Alibaba Cloud has launched a global enablement program to provide cloud technology relief worth more than $30 million to new and existing small and medium-enterprises (SMEs), aiming to equip them with the solutions needed to maintain business continuity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the program, new SME customers worldwide can apply for the relief between now and 22 June to start using a portfolio of proven solutions from Alibaba Cloud.
The NHS, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Ministry of Defence have begun work with eBay to create a new online portal to help ease some of the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply issues currently facing the medical community. The new portal, which is currently in a pilot phase, aims to help primary and social care providers to order PPE equipment from NHS Supply Chain.
After holding an accelerator in Europe for inclusive FinTechs serving refugees, Village Capital has produced a report stating that Europe's financial system excludes refugees lacking formal identification or language skills, who may hold the key to the FinTech future. The non-profit, which has supported entrepreneurs in 28 countries, conducted interviews with investors, non-governmental organisations, financial institutions, academics, mobile operators and refugees.
Over half (57 per cent) of UK startups only have enough cashflow to survive a maximum of six months from now, even after undertaking cost-cutting measures. Machine learning executive research platform proSapient surveyed founders and c-suite executives from 277 startups in the UK - with almost half of respondents working in the software and services, technology hardware and professional services sectors - finding that the lack of government support has created a real risk that a generation of innovation and economic productivity will be consigned to history.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has signed an £11.5 million contract with enterprise cloud provider Workday to provide a platform for its HR, finance and procurement functions. The five-year deal will see the financial regulator use the company’s enterprise resource planning system by the end of March next year, aligning with its current data centre contract ending.
Leeds Building Society has partnered with automation specialist Blue Prism to build the numbers of ‘digital workers’ supporting customers through the COVID-19 crisis. It is using Blue Prism’s COVID-19 Response Program to help deal with an unprecedented jump in mortgage deferral requests.
Just one in six (17 per cent) IT professionals in the UK are female, according to research from the Centre for Economics and Business Resources (CEBR) and security firm Tessian. The research, which was analysed from the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, also found that only 17 per cent of IT directors - from a 30,000 strong sample - and 29 per cent of IT technicians - sample size 225,000 - were female.
PropTech firm Shepherd has secured £1.1 million in funding from sustainable investor Earthworm, following-on from its initial £2 million investment last March. Shepherd is aiming to create a more sustainable environment by providing property owners and managers with actionable insight via a range of data analytical solutions.
More than half (57 per cent) of UK IT decision-makers believe that remote workers will expose their organisation to the risk of a data breach, according to Apricorn. A the end of March, the hardware-encrypted USB drive manufacturer surveyed 100 chief information officers, heads of IT and IT directors from enterprise organisations (more than 1,000 employees) within the financial services, IT, manufacturing and professional services sectors.
Digital identity provider ForgeRock has completed a $93.5 million Series E funding round led by Riverwood Capital. Existing investors, including Accel, Meritech Capital, Foundation Capital and KKR Growth, also participated. Riverwood Capital co-founder and managing partner Jeff Parks will join the board of directors.
GCHQ has launched a new scheme to encourage the public to report phishing emails and online scams as cyber criminals exploit the Coronavirus lockdown. The government intelligence organisation will then use an automated scanning system set up by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to check for scam emails and remove sites confirmed as criminal.
More than three quarters (76 per cent) of insurance executives think the industry is poorly equipped to insure risks related to blockchain and crypto assets. According to a PollRight survey of 51 senior insurance professionals, commissioned by Evertas, just 12 per cent believed their industry was prepared for providing insurance to customers for this kind of asset, with the majority claiming current progress towards this goal was poor.
Fenergo and IBM have signed an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement that will allow the companies to collaborate on solutions that can help clients address a multitude of financial risks. The agreement enables them to create solutions that combine Fenergo’s client lifecycle management (CLM) offering with IBM’s RegTech portfolio of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Client (KYC) solutions; all built with Watson.
Global cloud communications software and solutions provider IMImobile has announced that its Healthcare Communications division will offer its eClinic software to NHS trusts for free for a year. The video consultation software allows for patients to see their clinicians via online consultations, meaning that regular health checks and medical reporting can continue even if patients or healthcare professionals are self-isolating.
Applied Blockchain has completed a £2 million funding round lead by Hong Kong based venture capital firm QBN Capital. The funds will be invested in developing a platform using privacy enhancing technologies to help companies to collaborate together without having to share any of their data.
Engine B, a co-created professional services enterprise, has been awarded £1.75 million from Innovate UK. The award brings funds raised so far by the data and innovation venture to £3.5 million in total. The startup will use the funding to bring its platform to market, aiming to drive digitisation and artificial intelligence technology adoption in the professional services industry.
Trials have started for a system using machine learning to predict demand across English hospitals for intensive care beds and ventilators. NHS Digital said the COVID-19 Capacity Planning and Analysis System (CPAS) has been developed by its data scientists and researchers from the University of Cambridge, using data from Public Health England (PHE).
The government has promised £1 billion worth of support for startups struggling with the Coronavirus. A statement explained that £250 million will go towards a new £500 million Future Fund fund investing in high-growth private companies, with private sector support making up the other £250 million.
AIWAYS has been granted European and Chinese patents for its autonomous electric vehicle (EV) charging robot. The Shanghai-based technology firm has obtained seven patents to develop CARL, its mobile fast charging bot, which is summoned by a smartphone app, finds the car via GPS, and plugs in to charge the vehicle automatically.
After a successful beta with over 5,000 customers, Snoop has brought forward its launch and is now available to the public in the App Store and Google Play. The London and Norwich-based FinTech uses Open Banking Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to connect to a customer’s bank accounts and credit cards, then through a mix of artificial and human intelligence data-driven it delivers personalised insights to help consumers make the most of their money.
The House of Commons will begin virtual operations using Zoom video conferencing technology in response to Coronavirus self-isolation measures. Speaker of the house Lindsay Hoyle stated that the hybrid model, developed by the Parliamentary Digital Service and Broadcasting Team, will see most members of parliament taking part virtually while a small number remain in the chamber.
The tech companies supporting Libra, Facebook’s digital currency project, have applied for a payment system license in Switzerland. The Libra Association has formally started the process of applying for a payments license from the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA), in a move hailed as an “important milestone” for the project.
BioCatch has completed a $145 million Series C funding round, led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities, the growth investing business of Bain Capital. Also joining the round were new investors, including Industry Ventures, as well as existing shareholders American Express Ventures, CreditEase, Maverick Ventures and OurCrown, among others.
Scottish technology company Neatebox is offering supermarkets across the UK access to new technology which it claims can remove the challenges millions of individuals are currently facing when they visit a shop during lockdown. Social distancing rules, queues, changing opening times and protected hours for key workers are just some of the new rules being employed by supermarkets to help protect both staff and customers from COVID-19.
Data science startup Previse has made $11 million in funding round led by Reefknot Investments and Mastercard, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Hambro Perks and Augmentum Fintech. The money will support continued growth, as the business rolls out its instant payment technology, InstantPay, to more large corporate buyers all over the world.
The first new ventilator to be designed in response to the NHS’ Coronavirus Ventilator Challenge has received regulatory approval and is ready to be sent to the NHS frontline.
The Department of Health and Social Care announced that Penlon’s Prima ES02 model, a newly-adapted ventilator design, has now been authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in hospitals.
Cybersec Innovation Partners (CIP) and ISARA Corporation have partnered to let CIP offer solutions and services that enable migration of digital trust infrastructures to post-quantum security. The onset of large-scale quantum computing will challenge the security of current public-key cryptography and create widespread vulnerabilities.
Voice cloud service firm Natterbox has secured £7.5 million of growth equity funding from the development capital team at Octopus Investments. The UK scale-up will use the capital to support its continued global expansion, strengthen its sales and marketing operations, and further invest in its customer service and product development teams.
Devised by the mysterious presumed pseudonym Satoshi Nakamato in 2008, blockchain’s immediate application was to serve as a transaction ledger for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Yet, despite more than a decade of talk about how blockchain was set to disrupt and revolutionise numerous industries, the technology has yet to really make its mark on any big business – with scalability, security and regulatory concerns holding it back.
Ericsson and BT have signed a deal to deploy Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core - a container-based, cloud native mobile packet core for 4G, 5G non-standalone and 5G standalone services. The solution, delivered on BT’s Network Cloud, will form a key component in BT’s move to a single converged IP network.
The UK Space Agency has made £2.6 million available to fund projects using space technology to fight the Coronavirus outbreak. The joint initiative with the European Space Agency is partly funded by its Business Applications Space Solutions Fund.
The UK’s tech industry is calling on the government to delay its digital services tax during the Coronavirus outbreak. TechUK, which represents multinational tech giants including Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, is asking the government to “look again” at the new tax - which came into force this month - and delay liabilities until next year, according to reports in the Times.
Huawei has appointed Michael Rake, a former president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and former chairman of BT group, to its UK board. The Chinese telecoms provider, announced that Rake, who has advised the company since 1 January 2019, will now take up a permanent position on the board, helping the company to navigate industry challenges and expand its internet connection services to UK households.
Technology firms are processing large volumes of confidential UK patient information as part of the government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Responding to a previous call for BigTech assistance to slow the spread of the disease, US data firm Palantir began working with UK artificial intelligence startup Faculty to consolidate government databases.
Engineering teams at Apple and Google have collaborated to create a decentralised contact tracing tool to help individuals determine whether they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Contact tracing is a tool which public health authorities use to track the spread of viruses and inform those potentially exposed so that they can get tested.
Hero labs has launched a home insurance company that rewards customers for owning smart home devices. The InsurTech, called Hiro, will offer discounts on policies to those who have invested in technology that can use sensors and predictive analytics to reduce the risk of damage to their homes and devices.
Tech Nation has revealed the 22 cyber security companies selected to join its Cyber 2.0 growth programme. Many of the issues being tackled by these cyber companies are coming to the fore against the backdrop of COVID-19. Bob’s Business, GlassWall, Hut Six, OutThink and ThinkCyber all provide training to reduce the human risk from scams, while Dataswift, ByzGen and Symphonic are all providing innovative data sharing and privacy solutions for both companies and individuals.
More than a third (36 per cent) of UK businesses are planning to deploy multi-cloud environments as part of their technology investment strategy. A survey of 2,485 IT decision-makers - from 23 countries in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific - carried out by Equinix, found that the adoption of multi-cloud approaches for data storage stood at 14 per cent in the UK, compared to 20 per cent worldwide.
The Council of Europe has called for member states to ensure that algorithms and automation are developed without the risk of human rights violations. In a recommendation issued to its 47 members states, the council called for “a precautionary approach to the development and use of algorithmic systems” and underlined the need for legislation, policies and practices that fully respect human rights.
Video conferencing app Zoom has hired Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos as an advisor, as it responds to rising security and privacy concerns. Stamos is a computer scientist and adjunct professor at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation. He was previously the security chief at Yahoo, and has also worked for Loudcloud, NCC Group Domain Services, ISEC Partners and Artemis.
Digital mental health platform SilverCloud Health will enhance its range of therapy programmes in the UK after securing £13 million funding. The new funding round will see the company further developing its innovative approaches to therapy, while expanding into the UK and Europe - with new and existing partners like Thieme Telecare - as well as into more US states.
As organisations push forward with digital initiatives, protecting sensitive consumer data has become the main driver for more than half (54 per cent) of businesses deploying encryption tools. Research from nCipher Security, based on a survey of 6,457 IT professionals in 17 countries carried out by the Ponemon Institute, found that the arrival of GDPR has pushed data protection to the top of the agenda of encryption activity for the first time, outranking compliance, which ranked fourth.
UK manufacturers are facing a precarious future, with 68 per cent reporting that their order books have halved in the last 30 days, with 67 per cent having less than £50,000 cash - so without any support many will run out of money before the end of the month. FinTech business lender MarketFinance surveyed 860 UK manufacturing businesses - which employ between one and 249 staff - in March, finding that 51 per cent were interested in accessing funding through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which offers up to £5 million interest free for the first year, over six years, to shore up their business for the medium to long term.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has published guidance on how public sector organisations should use cloud hosting services. The strategy outlines have been created to help organisations take a coordinated approach and avoid the creation of complex and expensive technology estates – emphasising a process based on the needs of users.
Global private equity deals worth $8.57 billion were announced by the technology industry in February, according to analysis by GlobalData. The deal value represented a drop of 15.8 per cent, when compared to the last 12 month average, which stood at $10.17 billion, as the economic impact of the Coronavirus outbreak began to filter through to investment decisions.
MPs have called for social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, to be held to account for the spread of conspiracy theories about 5G technology helping transmit the Coronavirus. False reports have been circulating on social media sites in recent weeks, resulting in warnings that telecommunications masts have been set on fire by vandals.
A new strategic partnership between myGP software creator iPLATO and doctor's service GPDQ has been launched to boost the capacity for NHS patient video consultations across UK, as one in four GPs are forced into isolation. After seeing a 1,451 per cent spike in GP video consultations being conducted during the Coronavirus pandemic, iPLATO and GPDQ have joined forces to provide surge capacity for UK-based General Practices, enabling more patients to be seen via video across the UK.
Open source solution provider Red Hat has named Paul Cormier as president and chief executive officer, effective today. He previously served as Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, and succeeds Jim Whitehurst, who is now president of IBM.
HealthTech startup Zegami is building a new artificial intelligence-driven platform to help healthcare professionals diagnose and predict outcomes for patients suffering from COVID-19. The Oxford University spinout will use data visualisation techniques to create a machine learning model capable of comparing the effect of different treatments for the virus, by comparing their x-rays to previous patients with similar conditions.
Startup accelerator Kickstart has opened applications for its annual business-to-business (B2B) scale-up programme, aimed at helping late-stage deep tech startups interested in entering the Swiss market. Kickstart, one of Europe’s largest innovation platforms, is hoping that its fifth iteration will enable around 100 entrepreneurs to join the three-month programme in September. It lets startups create and test pilots and commercial projects with corporate and public sector partners, including AXA, Roche, Credit Suisse and Lafarge Holcim.
Over half (53 per cent) of security professionals have no visibility into the number of devices connected to their company network. This is according to Outpost24, which interviewed more than 200 attendees at the RSA Conference in San Francisco at the end of February.
The government has put up £20 million for businesses that could help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of the Coronavirus outbreak and similar situations in the future. Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research-focussed businesses to develop new ways of working in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport; as well as to support people at home in circumstances like those during the pandemic.
Google has published location data for 131 countries showing the drop in visits to shops, public spaces and workplaces since Coronoavirus restrictions were introduced by governments around the world. The anonymised information gathered from the Maps app on billions of smartphones is a public data set which can be used by authorities to assess whether lockdown measures and warnings about social distancing are being followed by populations.
Today sees the release of Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) and Unique Street Reference Numbers (USRNs) under an Open Government License, with the Government Digital Service mandating that these are to be the public sector standard for referencing and sharing property and street information. GeoPlace - the organisation that oversees the production and maintenance of address and street gazetteers - worked closely with Ordnance Survey, the Local Government Association, and the Geospatial Commission to reach this agreement on opening up of the UPRN and USRN as part of the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA).
Increased cyber criminal activity during the COVID-19 crisis has exposed passwords as a key vulnerability, according to the World Economic Forum, which is calling for consideration of a ‘password-less future’. Will Dixon, head of operations at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity, said the upsurge of cyber criminals seeking to exploit the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the risk to businesses of weak passwords used to secure employees’ accounts.
COVID-19 is prompting a shift in UK households’ digital activity, with many people trying online services for the first time. According to an EY survey of 2,000 UK consumers, video calling showed the largest uptick, with 18 per cent trying this for the first time, ahead of online shopping (nine per cent) and watching catch-up TV (nine per cent).
The NHS has enlisted tech firms Microsoft, Google, Amazon and data specialists Palantir and Faculty AI, to help it build a data platform to manage demand for critical medical supplies during the fight against COVID-19. Following a call from PM Boris Johnson and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance for tech firms to volunteer resources, the Department for Health and Social Care confirmed that it had partnered with the US and UK-based companies to help develop a nationwide tool to give hospitals and clinical services secure, reliable and timely data to help them co-ordinate their response to the pandemic.
Morrisons has won a Supreme Court appeal over whether it was liable for an employee with a grudge who leaked the payroll data of around 100,000 members of staff. The supermarket took the case to the Supreme Court following a ruling in 2018 which gave the go-ahead for compensation claims by employees whose personal details were leaked.
InsurTech Loadsure has landed £1.1 million in its latest funding round. The freight insurance company aims to simplify and digitise the spot freight cargo insurance processes through its automated end-to-end process for brokers, shippers and carriers.
The owner of video chat app Houseparty has claimed that a commercial rival is engaging in a smear campaign and has put up a £1 million bounty for proof. This follows several days of internet rumours and social media posts claiming that downloading the app caused other services, such as Netflix and Spotify, to have data personal data breached.
Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions developer Element AI has released a beta version of a free search platform to help clinical and scientific researchers, public health authorities and frontline workers find answers and patterns in research papers by locating relevant work across thousands of published papers. Information on COVID-19 is evolving fast and this AI-powered platform leverages a semantic search model that will allow users to quickly connect disparate information.
Scientists at the University of Glasgow claim to have made a breakthrough in the development of quantum-enhanced optical systems which could pave the way for advances in encryption, communication and measurement. In a new paper published today in the journal Science Advances, a group of researchers, led by Matteo Clerici at the University of Glasgow’s James Watt School of Engineering and colleagues from the UK, Japan and Germany, demonstrated a new method of generating and detecting quantum-entangled photons at a wavelength of 2.1 micrometres.
UK Finance has warned consumers to be on the lookout for 'smishing' text message scams from criminals exploiting the Coronavirus outbreak. Smishing is when criminals use text messages impersonating other organisations to trick people into giving away their personal and financial information or money.
The Scottish Government has put £3.8 million into digital mental health services to help combat problems faced in Coronavirus forced isolation. The new funding will support a two-strand approach, increasing capacity while aiming to reduce demand. It includes £2.6 million for an expansion of the NHS 24 Mental Health Hub and Breathing Space web support service and helpline.
The National Technology Awards have been rescheduled to 30 November, due to restrictions imposed to combat the Coronavirus. Still talking place at the Marriott Grosvenor Square hotel in London, the fourth annual event was due on 7 May.
A consortium of UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors has come together to produce medical ventilators for the NHS. Companies including Ford, GKN and Microsoft have explored production of a range of ventilators based on designs from UK firms Penlon and Smiths Group.
New data analysis has suggested that the number of phishing websites has spiked by 350 per cent during the Coronavirus pandemic. According to data gathered and analysed by Atlas VPN, the number of registered phishing sites has surged to over half a million (522,495) in March as the COVID-19 crisis took hold.
The chancellor’s latest measures to sure up a financial sector hit by the Coronavirus outbreak have been welcomed by the tech sector. Rishi Sunak announced a further package of measures for the self-employed, now mirroring the scheme for the employed workforce.
The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) has opened applications to join its fifth cohort of cyber security scale-ups, with particular focus on solutions adapted to the Coronavirus outbreak. For the next cohort of its 12-month programme, LORCA is prioritising those businesses that are tackling disinformation and the need to secure the digital citizen, including solutions catering to disparate teams at a time when the majority of the working population are doing so from home.
Almost half of UK businesses (46 per cent) have fallen victim to cyber security attacks or breaches in the last year, according to the UK government’s annual cyber security survey.
Now in its fifth edition, the survey of thousands of UK businesses and charities, published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, showed that nearly a third of businesses (32 per cent) were experiencing breaches or attacks a least once a week, up from 22 per cent in 2017.
The UK’s tech industry will maintain resilience, despite the COVID-19 outbreak, according to new analysis from global recruiter Robert Walters. In the first quarter this year, permanent job vacancies in the tech sector increased by 32.56 per cent and contract tech roles increased by 48.27 per cent when compared with the same period last year, according to JobFeed data.
Cyber criminals are cashing-in on the COVID-19 crisis by launching a wave of Coronavirus-related email attacks. Researchers from Barracuda Networks have been monitoring global phishing activity around the outbreak since the start of the year, recording 137 incidents in January, 1,188 in February, rising to 9,116 in March so far - an increase of 667 per cent since the end of February.
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is looking for rapid sanitising technology to speed up the time it takes to clean ambulances to help in the national effort against Coronavirus. It can take up to 45 minutes to clean ambulances once they have transported a patient suspected of having COVID-19.
Advanced has acquired Tikit, a global legal, accounting and professional services software business, from BT Group. This is the company’s fifth acquisition in 12 months and reinforces its ambition to become the leading provider of business software solutions in the UK, while simultaneously extending its global footprint.
British Crown Courts have announced that phone and video technology will be introduced to help continue trials amid social distancing measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus. The Lord Chief Justice put a temporary pause on new jury trials in Crown Courts, with only existing jury trials set to continue until they reach a conclusion.
NHSX has launched a programme for the rapid development of digital tools to support people self-isolating during the Coronavirus outbreak. The Techforce 19 initiative, in collaboration with GovTech venture capital firm Public, is making up to £25,000 per company available for a test phase of solutions that could be available within a few weeks.
Fountech.Ventures, an incubator for deep tech startups, has launched in the US and UK. The subsidiary company of Fountech.ai, a four-year-old international artificial intelligence think tank and parent company to a number of specialist AI and deep tech firms, is based in Austin, Texas and originated in London.
A new study has found that 96 per cent of IT leaders in the legal sector say insider breach risk is a significant concern. Cyber security specialist Egress' second annual survey was conducted in January among more than 500 IT leaders and 5,000 employees across the UK, US and Benelux regions - among these were 106 IT leaders and 1,001 employees in legal sector companies.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a messaging service with WhatsApp and Facebook to keep people safe from Coronavirus. The messaging service has the potential to reach two billion people and enables WHO to get information directly into the hands of the people that need it.
The National Gallery was hit by nearly two million email attacks over the course of 2019, as the UK’s largest public institutions step up their defences against hackers. According to data obtained under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act by cyber security specialists Absolute Software, the UK’s leading art gallery blocked an array of sophisticated email phishing attacks, including spam and virus attempts which were targeted at stealing the personal and financial data of National Gallery members.
As part of its effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, China is using 5G patrol robots developed by Guangzhou Gosuncn Robot Company with Advantech technology to monitor mask wearing and body temperatures in public places. The company upgraded its existing police patrol robot with new capabilities to assist officers in conducting disease prevention inspections.
Thomson Reuters has acquired Pondera Solutions, a provider of analytics to combat fraud, waste and abuse in healthcare and large government programs. A statement did not disclose the financial details, but explained that the deal would enhance Thomson Reuters’ offerings in the risk, fraud and compliance space, expanding on its strategic approach to deliver insight through advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and human expertise.
Locum’s Next, a HealthTech connecting NHS organisations with 25,000 clinicians for temporary work, is opening up its platform for free to help coordinate the response to COVID-19. The company’s shift-matching software will be made available to support efforts to recruit NHS clinicians to help fill short term vacancies - currently being listed by the thousands each day - as staffing issues grow across the NHS.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has announced its intention to take over ownership and management of OpenRoaming as a global wireless industry standard. The move, in line with the WBA’s history and leadership on Wi-Fi Roaming services and interoperability, is designed to facilitate the broad adoption of OpenRoaming by new and existing Wi-Fi Networks, service providers and other technology partners across the global Wi-Fi ecosystem.
Isle of Man based mobile operator Manx Telecom has partnered with blockchain protocol Minima to complete a decentralised payment proof of concept. The trial saw Manx Telecom send tokens on Minima’s blockchain, from one phone to another, granting network access without touching any of the operator’s existing billing systems.
PropTech company Pupil has secured $16 million in its latest round of funding, led by Singapore’s City Developments Limited. The London-based startup uses enterprise software and machine learning to measure the built world through its patent-pending digital twin technology.
The Met Office is planning to move the main components of its Space Weather service from internal storage to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. The move is aimed at reducing operational costs and the cycle time for changes, according to a statement, which also explained that it is seeking a delivery partner for the migration in a two-year deal valued at up to £2 million.
Microsoft co-founder and technology advisor Bill Gates has stepped down from the company’s board of directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities. He will continue to serve as technology advisor to chief executive Satya Nadella and other leaders in the company.
The UK’s digital technology sector grew nearly six times faster than the rest of the UK economy in 2019, with a record £10.1 billion in investment - an increase of 44 per cent.
According to Tech Nation’s annual report for 2019, the digital technology sector contributed £149 billion to the UK economy, accounting for 7.7 per cent of the UK’s gross value added (GVA).
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has revealed a range of attacks being perpetrated online as cyber criminals seek to exploit COVID-19. Techniques seen since the start of the year include bogus emails with links claiming to have important updates, which once clicked on lead to devices being infected.
Finablr has temporarily suspended its share listing amid “material uncertainty” about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The global platform for payments and foreign exchange confirmed in a statement that the Financial Conduct Authority agreed to the suspension, following an update on 12 March that “a number of factors that were placing significant constraints on the company's access to the daily liquidity”.
Google’s life sciences division Verily is developing a digital tool to help Americans establish if they need testing for the Coronavirus. Amid widespread criticism of the US government’s progress in testing potential cases of the virus, the Google-owned company said it was in the early stages of building an online triage system, with the first test site named ‘Project Baseline’ opened to adults in North California this weekend.
Six local authorities in England have won a share of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) £1.2 million Local Digital Fund. Barnsley, Buckinghamshire, Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth and Southwark councils have received funding to develop existing projects, following the allocation of £2.5 million in the previous three rounds, all aimed at building digital services that can be replicated by other authorities.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a consultation on new uses of technology in transport. It is aimed at making journeys easier and greener, with a prominent section on mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), suggesting that the way that new data and digital capabilities are making it possible to package different services together for travellers when they are planning journeys.
Prime minister Boris Johnson and his chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance have asked the tech industry to volunteer resources in the fight to curb the Coronavirus. In a meeting attended by around 30 companies from across the UK online and science sectors, the prime minister gave a speech imploring unity in efforts to lessen the spread of the pandemic.
More than half (51 per cent) of senior decision-makers among UK businesses feel overwhelmed by the data generated within their organisation – rising to 61 per cent among those working in larger companies with over 1,000 employees. This is according to database management platform provider InterSystems, which commissioned Vitreous World to interview senior decision-makers from 150 businesses covering all industries.
New research has revealed that 37 per cent of mobile operators will begin deploying 5G standalone within the next two years. A worldwide survey of 41 mobile operators by Enea showed that 27 per cent will deploy 5G within 12 to 18 months, with a further 10 per cent within two years.
The European Commission (EC) has unveiled plans to introduce the ‘right to repair’ for electronic devices, restrict single-use products, tackle premature obsolescence and ban the destruction of unsold durable goods. These measures form part of the new Circular Economy Action Plan, intended to deliver on previous pledges to transition the EU to carbon neutrality by 2050.
Data visualisation company Zegami has been appointed by researchers at the Oxford University Cardiovascular Clinical Research Facility to accelerate research into cardiovascular disease. The team will do this by applying data visualisation techniques developed by Zegami to hundreds of thousands of images of the heart, making it easier to categorise them and identify new trends and patterns.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has stated that the live use of facial recognition technology should be suspended until its impact has been independently scrutinised and laws governing its application improved. The statutory non-departmental public body covering England and Wales, established under the Equality Act, raised the concerns in a report to the United Nations on civil and political rights in the UK.
The global artificial intelligence (AI) software market’s value is predicted to rise from $22.6 billion in 2020 to $126 billion by 2025. This is according to data gathered by LearnBonds, with one in five workers in a non-routine job set to rely on AI for at least part of their role.
The government has confirmed that from 1 April it will introduce a new two per cent tax on the revenues of search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces which derive value from UK users. The announcement of the Digital Services Tax in the 2018 Budget was followed by a consultation which closed in February 2019. Following today’s Budget, legislation will now be introduced in the Finance Bill 2019-20 to establish a Digital Services Tax.
The new chancellor has unveiled a range of new funding initiatives for technological and innovative businesses in the UK. In his maiden Budget speech, Rishi Sunak announced that overall research and development investment would rise to £22 billion annually by 2024/25.
New research has revealed that 72 per cent of business executives think security concerns have restricted their organisation’s adoption of public cloud. Barracuda Networks commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 750 executives and team managers with responsibility for or knowledge of their organisation’s cloud infrastructure - just less than half of which were from EMEA - finding that concerns specifically refer to the security, or lack there-of, of public cloud infrastructure, applications deployed in public cloud and the potential impact of a cyber attack.
NHS Digital has partnered with Egress to support the UK’s secure healthcare communications network. The email security firm’s Egress Protect solution will be integrated into NHSmail to offer enhanced protection and improve user experience.
Artificial intelligence-based risk solution firm MindBridge has opened a new office in London. Since releasing its flagship AI Auditor service in March 2017, the Canadian company has grown its client base into 15 countries around the world and tripled the size of its workforce.
Prime minister Boris Johnson will face down rebels in his own party today over Huawei’s role in the UK’s 5G network. A group of Conservative rebels are planning to back an amendment which would put an end to the Chinese technology company’s involvement in 5G infrastructure in 2023.
London-based PropTech firm Goodlord has raised $13.1 million in a round led by Latitude Ventures, along with Finch Capital and Oxx. The funding brings the total raised since its 2014 inception to about $33 million, with the new capital to be used for doubling its client base and expand the suite of products. The startup also plans to hire more engineering, product and customer-facing staff.
Amazon is to launch a new business selling its ‘Just Walk Out’ technology to other retailers. In an interview with Reuters, the retail giant revealed that it is due to launch a website today aimed at selling the tech behind its cashierless Amazon Go stores.
CREST has received a grant of $1.4 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help increase cyber security capacity in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. The not-for-profit accreditation and certification body for the information security industry stated that the funding will support threat intelligence-led system penetration testing through a trusted provider ecosystem.
The Ministry of Defence pressured the Civil Aviation Authority to delay safety warnings about a new drone it planned to fly over British skies to avoid tipping off protesters. Official documents seen by the Guardian revealed how the government department was in discussions with British safety regulators over the US-built drone, which was being flown from North Dakota to a military base in Gloucestershire.
A widespread lack of understanding of the role Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and fear of the ‘rise of the robots’ is holding businesses back from automating key processes, according to new research. A survey of 800 employees by business automation software firm V1 found that a fifth (22 per cent) of people thought automation requires a physical robot and half thought it will take their jobs in a ‘doomsday’ scenario.
Google Cloud and T-Systems have partnered to deliver solutions and managed services for enterprise customers undergoing digital transformation with the cloud. Under the deal, T-Systems will provide consulting services, migration support and managed services to enterprise companies leveraging Google Cloud.
Virgin Media has apologised to customers after a database containing personal details of 900,000 people was left unsecured and accessible for 10 months. The telecoms giant said that the details - which did not include passwords or financial information - had been accessed in at least one location by an unknown user. The marketing database included phone numbers and home and email addresses.
The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) has warned that as global financial services becomes ever more digitally interconnected, the potential for a cyber attack causing major systemic risk is becoming something which regulators and central banks must prepare for. In a new paper, the organisation stated that the system has come to rely critically on robust information and communications technology infrastructures and the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and systems.
The UK has dropped one place, to fourth, in KPMG’s annual ranking of most promising countries in the world for disruptive technology breakthroughs that have a global impact. Now in its eighth year, the survey consisted of 810 technology leaders - 54 per cent of them c-level executives - across 12 countries. It placed the UK tied with Japan in fourth, behind the US and both China and India, which tied for second place.
On average across the G7 group of nations, women account for only 30 per cent of the tech workforce; and even fewer women occupy the top echelons of tech companies. According to PwC’s Women in Technology Index, Canada is the best performing country within the G7 in terms of gender representation and equality in the tech sector, with France in second place.
Boots has suspended payments using loyalty points in-store and online after hackers tried to break into customers' accounts using stolen passwords. Customers will not be able to use Boots Advantage Card points to pay for products while the issue is dealt with, according to BBC News.
Volkswagen has announced an electric vehicle (EV) partnership with Centrica to install home charging stations for customers across the UK. The German manufacturer will partner with Centrica’s British Gas brand to provide charging hardware in support of the rollout of Volkswagen Group’s 80 electric and plug-in hybrid models and aim to grow sales of three million all-electric cars a year by 2025.
Microsoft has opened a new mixed-reality centre in Hull, aiming to boost the number of people with digital skills in the North of England. The Digital Realities Centre will train people to use Microsoft HoloLens, a headset that allows users to place 3D digital models in the room alongside them, so they can use the technology to speed up learning on the job, cut costs and make critical tasks safer.
Waymo has raised $2.25 billion in a funding round led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Mubadala Investment Company. The former Google self-driving car project, now a business under Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced that its first external investment round also included Magna, Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation and its parent company.
Since 2013, blockchain startups in the United Kingdom have raised a collective $503 million between themselves in equity raises, according to analysis by Outlier Ventures, which also found that 450 blockchain companies now call London home. Of the total capital allocation, $95 million has been invested in seed stages alone, with one in three blockchain companies in the UK managing to raise funding. However, only 13 per cent of all firms that raise funding go on to raise a Series A and just three per cent make it to Series B.
UK taxpayers have been targeted by over 1.5 million email scams, calls and text messages over the past two years purporting to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Data collated by Griffin Law showed that while text-based scams, known as ‘smishing’, rose by 56 per cent between 2018 and 2019 - from 36,950 to 57,579 - email scams, known as phishing, declined 60 per cent, from 841,805 to 333,857.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published guidance on how to protect devices with ‘smart’ cameras from common cyber attacks. The government body explained that security cameras and baby monitors used to monitor activity usually connect to the internet using home Wi-Fi, meaning hackers can potentially access live feeds or images.
Pekka Lundmark has been appointed president and chief executive of Nokia, with Rajeev Suri to step down after more than a decade in the positions. The board announced that Lundmark is expected to start his new role on 1 September.
The fourth annual MSDUK Innovation Challenge has opened for entries, seeking startups working on social innovation, future tech and sustainability projects. MSDUK is an organisation supporting ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) in the UK, which face a systemic lack of representation in the supply chain, limiting access to markets and investment capital, growth and sales.
Engineers at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed miniaturised warehouse logistics robots that could be repurposed for automated blood diagnostics and other biotechnology uses. According to a report on the study published in Science Robotics, the ‘ferrobots’, two millimetre wide disc-shaped magnets, are designed to work together to move and manipulate droplets of blood or other fluids with precision by mobilising the chip’s magnetism.
Audio and voice technology firm AudioTelligence has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding.The funding round, led by Octopus Ventures, will enable the audio source separation specialist to expand its licensing activity.
Ocado has ordered a further 30 natural gas-powered trucks for its distribution fleet. Of that figure, 10 have already gone into service, with the remaining 20 to follow throughout the year.
DocuSign has announced plans to acquire artificial intelligence-driven contract analytics business Seal Software for $188 million. The takeover, which is subject to regulatory approval, will enable DocuSign to expand its contract analytics capability and builds on the existing relationship between the two companies.
The Pope has waded into the global debate around ethics in artificial intelligence (AI) by issuing its own recommendations for the development and use of the technology. In a series of voluntary guides due to be published by the Vatican today, the Pontiff will emphasize the need for AI regulations to “protect people” and ensure the technology works for the “good of humanity”, according to Politico.
Amazon is testing customer service chatbot technology that could produce the first ‘generative chatbot’ capable of original dialogue in real time. A blog posted by Jared Kramer, an applied-science manager on Amazon’s customer service tech team, explained that the e-commerce giant is trialling end-to-end neural-network based chatbots.
The government is preparing to launch a specialist cyber security force that will target terror groups and hostile nation states. The Guardian reported that after months of delays and back and forth between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and GCHQ, the offensive hacking group will be announced in the spring.
As UK businesses look towards the cloud to enable digital innovation, more than half (58 per cent) report the move has been more costly than envisaged, according to Capita’s Technology Solutions division. It commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 200 IT decision-makers from UK businesses with more than 500 employees, finding that cloud migration (72 per cent) still remains the top transformational priority for most organisations, ahead of process automation (45 per cent), data analytics (40 per cent) and artificial intelligence/machine learning (31 per cent).
SHE Software has completed a £7 million Series B funding round led by Frog Capital, with existing investors Northern Venture Capital Trust and Mercia Fund Management also participating. The Scottish health and safety software company will help accelerate the growth of international operations, building on the momentum achieved over the last two years in North America. The company also plans to increase headcount, expanding its talent pool by 60, including 15 new jobs announced earlier this year following funding from Scottish Enterprise.
Fifteen percent of UK businesses are currently investing in 5G, rising to 70 per cent within three years, according to EY. Yet, less than half (44 per cent) are confident they can successfully implement 5G-based Internet of Things (IoT), with only a quarter indicating that they do not need a significant overhaul of their operating model to realise implementation.
As of January 2020, commercial 5G networks have been deployed in 378 cities across 34 countries, according to VIAVI Solutions. Using publicly available data sources, the network testing company revealed that the country with the most cities with 5G availability was South Korea with 85 cities, followed by China with 57, the United States at 50, and the United Kingdom with 31 cities.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has referred itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over a data breach after it mistakenly published the names and other information of 1,600 people. The regulator published a statement on its website this afternoon explaining that it had inadvertently published the details on its website in November as part of its response to a Freedom of Information request about complaints lodged against the FCA by individuals or organisation.
The Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick has defended the force’s use of facial recognition technology, calling critics ill-informed. The Met began operational use of the technology earlier this month, despite concerns about its accuracy and privacy implications being raised by the likes of Amnesty International, Liberty and Big Brother Watch.
Colliers International has used the OutSystems low-code development platform to rebuild its deal management system and is spinning off new applications to speed up transaction flows and streamline monthly reporting. The property services and investment management firm went live with a customised system called Our Deals in October, modernising a deal-tracking program that had been updated many times over the years to incorporate organisational changes and country-specific requirements.
A full rollout of gigabit broadband would provide a boost to the economy of 0.7 per cent of GDP by 2025 - the equivalent of over £13 billion - or an extra £217 per person a year. This is according to research commissioned by the Internet Association and prepared by Public First, which followed up on the Conservative Party manifesto pledge to deliver gigabit-capable broadband nationwide by 2025.
The third annual Verizon Mobile Security Index has revealed that 43 per cent of organisations have sacrificed mobile security in the past year ‘to get things done’, even when doing so meant they were twice as likely to suffer a breach. The top reasons for making the sacrifice were time (62 per cent), convenience (52 per cent) and profitability targets (46 per cent).
Organisations have reached a global cloud tipping point causing them to struggle with security challenges of digital transformation, according to the latest Thales Data Threat Report. With input from 1,723 executives with responsibility for, or influence over, IT and data security around the world, the research revealed that half of all corporate data is stored in the cloud and nearly half (48 per cent) of that data is considered sensitive.
Mastercard is planning to hire 1,500 staff in Dublin as it looks to establish its European Technology Hub in the Irish capital. The payments giant is planning to treble its Irish workforce for the new campus in Leopardstown over the course of the next three to five years.
The UK is leading the way in PropTech investment in Europe, according to Oxford Saïd Business School. The report, compiled using data from Unnisu and Crunchbase, found that as of June 2019 over $5 billion was invested in 805 UK PropTech companies – five times more than Germany for instance.
Google is planning to move its UK users’ accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, placing them instead under US jurisdiction. According to sources cited by Reuters, the search giant intends to require its British users to acknowledge new terms of service.
OneTrust has announced a $210 million Series B funding led by Coatue and Insight Partners. Following OneTrust's $200 million Series A, the new round brings the total investment to $410 million and valuation to $2.7 billion.
Mobilus Labs has launched the world’s first two-way bone conduction communication device, delivering audio and voice communications hand and ear free. The startup delivered the first batch mobiWAN TR headsets to positioning and navigation technology firm Trimble, to go alongside its XR10 with HoloLens 2. Together, built into an industry-standard hardhat, these products offer a mixed-reality experience which aims to increase safety and efficiency in extreme working environments.
Nine projects across the UK will receive a share of £35 million from rural and industrial 5G competitions, and a new £30 million open competition will look at how 5G can create new opportunities in industries including film, TV, video games, logistics and tourism. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) noted that “none of the winning projects, or future projects, will use equipment from high risk vendors”, meaning Huawei will not be participating.
The European Commission has unveiled its plans for a European data strategy and policies to ensure that development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology is human-centric. A key pillar of the plan outlined by EU commissioner Thierry Breton is the creation of a €2 billion European cloud platform alliance.
The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa route is being expanded and renamed as the Global Talent visa, specifically to make provisions for science and research, while continuing to be open to promising applicants within digital technology. According to Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs which remains the endorsing body responsible for processing applications on behalf of the Home Office for the sector, the cap on the visa route has been removed.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched a consultation on draft guidance for an artificial intelligence (AI) auditing framework. The guidance contains advice on how to understand data protection law in relation to AI and recommendations for organisational and technical measures to mitigate the risks AI poses to individuals. It also provides a methodology to audit AI applications and ensure they process personal data fairly.
New research has revealed that 97 per cent of IT leaders think insider breach risk is a significant concern – with 78 per cent believing employees have put data at risk accidentally in the past 12 months and 75 per cent reckon employees have put data at risk intentionally. A survey of more than 500 IT leaders and 5,000 employees across the UK, US and Benelux regions last month on behalf of security solutions provider Egress found that 41 per cent said financial damage would be the biggest impact of such a breach.
OTB Ventures has launched an early growth technology fund with $100 million in commitments from international institutional investors, including the European Investment Fund. Focusing on early stage, post-product, startups in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region - spanning cyber security, BigData, FinTech, Internet of Things, cloud and software-as-a-service industry verticals - the fund is targeting investment in a total of 16 companies to comprise its portfolio by the end of 2022.
Enterprise open source software currently makes up 40 per cent of software used in the financial services industry, a figure which is expected to rise to 46 per cent in two years, according to RedHat. Its annual State of Enterprise Open Source research report pointed out that by contrast, proprietary software is expected to decline from 39 per cent of software in use today, to 30 per cent in the next two years.
The shortlist has been announced for the fourth annual National Technology Awards. Celebrating the pioneers of technology and encouraging excellence across 29 categories – from retail to cyber security, telecoms to finance.
Shetland Space Centre’s (SSC) plan to build and operate the UK’s only satellite launch site has been given a major boost by a £2.05 million investment from private equity firm Leonne International. The cash injection, which gives Leonne a 20 per cent stake in the business, will be used for future growth of the company, such as the development of the launch site and ground station at the most northerly tip of Britain – the island of Unst in Shetland.
There has been a 640 per cent increase in phishing attempts and a 125 per cent increase in malware targeting Windows 7 last year, according to OpenText’s latest Webroot Threat Report. The report is derived from metrics captured and analysed by the Webroot platform’s machine learning architecture, which also showed that one in four malicious URLs is hosted on an otherwise non-malicious domain, and 8.9 million URLs were found to be hosting a cryptojacking script.
German manufacturers are looking to set up smart factories or further digitise their operations, with a range of new technologies including Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT). A study by technology research firm ISG Provider Lens found that manufacturers in Europe’s largest economy are looking to modernise, with newcomers unencumbered by legacy operations being able to deploy digital twins, collaborative robotics and additive manufacturing.
London-based venture capital firm Atomico has launched a new $820 million fund focussed on European early-stage tech startups. Announcing the Atomico V fund, the company said it would partner with “mission-driven” European founders at Series A fundraising stage, with enough capital to support the businesses into Series B and Series C.
More than 60 per cent of companies have admitted that a backlog of unused data is hampering their progress in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives. Experian’s global data management report surveyed 1,100 data practitioners and leaders of data-driven businesses globally.
The total number of 5G connections will reach 1.5 billion globally by 2025, rising from only 5 million in 2019, according to Juniper Research. The market analysis anticipated that revenue from these 5G connections is a highly sought-after new revenue stream for operators, with Internet of Things (IoT) connections considered as new connections that will not cannibalise existing operator connectivity revenue from current IoT technologies.
The government has invested £1.5 million in three projects which use data and digital technology to deal with traffic problems. The latest round of the GovTech Catalyst programme - aimed at supporting the development of solutions to social issues - awarded three firms as part of a project managed by the Department for Transport over the next 12 months.
The government has pledged a £1.2 billion investment in the world’s most powerful supercomputer to predict severe weather events more accurately and help the UK prepare for the impact of climate change. The new supercomputer, to be managed by the Met Office, will also be used to help ensure communities can be better prepared for weather disruption, including adverse weather events such as storms Ciara and Dennis, which have hit the UK and caused widespread flooding in recent weeks.
A new independent initiative has launched to help communities retain free access to cash, as the UK shifts to an increasingly cashless society. Communities across the country are encouraged to apply to participate in the new Community Access to Cash Pilots, which will help to test solutions to local access to cash needs, with the goal of developing scalable solutions which can inform national policy.
Mastercard is developing its first cyber and security centre in Europe, aimed at driving collaboration between both public and private sectors, as well as regulatory bodies to further support enterprise resilience in the region. Located at Mastercard’s European Headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium, the European Cyber Resilience Centre is the first of its kind that the company has invested in outside of North America.
Following a thorough review, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared Google’s purchase of Looker Data Sciences. The ruling noted that both firms supply business intelligence (BI) tools, but while these are the primary focus of Looker’s business, Google offers this capability alongside various other software and internet-based products and services, including web analytics, online search advertising and cloud-based data storage.
Societe Generale (SocGen) has invested nearly €1.1million in Czech online life insurance startup Mutumutu. Societe Generale Assurances, the insurance branch of the French banking giant has made the investment through CreativeDock insurance holding as the lender aims to extend its involvement in the InsurTech market.
Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is set to acknowledge that international action to wage higher taxes on BigTech firms may mean his company pays more. In a speech to the Munich Security Conference today, he is due to concede that moves to agree taxes on digital revenues may mean that companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google may “have to pay more”.
In the UK, over three quarters (76 per cent) of organisations were unable to deliver all their IT projects last year, leaving a significant 2020 backlog. This is according to a survey conducted on behalf of MuleSoft among 800 global IT decision-makers in organisations with at least 1,000 employees, which revealed that IT departments are having to innovate faster but with fewer resources.
Vertical payments company Flywire has acquired HealthTech platform Simplee to optimise the digital payments and patient engagement experience in healthcare, and scale its global payments services. Flywire also announced a $120 million Series E investment round, led by Goldman Sachs, providing additional capital to support its vision to digitise payments across education, healthcare and travel.
Ericsson has launched two new artificial intelligence (AI) powered network services, enabling communications service providers to secure always-on networks. Network Intelligence and Omni Network Channel employ automation and predictive analytics to address exponential data growth and the continuous introduction of new technologies such as 5G, digital transformation and scattered information sources.
Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs, has today announced the 10 early-stage scaleup winners of its nationwide competition, Rising Stars. Designed to showcase the most exciting companies at seed to pre-Series A funding from all areas of the country, the competition's winners were required to pitch to a panel of industry leading judges, in front of an audience of over 200 of the top venture capitalists, founders and corporates in the UK.
Two thirds of tech professionals are happy in their work, but despite this, half expect to change role in the next 12 months, citing pay (59 per cent) and work/life balance (40 per cent). Harvey Nash surveyed over 2,000 tech professionals globally, finding two areas where tech companies can have a significant influence in improving staff retention:
Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of UK homeowners would be willing to install a smart thermostat this year as Internet of Things (IoT) and connected home technology sees rapid adoption. Online property site Sellhousefast surveyed 1,462 UK households to gauge their interest in smart home technology, comprising devices and appliances that can be remotely controlled over Wi-Fi connections by smartphones and other devices.
Wearable technology - such as FitBit and Apple Watch - is maturing rapidly, but remains out of the mainstream, according to GlobalData. The data and analytics company forecasted an compound annual growth rate of 19 per cent between 2018 and 2023, with smartwatches the top selling wearable item.
Organisations that adopt artificial intelligence (AI) in finance and operations are growing annual profits 80 per cent faster, according to the Enterprise Strategy Group and Oracle. The companies surveyed 700 finance and operations leaders across 13 countries and found that emerging technologies - AI, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and digital assistants - have passed the adoption tipping point and are now creating significant competitive advantage.
The government is to appoint Ofcom as regulator responsible for policing social media firms over harmful content. Culture secretary Nicky Morgan this morning announced that the government is preparing to hand the broadcast regulator powers to ensure that the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter take down content deemed harmful, racist, explicit or abusive as part of a “duty of care”.
Up to half of all reported financial crime is either fraud or cyber crime, despite fraud being underreported and only one in eight cases being investigated. At last week’s Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) Financial Crime Conference, City of London Police commissioner Ian Dyson emphasised this point, stating that three quarters of all fraud crimes reported are cyber-enabled – “it’s now a lot easier than robbing a bank and the rewards are far greater”.
Advanced data platform Kx has become the latest firm to join the likes of Lloyds Banking Group and Dell Technologies as a corporate partner to the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA). Kx, headquartered in California, will join the government-backed programme to give cyber security scaleups access to its advanced data processing platform, bringing together real-time and historical databases.
Nearly 90 per cent of UK startups are planning to hire new talent in 2020, as Brexit-related political uncertainty clears and business confidence rises. A study of 1,100 founders of tech and healthcare startups in the UK, North America and China for Silicon Valley Bank, found that a majority (57 per cent) thought business conditions would improve in the coming year, compared to 47 per cent in 2019. Within that total, 86 per cent of UK companies said they were planning to hire.
Members of the Scottish Parliament have ruled against the use of facial recognition by Police Scotland under the existing legal framework. The Justice Sub-Committee on Policing published a report stating that the police need to demonstrate the legal basis it would rely on for its use, as well as compliance with human rights and data protection legislation, eliminating biases against ethnic minorities and women.
A/O PropTech has now launched, after raising €250 million capital to invest in startups disrupting real estate. Europe’s largest PropTech fund is looking to invest in startups at Series A stage onwards, which have the potential to transform the real estate industry through technology, data science and artificial intelligence.