Connected Liverpool – Social Care Hack Day

Yesterday was another exciting day for the Connected Liverpool team! We attended the Social Care Hack Day in Liverpool Science Park, organised by Max Zadow, to brainstorm about digital creativity in disability. The Hack Day was well attended by Technologists, Social Care Professionals and various other disabled and older people who are not part of the categories above.

Click on the link below for a visual report by Lee and Xi, created by Felix Brassier ;

Web vs Internet?

Last Monday, the Queen Elizabeth prize for engineering was awarded to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Louis Pouzin and Marc Andreessen for their contribution in the current revolution in communications that has taken place in recent decades. Every one of them were treated as inventors of the internet while in reality, this is more complicated.

After the awards, the question was raised if people really understand the difference between the internet (a single application) and the infrastructure that makes it possible, the web. In reality, Cerf, Kahn and Pouzin can legitimately get most of the credit for designing the network; Berners-Lee built the web on the foundations laid by them; and Marc Andreessen in turn built on Berners-Lee’s work by creating the first major web browser. So what’s the difference between the web and the net?

There is a general and increasing misconception around the difference between the internet and the web. Currently, there are 2.4 billion internet users in the world, which means about 4.6 billion people are still unconnected. As the Guardian rightfully states, it will not come as a surprise to you that both Facebook and Google are already targeting them. At present, Facebook, for its part, has signed up 44% of the US population, 30% of Europeans and 37% of Latin Americans. But it only has 6.6% of Asians and even fewer (5%) Africans. Most users of the internet in poor countries will be connecting to it via mobile phones. As a result, both Facebook and Google are persuading wireless carriers in poor countries to offer customers free or very cheap online access that is limited to stripped-down versions of the web giant’s sites. Once those new web consumers will get experience in the ‘proprietary worlds’ of Facebook and Google, they will demand more and will be willing to pay for it.

As a result, more and more people will believe that Facebook or Google IS the Internet….

So why does this matter? The network that Cerf and Kahn built was deliberately designed as an open, permissive system. Anyone could use it, and if you had an idea that could be realised in software, then the net would do it for you, with no questions asked. Tim Berners-Lee had such an idea – the web – and the internet enabled it to happen. And Berners-Lee made the web open in the same spirit, so Mark Zuckerberg was able to build Facebook on those open foundations.

However, people like Mark Zuckerberg do not have the intention to allow anyone to use Facebook as the foundation to build their own applications (which Facebook cannot control). In other words, through Facebook’s and Google’s smart market entry strategy more and more people will consider the internet and the web to be similar, and Facebook and Google to be THE internet. Questionable don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Connected Liverpool @ Innovate UK

Last week, Connected Liverpool exhibited at InnovateUK 2013, the UK’s
leading multi-sector innovation & trade event for business. Recognised by the Technology
Strategy Board as one of the top 25 most innovative companies in the UK, Connected
Liverpool got invited to showcase its work at the event.

Innovate UK 2013 was a joint venture from the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade
& Investment. Innovate UK brought together 4,000 people from UK and international
business, Government and academia, with the aim of accelerating UK economic growth
by stimulating business-led innovation and opening up international trade opportunities.
The program of keynote presentations given by Government ministers, business leaders
and industry specialists provided some great insights into the future products and
processes that are in development.

The three days (11-13 March) covered the following topics:
Day 1: Research for Growth: Commercialising the UK’s research base
Day 2: Market and Technology Opportunities
Day 3: Global Growth: starting up and scaling up

The event offered multiple seminars and talks focused on their daily topic. During day 1, the collaboration between the public sector and academics, and between the private sector and academics was a popular topic. The University of Strathclyde from Glasgow was an impressive benchmark in cross-sector collaboration as it attracted the first Fraunhofer investment in the UK after the city of Glasgow became home to the first foreign HQ of the Fraunhofer research centre. Additionally, it hosts the TSB Health Catapult, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, and the Future Cities Demonstrator project. Overall, an impressive list.

The Emerging Technology and Industry programme (ET&I), which was set up in 2010, explained its key investment areas and work over the years between 2010 and 2012 within the spaces of Synthetic Biology, Energy Efficient Computing and Energy Harvesting. For the near future, it will focus on identifying the ‘next’ technologies to feed the pipeline of innovation.

Besides the seminars, the Connected Liverpool stand was a popular place during the event allowing the team to establish great connections with people from all over England and abroad in different sectors. Overall, WE LOVED IT!

 

Connected Liverpool @ Mobile World Congress

Hello there!

It has been a while since we last spoke as we have been busy, time to get you updated, on Barcelona this time!

From 25 to 28 February, Connected Liverpool attended the Mobile World Congress based in the Fira Gran Via conference building in Barcelona after the team happily accepted the invite from Svetlana Grant, Director Smart Cities – Connected Living Programme GSMA. This year, 72,000 people visited the conference…..MASSIVE.

Early Sunday morning (24 February), we arrived in the sunny but cold Barcelona after a short and smooth journey, ready to get our conference tickets and free tube tickets (see below) from the “fast-track registration desk” at Barcelona-El Prat Airport.

After a short queue and showing our personal ID conference code on our smartphone to a lovely Spanish lady, it was time to get into the city centre and have breakfast in an authentic (and tasty) Spanish bistro as shown below. Lee was so kind to let us take some pictures while enjoying his breakfast.

Day 1 of the Mobile World Congress was mind blowing to say the least, the 240,000 square meters conference centre with 94,000 square meters of exhibition space divided over 8 halls and 2 floors was impressive. Seminars and keynote speeches from people as the CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Chairman of China Mobile, CEO of AT&T, CEO of Foursquare, CEO of Dropbox, CEO of Mozilla, CEO of Vodafone and more….what else is there to say.

Besides the exhibitors, day 1 covered such topics as “Vertical Disruption”, “Reshaping Mobile in the Digital Revolution”, “Building the Ecosystem for NFC Services”, and “Apps: Evolving the Ecosystem” located in the Conference Village of the conference centre.

Day 2 had an early start as Svetlana Grant, Director of Smart Cities – Connected Living Programme GSMA, invited Connected Liverpool to an Exclusive Networking Smart Breakfast Event from 8 till 10 a.m. at the conference building. The Barcelona City Council presented its Smart City Team which then introduced its Smart City Agenda. This was our opportunity to connect to key people in the Barcelona Smart City Team such as Manuel Sanromá (CIO Barcelona City Council), Josep Ramon Ferrer i Escoda (Smart City Strategy Director), and Pilar Conesa (Congress Director Smart City). From that day, we have been sharing experiences, initiatives, and pilots within both of our cities. As Barcelona is a well advanced and progressive city, we are keen to learn from them so we can use this knowledge to deploy our own smart city agenda in Liverpool.

Some of you may be aware that Barcelona is no longer using the term ‘Smart City’ but uses ‘Mobile’, or as their brand new city programme is called: “Mobile World Capital Barcelona”. This programme explains Barcelona’s understanding that the ICT industry is one of the main driving forces behind social progress and that its development is essential to drive economic growth and society’s transformation. Their stand was one of the eye-catcher during the conference.

We ended day 2 with an Exclusive Networking Reception at the Connected City stand of the GSMA, a real city street complete with a car showroom, office, town hall, department store, mobile shop, apartment, electrical store, hotel and café, where companies like AT&T where showcasing their innovation in the field.

Day 3 was filled with interesting seminars and talks such as ‘The Mobile Consumer’ given by Nielsen, and ‘Mobile Innovation 2023′ given by such experts in the field as the CEO of Deloitte and the CEO of Telefonica.

The final day of the conference was a big one for Connected Liverpool as we received Kevin McManus of Liverpool Vision to speak about the International Festival of Business 2014 and Connected Liverpool’s smart city agenda for Liverpool on the Mobile Monday event. One of the chairs of this event was Ajit Jaokar, who led the panel into an interesting discussion around venture capitalists, start-up funding and round 2 funding. See pictures below!

Just before the end of the day, we joined the Barcelona City Council crew at their Barcelona Fashion&Trend Festival celebration (planned for September 2013). This will be a creative and digital event around Fashion and another opportunity for the city to showcase its innovation.

Overall an amazing event with lots of networking opportunities, making the right connections to drive our Liverpool Smart City Agenda, and a rich source of cutting edge information when it comes to the future of mobile technology in our daily lives. A very big thank you to Svetlana Grant and the GSMA for the amazing experience!!!!