Tag Archives: SME’s

David Cameron at G8 Innovation Conference

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Besides PM Cameron, David Willetts (BIS Minister for Science and Innovation), Sir Richard Branson, Ron Dennis (McLaren) and Thomas Heatherwick (designer of the new London bus) were some of the speakers that shined at today’s G8 Innovation Conference. Main topics discussed: entrepreneurship and innovation, online education, creativity, science and technology. The conference focused especially on how innovation can be encouraged and where the next life-changing opportunities are for business innovation.

Even though there were many more inspiring talks at this international conference, lets focus on some of the key points that PM David Cameron tried to get across today.

1. Innovation is essential to achieve growth and SMEs are THE vehicle, more than bigger traditional companies, to drive this.

2. We need to make Britain one of the easiest places to start, grow and run your business. At present, starting a new venture here is cheaper than in Silicon Valley.

3. We need to recognise that Government has a significant role to play in today’s landscape. Government wants small businesses to account for at least 25% of public procurement and has cut down on the paperwork and created a quick online application channel allowing SMEs to do so.

4. Data is key. Open data allows transparency, accountability and is therefore important for democracy. The data that the Government has is one of the most valuable assets it has to help the economy to grow. Making open data available is hugely valuable and the importance and relevance for businesses should be promoted across Britain.

5. We need to bring people together to allow entrepreneurship and innovation. Tech City, which grew from 200 tech SMEs in 2010 to 1,500 in 2013, is a key example of a hub that drives the British technological footprint.

6. Education needs to embrace innovation. Curriculums should reflect what the industry needs. The ICT curriculum is a prime example of a ‘transformed’ curriculum and maintaining the science budget rather than cutting it has been a supportive decision.

7. The public should be challenged more to come up with innovative solutions such as cures for Dementia or a carbon free flight from London to New York. Government will stimulate the public more to engage in Government funded competitions.

He ended his talk with the following: “WE SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT GOVERNMENT DATA IS AVAILABLE”. We from Connected Liverpool sincerely hope it will be.

 

 

 

Connected Liverpool at Ovum Smart Cities Europe Conference 2012

Connected Liverpool was proud to contribute to the Ovum Smart Cities Europe Conference 2012 which was held in London last week. Jordy van Kuijk of our Innovation Lead, Connected Liverpool, spoke at a panel discussion about “Who Invests and Who Benefits from New Digital City Services?” under the umbrella of creating New Business Opportunities in Digital Cities within the Smart City industry.

The panel discussion was led by Don Strickland, President and CEO at Strickland & Associates and former President & CEO at iPIX, former Vice President at Apple Computer and former Vice President at Eastman Kodak. Besides Don Strickland, the following panelists joined the panel discussion:

  • Gianni Carbonaro, Head of the Municipal and Regional Unit, European Investment Bank
  • Allan Mayo, Head, Business Services Policy Unit, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Kai Hendry, Managing Director at Webconverger
  • Jordy van Kuijk, Innovation Lead, Connected Liverpool

Each panelist was given the opportunity to introduce himself and highlight his interest in the Smart City industry to continue the discussion around the main topic of Who Invests and Who Benefits from New Digital City Services?. We have asked Jordy to comment shortly on his experience within the panel.

“It was interesting to be on a panel with such inspiring figures that speak the same language and have aligned objectives to empower citizens and businesses to make use of the many commercial opportunities that the Smart City industry has to offer.

I was asked to share my vision on how technology can lead to new business opportunities within the digital city framework and specifically clarified the opportunities that are provided to us through mobile technology. Currently, with a world population of 7 billion, there are 5.9 billion mobile phones worldwide compared to the 2 billion internet users, the 1.2 billion personal computers and the 1.7 billion televisions. 16% of those 5.9 billion mobile phones are smartphones, which is predicted to grow to 1 billion smartphones by 2013. On average, people look at their phone 150 times a day (every 6 minutes) and even though not everyone can afford a smartphone, it is expected that the average price will decline from $600 (2011) to $10 dollar in 2020 as production costs will decline drastically.

Currently, 11% of the Americans are already using their smartphone to make their payments through mobile banking and contemporary technology such as NFC, RFID and Augmented Reality are given new dimensions all over the world. Through this, more and more businesses will be stimulated to start operating in this mobile technology space to develop smart applications/ mobile software that can increase people’s quality of life and assist them in their daily activities. The NFC reader that allows people in Stockholm to check-into their hotel rooms without any human contact and allows students at the Arizona State University to enter their dorms and rooms is an example of such a smart application enabled by mobile technology. This opened up a completely new market which will experience significant grow in the upcoming years providing SME’s with plenty of commercial opportunities. As this smart mobile technology will also be taxable, it also opens up a new income stream for the government. It is an exciting space to be in and I would advise any mobile technology entrepreneur to get involved”

One of the topics that was raised by the audience was the difficulty for entrepreneurs to acquire public capital to develop IT prototypes and market their innovative products and services. Entrepreneurs seem to struggle to finding public funding and even though the TSB and other public bodies are offering opportunities for funding, this is often poorly communicated with entrepreneurs.

Moreover, the aspect of ‘Trust’ was emphasized. As we are shifting towards a new era of opening up data and making government data more transparent, citizens are worrying about their privacy. Making public data available will create an important resource for SME’s as it will motivate them to make use of this data for commercial purposes. Nevertheless, clear standards of data usage will have to be established to ensure people’s privacy is guaranteed.

Overall, we were proud to be part of this exciting conference which was perfectly aligned with our own vision within Connected Liverpool. We’ll keep you posted about any new developments that will help us to build a smarter Liverpool City Region!