Fri 24th Jun 2022
Roundup: key insights into tech innovation from London Tech Week 2022
Sectors: Electronics and telecoms
Page White Farrer attorneys attended a variety of events over the course of London Tech Week, from conferences to webinars, gaining key insights to further develop their expertise in tech IP in a range of fields.
What is London Tech Week?
London Tech Week is the UK’s tech flagship event, which took place from 13-17 June 2022. The festival focused on key topics including:
- exploring the next gen of tech innovation;
- investing in UK tech companies;
- technology and innovation around the world;
- impactful innovation at scale; and
- building a thriving tech industry.
Tech and digital skills
Partner David Roberts attended the third day of London Tech Week which kicked-off with a keynote speech by Nadine Dorries MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, UK. Ms Dorries said businesses should look to all parts of the UK to boost diversity and opportunity within their businesses, and to help address the digital skills shortage.
Ms Dorries noted the vibrant tech scenes that also existed outside of London, with Leeds getting a specific mention. She also discussed Government plans to boost digital skills across the UK. Particularly, a new Digital Skills Council (https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/digital-skills-council) is being established as part of the updated Digital Strategy, The Digital Skills Council will explore ways to upskill people across the country.
Innovation in medtech
Partner Roona Deb attended the Elevating Founders Conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London during London Tech Week 2022. This event provided an opportunity to meet with numerous inspirational start-ups ready to pitch to investors, and learn about the latest emerging technologies and innovation.
Highlights included exploring the latest robotics, VR and AI technologies with applications in healthcare, learning about the use of optics to determine body fluid parameters, and testing a virtual reality device which simulates the performance of medical surgeries to assist medical students and junior doctors in their surgical training. The conference provided a great opportunity to meet and talk with researchers, entrepreneurs and founders, and get an insight into the exciting technologies that are at the forefront of healthcare and other sectors.
(Photo courtesy of Dr Nisanth Krishananthan, Vantari VR)
Investment opportunities in UK tech
Senior associate Dominic Weston attended ‘Discovering investment opportunities for overseas tech companies in the UK regions’ hosted by techUK. The session focused on exploring investment opportunities for foreign tech investors in the UK and highlighted the distinctive strengths of specific regions outside of London.
Foreign investment opportunities in UK tech companies were described by Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency (MIDAS), West Midlands Growth Company, Invest Northern Ireland and Scottish Development International. A broad overview of investment opportunities was also given by the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Dominic also attended a panel session entitled ‘Why the West Midlands’ where tech investment opportunities in the West Midlands were discussed with industry experts from the world of tech.
Both of these sessions gave a useful overview of what foreign tech investors might be looking for when planning investment, and it was particularly interesting to hear how IP can be leveraged when looking for foreign investment.
Connecting tech and innovation
Matthew Codd attended ‘Connecting Shenzhen’s technology and innovation to the EU tech community’ hosted jointly by Tech China Advocates, part of the CENTI Group, and Shenzhen Bay Innovation Centre.
As far as founder and CEO of CENTI Group John Zai is concerned, despite Brexit the UK is very much still a part of Europe, at least when it comes to rolling out new tech. Shenzhen is home to many world-leading tech companies, but taking a product from China to Europe (UK included) is not straightforward.
Nan Qiu, CEO of Snail Work, suggests that the products that a Chinese company might look to move to Europe are those which are already well-established, but to be successful these products will require “localising”, including customized development to incorporate characteristics of the European market.
Discussions highlighted how it is particularly important to get things right on the legal side, including the different local requirements for safety, privacy and intellectual property rights. The session also discussed how the post-Covid shift to online working could benefit long-distance alliances, including a demo of a virtual reality “metaverse” workspace which would allow businesses to meet up and cooperate within an immersive experience.
Taking your tech business global
The presentations provided an overview of the business opportunities for expanding businesses into the Greater Bay Area via Hong Kong and support schemes available, which included the HK government backed ‘Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales’, or BUD, scheme.
The BUD scheme can provide up to HK$6,000,000 cumulative funding to support business expansion into several south-east Asian markets, where the HK government will match up to 50% of an approved project cost, including new IP filings, running for a duration of up to 2 years.
The pursuit for achieving net zero
Technical assistant Siya Maini attended the launch of ‘Tech London Advocates PropTech Net Zero Challenge’ during London Tech Week 2022. PropTech relates to the technology for the real estate space and can be used to help us achieve net zero while reducing energy costs and improving the standards of buildings.
The event hosted numerous tech start-ups and innovators who proposed some key challenges faced in the pursuit for achieving net zero, and provided concepts and potential solutions, in response to those challenges.
A few of the challenges that were considered included how to deliver net zero solutions through resident engagement, how to bridge the owner-occupier data gap to save energy and how to scale up technology, such as EVs and smart charging, to achieve cleaner energy cities.
The talks from industry leaders provided a great insight into emerging technologies and it was an excellent opportunity to meet a variety of innovators and forward-thinkers.
This briefing is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. We can discuss specific issues and facts on an individual basis. Please note that the law may have changed since the day this was first published in June 2022.