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#LTW 2020: Week Two round-up

techUK reflects on a successful week which drew attention to the important issues facing the sector and wider society.

Long read: Another year of London Tech Week concludes. techUK reflects on a successful week which drew attention to the important issues facing the sector and wider society.  

It is safe to say that London Tech Week 2020 has once again been a resounding success. The festival brought incredible speakers together from many different sectors, organisations and backgrounds to discuss the major issues, opportunities and challenges facing technology in the UK today.

The move to a fully virtual event was a feat of its own and techUK alone put on over 40 organised or partnered events this year with total attendance of over 1,700. This figure does not count the attendance at the many other events at which the team participated in, including keynotes and panels, making it a very busy and productive week. Overall 24,000 people attended events across the virtual capital over the two weeks, meaning roughly 7% attended techUK owned or partnered events. You can see from our insight here the full list of events we were involved in.

It was also a big week for announcements. techUK launched three reports and there was some important news from the Government during the course of the week, all of which will be covered in this round-up. If you haven’t already, make sure you read the highlights from the first week here.

Green tech / clean tech: Tech tackling our greatest challenge 

There was a real focus for the team this week on looking at the contribution technology can make towards tackling one of, if not the, most important challenges facing us all – climate change and our impact on the environment.  

We began the week with the launch of our very important paper -  How to make the UK a digital clean tech leader -  in partnership with Deloitte, looking at how the UK can become a leading place to develop and deploy digital tools that can help us reach net zero. Alongside recommendations and changes we need to see in the marketplace, the report, along with analysis from Deloitte, looks at the economic opportunities and productivity gains from deploying this technology across the UK. At the event, we heard from Deloitte, Hitachi, Samsung, and of course, techUK.

This was followed by our Decarbonising data event on Wednesday which explored the global footprint of the tech sector (digital device manufacturers; network infrastructure and data centres); the global projected trends in future energy use; efforts to curtail the sector’s carbon footprint with speakers from the IEA, Ericsson and the Carbon Trust; and shone a spotlight on the efforts underway in Amazon, Microsoft and Atos to decarbonise their operations and supply chains. It highlighted the crucial role of renewables in supporting the sector’s decarbonisation and launched a new partnership with RenewablesUK and the Solar Trade Association to spur the transition to net zero.   

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP speaks on CEO ministerial roundtable looking at smart energy and utilities and techUK’s fourth annual State of the Connected Home Report is launched 

Tied to tackling the climate challenge techUK held a CEO ministerial roundtable, organised by our Smart Energy and Utilities Programme, with special guest Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP. The aim of the roundtable was to highlight what is needed to accelerate the digitalisation of the energy system, from a tech community perspective. The participants discussed how technology must play a significant part in meeting the UK’s ambitious 2050 net zero target. As the UK gets ready to host COP 26 and sets out how it plans to meet net zero, it is right that we look at how the tech sector can help meet this challenge. The roundtable was moderated by Rich Hampshire, chair of the Smart Energy and Utilities group, and in attendance we gathered 18 companies representatives of the technology sector, the ENA, Energy UK, and BEAMA, and government officials from Ofgem, DCMS, BEIS and InnovateUK.  

Shortly after this techUK launched its fourth annual State of the Connected Home report in an event with GSK. With polling from 1000 UK consumers, the report highlights how market appeal, consumer understanding and ownership has shifted from 2016, as well as the constraints on uptake. At the event the audience heard from Jay Chinnadorai, Chair of the Connected Home Working Group and Trevor Godman, Key Account Director, GfK who spoke about the changes in the results and the recommendations made in the report. You can read the full report here.

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