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February 28, 2019updated 27 Feb 2019 4:06pm

Policymakers debate UK’s approach to innovation / Former GCHQ director warns of cybersecurity challenges / US tech giants take part in ProductCon

By Luke Christou


Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Policymakers debate UK’s approach to innovation

Experts and policymakers will today discuss the future of UK science and innovation at the Westminster Higher Education Forum.

With keynote seminars from the likes of Jen Rae, Head of UK Innovation Policy at Nesta, Alice Frost, Director of Knowledge Exchange at Research England and Pippa Hall, Director of Innovation at the UK Intellectual Property Office, the seminar will focus on the recently published Science and Innovation Strategy, which sets out the UK’s approach to funding, research and investment in science and technology.

The strategy highlights energy storage, autonomous vehicles, precision medicine and quantum computing as four key areas of focus. Speakers will discuss whether these are still the best technologies to focus efforts on, or whether investment would be better spent on other innovations.

The session is being held at the Sixty One Whitehall event space, beginning at 9am local time.

Former GCHQ director warns of future cybersecurity challenges

Robert Hannigan, the former director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK’s intelligence and security organisation, will today deliver a lecture to members of the Royal United Services Institute think tank on his time in charge of the UK’s security and the challenges that it faces in the future.

Hannigan was responsible for the establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which provides information and support to UK businesses and individuals on cybersecurity threats.

Despite the efforts of the NCSC, Hannigan will warn of that increasing threat posed by cyber attackers. This comes days after IT leaders warned that the UK is likely to be hit by a critical national infrastructure attack in 2019.

The lecture is taking place at RUSI Whitehall in London, starting at 6:15pm local time.

US tech giants take part in ProductCon

Representatives from Facebook, Twitter, Google, Spotify, Uber, Tesla, Netflix and LinkedIn will come together today for ProductCon London, the world’s leading product management conference hosted by training provider Product School.

Tech giants will provide attendees with insight into how they successfully manage their products, as well as how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, Internet of Things and blockchain are changing the business world.

These technologies are predicted to cause disruption to the business landscape, but also offer plenty of opportunity for enterprises. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently highlighted AI and mixed reality as two of the three disruptive technologies set to “change the landscape of computing” over the next five years.

ProductCon takes place at tech event space CodeNode today, starting at 8:50am.

Wednesday’s Highlights


History of IoT: From idea to an industry approaching $1tn

Facebook regulation welcomed by 8 out of 10 UK consumers

Giving brands “virtual appeal”: How CGI is infiltrating mainstream media