On 30th April, we combined our Innovation Policy and Practice and Working Group events online to discuss the West Midlands present and future response to the challenges set by COVID-19.
Our second Keynote speaker, Angela Jeffery (Aston University and Digital Leader Midlands) initially discussed the challenges and implications of COVID-19 from a digital perspective, which fed into discussions for our Breakout Room led by Smart City Alliance chair, Alex Cole.
Following on from the event, this Smart City Alliance meeting focused on digital solutions and developments in alignment with the breakout discussions:
- We began with a Smart Showcase from You Smart Thing and their COVID-19 Essential Travel Assistant – Providing Essential Travel advice for Care Workers.
- We heard about the launch of the new HS2 Accelerator from David Hardman, Managing Director at Bruntwood SciTech. HS2 will be a world class 21st century railway service, embracing new technologies. Innovate@HS2, will drive innovation, employing new technologies and techniques to improve productivity, innovating to do more with less and create fewer emissions and noise. HS2’s accelerator programme, formed in partnership with Connected Places Catapult and Innovation Birmingham, will help to achieve this vision.
- We had an engaging discussion about digital inclusion and enabling a diverse digital talent pool lead by our Chair, Alex Cole from Tin Smart Social.
- Yiannis Maos, founder of Birmingham Tech Week, gave us the latest on ‘Birmingham Tech’ and the importance digital communities play now more than ever before.