- The technology festival returns on the 12-16 October, this time virtually
- Keynote speakers include Amazon, Microsoft and Google
- Key themes to be discussed will be 5G, FinTech, Smart Cities and AI
Birmingham Tech Week is set to return digitally this year, 12-16 October, offering a series of inspirational and thought-provoking events championing new technologies and modern business strategies for a changing world.
Becoming the largest regional technology festival in the UK in 2019, with over 5,000 attendees, this year the week will be delivered entirely online and feature a number of high-profile speakers.
These include Thomas Blood, Digital Innovation Leader at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jill Palmer, CEO at Click Travel, Emma Jones MBE, Founder & CEO at Enterprise Nation, Bjoern Hirtenjohann, UK Public Sector CTO at Microsoft and Adrian Joseph OBE, Managing Director (Group Artificial Intelligence and Data Solutions) at BT.
Yiannis Maos, Founder of Birmingham Tech Week, said:
“The week was founded on encouraging collaboration, celebrating regional success stories and inspiring organisations to get involved in all aspects of technology. Given the year we’ve had, it has never been so important for us to showcase Birmingham Tech. Hopefully, the week will give people and businesses a sense of optimism, arm them with the knowledge to navigate these uncertain times and help them create the foundations that will allow them to thrive.”
The week is free-to-attend and gives unparalleled access to experts and thought- leaders who will be sharing knowledge on subjects such as business culture, customer experience and how to start and scale-up a tech business.
During the week a number of topics will be discussed such as 5G, FinTech, Smart Cities and Artificial Intelligence.
The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, added:
“Our region’s economy was in good shape before the coronavirus pandemic struck, and we must do everything we can to get back on our feet quickly. Technology will be a key driver behind our recovery, and we are committed to helping businesses to improve their digital capability and equipping local people with the tech skills that employers need in these changing times. Protecting and creating jobs is key, and improving local people’s digital skills is a great way to do that.
“We will be holding several events during Birmingham Tech Week, which offers lots of opportunities to share knowledge and find out more from expert speakers about the latest developments in technology. I’d urge businesses and residents across the West Midlands to register now.”
Adrian Joseph, BT MD Group Data and AI Solutions, added: “Birmingham, and the wider West Midlands, has a growing tech sector and there is also a focus on adoption of digital technologies in the region, which is really positive for the future. Birmingham Tech Week is a fantastic opportunity for collaboration and ideas generation.
“I’m passionate about the three D’s – Data, and how we turn this into actionable insight, often using AI, that drives business and societal value; Digital transformation; and Diversity and inclusion. These three D’s are interrelated and have become significantly more important amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and the issues surrounding racial equality. I believe that AI is a tremendous force for good if managed safely and ethically.”
The week is sponsored by NatWest who are committed to supporting entrepreneurs up and down the country through their Entrepreneur Acceleraptor Programme.
Gordon Merrylees, Managing Director of Entrepreneurship at NatWest, said:
“Technology has a vital role to play in all of our lives, and without question, recent events have demonstrated just how necessary digital adoption has become in our day to day lives with many of us now working remotely.
“We know that tech businesses will be central to the UK’s economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, and it’s absolutely critical that we all work together to support these entrepreneurs. NatWest’s Business Builder, Entrepreneur Accelerator and Fintech Accelerator programmes are offered free of charge to support this crucial segment, helping these businesses start, scale and succeed.
“Birmingham Tech Week demonstrates how important industry collaboration is in the sector, and we look forward to seeing the new ideas and innovations that come out of it.”
The week is being run in association with the West Midlands Growth Company, the Department for International Trade and Tech Nation.
New research conducted by Tech Nation revealed 19.5 per cent year-on-year growth in the West Midland’s tech sector from £22m in 2018 to £27.4m in 2019. Tech Nation’s stats also indicate that Birmingham’s tech sector boasts a diverse workforce, with 26 per cent of tech workers BAME, compared to a 15 per cent average.
Mike Jackson, Entrepreneur Success Director, Tech Nation comments:
“Tech Nation is delighted to be supporting Birmingham Tech Week. At this crucial time, we know that tech businesses will be key to the UK’s economic recovery. By bringing the business community and tech startups and scaleups together, Birmingham Tech Week plays a key role in enabling collaboration to build tech’s resilience and ability to act as an engine of growth for the UK economy.
It’s positive to see that VC investment into Birmingham’s tech sector to rise, up by 19.5 per cent year-on-year, as well as Birmingham boasting a diverse workforce, with 26 per cent of tech workers BAME, compared to a 15 per cent average.”
Birmingham Tech Week is a great opportunity to show why the region is leading the way when it comes to innovation. It may be the youngest city in Europe yet it produces the most inventions per year, with nearly 65% registered from the Birmingham area. Not to mention Birmingham has nearly 6,000 tech companies employing a diverse workforce of over 38,000 people – making the city the home to some serious talent.
“Birmingham Tech Week always aimed at putting the West Midlands tech scene on a pedestal, attracting national attention and serving as a vehicle to connect West Midlands tech start-ups and scale-ups with potential investors and big institutions.
“To have speakers from some of the biggest tech players in the world in Google, Microsoft and Amazon, alongside UK heavyweights BT, makes me confident that this will be the best Birmingham Tech Week yet.
“The support shown by UK Government and other national organisations such as NatWest, Tech Nation and Enterprise Nation shows how far we’ve come – alongside the ongoing regional support from the West Midlands Growth Company, West Midlands Combined Authority and Birmingham’s universities. A big thank you to all our partners and sponsors.
Local businesses and leaders are encouraged to get involved in the week by showcasing their expertise.