The Pathway to a Tech-Driven Future

Big Innovation Centre features in CIO Applications Europe‘s magazine after receiving their prestigious annual listing of 5 “Top Digital Transformation Consulting/Service Companies in the UK 2020”.

November issue 2020 (CIO Applications Europe)

Full text of the article:

The Pathway to a Tech-Driven Future

Science fiction has always been a telescope for futuristic imagination, whether it is Asimov’s ‘The Robots of Dawn,’ which envisioned the role of artificial intelligence, big data, and robots in ultramodern societies, or Neal Stephenson’s ‘Cryptonomicon,’ where the author formulated the concept of free information exchange. Over the years, many trailblazers have taken inspiration from these ideas and brought forth innovative technologies from the mind’s eye into reality.

However, the assimilation of these technologies into the business sphere has not always been smooth. Even today, developers, as well as investors, face various challenges surrounding the implementation of AI, blockchain, and other technologies. The biggest roadblock that is hindering from achieving the complete potential of these technologies is the apparent disconnect between the various stakeholders, be it industry integrators, government policymakers, or the citizens. In order to bridge this gap and facilitate seamless partnerships between the various stakeholders, Big Innovation Centre, an innovation think-tank and technology consultancy, is setting a common stage for knowledge-sharing. The organisation is equipping technology developers, integrators, and regulators with robust and actionable strategies to unlock the myriad of possibilities offered by the emerging technologies and co-create a sustainable future together.

Founded in 2011, Big Innovation Centre is one of the fastest-growing technology and innovation networks in the world. It functions on corporate sponsorship and individual membership. By bringing attention to the role of digital transformation, intangible assets, and creative disruption, the company aligns technological opportunities, business model strategies, and national plans while promoting knowledge sharing through open projects, networking, communications, and showcasing.

Aligning Ideas. Unlocking Opportunities.

“To understand the possibilities and risks of emerging technologies like AI, blockchain, and others, we must bring together both vision and knowledge,” says Professor Birgitte Andersen, PhD Economics, and co-founder and CEO of Big Innovation Centre. To make this happen, the company acts like a ‘living lab,’ coordinating evidence from the entire technological ecosystem. Whether it is healthcare service, data governance, technology adoption, or supply chain management, the company believes that a collaborative path is the only way that will lead to sustainability, as technology impacts every stakeholder in society.

By becoming a member of the Big Innovation Centre, one gets access to a peer network of business leaders and global executives of major corporations, entrepreneurs, investors, academics, politicians, and policymakers. Thus, by exchanging industry knowledge, engaging in thought leadership, and sharing insights, the members get the opportunity to impact the financial, social, political, and regulatory future of the business landscape with AI, blockchain, and other emerging technologies.

Besides, the members are also granted access to exclusive events, showcases, receptions, topic debates, evidence forums, and Big Innovation Centre’s legendary annual ‘Spring Party.’ With themes like ‘Scale-up Party,’ ‘Global Innovation Hub Party,’ and ‘Back to the Future Party,’ the organisation hosts fun yet informative gatherings, providing an engaging networking platform for thought leaders from the industrial and political spectrum.

Steering Creative Disruption and Social Movements

Big Innovation Centre is taking the helm of innovative thinking and directing it further towards a more viable and prosperous tomorrow with its new future facing programme ‘Creative Disruption and Social Movements.’ The high-level thought leadership programme is designed to analyse the current technological transformation and come up with concrete, future-proof strategies for the benefit of business and society. As a part of this programme, the Big Innovation Centre has deployed a global board to assemble the top disrupters in technology and innovation, along with the top leaders of social movements.

Elaborating on the importance of this programme, Birgitte says, “We live in an era of intense creative disruption and social movement. Businesses and individuals who lead these disruptions need to be a part of the technological evolution as do politicians and policymakers because their role will inevitably impact the various dimensions of business.”

Indeed, truer words were never spoken. Right now, even amidst the global lockdown, the world is being witness to several social and technological movements in the UK, Europe, Americas, Middle East, India, Central Asia, and the Far East. And the COVID-19 is dramatically redefining how social movements are flourishing, whether it’s the Extinction Rebellion, the Happiness Movement, Black Lives Matter, Feminist movements, Opioid crisis, Anthropocene, and so on. These social movements are, in turn, changing the workplace and the business and social landscape by large, and it will only gain more prominence in the new normal.

Big Innovation Centre is poised to play a critical role in facilitating the course for a better future by bringing together a unique band of original doers and practitioners from worldwide to brainstorm innovative, tech-led, creative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. The ‘Innovators Board’ introduced by the Big Innovation Centre will pave the way for more purposeful societies all over the world.

Laying the Foundation of Trust

Owing to the role played by Big Innovation Centre in shaping the technology-driven societies, the UK Parliament has appointed the organisation as the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) secretariat for discussing the clout of AI implementations since 2017 and blockchain technology since 2018. Currently, these are the only APPGs permitted by the Sergeant of Arms to film APPG evidence sessions in the Parliament to publish online.

Big Innovation Centre was also selected by No 10 and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) under the Department of International Trade to showcase their open innovation ecosystem and vision for 2025 (Fast Forward 2025) for the UK G8 Summit delegation on 14 June 2013. By developing a visionary cartoon film and TEDx type of talks, Big Innovation Centre showcased a co-created world in 2025, which described a positive vision of the future, where the Internet of Things, Big data, and sensor technology can make us healthier, wealthier, and more energy-efficient.

Along with the government, the relevancy of the Big Innovation Centre’s role is also being recognised by companies across various industries. Today, about 30 percent of the organisation’s revenue comes from the computer software sector, and 25 percent from financial services. Professional services, including management consulting and legal attributes to around 20 percent of the revenue, whereas research, innovation, and technology, make up for 15 percent of the company’s revenue. Along with these, the organisation also draws around 10 percent of its revenue from manufacturing, energy supplies, media, government, and trade associations.

Lightning the Path Towards a Successful Tech-Driven Future

Undoubtedly, AI and blockchain are transforming the business world, and the Big Innovation Centre’s network is at the forefront of this change. The organisation will continue to foster future-facing and cutting-edge research and thought leadership to clear the path for companies that show technological promise. With the aim of building long lasting communities of businesses, innovators, policy leaders, and entrepreneurs, Big Innovation Centre will introduce new learning opportunities while helping its members to be future-proof and future-ready.

Innovation Inspiration

Big Innovation Centre has been awarded: Leading Specialists for Inspiring Innovation – UK. 

It was by SME News’ fourth annual Greater London Enterprise Awards 2020! 
Big Innovation Centre subsequently featured in their SME News Magazine Q4 (page 39) or read from our publication website)

– see also full text below


Innovation Inspiration

Innovation is a key word that is thrown around a lot these days, but what does it mean to be truly innovative? Big Innovation Centre understands exactly what it means to be innovative, driving change and bringing together some of the most forward-thinking entrepreneurs and executives of the world’s biggest companies with some of the key decision-makers in policy and regulation. Find out more about this exceptional firm as we take a closer look at why it deserved the title of Leading Specialists for Inspiring Innovation – UK in this years’ Greater London Enterprise Awards from SME News Magazine.

Big Innovation Centre is a think-tank and innovation communications consultancy that boasts one of the fastest growing technology and innovation networks in the world. As has already been mentioned, the firm seeks to bring together entrepreneurs and executives in pursuit of innovation that can change lives for the better. Partnering with key decision-makers in the policy and regulation arenas, Big Innovation Centre works to co-shape the future with artificial intelligence, blockchain, and digital economies at the centre. The emerging role of digital transformation, intangible assets, and creative disruption in the form of social movements is very high on the agenda. Big Innovation Centre aligns emerging technological opportunities, business model strategies, and national plans to push innovation whilst promoting knowledge sharing and the public image of companies through open projects, networking, communications, and showcasing.

There are many companies that claim to work innovatively, or in innovation itself. What stands Big Innovation Centre apart from the competition it faces is the fact that the entirety of the firm is future-facing, using cutting-edge research and thought leadership whilst holding the top skills of convening co-creation in practice, not just in theory. The firm also has access to, and participation from, top decision-makers in various industries through long-lasting communities and relationships with businesses, innovators, policy leaders, and entrepreneurs. As with many other firms that work in innovation, Big Innovation Centre also follows key industry trends and goes where the data leads. The key trends in the industry at the moment is about addressing the current digital transformation that clients face. This challenge has become even more prevalent and emergent with the COVID-19 crisis going on.

New and emerging industry trends and the challenges presented by COVID-19 takes multiple forms, and the various groups of Big Innovation Centre are facing them. For technology implementors, the challenges are business and industry adoption of artificial intelligence, blockchain and digital into business models, how financial transactions and trade are conducted, and data governance. For developers and investors in digital and other emerging technologies, the challenges lie in uncertainty and risks around data regulation and new standards of emerging technologies. Lastly, the challenges for many clients of Big Innovation Centre revolve around the fact that these new technologies are ecosystem technologies, and they only work jointly within industry networks, in combination with government policy adoption and citizen participation.

The team at Big Innovation Centre are all excellent communicators, creative, and highly educated. They are what brings the ecosystem-stakeholders together and empower the decision-makers to co-create a future where everyone’s vision connects and where opportunities can be realised. Staff at Big Innovation Centre also enable clients to access a peer network of business leaders and global executives of major corporations, entrepreneurs, investors, academics, politicians, and policymakers, granting them the opportunity to impact the financial, social, political, and regulatory future with AI, blockchain, and other emerging technologies.

2020 has been a disruptive year to say the least, but it has also launched an era of two intense disruptions, including digital disruption and that of intense social movements. Black Lives Matter, the environment, sustainability, and more have been so prevalent this year, and now is the time for businesses and their leaders to be as alive to these trends like never before. They impact on every dimension of business, future workplaces, and markets, and Big Innovation Centre helps its clients understand the significance of them. In 2021, Big Innovation Centre will to launch The Innovators Board, a global combination of top disruptors and innovators within technology and social movements. The aim for The Innovators Board is to be implementors of more purposeful societies, better futures for all, and a better world. That is what innovation is all about, and Big Innovation Centre understands and delivers like no other in the industry.

Company: Big Innovation Centre
Contact: Prof. Birgitte Andersen, CEO

Thinktank calls for better co-ordination of mobile health applications

Thinktank calls for better co-ordination of mobile health applications

Features the publication of the Global mHealth Industry Landscape Overview 2020 by Big Innovation Centre and Deep Knowledge Analytics.

Link to website with the mHealth report hosted on the Innovation Eye IT Platform.

Link to UK Authority article about the report 

Full text of the article by UK Authority 

Thinktank calls for better co-ordination of mobile health applications

Mobile health applications are growing in importance, but there is a need for government do more to co-ordinate their use, according to a new study by the Big Innovation Centre.

Smartphone in hands

The thinktank, which provides the secretariat for the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence, has published the Global mHealth Industry Landscape Overview 2020 in collaboration with Deep Knowledge Analytics, looking at 260 companies active in the field and broken down on a regional basis.

It shows the UK has been among the most active countries in promoting the trend, with initiatives such as the NHS Apps Library and the Government’s acknowledgement of AI within its Industrial Strategy Grand Challenge.

This prompts the authors to predict an increase in the technological sophistication of mHealth apps, and an increase in the number that incorporate AI. They also forecast rapid growth in the sub-sectors of telehealth and personal healthcare, focused on providing remote care and monitoring of elderly people.

In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has promoted the development of tools and public interest in using them.

But Professor Birgitte Andersen, chief executive officer of Big Innovation Centrehighlighted one of the conclusions of the report and warned that not enough is being done to properly co-ordinate the take-up of the solutions.

Population health challenges

She commented: “We see a clear trend of several countries (and the UK in particular) developing a very robust mHealth industry ecosystem of companies, investors and technologies at their disposal, but failing to sufficiently utilise these resources to their fullest extent in terms of their potential to help address population health challenges of substantial national concern, due to a lack of efficient cross-sector collaboration and synergetic co-ordination, management and execution on a government level.

“The raw resources that are in place to make mHealth a game changer for global health are enormous, but much more remains to be done in terms of effectively coordinating and directing these raw resources on a government level.”

Other conclusions include that the precision and personalisation of apps is increasing, and that various drivers are becoming stronger, such as rising healthcare costs and the worries around pandemics.

The report features an accompanying IT platform with an mHealth Sectors MindMap and mHealth Regions MindMap with profiles of the all the entities and companies covered.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

PRESS RELEASE: Mobile Health (mHealth) Apps Combating COVID-19 and Optimizing National Healthcare


Download Press Release from Innovation Eye

Download Press Release from Big Innovation Centre


Global mHealth Landscape Overview Sheds Light on the Role of mHealth in Combating COVID-19 and Optimizing National Healthcare Strategies

A New Special Analysis of the Global Mobile Health (mHealth) Sector Reveals How
mHealth Can Decrease Costs, Reduce Inefficiencies and Improve Access, Inclusion
and Social Impact of National Healthcare Systems and Infrastructures.
Global mHealth Industry Landscape Overview 2020

26th of November, 2020, London, UK: The release of a new special analytical case study on the Mobile Health (mHealth) App sector on our mobile phones and wearable technology.

It was produced by Big Innovation Centre and Deep Knowledge Analytics and powered by the IT Platform Innovation EyeGlobal mHealth Industry Landscape Overview 2020, and announced and unveiled today to the public today 26 of November at 3:15pm by Professor Birgitte Andersen, CEO of Big Innovation Centre, at the Digital Health World Congress 2020 (online).

The global landscape overview, or analysis, of the mHealth ecosystem includes 260 Mobile Health App Companies, 330 investors in these Apps, 25 health hubs, and global regions as UK, Europe, Asia & China, India, USA and more.

Professor Birgitte Andersen, CEO of Big Innovation Centre, said:

“We see a clear trend of several countries (and the UK in particular) developing a very robust mHealth industry ecosystem of companies, investors and technologies at their disposal, but failing to sufficiently utilize these resources to their fullest extent in terms of their potential to help address population health challenges of substantial national concern, due to a lack of efficient cross-sector collaboration and synergetic coordination, management and execution on a government level.

The raw resources that are in place to make mHealth a game changer for global health are enormous, but much more remains to be done in terms of effectively coordinating and directing these raw resources on a government level.”

Dmitry Kaminskiy, Co-Founder of Deep Knowledge Analytics, said:

“The four pillars of population health challenges (including ageing population, pandemics and other biodefense threats), exponentially increasing volumes of population data, the growing adoption, availability and democratization of mHealth technologies and solutions, and the increasing technological sophistication of mHealth apps – are rapidly converging to an inflection point that makes the use of mHealth as a core tool for addressing population health risks, and a fundamental component of governments’ national healthcare strategies, completely obvious, economical and necessary.”


 Report Scope: A Snapshot of the Global mHealth Industry Landscape

The analytical report and associated interactive IT-Platform profiles and categorizes 260 companies, 330 investors and 25 hubs active within the Global mhealth Industry Ecosystem, and classifies them according to 13 industry subsectors and practical applications and 12 regions. The special analytical case study highlights the potential of mHealth to serve as a major tool to improve access to healthcare while reducing economic pressures of NCDs, population ageing, COVID-19 and other major national challenges for developed countries, giving insight into why the rapidly diversifying sector should become a major component of many governments’ national healthcare strategies.

Benchmarking mHealth Technological Sophistication

The report also features an accompanying Interactive IT-Platform (consisting of a dynamic mHealth Sectors MindMap and a corresponding mHealth Regions MindMap) containing individual profiles on all entities companies included in the report. Additionally, the analysis includes a preliminary ranking of its apps’ level of technological advancement, segregating all 260 companies and their apps into 4 distinct tiers of advancement: Advanced, Progressive, Intermediary and Basic. This first edition was produced in order to gain a better understanding of the general size and diversity of the mHealth sector, and future iterations of the report and associated IT-Platforms will include a more diverse array of sectors and practical applications, a larger scope of geographic regions, and a deeper and more comprehensive set of factors and parameters used to formulate the technology advancement ranking component of the special analytical case study.

mHealth Industry Seeing Steady Growth and Diversification

Overall, the size of the mHealth sector, the range and diversity of its constituent sectors and practical applications, and the level of technological sophistication offered by its apps, have grown tremendously in recent years, driven in tandem by increasing mobile phone penetration (the proportion of the global population with access to mobile phones generally and smartphones in particular) and internet availability.

 Societal mHealth Endpoints and Drivers Also Increasing

These positive growth factors also appear to be working synergistically with a number of negative growth factors that increase the need for novel approaches to healthcare delivery and personal health optimization, including:

  • rising healthcare costs,
  • decreasing healthcare affordability, and
  • economic disparities around access to healthcare resources and services, as well as the ongoing rise in the prevalence of NCDs and population ageing in developed nations.
  • pandemics are increasing in number and intensity, and driving demand for mHealth

Why a global industry and why now?

Constraints felt by the healthcare systems of developing nations which stimulate mHealth uptake:

  • ❏     High population growth.
  • ❏     A high burden of disease prevalence.
  • ❏     Small healthcare workforces.
  • ❏     Large numbers of rural inhabitants.
  • ❏     Limited financial resources to support healthcare infrastructure and health information systems.

Constraints felt by the healthcare systems in many developed economies, which impacted the government’s attitude towards mHealth:

  • ❏     Fast growth in incident of population with COVID-19.
  • ❏     A high burden of COVID-19 disease prevalence.
  • ❏     Limited hospital capacity and healthcare workforces to tackle the pandemic.
  • ❏     Large cities with high people concentration (easy to spread the COVID-19).
  • ❏     Inadequate healthcare infrastructure and governmental health information systems to deal with the spread of COVID-19

mHealth Technological Sophistication Steadily Rising

These factors, combined with the overall rise in mHealth app technological sophistication, are converging to establish a self-perpetuating mechanism driving overall industry growth and diversification. The use of AI in mHealth is growing rapidly, with a still small but steadily increasing proportion of mHealth apps incorporating AI technologies and techniques, data science and personalized analysis of user data in order to deliver tailored recommendations, due to the increasing sophistication and functionality of AI generally, as well as its decreasing cost and growing availability to SMEs.

mHealth Precision and Personalization Increasing

In turn, this appears to be driving an overall increase in the level of user personalization, and the precision of user-specific data monitoring, analysis and tailored recommendations offered by mHealth apps. As the capacity to collect and analyze larger volumes of user data rises, the breadth and depth of insights that can be extracted from AI-driven analysis of such data also increases. Meanwhile, the number of apps that feature advanced and cutting-edge forms of AI, such as Machine Learning and Deep Learning, is also growing. We see this general trend particularly present in countries where governments have prioritized investment in cutting-edge AI technologies and companies as a major component of their industrial strategies, such as the UK. These countries have yet to extend their strategies as far as directing these resources effectively for the advancement of mHealth.

More Work Needed on Governmental Coordination

Pandemics continue to drive demand for mHealth, as technologies available to help mHealth apps address health challenges continues to increase in both sophistication and ability, and the overall potential impact that the mHealth industry can have on issues of pressing national and economic concern continues to rise. Amidst these growth factors, we see a clear trend of several countries (such as the UK) developing a very robust mHealth industry ecosystem of companies, investors and technologies at their disposal, but failing to utilize these resources to their fullest extent to help address population health challenges of substantial national concern, due to a lack of efficient cross-sector collaboration and synergetic coordination, management and execution on a government level.

About Big Innovation Centre

Big Innovation Centre is an award-winning Think Tank and innovation-communications consultancy, established in 2011. Specialised in digital transformation and future proofing corporate businesses models, they are the appointed secretariat for the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI) and Blockchain (APPG Blockchain).  Big Innovation Centre’s network is one of the most sophisticated and high-level networks in the world of technology and innovation..

About Deep Knowledge Analytics

Deep Knowledge Analytics is a DeepTech focused agency producing advanced analytics on DeepTech and frontier-technology industries using sophisticated multi-dimensional frameworks and algorithmic methods that combine hundreds of specially-designed and specifically-weighted metrics and parameters to deliver sophisticated market intelligence, pragmatic forecasting and tangible industry benchmarking.

About Innovation Eye

Innovation Eye IT platform was jointly founded in March 2019 by Big Innovation Centre and Deep Knowledge Analytics to provide sophisticated market analytics, industry intelligence, comparative industry classification frameworks and benchmarking case studies.

For press and media inquiries, please contact:

Professor Birgitte Andersen:  Mobile: +44 (0) 79 4478 3648

 Dmitry Kaminskiy:

 Big Innovation Centre | 62 Wilson Street | London | EC2A 2BU

Web | Twitter @BigInnovCentre | 


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Building the Scottish Common Blockchain – CITIES Commitee

tBuilding the Scottish Common Blockchain

Digital Scotland features the Blockchain for Local Government report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain (APPG Blockchain).

Big Innovation Centre is the Secretariat and research hub for the group. 


Full text of the article is below

Building the Scottish Common Blockchain

A community-owned Blockchain platform for Scotland, enabling online voting and a digital currency.

A foundation technology for building a Scottish digital nation will be the Blockchain.

Used in conjunction with other key technologies notably Digital Identity this combination will provide the trust enabling infrastructure for a 21st century digital economy.

Led by Martin Docherty-Hughes the All Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain published this report which provides an excellent, detailed overview of the potential of the technology: Blockchain for Local Government.

With inputs from Peter Ferry and Rab Campbell of local Scottish blockchain pioneer, the report details how Blockchain adoption would enable the public sector to enjoy efficiency gains in any inter-governmental and public-private information exchanges and monetary transaction, and reduction of bureaucracy and associated improvement in transparency and accountability in civic services.

The Scottish Common Blockchain

One key objective of the new Digital Scotland strategy should be innovative approaches to how technology is acquired for the benefit of the public sector, not just innovation through the technology itself. Government procurement methods are notoriously slow moving and resistant to change and this can be the cause of why Scotland’s ambitions to be a digital leader are not progressing as fast as they should.

Business for Scotland offers one example of a very interesting approach exemplifying exactly this. Describing the ‘Scottish Common Blockchain‘ they articulate how a Blockchain could be deployed as a community-owned infrastructure and how it would act as a public utility with many possible use case scenarios, such as enabling a new national currency and secure online voting.

“The Scottish Government should launch its own digital currency running alongside Sterling and facilitate local digital currencies. Blockchain-based security is almost impervious to hacking and identity theft and reduces cost by eliminating transaction fees. This digital currency would not replace a sovereign currency, but access to a safe and Government-guaranteed form of electronic money without the need for high street banks would be highly beneficial to the Scottish economy.”

They outline a compelling business case for this scenario, using an example of dealing with late payments to small to medium sized businesses, describing how the Scottish government could generate additional 1-2% GDP growth in a year rising to 3% in year two, and at the same time create a more entrepreneurial economy, rapidly increasing new business start ups whilst halving small business insolvencies and business related personal bankruptcies.

“Solving cash flow problems for these businesses is the single largest opportunity for economic growth and employment open to Scotland, and it’s really not that hard to do.”


An example of this approach is the Spanish Alastria project, a model achieved through a consortium of small and large organizations and some government agencies, who collaborate to define and implement a shared, common Blockchain infrastructure, built atop ‘Self Sovereign Identity‘.

In this video presentation, with supporting slides, they explain how this non-profit organization and multi-organization member forum acts together to form a “National Blockchain Network”.

From 7:00m it is explained how the ecosystem this makes possible, with different market entities fulfilling roles such as User, Service Provider and Attester, a system for securely sharing identity credentials to underpin integrated digital services.

Conclusion – Action Plan

This cross-industry community approach is especially powerful when you consider the recommendations described in the All Party Parliamentary group report:

  • “Build knowledge sharing consortium: Organisations like Scotim, Government Digital Services (GDS), Local Government Association (LGA) should encourage councils and have sustainable discussions that will keep local councils updated. This will build awareness and might spark innovative ideas too.
  • Stimulate public-private interaction: The private sector must interact more with the public sector to understand needs. Currently, the private sector – as evident from our survey – feels they know what solutions might be needed by the public sector but they are not completely aware of the diversity of needs of the local government and their citizens.
  • Pilots and Sandbox approaches are the way forward: The study demonstrates the usefulness of unlocking blockchain ecosystems and piloting what can be achieved via Sandbox approaches. This supports implementation,testing, and risk management.”


An article produced by Corporate Financier, ICAEW, June 2020  

The original article can be found here (page 12-13)

Featuring: APPG AI evidence findings on Corporate Decision Marking: Best Practice Guidelines for AI Adoption, published in this report. The video of the evidence meeting can be found here, and the photo gallery can be found here. Big Innovation Centre is the organiser and appointed Secretariat by UK Parliament for the group. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used in corporate decision-making, investment and M&A. Last year, the faculty’s Shaun Beaney and Rosanna Woods of Drooms co-authored the AI in Corporate Advisory research report. This was
followed in May by an evidence meeting held by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG-AI), hosted remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chaired by Lord Clement-Jones CBE (who is also a member of the Corporate Finance Faculty’s board) and Conservative Party MP Stephen Metcalfe, the panel comprised representatives of the seven organisations that presented evidence for the APPG-AI report:

  • Jan Chan, TAS chief innovation officer UK, EY;
  • Dr Christine Chow, head of Asia and global emerging markets,
    Hermes Investment Management;
  • Naomi Climer CBE, co-chair, Institute for the Future of Work;
  • Sanu de Lima, deputy director, corporate governance reform,
    Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy;
  • David Petrie, head of corporate finance, ICAEW;
  • Charles Radclyffe, former head of AI, Fidelity International; and
  • Dr Zoë Webster, director – AI and data economy, Innovate UK.

It was agreed that successful deployment of AI in corporate decisionmaking and investment required an efficient and coherent AI strategy across all phases, as well as regular audits of the deployed AI technologies. Furthermore, employees must be sufficiently trained.

Lastly, the government must work with businesses to safeguard the responsible use of AI, ensure the upskilling of the workforce and facilitate the supply of talent.

This article is a summary of the main points that the panel discussed and that were raised during the Q&A, which saw 300 experts join online. The detailed Parliamentary Briefing is at

Dr Christine Chow,
Hermes Investment Management
When it comes to corporate decisionmaking and investing, AI can benefit businesses in three key ways.
Identifying opportunities: keyword searches and news screens identify strategic fit and funding needs that help potential acquirers build a pipeline of targets.
Regulatory technology enables near real-time legal and tax compliance checks. AI supports document management and processing for transactions. Big data-led factor analysis can be used to assess intangible qualities such as corporate culture and customer trust. Near-real-time location and asset-level data, such as satellite images and on-site sensors, help analysts to collect and process data directly rather than relying on disclosure-based methods.
Strengthening scenario analysis: interactive data visualisation helps decision-makers get past the noise of big data and makes analytics agile.
These upsides can be captured with success if the risks are managed.
Quantifying trust and culture requires a conscious choice of proxy indicators to measure them. The indicators may not
fully capture what needs to be assessed and could be situational, so decisionmakers should understand the rationale
and limits of them.
AI analytics are often associated with a degree of confidence in the results.
How do statistics and probabilities affect corporate decisions and pricing? Statistics refresher courses can help decisionmakers more confidently challenge the recommendations presented to them.
Companies should map out their group AI footprint and an inventory of algorithmic models, with board oversight for AI governance. This ensures group-wide consistency and efficient use of resources. They should publish AI principles that reflect business strategy, demonstrating transparency and accountability.

David Petrie,
head of corporate finance, ICAEW
The potential for the use of AI-based technologies in corporate decisionmaking is unquestionable, although applications are still at an early stage.
Machine reading and learning are already being deployed in virtual data rooms that are used throughout the M&A deal process – particularly on the legal side, for contract analysis and in financial analysis, modelling and scenario planning.
The greatest potential for the more widespread application of AI in the deal process is in, variously, origination, company valuation, due diligence and all-important post-transaction integration.
ICAEW supports responsible innovation by companies, financiers, and corporate advisers. This is vital for ensuring public trust.
We recommend that corporate finance practitioners adopt a principles-based approach that takes into account the ethical codes and protocols that have already been developed for professional services and for broader investment activity.
Therefore, we do not believe that specific new regulation of AI in corporate finance is necessary.
ICAEW suggests that guidelines for the use and application of AI in corporate decision-making and oversight by companies should: recommend appropriate and practicable levels of disclosure; include within corporate reporting requirements an explanation about how AI-based technologies have been deployed; ensure clarity about the various responsibilities of corporate executive and non-executive directors; and encourage measures that boost investment and innovation in AI,
rather than hinder them.

Jan Chan, EY
“AI is sometimes feared as a risk to jobs, but in the current situation we have the opportunity to utilise AI-augmented
decision-making to respond quickly to urgent challenges, which will be required in order to boost the post-COVID-19 UK
economy. AI will enable us to find solutions backed up with evidence-based computational statistics.”

Naomi Climer CBE, Institute for the Future of Work
“It’s important to be really clear about what outcome the AI is meant to achieve.
This then makes it possible to check that it’s doing what was intended. It’s essential to audit the AI to check for equality,
fairness, accountability, sustainability, transparency and data protection. It’s also necessary to take actions based on
the audit findings to mitigate any issues that emerge.”

Sanu de Lima, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
“One practical application of AI is around high-volume information analysis.
For corporates in the first instance the application of AI could be really beneficial, partly given the increased demands on public companies when it comes to corporate reporting, and the number of things they have to report on. In light of the COVID-19 situation, we are looking at increased flexibility for equity raising in the market. It’s increasingly important for market supervision to be able to monitor quick developments – for example for flexibilities for pre-emption rights in terms of raising equity.”

Charles Radclyffe, formerly Fidelity International
“What’s true of firms who have made the most of AI-based technologies is that they’ve done three things: recognised long-term competitive advantage that a data-centric approach can bring; built the capability to deliver on this; and largely put in place the governance mechanisms to ensure the engine doesn’t fall off mid-flight. Boards and investors should take note of these themes and work to understand how to implement them in their own operations or investments.”

Dr Zoë Webster, Innovate UK
“The impact of AI will not be limited to a single sector or solely to the firms that develop and produce AI tools and technologies. Many sectors have started to identify and pursue specific opportunities to use AI. This may be to boost
productivity in their specialised processes or to increase competitiveness and sales through the development of new or improved products, processes or services for the market, such as to develop more personalised financial products.”

The meeting was co-ordinated by Professor Birgitte Andersen, chief executive of the Big Innovation Centre and Dr Désirée Remmert, the centre’s AI lead.

Parliamentary group sees post-pandemic role for blockchain in healthcare

Parliamentary group sees post-pandemic role for blockchain in healthcare

An article produced by UKAuthority, 19 June 2020  

The original article can be found here   

Featuring: APPG Blockchain evidence on COVID-19 published in this Parliamentary Brief: How can Blockchain help in the fight against Covid-19? The video of the evidence meeting can be found here, and the photo gallery can be found here. Big Innovation Centre is the organiser and appointed Secretariat by UK Parliament for the group, and the article features contributions of global policy and academic leaders as well as blockchain entrepreneurs pushing for a wider digital infrastructure to combat Covid-19.

Blockchain technologies can play a significant role in supporting health services in the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new briefing paper.

The All-Party Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain has published the report from its evidence session on the post-pandemic role of the distributed ledger technology in April.

It says that in order to bounce back from the economic downturn, and the extreme pressures on its public services, the country needs radical innovation to its data infrastructure, as opposed to fixing technologically redundant systems.

The paper includes a strong emphasis on healthcare, making the case that the decentralised, autonomous and self-sovereign identity features of blockchain can make a positive difference in the sector. In principle the technology could be used to trace interactions with people diagnosed with the disease while preserving their privacy and security.

It could also enable the health service to protect patients’ electronic records, and could be used for tracking, tracking and controlling the use of vaccinations, prescriptions, other infections and medical records.

Trust potential

APPG says that blockchain has the potential to solve issues around digital trust, providing people with a more secure digital identity, and that government could become a model user of blockchain.

It proposes that every national government should set up an emergency taskforce on medical data to start planning and implementing blockchain initiatives to help cope with a future wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. This would come with legislation around which stakeholders could mobilise, the creation of self-sovereign identities and citizen owned health records, and pilots for the use of blockchain.

In addition, they should work with medical professional associations and others to implement blockchain based credential systems.

Image by Michael Fisch, CC BY 2.0

AI in healthcare needs data rules and oversight body, says report

An article produced by UKAuthority, 8 June 2020  

The original article can be found here   

Featuring: APPG AI evidence on COVID-19 published in this Parliamentary Brief: How can AI help in the fight against Covid-19? The video of the evidence meeting can be found here, and the photo gallery can be found here. Big Innovation Centre is the organiser and appointed Secretariat by UK Parliament for the group, and the article features a comment from CEO Professor Andersen pushing for a wider digital infrastructure to combat Covid-19.

Making more of artificial intelligence in healthcare requires strong rules around the use of data and an independent oversight body, according to a new parliamentary briefing report.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI) has published the document – How can AI help in the fight against Covid-19? – after a recent hearing focused on the technology’s role in disease control and the experience of countries that have used it in fighting the pandemic.

It has highlighted two major conclusions, firstly that there is a need for regulations on the responsible use of public data, along with a cross-border infrastructure for its sharing and collaboration in the field. This reflects the need for public trust in how the data is used.

Secondly, an oversight body taking in representatives of several disciplines and groups would help to ensure the ethical application of any data driven health measures, partly through overseeing the quality and governance of data.

Policy priorities

These reflect four policy recommendations, one for the creation of mechanisms to make aggregated, anonymised data publicly available to support research and scientific modelling.

But this would have to be accompanied by data safety measures to ensure personal data is saved and shared ethically; and that there is sufficient accountability and accreditation for its use – which is where the oversight body would play a significant role. It should have the authority to check and accredit new data driven tools, and discontinue any programmes that violate the ethics, according to the briefing paper.

Along with these, there is a need for government regulations to facilitate collaboration among experts from different countries and disciplines, along with the sharing of relevant data.

Among the issues identified in the report are that there is not yet a sufficient volume of data to support some powerful AI tools, such as those using deep neural networks, and that they are difficult to interrogate about their processes for making decisions.

Plus points

Despite this, AI can make significant contributions in the analysis of medical research databases. The paper points to examples of Google’s DeepMind division making structured predictions of proteins related to Covid-19, and Chinese company Baidu making an algorithm available that can predict the secondary ribonucleic acid structure of the virus.

AI has also supported earlier searches for anti-viral drugs and vaccines.

APPG highlighted a comment from Professor Birgitte Andersen, the chief executive officer of the Big Innovation Centre hub, who said: “Artificial intelligence can absolutely help us fight Covid-19 and future viral diseases, but for this to happen we must all become digital citizens and part of a wider data infrastructure.”



An article produced by Corporate Financier, ICAEW, June 2020  

The original article can be found here (page 5)

Featuring: APPG AI evidence findings on Corporate Decision Marking: Best Practice Guidelines for AI Adoption, published in this report. The video of the evidence meeting can be found here, and the photo gallery can be found here. Big Innovation Centre is the organiser and appointed Secretariat by UK Parliament for the group. 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG-AI) hosted an online evidence meeting on 11 May, organised with the Corporate Finance Faculty. Open to the public and joined by 300 people, it was the best-attended online meeting the group has hosted since it switched from gathering at the House of Lords because of COVID-19.

The subjects covered included the use of AI-based technologies in corporate decision-making, investment and M&A. Chaired by Lord Clement-Jones CBE (a member of the Corporate Finance Faculty board) and Stephen Metcalfe MP, the expert panel comprised:

  • Jan Chan, EY’s chief innovation officer for transaction advisory services in the UK and Ireland;
  • Dr Christine Chow, head of Asia and global emerging markets, Hermes Investment Management;
  • Naomi Climer CBE, co-chair of the Institute for the Future of Work;
  • Sanu de Lima, deputy director, corporate governance reform, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy;
  • David Petrie, head of corporate finance, ICAEW;
  • Charles Radclyffe, former head of AI, Fidelity International; and
  • Dr Zoë Webster, director – AI and data economy, Innovate UK.

The meeting was co-ordinated by professor Birgitte Andersen, CEO of the Big Innovation Centre, and Dr Désirée Remmert, the centre’s AI lead.

Petrie told the audience: “Unless we get it right, we won’t avoid overregulation in the area of AI. The purpose of ethical principles is useful, but unless they are operationalised and turned into corporate governance standards, then legislators will have to erect regulation. The more we can embed ethics in standards of corporate behaviour, the better it will be in allowing innovation.

“Looking ahead to the recovery, it’s important to consider the potential benefits and risks of AI-based applications for companies, investors, advisers and our wider society. Boosting public and private investment in advanced technologies will be crucial for a global societal and economic recovery from COVID-19.”

Chan said global competition in AI had increased dramatically: “There is a huge amount of access to cheap AI capability and the computational power is now there and cheaper than ever.”

The panel also discussed responsible innovation and public trust. Chow said: “In different sectors and industries some of the safety aspects and risks aspects would be more important than the applications of AI. Irrespective of what the company does, it is important to map where big data and AI is used.”

The meeting was partly based on the report AI in Corporate Advisory, coauthored by the faculty’s Shaun Beaney and Rosanna Woods of Drooms.

UK-based Big Innovation Centre opens office in Hyderabad

An article produced by The Hindu BusinessLine on 13 January 2020. 

The original article can be found here

Featuring: Big Innovation Centre’s opening in Hyderabad

Big Innovation Centre (BIC), headquartered in the United Kingdom, which provides research and consulting services for the corporate, public institutes to address economic challenges and innovation capabilities, has opened its India office in Hyderabad.

Big Innovation Centre has already launched its innovation hubs in Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Abdul Rehman, India Head said “Will offer thought leadership and advisory services on emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Virtual Reality and others for more sustainable way of living and inclusivity”.

The rise of AI marks an opportunity for radical changes in corporate governance

The original article can be found here

Featuring: The Lord Clement-Jones points out the leading role played by Big Innovation Centre in establishing purposeful companies which has a clear benefit to society. As the former Chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on AI and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI) he discusses how AI should can become implemented ethically, and the role of governing boards. 

The rise of AI marks an opportunity for radical changes in corporate governance

As a result there has been pressure to set out much clearer guidelines, beyond general ethical codes, for the use of these technologies by government and its agencies.

But even if we get things right in the public sector, businesses have responsibility too, both those who develop AI and those who adopt it. AI even in its narrow form will and should have a profound impact on and implications for corporate governance generally.

Trade organisations such as TechUK and specific AI organisations such as the Partnership on AI (comprised of major tech companies and NGO’s) recognise that corporate responsibility and governance on AI is increasingly important.

There is a growing corpus of corporate governance work relating to AI and the ethics of its application in business.  Asset managers such Hermes and Fidelity are now adopting guidance for the companies they invest in.

The Institute of Business Ethics’s report  “Corporate Ethics in a Digital Age” is a masterly briefing for boards written by Peter Montagnon, formerly chair of the IBA investment Committee, who sadly died the week after its launch.

The Tech Faculty of the ICAEW has produced a valuable paper on New Technologies, Ethics and Accountability. The bottom line is we need to operationalize the ethics and engrain ethical behavior.They have set out a number of questions which boards should be asking themselves.

It is imperative that boards have the right skill sets in order to fulfil their oversight role. For instance do they understand what technology is being used in their company and how it is being used and managed, for example by HR in recruitment and assessment? Have they strong lines of accountability for the introduction and impact of AI?

Boards need to be aware of the questions they should ask and the advice they need and from whom. They need to consider what tools they have available such as

  • Algorithm impact assessments/ algorithm assurance
  • Risk Assessment /Ethical Audit Mechanisms/Kitemarking
  • Ethics by design, metrics, standards for “training testing and fixing”

Risk management is central to the introduction of new technology. Does a company mainstream oversight into its Audit and Risk committee or set up an Ethics Advisory Board? It has even been suggested  by Christian Voegtlin, associate professor in corporate social responsibility at Audencia Business School that there should be a chief philosophy officer to ensure adherence to ethical standards.

Is an AI adopting business taking full advantage of the rapidly growing concept of regulatory sandboxing? This means a regulator such as our Financial Conduct Authority permitting the testing of a new technology without the threat of regulatory enforcement but with strict overview and individual formal and informal guidance from the regulator.

Some make an analogy with the application of professional medical ethics. We take these for granted but should individual AI engineers be explicitly required to declare their adherence to a set of ethical standards along the lines of a new tech Hippocrates Oath? This could apply to both AI adopters as well as developers.

More broadly and more significantly, however, AI can and should contribute positively to a purposeful form of capitalism which is not simply the pursuit of profit but where companies deploy AI in an ethical way, to achieve greater sustainability and a fairer distribution of power and wealth.

We have seen the high level sets of AI ethics developed by bodies like the EU, OECD, the G20, the Partnership on AI .These are very comprehensive and provide the basis for a common set of international standards.

In the words of the title of Brent Mittelstadt’s recent Nature paper however, “Principles Alone cannot guarantee ethical AI”. We need to develop alongside them a much more socially responsible form of corporate governance.

It is not just the tech companies where the issues identified by Rana Foroohar in “Don’t be Evil The Case Against Big Tech”are relevant. It also extends to: “Digital property rights, privacy laws, antitrust rules, free speech, the legality of surveillance, the implications of data for economic competitiveness and national security, the impact of the algorithmic disruption of work on labor markets, the ethics of artificial intelligence and the health and well being of users of digital technology.”

As Foroohar says, “[when] we think about how to harness the power of technology for the public good, rather than the enrichment of a few companies, we must make sure that the leaders of those companies aren’t the only ones to have a say in what the rules are.”

The Big Innovation Centre has played a leading role in the debate with its “Purposeful Company Project”, which was launched back in 2015 with an ethos that “the role of business is to fulfil human wants and needs and to pursue a purpose that has a clear benefit to society. It is through the fulfilment of their chosen purpose that value is created.”

Since then, it has produced several important reports on the need for an integrated regulatory approach to stewardship and intrinsic purpose definition, and on the changes that should be made to the Financial Reporting Council’s UK Stewardship Code.

With all the potential opportunities and disruption involved with AI, this work is now absolutely crucial to ensure that businesses don’t adopt new technologies without a strong underlying set of corporate values so that it is not just shareholders who benefit but that the impact and distribution of benefit to employees and society at large are fully considered.

We of course can’t confine these ethical challenges to the UK. We need ethical alignment in a global world. I hope we will both adopt the international principles which have been developed and, by the same token, argue for the international adoption of the purposeful company principles we are developing in the UK.

Tim, Lord Clement-Jones is the former Chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on AI and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI.

The White House warns European allies not to overregulate AI

The original article can be found here

Featuring: The role of All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI) – Big Innovation Centre is the Secretariat – as a key player in UK Government’s AI strategy

Editor at TechForge Media. Often sighted at global tech conferences with a coffee and a laptop.


The White House has urged its European allies to avoid overregulation of AI to prevent Western innovation from being hindered.

While the news has gone somewhat under the radar given recent events, the Americans are concerned that overregulation may cause Western nations to fall behind the rest of the world.

In a statement released by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House wrote:

“Europe and our allies should avoid heavy handed innovation-killing models, and instead consider a similar regulatory approach.

The best way to counter authoritarian uses of AI is to make sure America and our international partners remain the global hubs of innovation, shaping the evolution of technology in a manner consistent with our common values.”

The UK is expected to retain its lead as the European hub for AI innovation with vast amounts of private and public sector investment, successful companies like DeepMind, and world class universities helping to address the global talent shortage. In Oxford Insights’ 2017 Government AI Readiness Index, the UK ranked number one due to areas such as digital skills training and data quality. The Index considers public service reform, economy and skills, and digital infrastructure.

Despite its European AI leadership, the UK would struggle to match the levels of funding afforded to firms residing in superpowers like the US and China. Many experts have suggested the UK should instead focus on leading in the ethical integration of AI and developing sensible regulations, an area it has much experience in.

Here’s a timeline of some recent work from the UK government towards this goal:

  • September 2016 – the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published a 44-page report on “Robotics and Artificial Intelligence” which investigates the economic and social implications of employment changes, ethical and legal issues around safety, verification, bias, privacy, and accountability; and strategies to enhance research, funding, and innovation
  • January 2017 – an All Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI) was established to address ethical issues, social impact, industry norms, and regulatory options for AI in parliament.
  • June 2017 – parliament established the Select Committee on AI to further consider the economic, ethical and social implications of advances in artificial intelligence, and to make recommendations. All written and oral evidence received by the committee can be seen here.
  • April 2018 – the aforementioned committee published a 183-page report, “AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?” which considers AI development and governance in the UK. It acknowledges that the UK cannot compete with the US or China in terms of funding or people but suggests the country may have a competitive advantage in considering the ethics of AI.
  • September 2018 – the UK government launched an experiment with the World Economic Forum to develop procurement policies for AI. The partnership will bring together diverse stakeholders to collectively develop guidelines to capitalise on governments’ buying power to support the responsible deployment and design of AI technologies.

Western nations are seen as being at somewhat of a disadvantage due to sensitivities around privacy. EU nations, in particular, have strict data collection regulations such as GDPR which limits the amount of data researchers can collect to train AIs.

“Very often we hear ‘Where are the British and European Googles and Facebooks?’ Well, it’s because of barriers like this which stop organisations like that being possible to grow and develop,” said Peter Wright, solicitor and managing director of Digital Law UK.

Dependent on the UK’s future trade arrangement with the EU, it could, of course, decide to chart its own regulatory path following Brexit.

Speaking to reporters in a call, US CTO Michael Kratsios said: “Pre-emptive and burdensome regulation does not only stifle economic innovation and growth, but also global competitiveness amid the rise of authoritarian governments that have no qualms with AI being used to track, surveil, and imprison their own people.”

In the same call, US deputy CTO Lynne Parker commented: “As countries around the world grapple with similar questions about the appropriate regulation of AI, the US AI regulatory principles demonstrate that America is leading the way to shape the evolution in a way that reflects our values of freedom, human rights, and civil liberties.

“The new European Commission has said they intend to release an AI regulatory document in the coming months. After a productive meeting with Commissioner Vestager in November, we encourage Europe to use the US AI principles as a framework. The best way to counter authoritarian uses of AI is to make America and our national partners remain the global hub of innovation, advancing our common values.”

A similar regulation to GDPR in California called CCPA was also signed into law in June 2018. “I think the examples in the US today at state and local level are examples of overregulation which you want to avoid on the national level,” said a government official.

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