Posts Tagged ‘digital’

Technologies for Care event 25/03/2014

Last Tuesday (18/3),  Digital Birmingham together with its UK Discover partners – Bham City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology , Health, Design & Technology Institute (HDTI) and The Open University held an event to spark dialogue about digital and ict related training for formal and informal carers, how new technologies and the use of technology can support them in their lives as a carer as well as those they care for.

There was a great mix of people in the audience, from carers (formal and non formal) to carer support agencies to health and care providers to skills agencies to Universities to training providers which encouraged an dialogue about the imorertance of it skills in this day and age.

With Bob Gann, from NHS England chairing, the event kicked off with its first presentation from Verina Waights (Discover PartnerOpen University) who spoke about the Discover EU project  ( and the benefits of digital skills to carers.

Madeleine Starr MBE of Carers UK then went on to speak about the key roles of technology in a caring environment bringing to light that even tech savvy people are not aware of how technology can support them as well as those that they care for. She also emphasised that statutory and private services need to adopt technoloigies and change skills of whole workforce to promote tech. View Madeleine’s presentation here

Matthew Kemp of Midland Heart went through a care plan for an older person outlining all possible interactions between family, friends, care authorites, NHS etc by way of a cleverly designed ‘web of care (or despair)’. He then went on to explain the 10 recommendations from the User and market analysis report: Planning and co-ordination of informal and formal care for older people (this will be made availaible shortly – currently pending final checks and signoff). View Matthew’s presentation here

Nigel Wynne of Birmingham City University (Discover Partner) spoke the importance of embedding digi skills and technology in care  followed by a showcase of the Discover e-learning  platform (email if you’d like to trial this for yourself or for carers in your organisation). 

Robin Vickers of Digital Life Sciences went on to speak about about exisitng technology enabled care tools (DALLAS programme) and what the future of digital healthcare will look like with the emphasis of the user at the heart of their health/caring journey.

Kevin Campbell-Wright of NIACE gave a presentation about technology and learning, spoke highly of digial champions in organisations and out there in the community to act as mentors to support learners. He also spoke about reluctance to want to use the internet for security (identity theft, online fraud etc) reasons however with the Digital by Default agenda, communities will have no choice but to do things online. View Kevin’s presentation here

Dame Philippa Russell DBE talked about improving lives of carers and the cared for through the use of  telehealth, and smart homes and about the importance of independence and well-being outlined by Norman Lamb MP and then followed on by explaining the challenges she sees; that 2/3 of carers unaware of benefits of assistive technologies; loss of community libraries, where will people go to use a computer and the interne; Digital by Default agenda and that many areas in the UK still do not have decent broadband connections. View Philippa’s presentation here

If you would like more information about the Discover digital skills for carers project, please email

Birmingham Smart City Roadmap launches 03/03/2014

The Mailbox, Birmingham

The Mailbox, Birmingham

Today we launched the Birmingham Smart City Roadmap , which sets out over 35 actions that aim to influence the city’s approach to creating a sustainable and better future for its citizens by responding to challenges such as unemployment, the skills gap, health inequalities, effective mobility and carbon reduction targets.

The Roadmap has been developed by the Birmingham Smart City Commission, a body created by the city council which includes leading figures from the business, academic and public sectors, supported by Digital Birmingham.

It represents a collective ambition by city stakeholders to deliver real change by developing intelligent and integrated services through the use of digital technologies, data and open collaboration, driven by the citizens and communities that are core to the city’s future growth.

The three intrinsically linked themes of Technology & Place, People and Economy underpin the roadmap’s 39 proposed actions, to be delivered over the next three years, identifying funding through European, national and regional programmes.

We invite people to be part of our smart city journey and the Roadmap provides the means get involved.  Please tell us what you think – the online version of the roadmap provides space to comment on all of the 39 actions covering digital infrastructure, connectivity, digital inclusion, data, mobility, skills, health and energy, as well as a simple online form to tell us what you are doing; alternatively you can email: if you want more information or would like to get involved in anyway.

Future Internet – future opportunities 20/12/2012

In early December we hosted a Future Internet event, funded as part of CONCORD, the Facilitation and Support Action for the Future Internet PPP programme. Through its membership of ERRIN – project partner in CONCORD – the West Midlands is a sub-partner in the project and involved as one out of four pilot regions across the EU.

This event provided the opportunity to share knowledge of ‘smart city’ activities in the West Midlands and then in the second half of the programme to present the Future-Internet PPP, illustrate two FI-PPP use cases and outline the future Call 3. The event also welcomed a presentation from the EIT ICT Labs which also illustrated the opportunities of international collaboration.

It provided a good network base of SMEs, corporates and public sector representatives to outline recent developments in the concept of smart cities from a regional perspective in the first half of the programme and then use this base to illustrate how the Future Internet PPP could be of assistance in supporting the goals of smart cities.

Raj Mack, Head of Digital Birmingham introduced the audience to the activities that Birmingham were engaged in under their smart cities. Raj pointed out the growing importance of cities and talked about Birmingham’s roadmap (You can view Birmingham’s Smart City Vision here).

From Birmingham to its West Midlands neighbour Coventry. Tim Luft from the University’s Serious Games Institute gave a wide ranging presentation on some of the new technologies that would contribute to solving some of the challenges cities are currently facing such as congestion, pollution. Intelligent transport systems, driverless cars, hydrogen fuel cell cars are likely to change our driving habits.  Virtual reality applications means that we can order our reading and sun glasses on line from a virtual optician and the Google augmented reality glasses will be available in 2013.

The days when tourism involve buying a paper-based guide, map and brochure are going too but all these technological changes require a user input such as Living Labs and he introduced the City Lab Coventry where the city could play a strong role in testing new ideas.

Of course new technology does not always mean a new market and this was where the next speaker, Professor Irene Ng from Warwick University gave interesting presentation on new concepts of value, exchange and ownership. More and more in a digital world we do need to own a product to gain a benefit from it. A mobile phone can easily replace a camera, a calendar, a calculator and a torch. So we move from the concept of buying to using but all this takes place in specific contexts. For Professor Ng, data was the new oil and context was the new oilfield. As an example, she used a person listening to music in a gym. This involved a range of services – supply of music, wifi supply, social network site, the phone, the gym itself.  These all converge in a range of value propositions that are linked together. This gives rise to potential disruptive technologies or service, for example, a supermarket paying for your fuel to drive to their supermarket (already started by Tesco and fuel vouchers). Professor Ng’s book entitled ‘Value and worth; creating new markets in the digital economy’ will be published in 2013 by Innovorsa Press, Cambridge, UK.

Charlotte Crossley, then presented the Birmingham Science Park which was one of the oldest science parks in the UK and had just celebrated its 30th birthday. One of the strong points of Birmingham Science Park is that it has attracted a computer games industry and it is estimated that the West Midlands produces 25% of the market for games. The Science Park will open a new digital

plaza with workspace for the future and technology for the future provided by CISCO in 2014 . This will give more incubator space and increase the attractiveness of the park for ICT-based entrepreneurs.

Richard Tuffs introduced the ERRIN network and the Future Internet-PPP and the CONCORD Project Richard Tuffs focused on the opportunities for call three which would open in May 2013 of Future Internet and highlighted the need for the region to start developing a consortium that would respond to the needs of the call. The key elements of any consortium should be that it can able to bring the results of the FI-PPP to the market and engage in market uptake with industrial support. It is also important to engage with a wide community and focus on building an ecosystem based around industrial partners and their SME ecosystem which can connect to innovative SMEs and involve a full range of partners including industrial associations, regional development agencies, public sector and of course SMEs.

Dr Khaldoun Al Agha from LRI, Université Paris-Sud/CNRS, France then presented the EIT ICT Knowledge and Innovation Community . The EIT ICT KIC has five co-location centres based in Helsinki, Eindhoven, Stockholm, Berlin and Trento. London and Budapest will join as associate partners. The KIC has thirteen action lines including Digital Cities. Calls will be announced under these action lines in 2013 and a Digital City event will take place in March in Paris which give an update on previous activities.

The role of the Digital Cities action line is to produce  tools that can be used for smart cities such as: infrastructure to offer large-scale telecommunication systems to facilitate data exchange; the provision of distributed schemes for scalable systems aiming at large numbers of participants; optimized data management; identification, security and privacy; customized and new intelligent services and business model innovation, etc.

Again Khaldoun Al Agha emphasised the citizen aspect of smart cities. We need to develop smart citizens and there seems to be various models from top down perspectives such as Rio de Janeiro to more bottom up models developed by bloggers, and independent citizens. The ICT KIC is developing a hybrid model between the two.

Presentations can be found here.

Digital Inclusion Social Housing Forum 18/08/2011

Yesterday, Annette attended the Digital Inclusion Social Housing Forum which was held in Microsoft’s offices in London and hosted Digital Unite.The aim of the workshop was to work with social housing providers to identify how they could get their tenants online.

Annette gave a presentation to the group around things that Birmingham is already doing; the Windor Tower project, 4G network proposal and explained the benefits of Looking Local ie Birmingham’s Interactive Digital TV channel.

The forum talked about the barriers for people on low income and how some of these can be addressed by looking at different funding models ie PAYG/sponsored models. There was an appetite

for social housing providers to get together to procure services as a whole rather than individually to ensure that they get better value for their clients; which included procuring affordable digital equipment for the tenant and broadband access.

It was suggested that the next meeting be held in Birmingham and hosted by Digital Birmingham, dates will be posted shortly.

BCC announces Kindle publishing for beginners pilot 16/08/2011

Following on from Simon’s blog about the Kindle Camp co-hosted by Digital Birmingham, Birmingham City Council’s web team and The New Optimists on 1st June 2011, Birmingham City Council has announced the pilot of a new digital publishing support service for local authors.

This pilot will now offer support to authors who want to publish their books digitally, either by converting their books to ebooks for them, or by teaching them

the skills to publish ebooks themselves. The first course in the pilot – ‘ebook in a day: Kindle publishing for beginners’ – will teach all the skills needed to convert a book into an e-book and publish it on Amazon.

‘ebook in a day: Kindle publishing for beginners’, will be held at Birmingham Central Library from 9:30am to 4pm on Saturday 24 September and cost £55.

For more information and how to book your place, please click here.

Free Digital Marketing Event on Thursday 3 March 2011 28/02/2011

Clicking with Customers – Digital Marketing with Yell, Google and James Averdieck
Date: Thursday 3 March 2011
Time: 8.30 – 12.30pm
Cost: FREE!

Yell is launching a series of free digital marketing events across the UK, exclusively for small businesses. The next event

is in Birmingham on 3rd March at The Centennial Centre.
For more information and how to book, please click here.

Free Digital Training Seminar Competition! 23/02/2011

For Businesses only

Interested in Digital Marketing? Or free training for you

and your staff? Maybe you’ve never won anything; well this is your chance.

Win a free Digital Marketing Seminar for you and your fellow employees, all you have to do is register your company details. The draw will be conducted in the final week of February 2011. And the winner contacted the same day as the draw, Good Luck!

Click here for more info.

Cafelicious launches it's new website! 16/02/2011


Congratulations to Cafelicious on

the launch of their website this month

#KittenCamp is coming to Birmingham!! 25/01/2011

#KittenCamp first launched in London last year and has since developed a massive cult following, we now host regular slots in Soho and Bristol. It seems that word has spread and there’s been quite a bit of online chat about it over the past few months, so much so that we decided to take it on tour and this February we will be landing in Birmingham.

For anyone who hasn’t heard, #KittenCamp is a fun networking evening for web-loving, media types to chat memes, drink beer and

generally share some kitten love.

On Tuesday 22 February #KittenCamp will be at The Victoria Pub in Birmingham city centre. Speakers include Myles Mcleod, Animation Writer and Director of The Brothers McLeod and David Edmundson-Bird, Director of Digital Marketing Communications at Manchester Met University, coming along to show attendees some fun things + Chris Quigley, Director of Rubber Republic dressed as a giant cat and chatting about the latest internet memes and viral trends!

For more info and how to book, visit the eventbrite bookings page.

Great new report on digital engagement with Arts & Culture 07/12/2010

A new Fab report has been released showing digital engagement with Arts & Culture.  This is the first time this type of information has been collected in the UK.  Well done to Arts & Business, Arts Council and MLA.  Findings show that a whopping 53% of us have used the internet to engage with the arts and cultural sector in the

last 12 months digital-engagement-with-arts-culture-nov-2010


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