• NHS Covid-19 app alerts 1.7 million contacts

    After almost three months’ silence regarding the product’s development and the assistance that it has given the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), the developer of the UK’s Covid-19 contact-tracing app has revealed that approximately 600,000 cases have been prevented by the app since September 2020, possibly preventing 6,000 deaths.

    After a catalogue of delays, missteps and a complete technological volte-face, as well as arriving over four months later than originally proposed, the UK’s Covid-19 contact-tracing app was officially launched on 24 September 2020.

    Despite earlier hyperbole from a number of politicians, the app’s role is essentially to act as a

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  • North-West England ‘perfect’ growth area for tech startups

    North-West England is the “perfect breeding ground” for technology startups and scaleups because of its entrepreneurial climate, academic connections and growing investment activity, according to a new report from London Tech Week and the UK Tech Cluster Group.

    The North-west UK tech report is part of the 12 Clusters of Tech initiative, which was started by the two industry groups to map the UK’s tech landscape and explore current trends.

    It found the north-west region is home to six of the UK’s 14 digital unicorns (startups valued at over $1bn), and benefits substantially from connections to “feeder” universities that provide

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  • Robert Opp, chief digital officer, United Nations Development Programme

    The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted much greater interest in sustainability from the public and private sectors globally, but to build on this shift organisations will need to find ways of using digital technologies to create new business models and work to close the digital divide, says the chief digital officer of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

    As the UN’s development arm, the UNDP – which operates on an annual budget of five to six billion dollars and has around 17,000 employees across 170 territories or countries – works to eradicate poverty by promoting technical and investment cooperation among

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