Interview with Daniel Sloan, co-founder Future Tech, ‘RebuildTheChain’ – Building Blockchain and AI solutions

Interview Daniel Sloan co-founder Future Tech / RebuildTheChain building Blockchain and AI solutions

Daniel Sloan is a recognized leader in the blockchain/crypto space who started in the Information Technology industry in 1995 and has built multiple businesses during his 25-year career.  Daniel is co-founder leading Blockchain & AI Practice Manager at Future Tech / RebuildTheChain, Pandemic Management Platform

Interview focus

  1. an introduction from you – background, overview, education…
  2. Career background from Marines to recruitment and to founder and investor
  3. Companies from SAP to co-founder Future Tech / RebuildTheChain
  4. Technology Blockchain and AI
  5. What are your focus with your ventures
  6. As an investor what is your focus and
  7. Goals and focus
  8. With Covid-19 how can you look at this as a way to redesign our society
  9. Future vision

Quotes and Highlights

  • About technology and education. I really think you need to be educated in I.T to really be effective in today’s world. But when I got in I was a neophyte, I didn’t know anything about technology but I always had that interest in technology since my childhood. I was lucky that when I went to Boston I received 2-months training in IT before starting my career as a technical recruiter, it was very intense and I learnt a lot about different aspects of technology. In a way I was forced to have to learn technology to be a good recruiter. I then learnt that being savvy in technology is critical for most jobs today.”
  • First steps in blockchain. Since 2016 I have been working in the Blockchain arena, and bought my first Bitcoin in 2015. I believe Blockchain will have a significant impact on the World, and I am humbled and excited to be part of that.
  • Understanding blockchain. I am focused on helping companies understand the value that Blockchain can bring, and putting together a strategy that will enable them to integrate Blockchain, or build new custom applications to realize its value. Helping companies understand Blockchain, the best value proposition, and working to develop MVP/POC projects to demonstrate that value. We have assembled a world-class team and great partners that help us provide our clients with turn-key solutions.
  • About blockchain and AI.: demystifying the myths. With blockchain and AI, they are actual enhancements integration to technology, so when blockchain better works when it is integrated in existing systems as an enhanced functionality and makes those systems better.
  • About Covid-19 and new solutions. Accubits actually has a biotech research arm that has virologists and microbiologists, so when COVID-19 hit, they stopped all the research they were doing and jumped in on COVID-19. This is a major problem and maybe we can help, they said. And through this research they found a molecule that they thought could potentially be a key to a cure. Unfortunately they didn’t have the resources to move forward with that discovery so they open sourced it so other researchers could use it.
  • About RebuildTheChain. As the team at Accubits saw this disease was going to be hard to treat they understood that the only way to kind of have a tool that governments could use to effectively manage people, help with social distancing, create the ability for the people to see where hot spots were, etc. With this tool, which also features a health card you can get issued to prove you have passed the COVID-19 and are free. It is a truly helpful tech solution.
  • About Future Tech. Future Tech is a joint venture between my company, Accubits and Cybermate infotech and the focus of the company was basically combine all of our capabilities together to provide one tech solution to different problems efficiently.

    More Interviews

  • Interview With Dr William Wu, Founder of One4City And Innovation Insight Lead at Cisco – Eco City & Smart City Innovation

  • Interview With Anish Mohammed, Blockchain Researcher. Head of Research – IIS , SRH Berlin – Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics

  • Interview with Ben Goertzel Founder SingularityNet, OpenCog – Benevolent And Open AI, What Kind Of Evolutionary Mind Can We Engineer?

Daniel Sloan Biography

A recognized leader in the blockchain/cryptocurrency space, Daniel was one of a select few entrepreneurs who was invited to NASDAQ to speak about blockchain in early 2018.

A cofounder of BlockchainSaw, Daniel has worked closely with dozens of startups as a software development partner providing blockchain solutions. BlockchainSaw also invests in select projects, and Daniel provides mentorship to the founders and executive teams of those companies.

He is also cofounder of Future Tech, a company that provides blockchain, AI and machine learning solutions. Daniel is working closely with his partner Accubits in proving their pandemic management solution named “RebuildTheChain.” They are working with numerous governments around the globe to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and restore their ailing economies.

Once a Marine, always a Marine”…I have been out for 26 years, but the principles and lessons I learned as a Marine have helped me throughout my life. A Marine Corp veteran, a proud supporter of veterans globally.

About Future Tech

Future Tech is a software development company that specialize in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Transformation. We are also the Master Resellers for Accubits Pandemic Management solution called “Rebuilding The Chain” to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Future Tech is a joint-venture company that combines the capabilities of all the founding partners companies with the goal of being able to better service clients ranging from global enterprises to startups.

The team behind Fture Tech is: Jithin VG is founder of Accubits Technologies, an AI and Blockchain-focused solutions company. With a seed investment of $30,000 in 2016, and over a period of 18 months, he grew Accubits into a multimillion-dollar business. It was Jithin’s insight into the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the creation of the Rebuilding The Chain pandemic-management solution.

Krishna Kumar has transitioned from his role as President of Accubits USA, to take a full-time leadership role in Future Tech. He is a technologist with more than 25 years of Industry experience. Krishna is also cofounder of Mobile WeVoo, one of the world’s first Live Mobile Video Streaming and Video saving apps.

Chandra Sekhar Pattapurathi is Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Cybermate Infotek Limited, a 26-year-old publicly listed company. Chandra has been with Cybermate for the past 24-years. A member of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India since 1998, he has experience in finance, accounts, corporate strategy, financial management, taxation, secretarial and international trade practices.

About Blockchain Saw

Blockchain Saw is a Blockchain Development / Consulting company, and they Invest in select projects. The company has also curated a network of Funds and Investor Networks who have co-invested in their projects. Likewise, they have a number of Exchange and Banking Partners that enable them to offer Exchange listings on top tier Exchanges, and Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) for select projects.

Among their activities, they are working with both corporate clients and small/medium businesses & start-ups.

Their goal is to help their clients understand the Blockchain-based technology landscape, its value proposition, and its potential business implications.

Recently, they announced that they are the official partner of EDGE196, and handling the initial Vetting and 1st level Vetting for companies seeking Funding.


The UK is the 10th most vulnerable to cybercrime according to new research

Cyber Risk Index: the UK
Cyber Risk Index: the UK
Cyber Risk Index: the UK

The UK is the 10th most vulnerable to cybercrime according to new research

News Release

NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index suggests that cybercrime increases with wages and time spent online

May 27, 2020. UK residents are at a high risk of becoming victims of cybercrime, according to the new Cyber Risk Index by NordVPN. The UK has a high-income economy, advanced technological infrastructure, urbanization, and digitalization. However, these same factors increase the prevalence of cybercrime.

NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index covers 50 countries comprising 70% of the world population. The UK ranks as the 10th most vulnerable to cybercrime out of the analyzed countries.

NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index suggests that cybercrime increases with wages and time spent online
NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index suggests that cybercrime increases with wages and time spent online

What increases the cyber risk in the UK

The UK has landed in the high cyber risk bracket because of significant exposure to cyber threats. “Cybercriminals don’t look for victims, they look for opportunities — much like pickpockets in crowded places,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “Spend enough time riding in a packed bus, and a pickpocket will ‘accidentally’ bump into you. Same story online. Your cyber risk increases with every extra hour online.”

NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index shows that 95% of UK residents use the internet, and 76% have smartphones. “9 out of 10 shop online — that’s the 3rd highest score globally,” says Daniel Markuson. “The monthly wage in the UK is $1000 higher than the average of all analyzed countries. That’s why cybercriminals set their sights on the UK — it’s brimming with enticing targets who provide ample opportunities to strike.”

NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index suggests that cybercrime increases with wages and time spent online
NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index suggests that cybercrime increases with wages and time spent online

What decreases the cyber risk in the UK

The UK is the leader on the Global CyberSecurity Index, taking the 1st spot. The Global CyberSecurity Index is calculated based on legal, technical, organizational, and capacity building factors on a country level.

However, cybersecurity infrastructure has a limited impact on cybercrime. “Cyber risk management on a national level is obviously important, but it hardly makes a dent on its own. Online security has to be tackled individually. Understanding what increases the cyber risk — that time spent online and income are very important factors — is a profound step towards a safer digital life,” says Daniel Markuson.

That’s another reason why the UK isn’t higher on the most vulnerable list. Most of the UK population may be active internet users, but the time they spend online is limited. According to the Cyber Risk Index, residents of the UK spend 45 minutes less time online than the average of 50 analyzed countries.

CyberSecurity Index
CyberSecurity Index

The method behind the Cyber Risk Index

NordVPN created the Index in partnership with Statista, the world’s leading business data provider. The Index was created in three stages. First, Statista collected socio-economic, digital, cyber, and crime data from 50 selected countries. Second, NordVPN analyzed the data’s positive and negative impact on cyber risk and calculated the correlation between the first three data sets (socio-economic, digital, cyber) and the fourth (crime).

Finally, NordVPN trimmed the data down to the 14 most significant factors, used them to create the Index, and ranked the 50 countries according to the cyber risk they’re facing.

5 levels of risk
5 levels of risk, 

Source About NordVPN

NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider, used by over 12 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy. For more information:

Interview with Joey Lin, Founder of Illume Research – The Future of Education: EdTech, Mentorship and e-Learning

Joey Lin spent his student years in Singapore, from where he moved to the UK to study Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University. After that he was awarded a scholarship in Nuclear Physics at Cambridge University. He soon realized what he really wanted to do: helping other students with their doubts about studying abroad. His project, Illume Research, is precisely about that, a technologically advanced education company that offers individually tailored research projects, personalized mentorship, online study platform and teaching management system. As Joey Lin understands education, platforms like this are critical in helping new students overcome their fears while harnessing the potential of edtech, mentorship and e-learning in the education of the future.

Interview Focus

  1. Profile: Education, Professional background
  2. Education in China and in the UK
  3. About Illume Research
  4. Technology and education: EdTech
  5. Mentorship programs
  6. The potential of e-learning: challenges and opportunities
  7. Future vision

Quotes and Highlights

  • Differences and challenges for Chinese students in China and studying abroad. I spent 3 years doing research before starting Illume Research and I found that the most difficult challenge Chinese students face is their parents. Education in China is different to that of most Western countries. Research and Project-based learning (PBL)  is really important in Western education systems whereas it is not so much in China. So when it comes to Chinese students that want to go abroad, telling their parents about these concepts can become problematic.”
  • About mentorship in today’s education. Mentorship is something that I have been researching and thinking a lot about. When I was studying in Cambridge, I saw that the top students provided critical help to other students that were struggling in the beginning. This is more important when it comes to students coming from abroad. I had more experience in western educational systems so I wanted to help new students to get hold of the system and help them as much as possible. Mentors can help not only with academic problems but also provide spiritual and economic support to these students. That is something I wanted to leverage in my company.
  • With Illume Research we also help students that are about to decide their future. In China, where we have more presence, we support students aged 15 and 16 with English, with research techniques, and support them finding what they like and are passionate about.
  • About Illume Research. Illume Research is a technologically advanced education company that offers individually tailored research projects, personalized mentorship, online study platform and teaching management system. We aim to enlighten students, helping them to develop critical thinking, research skills, innovation capabilities, and academic leadership skills. At Illume, we challenge our students to discover their true academic passions as our world-class mentors provide guidance and academic support. We are committed to providing an elite international education that will help guide students into their future roles as professionals, researchers, and world leaders.
  • Advice for educators and students to embrace edtech and e-Learning. My first advice to educators is to never stop researching and learning new education techniques. When I first started my company, I spent lots of time on WeChat groups talking with educators, principals, students and experts and we talked about different education systems and how we could help new students

Joey Lin Biography

Joey Lin, a graduate from the University of Cambridge with more than 10 years overseas experience, has participated in the development of nuclear medicine in the ZHDR nuclear physics laboratory in Germany in 2014. He got the offer from the PhD program in the University of Cambridge and won a million-level international scholarship. Out of his study and concern of Chinese overseas students, Fu Lin proposed the Project-Based-Learning PTP jointly with the US Ivy Touch, became the very first tutor for the program and launched ‘the International Academics Age-Lowering Campaign’ in China.

About Illume Research

Illume Research is a technologically advanced education company that offers individually tailored research projects, personalized mentorship, online study platform and teaching management system. With over 800 years of educating expertise, Cambridge has helped us adopt and revamp the unique project-based learning style. We were inspired to develop the comprehensive and personalized education systems to guide our students towards academic excellence and success. Our founding team members hail from the world’s top universities including Cambridge University, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Science and Technology of China.

R&D Across Oxford-Cambridge Arc Offers Hope In An Age of Uncertainty

Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Northampton Growth Corridor
Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Northampton Growth Corridor
Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Northampton Growth Corridor

R&D Collaboration Across Oxford-Cambridge London Arc Offers Hope In An Age of Uncertainty

News release

While economists sought to rejig their models following the financial crisis, adjusting for a pandemic, the likelihood of a cure and a whole range of science and tech related variables in between presents a far greater challenge.

Delving into how the Oxford-Cambridge Arc is performing during the current climate, Sue Foxley, Research Director at Bidwells shares insight into how R&D collaboration in the arc offers hope after the crisis is over.

As scientists and medical professionals take principal role in the news, the interconnectedness of R&D is becoming clear. Open innovation in research has in recent years encouraged organisations, whether public or private to work symbiotically, with others. This has driven joint innovations between internationally renowned teaching hospitals or pharmaceuticals giants and start-ups often coming out of universities. Examples of this collaborative model are evident across today’s science and technology sectors.

No more so than across the Golden Triangle where London connects with the Oxford – Cambridge Arc. The Arc stretches across 2.8m acres, comprising just 5% of the UK landmass, but is home to 22% of the nation’s science park floorspace. Across the region researchers and high-tech manufacturers have taken leading roles in the UK’s COVID-19 response, including a presence in key initiatives including the government’s Vaccine Taskforce and the private sector led Ventilator Challenge UK.

Three COVID-19 Oxford University based projects were among the first to benefit from a share of £20 million in government investment to fund trials and develop manufacturing processes to produce a vaccine at a million-dose scale. The team at the Jenner Institute is starting clinical testing shortly. A further project will examine how existing treatments could be repurposed to treat coronavirus.

Cambridge is home to 9.1m sq ft of public and private sector science and business park floor space, with 51% of the commercial space occupied by life science activity. COVID-19 initiatives are already established across the market. These include a new testing laboratory is being established by AstraZeneca, GSK and Cambridge at the University’s Anne McLaren Building. This facility will be used for high throughput screening for COVID-19 testing and to explore the use of alternative chemical reagents for test kits in order to help overcome current supply shortages.

Meanwhile, the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering have adapted modelling tools originally designed to improve the efficiency of factories to manage the flow of patients at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Elsewhere at the University researchers in the department of Computer Science and Technology have developed a new app, which will be used to collect data to develop machine learning algorithms that could automatically detect whether a person is suffering from COVID-19 based on the sound of their voice, their breathing and coughing.

In Milton Keynes, the National Biosample Centre, which was opened in 2015 and is the largest facility in the UK for storing and processing biological samples, has been converted into the UK’s biggest COVID-19 testing centre. Meanwhile, underlining the collaborative approach to R&D Mologic Ltd, located at Bedford Technology Park, is also working on a COVID-19 point-of-need diagnostic tests with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and St George’s, University of London. Mologic was awarded circa £1 million as part of the UK government’s £46 million international coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and research funding package.

The VentilatorChallenge UK consortium which comprises Siemens, Airbus, Ford, a number of Formula 1 teams, many of which are located in or around Silverstone Park, and other high tech engineering businesses across the Arc, have received approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to start production of their Penlon Prima ES02 ventilator. The consortium aims to manufacture around 1,500 units a week. The consortium also plans to increase production of another existing design, the Smiths Group paraPAC, which is used for less acute patients.

Further joint initiatives are underway to the east of the Arc. Researchers at the University of East Anglia are working with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to trial a portable coronavirus kit which could be rolled out to test NHS staff in weeks. The trial is led by researchers in Oxford.

The role of the Arc will not be limited to the current immediate challenge, but also the long-term struggles presented by the disease and the UK’s ability to pre-empt future events. The value of the Arc’s cluster is underlined by post-lockdown letting of 35,000 sq ft at Cambridge Science Park to Amegen, the largest occupational transaction in Cambridge in the first quarter. The biotech company has developed a strategic partnership with Adaptive Biotechnologies in the combine expertise US to potentially prevent or treat COVID.

The Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty recently stated, ‘The world faces an unprecedented challenge in our efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and it is vital we harness our research capabilities to the fullest extent to limit the outbreak and protect life.” The UK science and technology sectors have risen to this challenge.

The embedded culture of collaboration and innovation in the science and technology sector has been fundamental to the advances made. The evidence across the Oxford – Cambridge Arc ranging from diagnostic testing, manufacturing processes and potential vaccines, illustrate the power of the cluster.

Figure 2: Overview of the Logic Framework in the Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Northampton Growth Corridor
Figure 2: Overview of the Logic Framework in the Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Northampton Growth Corridor

About Bidwells

Bidwells offer their clients unparalleled knowledge and access to the markets they serve – and these are some of the most interesting markets with the highest growth potential in the UK.

Much of their work is concentrated in the ‘Golden Triangle’ encompassed by Oxford, Cambridge and London. Key activity in this area is focused on the science & technology and education sectors. They also manage thousands of square miles of the UK’s countryside and coastline where they are helping clients to take advantage of opportunities in the high-performing areas of forestry, renewables, and agriculture.


Interview with Shannon Sagawe, Veteran Banker, Hostess at “Shot Caller” Podcast – Social Impact, Female Leadership, Investment

Interview with Shannon Sagawe – Social Impact, Female Leadership, Investment

Shannon Sagawe is a veteran private banker with a passion for innovation and innovators across all sectors. She made it her mission to help clients achieve their true goals, including those that are non-financially related. Shannon Sagawe married her deep knowledge of private banking with a passion for working with successful entrepreneurs; helping them manage, grow and preserve the wealth they have worked so hard to create. She recently started her own podcast “Shot Caller” hoping that her voice and fortunate status as an educated woman can help lift up those who come after and are all around her.

Interview Focus

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…

2. Career highlights

3. Gender leadership

4. Your company, organisation and focus

5. What are your work priorities

6. About Shot Caller podcast

7. The importance of financial independence

8. Goals and how do you see the future of work and the main trends in tech and society

9. With Covid-19 how can you look at this as a way to redesign our society

10. Future vision


  • About gender leadership and opportunities. In America, as a woman I feel you have a better chance to become important and to grow as a woman than in other parts of the world. It doesn’t really matter if you are a woman, a man or your cultural background because they are very business oriented and all statistics show that the more diversity and more equally a company is, the better they perform. In the UK, it is similar as it is in America. Women are still a minority in the financial industry, especially at the top layers of management.
  • Citiesabc is a good way to bring together investors, governments and businesses to actually drive innovation and push the right buttons to make something different. The financial industry is slowly changing to a more sustainable and investment for good where all players involved get benefited, including the lower levels.
  • Environmental investment overview. Even though this concept has been there for a while, it was very lax ten years ago, there were only some guidelines like “do not invest on firearms, chemicals, etc” but it was a few years ago when investment managers from firms really started to try to make a difference and take ESG to the next level and build their portfolios around this idea. One of those assets where many investment firms are heavily investing (kind of an investment activism) is in palm oil but doing so at a global level is complicated. Because, in my experience, not all companies around the world are that responsible. In the case of palm oil, for example, there are investments coming from for example China that don’t care about sustainability and provide better deals for farmers.
  • The problem in America is that there is a fourth power, which is the lobbies which means that there are corporates that have the power to raise presidents or topple governments. This is kind of a vulnerability in the American democracy.
  • The corporate world in America is so powerful and so adaptable that they are able to transition from one sector to another. For example, the main investors behind alternative meat are actually the main meat producers. Corporates care very little about ethics when there are business to make. This is important to highlight because people should be more educated and they should know more about how the corporate world works and nothing is exactly what it seems.
  • Is Asia going to take over financially and economically America? Definitely Asia is growing really fast. When I was working in finance in America they were looking to Asia as the next big thing. One of the things they did better and faster than in the West is in the Fintech space. Many new startups and fintech companies joined efforts and provided e-commerce, payments and other financial services in one offering. Amazon and Facebook are now trying to catch up but they are coming a bit late.
  • About Shot Caller. Inspirational podcast for giving advice to champion women. Interviews with entrepreneurs, young people, etc.The other part of the project is to provide financial aid and advice to women through education and tips to empower women in their financial independence. We are working on courses to do that.
  • There are statistics that say that women abdicate their long term investment plans to men. That is because of our cultural background and the way education is provided. I want to address that, I want women to control their financial world and be independent in their financial decisions. Good investment decisions can make a huge difference in wealth of a person. And this is problematic because despite what we can guess, millennial women are actually worse than other generations in giving up their financial long term plans.
  • We need to check the companies we are investing in to make sure that they are responsible and operate sustainably and leverage equality too. Doing that research before investing is really important and powerful to move towards a more equal world.

Shannon Sagawe Biography

Shannon Sagawe’s path to banking and the venture capital world started with an LA investment bank, working on new issues. Shannon Sagawe was then recruited by Solomon Smith Barney into their investment management program, ultimately focusing on discretionary portfolio management. Living in the Pacific Northwest during the late 1990’s, Shannon Sagawe developed a passion for innovation and the venture capitalists funding them, in turn nurturing a like minded entrepreneurial clientele.

In 2001Shannon Sagawe was transferred to London to help start the London Citigroup Smith Barney office bringing a deep knowledge of our third party discretionary mandate program. Shannon Sagawe spent the next 7 years managing assets for HNW, Ultra HNW and institutions.

In 2008 Shannon Sagawe was recruited by Advanced Equities to join their newly opened London office, raising late stage venture funds for portfolio companies backed by some of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capitalists. Fulfilling her passion for venture capital and in-spite of the economic tsunami circling, she managed to fund several cutting edge companies in the high and clean tech industries. (Amyris-AMRS, Bloom Energy, Luxtera, Fisker Automotive)

Shannon Sagawe is a mother of three, a fierce animal lover, protector and advocate for all beings who may not always be able to fight for themselves. Shannon Sagawe hopes to use her voice and fortunate status as an educated woman to help lift up those who come after and are all around her.

About Shot Caller Podcast

A SHOT CALLER is someone who understands the power of her financial decisions. She understands that when she is truly empowered she will not only positively impact herself and her family but also her community. Like the butterfly effect in chaos theory, a small change in one state can have a large, nonlinear change on a global scale. A SHOT CALLER has choices and a voice.

This podcast is a call to financial arms for all women and men who recognize the urgent need to empower women of all ages to take a more active role in their personal, long-term financial planning.

Links / sources

More Interviews


Interview With Dr William Wu, Founder of One4City And Innovation Insight Lead at Cisco – Eco City & Smart City Innovation

Dr William Wu, founder of One4City and Innovation Insight Lead at Cisco Innovation EMEAR, is the new guest in this interview series hosted by citiesabc founder Dinis Guarda. Both experts talk in-depth about trending topics in the eco city and smart city space, including new emerging technologies, the need for a holistic and international approach and collaboration between all players involved. Likewise, Dr William Wu tells us more about his new project, One4City, a comprehensive and evolving digital portal for a one-stop shop for UK Smart City solutions.

Interview Focus

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Career highlights
3. Eco cities: history and definition
4. Eco cities: Urban planning and development
5. The Shift to Smart Cities
6. One4City Overview: vision, focus and goals
7. The main trends in tech for cities and society
8. 5G, AI, IoT & big data analytics in Smart Cities
9. With Covid-19 how can you look at this as a way to redesign our society
10. Future vision

Quotes and Highlights

· I started my career right after I finished my Master in the Imperial College London. I later did my PhD on eco cities.

· The concept of ecological sustainability cities as a central element for master planning cities.

· How to look at urbanisation and quality of lives – framework for cities, KPIs… carbon zero approaches.

· Green cities – eco cities all over the world – they put sustainability in the centre.

· About ecological cities. The traditional way to do city planning is to follow the rules: the land is defined by master plans. This piece of land is for industry, etc. What is different about ecological planning is taking a different approach and taking a holistic look at how things are planned to be focused on sustainability and social impact. Everything matters in this approach: from the layouts of the streets, buildings, common areas, etc. The foundational point is sustainability, everything is built around sustainability and sustainable development.

· To do so, we need to create new KPIs and approaches that take these sustainable goals as the centre. It is about processes and flows that are scalable and realistic.

· Building a green city doesn’t follow a linear plan but everything within development in the city has to be taken into consideration. It created a bit of confusion in the beginning as it made the city planning more complex but innovation and research is helping with the follow-up once the plans have been laid.

· There has been a shift from eco-cities to smart cities. 5 years ago eco-cities were the big buzz, now it is all about smart cities. Using sustainability as the main point, it makes city planning and follow-up development very difficult, almost impossible so that is why they have been shifting to smart cities. Smart cities also take sustainability and ecology as one of the foundations, but not the only one. They are still needed but smart cities are much broader than only creating sustainable cities. One reason is because focusing on technology, sustainability is easier achieved.

· As of now, there are ISO standards right now for smart cities. That standard is relatively new and there are many countries involved in creating that standard, including China, Canada or the UK. One of the main problems they face is extracting relevant data for what smart cities really mean. That is why we need benchmarks, projects as citiesabc to get that valuable data to create standards that can be applied everywhere in the world.

· Challenges: every city is different so their needs are also different. I found that smart cities are being built using different approaches across the world. In China, for example, the government is really ambitious. They don’t only want to build smart cities, but also building smart schools, hospitals, and almost in every important part of the city. It is more ambitious than in other countries. It is a holistic approach to building solutions.

· Other challenges: scalability. It is not only about building a system that works now but it can be upgraded and escalated in the future.

· Some of the pillars of smart cities are:

(1) AI & big data analytics for potato disease monitoring and prevention

(2) Digitisation of culture heritage & museum collections

(3) Integrated health & social care digital collaboration and service design

(4) 5G rural area investment and impact evaluation of precision farming and Agritech

(5) Footfall analytics and automated surveillance in in-door venues.

· One4City Project. We want to overcome these challenges, so we have created a vertical model that integrates all the solutions that have been deployed in different parts of the world through data, researches, technologies deployed, etc. We have taken those solutions and categorized them so they can be easily understood and provide valuable insights. What we ultimately want is to help and foster smart city business models in different places. In my opinion, what we want to provide is the benefits of doing so by giving evidence, facts.

· About China. The speed of the development in the Chinese market is faster than anywhere in the world. The chinese government is investing heavily in business solutions, technology adoptions, companies, etc. Anywhere else, fragmentation is one of the main differences between China and the rest of the world. Out of China, for example in the UK, most investment comes from the private sector so it is really hard to get investment for smart city solutions in rural areas because the return on investment always looks really low.

· Privacy and surveillance. Footfall analytics and automated surveillance in in-door venues. Surveillance is actually important for cities as it improves security throughout the cities and collects data to create patterns and data that can be used to protect the people in different ways.

· Digital privacy, differences between China and the world. Digital privacy is a huge issue. Europe’s GDP was a huge step forward towards that. There are red lines where technology can go and I believe that also technology can help also with that. In China, the approach to digital privacy is different given our history and traditional background. Today, technology is involved greatly in people’s lives. For example, there are restaurants that only take orders through apps. So people give away their privacy for convenience and the value that provides the digital transformation. Overall, people in China aren’t that concerned about digital privacy and one of the reasons is lack of literacy. China is still a developing country and smartphone widespread adoption only took place some years ago.

· COVID-19 has already changed everybody’s lives. Things that have brought the coronavirus pandemic is social distancing, remote working so it has transformed a bit our culture and businesses by breaking down walls. From my perspective and through our company, what we want is to create links between the UK, China and the rest of the world and using our platform to help cities and citizens.

· Healthy agent solutions and sector – solutions based on User experience.

· Final takeaway: start with small – design programs and ways to create a huge impact.

Dr William Wu biography

Dr William Wu is an innovative thinker and technology evangelist with 10+ year experience of leading, executing and managing innovation programs, engaging with public, private and academic stakeholders to accelerate new business opportunities. Founder of One4City and the Innovation Insight Lead at Cisco Innovation EMEAR. Dr William Wu has experience in delivering more than 20 multi-million digital & innovation projects across transport, energy, environment, healthcare & social care, agriculture, and pharmaceutical sectors. Experience of creating an incubation/ innovation centre from scratch. Focus on business model innovation, incubation, and early stage investment.

William Wu has an in-depth knowledge of smart city planning, autonomous vehicle test beds & HMI, precision farming, integrated health and social care, and urban resilience. Connected to wide networks across UK local governments, incumbents, SMEs and universities. He is the founder of One4City – a comprehensive and evolving digital portal for a one-stop shop for UK Smart City solutions, demonstrating realistic, significant potential especially for capitalising the expanding Chinese market.


More Interviews

Interview With Matthieu Merchadou Melki, Founder of Smart Florida And Creator of Miami Beta City

Matthieu Merchadou Melki is the new guest in this interview. Hosted by Dinis Guarda, both experts go through smart city developments today, especially in Florida, where Matthieu is building smart city solutions through his Miami Beta City project and Smart Florida. He is recognised as an impact Entrepreneur, Blockchain Evangelist and expert in the areas of Digital transformation, Logistics, Real Estate and Smart Cities.

Interview Focus

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Career highlights
3. Your company, organisation and focus
4. What are your work priorities
5. About Blockchain and its impact
6. Defining Smart City
7. Smart Florida. How it started and collaborations between governments and companies
8. Explaining the Miami Beta City project
9. The NOOSphere solution
10. Future vision

Quotes and highlights from the interview

· Graduated in Law (Sorbonne) and started working in the financial industry With BNP Paribas He moved to the USA in 1998 where he worked at Paine Webber. He then became a broker at the age of 23. Back in Europe I worked for UBS in Paris on Property. He wanted to do the same he was doing in UBS but on his own.

· He saw an opportunity to improve Miami as he saw the potential the city had to become an important tech hub (Focused on downtown Miami where Bernard Arnaud and Swire Group were investing). He saw a gap between downtown Miami and the shore line where the price differential was on three times and created Winwood Fund. Core to his strategy was European style community based property development .

· The differences between Europe, France and the US, Florida. In France we have a more collective mind when it comes to communal areas within the cities and it extrapolates to business and human relationships too. In the US it is very different, the idea is completely opposite. Individuals are above common good within the city boundaries, for example.

· About blockchain. I see blockchain as the new internet. The potential of blockchain technologies can bring not only data insights but give value to businesses, citizens and governments. Blockchain is the foundation that would allow us to move to a new era of collaboration and the use of technology.

· Finance and blockchain are very related. Blockchain in fact powers a new decentralized finance with cryptocurrencies and tokenisation. Tokens are a new way for exchanging value and that is one of the mantras of finance.

· About blockchain and smart city in Miami. We are approaching our work towards making Miami a smart city from a 3-way perspective: supply chain, real states and healthcare. We are trying to bring the tokenisation concept to these three aspects and that includes from paying taxes, etc. In the real states space, for example, we are working on solutions through tokenisation related to bringing liquidity to an industry that does not always have access to it.

· What is smart Florida. It started in 2017 with Miami Beta City. The idea of this project is to bring closer industries and citizens and work together more efficiently. The creation of an environment of a beta testing solution that creates harmony between citizens, officials and industries. That beta test consisted in creating simulations to develop solutions to, for example, lowering pollution created by traffic. Our approach was to see the city as an organism where all systems had to work together, efficiently and taking into consideration all players involved, and, of course, through digital means.

· I carried this project to the Florida blockchain foundation and all the testing too. So we already had the basics for it, including blockchain solutions for supply chain logistics, transport and industries. This led to the creation of Smart Florida.

· Relationships with city officials, universities, businesses, etc. It was very challenging in the beginning. We went through many workshops, educational events, with the city council and different departments. We started to work in supply chain logistics and we presented the different solutions we were working on. Companies and governments understand the need to make this supply chain logistic more efficient and after they were more open to the solutions we provided.

· We now see a shift from competition to collaboration to build partnerships and work together in improving certain common areas that affect multiple industries with many businesses involved, like infrastructure or logistics. Companies and governments understand this need and they are working together. My project after all is about creating a sense of collectivity and common goals.

· A Smart City for me is a community of companies and individuals that are willing to work in the same space. And of course, powered by digital solutions. In a smart city, data is critical to create better efficiencies. I have seen that in Miami, where the port and the airport are already using the solutions we created.

· The NOOSphere solution through different technologies like AI, IoT, blockchain, building information monitoring, machine learning, sensors etc all of them working together to create a digital and efficient solution. As it uses blockchain and smart contract technology, all parties (companies) can rely on it and automate certain common issues that normally take a lot of time and stress.

· About COVID-19. Blockchain could have help with this pandemic. For example, a blockchain powered supply chain of healthcare resources. In fact, the connectivity part is really missing in this pandemic. Blockchain could’ve helped with that as well as improving the efficiency of different industries and the disruption they have experienced in the global supply chain.Collaboration and community based on all business down 50% and in order to survive “one community one goal” as Miami Daid did. We need to organise as citizens to ensure governments want tot take over our data and privacy.  Federated councils and business agencies.

Matthieu Merchadou Melki Biography

Since his arrival to Miami as a financial advisor for Paine Webber in 1998, Matthieu Merchadou Melki has been excited by the city’s potential to become one of the premier international cities in the world.

After years in real estate in Europe and Miami redeveloping properties Matthieu Merchadou Melki decided to change path in his career driven by the realization of the amount of disruption that was coming.

Matthieu Merchadou Melki decided to invest his energy in something impactful for the city that could become a catalyst of this change using Miami Dade potential transformation in it’s 2 economic engines. Matthieu Merchadou Melki created “Noos labs” a coworking space for urban tech for the real estate and logistic sector (

Noos labs got awarded the keys of Miami Dade County by the Miami Dade Beacon Council (the economic development partnership of Miami Dade ) and Mayor Gimenez for the “Miami Beta City” concept. A 10 year plan to make Miami Metropolis a smart city (see in Noos labs description).

The Florida Blockchain Foundation came about in early 2019. As Executive Director and Founder of the Florida Blockchain Foundation Matthieu helped make Florida a Tech hub using Blockchain technologies as an infrastructure layer using Miami as a testbed for solutions for the supply chain logistics and real estate industries. The Foundation is helping to build a regional collaborative platform where digital assets and digital models of the main logistics hub and shipments are created and critical information on status and location can be stored on distributed ledgers to create smart contracts.

Smart Florida – Florida Blockchain Foundation

Smart City Florida is a foundation committed to promote blockchain technology as an infrastructure layer between companies to exchange value and datas. The Foundation believes that a regional development per industry will benefit the State of Florida in terms of efficiency and jobs creations; starting with the Supply Chain sector which not only is the driver of South Florida’s economy but also one of the most promising uses of distributed ledger technologies. Miami being one of the largest freight hubs in the USA serving North America, the Caribbean market, South America and now far east and Asia it’s a natural fit for the sector. The Foundation has made partnerships with large organizations like Miami Dade Beacon Council, Florida Custom Brokers and Freight forwarders association, BITA (Blockchain Alliance for Transportation) and is organizing workshops on digital transformation to educate companies on how the technology can be implemented (coupled with IOT, AI, machine learning) and become an infrastructure layer for the entire sector.

The effort will be duplicated in Real Estate and Health Care working with the largest stakeholders to create the protocols and enrolling companies through workshops series after having assessed the needs, costs and benefits of the technology.


NOOS Labs stands for collective mind in Greek. “The Beta City” project is a 10 year plan to transform the city using technologies in the sectors that impact the city the most : real estate and logistics. By creating a collaborative infrastructure platform (The “Noospshere”, a motherboard financed by the main stakeholders in each industry) and using technologies such as BIM, Drones,AR/VR and natural user interfaces,we can build the city of the future based on the principle of security, privacy, sustainability, upgradability and resilience using blockchain technologies as a new infrastructure layer. Noos Labs got awarded the Keys of Miami Dade County by Mayor Gimenez in 2018.

Links and sources of information

Real Estate and Innovative Tech: A Love Story

Human Unlimited Tech-4-good Foundation Accelerating Developing Countries by UNL, Akoin, Venturerock

UNL, Akoin and Venturerock Team Up to Launch Human Unlimited #tech4good Foundation
UNL, Akoin and Venturerock Team Up to Launch Human Unlimited #tech4good Foundation
UNL, Akoin and Venturerock Team Up to Launch Human Unlimited #tech4good Foundation

Human Unlimited Tech-4-good Foundation Accelerating Developing Countries by UNL, Akoin, Venturerock

News Release

Human Unlimited is a #tech-4-good foundation supporting and accelerating initiatives and ventures that leverage technology to transform and elevate human reality within developing countries. ​This project is an UNL, Akoin and Venturerock initiative that Team Up to Launch Human Unlimited #tech4good Foundation

Global tech companies UNL, Akoin and Venturerock have teamed up to launch Human Unlimited foundation to use #tech4good and fuel the fight against COVID-19, future pandemics and disasters.

UNL, Akoin and Venturerock Team Up to Launch Human Unlimited #tech4good Foundation

The foundation supports and accelerates initiatives and ventures that leverage technology as a catalyst to transform and elevate human reality within developing regions, starting with Africa, India and Southeast Asia. “Our focus is set on accelerating long-term tech solutions for battling the first, second and third waves of the virus, to bring back balance post COVID-19 and being ready for a fast, universal response when future disasters strike,” says Xander van der Heijden, CEO of UNL.

The human and economic costs of COVID-19 are projected to be most devastating for developing countries which lack the infrastructure to contain the spread and provide health security. In the short term, Human Unlimited is launching the Human Care app and the Human Frequency music relief campaign to empower people in developing countries to protect themselves and their communities.

“People suffering from COVID-19 and other pandemics need an ongoing end-to-end system to aggressively fight these human battles,” said Akon. “We created HUMAN CARE to map those in need of support during these trying times. Our HUMAN FREQUENCY music and awareness platform was built to raise the necessary funds to bring real relief to those directly in need,” – Akon

UNL, Akoin and Venturerock Team Up to Launch Human Unlimited #tech4good Foundation
Human Unlimited #tech4good Foundation initiative UNL, Akoin and Venturerock Team Up to Launch 

An estimated 4 billion people globally are unaddressed, making vital services like emergency help inaccessible and patients hard to reach. Powered by UNL’s smart addressing infrastructure, Human Care gives universal addresses to people anywhere to enable access to essential services like emergency and health responses, and navigation to bring people in need to important hubs, such as hospitals and relief centers, faster. The application promotes social responsibility practices through tools for self-identifying and self-monitoring symptoms, and encourages collaboration between people and local governments, contributing to safer public environments.

In future releases, Human Care will be introducing an incentive mechanism to stimulate positive behavior and self-monitoring. Powered by Akon’s Akoin, the application will be rewarding users for contributing their data and insights about new and developing cases, starting with Africa.

Through Human Care, individuals who have been affected by COVID-19 can self-identify in need, request relief in the form of food, medical supplies and other essentials and get it delivered even to the most remote locations in Africa, India and SEA.

Alongside the application, Human Unlimited is launching the Human Frequency campaign, a rolling series of at-home musical events to unite, invite and heal with the lyrics, beats and melodies of some of the world’s most-recognized musicians and new international artists, led by Akon. Funds raised during the Human Frequency series will go to COVID-19 relief for the ones identified in need via the Human Care app and to support the acceleration of new #tech4good solutions.

Human Unlimited is not doing this alone. The #tech4good foundation has already partnered with global companies, organizations and charities, including HERE Technologies, UN Blockchain Commission, PVBLIC Foundation, WeGiveToCare – Red Cross, Akoin Foundation and the People’s Prize.

About Human Unlimited

Human Unlimited is a #tech4good foundation supporting and accelerating initiatives and ventures that use technology as a catalyst to transform and elevate human reality within developing countries.

Learn more at

About UNL

UNL is a smart addressing platform that provides any location with a unique, universal location ID. Adding a programmable layer to real-life locations, UNL is building the Internet of Places, serving as an infrastructure for location-based economy. Powering services from ecommerce, delivery to smart city and autonomous solutions. Making any location a point of sale, delivery and payment.

Learn more at

About Akoin

Akoin is a blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency designed to fuel rising entrepreneurs in Africa and beyond. Akoin’s mission is to unlock the potential of the world’s largest growing economy by creating revenue-generating opportunities and stimulating innovation, entrepreneurship, economic stability, and growth across Africa and other lean economies. More here Akon To Build a Futurist Crypto Blockchain City in Senegal

Learn more at

About Venturerock

Venturerock is a digital venture capital platform and ecosystem of founders, backers and venture builders. Venturerock has designed a new investment protocol – eliminating the middleman and delivering added value throughout the venture’s lifecycle.

Learn more at

Links and platform

Interview With Anish Mohammed, Blockchain Researcher. Head of Research – IIS , SRH Berlin – Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics

Anish Mohammed, a technologist and blockchain researcher and Head of Research – IIS , SRH Berlin is the main guest in this new series interview by Dinis Guarda called:  Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics Blockchain Researcher. 

Intro Anish Mohammed

Technologist with a multidisciplinary background who is passionate about technology. Over the years have been involved in architecting/building micropayments, insurance hubs, big data platforms for banking among other things. Have worked as researcher in security/cryptography both in industry and academia, with deep expertise in Blockchain and Cryptography. Currently focusing on Blockchain and Cryptoeconomics.

Anish Mohammed is also the co-founder of Ethics Net – Ethics of AI, co – founder of Poligon Protocol and Advisory Board Member of the Institute for ethics and emerging technologies Inc.

Interview focus

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Career highlights
3. Your work history
4. Blockchain inception and status of the technology
5. AI and status
6. Blockchain and AI relationship
7. AI and ethics
8. AI challenges and development
9. AI Singularity
10. What are your work priorities at the moment
11. With Covid-19 how can you look at this as a way to redesign our society
12. Future vision

Quotes And Highlights

  • In my time at the Singularity University I had the opportunity to collaborate with top-notch experts in AI and be part of multiple projects. It gave me the chance to learn and work with top people in the industry. They helped me grow as a technologist.
  • About the singularity concept. I really think singularity in AI will happen sooner rather than later, likely in 25 or 30 years. The impact of it is still unknown and will be interesting to watch and study the new relationship that will be created between humans and these advanced AI.
  • There has been so much progress in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry in the last few years. However we have real challenges today in the blockchain space. All these progress comes with risks and challenges that need to be addressed and we need to proceed with caution. People need to understand what the DeFi protocol really means. A decentralized system means that that system is open and as such new cybersecurity issues show up. It is here where the focus should be put now. We can avoid further complications by doing simulations before going real with blockchain technology.
  • Most of the software and technology in cloud, blockchain, etc are open source. What open source allows to do is a collaborative project between people all around the world. In the blockchain space I hope to happen is a collaboration between players to create functional blockchain systems with strict boundaries about what it is allowed and whatnot.
  • Example of Cathedrals and bazaars and the history cycle paradigm: people build systems (castles) that are safe and protected with a set of rules and the it comes innovation that breaks many things apart so people need to rebuild again their castles with the innovative ideas and technologies that have disrupted the old system. Blockchain is going through a similar process.
  • Technology goes really fast but government officials aren’t so much so most of the time they can’t keep up. They need to take a look at things in-depth and normally they take the stance of the “catastrophic failure” when regulating things as data, emerging technologies, innovation, etc
  • There was a shift in technology regulation in 2016 with Brexit and other major geopolitical issues. The same is happening now with COVID-19.
  • People say Data is new oil. And as the same as oil, it is complicated to reach agreements between governments to regulate data and other technologies that gather data. A good example is oil in fact. Oil can be found underground anywhere in the world and sometimes it is shared between nations so both of them fight to get the rights to extract it and commercialize it.
  • Is there a way to better allocate resources, technology and having better equality around the world? The question is there is but not at the moment, and mostly because there are still a bunch of people in seats of power in governments and companies that don’t want that to happen. They use their massive resources to keep themselves in power and in control of these resources.
  • About ethics on AI. The questions around AI are still open and simulations help developers to see different outcomes when applying AI algorithms. That helps us overcome different challenges that arise in AI and ethics, especially because AI is mostly applied to create biases from people and organize them regarding their characteristics. Creating an AI that follows ethical paradigms is our major challenge.
  • Blockchain and AI are our best tools in fact to create frameworks to promote business and education intelligence across the world.
  • About his current projects and work.
  • The world after COVID-19 will be much different from the world we left before. Supply chains are going to be completely redesigned due to this pandemic, including major industries in between like manufacturing, transports, etc. COVID-19’s impact will be more noticeable in global supply chains for every sector -healthcare, finances,etc and in global markets. Resources will be differently allocated after this crisis in the mid and long term after the crisis.
  • COVID-19 is also changing our mindsets regarding access and use of technology to communicate, work and socialize. It highlights the potential opportunities of technology to break the physical boundaries of the real world and the possibility to stay together through the digital world.

Anish Mohammed Biography

Anish Mohammed is an accomplished multi disciplinarian who has worked as a medical doctor, bioinformatician, strategy consultant and cryptographer. He has spent half his career researching cryptographic algorithms and protocols at three different research groups. He has also worked as a strategy consultant for Accenture and Capgemini. He is one of the founding members of the UK Digital Currency Association . His research interests include AI and Ethics of AI, and he is also a member of the advisory board of the Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies. These days he more focussed on projects that involve security vs scalability vs consensus of Blockchain and using smart contracts for AI safety. He also advices various start ups including Adjoint, Arteia, Collider-X, Privacy Shell, Ripple Labs, Hyperloop Transport Technologies , EA Ventures, IEET and Chain of Things.He is currently the chief science officer for Blockchainsmokers and Dean of Blockchain technologies at Exosphere Academy.

Anish Mohammed has been working in the security and cryptography area for the past 18 years, as a researcher and as a consultant. Over the past few years he has become more involved in the Blockchain ecosystem as one of the founding members of UKDCA . He has advised and worked for various banks and financial institutions including AIB, HSBC, Lloyds and Zurich. He is also on the advisory board for Adjoint, Arteia, Hyper-loop Transport Technologies, Privacy Shell, Ripple Labs and Chain of Things. These days he more focussed on projects that involve security vs scalability vs consensus of Blockchain and using smart contracts for AI safety. He is a regular speaker and contributor in the areas of AI, cybersecurity, fin-tech and blockchain.


Of the various areas of interests, some of the ideas that originate end up being projects. These are true in terms of topics such as UAV/Robotics, Ethics of AI etc

OpenEth is a machine ethics research company established for public benefit. They are creating the first dataset for machine ethics, alongside various co-creation tools necessary to curate and develop it.

Machine Intelligence requires large, well-documented datasets for it to be trained upon. Datasets often matter more than algorithms per se, though they rarely get credit for the value that they can create. Datasets such as Fei-Fei Li’s ImageNet has enabled the recent expansion in capability of machine intelligence in powerful ways that otherwise would be impossible.

They want to do the same for the space of ethics; a living dataset that can expand in scope and nuance over time, and empower socially-aware thinking machines for generations to come.

Computational Ethics is a revolutionary new field of AI and computer science research. Obol is a revolutionary protocol layer for ethics powered by blockchain-derived technologies.


The danger of drones not sticking to regulations have been a challenge that has been recently in the news. An attempt is being made to see if it would be possible to produce notification when regulation is breached. The plan is to use ArduPilotMega and use a modified version Arducopter so geofencing could be achieved in various areas and a GSM interface is going to be used communicate to the ground monitoring station. The modification of flight controller and ground controller in future would involve the ability to verify authenticity of the geofencing and update the geofencing over the air using GPRS/3G/433 MHz link and usage of TPM to verify the changes to the code applied.


The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) is a “technoprogressive think tank”​ that seeks to contribute to understanding of the likely impact of emerging technologies on individuals and societies by “promoting and publicizing the work of thinkers who examine the social implications of scientific and technological advance”. It was founded by philosopher Nick Bostrom and bioethicist James Hughes

Sources / links

UK Future Fund launches to high-growth Innovation British businesses

Future and tech and cities, images by citiesbac
Future and tech and cities, images by citiesbac
Future and tech and cities, images by citiesbac

UK Future Fund launches to high-growth Innovation British businesses

The government’s £500 million Future Fund opens for applications today (Wednesday 20 May) with innovative and high-growth British businesses able to secure investment to help them through the Coronavirus outbreak.

News Release
20 May 2020, From: HM UK Treasury

UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.

The government has made an initial £250 million available for investment through the scheme and will consider increasing this if needed.

Private investors – potentially including venture capital funds, angel investors and those backed by regional funds – will at least match the government investment in these companies.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

Our start-ups and innovative firms are one of our great economic strengths, and they will help spur our recovery from the pandemic.

The Future Fund will support firms across the UK to get through the pandemic by stimulating investment, so that they can continue to break new ground in technology and innovation.

Match fund investors will be encouraged to sign the Treasury’s Investing in Women Code, which commits firms to improving female entrepreneurs’ access to tools, resources and finance. The Future Fund is a signatory of this.

The government will also amend the rules of the Enterprise Investment Scheme, which provides tax relief to investors in high growth firms, to protect Future Fund investors from losing relief on their previous investments made prior to any investment through the Future Fund.

The Fund will be open until September and is delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.

In addition to the Future Fund, Ministers have allocated £40 million through the Fast Start Competition to drive forward new technological advances, and to support innovative start-ups, including a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers’ market platform. This will give companies a vital boost, fast-tracking the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis.

Latest figures on the UK-wide government support schemes for businesses and workers can be found here.

Oliver Dowden Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said:

The UK is a global tech and creative hub. We are an unashamedly pro-tech government and are supporting high-growth businesses through this challenging period so they can prosper and succeed.

The tech sector has played a crucial role throughout the pandemic and these innovative firms will be key to driving growth through our recovery.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

“Britain is an innovation powerhouse and helping our cutting-edge companies of the future get the cash they need during this difficult time is a vital part of getting the UK economy up and running again.”

UK Future Fund
UK Future Fund


  • The Future Fund is open to UK-based firms, that have previously raised at least £250,000 in equity investment from third parties in the last 5 years.
  • They will also need to have investors to provide funding to be matched by the government, and have half or more of their employees based in the UK or generate at least half of their revenue through UK sales. The loans will convert to equity if not repaid.
  • Companies can check they meet the criteria for funding by going to the British Business Bank website. If they have secured private match funding, one of their investors can register online to start the application process.

Responses from business groups and industry

Michael Moore, Director General of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) said:

The Future Fund is hugely significant and very welcome. For many venture capital-backed businesses it will build the bridge from today’s severe challenges to the period of recovery, enabling them to survive then thrive.

The post-COVID economy is likely to look very different to today’s. The global leadership of venture capital-backed companies in the digital, high technology and life science parts of the UK economy will be critical to the UK’s success and this government support will help them to do that.

We anticipate strong demand for this funding and we will continue to work with the government to ensure that there is enough to achieve the objective of sustaining this strategically-important sector.

Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance, commented:

The Future Fund is a welcome step to support our start-up and scale-up economy, and a much-needed intervention from government to back high-growth businesses. Many FinTech companies have been unable to access the other loan schemes available, so this will provide vital funds to firms in the sector.

The UK has a reputation as a global FinTech leader and we must make sure this remains the case. We have seen some incredible transformation of financial services from the FinTech sector over the last decade and it will play a key role in our country’s economic recovery. In addition, the opportunity to export more of these products and services to overseas markets will showcase the unique innovation the UK has built and the role Fintech can play.

Julian David, CEO of TechUK commented:

The Future Fund is a strong statement of intent from the UK Government on the value of innovative companies and their importance, not only now, but for the strategic interests of the UK’s economic future.

I’m pleased to see that the government has worked to expand the scope of the scheme to make it more inclusive and accessible. It is crucial that as we rebuild our economy and look to the future, we ensure everyone is able to benefit equally. techUK will continue to work with government, our members and the tech community to ensure we build a future ready for what comes next.

Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech Nation said:

We are delighted to see that the Future Fund is now open for applications and are grateful for HMT’s work over the past few weeks to ensure that as many businesses as possible can access the liquidity they need. This is an important step to provide investment to pre-profit, pre-revenue businesses with a cash injection to get them through these challenging times.

Irene Graham, CEO of the ScaleUp Institute said:

The Future Fund is an important initiative and takes us another step forward in meeting the needs of the UK’s scaleups at this time, who employ 3.5m people across all industry sectors and regions. We welcome the streamlined and investor-led process which will enable swift execution, getting money out as quickly as possible across the country. This is part of a suite of financial solutions needed for scaleups and we welcome the fact the government will continue to keep it under review as its take up develops.

Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) said:

UK Business Angels Association congratulates the Government for bringing this important initiative so rapidly into the market. The Future Fund responds to the needs of innovating growth focused businesses that may have had investment from angel investors in their early growth stages and now have the capability to benefit from the support of a Convertible Loan alongside VC investment.

This will bring vital further finance to enable them to address the impact of the Covid 19 crisis and ensure their continuing ability to build and scale their business.

We recognise that many equity backed small businesses right across the UK are developing vital innovative products and services and that have the capacity to help the growth of our economy in the months ahead as we emerge into economic recovery. Yet many of these businesses need further support and investment to withstand the impact of the Covid-19 crisis to ensure that they can survive and successfully continue to build and commercialise their innovations.

UKBAA acknowledges the importance of the new Future Fund offering a vital new £250 million of support through a Convertible Loan Note, alongside matching VC or other relevant third party investors to enable these innovating businesses to successfully survive and lay the foundations for further significant growth.

Erin Platts, Head of EMEA and President of the UK Branch, Silicon Valley Bank said:

We see the Future Fund as a very positive step in supporting the UK’s Innovation Economy. It is great news that the Fund has moved swiftly to implementation and from today innovation companies and their investors will be able to apply to access the funds they need to help them through this period and support their growth plans. The Future Fund is one way to protect the UK’s thriving innovation and life sciences industries to help maintain our place as one of the most attractive and successful tech hubs globally.

The Future Fund will provide valuable investment to extend runway for UK start-ups and scale-ups, allowing them to continue to operate, preserve and create jobs and build the technologies of the next decade and beyond. We are also pleased to see inclusion and diversity efforts being front of mind as part of the fund’s process, something we greatly welcome and support. We will continue to assist and partner with UK innovation companies and their investors through this initiative and other government programmes.