UK AI Reaches New Heights: Tech Nation Announces 32 Transformative Tech Companies Joining The Applied AI 3.0 Growth Programme

UK AI Reaches New Heights: Tech Nation Announces 32 Transformative Tech Companies Joining The Applied AI 3.0 Growth Programme
• 32 AI tech scaleups from across the UK have been accepted into Tech Nation’s third Applied AI growth programme
•The news comes as the government announces its new National AI Strategy to cement the UK’s position as a global tech and science superpower
• In the UK, AI is particularly transforming the health industry, with the UK’s top three most valuable AI tech companies all specialising in health
• Companies accepted into the newest cohort are also applying AI to create real-world impact in the fields of data analytics, agritech, foodtech, lawtech, retail tech, energy, proptech, fintech, and femtech
• The cohort includes innovative companies who are accelerating the development of dementia and mental health treatments (AINOSTICS), derisking driverless vehicles (dRisk.ai) and making reviewing and amending legal documents faster and more efficient (Robin AI)
• AI is currently one of the UK’s fastest growing tech sectors; with VC Investment in AI currently at $3.3bn, surpassing the $3bn invested in 2020

Tech Nation, the UK’s leading growth platform for tech scaleups, has announced the 32 AI tech companies who have been accepted into Applied AI 3.0 – the third iteration of the Applied AI programme.

The six-month government-backed Applied AI programme was created to support and accelerate the UK’s highest-potential AI scaleups who are applying AI in practical areas to create real-world impact. This year’s successful companies were assessed by over 35 judges across key industries, including government, investors and senior representatives from companies such as Microsoft, Google and PwC, including Sana Khareghani, Head of UK Government Office for Artificial Intelligence, Azeem Azhar, Creator of Exponential View, and Jem Davies, VP Fellow and GM of Machine Learning Group at Arm.

The programme forms part of the Government’s AI Sector Deal, announced in 2019 to realise the social and economic benefits of AI and harness its potential to transform people’s lives for the better.

The latest cohort is announced as the government announces its new National AI Strategy, which will help strengthen the UK’s position as a global science superpower, and maximise the potential of AI technology to improve people’s lives and solve global challenges, such as climate change and public health.

VC investment in UK AI companies reaches record heights

AI is already a strategic strength to the UK economy, with 1,344 AI companies and a number of well-known and established AI unicorns, including Darktrace, Benevolent AI and Graphcore. The 100th tech company to have achieved ‘unicorn’ status (valued at $1bn+) in the UK is an AI company, Tractable AI.

New data from Tech Nation and Dealroom reveals AI is one of the UK’s fastest growing tech sectors, with VC Investment in AI for the year 2021 (Jan-Aug) at $3.3bn, already surpassing the $3bn invested in all of 2020. This year, 54% of the UK’s VC investment has gone into AI as a fundamental technology across the UK, as a result of AI’s power to transform a wide range of industries. PwC predicts a growth of at least 5% in GDP across the UK, as a result of AI, by 2030.

AI in the UK is working to advance the healthcare sector

As we begin our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry is increasingly looking to AI to improve the efficiency and efficacy of healthcare systems and processes in the UK. The top 3 UK-based AI companies bringing in the most VC investment in 2021 are all health-based companies: CMR Surgical (which raised $600m), Exscientia (with $525m) and Oxford Nanopore Technologies (with $195m).

This focus on transforming the healthcare industry is reflected in Applied AI’s newest cohort, as nearly a third (10 out of 32) of the companies in Tech Nation’s newest Applied AI cohort are using AI to transform the healthcare sector. Akrivia Health and AINOSTICS are using AI to accelerate the development of effective dementia and mental health treatments, while AIVIVO has created an entirely new drug discovery paradigm. Dyad develops applications that help healthcare providers optimise their workflows and maximise income under pay-for-performance schemes, while Gendius has developed algorithms that enable earlier identification of an individual’s risk of developing a chronic disease (and therefore enable earlier intervention).

iamYiam delivers a personalised performance-focused health plan facilitated by a personalised AI companion, and KYMIRA combines AI with cutting-edge electronic-textiles to provide game-changing healthcare garments and solutions. Micrographia Bio applies machine learning to microscopy to lower barriers to drug discovery, and PharmEnable develops life-changing medical drugs, while e-Pharmacy has built a platform to offer more people access to prescription medication and on-demand pharmacist support.

Using AI to tackle the greatest issues of today

Other companies joining the programme are applying AI to tackle real social and environmental problems including climate change, and the lack of female representation in medical research. For example, Didcot-based Deep Planet has built a SaaS-based AI platform (using satellite imagery and IoT sensor data) that helps winemakers and growers know where and when to harvest, helping them build resiliency against the effects of climate change, and London-based WILD.AI have built an app specifically for women, to offer personalised nutrition and exercise plans based on their specific physiology (from menstruation to menopause).

This year’s growth programme is joined by 15 companies based outside of London (47% of the cohort), with the highest representation from the South East and East of England, closely followed by the North West. 44% of companies on the programme have a female founder, which is almost double the average representation of female tech directors (23%) in UK tech, according to Tech Nation’s ‘Diversity and inclusion in UK tech companies’ report.

Focus of this year’s programme
This year’s successful applicants will gain access to 11 compact insight sessions over 6 months delivered by later-stage founders, all focused on key scaling challenges, as well as 6 coaching sessions (intimate Founder Circles with a startup coach to develop leadership skills and peer connections), and regular networking opportunities (with investors, VCs, corporates and peers).

Empowering all of the scaling companies in the new Applied AI cohort is at the core of Tech Nation’s mission to fuel the growth of tech scaleups who are helping us create a stronger economy, society and future – across the board.

Tech Nation is pleased to announce that Wilson Sonsini will be the headline partner for Applied AI.

Sam Beni, Applied AI Programme Lead, said: “We at Tech Nation are delighted to welcome such a wide range of innovative companies to our third Applied AI cohort, and to support them on their scaling journeys. Following the turbulence of 2020 with the global pandemic, the number of Applied AI scaleups focussing on transforming the world of healthcare is a beacon of hope for the coming years, and the breadth of industries that these AI scaleups are disrupting is testament to AI’s power to shape the world we live in.”

New NFT Marketplace For Artists From Creative Studio Behind Designs For Olivia Rodrigo, Shawn Mendes, Drake, Travis Scott & More Launched

New NFT Marketplace For Artists From Creative Studio Behind Designs For Olivia Rodrigo, Shawn Mendes, Drake, Travis Scott & More Launched

Earlier this year, multi-hyphenate creative studio and production company STURDY. announced exclusively via Rolling Stone that it was developing an NFT Marketplace for artists. With STURDY.’s Tyler Henry and Matthew Goulet working alongside Shawn Mendes’ manager Andrew Gertler, STURDY.exchange officially launches today with their genesis drop, a 5000-piece generative art project in collaboration with Visual Artist SomeHoodlum.

STURDY.exchange offers a singular experience to artists and fans alike, as STURDY.’s production and creative branches are behind the tour designs for artists including Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, and Shawn Mendes, as well as the artwork and merch for Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License,” Rosalia’s GRAMMY performance in 2020, as well as projects for Kid Cudi, Bad Bunny, PARTYNEXTDOOR and more.

This news comes on the heels of STURDY.exchange securing $4.3 million in Series Seed funding. The round was led by Ali Saheli from Hex Capital with participation from Appworks, Coinbase Ventures, Dapper Labs, Bronco Ventures, TheVentureCity & Andrew Gertler. With conservation of energy at the core of STURDY.’s values, the exchange platform was built on Flow, which uses 8000x less energy than other blockchains to minimize environmental impact. STURDY.exchange offers one of the simplest and user-friendly purchase experiences in the NFT space by accepting a wide variety of payment options all in one user account (credit card, wire, BTC & ETH).

STURDY.exchange knows the pain points artists face in a variety of industries, and the exchange was built to solve these. Each drop partner that STURDY.exchange works with hosts a week-long stadium-style experience on the site, with drops available in the primary marketplace every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. These collections are in partnership with a variety of visual artists and musicians. Daily drops will be curated alongside each artist and have limited edition digital collectibles that are unique to the series. In addition, STURDY.exchange will focus on NFT’s that have utility which bridges the digital and physical worlds – unlocking fan experiences, acting as a ticket, pairing with a piece of merchandise, and more. Once a collection’s initial drop time has passed, original NFTs are closed for sale but can be sold between users in perpetuity on the STURDY.exchange secondary marketplace.

STURDY.exchange’s initial drop is released today with SomeHoodlum. From music videos to album cover art (and the many viral memes in-between) Somehoodlum’s art spans across the rap genre with colorful and punny cartoon illustrations, and his quintessential pastel works have been seen everywhere from on Drake’s instagram feed to 21 Savage’s Spotify playlists. The collection will feature 5000 hoodlums, that have different traits and levels of rarity. Ten of the digital collectibles, or Hidden Hoodlums, will have a higher level of rarity and it is up to the community of collectors to decipher the code on what makes up a “rare” Hoodlum before they are revealed at a later date. Purchases will initially be a dormant silhouette, before its avatar/PFP is revealed. Obtaining a Hoodlum NFT will also give collectors early-access to future SomeHoodlum project’s hosted on the STURDY.exchange, as well as future drops, which will roll out on a weekly basis moving forward.

“We’ve been looking to unlock ‘digital’ for the last ten years. We’ve seen platforms like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, TikTok succeed for users, but never have we seen rights holders & creators access the full potential of the IP they possess,” commented STURDY.exchange CEO, Matthew Goulet. “STURDY.co was founded to represent visual artists in the same way other artists were—we’re extending that philosophy with STURDY.exchange, letting artists and fans alike truly be incentivized for a long term relationship.”

Stay tuned for more exciting drops from STURDY.exchange, and news on a forthcoming project in partnership with Bacardi & Boi-1Da.

 

About STURDY.

In 2018, Tyler Henry, Kevin Henry, Connor Moy and Adrian Martinez co-founded the multi-hyphenated creative company, STURDY. It includes a music division (now Range Music), creative studio, production company, and newly announced NFT Marketplace. STURDY. leadership team includes Co-founder & CEO Matthew Goulet, STURDY Co-Founder & Head of Creative Connor Moy, Co-Founder & Head of Strategy Sandro Tolentino, Founder of STURDY. Co & Co-Founder of STURDY.exchange Tyler Henry and Founding Advisor Andrew Gertler

TikTok Was The Most Often Forged App Linked To Covid-19 In 2021 So Far

With 732 million users worldwide, TikTok, a trending video-sharing platform, is one of today’s most popular social media networks. During the lockdown, the app’s short and amusing videos drew a lot of attention, but it was not long before cybercriminals took advantage of TikTok’s fame for their own gain.

TikTok Was The Most Often Forged App Related Covid-19 in 2021

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, TikTok was the most impersonated app in Covid-19 related to Android app scams in the first half of 2021. There were a total of 88 TikTok copy-cat apps detected spreading FakeApp malware.

Malicious applications impersonating organizations that give out free laptops to students were also highly prevalent. There were 37 bogus Android laptop registration applications detected in H1 2021.

The third spot on the list is occupied by apps impersonating vaccine registration channels. Overall, 14 such malicious applications were found in the first half of this year.

Main Takeaways

• 88 fake Android TikTok apps were detected in H1 2021, making it the most often forged app linked to Covid-19 scams.

• Next up are applications impersonating organizations that give out free laptops to students with 37 malicious laptop registration apps found in H1 2021.

• Apps impersonating vaccine registration channels occupy the third spot, with 14 such apps detected in H1 2021.

• The majority — 35.9% of covid-related cyberthreats affected the United States in H1 2021, followed by Germany (18.9%), Colombia (10.5%), Italy (3%), and Spain (2.5%).

The most often forged apps linked to Covid 19

Fake apps often imitate login pages of the official apps to harvest user’s credentials and other personal data. They are typically distributed through third-party app stores, but on occasion, fake apps make it to the official Google Play store as well.

Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and writer at Atlas VPN, gives advice on how to recognize fake applications:

“What makes fake apps so dangerous is that they are typically designed to look exactly like an official app, making them hard to spot. The best defense consumers have against falling prey to fake app downloads is knowing what to look out for. Reading the app’s reviews, taking some time to research the developers, and reading the permissions agreement are just some of the things consumers should do before proceeding with an app.”

The US most affected by Covid-19-related threats

Apart from fake apps, cybercriminals have launched multiple other cyberattacks leveraging the global pandemic, including phishing campaigns, malicious URLs, as well as malware.

While cyberattacks were widespread across the world, some countries suffered more than others. In total, 35.9% of such threats affected the United States in the first half of 2021.

Other highly affected countries include Germany (18.9%), Colombia (10.5%), Italy (3%), and Spain (2.5%).

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/tiktok-was-the-most-often-forged-app-linked-to-covid-19-in-2021-h1

Lucky Maneki Community Reveals Maneki Gang NFT Collection

The Decentralized, Community Operated NFT Project Lucky Maneki Has Recently Revealed the Maneki Gang Collection Available for Purchase on OpenSea

The Lucky Maneki community has recently released its second collection the Maneki Gang NFT line which is currently available for purchase on OpenSea, consisting of 11,358 randomly generated images modeled after Japanese beckoning cats. Maneki Gang Avatars were made to be used as “profile pictures” for the NFT holders to use on social media. The avatars each have eight randomly selected traits, which include the background of the picture, the texture and color of the skin, eyes, mouth, hat, collar, clothing, and their visible paws.

The Maneki Gang collection was released on August 30, 2021. They were added to the 14,159 (a very fortunate number) of the original Lucky Manekis in Luckeania, a fantastical alternate world. These mystical creatures are endowed with powers of good luck and fortune. Each Maneki is completely unique, however,  the first 40 are regarded as “Epic” Manekis. Epic Manekis are said to bring the greatest good fortune. The head, torso, backdrop, and accessories of these original characters were made to be in perfect balance. These characteristics are passed down via their ancestors through random “mutations”. Some of the randomly generated mutations are more valuable than others.

For example, hidden in the artwork some mutations can lead to clues that can be used in the Treasure Hunt, which then leads to some amazing prizes. Lucky Maneki and Maneki Gang NFT holders can also participate in other challenges, including collecting complete sets of Manekis and completing tasks that help the community grow. Funds for prizes and for new community initiatives are gathered from sales, then these are added to the DAO, which is the community pool.

The origins of the Lucky Cat point to a tale, far away in an ancient land, a samurai sought shelter underneath a tree by a sacred temple. While taking in his surroundings the man notices a cat that seemed to be beckoning him to the temple.  As he walked away from the tree to approach this cat, a bolt of lightning struck the tree he was under, causing the tree to crash down where he was sitting only moments ago. The samurai, who turned out to be a wealthy man, rewarded this temple with fortunes for the blessings of this lucky cat. The Lucky Maneki Community aims to carry the torch of the beckoning cat by continuing its mission to bestow luck upon everyone.

The recent Maneki Gang NFT collection launch is part of an effort to grow the community and raise awareness of the Lucky Maneki Brand. The project is community-run by using a DAO structure. They also plan to build a Merchandise Shop and a metaverse experience, further building the brand and strengthening the community. With other new collections on the horizon, there will be plenty of opportunities for new users to get involved.

The Maneki Gang Collection can be found on OpenSea, and the Lucky Maneki Collection also on OpenSea.

About Lucky Maneki

Dubbed, “The luckiest NFT collection on the Ethereum blockchain,” Lucky Maneki Brand is a collectible project that is grown and maintained by their decentralized worldwide community. Each member’s vote counts and each Lucky Maneki Brand NFT can increase the user’s stake in the DAO. Owning any Lucky Maneki Brand NFT also gives the user unlimited rights worldwide to license, copy, and display the purchased art in any way they choose. Finally, Lucky Maneki has a generous rewards structure based on exciting challenges.

Arabesque Introduces Autonomous Asset Management

Arabesque, Autonomous Asset Management, Asset Management, AutoCIO, AI, AI Engines, Artificial Intelligence, Innovation

• ‘AutoCIO’ is the world’s first fully AI-powered portfolio manager that emulates the human decision-making process in asset management.

Arabesque, Autonomous Asset Management, Asset Management, AutoCIO, AI, AI Engines, Artificial Intelligence, Innovation

• AutoCIO is powered by Arabesque’s proprietary AI Engine, run on Google Cloud, delivering the equivalent processing power of tens of thousands of computers.

• Arabesque’s latest offering is an industry solution to customise highly specific active equity strategies tailored to investors’ sustainability objectives and values.

• AutoCIO uses AI to forecast stock performance on a universe of 25,000 equities daily, and can create millions of active equity investment strategies.

• Over USD 400mio of investment strategies are successfully powered by AutoCIO.

• The new technology coincides with a growing industry need to leverage automation and AI for product development, alpha generation and delivering a differentiated client experience.

• Arabesque’s technology is the latest evolution and the natural next step for the industry from active to passive and now to autonomous asset management.

Arabesque has unveiled its Autonomous Asset Management offering for the creation of highly customised and sustainable active investment strategies, powered by an artificial intelligence technology that can generate and operate millions of active equity strategies.

Developed by Arabesque AI, ‘AutoCIO’ enables asset managers and investment professionals to configure and build hyper-customised active strategies that can be tailored to each investor through more than a thousand different personalised investment options.

The launch comes as the asset management industry increasingly looks to leverage technologies like automation and AI for cost-efficient product development, alpha generation and delivering a customised and differentiated client experience.

With over USD 400 million currently powered by Arabesque’s AutoCIO, the platform offers investors an unprecedented degree of customisation through a streamlined web app that can generate a vast range of bespoke strategies, with AI used to forecast stock performance across 25,000 equities daily.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Georg Kell, Chairman of the Arabesque Group, said:

“Artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role in the customisation of active investing in the coming years, with pressure growing to innovate both in terms of technology and client centricity.

“Whilst the market is increasingly demanding sustainable products that align with the objectives and values of investors, asset managers are currently unable to offer customisable, active solutions at scale. Investment firms face a fast-changing landscape where many traditional products, tools and approaches are no longer as relevant as they once were.

“AutoCIO is a game-changing solution that can enable asset managers to deliver an enormous range of highly customised ESG investment strategies in a cost-efficient and scalable way. Sustainability issues are fast becoming a global priority, and new technologies like this will empower many more investors to participate.”

Powering AutoCIO is Arabesque’s proprietary AI Engine, which identifies and analyses patterns in data on a large scale to discover subtle relationships that can be translated into alpha opportunities.

The AI Engine is capable of processing billions of data points each day for its stock signal outputs, using the equivalent processing power of tens of thousands of computers, and is run on carbon-neutral Google Cloud infrastructure. As new data is inputted, the AI Engine re-learns what is driving stock returns and aims to improve over time, removing human biases and reducing the potential for errors.

On the launch of AutoCIO, Dr Yasin Rosowsky, CEO of Arabesque AI, said:

“Asset managers today increasingly need to personalise products and services at scale to focus on customised strategies that incorporate investors’ sustainability objectives and values.

“We use the power of AI to build systems capable of handling the complexity of financial data and enable scalable investment process design for a wide variety of use cases in an efficient and cost-effective way. This is not a robo or passive investment solution, but fully active asset management, powered by AI.

“We are excited to bring AutoCIO to the market and provide asset managers and investment professionals with a scalable, digital tool to build actively managed, customised solutions that meet their clients’ sustainability goals.”

How To Overcome Codependency And Build Healthy, Reciprocal Relationships

“Using neuroscience, psychology, and spirituality, Mary Joye shares how to conquer old habits of needing to rescue loved ones and friends. In this compelling book you can free yourself and learn that living well and giving well can occur naturally.” — Dr. Laurie Nadel, author of The Five Gifts.

Mary Joye has published her new book – Codependent Discovery and Recovery 2.0

Are you a fixer, a rescuer or a people pleaser? Do you feel guilty — really guilty — saying no? Codependency once meant being involved with someone who was dependent upon an addictive substance. Today, the definition of codependency has expanded to encompass other unhealthy behaviors associated with relationships.

Codependency is like narcissism in reverse,” explained licensed therapist, Mary Joye, LMHC. “Narcissists are self-absorbed, while codependents are hyper focused on the needs of others. And these two personalities can become instantly attracted to each other.”

In her new book, Codependent Discovery and Recovery 2.0, Joye helps readers uncover the traits, psychological roots, financial aspects and neuroscience behind their codependency, and more importantly, what to do about it.

As a healed codependent herself, Joye’s unique approach offers readers a holistic alternative to typical 12-step addiction models and covers the full spectrum of codependency.

She shows you what motivates your codependency and teaches you how to overcome the toxic thinking and behaviors associated with it by using evidence-based techniques of healing. Rather than merely learning how to say no to others, you will learn how to say yes to yourself and form healthy, reciprocal relationships.

For expedited and lasting recovery, Codependent Discovery and Recovery 2.0 includes meditations, affirmations, a quick-fix chapter and easy two-column Life Lists that allow the opportunity for self-reflection, offering readers an invaluable self-help experience.

By using these transformative cognitive behavioral tools, you can change no matter where you fall on the continuum. It is possible to reinvent yourself in a positive way while learning how to give and live well.

About the Author

Mary Joye, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor and regular contributor to DailyOM.com. She was interviewed in O, The Oprah Magazine in an article titled “The Greatest Love” about her prior codependency and rise from it. Formerly, she was a professional singer/songwriter in Nashville at Warner Brothers. She reinvented herself as a licensed mental health counselor at 45. As a writer and therapist, she helps people get in touch with their emotions.

Joye lives in Winter Haven, Florida. Visit her website at: winterhavencounseling.com.

Codependent Discovery and Recovery 2.0
Publisher: HCI Books
Release Date: August 31, 2021
ISBN-10:  0757324096
ISBN-13: 978-0757324093
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Available wherever books are sold

Liti Capital Launches Scambusters To Tackle Crypto Fraud

Liti Capital SA, the Swiss-based litigation funding provider disrupting private equity investing with blockchain technology, is launching Scambusters, a revolutionary new tool that allows users to vote for which crypto-focused cases the company should pursue next. The litigation funding provider is offering a 250,000 wLITI token reward for new crypto scam cases.  

Scambusters, Liti Capital, Crypto, Crypto Scam, Crypto Fraud, Cryptocurrency, Crypto community, LITI, wLITI, Lititoken
Scambusters takes place from 23 Sep to 14 Oct

Fraud within cryptocurrency and blockchain is rife. This year will be a record for investment fraud: 14,079 investment scams were reported to the FTC in the first quarter of 2021, and victims lost $215 million in this quarter alone. Liti Capital is bringing its expertise in picking, funding and winning court cases and inviting consumers to vote on which scams it should pursue in court next.

“The idea that scammers can freely operate in the crypto sphere without facing the consequences of their actions must end to bring trust and change the perception blockchain and crypto projects have in our society”, says Andy Christen, CVO/COO at Liti Capital.

Liti Capital commits to allocate between 5% and 10% of its yearly investment budget to finance cases that have affected its community members. Any LITI or wLITI token holder can report a purported fraud to the company.

Scambusters is a community voting event to select crypto scam cases going to be sued by Liti Capital. LITI and wLITI token holders can use their tokens without spending them to vote for the case(s) they think have the most merit. The more tokens they have the more voting power they can exercise. Voters of the winning case will share an award up to 250,000 wLITI, distributed pro-rata to their votes.

Once members of the community have submitted cases on the ScamBusters website, Liti Capital instructs its team of legal experts based in 140 countries across the world to explore details of the case.

A selection of cases are then presented back to community members, with the case collecting the highest number of votes being added to Liti Capital’s portfolio. Community voting begins on Sept 23, 2021, with the winning case announced on October 15, 2021.

“If cryptocurrency is going to become the defacto way people take part in the Web3 world, trust, regulation and a robust legal system are all parts of that puzzle,” says Jonas Rey, CEO at Liti Capital.

Interview David Kay, Executive Chairman at Liti Capital – Democratising Private Equity And Litigation Finance: 

Interview David Davies, CEO of AgUnity, Global Agripreneur of the Year 2018 – Blockchain Innovation For The Agro-Industry

David Davies, AgUnity, Agripreneur, Global Agripreneur of the Year, Blockchain, Innovation, Agro-Industry, Hi-tech agriculture, UNSGs, FAC, Future Agro Challenge, Digital Transformation

David Davies is the founder of AgUnity & creator of AgriUT, a solution to deploy smartphones and a digital Token to smallholder farmers to help them lift themselves out of poverty.

He was awarded the Future Agro Challenge (FAC) Global Agripreneur of the Year 2018 for his work as CEO of AgUnity for helping lift low-income farmers out of poverty. AgUnity provides a smartphone and blockchain solution that improves trust and cooperation for smallholder farmers and is also used as a platform for a range of problems including mobile banking for the financially excluded, and data collection for developed world farmers.

The work by David and AgUnity has been globally recognised by the likes of IFC World Bank, Mastercard Foundation, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Oxford University and more.

David Davies Interview Focus

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

2. Career highlights

3. Your company / companies, organisations and focus?

4. Can you let me know about your views on blockchain and agriculture and supply chain?

5. Can you tell us more about how your token and blockchain solution works?

6. What are your views in AI and agriculture and supply chain?

7. How do AgUnity manage issues with ESG?

8. How do AgUnity manage issues with carbon neutrality and climate exchange?

9. How do you see Society 5.04IR and all areas of digital transformation?

10. What are your goals and how do you see the future of work and the main trends in tech and society?

11. What are your visions for the present and future, especially regarding climate change?


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David Davies Biography

David grew up on a wheat and sheep farm in outback South Australia, before spending most of his career working in technology for global investment banks. This included Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros, Nomura and a Global Head of Market Data Commercials at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.

Before this, David travelled through Africa with UNESCO recording a documentary series. This opportunity enabled David to see how poverty and exclusion were powerful forces keeping many communities in cycles of bare subsistence.

Working for large banks some years later, David saw a world where money and power replaced empathy and humanity and it never added up. David also travelled to Japan where he founded a Mobiletech that was acquired by a company in the US and started a company in Singapore that was also acquired.

All of this led David to start AgUnity at a hackathon in London in 2016, where the founders were challenged to come up with a world-changing idea to increase the income for a billion people. Their solution was a low cost smartphone and a safe transaction record system powered by blockchain, to tackle financial and digital exclusion for remote, rural communities.

AgUnitys’ global technology platform empowers thousands of organizations working toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals to connect with ‘the last mile’ farmers and communities. This customised smartphone & OS solution serves as a technological ecosystem; providing the people living and working with remote food supply chains with practical, accessible tools to connect, establish effective lines of communication and ensure an ethical, accountable means of trade.

Widely recognized by major NGO’s and studied at leading universities, my team at AgUnity are currently running projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific positively impacting farmer lives with profound and long-lasting effect.

In 2021, David and his team at AgUnity created an innovative special project to close the gap between farmer and consumer: AgriUT Foundation. This foundation was built as an independent charitable entity to complement the AgUnity smartphone platform for smallholder farmers.

Vision

AgUnity: Beginnings and Initial Challenges 

“We knew we were onto something that resonated with a lot of people that were in the field and were seeing those problems, so the first thing you do in that situation is you send your lawyer up to live in the jungle, so John went out and lived in a house in Kenya, with no floor, and showering under a hose for a whole year, but what was really great about that is he’s spent so much time with the farmers, and we were able to work through designs, and come up with functionality that was very useful for them. To most application designers, that doesn’t sound very hard, but you’ve got to understand, with developing world farmers, you could give them something that was completely useless, and I would never tell you, because that would assume they didn’t understand something about it, and you were the technology guys from overseas, so it should be right. So it’s very very difficult to get feedback or any sort of design input from remote world farmers.”

AgUnity: The app solution

“It was I think, the most profound, the best way of summing it up, is that we were continuously like learning and pivoting so we started doing what everyone else did, and built a downloadable app that people could put on their own phone and we then encouraged a smallish, a very small group of farmers to go out and get Android phones, and I came back with all sorts of rubbish non-compliant phones. And we had a nightmare of getting any kind of a solution working on it. So that told us something very important. That started, that was in Kenya. We discovered that if you get a phone like that, that’s a phone that we were using initially, we were getting them a little above 20 dollars each, new out of China, so it’s not worth setting up an app and supporting them on someone else’s phone, when you can just give them the whole phone”.

About AgUnity

AgUnity is a fintech innovation company that connects a variety of organizations, especially working in developing countries, by building a platform that caters to their long-term basic problems.It is a reliable solution to the elementary issues including- lack of a platform that creates a digital identity for more than two million last mile farmers globally, their inability to establish their creditworthiness, poor or lack of connectivity which results in absolute ignorance to any digital exposition, and inaccessibility to vital goods and services.

AgUnitys’ global technology platform empowers thousands of organizations working toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals to connect with ‘the last mile’ farmers and communities. This customised smartphone & OS solution serves as a technological ecosystem; providing the people living and working with remote food supply chains with practical, accessible tools to connect, establish effective lines of communication and ensure an ethical, accountable means of trade.

The foundations of AgUnity were laid down by David Davies and his co-founder when they met at a hackathon at a tech conference in London in 2016. They presented “the biggest world changing idea” by conceptualizing a low-cost smartphone that would ensure digital inclusion of the remote and rural communities worldwide. While the blockchain concept was still in its nascent stages back then, they envisioned it to be the basis for their secured transaction record system.

Now after five years, they are an award-winning technology provider that have integrated digitization with farming, streamlining the supply chains for the remote communities globally.

David Davies Links And Sources

Supply Chain App Developer Using the AgUnity Smartphones Secured by Blockchain Technology | AgUnity

Award-winning fintech innovator AgUnity puts real impact in the palm of the consumer – Journal of Cyber Policy

AgUnity Response: Creating resilient food supply chains in the face of COVID-19 (covid 19 innovation hub.org)

AgUnity – Bethesda Green

https://www.linkedin.com/in/daviesdavid/

https://www.agunity.com/

https://www.agriut.org/

https://www.agriwards.com/

https://twitter.com/xisonscom?lang=en

https://www.agunity.com/blog/making-smartphones-relevant-for-the-worlds-poorest-farmers-an-interview-with-david-davies

https://www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/planet-biometrics/speaker-david-DAVIES.stm

https://www.globalaginvesting.com/15-minutes-david-davies-ceo-founder-agunity/

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e-Estonia Launches Digital Testbed Framework, A New Digital Government Innovation Model

e-Estonia, Estonia, Digital Testebed Framework, Estonia's Digital Government, Digital Transformation, Digital Government Innovation model

The Estonian government today announces that it is globally launching its Digital Testbed Framework, inviting anyone around the world to come and build or try out their groundbreaking new ideas, prototypes, products or whole new digital services, in a world-leading digital government setting. The deadline for applications is 10th October 2021.

e-Estonia, Estonia, Digital Testebed Framework, Estonia's Digital Government, Digital Transformation, Digital Government Innovation model
Estonia is one the pioneering countries in implementing digital transformation

The Digital Testbed Framework is a new and innovative collaboration model looking to attract partners globally. It gives start-ups, scale-ups and all govtech innovators, access to the technologies and experience of world-leading digital government of Estonia – in return for free use of the resulting novel solution.

The initiative has been designed with simplicity and efficiency in mind. Users can produce government-level IT solutions safely and quickly, via live-market testing and approval in a nation-wide digital government testbed, without having to navigate any red tape or lengthy sales or approval processes.

Through this cooperation model, users will have access to the government tech stack, know-how (and in some cases data) to help develop their own emerging commercial solutions. It also allows them to partner with one of the most digitally developed countries in the world to “rubber stamp” their ideas and obtain proof of concept.

Named ‘the most advanced digital society in the world’ by Wired magazine, Estonia is renowned for its modern, online government ecosystem that handles 99% of the country’s public services. The domestically tried-and-tested Digital Testbed Framework is integral to the government’s digital success, making this one of the most enticing government-as-a-platform collaborations to date.

For example, the Digital Testbed Framework has been used by the Estonian parliament and the Ministry of Education and Research to collaborate on reusable AI components, and the Estonian Health Board to create HOIA – the official COVID-19 exposure notification app for Estonia.

It’s also been deployed across applications such as the TEXTA Toolkit (which uses AI functionality to predict whether comments should or shouldn’t be published in public forums) as well as being hugely successful in helping the Police and Border Guard Board detect domestic violence cases.

Estonian minister of entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt said:

“In order to continue innovating and building our digital government, we believe in open partnerships and cooperation with the private sector. That’s why the Digital Testbed Framework was born. It is yet further proof how Estonia is not waiting for the future, but actively building it, we’re ready to be a pathfinder in digital government.”

Siim Sikkut, CIO of Estonia added:

“The problem many start-ups face today is that the environment for cooperation the public sector is built on is old, outdated and inflexible and this makes integration and collaboration difficult. As the saying goes, ‘there’s no need to reinvent the wheel,’ and that’s why we’re inviting anyone and everyone to use the same tech stack we use to run and build our own digital government, for free.

We want to partner with innovative people from all over the world and in a variety of sectors. Whether you’re a coder wanting help improve the digital services of Estonia, or an entrepreneur looking to test your solution with one of the most digitally advanced nations in the world – we’d love to connect with you.”     

The release of the Digital Testbed Framework is further evidence of Estonia’s status as one of the most digitally advanced societies in the world. The first country to adopt online voting, almost all Estonian government services are now online. In 2002, a high-tech national ID system was launched, pairing physical ID cards with digital signatures that Estonians use to pay taxes, vote, do online banking and access their health care records.

Other key features of Estonia’s digital society are e-Residency, an initiative that allows individuals to start businesses in the country without living there and the digital nomad visa for employees that work remotely from any location worldwide.

For more information or to propose a collaboration project via the Digital Testbed Framework please click here.

The Athlete With The Most Expensive Car Collection, Revealed

The Athlete With The Most Expensive Car Collection, Revealed

Elite athletes at the top of their game are paid millions for their sporting performance, and with all that money comes the ability to purchase almost anything they desire. For many, spending money on extravagant cars appears to be one of the luxuries these competitors have most in common.

But which athlete has the most expensive car collection?

Interested in this, ManySpins.com analysed Forbes’ 2021 list of the world’s 50 highest paid athletes, investigating several reports into the number and value of cars these athletes have amassed with their enormous wealth. They then scoured the internet to find out which car brands and models each athlete owns alongside their estimated worth. Ultimately, this allowed ManySpins.com to rank the most expensive car collection of the best paid athletes in 2021.   

Key points

  • Lionel Messi is the athlete with the most expensive car collection with a reported total value of £28,169,068.
  • In second is Cristiano Ronaldo with a collection worth £18,064,666.
  • Lewis Hamilton is third, followed by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Neymar.
  • Despite topping the Forbes 2021 athlete rich list, Conor McGregor ranks ninth.

The top 10 most expensive athlete car collections:

Rank Athlete Sport Reported no. of cars Estimated total value (£)
1 Lionel Messi Football 13 £28,169,068
2 Cristiano Ronaldo Football 19 £18,064,666
3 Lewis Hamilton Motor Racing 9 £12,380,000
4 Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez Boxing 22 £12,321,931
5 Neymar Football 9 £11,790,864
6 Max Verstappen Motor Racing 10 £3,996,144
7 Tom Brady American Football 10 £3,347,674
8 Kevin Durant Basketball 8 £3,166,479
9 Conor McGregor MMA/Boxing 13 £2,720,228
10 Paul Pogba Football 8 £2,278,650

ManySpins.com can reveal that the athlete with the most expensive car collection is Lionel Messi! The legendary footballer’s reported car collection comes to an estimated total of £28,169,068, mainly thanks to the Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti that cost him a massive £25,000,000 in 2016.

Coming in second with an estimated total collection value of £18,064,666 is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Manchester United superstar reportedly has 19 cars, with the most expensive being a limited-edition Bugatti Centodieci that cost £8,500,000.

In third is F1 ace Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion is certainly no stranger to cars and has a fleet of motors reportedly worth £12,380,000. The classic 1966 Shelby 427 Cobra is the highest valued car in his collection at £4,000,000.

Coming in fourth is Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez with £12,321,931. The middleweight world champion and boxing’s richest fighter reportedly owns 22 cars, the most on our list!

Completing the top five is Neymar with an estimated car collection value of £11,790,864. The Brazilian forward is said to earn £606,000 a week and has a total of 9 supercars in his collection.