Essex 2020 Year of Science and Creativity

Essex 2020: Year of Science and Creativity is an Essex-wide, year-long celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) showcasing the county’s pioneering and inventive spirit through a series of meaningful events, exhibitions, projects and curated opportunities.

It aims to engage, motivate, challenge and inspire children and their families, adult learners, business professionals and entrepreneurs about all things STEAM related. The year-long programme will be rooted around a number of flagship events, not least the British Science Festival coming to Chelmsford in September 2020 and features science, engineering, the arts, cultural events, festivals and community projects.

2020 is the 100th year anniversary of Marconi, the 400th year anniversary of the sailing of Mayflower and the 100th year anniversary of HMS Beagle.

March 2020 – Essex Book Festival

Building on the success of our science strand with our Science & the Imagination Day at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford. In 2019, there were fun experiments with Sandford Mill, Slime making workshops, Mad Science shows, author talks and Ozobots and Code Club with Essex Libraries.

March 2020 – Raspberry Jam Tech Festival

Family fun STEAM activities with Raspberry Pi, Microbits, coding and digital art.

British Science Festival 2020 – Anglia Ruskin University , Chelmsford

The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing science Festival, travelling to a different place in the United Kingdom each year. The Festival aims to connect people with scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists.

Each year, there is an inspiring programme of free events to the public over four or five days, bursting with exciting opportunities to get involved in. Talks, workshops and drop-in events span a diverse range of subjects that encompass science in the broadest sense, promising something for everyone!

Space Chase coding

We’ll be running a number of Space Chase coding activities on Tuesdays 6th and 13th August 2019 in Basildon Library with other dates being planned at other libraries tbc.

BRING FOOD AND DRINK FOR THE DAY, NO NEED TO PRINT TICKETS

Please register for a compulsory adult/child entry ticket per person attending. You will need to answer diversity and inclusivity demographic questions and photo/video consent. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

If you can’t make it but want to be invited to future events, please register the appropriate ticket.

Tuesday 6th August 2019 – 3pm-7.30pm
Basildon Library / CreatorSpace

3.00pm-3.30pm Helper meetup
If you would like to help (aged 9yrs+), please arrive at 3pm for a quick run through of what will be happening.

3.30pm-3.40pm Sorting algorithms, line up by age, name, shoe size….

3.40pm-4.30pm Coding with Barbie 6yrs+
Learn coding and explore being an astronaut with Barbie
For beginners

4.30pm-4.40pm “Space Girls” Film
During a sleepover, four 9-year-old girls obsessed with space embark on a secret mission in their cardboard rocket. When Dad returns home, what will become of their mission ?

4.40pm-4.45pm Astro Pi Film
Canadian astronaut Jenni Sidey inspires young women in science and tech with Astro Pi. Southend Tech will run AstroPi Mission Zero at a later date and children can have their code run on the International Space Station by an astronaut.

4.45pm-5.00pm Astro Pi hardware and space science

5pm-5.30pm Astronaut reaction timer / gravity 8yrs+
Learn about the effects of gravity and how to simulate them with code.
Learn about Astronaut reaction times, and distances traveled by the International Space Station in that time, by creating a reaction time game in Scratch.

General hacking 5.30pm-7.30pm 8yrs+
Continue with coding, 3D print your own key ring, work on your own project or general hacking in the Creatorspace.

Tuesday 14th August 2019 – 3pm-7.30pm
Basildon Library / CreatorSpace

3.00pm-3.30pm Helper meetup
If you would like to help (aged 9yrs+), please arrive at 3pm for a quick run through of what will be happening.

3.30pm-5.00pm Microbit blocks coding
Learn to create patterns and animations which react to movement, buttons, touch. See some colourful lights controlled by Microbits.

General hacking 5.00pm-7.30pm 8yrs+
Continue with coding, 3D print your own key ring, work on your own project or general hacking in the Creatorspace.

3D printing, design, modeling, scanning, 360 video and VR in Southend / Essex

Southend 3D design, print, VR Meetup
Thursday 3rd October – 6pm-10pm
The Old Waterworks, North Road, Southend
See Southend Tech Meetup for more details.

 

Here are some companies who do 3D printing, scanning, design, VR and modeling in the Southend area.

Coulter Action Ltd

Motion graphics content creation.

Digital Asset Emporium

Designs 3d models of objects.

Bubble Image

4k 360 degree video live streaming and creates VR/apps.

3D Filaprint

3d printing filament and 3d design and modelling.

The Stage House UK

Live streaming and digital media production.

Miru 3D

Photo scanning to create fully immersive 3D models and maps. Think Google Streetview in your venue.

CVM Marketing

3D media for advertising and promotion.

Pixel VR

VR arcade with multiplayer games and rooms.

Funky Gorilla Games

An independent Southend games studio specialising in fun mobile games, VR/AR games and experiences.

3Ative

A production studio offering 3D Animation, Video Production, Digital Editing, Visual Effects and more in Westcliff.

Vincent McAtamney

AR VR Immersive Tech and Home Cinema consultant working with businesses in and around Essex.

The VR Space

Virtual Reality space in Chelmsford with all the latest headsets and games.

BBVR

Canvey Island VR games, experiences, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and development.

Premier Computers

VR experience in the Southend shop.

Elite Gamer

Games arcade with VR.

NHDesign3D

3D printing and CAD modeling.

 

Southend Smart City Raspberry Jam Tech Festival

Sunday 3rd March 2019 10.00am-4.30pm
The Hive Enterprise Centre,
Victoria Avenue,

Southend-on-Sea,
Essex, SS2 6EX

 

We ran a large Southend Smart City Raspberry Jam Tech Festival with over 200 people attending in partnership with Southend on Sea Borough Council and kindly sponsored by The Hive Enterprise Centre, Southend.

 

 

 

It will showcase tech projects from local companies, enthusiasts and children like robots, 3D printing, laser cutting art, drones, Raspberry Pi and Microbit projects; have interesting tech talks on Smart Cities, challenge dementia competition, and other interesting tech topics.

We are fortunate to have the council attend with their £15,000 Pepper robot to give us the low down on how they are using tech to turn Southend into a Smart City, their future plans and how you can get involved.

Please register for a compulsory adult/child entry ticket per person attending.
You will need to answer diversity and inclusivity demographic questions.
Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

If you can’t make it but want to be invited to future events, please register the appropriate ticket.
We are looking for people to give 20 min talks, show projects and company stands and the booking form will ask you for details.

Hear from Canadian Astronaut Jenni Sidey why children should do the Astro Pi “Your Code in Space” activity.
At 1.10 you can see the Astro Pi computers on the International Space Station running children’s code.

360 degree 4K live streaming camera.

Parking sensor IoT project.

 

 

 

Self built robot made with shampoo bottles, servos and Microbits.
(we’ll be doing a workshop on how to do this in the future).

Raspberry Pi flying rotor project. (think drone but flys off)

Learn to code a low cost Oh Bot robot and then try using the £15,000 Pepper Robot.

Please share this page on social media and retweet this tweet to help publicise the event :

Here are some tweets from last year :

 

We made it on the Raspberry Pi blog

 

 

 

Photo at top of page

 

 

 

Raspberry Pi Safeguarding Policy

 

Equipment Sponsor :

 

Venue Sponsor:

Hour of Code: Dance Party

Code a Dance Party to share with your friends.
Featuring Katy Perry, Madonna, J. Balvin, Sia, Keith Urban, Ciara, and 25 more!

 

This workshop will be repeated at the Southend Raspberry Jam.

A one hour activity with follow on activities.
Sorting participants – by age, name, height and some hardware like Raspberry Pi, Microbits and robots to give participants an idea of what will be coming up in the large Southend “Smart City” Raspberry Jam on Sunday 3rd March (details here).

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Suggested age 7yrs+.

Basildon Library

Saturday 2nd February 2019 – 12pm – 2pm

Westcliff Library

Saturday 9th February 2019 – 10.30am – 12.30pm

Rochford Library

Tuesday 19th February 2019 – 12pm – 2pm

 

See other people’s videos :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chelmsford Raspberry Jam 3

Saturday 10th November 2018 – 11am – 4pm
Chelmsford Library, CM1 1QH

We’re holding a medium sized Raspberry Jam as part of the Ideas Festival.

Coding workshops for young people including Astro Pi, send your code to space; create LED light animations with Microbits; Scratch and artificial intelligence; drop in Raspberry Pi, Microbit, Code Club, Sonic Pi workshops.

Also, a small number of tech projects on show, a few lightning talks and some other surprise activities around the library.

Here’s a video of David Whale’s Microbit guitar and links to his Youtube and Github accounts where he is documenting its development.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCebUm1_fagxgwba-bCQn_gw
https://github.com/whaleygeek/microbit-midi-guitar

 

 

At the other end of the library, the light parade items were being wired up. Next year we hope to code the lights as part of the Chelmsford Light Parade at Ideas Festival.

 

If you or your young person can help with workshops or want to show/talk about your project, give details as part of the booking process.

There will be lots of photos and social media activity, so you will need to agree to photo/video consent on booking.

We’re part of the Ideas Festival CommuniTea Party in the library.

Chelmsford’s biggest ever cultural tea party! 11am – 3pm.
Bring your favourite cultural dish or tea to share and explore traditional arts and crafts from around the world, from Japanese origami to Pakistani woodblock printing. All welcome to this event held in partnership with Peace Education Network and Essex Multicultural Activities Network.

Cross sector collaboration with Raspberry Pi across Essex

The Southend Tech Raspberry Pi community is central to a cross sector collaborative group working with Southend Borough Council (SBC) to solve social issues, drive innovation, economic growth and digital transformation to make Southend a thriving tech town. See slides below.

We’re now expanding across Essex and are looking for partners to collaborate with us and to support activities and events, initially with the Southend and Chelmsford Raspberry Jam Young Digital Makers taking central stage, visiting and working with businesses and organisations  and developing industry skills.

They will then contribute to the larger events showing and talking about their projects and the activities by running and helping at skills workshops.

12yrs – 18yrs sign up here to be invited to events. (Or Code Club / Raspberry Jam regulars aged 11yrs+ )

Partners and parents are invited to take part in other activities including over 18 meetups like Southend Tech Meetup.

tldr; We’re looking for individuals, companies, organisations and venues to support them locally as we help transform the rest of Essex. See below to find out how you can get involved and slides / descriptions showing what we’ve been up to recently including dementia hackathon, Southend Tech Festival Raspberry Jam and IoT, smart cities and lots of cool projects.

Launch at Raspberry Pi Foundation event

The Raspberry Pi Foundation invited Southend Tech to give a talk about how we have been collaborating with others in Southend at their two day “Raspberry Fields” festival of digital making in Cambridge and the launch of the Raspberry Jam’s Young Digital Makers events was announced.

Link to presentation slides, explanations and links for more detailed information are below.

Launch of the Raspberry Jam Young Digital Makers events

The Raspberry Jam Young Digital Makers are awesome young coders and engineers. They create amazing projects with tech, learn new skills, and inspire, educate and help other young people and adults.
Check out what they have done in some of the slides below.

 

Initially, they will be the focus for cross sector collaborative activities and then take part in helping others progress, running their own workshops, showing projects and giving talks about what they have learned at larger tech events.

We’re looking to collaborate with businesses and other organisations, and need support such as equipment, staff (including tech experts), existing audiences, sponsorship, suitable tech talks / demos, skills workshops, venues and facilities, publicity and marketing, catering, social media, photography/video etc.

What is digital making ?

Digital Making is creating and learning about tech rather than just being a passive consumer.

It includes industry skills such as coding, electronics, data analytics, wearable tech, Smart Cities, robotics, entrepreneurial skills, 3D printing, laser cutting, IoT, hackathons, inventing, virtual, augmented and mixed reality, 3D rendering, cybersecurity, digital art, big data, digital embroidery, and phone apps.

Check out some of the projects at Coolest Projects where we will be applying to take part.

 

Presentation Slides

Brief slide notes and links to further info are below and the presentation slides are here if the embed doesn’t work for you :
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/199CcTr7-dhzBx7mlOpkVuZQbceTVwEHEeb6prRW8lj4/

2-15: Southend Raspberry Jam Tech Festival, tech projects, coding workshops, talks, IBM expert live coding.
https://www.southendtech.co.uk/southend-raspberry-jam-12

16-20: Astro Pi – Coding science experiments on the International Space Station using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors
https://www.southendtech.co.uk/your-code-in-space-2017

21-28: Focal Point Gallery “Maximum Overdrive” exhibition collecting Smart City sensor data, Raspberry Pi timelapse, @echoarcades Twitter AI bot

29-34: Microbits in Libraries trial and library coding activities
https://www.southendtech.co.uk/microbit-library-loan-scheme

35-44: SBC Smart City trial with CISCO, Digital Southend Working Group setup.
Help with urban problems like pollution, parking, traffic, waste, lighting, environment.
CISCO showing Raspberry Pi as an innovative Smart device for Internet of Things and smart cities.
Value of open data, co production. Creating an open dataset of parking spaces – possible workshop.

45-53: SBC bought a £17,000 Pepper Robot to inspire tech solutions for social care.
Lots of interest in coding it and tech for social care solutions – can do similar with Raspberry Pi robot, Google artificial intelligence kits and cloud apis.
https://www.southendtech.co.uk/southend-pepper-social-care-robot

54-62: 2 winning entries to Essex County Councils dementia challenge competition ,including an 11 year old digital maker prototyping on a Raspberry Pi and our hackathon.
https://www.southendtech.co.uk/southend-hackathon-dementia-challenge

63-69: Winner of the CityVerve (UK smart city) hackathon demonstrator was a Raspberry Pi controlled smart bike light system which most of the audience could do in an hour workshop. Took the professionals coders and designers 2 days with lots of help and resources !

70-73: Southend Digital Professionals networking to improve digital skills, discuss ethics of AI etc.
https://www.southendtech.co.uk/southend-digital-professionals

74-88: TechCityonSea business networking, companies looking to collaborate, DL100 award

89-91: Chelmsford Raspberry Pi Smart City art installation visualising pollution data
https://www.southendtech.co.uk/chelmsford-raspberry-pi-art-installation

92-94 Desire to code massive Southend seafront light towers to respond to data…

95-104 Raspberry Jam Young Digital Makers – designing tech to help blind people, create digital art projects (Pioneers winners), code IoT sensors in space, run coding workshops (10 year old girl), code VR games, reaching the BAFTA young games designer finals and creating smart city solutions to survive a Zombie Apocalypse (Pioneers highly commended)
https://www.southendtech.co.uk/southend-pioneers-competition-make-us-laugh
https://www.southendtech.co.uk/southend-pioneers-competition-make-it-outdoors

Southend Coding Evening #8

Please book for the eighth Southend Coding Evening for Teachers, Code Club, CoderDoJo and Raspberry Jam volunteers, and those who are interested in learning to code :

 

A good evening joined by the Southend Digital Professionals Tech Meetup who meet on the first Thursday of the month.

We had a play with Mixed Reality with the Microsoft HoloLens developer kit and coded Parrot Mambo drones using Apple Swift coding.

 

 

Thursday 5th July 2018 6.30pm-9.30pm
The Old Waterworks (Temporary Arts Project)
North Road
Southend on Sea
Essex
SS0 7AB

6.30 pm – Doors open
7.00 pm – Arrivals and introductions
7.30 pm – Lightning talks/discussion: Learning coding and digital skills
8.30 pm – Networking
9.30 pm – Suggested departure.

 

An opportunity for teachers, Raspberry Pi enthusiasts and Code Club/Coder Dojo volunteers to come together to discuss computing education in an informal and friendly environment. We’ll be joined by members of Southend Tech Meetup who help at Raspberry Jams.

 

We’ll have lightning talks about learning coding and digital skills and future local coding events.

Welcome to the eight Southend Coding Evening.

We are expecting attendees from local schools, Code Clubs and industry specialists.
Coding Evenings are established in Twickenham, Peterborough and London and continue their success in Southend.

I hope you are able to come along as this is an excellent opportunity to develop the teaching and learning of computing and coding within schools and the community.

So far, we’ll have people who can demonstrate and talk with you about :

* How to use Raspberry Pi to teach interesting and engaging lessons with physical computing and how to find suitable resources, lesson plans and help.

* Find out about the BBC Micro:Bit which was given to every Year 7 pupil in 2016.

* AstroPi – Tim Peake, the first British ESA astronaut, went to the International Space Station and ran science experiments and apps written by British school children on Raspberry Pis and an addon sensor board. Find out about further educational opportunities.

* Southend Raspberry Jam – a free local event where Raspberry Pi users meet and show their projects with workshops, talks and skills workshops.

What sort of thing can I expect if I attend?


The event starts at 6.30pm, but attendees can arrive anytime between then and about 9.00pm (which is when we start to wind down). People tend to gather in small groups to discuss things. Usually, if a teacher is looking for something specific, we will recommend someone to speak to who can help them; however, most teachers seem to get the best out of the evening by simply chatting to each other and finding out about the resources on display.

So what sort of people attend the Coding Evenings?

We get a large range of people who come along – very often we have teachers who are complete beginners and have no idea of how to teach the coding side of the new curriculum and this is an excellent opportunity for them to discuss their ideas and gain some confidence by trying things out. We also get people involved with Code Club – an initiative to get coders to volunteer in primary schools to help run a club either after or before school (and some people looking for schools to volunteer in); we have attendees who help run Coder Dojos, which is a similar idea. We also get people who are employed in the coding industry who aren’t able to volunteer in schools, but want to give something back to the community by chatting to teachers and helping to build their confidence. We get a lot of enthusiastic people who love Raspberry Pi, Makey Makeys, Arduinos or even Lego – at the last Twickenham evening, we had a Lego sensor controlling an addon board on a Raspberry Pi to make lights come on controlled by Scratch. Finally, we have a core group of very enthusiastic teachers and school technicians who have lots of ideas to share and want to show other people what they’re doing in their schools and how other schools can further their computing teaching. Everything is presented in a non-threatening, informal way to help build confidence.

Location

The entrance to The Old Waterworks is located North of the junction of North Road and Chelmsford Avenue.
From West Road, it is 50 meters south of the BP petrol station with a large gate on the left at the junction with North Road.

The layout has changed recently and the Eventbrite map is wrong and Sat Nav is sometimes incorrect so check where you are going beforehand.
There is lots of free parking at The Old Waterworks.

Other Coding Evenings

To find out about previous events in London, Twickenham and Peterborough and elsewhere, see https://codingevening.wordpress.com/

Coding Evening by Cat Lamin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 

Tech Nation Report 2018

Southend in Tech Nation 2018 Report

Southend on Sea is named as one of the UK’s 16 booming “Silicon Suburb” tech towns and our local community responses are featured in “3. Community Perceptions” in the 2018 Tech Nation report.
This follows our highly successful social media campaign to recruit survey responses.

For those who find the online interactive report hard to use, there is a pdf of the Tech Nation report, a summary of Southend’s “Community Perceptions”, and the raw open data used to compile the report after the press release below.

Thursday 2nd August 6.30pm – Southend TechMeet
Meetup for all those interested in tech.
Click here for details and booking.

Southend Tech has been invited to help promote and inform the report and represent Southend at the launch of the Tech Nation report. We’re very proud our local and national activities are being recognised.

 

 

 

Tech Nation: UK Tech Expands at Faster Rate Than Wider Economy

16 TECH TOWNS THRIVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Growth underlines the UK’s ambition to be the best place in the world to start or build a digital tech business

  • Tech expanding 2.6x faster than the rest of the UK economy
  • Digital tech sector worth nearly £184bn to UK economy, up from £170bn in 2016
  • The UK’s Silicon Suburbs and tech towns are booming with 16 towns showing a higher proportion of digital tech employment than the UK average
  • Diversity in digital tech on improving trend: figures show more black, Asian and ethnic minority workers employed in tech than across the UK in general (15% v 10%)
  • 72% of UK digital tech workers are over 35, in line with the whole UK workforce
  • London ranks as second most connected place for tech on planet, after Silicon Valley
  • London beats Silicon Valley when it comes to proportion of overseas customers
  • Berlin is the only other European city in the top 10 list of global ecosystems

 

 

RAPID SECTOR GROWTH
The UK’s digital tech sector continues to accelerate faster than the rest of the economy, according to Tech Nation 2018, the landmark state of the nation report on the booming tech sector. Turnover of digital tech companies grew by 4.5% between 2016-17 compared to UK GDP which grew by 1.7% over the same period, according to official figures compiled by Tech Nation.

This means that the tech sector grew at 2.6 times faster than the rest of the economy. At the same time the number of jobs in digital tech rose at five times the rate of the rest of the economy, demonstrating how the digital tech sector is one of the best performing sectors in the UK economy.

Tech Nation 2018 is published by Tech Nation, a new voice for the UK’s fast-growing digital tech sector. Tech Nation builds on the work of Tech City UK and Tech North and is working to make the UK the best place in the world to imagine, start and grow a digital tech business. Its purpose is to accelerate the growth of the digital tech sector across the UK, help ambitious founders succeed, increase digital skills, share learning and knowledge between sectors and communities and help present the UK tech sector on the world stage.

RECORD YEAR FOR ACQUISITION, EXITS AND INVESTMENT RAISED
2017 proved to be an amazing year for the UK digital tech sector with some of the biggest fundraisings and exits seen in years, as international investors flocked to fund UK-based firms. British digital tech companies raised £4.5bn in venture capital investment during the year, according to Pitchbook figures, almost double the previous year.

Notable exits for the sector during 2017 included Matchesfashion.com which was sold to a private equity investor for almost £750m and Leeds-based CallCredit acquired by TransUnion for £1 billion. There were also several so called ‘mega funding’ rounds during the year, with game development platform Improbable raising £370m from Japan’s Softbank, food delivery service Deliveroo raising £284m and mobile network Truphone raising £249m. Some of the UK’s fastest growing tech companies include Improbable, Deliveroo, Farfetch, TransferWise, Funding Circle, Revolut, The Hut, Skyscanner, Fanduel, Oxford Nanopore, Benevolent.AI and Darktrace. DeepMind, acquired by Google in 2014, is a global leader in artificial intelligence and still based in London.

In total the UK has seen £42bn venture-backed exits between 2013 and 2017. Companies that have gone from startup to household names, with stock market listings worth billions of pounds in less than a decade, include Just Eat, Zoopla and Purplebricks. The proposed purchase of Zoopla by US investor Silver Lake for £2.2bn, announced last week, underlines the success and future potential of the UK’s digital tech businesses.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS
The fourth report from Tech Nation on the state of the country’s digital tech sector reveals new data on the international competitiveness of the UK’s tech sector:

  • A third of London’s businesses have foreign customers, surpassing the 30% of Silicon Valley companies that have overseas customers according to data from Startup Genome
  • London is the second most connected tech ecosystem globally, behind only Silicon Valley. 25% of the world’s entrepreneurs report a significant relationship with two or more others based in London
  • The UK is third in the world for total capital invested in digital tech companies, behind the US and China
  • London startups have the fourth most international workforce in the world. Only Singapore, Berlin and Chicago have a higher proportion of overseas workers.

A visual representation of the UK’s global connections can be seen here: http://technationio.staging.wpengine.com/report18datavis/global-connectedness/

Comparison of the UK’s digital tech sector and that found in 20 international cities can be seen here: http://technationio.staging.wpengine.com/report18datavis/small-multiples/

TECH TOWNS AND SILICON SUBURBS
The 2018 Tech Nation Report also reveals the rise of ‘silicon suburbs’ and tech towns across the UK where the digital tech sector is growing in urban areas not usually associated with startups and tech businesses. These smaller population centres are attracting more digital tech businesses, as the UK tech sector gets bigger.

The 16 tech towns with above average digital density – higher levels of tech employment – could prove to be a fertile breeding ground for the next generation of tech startups. The towns are:

Newbury
Reading
Basingstoke
Burnley
Slough and Heathrow
Livingston
Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City
Guildford and Aldershot

High Wycombe and Aylesbury

Southend
Enniskillen
Telford
Cheltenham
Stafford
Huntingdon
Swindon

Eight cities are also showing above average tech employment, demonstrating how the UK’s tech boom is spreading beyond locations like East London and Manchester where it already well established. The cities are: Portsmouth, Bristol, Cambridge, Southampton, Oxford, York, Salisbury and Bath.

DIVERSITY
Tech Nation 2018 reveals that the digital tech sector’s workforce is older than commonly perceived and more ethnically mixed than the average UK workplace. However the dearth of women in the digital tech sector remains a factor, albeit one that is beginning to be addressed by activities to tackle the recruitment and retention of women.

  • On average 72% of UK digital tech workers are over 35, challenging the stereotype that jobs in this sector are the preserve of millennials
  • 15% of those in digital tech jobs are of black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) background, significantly higher than the 10% across all UK jobs
  • Only 19% of the digital tech workforce is female, compared to 49% across all UK jobs.

COMMUNITY SURVEY & BREXIT
In its 2018 report, Tech Nation conducted its biggest ever survey of people in digital tech with 3,428 responses. The qualitative research reveals that entrepreneurs, investors and founders in the tech sector face broadly the same challenges, regardless of their location:

  • Access to talent is the most common challenge – affecting 83% of clusters
  • Access to funding is a top 3 challenge in 49% of clusters
  • Bad transport links are a top 3 challenge in 29% of clusters

The responses showed that Brexit is less significant for companies outside London, which historically have relied less heavily on overseas talent to fill job vacancies.

  • The only places in which Brexit is cited as a top 3 challenge are Cambridge and London.
  • Tech communities across the UK are highly optimistic about the growth prospects for digital tech companies in their local area, both in terms of scale and number of businesses

UK entrepreneurs are overwhelmingly optimistic about the future of the UK’s digital tech sector:

  • Over 70% of respondents think the number of digital tech businesses in their local area will rise over the next 12 months
  • And, over 90% think that the scale of digital tech businesses in their local area will either expand or stay the same

MEETUPS & EMERGING TECH
The report reveals the ‘hidden underwiring’ that is powering the growth of the digital tech sector across the UK. These informal meetups provide clues to the areas of digital tech that are “hot” right now:

  • Artificial intelligence is becoming more important – of the top 400 UK tech meetups with the largest membership nearly 16% are related to AI
  • 1.6 million people across the country belong to 3,627 informal tech meetup groups
  • Analysis of Meetup data reveals that particular cities are quickly developing specialisms eg: blockchain is emerging specialism in Manchester where there were 151 meetups and nearly 62000 members

 

Tech Nation 2018 Report links


Tech Nation Online Interactive report

Tech Nation Report pdf download.

 

Summary of “3. Community Perceptions” in Southend.

Cultural amenities: 8.10
Cost of living: 6.50
Quality of life: 7.70
Ethnic diversity: 6.10
Age diversity: 6.10
Gender diversity: 5.0
Quality of schools: 7.50
Quality of training in tech: 5.30
Recruiting skilled workers: 4.30
Accessing finance: 4.60
Accessing mentoring: 5.60
Digital infrastructure: 6.20
Transport infrastructure: 5.70
National awareness of local tech: 4.10
International awareness of local tech: 2.8
Growth prospects (number of businesses): 3.9
Growth prospects (scale of businesses): 4.8

Challenges identified by Southend tech community
1. Lack of tech training
2. Retaining talent
3. Lack of support from government

Strengths identified by local tech communities
1. Access to workspace
2. Appealing area
3. Digital Infrastructure

 

Come and join the Southend Tech community meetup for a talk and discussion on the report at :

Thursday 2nd August 6.30pm – Southend TechMeet
Meetup for all those interested in tech.
Click here for details and booking.

 

 

Southend Pepper Social Care Robot

We were very excited to see that Southend Borough Council bought a £17,000 Pepper Robot to kickstart innovation in social care and inspire people to learn coding and robotics.

We met Pepper and learned to code Pepper at the Southend “Smart City” Raspberry Jam on Sunday 3rd March 2019.

 

That aligns closely with the aims of Southend Tech and the Southend Raspberry Jam and we put the word out :

Pepper can be coded in Python, the main language we code the Raspberry Pi, Microbit, robots, artificial intelligence and cloud computing services.
The operating system is Linux as used on the Raspberry Pi.

11,000 impressions, 30 retweets, 39 favs and 10 replies later we decided to hold a “Learn to Code Pepper” workshop at the Southend Makerspace.

Pepper uses a simple drag and drop interface called Choreograph where the underlying Python can be seen and edited. This also shows how to use the Python api standalone.

 

 

 

 

We showed how to program Pepper the robot at the wellbeing@GaronPark – as well as the usual Raspberry Pi, Microbit (which you can borrow from Southend Libraries), Cambridge Raspberry Jam robot kits etc.

 

Pepper uses motors, camera, artificial intelligence vision / voice recognition, RGB lights and sensors.

The Raspberry Pi can be coded using the Google #AIY voice and vision Raspberry Pi kits, cameras, Neopixels, sensors and cloud computing artificial from Google, IBM, Amazon, Microsoft and many others.

Here’s a cute Raspberry Pi robot on its way to Southend Raspberry Jam.

 

Perhaps you could think of an idea to use Pepper, which could also be implemented on a Raspberry Pi.
We held the Southend Hackathon Dementia Challenge to invent solutions to social care issues.