2020: Year in review
WarwickTECH is a student-led angel fund backing founders from Warwick University. We aim to empower students to pursue tech entrepreneurship and innovation.
Welcome to WarwickTECH's January newsletter! Every month, we'll be sharing our top tech stories — including the most exciting things going on in tech, startups, and innovation at Warwick and beyond.
Curated by Cyrus Ma and edited by Samantha Zandt
What’s new with WarwickTECH?
The members of the WarwickTECH team would like to wish you health and luck with your ventures in the new year! We hope you have had a fruitful rest during the holidays, and are rejuvenated for the challenges in the coming year.
Our next upcoming event is our annual WarwickHack in February 2021, which is open for all university students, and all technical skill levels. If you’re interested, please feel free to bookmark the WarwickHack page, or like our Facebook page! Stay tuned for our first batch of tickets coming soon!
Want to learn more about coding or brush up your skills before joining? Here's a free event you can join from our partner MLH!
Whether you’re a regular hackathon goer or have never attended one before, Local Hack Day is a great way to learn new skills, build new projects and share your creations. In January 2021, MLH will be hosting a weeklong BUILD event, celebrating hacks both big and small. This is a great way to prepare for our flagship event, WarwickHACK, and get inspired by new ideas and challenges. You will also have the chance to expand your network and work with people of all experience levels from around the world.
Theme of the month: Year in Review
Dominant media narratives tend to brush over the failures in the startup realm, an unfortunate occurrence which buries valuable points of reference for future ventures. 2020 has been rough on startups, and here are is a compilation of a few notable startups which have failed to make it through to the new year.
As the new year begins to unfold, so does the trajectory of recent technology trends. From crackdowns on big tech to developments in autonomous cars and working from home technology, this article articulates the core trends that are expected to characterize the technology narrative of the coming year.
A major source of growth at the high-end of the technology sector is the mergers and acquisitions between large tech companies. This article summarizes deal activity across 2020, highlighting aggressive moves from Salesforce and Nvidia which both acquired multiple companies.
What’s happening at Warwick University?
A new startup incubation hub in Leamington at 1 Mill Street was announced in December 2020. A cooperative effort between the University of Warwick, Warwickshire County Council, BT and 1 Mill Street to create an incubation hub outside Greater London, it provides perks for 500 innovators, such as 6 months of free coworking space and 5G network.
WMG researchers have developed new AI algorithms designed to coordinate the movement of robotic hands. Having passed the simulation stage, the effort aims at resolving the challenge of getting robotic hands to replicate human dexterity, and has important applications in manufacturing industries and high-risk scenarios.
Warwick Science Park has announced their cooperation with Humane Technologies to develop Microbemeter, a piece of technology that enables labs to undertake “continuous growth measurements of microbial dynamics in test tube grown cell cultures”. This development is expected to aid microbiology laboratory productivity and assist the integration of STEM in life sciences education.
What’s new in the tech industry?
A 2000 page trade agreement has been struck between the EU and UK on Christmas Eve, a week before the UK is slated to exit the European Union. It includes a “zero tariff and zero quota” policy on £668 billion worth goods, yet is expected to create significant costs to tech businesses due to border check costs and the end to the freedom of movement in the EU for UK nationals.
Apart from the agreement on trade, whilst UK companies may still be part of the Horizon Europe Research Initiative, the departure from the EU has rendered UK companies ineligible for €15 million of Europe Investment Bank backed funding. UK students will also be ineligible to participate in the Erasmus+ exchange program which has facilitated cross-Europe study exchanges in previous years.
A collaboration between Western Power Distribution, Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Toyota and Cenex is working to develop a new charging system for EV cars that functions even when the vehicle is in motion. If successful, it will mitigate the anxiety regarding the range limitation of EV vehicles.
That's all for January, let us know what you thought and if we missed any stories or topics worth including going forward — see you next month!