2016 was a very interesting year from KnowNow’s perspective. We made a decision to pivot, we won some battles, lost some skirmishes and we have made some customers very happy. We also had to say goodbye to some old friends too. As Dave & I both said to each other at our end of year review “it has been a rollercoaster of a year!”.
David is delighted to be travelling to Kuala Lumpur to represent KnowNow at the UK Government’s Malaysia trade mission next week. He will join a group representing high growth UK companies at the technology mission organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Kuala Lumpur’s famous Petronas Twin Towers – a must visit for the Malaysia Trade Mission!
New DIT Support Programme
KnowNow Information was selected earlier this year to be an inaugural member of the DIT’s Company Sub-Sector Support Programme (CSSP). This initiative is designed to help high growth UK businesses expand into targeted export markets. The aim is to deliver £350m of new export revenue for UK companies through collaboration with Malaysian organisations in the chosen priority sub-sectors. Continue reading →
Smart Cities advocate Chris Cooper is a co-founder of KnowNow Cities, who provide a design consulting service for those involved in smart cities. In this fourth part of our Future Watch series Chris opens up about the ingredients and leadership required to turn a city into a smart one.
G: We’re going to have to move on to your smart cities article. If you could just quickly explain what Know Now does for smart cities?
C: What we do with smart cities is we provide a design consulting service for people like architects, developers and local authorities with the idea that if you want to start connecting buildings, homes and workplaces to digital networks and having information flowing from one place to another, you need some type of design that makes sure the data goes where it’s supposed to.
The people accessing it are those that can. So it’s secure, it’s safe, it’s sustainable. It continues to do what it does on the tin because you’re starting to interact in between something physical that will have a lifespan of maybe 150, 200 years versus something that could have a lifespan of weeks or months or years depending on what it is.
Batteries, for example, the maximum I’ve seen a battery last was a wireless sensor one and is up to around 10 years.
Today I was at an event hosted by University of Portsmouth at the Emirates Spinnaker Tower (quite possibly my favourite UK structure). The event was to kick start a discussion on the future of urban Portsmouth. Prof. Steffen Lehmann had brought some serious players to the panel that was to discuss Portsmouth as a sustainable city by 2030. Asking the question… What is the vision to get there?
This is KnowNow’s home city in many ways. David & I were born here, went to school locally and our business is based in the city and one of us is a season ticket holder! We are a Portsmouth company. Yet we also have a global outlook with customers in SE Asia, London as well as down the road. Our home city has tended to lag behind when it comes to being seen as a ‘smart place’. Now this may have changed.
Cognicity – the business accelerator KnowNow participated in 2015.
When it came to KnowNow’s innovative new consent tool what we needed was a view of the market. We needed to move from a hunch to a viable innovation backed up with evidence.
A consequence of being on a business accelerator is that you take a more methodical based approach to your innovation validation. This means fail fast and do the bare minimum and push only what has a positive response. Do more of that and less of the things that are not so positive. This is an iterative experience.
For smart cities to be considered a success they will have many different types of services e.g. for health, mobility, energy and crime. How services are delivered, measured and valued will be transformed and citizens will now consume experiences and share most things that were previously owned. It will just make sense that way. However, there is a big assumption in this futuristic view. Consent.
What’s the big assumption?
That citizens will have allowed some quite personal information to be consumed, shared and distributed. Yet, this laissez faire view does not necessarily work for all. In particular when it comes to the European countries with the new GDPR, a growing number of citizens are hesitant about sharing their data freely, according to the latest MEF report some 41% of citizens have this concern. Yet a total clamp down on personal information use is not appropriate either, because no personal information share means no experiences and no transformed services.
Knowing that it is flooding is one thing. What would be more relevant is being able to do something about it pro-actively before the situation gets out of control. Flooding is going to happen, no amount of barriers will stop some floods. The approach is… how to live and adapt to flood events. Continue reading →