London’s newest tech hub TMRW opens in Croydon

A New tech business hub launched in the capital’s fastest-growing tech cluster.

TMRWCroydon, a South London ‘city’ based equidistant between Gatwick Airport and London’s Victoria station has never had the best of reputations.

It is home to Lunar House, one of the most depressing places on earth, being a place where people go to extend their UK visas. Some would say that the whole of Croydon is just as depressing.

However, for the past two decades, more people commute into, rather than out of Croydon, and while it was once famous for being Nestle’s head office, it is now transmuting into the capital’s latest tech hub.

TOMORROW (TMRW) is its name and the new hub will provide state-of-the-art facilities and an emerging ecosystem for the capital’s startups looking to scale up and grow fast. It offers 21,000 sq ft of space and provides access to a network of CEOs, entrepreneurs, industry giants, artists and thought-leaders through one off events and shared social projects.

It has more than £2 million in financial backing from Croydon Council and the Greater London Authority, including a rent and rates relief period. This is part of the government’s £7 billion investment into the regeneration of Croydon, with other programmes including a new BoxPark, a Westfield shopping centre and the creation of a new Cultural Quarter in the town centre.

The purpose-built tech hub is based in Davis House, an office building located on the High Street and at the epicentre of Croydon’s so-called digital cluster. The hub, designed for optimal functionality has the following facilities;

* 320 OpenDesk LEAN desks at incredibly low rental rates of £300 per desk

* Meeting spaces (including two boardrooms)

* Spacious tech-enabled event space for 200+ people

* 1GB Internet fibre connectivity

TMRW will also house Digital Art Central, the UK’s first digital art and media specialist hub, providing the leading digital artists and art entrepreneurs with the same high-level facilities and business-building tools usually reserved for tech entrepreneurs.

The downside of London’s tech boom has been the flash rise of rent prices in central London with many great startups being priced out of central London. With TMRW, we’re establishing one of the UK’s best alternative clusters for tech entrepreneurs and startups,” said Francois Mazoudier, Chairman TMRW.

UN launches ShareTheMeal app to feed Syrian children

Smartphone users in the Arabic-speaking world can help feed Syrian refugee children in Lebanon with just a tap on their mobile phones through the ShareTheMeal application.

ShareTheMealThe United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched the ShareTheMeal app to help feed Syrian children during Ramadan.

Available on IoS and Android, ShareTheMeal users can ‘share’ their meals while breaking their day-long fast with their families. For a donation as little as 30p, WFP can provide a child with nutrition for a whole day.

“Every cultural and religious tradition in the world teaches us to care for the less privileged and to share what we have. The launch of the app in Arabic provides people in the Arabic-speaking world with an easy way to do good deeds and share meals during the holy month of Ramadan, the month of generosity and giving,” said Dominik Heinrich, WFP Lebanon Country Director and Representative.

Since the launch of the English version of the app last year, more than 500,000 users worldwide have provided the equivalent of more than 5.6 million daily food rations to the poorest and hungriest around the world. The app has received several awards for its design and innovative character, including Google who named it as one of the Best Apps of 2015.

Syrian refugee families in Lebanon receive food assistance through electronic vouchers or “ecards”. Money raised through ShareTheMeal’s fundraising goal will cover the rations for a full year for 1,400 Syrian children aged 3-4 years living in Beirut.

The children’s parents will receive funds transferred to their regular WFP e-cards, allowing them to buy the food they want in local shops, which also supports host communities and the economy. The Arabic version of the app comes as ShareTheMeal plans to reach a zero-hunger future by engaging as many smartphone users as possible.

With the launch in Arabic-speaking countries, a potential market of 117 million smartphone users will be able to download ShareTheMeal from app stores.

The UK’s proudest professions are not digital

A new study says farming, teaching and pharma are the UK’s proudest professions, not the digital and creative industries.

professionsAccording to a new survey from fishing waterproofs brand Stormline about pride in the workplace, farming, education and pharma came out on top while those in the digital and creative industries came somewhere in the middle.

The biggest reason for professional pride was the ability to create or make something. Innovation and helping others were also big sources of professional pride… meaning that the digital industry still has some way to go convincing its creative workers that they are ‘making a difference’.

“The UK’s farmers should deservedly feel proud of their industry and our study bears this out. The overwhelming majority of them feel proud of what they do. They can go home at the end of the day knowing they’ve played their part in producing something.

“This isn’t to do down the pride that those at the cutting edge of software development should feel, they are rightly proud of their professions too, but there is something uniquely satisfying about producing something that you can one day hold in your hands,” said Regan McMillan, director of Stormline.

Other findings were:

* Producing something tangible was the most commonly given reason for professional pride, more commonly cited than innovation and helping others.

* Workers in education, health, social care and personal services all rated high for professional pride and said ‘making a difference’ or ‘helping others’ were the reasons

* The real estate and food, beverage and tobacco industries have the fewest professionals who identify as either ‘very proud’ or ‘extremely proud’ of their industry

* A third of UK workers cited ‘innovation’ as their biggest source of pride. Innovation was the most given reason for professional pride among pharmaceutical, aerospace and chemicals professionals

Is Reykjavik the smartest city in Europe?

The City of Reykjavik will be the first city in Europe to use the Social Progress Index to map and improve the wellbeing of all its residents

ReykjavikThe Social Progress Index is a flexible tool that uses specific indicators to measure social and environmental outcomes—such as shelter, health, lifespan, and education—and serves as a complementary measure to traditional economic measures such as employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It has been used to map social performance in a variety of places, including 161 countries at the national level, the entire European Union at the NUTS2 level, cantons in Costa Rica, municipalities in Brazil and cities in Colombia.

“Iceland is already a leading country in the world on social progress, and we’re used to thinking that life is pretty good in Reykjavik.This new effort to map what is and is not working for people in different parts of our city will allow us to make sure that there is a chance for all residents to enjoy social progress,” said Dagur Eggertsson, Mayor of Reykjavik.

Creation of the new index for Reykjavik will include identifying local organizations across government, business, civil society, and academia to support research, use local understanding of Reykjavik’s unique characteristics to choose appropriate indicators, and commit to building on that new understanding to improve social progress across the city.

The Index’s methodology allows communities to use indicators that make sense in their local context, including those that directly impact government policy and areas where local businesses and civil society can better engage in activities that promote the health and wellness of its citizens.

The Social Progress Index for Reykjavik will be the first city-level use of the tool in Europe. The Social Progress Index has previously been used to examine social progress in different parts of the city of Bogota and Rio de Janeiro.

Its mission is to improve the lives of people around the world, particularly the poorest, by fostering research and knowledge-sharing on social progress and equipping leaders in business, government and civil society with new tools to guide policies and programs.

MindMate app offers hope for dementia sufferers

A new free app MindMate that deals with dementia has been developed by a team of young students.


mindmate

MindMate is an iOS app that has been developed for those with dementia and, just as importantly, for their families and carers.

Created in consultation with the University of Glasgow’s Geriatric medicine department one of its founders, Rogelio Arellano, 27, cared for his grandfather who had dementia until he passed away.

He used this knowledge and experience to create and launch MindMate with a team of students, all in their 20s.

Available in the Apple store, the app was launched as part of Dementia Awareness Week, but it is also aimed at those with other cognitive disabilities or brain injuries. MindMate won the Sheffield Smart Lab and there will soon be a citywide pilot in Sheffield. The NHS Trust Glasgow & Clyde and 28 care homes around the UK have also adopted the app, with more places launching soon.

The app contains features such as:

* Brain-training games
* Reminder tools
* A story photo book & a ‘Getting to know me’ tool
* Advice on nutrition and exercise
A shop with care and every-day products