Start-ups, talent and banking behemoths – The 2020 technology round up

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News & Press
January 25, 2021

As we say farewell to 2020, Ayming reflects on the key stories, opinions and coverage that have shaped the year. From innovative tech start-ups to banking behemoths, technology has been at the forefront of global innovation…

Our team continue to be impressed by the thriving UK technology scene but were surprised by the number of new tech companies that fail to take advantage of the tax incentives offered by the government.

In response to this observation, Mark Smith, Partner of Innovation Incentives, provided some guidance in Sifted for innovative tech startups on how they can make the most out of R&D tax credits and get that much needed funding boost.

An important development that the team have been tracking is the shift in global R&D trends, with the dominance of Europe and North America being potentially displaced by fast-developing Asian technologies. Mark Smith, wrote in Information Age about what this trend means for global innovation and the steps that America and European countries need to take to ensure they remain leaders in innovation.

Unsurprisingly, how to both innovate sustainably and drive sustainability forward through innovation have been key focuses for our team this year. This was of course a major focus for this year’s International Innovation Barometer, comments on which were published in Startups Magazine, Education Technology and European Business Magazine, among others.

Similarly, sentiments from The Ayming Institute’s Profit and Planet report were published in a Verdict article, which argued how industrial-scale business research and innovation is required to turn the tide of environmental damage. There can be no doubt that technology will play a key role in the fight against climate change.

All sectors have been affected by the pandemic, but the financial sector proved one of the best at being able to adapt to this challenge. In April, Mark Smith outlined what the immediate impact was on the sector and what his predictions were with technology being a key driver in financial services.

Mark was right on the money. He predicted that big, established players were going to have an easier time adapting to new circumstances. Although the digital first nature of challenger banks gives them an advantage, the crisis brings challenges. They lack the capital flow to weather a longer crisis and have to work on building consumer trust in a more anxious financial environment. Furthermore, established players have invested heavily in digital infrastructure. Newcomers, however, weren’t able to match this investment, which will put them at a disadvantage going forward.

Technology is playing an ever-growing role in the sector. Covid-19 has accelerated this trend further as even digital laggards were forced to accept the necessity of digitalisation. As fintech R&D continues in the coming years, blockchain is going to be at the heart of this technological change as its uses go far beyond just cryptocurrency. We’re still in the early stages but Mark Smith predicts significant developments on the horizon.

Looking forward in 2021 Mark Smith commented in Engineering and Technology, on how maintaining access to Europe’s massive pool of talent is going to be crucial to driving forward R&D in the years to come.

Notes to Editors

Ayming is a leading international Business Performance consultancy and has a global footprint. The Group is present in 17 countries: Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, the UK and USA with a staff of approximately 1,400.

In the UK Ayming helps businesses to improve their financial and operational performance through innovation, tax, procurement and supply chain, working capital and operational efficiency services.

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