Our conviction that AI and other technologies are a positive force in establishing new centers of activity and generating employment gains was significantly reinforced upon examining a case study involving the company Descartes Underwriting. This Paris-based startup is injecting innovation into the insurance sector. Descartes Underwriting leverages data from various sources, including Satellite Imagery, Stationary Sensors, Radar, and Third-party data. This augmentation broadens the underwriting capabilities and, notably, intensifies the joint contribution of technology and human expertise in delivering sophisticated solutions to clients.
Consequently, we must update our perspective on locations frequently. You might be situated in one of the most vibrant locales without realizing it. (Proximity to a location can occasionally obscure its true potential.)
A few years ago, the Balkan region was not seen as a major player in the software development industry. This trend was due to several factors, including the perceived lack of skilled talent, outdated infrastructure, and political instability. However, things have changed a lot in the past five years. The Balkan region has made significant investments in its IT infrastructure, and a pool of skilled software developers is now available. The recent opening of a Software development center by Databricks in Belgrade is an endorsement of the Balkan region as a hub for software development.
We will share our perspective on how technologies can alter the potential of various locations by enhancing efficiencies. Furthermore, we will discuss how smaller locales might emerge as significant players. This presentation will take place during a conference in The Netherlands at the end of September.
Here are some location signals we are monitoring that may be helpful for you.
- The US Economic Development Administration has concluded the assessment of applications from states to pinpoint the next Twenty tech hubs. This initiative aims to disperse technology concentration. Various MSAs, including Syracuse, have submitted their applications. We’ll oversee the outcome and subsequently share the results. This endeavor, known as the Tech Hubs initiative, is expected to propel the emergence of new hubs.
- The German software group SAP has established an SAP Labs Site in Bucharest, functioning as a digital innovation hub to enrich the company’s range of products and services. This Bucharest hub is integrated into the global R&D network of SAP Labs Network, overseeing the company’s engineering endeavors. The network comprises 21 R&D centers spanning 17 countries, including Germany, the United States, India, China, and Brazil. Each center specializes in various domains, such as AI, cloud computing, and process automation.
- Singapore and Malaysia highlight a surging corporate demand for advanced computational resources, notably green data centers, and hyper scaler capabilities. This demand is propelling the expansion and modernization of data centers.
- The low-code platform Appian has inaugurated its new regional headquarters in Sydney, positioned as a regional strategic hub.
- Empowered by technologies such as Robotics and AI, there is a parallel need to redefine our perceptions of age and the capacities of our workforce. Japanese companies progressively rely on older workers to address labor shortages and enhance business competitiveness. In the previous year, close to 40% of businesses, a doubling of the ratio from a decade ago, extended the working age beyond 70. These success stories provide a valuable case study for Western countries.
- In the city of Poznan, Poland, a team of researchers has established a robotics laboratory dedicated to the autonomous analysis of results from biochemistry experiments.
- The GATE initiative in Sofia, Bulgaria, is achieving remarkable strides in its mission to shape Sofia into a thriving innovation hub. This endeavor is focused on establishing the GATE Centre of Excellence (CoE) as a globally competitive ecosystem for advancing fundamental and practical research and innovation in Big Data. INSAIT is another initiative that is expected to transform AI education in Bulgaria
- Cities like Dallas, Texas, are experiencing a surge in AI momentum due to the influx of engineers with extensive experience in enterprise technology stacks. This pool of talent is highly skilled in collaborating with sizable corporations. Notably, the Caterpillar Digital Center, based in Dallas, has demonstrated substantial innovation within its digital framework.
- Gloucestershire-based engineering technologies company, Renishaw, has opened a new science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) Outreach facility at its headquarters in New Mills, Gloucestershire, UK. The STEM Centre will strengthen Renishaw’s existing education outreach efforts by providing a dedicated space for local schoolchildren to visit to learn more about STEM subjects and associated careers.
- Schaeffler is expanding its global development activities for advanced mobility solutions. As part of this, the company has opened a new state-of-the-art development center in Kysuce, Slovakia.
- Aptiv inaugurated its first Technical Hub in Monterrey, which will employ 300 engineers specialized in software development for intelligent services for vehicles of different brands.
Effective communication regarding updated location narratives and our operational areas holds paramount importance. Anna Blakney, a biomedical engineer from the University of British Columbia, has exemplified the potential of science communication through her engaging and lighthearted social media content on platforms like Twitter and TikTok. This approach is a valuable lesson for us to consider and draw inspiration from. Creating educational roadmaps like the example provided below, aimed at the entry-level workforce, will exponentially result in enterprises reaping significant benefits from digital transformation.
Here is an Educational Roadmap for a Call Center Agent
A new section for the weekly note:
I am adding a new section where I will be providing some links to papers that I found fascinating. Here is an interesting article on Equitable Hiring Strategies from the Nature
Cosgriff-Hernandez, E.M., Aguado, B.A., Akpa, B. et al. Equitable hiring strategies towards a diversified faculty. Nat. Biomed. Eng 7, 961–968 (2023).
What did I like about this article?
The authors emphasize the importance of addressing systemic biases and barriers in academic hiring processes. They propose strategies to attract and retain individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, fostering a more inclusive and diverse faculty in the field of biomedical engineering. The article highlights the need for intentional efforts, transparent evaluation criteria, and broader networks to ensure equitable representation and enhance innovation within academic institutions. The study contributes to the ongoing dialogue on creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce in the biomedical engineering discipline. The paper gives several tips that are useful for HR leaders.