Our Founder and Director, Brendan Digney, recently attended and represented Machine Eye Technology at London Tech Week 2023.

London Tech Week is a landmark event in the tech calendar and includes: inspirational founders, top business leaders, policymakers, investors and rising stars: engaging in discussions on technologies that will unlock new opportunities and transform the future.

Safetytech Accelerator hosted the ‘Saving lives with technology – the world of industrial safetytech’ event as part of London Tech Week 2023. The ‘Saving lives with technology – the world of Industrial Safetytech’ panel discussion featured speakers from across the construction sector, along with tech investors and UK technology companies that participated in the world's first regulatory sandbox for industrial safetytech. Those involved shared their insights and explored the potential of safetytech.

The event began with an introduction by Maurizio Pilu, Managing Director at Safetytech Accelerator. He highlighted the global tragedy of 2.1 million deaths from accidents at work, costing 3.9% of global GDP, each year. Industrial safety tech is a growing sector in the UK, particularly in industries including construction, transportation, and maritime with companies like Machine Eye Technology leading development. Funding for UK safety tech startups using AI, sensors, wearables, virtual reality, drones, robots, and data analytics has increased nearly five-fold, to £150 million, since COVID-19.

The first panel included industry leaders in construction and infrastructure: Andrew Rippington (BAM Nuttall), Mark Saunders (Colas), George Mosey (Laing O’Rourke), and Xanyar Kamangar (Griffon Capital).

George Mosey began by mentioning the cynicism towards Safety Tech due to previous failed implementations. Some of the challenges the industry leaders outlined in embedding Safety Tech include the sector’s project-based nature and the difficulty of achieving wider adoption within organisations. At Machine Eye, we are very aware of these challenges, and put our experience and customers at the heart of the solution. 

All present concurred that safety tech should solve wider business problems and drive productivity, not just focus on safety. However, a lack of time and resources invested in project setup and refinement are barriers to success. To resolve this, clear and tangible KPIs are essential when implementing health and safety technology and this technology should be people-centric, while complementing existing health and safety management. At Machine Eye we do exactly this: as a tool to assist with the machine pedestrian interface, our product embodies a people-centric approach towards both workers and management.

Speakers further outlined how government regulation can act as a catalyst for safety tech adoption. The HSE is leading in this through its collected data and analytics, and the creation of the world’s first Industrial Safetytech Regulatory Sandbox. By these government schemes focused on sharing information and case studies, organisations can make informed and safer decisions.

Machine Eye Technology is one of six UK startups chosen to take part in the Industrial Safetytech Regulatory Sandbox, due to our work pioneering the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for improved visibility and control of the pedestrian-vehicle interface. The sandbox is being delivered by Discovering Safety, a programme led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Britain’s health and safety regulator, and Safetytech Accelerator, a technology accelerator dedicated to advancing safetytech in industry. 

The second panel involved innovators including our own Brendan Digney, Sebastian Andraos (HAL-Robotics), David Greenberg (Eave), and Shelley Copsey (FYLD). We had a thought-provoking discussion on the potential technology has to revolutionise safety and mitigate risk in safety-critical industries and outlined the challenges and opportunities that safety tech can bring to business and industries.

We discussed the growing demand for safetytech and how this fits into the tech ecosystem and the importance of building high value ventures with safety at the core of product outcomes. The panel shed light on how regulations can help with safety tech adoption, the evolution of technology advancements and the immense amount of opportunities for talent in areas such as AI research, gamification specialism and psychology to work in businesses with strong ethics and values. 

The ‘Saving lives with technology – the world of industrial safetytech’ event stimulated conversation about the role of technology in enhancing safety, overcoming industry challenges, and perspectives from executives, regulators, and the tech innovators. Overall London Tech Week 2023 was an informative and exciting event and we hope to return next year.