The founding CEO of Tech City and entrepreneur behind Canary Wharf’s tech community Level39 is to launch a new initiative redefining how businesses engage with emerging tech.

Eric Van der Kleij, the former head of the Tech City initiative appointed by David Cameron – which would go on to become Tech Nation – has joined forces with Gokce Gizer Clover, who previously led the Extreme Tech Challenge startup competition, to launch TransformBase. 

TransformBase is a platform for business leaders to improve their understanding of new technologies and how to deploy them within their organisations. It will initially focus on five key emerging technologies: AI, quantum, immersive (AR/VR), blockchain, and 5G/6G. 

Through events and working groups, TransformBase will develop the five technology-specific business roadmaps in collaboration with business leaders, investors, founders, and policymakers. The roadmaps will set out pathways for the integration of emerging technologies by businesses that are aligned with government policy and consider the wider implications for society. 

The initiative will build on the outputs from the UK government’s AI Safety Summit taking place on the 1st and 2nd November at Bletchley Park, but will include a specific focus on the implications of emerging technologies for businesses.

“In today’s landscape, every company is a tech company. Yet, many remain on the sidelines, uncertain of how to seize the transformative power of emerging technologies,” said Van der Kleij. 

“TransformBase acts as a catalyst, empowering these enterprises and their investors to steer confidently toward a prosperous and purpose-driven future.”  

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TransformBase will launch with its inaugural event on November 9th 2023 at Kings Place, London, drawing together over 400 business leaders, tech builders and investors, with educators and policymakers. 

The event is designed to tap into the “collective intelligence” and actively involve all attendees to contribute to delivering actionable business and societal roadmaps. 

Leading figures from the worlds of tech, business and government have rallied around this critical mission and will be participating in the event, including Lord Dominic Johnson, Minister of State, Department for Business and Trade; Sherry Coutu, angel investor and entrepreneur, founder of Founders4Schools and Digital Boost; Nicola McCormick, general counsel-media, WPP; and Fabrice Beaulieu, chief marketing, sustainability and corporate affairs officer at Reckitt.

The event’s agenda blends talks from thought leaders with interactive content, harnessing collective intelligence through active audience participation and has been guided by 30+ interviews with business leaders and technologists.

Gizer Clover said: “The content and sessions have been designed to engage on five key challenges: integration, security and privacy, change management, cost implications, and scalability.” 

Outputs from the event will be refined through quarterly working groups. These groups will craft technology-specific roadmaps, ready for implementation by organisations, and share insights with policymakers and influential global bodies, including the World Economic Forum at Davos in January 2024.

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