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Biztech is collaborating with partners to bring businesses across the Milton Keynes region together within a new MK Digital Community.

MK Digital Community is for organisations that want to collaborate and learn from each other about the opportunities that technologies such as AI and Machine Learning might bring.

Within the Community, they would hear from the growing number of specialists and experts who live and work within Milton Keynes and how these technologies can bring value and how they might be applied.

They would be able to seek advice about new opportunities that AI-related technologies might bring.  Over time, they would also become employers of Alumni from the IoT and the MK University.

The Mk Digital Community would be an extension to and build upon, the sterling work performed by enterprises such as MKAI, the IoT and the Natwest Accelerator, as well as MK Council.

Thanks to their efforts, Milton Keynes is becoming recognised as an entrepreneurially based, go-to hub for digital expertise, backed up by first-class Colleges and Universities. 

More technology businesses and startups are going to be attracted to the City, along with employers wanting to tap into the next generation of technologists emerging from Schools, Colleges and Universities into the workplace.

But, a critical next step for the City is to help all businesses to benefit from the digital and data expertise and experience that is growing within the City, in particular those who have yet to embrace digital technology to any great degree. 

This is perhaps the piece that is still missing from the City’s digital strategy.  This is where the MK Digital Community comes in.

Its role will be to bring practitioners and specialists together to help those organisations discover that the benefits that data related technologies can bring are accessible, affordable, and within their reach.

It will mean breaking down some of the barriers commonly associated with technology e.g. related to language, or perceptions about difficulty, complexity and cost.

This is particularly important in the area of AI – a term associated with bringing benefit to businesses but also associated with opacity, skills that are hard to acquire, autonomous algorithms, threats to employment.

In the case of AI, a key role for the Community would be to highlight and explain the many different uses that can be made of data that all fall under the banner of AI – and that the majority can be applied easily, will create value within a business and ultimately drive growth and new jobs.

Milton Keynes has made amazing progress.  However, to further strengthen its reputation as a standout centre of digital expertise, it may need to put another part of the foundations in place – a system for helping all businesses to engage with advanced digital technology, not just those that have already embraced digital technology.