Technology, not for Technology's Sake
Play • 31 min

Dr Richard Fallon has a PhD in photonics so who better to join Saf to throw light on technology? They talk about the transition of Birmingham and the West Midlands from one built upon traditional heavy engineering to innovative enterprises based upon the use of technology. He tells Saf that great things are happening in the region and the two men look into the future and what further changes can be expected in the coming years. Safaraz talks about how he is increasingly using technology in his businesses to increase efficiency and effectiveness. 

 

The West Midlands is a region transformed with technology driving much of that change.

Safaraz Ali is joined by Dr Richard Fallon to review the state of play in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Dr Fallon, who has a PhD in photonics, shines a light on some of the good things that are happening in the region.

When Saf’s father came to Birmingham from Pakistan the economy was based upon traditional heavy engineering and automotive. In a changing world the region has had to reinvent itself and Richard and Saf share their views on how successful this has been.

Safaraz talks of how technology is being used to make his businesses more efficient and effective whilst Richard says that technology is increasingly being used to undertake more mundane activities leaving people with more time to be inventive and creative.

Richard tells how an ‘interest in how things work’ was the driver behind his decision to follow a scientific career albeit through the traditional university route. Safaraz, a champion of apprenticeships, sets out the opportunities for people to get into science and technology through the apprentice route. They agree that there is a huge need for skilled workers but also share a view that the definition of ‘skills’ is too narrow and includes work like HGV driving. Dr Fallon discusses how there are many different skills like good communications and people management that are transferable across sectors.

They conclude that technology is important but not for its own sake but as an engine of economic prosperity, job creation and wellbeing.

Technology and the Covid pandemic forms part of the conversation with a shared view that despite the awful consequences of the virus, it has been an accelerator with more people now tech savvy than before the arrival of the coronavirus in early 2020.

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