The UK risks losing research financing of some £1 billion a year if it leaves the EU, with organisations such as the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Rolls-Royce and the BBC all losing significant R&D funding. Currently, one-quarter of all public funding for research in the UK comes from the EU – last year, the amount of new grant funding awarded to the country totalled £967 million, according to a report, Examining Implications of Brexit for the UK Research Base, from Digital Research.
A huge 70% of US office workers say they love their job, with access to cutting-edge technology the major contributor to their overall satisfaction, above perks such as food, slick office design and onsite amenities. And employees who think their firm’s tech is ahead of the curve feel twice as creative, motivated and valued as those who reckon their company is behind the times.
While 2015 was a strong year for UK equity investment in terms of the total amount invested, the number of fundraisings spiked just 3% from 2014. This is a marked slowdown following three years of sustained double-digit growth and if it weren’t for the continued rise of crowdfunding, then the decline would have been even more serious, says Beauhurst in its the Deal 2015/16 report.
UK working space outfit Interchange has opened its flagship building, Atrium, in the Stables Market in London’s Camden. The new site comprises some 600 work stations arranged as hot desking areas and private offices, plus an events space, restaurant, ‘innovation lab’ and cafe, with a gym slated to come onstream later this year. Atrium is Interchange’s third office in its network of Camden co-working locations which aim to attract entrepreneurs, start-ups and creatives.
Google has begun showcasing its Project Ara smartphone which the digital behemoth is looking to ship to consumers sometime in 2017. Ara’s hook is that it’s a modular device, with users able to plug different units – think speakers, cameras et al – into a smartphone core comprising a screen, CPU, memory and battery, all housed in a single frame.
Venture capital-backed fintech firms raised $4.9 billion across 218 deals worldwide in the first quarter of the year. Factor in activity from angels, PE firms, mutual funds and hedge funds and that runs to $5.7 billion across 468 deals for the period. And in Europe, fintech activity spiked 27% on a quarterly basis to hit a five-quarter high, with VC-backed fintech outfits pulling in $348 million across 47 transactions, according to the Pulse of Fintech report from KPMG/CB Insights.
IMAX is joining forces with Google to develop a cinema-grade virtual reality camera – tagged the IMAX VR – to help filmmakers create 3D 360-degree content. The high-res camera, to be constructed from the ground up, will be built on Google’s existing Jump 360 video assembler platform, and will look to deliver high-quality, ‘most-immersive’ virtual reality content. IMAX will also provide Google with exclusive access to pre-existing IMAX documentary content for conversion and use with Google VR technology.
Start-up watch: Co-living has legs. Community-living start-up Common has just opened a new 51-bedroom location in New York’s Williamsburg where residents stump up around $1,800 a month – longer stays earn discounted rates – for a furnished bedroom and use of common areas. The new site, Havemeyer, adds to Common’s existing Brooklyn operations in two Crown Heights brownstones and is a significant step-up in terms of rooming capacity.