Canada Sets Up $1.3-Bln Innovation Fund

The Canadian government has set up a $1.26-billion business innovation fund that will seek to create new jobs in the aerospace and carmaking industries.

The initiative is part of the government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, which aims at expanding the country’s middle class by training sought after professionals.

In the next few years, the fund will also start supporting other high-growth industries such as clean energy, IT and communications, and agri-food.

 

China Lures in International Incubators

China’s extensive business incubator network is luring in international incubators such as Plug and Play Tech and 500 Startups.

The country boasts some 4,875 incubators, up from just 1,600 in 2014, although many of them are still developing, and international partnerships will accelerate the process of their maturing.

It’s worth noting that about half of the total are incubators focusing on technology startups and these will greatly benefit from the entry of foreign tech majors, such as Microsoft.

 

Insurtech Startup Attracts $85 Mln in Funding

Insurtech company Torv, which focuses on on-demand insurance, has attracted funding to the tune of $85 million, led by Munich Re.

Japanese insurance provider Sompo Holdings also took part in the round, contributing a hefty $40 million.

The two major funders will also work with Torv on its international expansion as underwriters.

 

50% of Insurtech Funding Goes into AI, IoT

About half of the money that is pouring into insurtech companies is being used for the development of artificial intelligence and Internet of Things solutions, an Accenture survey has found.

The deals funding AI and IoT solutions only accounted for a quarter of the total in 2016 in terms of number of funding rounds, but they also accounted for 44% of the amount invested in insurtech firms.

Total funding for insurtech last year hit $1.7 billion, almost double on 2014, with a minority of the finance providers coming from the insurance industry: just 14%.

 

Businesses Should Apply Design Thinking Carefully

Design thinking has been touted as the best approach to running a business but it needs to be applied professionally, according to KPMG experts.

It is not a magic wand that can solve all problems all the time, the experts warn. Companies need to make sure that they factor in the user perspective from the get-go and then develop and implement the right framework that would serve to solve this particular company’s problems.

If applied properly, design thinking is what allows businesses to succeed in the digital environment.

 

Tech Innovation Hub in London Helps Digital Transformation

Pivotal’s technology innovation hub in London is seeking to help local businesses successfully transform in line with digital trends by offering them access to and insight into the latest in the sector.

Companies from not just the UK but Europe as well can benefit from the hub’s capabilities, which include the Pivotal Cloud Foundry and the company’s Big Data Suite.

The U.S. company’s aim is to enable traditional businesses in technology get better equipped to compete with innovative startups by adopting innovative practices themselves.