May 18, 2020

Dubai to welcome the world at 2020 Expo

Dubai
World Expo
Sheikh Mohammed
dubai expo 2020
John O'Hanlon
2 min
Dubai to welcome the world at 2020 Expo

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has promised to astonish the world with the event. "We renew our promise to astonish the world in 2020," said Sheikh al-Maktoum after the win. "Dubai Expo 2020 will breathe new life into the ancient role of the Middle East as a melting pot for cultures and creativity."

Dubai authorities predict that the Expo 2020 will bring in around $23 billion. They say financing for the six-month event will cost a total of $8.4 billion, with the government spending around $6.5 billion on infrastructure projects. A huge exhibition centre will be built to host the event, plus new hotels and an extension to Dubai's metro line.

Since the first Great Fair of 1851, World Expos have continued to be one of the largest and most enduring global mega-events. Lasting six months, World Expos attract millions of visitors who explore and discover pavilions, exhibits and cultural events staged by hundreds of participants including nations, international organisations and businesses.
Dubai’s World Expo is held under the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, echoing the powerful spirit of partnership and co-operation that has driven the UAE’s success in pioneering new paths of development and innovation. Through this theme, Expo 2020 Dubai will serve as a catalyst, connecting minds from around the world and inspiring participants to mobilise around shared challenges, during a World Expo of unprecedented global scope, under the sub-themes of: Mobility, Sustainability & Opportunity.
Expo 2020 Dubai is expected to attract 25 million visits, 70 per cent of which will be from overseas. This will be the first Expo in which the majority of visitors stem from beyond a nation’s borders. Running from 20 October 2020 through 10 April 2021, the Expo will launch the country’s Golden Jubilee celebration and serve as a springboard from which to inaugurate a progressive and sustainable vision for the coming decades.

Before then however the world will turn its attention to the 2015 Expo, which takes place in Milan.

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Jun 16, 2021

SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data

SAS
British Army
3 min
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM, explains the important role that SAS is playing in the British Army’s digital transformation

SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation. 

“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.

In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”

Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.

Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”

SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”

With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.

“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”

Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.

“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”

 

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