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Europe wants to do more to boost cross-border data flows

The European Commission has published a mid-term review of its Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy that’s aimed at breaking down barriers to e-commerce and fostering digital activity across the region. Its priority areas at this stage are three-fold: Doing more to encourage the free flow of (non-personal) data across European boards Beefing up regional cybersecurity defenses Tackling online platforms that step ... Read More »

French presidential frontrunner Macron’s emails leaked after alleged hack

Private emails from the campaign of the leading candidate in France’s presidential election, Emmanuel Macron, have been posted online by an unknown source. The politician confirmed the leak in a statement, warning that this was, like other recent hacks, an attempt to interfere with the election and that fabricated content was mixed in with genuine emails. “The ‘En Marche!’ movement ... Read More »

SpyBiotech, which makes a ‘superglue’ for vaccines, raises £4M from GV and Oxford

The startup bug has hit the world of biotechnology, and the latest victim is a business that is building a “super glue,” coincidentally, for bug-combating vaccines. SpyBiotech — a startup spun out of Oxford University that has developed a way to bond antigens to viruses and other particles to make vaccines — has announced £4 million ($5 million) in funding from GV, the Alphabet/Google-backed VC, ... Read More »

Backed by LocalGlobe, London-based Flourish launches data visualisation platform

Flourish, a new startup out of London, has launched what it describes as a data visualisation platform, designed to make it easier for companies, including media organisations, to visualise and tell stories through data. The company is also disclosing $1 million in backing from Robin and Saul Klein’s LocalGlobe, and U.S.-based Founder Collective. Founded by ex-data journalist Duncan Clark and ... Read More »

Cognitiv+ is using AI for contract analysis and tracking

Another legal tech startup coming out of the UK: Cognitiv+ is applying artificial intelligence to automate contract analysis and management, offering businesses a way to automate staying on top of legal risks, obligations and changing regulatory landscapes. Co-founder Vasilis Tsolis might therefore be forgiven for viewing Brexit as a sizable opportunity for his startup — though he more tactfully describes it as a ... Read More »

TechCrunch Meetup and Pitch-Off during Mobile World Congress, Feb 28

TechCrunch is holding a Mini-Meetup during Mobile World Congress, on Tuesday Feb. 28. We will hold a “Pitch-Off” of startups at the event. Grab tickets here. You can apply to pitch your Barcelona-based startup here. We’ll select approximately 10 great Barcelona-based startups to explain to our panel of VCs and TechCrunch editors in 60 seconds or less why their startup ... Read More »

France creates a special visa for entrepreneurs, engineers and investors

Just in time before the 2017 presidential election in France, the current French government wanted to announce one last thing to foster French startups. The French Tech Visa is a new program for foreign tech talent. It’s an easier way to get a four-year visa for you and your family. France’s Minister of State for Digital Affairs Axelle Lemaire teased ... Read More »

Meet TechCrunch at Davos

The World Economic Forum — held in the mountain village of Davos, Switzerland every year — is increasingly attended by technology companies. And this year the theme of ‘responsible governance’ for the WEF conference is clearly going to be high on the agenda, especially in the era of ‘fake news’ and Brexit. Software might be ‘eating the world’ but we’re ... Read More »

Crowdsourced project aims to add text-to-speech to Wikipedia

An open source project hopes to draw on crowdsourced contributions to make Wikipedia more accessible by adding text to speech synthesis that will enable users of the online encyclopedia to have portions of the text read out to them. The speech synthesis platform is being developed in Europe by KTH Royal Institute of Technology university in Stockholm, Sweden, which was approached by Wikipedia to develop the feature on account ... Read More »

UK government pushing ahead with surveillance powers bill in face of strong criticism

Despite a trio of parliamentary committees (ISC, STC and a joint select committee) criticizing the UK government’s draft surveillance legislation — and some committee members even calling for a complete rethink — the government is rushing ahead anyway. Today it has introduced a tweaked version of the IP bill to parliament, and reiterated that new legislation “needs to be in force” by 31 December this year. The Investigatory Powers Bill ... Read More »

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