Seven from Seven: Sunak’s 2021 budget and locust robots

5th March 2021

Each week, we scour the worlds of innovation, tech for good and social impact to bring you seven of our top stories…

  1. BBC News breaks down the key points from Rishi Sunak’s 2021 Budget this week, from the extension of furlough to the hike in corporation tax.
  2. In 2022, Google will stop using people’s internet history and other personal data to target adverts at individuals as people become increasingly concerned about their online privacy.
  3. PwC’s latest Women in Work Index shows that the pandemic is causing a “shecession”, as women’s economic empowerment is expected to decline for the first time in almost a decade, by more than 2% between 2019 and 2021.
  4. UK Finance has published a proposal for a new service company that will support the UK’s open banking infrastructure, enabling UK consumers, small businesses, and corporates to benefit from a safe Open Data and payments market, while adhering to regulatory obligations.
  5. New market research has found that companies using circular economy models have seen sharper revenue upticks than their traditional competitors, also reporting cost-saving benefits, higher customer loyalty and higher brand recognition.
  6. In the world’s first experiment of its kind, conducted by a team from Tel Aviv University, a bio-hybrid robot has heard sounds through the ear of a dead locust, receiving electrical signals from the environment and responding accordingly.
  7. Speaking of locusts, a start-up is helping local communities in Kenya battling locust plagues to transform pests into profits, by paying them to harvest the insects and mill them, turning them into protein-rich animal feed and organic fertiliser.

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