Hi everyone!

This is Giovanni Bazzoli, Cambre’s new policy comms tech guy, making a debut as #TechAways editor! The EU-US Trade & Technology Council (TTC) is probably one of the most discussed events of this week – together with Cambre’s latest #BrusselsCalling, moderated by European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly.  

Let’s stick to TTC, after months of announcements, speculations, leaked documents and even last-minute drama with a risk of cancellation, the EU-US Trade & Technology Council met for the first time in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.  

 After lengthy discussions, a few Big Macs (Pittsburgh invention) and numerous cups of coffee the council came up with few ideas. AI was one of them and will certainly keep both sides busy. The question is how can we develop and implement innovative and trustworthy AI systems? Well, by coming up with decent measurement and evaluation tools. On top of that, AI got even more attention when both sides agreed to launch an economic study on the impact of AI in the future workforce. 

Apart from AI, the two parties committed to finding the yin and yang in the global semiconductor supply chain, as they anticipate that soon semiconductors might be as scarce as non-alcoholic beer in Belgian bars.  

The two parties also plan to work together on the usual: investment screening, export controls, and global trade challenges. We must not forget the academics, entrepreneurs, industry workers who are part of the ten working groups of the council. After all, they helped identifying the objective. Nevertheless, this was not the last TTC meet-up. Participants are on course to meet again in 2022, when the Big Macs will be replaced with croissants. 

Love reading out-of-the-Brussels-bubble tech news? Share it with your friends and colleagues, they can subscribe here. Ideas? Suggestions? Comments? Send them our way! 

#TechAways is brought to you by Cambre’s Technology Practice featuring  Alice Antoine-GrégoireDerya FikretGiovanni Bazzoli, Jarek Oleszczynski and Katarina Oja.

Reporting on EU drama 📋 [Cambre] 

With so many things happening in the EU institutions, how do journalists manage to cover all the drama? Especially in times of light-speed media digitalisation, with news travelling faster than a NASA rocket! The latest #BrusselsCalling addressed some of these questions, with Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman, quizzing journalists on the importance of holding the EU accountable, being ready to cover anything or translating EU topics to different audiences. We could go on (and on) but unfortunately, the space here is limited, so we will just give you the link to read more. 

A week off for burnout recovery 🔥 [Protocol] 

How would you feel about a company-wide week off to recharge? This is exactly what tech companies have started doing to prevent burnouts. A research study by Gallup found that disengaged employees are similarly costly as replacing people. So, can one week of free time really solve the problem and help people in re-engaging? Gruttadaro from the APA Foundation says that assessing these programmes is critical and understanding the reasoning for burnouts is the first step to solving the issue. He stresses the importance of including employees in the process of designing “a new normal” at work to make sure everyone’s needs are met, and burnouts can be avoided. 

The Money Olympics 🥈 [Business Insider] 

Although 2020 Summer Olympics came to an end, there are other areas where the show continues. Some people compete in sports and others compete in… money. On Monday, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk became the third person ever to be worth $200 billion. This means he became the wealthiest person on the Forbes’ list, taking Jeff Bezos off the top of podium. The two have been engaged in a rivalry of who is the richest. So, as a celebration of his new title, Elon is sending Bezos a giant statue of the digit ‘2’ along with a silver medal.  

Marketing at its funniest 👌 [TechCrunch 

Celebrity brands often carry the image of being expensive and low-quality. Especially when it comes to alcohol, the emphasis is made on the name behind the product than the product itself. One genius in the bunch has mastered the art of authentic marketing – Ryan Reynolds. Generally known for his role as Deadpool, Reynolds is also a successful businessman. He owns stakes in Mint Mobile and Aviation Gin and is founder of Maximum Effort – a marketing firm responsible for popular ads for Deadpool, and, you guessed it, his own companies. To promote his products, he uses his own platform in a manner that is authentic to him. He trusts his products are worth selling to his fans and therefore creates a credible relationship with them.  

Bling a Bing, Google arguing. 💁 [The Verge] 

Get ready for some more tech drama. So, for the ones who don’t know, the European Commission has fined Google, one of the favourite (THE favourite, according to Google) search companies for antitrust. The fine amounts to around €4.3 billion and is a punishment for the fact that Google is forcing handset makers to pre-install Chrome and Google search if they want to have Android.  However, it does not seem that Google is rushing to pay. The search company pulled out the ‘Bing’ card, arguing that it can’t be fined for antitrust as the most searched item on Microsoft’s Bing search engine is Google, so that users, at the end of the day want to use Google.

About this week’s editor,  

I joined Cambre almost three months ago. I’m having quite a lot of fun advising clients on tech, trade, tax and agri-food issues. Born and raised in Italy I have spent most of my professional life in Brussels.  When I’m not going up and down the stairs of our Rue Defacqz office, you can find me running in Bois de la Cambre or having a beer at Supra Bailli. If you think there are better spots to run or drink than these two classics, reach out and try to convince me otherwise. 

In case you haven’t had enough 

Honda announces plans to build electric VTOLs and telepresence robots [Yahoo] 

How Apple AirTags Could Get You Hacked [Gizmodo] 

Humans are no match for AI bias [Protocol] 

How Bigger Arctic Waves Are Changing Clouds [Gizmodo] 

Denizen is building high-tech office pods for the perfect workday [TechCrunch] 

Impossible Pork Is Now Available in Restaurants [Gizmodo]