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TSSG Post-COVID 19 Industry Insights Report

Since March 2020 we have all been faced with an unprecedented level of challenges and obstacles, we must, and will overcome. This article covers an overview of a recent Industry Insights report highlighting the opportunities for those who are willing to be progressive and inventive, who recognise that innovation is at the core of adapting to the current climate.

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on everyday life and that effect looks like it will be felt for a long time to come. Although the economic effects of COVID-19 has been detrimental to many, the ’08 recession taught us to embrace every opportunity and, as a result, household names such as Uber and AirBnB were formed. Furthermore, according to the Irish Times, our economy is predicted to grow by 6.3% in 2021 after a predicted fall of 6.8% in 2020.

At TSSG we have always seen the importance of supporting businesses in developing the technological capabilities they need to grow and succeed. Now, more than ever, we are taking the risk out of innovation for organisations of all sizes by guiding them through funding channels and supporting them when taking the innovative leap and hopefully become the next household name in technology. The recently published Post-COVID19 Industry Insights Report, created by Carol Faughnan in the TSSG Technology Gateway, investigates market trends, consumer shifts and innovative opportunities across multiple sectors such as a rising trend in hom etainment, wellbeing and healthcare and the desire for supporting local causes and products. The aim of the report is to breakdown the markets, identify the gaps and to assist in developing a vision for Irish companies to continue to grow and flourish during the pandemic.

Agriculture, Food & Nutrition
TSSG is recognised as a leader in agri-tech both in Ireland and across Europe. Our network of farmers, influential stakeholders and technological expertise helps us to develop technological solutions in the agricultural sector; a sector that has been severely affected since the beginning of the pandemic. Exports in the Irish food industry dropped by almost €2.2billion since February while CSO figures how goods exports fell by €11.6billion. There has, however been some positives:

– Increase in desire for locally sourced, high quality produce
– Consumers are turning towards immune boosting products
– Tracking and tracing solutions are more important than ever
– The demand for mobile apps has increased

Telecommunications Services
The seismic change in huge number employees working remotely posed its own set of challenges for the global telecommunications infrastructure. The digital divide became apparent very quickly 45% of the global population is without access to the internet. In Ireland, this has highlighted the need for faster internet across the country whilst also putting the national broadband plan in the spotlight. As telecommunications specialists in the area of next generational internet, TSSG are in a prime position to support companies in creating solutions which encompass technologies such as 5G and 6G, ensuring businesses are on the cutting edge of communication technology.

Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
In a global pandemic healthcare is most crucial. We have seen massive strains on public health systems globally with huge amounts of appointment cancellations, mental health issues, and general health and well-being taking a back seat during COVID-19. To sub event these issues the implementation of over 200 COVID-19 related innovations has proven successful to in many areas of Ireland’s healthcare system. The most recognised solution to the contact tracing issue was developed by Waterford based Nearform. The team of experts quickly have paved the way with their contact tracing app that has been implemented in a number of countries including Ireland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, with a high degree of success.

Manufacturing & Supply Chain
Although many consumers changed their buying habits and shopped online a lot more often, the supply chain was severely affected as capacity constraints, border delivery costs and high delivery costs became apparent. There are significant opportunities for companies to maximise on these issues by creating a digital strategy to upgrade antiquated systems, with a focus on areas such as:
– Align service offerings with customer expectations
– Strengthen links through collaborations
– Implement a product tracking service to engage with your customer

Augmented and Virtual Reality
Retail welcomed a massive increase in online shopping, entertainment and learning when the stay-at-home order came into effect across the world. Much of this was made possible by the use of AR/VR technologies. AR (Augmented Reality) has been widely used by online e-commerce websites for some time giving consumers the opportunity to visualise products, such as shoes, on their feet or furniture in their home. The increased demand for online shopping AR technology become the norm as many companies adopted this strategy. VR has also seen a welcomed boost as people adopt a healthier lifestyle in new environments by immersing themselves in VR experiences while running on a treadmill, for example.

Blockchain
We have always seen the value within blockchain technology and some of our researchers have been implementing it across a variety of projects for some time. Blockchain could now be the way forward in a variety of sectors, particularly supply chain management where it can provide transparency on the transaction process and the overall flexibility in order management, an area which has become much more apparent since March 2020. The agri and beef supply chain are two use cases identified by the IFA and Deloitte respectively with a multitude of opportunities for blockchain innovations in areas such as:
– Improve data sharing and trust
– Recording management of certificates
– Tracking and tracing for improved logistics
– End-to-end traceability
– Trade Finance
– Consumer Engagement

Key Takeaways
TSSG want to be the enabler to businesses and industry in creating the innovation and technology needed to grow and thrive. Our expert team of researchers and industry professionals will work with you on an agile business solution to meet dynamic demands brought about by disruptions and rapidly changing consumer needs and habits. Contact the Technology Gateway team on techgateway@tssg.org