AI inspiration for local businesses

More than 100 local businesses learned all about harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at a joint Buckinghamshire Business First and Buckinghamshire New University event.

The ‘Focus on Artificial Intelligence’ event explored the vast potential of AI to empower businesses to be more productive, overcome skills shortages, and thrive in an ever-changing landscape.

Attendees learned about AI applications and government funding available to help UK organisations harness the power of AI, and put their questions to a panel of experts from the university, REAS, Red Helix and Buckinghamshire LEP.

How do businesses feel about AI?

During the event, those in attendance were asked for their views and votes on AI and its potential impact on their business. The results are below.

How do you envision AI benefiting your business the most? (voters chose all that applied)

  • Automating routine tasks and processes (83% of voters)
  • Cost saving and efficiency (78%)
  • Enhancing customer experiences and support (61%
  • Optimising data analysis and decision-making (59%)
  • Expanding market reach and discovering new business opportunities (54%)

What barriers or challenges do you face in integrating AI into your business? (voters chose all that applied)

  • Lack of in-house skills and knowledge about AI implementation (62% of voters)
  • Concerns about data security and privacy issues (58%)
  • Insufficient understanding of the potential benefits of AI for our specific industry (46%)
  • Integration challenges with existing legacy systems and technologies (44%
  • Limited budget for acquiring AI technologies and expertise (38%)
  • Difficulty in identifying suitable AI applications for our business model (38%)
  • Regulatory and compliance uncertainties related to AI usage (30%)

How did the Focus on AI event help businesses?

At the end of the event, attendees were asked to share and vote on what they had got out of it. The results are below.

What will you go away and work on as a result of today’s event? (voters chose all that applied)

  • Defining how AI can help achieve our business goals (59% of voters)
  • Developing a culture that embraces technological advancements within the organisation (56%)
  • Planning the safe, responsible, and ethical use of AI (39%)
  • Exploring the funding and support available to help our business adopt AI (39%)
  • Investing in skills and training required for AI adoption (29%)

The feedback on the event was great too. Just a couple of the positive remarks from attendees:

  • "A very well-presented event, clear and easy to understand a potentially confusing topic."
  • "Good to broaden my horizons on the subject."

Philippa Batting, Managing Director of Buckinghamshire Business First, said: “The event was a perfect way to inspire businesses as to how to embrace AI to unlock innovation, growth, and success in an ethical and thoughtful manner. Bringing together businesses from a wide variety of sectors at different stages of AI adoption can help to break down barriers to innovation and encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration.”

Ian Harper, Commercial & Business Development Director at Buckinghamshire New University, said: “It was a pleasure to invite the local business community and partners to share in the ongoing AI research of BNU’s academic teams. It is the University’s aspiration that this specialist knowledge supports local entrepreneurs to gain a competitive edge and achieve their growth aspirations.”

Want to learn more about AI?

Any business interested in finding out about the support available to their business on the topic of Artificial Intelligence, or any other area of business, can call the team on 01494 927130 or email

Business community ambassadors