‘Engineering a Smarter Industry’ was the theme of the Chamber of Engineers’ Annual General Conference. Experts from academia and industry addressed the challenges engineers are facing, as well as the opportunities that they exploit to tailor solutions that innovatively spear economies into the digital era.
Glen Mifsud, Portfolio Manager at BOV Asset Management, discussed the concept of investing in technological innovations. He critically explained the role that portfolio managers serve to investors, strategically guiding them to invest in sectors that leverage valuable returns.
Globalisation keeps challenging many countries in coping against inflationary pressures, as major economies still suffer from supply chain bottlenecks. “China accounts for 13% of global exports, but now factors such as trade conflicts and COVID-19 are forcing corporates to restore manufacturing back to their countries,” said Mr Mifsud. “This is why inflation is on the rise, why the cost of basic goods at supermarkets is increasing, and why manufacturers cannot produce cars. The supply of raw materials and consumable products are failing to keep up with the rebound in demand”
Employers are now saying that it is relatively expensive to employ a human, which brings the era of robotics and artificial intelligence. “AI and robotics sectors are an emerging investment opportunity. Companies are seeking these to resolve efficiency issues, as they work endlessly across shifts and do not entail attractive salaries and bonuses. Automation is transforming cost-effectiveness strategies.”
In times when governments shuttered non-essential businesses and encouraged remote working, cloud-based solutions proved to be the way forward. “Despite the disruption brought about by COVID-19, companies are more appreciative towards business continuity. The migration of operations to cloud-based solutions has already increased drastically over the past 18 months. As a result, technology leaders in the Cloud business gained market share through increased revenue.”
All devices are being internet-enabled to seamlessly capturing and transmitting data. While this provides corporations with major opportunities to develop their products, this also introduces vulnerabilities of cybercrime. “Cybersecurity is not a new topic, but the sophistication of cyberattacks is enhancing demand for security solutions. The development of cybersecurity firms will be crucial to protect this vast expansion of data sources.”
Glen Mifsud summed up his discussion by stating the value investors can get when seeking a vision from asset managers. “As Alan Kay once said, the best way to predict the future is to invent it, and as asset managers, we are committed to allocate capital to innovations that are expected to shape our future.”
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