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Breathe Safely with a Respirable Particulate Mitigation Ecosystem – Markets Insider

Breathe-safe is a proud Australian manufacturer of high-efficiency air filtration and air conditioning systems (HVAC) for mining and construction equipment. We supply intelligent, custom designed fresh air cabin pressurisation units with high-efficiency particulate filters (HEPA as standard) for fixed, mobile plant equipment and site buildings. Breathe-safe products and services: Clean air technology for mining equipment Continue reading Breathe Safely with a Respirable Particulate Mitigation Ecosystem The post Breathe Safely with a Respirable Particulate Mitigation Ecosystem appeared first on Australian Mining. Read more on “Australian Mining”

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Breathe Safely with a Respirable Particulate Mitigation Ecosystem – Markets Insider

Rakuten Trade launches Malaysia’s first rewards ecosystem – Marketing Interactive

Equity broking firm Rakuten Trade has launched a new rewards programme which aims to bring together three leading loyalty providers AirAsia BIG, Berjaya Groups B Infinite and BonusLink under one robust ecosystem.

The Rakuten Trade rewards ecosystem is a free point rewards programmewhere investors can earn RT points from their trading activities, introducing members by referral link or code, share transfer, and by participating in Rakuten Trade marketing campaigns.

Earning points is automatic for all Rakuten Trade customers, in which they can be converted into AirAsia BIG, B Infinite and/or BonusLink points of the same value.

Victor Kaw, chief commercial officer of AirAsia BIG loyalty programme at Think BIG Digital said, Like AirAsia, Rakuten Trade extends the nations first cost efficient retail solution, in this case equity broking.

The Rakuten Trade rewards programme, Kaw said, is a good complement to its BIG platform, as it rewards our loyal members with another way to earn and redeem AirAsia BIG points. Reward redemptions are fast, easy and are made via app, similar our BIG app, thus appealing to new clients right up to the savvier ones.

Meanwhiles BLoyaltys director of retail and innovations, Yau Su Peng also added, as its B Infinite progresses in its transformation from the physical world to the realm of mobile, it is imperative that it prepares for the growing preference amongst consumers for digital-based channels.

Our affiliate partners will give Rakuten Trade the opportunity to provide a diverse range of benefits under one robust ecosystem. We believe this will hold tremendous appeal for the growing number of digitally savvy investors,Kaoru Arai, managing director of Rakuten Trade said.

We wanted to differentiate our platform by giving retail investors an added advantage when they trade shares through us. With AirAsia on board, one can redeem points for airline tickets or hotel accommodations while B Infinite and BonusLink points can be converted to everyday lifestyle needs from a cup of coffee to fuel, he added.

Tan last led the social media practice for IPG Mediabrands as executive director…

Aaron Tsoi will be managing director at IPG Mediabrands Beijing, and Lester Ng as client managing partner at IPG Mediabrands China..

As part of its Truly Asia campaign, the Malaysian tourism board has rolled out its latest campaign…

Alison Lim has been appointed as the head of business operations, a newly created role. ..

Bolstering its fast-growing operations in the Greater China region, digital and technology agency Razorfish has appointed James Ch..

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Rakuten Trade launches Malaysia’s first rewards ecosystem – Marketing Interactive

Where Will JPMorgan Chase Put Its 200 Billion Green Dollars? – Ecosystem Marketplace

31 July 2017 | Earlier this year, Moodys Corp said the green bond market would double in 2017, from $93 billion last year to $206 billion. On Friday, JPMorgan Chase lent that projection credence by committing to funnel $200 billion into clean energy and general sustainability projects between now and 2025, and to get all of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The company offered a detailed strategy for achieving its own shift to renewables, which includes long-term power purchasing agreements like a 20-year deal it signed last year with the 100-megawatt Buckthorn wind farm in Erath County, Texas. That commitment alone will meet 13 percent of the banking groups nationwide needs.

The clean financing commitment represents more than $20 billion per year in finance, up from roughly $16 billion per year currently, and spokesperson Stephen OHalloran said the mechanisms will focus on supporting capital increases, managing risk and underwriting debt primarily in the renewables sector, but also by underwriting debt with a sustainable use of proceeds for municipal, corporate and multilateral clients and supporting clients sustainability initiatives.

The wording clearly leaves the door open for finance beyond renewable energy initiatives, and the announcement comes as consumer-facing companies are competing to out-green each other by pledging to reduce their impact on forests even as banks come under heat for financing projects that do the opposite.

In March, for example, the Forest Trends Supply Change initiativeidentified 447 companies that have promised to improve the way they source palm oil, soy, timber & paper and cattle products, but the Tropical Forest Alliance has pointed out that such commitments will come to naught if banks continue to finance projects that contribute to climate change or drive deforestation.

Last month, banking giant HSBC won green cred by asking the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to investigate a company that the bank was lending money to after NGOs said the company would use the money to convert pristine forest to palm plantation a clear indication that investors were beginning to perceive dirty projects as financial risks.

But avoiding risks and proactively investing in sustainable projects are two different things, and beyond renewable energy its not clear where the bank may seek to funnel finance.

On the one hand, the United States is home to a $25 billion restoration economy that employs over 220,000 people, but research from the Forest Trends Ecosystem Marketplace initiative shows that impact investors looking for sustainable projects left over $3 billion undeployed last year.

The bank clearly sees returns in wind power and solar energy, while other investors are struggling to find returns in broader sustainability investments. The challenge now is to create a vortex of risk, reward, and common good that attracts that money and helps us evolve a truly sustainable economy.

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Where Will JPMorgan Chase Put Its 200 Billion Green Dollars? – Ecosystem Marketplace

Start-up ecosystem akin to caste order, says Vaitheeswaran – The Hindu

Entrepreneurs are addicted to other peoples money, or OPM, sounds like a succinct description of the state of the e-commerce industry in India. The pun on opium is clearly intended. It comes from K. Vaitheeswaran, the man who pioneered retail e-commerce in India with Fabmart in the late 1990s. He recently spoke to The Hindu to promote his book, Failing to Succeed, that takes us through his successes and later travails in building the predecessor to todays e-commerce giants in India.

The book has an equal mix of stomach-clutching thrills and disappointments that an entrepreneur faces, cloaked with gentle humour. In it, the author has been brutally honest about himself, his ventures and the ecosystem. It contrasts starkly with todays corporate world whose PR machinery helps gloss over failure and highlight the rosy parts. A great read for those aspiring to start up, and a must read for entrepreneurs who feel things are not going according to plan. Excerpts from the interview:

For many entrepreneurs, fund raising is like a drug. They get addicted to it. They get money, and then want to raise more money. How do you do that? By spending what you have very quickly. So, you are raising the bar on just raising more and more money.

The other bane of the industry is lack of patient capital, according to him.

Indian entrepreneurs need capital but also patience. Foreign capital is impatient. Most investment funds come seeking returns in a 4-7 year time frame from the time the fund commences. So, if they invest in your firm in their third year, an exit is staring at you in the face.

As investors are in a hurry to see returns, they tend to look for scale quickly which means availability of more funds for expansion. The entrepreneur is glad to see so much money. But once invested, there is a hustle for returns as well. Quick returns, he said, may not be practical in all cases.

Fabmart, later rebranded as Fabmall and then Indiaplaza, folded up in 2013, after a 14-year roller coaster ride. Asked what disappointed him the most, he said, I dont have a problem with the business closing down. Thats the nature of the beast. In a start-up, you may not get the financial outcome you want.

But there is bitterness about the way the company failed, he said. Others, who were also equally accountable, in the company should have owned up to the responsibility. There were a series of incidents that led to this ending. Having to see the collapse of a business I had built for 14 years, customer by customer, in this manner is what leaves me pained and bitter.

So what did happen? What happened to me is surreal cant believe it happened. People who had invested in the company and who were in the board of directors should have shouldered equal responsibility when the company was going down, he said.

He insisted that we werent out-competed, but were undeniably out-funded.

The Indian start-up ecosystem is like a caste system its hard to break in. Mr. Vaitheeswaran is an engineering graduate from the Government College of Engineering in Tirunelveli and did not go to an IIT or an IIM. Investors indulge in pedigree investing, thats not a great idea. You cant assume that all the smartness in India is confined to two or three institutions.

Get out of pedigree investing, he exhorted investors. To do that, investors must spend time and effort and potentially pick winners at the start of the race. Obviously, those who come out of premier institutions are smart. But there are smart people outside those walls too.

What should e-commerce start-ups focus on? In the book, Mr. Vaitheeswaran says, that Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is an overrated metric and that it does not mean anything. In his own business, he had focussed on making each transaction with a buyer profitable. He preferred to focus on metrics such as customer acquisition and customer retention costs. Deep discounting models work only when the concept of LMS works.

In the interview, he said, The Last Man Standing, or LMS model, is outstanding, but will work only if there is no other competitor left in the market. But in reality, there is always someone left standing in the market. Indian unicorns have a hard problem to win foreign competitors have more money, bigger brands and they execute better. Its a mugs game.

For someone who pioneered the concept of Cash on Delivery in India, he has had to withdraw the facility both times he tried introducing the concept. Cash on delivery is a strain on the business. It also shows a lack of trust from the customer. In the book, he argues that paying online is far more convenient and that CoD looks smart only as long as there is unlimited funding.

More money going into unicorns that want to outfund others, could lead to funding drying for truly deserving ventures, he said. They may not get funding because a large part of the ecosystem will pay for the follies and fallacies of a few. Thats when the bad news will hit us. Worse, we may not even hear about them since they are unknown people they may just collapse and fall by the wayside.

It will cause permanent long-term damage to Indias start up story. I dont want that to happen.

What questions would he ask of a unicorn, as an investor? You have already raised several billion dollars. At 10% of this fund raise, I want to see evidence of sustainability. Show me a path where you will definitely make money.

If someone shows me a 17-year path to profitability, I wouldnt fund it. No one knows what will happen three years from now!

Is he itching to start-up all over again? Writing a book is no different from a start up you need time, discipline and effort. Sure it does not require a co-founder or the money. Yes, I have done another start up this book is my biggest start up!

Does he see warning signals in the ecosystem now? One thing that all start ups will realise is rarely do things go according to plan. In such a scenario, the investors, entrepreneurs, board of directors, founders, management they all must read from the same page. Whatever the page says, they must all be fine with that.

When things go wrong, I find that they are all reading from different books, forget the same page! They may not agree, they may debate and argue but should finally agree on one plan of action.

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Start-up ecosystem akin to caste order, says Vaitheeswaran – The Hindu

Fintech leaders feel unavailability of ecosystem could delay digital push – Moneycontrol.com

Nikita Vashisht

Moneycontrol News

Unavailability of an appropriate ecosystem and lack of trust among digital means could prove to be the biggest hindrances Indias ambition to turn fully digital, according to experts.

A lot of digital isnt digital you still have to carry papers when it comes to verification, said Raj Kumar Jha, national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather, an advertising agency.

He said that the backend wasnt ready in India yet to go completely digital. Jha was speaking at the CII Fintech 2017 conclave here last week.

Adhil Shetty, chief executive officer (CEO) of BankBazaar.com, an online platform to compare various financial services, voiced similar concerns, saying that customers want to go digital and paperless but the means remain a question.

People want everything on their mobile phone. They realise that as long as it is trustworthy, dependable and secure, they are willing to interact with the platform People want everything in seconds, Shetty.

I believe the ecosystem exists customers are demanding it. The question is when will the mass market move, he said.

Bharat Anand, chief of technology, NATGRID, said that it was important to create trust among the customers to make them go completely digital.

People want to be sure who they are providing information to, said Anand, adding that digitisation can be promoted only with trust itself. It has to go hand in hand it has to be evolved.

The idea is to reach end customer and remove intermediaries, he said. We need to bring technology as last mile connectivity to build that trust.

Its a paradox. As a customer, I want highest security for my money but I want it really easy to be used, said Sriram Jagannathan, vice president, Amazon Payments, an online payment process of making payments routed through ones account on Amazon.

Jha said that India needs to develop system that can bring a behavioral change among people, making them comfortable with digital platforms.

What this country needs to think is that fintech is the real enabler for the next generation, country and economy, said Prem Chand, executive vice chairman, MitKat Advisory, management consultancy firm.

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Fintech leaders feel unavailability of ecosystem could delay digital push – Moneycontrol.com

SRU developing aquaponics ecosystem with Ugandan university – Allied News

SLIPPERY ROCK – Ugandan professor Joseph Ssekandi traveled to America for the first time in June to see what appears, on the surface at least, to be little more than a couple of shallow swimming pools at Slippery Rock University.

However, its what will eventually grow in those pools will benefit students, farmers, the Ugandan economy and a budding partnership between SRU and Uganda Martyrs University.

Ssekandis visit is yet another step in a burgeoning aquaponics project at SRU that has been years in the making. Aquaponics is an integrated system that combines raising fish, or aquaculture, and the soilless growing of plants, or hydroponics.

Through SRUs Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator, a University-owned, student-run business consultation firm, a team comprised of SRU students, faculty and members of the local community started building an aquaponics prototype last summer that will help others adopt the sustainable plant-growing system, beginning with the Ugandan group.

Theres a lot of things that we can learn together, said Ssekandi, professor of environmental and climate change adaptation at UMU. Ssekandi spent his time in Slippery Rock learning how SRU built its aquaponics prototype, which is housed at the Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research.

He also met with SRU faculty, students and administrators, including John Golden, assistant professor of business and director of the SEA.

Together they are planning ways to not only build an aquaponics system that Ssekandis students can learn from, but also develop ways that SRU students can collaborate, share best practices, simplify the technology and ultimately deliver methods so that Ugandans can have produce available to eat and sell during long droughts.

If were able to demonstrate that this works, well be able to transfer this technology to other parts of the world, not just Africa, Golden said. Were hoping this is the initial prototype for a long relationship for the universities to explore other types of cultural, scientific and environmental exchanges.

The aquaponics process is achieved through a symbiotic relationship between fish and plants in separate, adjacent tanks. Fish waste is pumped from one tank to provide an organic food source for plants that sit on containment trays above a second tank.

The plants naturally filter the water back to the fish tank for the fish to prosper. Aquaponics can increase the yield of vegetation up to seven times normal soil production because it does not follow the normal growing season and requires 90-93 percent less water for growth.

Sizes of the tanks can vary by need, but the prototype at SRU is 16 feet by 4 feet and 3 feet deep for the plant tank and 8 feet by 5 feet and 2 feet deep for the fish tank. Water is pumped through an air lift system using a 200-watt solar panel at three amps per hour.

Its a living laboratory for every discipline, said aquaponics project director Daniel Burtner, a senior double major in marketing and sustainable management from Butler. Students learn marketing, science, business management, teaching and theyll being able to see the fruits of their labor.

If any SRU students want to get involved in a project that can actually make a difference in the world, they can do it here, said Golden, who added that the project is open to all SRU students and community volunteers, not just the 17 interns at the SEA.

Its an amazing thing to see the students involved in the cultural exchange, to understand how other cultures think. Its been a learning experience in a lot of different areas. The aquaponics is just sort of a vehicle.

Because of the sub-70-degree temperatures during Ssekandis visit, the tanks did not have fish. Tilapia, a fish that reproduces quickly, will be added to the fish tanks and vegetables such as tomatoes, basil and lettuce will grow on the second tank.

Golden anticipates the system to be fully functional by the start of the fall 2017 semester. A greenhouse will be built to protect the tanks and extend the season.

Nearly $15,000 has already been raised for the project through private donations, which include faith-based organizations and individuals like Slippery Rock resident Ken Bennett, who provided the seed money and founded the project as a SEA client.

Bennett is active in the Rotary Club, which funded a project in Lukaya, Uganda, to support the Mustard Seed Academy, a school for orphaned and abandoned children.

After making a visit to see the facilities in Uganda, he was eager to do more. Bennett wanted to create an enterprise that could be sustained by the Ugandan people, not American missionaries.

We knew so many well-intentioned Westerners who would go over for a week, build something and then walk away and say, Here you go; we built you something, without buy in or local management, Golden said.

Bennett eventually discovered aquaponics, a technique that is not new but difficult to implement in Uganda because the conventional farmers dont have the funding for start-up costs or the scientific knowledge to maintain it, such as balancing the right PH levels in the water or bacteria levels to change the ammonia into nitrates. The road block that developed was that even though we know aquaponics and can build a system in Uganda, we cant stay there and teach, Bennett said.

During a return trip to Uganda three years ago, Bennett showed up late one afternoon at UMU and was introduced to Ssekandi. In turn, Bennett introduced Ssekandi to the possibilities of implementing aquaponics in Uganda through a partnership with SRU.

Now we have a teacher, Bennett said. Hes very learned and interested in helping his country and expanding this idea.

Under Ssekandis direction, students at UMU will build their own aquaponics system this fall and interact with SRU students to determine best practices. Additionally, Golden plans to take credit hours out of his economics of sustainable development class in the spring 2018 semester for projects with Ssekandis classes under a curriculum program called COIL which stands for Collaborative Online International Learning.

Its been a lot of work, said Ssekandi, cracking a smile. Of course, I came to work; I didnt come for holiday. But if the partnership between the two institutions result in providing a new and sustainable food source for parts of the African nation, Ssekandis trip may earn him a holiday after all.

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SRU developing aquaponics ecosystem with Ugandan university – Allied News

‘Need to create an ideal IT ecosystem at MIHAN’ – The Hitavada

Source: The HitavadaDate: 31 Jul 2017 09:28:56

Business Bureau,

THE region of Vidarbha and especially Nagpur has achieved several milestones by persuading several major domestic IT companies to set up their units at the IT Park in MIHAN. Most of the IT companies have started operations or are either in the process of construction and establishing infrastructure for their units. With this, the IT Park at MIHAN is almost full with occupants like TCS, Tech Mahindra, HCL, Infosys etc. This has set the ball rolling to embark on setting up the Phase-II of the IT Park.

The objective of the IT Park in Nagpur is to create an ideal IT ecosystem where big IT companies as well as small ancillary units will synchronise their capabilities and coexist, said Arvind Kumar, Centre Head at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) while talking at the session on IT and ITES at the Inter Divisional Committee on Industrialisation of Vidarbha and Marathwada recently organised by Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA).

Present on the occasion were Anoop Kumar, Nagpur Divisional Commissioner, Sunil Porwal, Additional Chief Secretary (Industries), Piyush Singh, Divisional Commissioner, Amravati, senior officers, representatives of trade and industry and other stakeholders.

Giving recommendations on how to overcome hurdles on creating an ideal IT ecosystem to accelerate growth of the region, Kumar said, Government needs to attract the biggest IT companies of the world like Microsoft, Dell, Oracle, Google etc., to the IT Park at MIHAN. Cities like Bangaluru, Hyderabad and Pune have developed and grown to dizzy heights to become IT hubs in the country due to the ecosystem which was created by these large companies.

Large foreign IT companies outsource a huge chunk of their work from smaller domestic players thereby establishing a thriving ecosystem where there is supply and demand, he said. In order to put Nagpur on the IT map of the world a proper IT ecosystem needs to be developed in a similar manner at MIHAN, he added.

In order to attract top IT companies of the world there is a need to develop better air connectivity from Nagpur to other parts of the country and the world. Also, efforts have to made to connect MIHAN with the city through the Metro Rail operations, he said.

The IT industry is plagued with high employee retention levels. Employees after working for more than four to five years tend to leave and join other companies. An employee should get chance to get job in Nagpur itself, otherwise he would move out for greener pastures in other cities.

An ideal ecosystem would also attract smaller IT players which would perform outsourced work. In this manner a market would be developed which would create more employment opportunities for local youth, he said.

Another representative said that for any minor work regarding IT, the matter is sent to Mumbai for approval. Government should appoint a nodal officer who can take administrative decisions to resolve issues related to IT in Nagpur.

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‘Need to create an ideal IT ecosystem at MIHAN’ – The Hitavada

‘Evolve innovative eco-system’ – The Hindu

Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, has said India should evolve and nurture an innovative eco-system and respond to technology demands.

Addressing the 70th anniversary of the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI) here on Tuesday, he said creating such an eco-system needed a change in mindset across all domains of society and breaking out from silo mentality. On technology vision for India 2035, he said the new vision betted on emerging technologies to overcome challenges in ensuring inclusive growth and improved quality of life. Such a technology leap must take advantage of Indias democratic dividend, he suggested. The vision statement envisioned Indias technology future modes comparing it to four gaits of a horse: galloping, cantering, trotting and walking, he said.

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‘Evolve innovative eco-system’ – The Hindu

Mapping the Canadian AI Ecosystem jfgagne

UPDATE June 13, 2017: Last week I posted V1 of our Map of the Canadian AI Ecosystem, and since then Ive been inundated with additions. While its still incomplete, I thought it was important to update the map currently being sent around and reinforce the idea that this ecosystem is in constant flux. Already, our list has mushroomed from about 160 startups to over 550. Goes to show how much is happening just below our attention.

Ive been putting together a map on Canadas AI ecosystem, which I first revealed last week in my keynote on C2 Montreals main stage. As promised, Im publishing that map at the bottom of this post.

Given the speed at which the industry is progressing, this map is constantly evolving, so Ill be sharing updates as we add them. If you have an addition to make, drop me a line!

The talent pool for AI research is tiny; at the office, weve tracked about 5600 researchers globally who are making an impact in the field. This size makes it critical that the industry players build relationships and share knowledge, to create an ecosystem that helps facilitate progress in AI so that were able to better specialize.

In the last couple of years, the Canadian AI ecosystem was pretty fractured, each cluster trying to win the race and get ahead of the pack. Cities like Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto would announce how their city was the place to be: great quality of life, financial incentives, a flourishing venture capital scene, some of the best researchers in the world, etc. The message tended to be that we have the ingredients to be the next hot spot.

Up until recently Canada was not a heavyweight in the artificial intelligence market. The United States dominated (some even calling it a strategic monopoly), with China and Japan holding second and third place. Where Canada shined was fundamental research. Thanks to the Canadian governments willingness to invest in long, difficult pursuits, our universities are the source of some of the big breakthroughs that lead to deep learning and reinforcement learning, two of the most important innovations in AI up to now. Having some of the best universities also means that we train some of the best artificial intelligence specialists in the world. But, without much serious competition here in Canada, much of that talent went south to the tech giants in Silicon Valley.

This is where the new influx in research funding from Ottawa as well as Ontario and Quebeccomes into play. All three governments have chosen to offer massive support for the artificial intelligence scene, giving $125M, $50M and $100M, respectively, to keep this research engine running. Indeed, Edmonton received $35M from Ottawa while Vancouver received none of that federal money, despite having 5x the number of startups that Edmonton has.

The reason is that Edmonton is home to Richard Suttons lab, Amii, where hes done a lot of very influential research in Reinforcement Learning. Meanwhile, its been no secret that Vancouver is just too expensive for a research professor, causing many to leave for other universities or companies. The balance of funding will soon be leaning towards building up tech companies, but those are built on the solid research coming out of our Universities. Edmonton has a great opportunity to build their startup ecosystem before the venture funding really kicks in.

For now, research is what gave Canada its edge and its important we dont lose that before our startup ecosystem matures. But if we want to go beyond research and become big players in the AI market, research is not enough. Thats why we didnt want to ignore Vancouver in our map as the startup scene heats up, and they have historical economic links to East Asia where a lot of the action is for the AI industry.

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Mapping the Canadian AI Ecosystem jfgagne

Homepage – Dell EMC Cloud Ecosystem Hub

Cloud innovations

Want to integrate best-in-class technologies, industry-leading services and single-call support, whilst delivering IT-as-a-Service? With Enterprise Hybrid Cloud a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind engineered solution you can.

Perhaps youre looking for the quickest and easiest path to cloud-native application delivery and management? In that case, Native Hybrid Cloud is the system for you; a fully turnkey Pivotal Cloud Foundry developer platform.

Make your applications run faster, and more efficiently and economically, with Virtustreams enterprise-grade cloud software and services, built for complex IT enterprises.

If you want to plan out a hybrid-cloud strategy, evaluate workload deployment and design, and implement appropriate and effective cloud-delivery models, then turn to Dell EMCs Global Services.

Dont forget that IT organisations, as a whole, need to continue to learn if theyre to grow and compete with the competition. Dell EMCs Educational Services, such as curriculum-based training tracks and certifications, take an open approach to technology concepts and principles that apply to all vendor environments helping to further your knowledge, improve your skills and enable big-data analytics.

Imagine Dells innovative systems and in-depth service combined with EMCs invaluable expertise, and powered by Intels innovative technology. Partner with us, and thats exactly what you can expect.

Dell EMC has formed to further expand Dells portfolio of cloud options, delivering more choice and flexibility than ever before. And it works in collaboration with Intel to deliver market-leading solutions that triumph in the areas most important to your company, and your customers.

Whats in a processor? The truth is, more than we realise. The processor at the heart of your customers cloud servers affect everything, from their applications performance to the cost of running their organisation.

Intels processors have been specifically designed and are continually optimised for use in the cloud. Learn more here, or read on to discover the benefits Intel Cloud Technology can bring.

Did you know that security concerns are keeping 52 per cent of enterprises from moving to the cloud?1 Now is your chance to differentiate yourself based on cloud integrity and Intel can help.

With multi-faceted security tools, Intel puts your customers in control of their cloud. This includes Intel Cloud Integrity Technology: software that encrypts workloads, and enhances the security features of Intel Xeon processors to ensure that cloud applications run on trusted servers and unaltered virtual machines.

It also includes Intel QuickAssist Technology which provides both security and compression acceleration capabilities for optimum performance, ultimate efficiency and unrivalled security and Intel Clear Containers, which offers enhanced protection around the popular container model for application deployment.

Make virtualisation practical for your customers and give them the opportunity to do more with their existing resources. How? With Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) .

Intel VT can empower businesses to eliminate performance overheads and improve security by reducing the size, cost and complexity of virtualisation software.

Still want to do more with your customers resources? Introducing Intel Resource Director Technology (Intel RDT) . Delivering the future of workload consolidation density, today, it allows you to intelligently monitor and control the allocation of key shared system resources to ensure quality of service and provide invaluable insight.

If your customers are looking for a smart way to optimise and manage their power, cooling and compute resources in the data centre, look no further than Intel Node Manager. This firmware feature provides key information and controls that can drive down your customers costs and boost the efficiency of their servers.

To learn more about Intel Cloud Technology, click here.

1 Bitglass Report: Security Concerns Limit Cloud Adoption, Talkin Cloud, March 2014. Published at http://talkincloud.com/cloud-computing-research/050114/bitglass-report-security-concerns-limit-cloud-adoption

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Homepage – Dell EMC Cloud Ecosystem Hub

A nurturing social enterprises ecosystem can address multiple problems in India – YourStory.com

Social startups aim to address not only the various problems which plague the country, but also provide employment and support women empowerment.

In the last one decade, India has seen a considerable amount of growth in social enterprises. Though the word social entrepreneur saw the limelight only in 1981, their insurmountable contribution has reflected in health care, employment, education, and the uplifting of the marginalised sections of the society. With startups and corporate social responsibilities (CSR) activities hustling the possibilities, the way ahead for social enterprises is promising. Having said that, one cannot deny the challenges faced by the sector.

India is the youngest country in the world with approximately two-thirds of the population aged below 35. Despite being the second fastest growing economy after China, India is home to 40 percent of the worlds poor with over 30 percent of the population living below the poverty line.

Given the scale of illiteracy, malnutrition and poor health care dominating the list of woes in the country, the onus of solving these issues lies both on the citizens and the government. Further, with the increasing digital presence and initiatives such as Digital India and Start-up India, social enterprises have become an integral part of solving and helping the communities battle various problems.

While the social sector is experiencing growth every day, there are several incubators that mentor and advise the younger venturers to manage manpower, resources, and act as knowledge hubs. Few of them include UnLtd India, Villgro, Deshpande Foundation, IKP Knowledge Park, Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, among others. And more importantly, they help navigate the key challenge faced by this crucial sector, i.e. funding.

Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, Chairman and CEO at the IKP Knowledge Park at the SIGMA Accelerator launch programme for social startups, says that knowledge of the available market is the first step to build a successful social startup. She said:

For a social entrepreneur to be successful, market access is very important. Startups are not able to scale after idea validation from few customers in India. Hence, we need a channel for startups to sell their products and services.

Discussing the various other problems surrounding this ecosystem, Ramamurthy Badrinath from Ericsson which works primarily in the SmartAgri projects said, Startups always have major constraints in doing the pilot. As a suggestion, he said that the stakeholders for a particular product should also include end-customers and they should be kept informed while developing the product. Focus on the problem is very important while building any product, he added.

With CSR becoming an integral part of MNCs, funding routed through incubators can provide a boost to the social startups ecosystem. Startups can get the velocity and corporates will get the weight; both of them will create the momentum needed to make an impact. We have a win-win relationship, says Harsha Muroor, CEO of Teslon Technologies, who was part of the CiscoLaunchPad Accelerator in 2016.

The social enterprises in India have a huge mandate to cater to the vast problems of 1.3 billion Indians. Along with funding and access, there is a need for these startups to evolve in an environment of enabling policies. Companies can bring technology for social ideas to scale and the government can create policy for a thriving social startup ecosystem. Data accessibility is more important than availability, Ramamurthy adds.

Leading the way for government intervention, Karnataka State has partnered with NASSCOM and 91Springboard to enable incubation. Gaurav Gupta, the Principal Secretary to the governments Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology, says:

Because of startups, Government of Karnataka changed the way they were managing investments, and started with the ambitious goals of having more than 20,000 startups in Karnataka in the span of five years. The government has started Idea to Proof of concept for startups, in which they provide assistance to startups without equity.

A thriving social startups ecosystem, apart from addressing its own solutions, is contributing to employment generation. Almost two-third of these firms provide employment to the marginalised groups.The state of social enterprise in Bangladesh, Ghana, India and Pakistan, a report by the British council, further highlighted that over 24 percent women leaders are spearheading these enterprises as against 8.9 percent of women in the mainstream companies.

India already boasts 2 million social enterprises till date; with more support through government policies and corporate funding, VCs and social angels, the startups can grow exponentially and address the various problems faced by India.

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A nurturing social enterprises ecosystem can address multiple problems in India – YourStory.com

Life-saving treatment shows why Houston needs medical-startup ecosystem – Houston Chronicle

Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff

Anna Cole, left, and Charlotte Rivas work in the lab at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Anna Cole, left, and Charlotte Rivas work in the lab at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Research assistant Markia Smith works in the lab at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Research assistant Markia Smith works in the lab at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Graduate student Suite ASukumaran works in the lab at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Graduate student Suite ASukumaran works in the lab at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Student researcher Moriah Chermak works in the lab at Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Student researcher Moriah Chermak works in the lab at Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Manik Kuvalekar works in the lab at Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Manik Kuvalekar works in the lab at Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Cell samples are prepared at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Cell samples are prepared at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Student researcher Moriah Chermak works in the lab, counting cells, at Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Student researcher Moriah Chermak works in the lab, counting cells, at Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Student researcher Moriah Chermak works in the lab, counting cells, at Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Student researcher Moriah Chermak works in the lab, counting cells, at Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Life-saving treatment shows why Houston needs medical-startup ecosystem

Imagine completing a difficult transplant only to acquire a viral infection that fills your bladder with blood and causes abdominal pain.

Such infections are common among patients with suppressed immune systems, and until recently, doctors could do little about them. But a Houston-based startup will soon supply hundreds of transplant patients across the country with a new immunotherapy treatment for these potentially deadly infections, ameliorating suffering and saving millions in medical costs.

ViraCyte’s T-cell therapy has shown amazing promise with five viruses and could potentially treat many more. But getting this revolutionary product from the lab to doctors outside Houston reveals the importance of creating an ecosystem that nurtures companies like ViraCyte and shows how a stronger system is needed in Houston.

The basic research that led to ViraCyte began more than 20 years ago with funding from the National Institutes of Health, said Ann Leen, an immunology professor at Baylor College of Medicine and the chief scientific officer at ViraCyte. Since then, researchers have worked to harness the body’s natural defense system against viral infections, focusing primarily on those that afflict vulnerable transplant patients.

“What we’ve been doing in the lab is figuring out where this cell therapy could work, against what viruses, and figuring out how healthy people control different viruses,” Leen said. “And then figuring out how can we create an immune response in the lab.”

To read this article in one of Houston’s most-spoken languages, click on the button below.

A healthy person’s immune system has cells that fight viruses. ViraCyte identifies the parts of a virus that trigger these protective cells to act. They then mix those bits with parts of a healthy person’s blood to grow protective cells in the lab.

“It’s almost like gardening,” Leen said.

A few years ago, researchers could grow protective cells in three months to help one person fight one virus. That kind of research is typically done at research centers like Baylor College of Medicine using state, federal and private grant money.

But a three-month process to help a single person with a single virus is not commercially viable. Leen knew she needed to develop an off-the-shelf, easy-to-manufacture therapy that could help almost any patient. Coming up with a commercial therapy, though, is beyond the purview of academia, and many promising ideas never make it past this stage because researchers don’t have the financial support, the expertise or the business knowledge to form a company.

“We can accommodate our own patients, and we’ve done that for many years, but there are many patients across the country and worldwide,” Leen said. “It’s hard to get funding to continue to provide that to patients because there is little research to do. We had to move to the next stage.”

That’s when Leen and her co-founders started ViraCyte. Using their own money, and with help from family and friends, Leen and her team applied for more grant funding and applied to business incubators to help build a company and to offer a commercial therapy.

JLABS, a medical technology incubator in the Texas Medical Center sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, accepted ViraCyte, offering office and laboratory space as well as business advice.

“It was important to be in the Medical Center, but to have a separate footprint outside of academia,” Leen said. “Before JLABS, there were not a lot of options within the Medical Center.”

ViraCyte has made major strides and licensed the intellectual property from Baylor. The company has developed Viralym-M, an off-the-shelf treatment that can help almost all transplant patients fight the five most common viruses that infect them.

The company is moving Viralym-M into Phase III clinical studies at health centers across the U.S., the most crucial step in the Food and Drug Administration approval process. Dr. Bilal Omer, a pediatric oncologist at the Baylor College of Medicine who led the successful Phase II study, said the treatment is already savings lives.

“For the first time, we have a treatment where you can go to a freezer, take out some cells, you infuse these cells, and the patient often improves within a few days. Sometimes within a week the patient is back to baseline, feeling good,” he said. “I’m getting daily emails from all over the country asking if they can get these cells.”

Meanwhile, ViraCyte has reduced the cost of growing the cells to $100,000 for 300 doses. While expensive, the therapy is cheaper than patients spending weeks or months in the hospital at $8,000 a day. Despite the progress, the company will need to raise money for commercial production and to develop cells to treat more viruses, such as HIV, hepatitis or even Zika.

“We’ve started looking at new targets,” Leen said.

ViraCyte could not have happened without financial backers, professional advisers and JLABS, Leen said, but Medical Center researchers still need more such programs that help researchers turn their ideas into companies, and that means more investments and business expertise.

“There are so many things going on in the Medical Center that are really ready for prime time, but people just don’t quite know how to move forward,” she said.

Houston needs a complete ecosystem beginning with academic research institutions leading to business incubators and angel investors and venture capitalists. For this, we need business leaders and corporations to put as much attention into science as they do into oil and gas.

The life sciences offer an opportunity to diversify Houston’s economy – if we create the right environment.

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Life-saving treatment shows why Houston needs medical-startup ecosystem – Houston Chronicle

Globe, Davao Norte LGU push cashless ecosystem | Inquirer Business – Inquirer.net

Globe Telecom has partnered with the local government of Davao del Norte for the creation of a government ID card that can also be used to pay taxes, goods and services using Globes GCash platform.

The card will be available to residents and government employees in Davao Del Norte.

The project will help promote a cashless ecosystem both in business and in government, Globe said in a statement.

There are 65 merchants and local government facilities in Davao Norte that can now accept GCash e-payments using their DavNor GCash accounts. Thus, residents can now pay their local taxes, business permits fees, property tax and other mandated fees through GCash Local Government Mobile Services, it added.

The telco estimated that more than 300,000 residents of Tagum City and Carmen would benefit from the project.

About 18,000 employees from the two areas will serve as pilot beneficiaries of the DavNor-GCash co-branded Citizen IDs by September this year.

This innovation shall enhance our clientele-focused mindset cutting down on costs and speeding up our processes to better serve our citizens in an efficient and responsive manner, Davao del Norte Governor Antonio Rafael del Rosario said.

Globe said its GCash PowerPay+ platform allowed monetary benefits such as payroll and salaries which were accorded to government employees and financial assistance for senior citizens and students to be credited to their GCash wallets in real-time.

This helps improve operational efficiency in government by tracking cash flow and offering lesser risks in the handling of cash for beneficiaries, Globe said.

Globe said it also provided connectivity through direct Internet and public wi-fi access in select locations.

A Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) protocol allows agencies to connect to select remote agencies such as hospitals and rural health units while Enterprise Content Management enables real-time data capture, data management, data analytics and reporting tools, dashboarding capabilities for cloud for better archiving and data/document management.

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Globe, Davao Norte LGU push cashless ecosystem | Inquirer Business – Inquirer.net

Giant Snail Looks Like a Rabbit, But Would Destroy Our Ecosystem … – The Weather Channel

After a photo of a woman holding a giant, seemingly bunny-eared snail went viral, social media users had plenty of questions about the massive mollusk.

TheGiant African Snailcan grow to be eight inches long and feed on roughly 500 different types of plants, as well as plaster and stucco used to build homes. Its considered the most damaging snail in the world.

To add insult to injury, theyre also known to eat rat feces and contract rat lungworm, which can cause meningitis in humans.

The creatures are native to East Africa and have also been found in Asia, according to New York Invasive Species. They were originally introduced to Hawaii in 1936 and Florida in 1966, where eradication efforts costing $1 million were launched to get rid of them. They were rediscovered in 2011 and efforts continued into 2015.

Though officials were able to get rid of hundreds of thousands of the snails, total eradication proved difficult as they have a nine-year lifespan and are hermaphrodites, which mean they dont need a partner to reproduce. And they reproduce often, resulting in as many as 1,200 eggs per year.

Giant African Land snails are sold and raised as pets in other countries, such as Europe.

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Giant Snail Looks Like a Rabbit, But Would Destroy Our Ecosystem … – The Weather Channel

Google to declutter streaming ecosystem by combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music – TechSpot

Googles unnecessarily complicated streaming ecosystem will eventually become a bit more streamlined according to YouTubes Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen.

During a recent panel session at the New Music Seminar conference in New York City, Cohen said his company plans to combine YouTube Red and Google Play Music into a single offering in order to help educate consumers and attract new subscribers.

Googles current streaming ecosystem is a bit of a mess.

A YouTube Red subscription removes all ads from videos on YouTube and offers both offline playback and background playback on mobile devices. YouTube Red subscribers also get a complementary subscription to Google Play Music, the search giants answer to Spotify.

YouTube Music, meanwhile, is a free offering thats driven by advertising (which can be eliminated if you subscribe to YouTube Red). Oh, and anyone that signs up for Google Play Music also receives all of the benefits afforded by YouTube Red. Confused yet?

The product teams behind Google Play Music and YouTube Music reportedly combined earlier this year, setting the stage for such a merger.

In a follow-up sent to The Verge, Google said music is very important and that theyre evaluating how to bring together different music offerings to deliver the best possible product for users, music partners and artists. Nothing will change for users today, the spokesperson said, adding that theyll provide plenty of notice before any changes are made.

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Google to declutter streaming ecosystem by combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music – TechSpot

Innovative eco-system stressed – The Hindu

Anil Kakodkar, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, has said India should evolve and nurture an innovative eco-system and respond to technology demands.

Addressing the 70th anniversary of the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI) here on Tuesday, he said creating such an eco-system needed a change in mindset across all domains of society and breaking out from silo mentality.

On technology vision for India 2035, he said the new vision betted on emerging technologies to overcome challenges in ensuring inclusive growth and improved quality of life.

Such a technology leap must take advantage of Indias democratic dividend, he suggested.

The vision statement envisioned Indias technology future modes comparing it to four gaits of a horse: galloping, cantering, trotting and walking, he said. India gallops in some areas such as space, nuclear, information and missile technologies, canters to keep pace in few areas such as civil aviation and road transport, and trots in a few others such as food, manufacturing and electronics, he said.

India has not been able to walk the talk in time in many areas such as room temperature superconductivity, he said. India shone well during the agrarian era, but missed the bus during the industrial era, he said.

India invested only 0.88% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in research and development programmes, but its investment was huge in absolute terms considering the countrys economy, he said.

It is sad that in most industries Indian expertise still lacks a global edge and we remain heavily dependent on many key foreign technologies, he regretted. The translation of research findings to commercialisation was strapped for want of funds, he said.

It is, however, a matter of pride that despite foreign rule, technology denial and embargos, India has managed to fly its flag high, he said.

Today, countries such as Israel were keen on making together with India, he said adding, the only way to sustain the momentum was to become a major player in the technology-production game.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Vijayamohanan K. Pillai, Director, CECRI, said that with changing priorities it was necessary for scientists to prune their activities to those that impact the 125 million people of this country.

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Innovative eco-system stressed – The Hindu

Research at Lake Baikalfor the protection of a unique ecosystem – Phys.Org

July 26, 2017 Amphipods of the species Eulimnogammarus verrucosus react negatively to higher temperatures and pollutants like cadmium. Credit: V. Pavlichenko, ISU

Lake Baikal, with its exceptional species diversity and unique wildlife, is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. As part of the Helmholtz Russia Research Group LaBeglo, UFZ researchers are studying the impact of climate change and environmental toxins on the lake’s fauna. In a recent study, together with researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the University of Irkutsk, they addressed the question of how Baikal amphipods that fulfil important ecological functions in the lake react to pollutants in the water.

Lake Baikal formed between 25 and 30 million years ago and contains around 20 per cent of all unfrozen fresh water on Earth. At approximately 23,000 cubic kilometres, its water volume is even larger than that of the Baltic Sea. Lake Baikal is not only the oldest and largest lake on Earth, but with a depth of over 1,500 metres also the deepest. It may also be one of the coldest: the average water temperature near the shore is only about 6 C. “The water is crystal-clear, the salt and nutrient content is low and it’s extremely oxygen-richeven at the very bottom of the lake,” says Dr Till Luckenbach, an ecotoxicologist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). Over the course of evolutionary history, these particular conditions in Lake Baikal have resulted in a unique fauna. About 80 per cent of the 2,600 or so species living in Lake Baikal are endemicin other words they are not found anywhere else on Earth, indicating that they have adapted very well to the extreme conditions.

However, whether the fauna of Lake Baikal will remain so diverse and unique in years to come is uncertain. The lake is situated in a region in which global warming is particularly noticeable. Over the past 50 years, the average surface temperature of Lake Baikal has increased by nearly 1.5 C. “And it’s still rising,” says Luckenbach. “The period in winter when the lake is covered with ice has also become much shorter. In addition to this, there is detectable chemical pollution. Since the environmental conditions in Lake Baikal have remained stable for a very long time, these changes are dramatic.” In the Helmholtz Russia Research Group LaBeglo, project leader Luckenbach and his team from UFZ have been working for the past six years with researchers from the University of Irkutsk, the AWI in Bremerhaven and the University of Leipzig to discover what consequences the changed environmental conditionssuch as rising water temperatures and chemical pollutionhave for the unique fauna of Lake Baikal. Two native amphipods of the genus Eulimnogammarus are being used as model organisms. Amphipods perform an important ecological function in water: they break down organic material, thus keeping the water clean, and serve as food for fish. This key role in the food network makes them important model organisms for ecotoxicologists.

Studies on the temperature sensitivity of Baikal amphipods carried out at the University of Irkutsk show that one species (E. cyaneus) can tolerate water temperatures up to around 20 C, which may occur in summer close to the shores of the lake. The research team found that E. cyaneus produces a constant level of so-called heat shock proteins, which protect important protein molecules in the organism that would otherwise be damaged at high temperatures. The other species, E. verrucosus, produces far fewer heat shock proteins and instead migrates to deeper, cooler regions of the lake to escape high water temperatures. “If water temperatures increase as a result of climate change, this could have far-reaching consequences not only for the individual species, but also for the balance of the ecosystem, which has developed over a long period of time,” says Luckenbach. “In the case of E. cyaneus, the temperature maximum which the species can tolerate for long periods can sometimes already be reached in summera further temperature increase would be extremely critical. And if E. verrucosus has to migrate to deeper water more than is currently the case, the species will have to compete more with the amphipods living there for food sources.”

In their study, published recently in Environmental Science and Technology, a team of researchers from UFZ, the AWI and the University of Irkutsk investigated how these two species of amphipods react to chemical pollution in the water. The animals were exposed to the heavy metal cadmium, which served as a model toxin. Although the water in Lake Baikal is still largely unpolluted, cadmium is a relatively frequent environmental pollutant whose toxicity makes it extremely problematic to ecosystems. It seems likely that Lake Baikal could see increasing heavy metal pollution. The lake’s largest tributary, the Selenga River, is increasingly polluted with mining waste water from Mongolia, and via air, pollutants reach the lake from the industrial region around Irkutsk.

The reactions of the amphipods were observed in the laboratory. “The smaller species E. cyaneus absorbed the pollutant faster and thus died at lower pollutant concentrations in the water,” explains Dr Lena Jakob, an ecophysiologist at the AWI, who carried out the experiments at Lake Baikal. “We also observed that E. verrucosus slowed down its metabolism even at low concentrations of cadmium. This is a warning sign, because the animals might avoid feeding when this happens, do not reproduce and are more likely to fall prey to predators due to reduced activity. Even a low but constant level of chemical pollution in Lake Baikal could have massive impacts on individual species and the ecosystem as a whole.”

In another study, the UFZ researchers together with bioinformatics experts from the University of Leipzig obtained the first insights into the genome of E. verrucosus. It is surprisingly largeabout three times the size of the human genome. The genome data will be used as the basis for further investigation of physiological adaptation strategies in different environmental conditions. According to Luckenbach: “We want to shed a little more light on this area, understand the physiological level even better and find out whether there are other mechanisms that enable the organisms to withstand the effects of climate change and exposure to pollutants, because ultimately we want to be able to predict how the ecosystem might change.”

Explore further: Image: Orbital view of Irkutsk and Lake Baikal

More information: Lena Jakob et al, Uptake Kinetics and Subcellular Compartmentalization Explain Lethal but Not Sublethal Effects of Cadmium in Two Closely Related Amphipod Species, Environmental Science & Technology (2017). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b06613

The city of Irkutsk (centre left) and part of Lake Baikal (right) are pictured in this Sentinel-1A image over Russia’s Siberia region.

Russia sounded the alarm Tuesday as water levels in Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake, dropped to record lows, with environmentalists blaming dry weather and overuse by local industry.

Despite widespread concerns about preserving the worlds largest body of fresh water, researchers report that pollution is continuing in Russias fabled Lake Baikal. The study is scheduled for the April 15 issue of ACS …

A controversial Soviet-era paper mill on the shores of Lake Baikal will be closed down, a government spokeswoman said Thursday, after years of complaints about pollution at the UNESCO-protected Siberian site.

Ecologists are warning the world’s deepest and oldest lake is at risk from climate change and faces a new threat from plans to build a dam.

Siberia’s Lake Baikal, the world’s largest and most biologically diverse lake, faces the prospect of severe ecological disruption as a result of climate change, according to an analysis by a joint US-Russian team in the May …

Britain said Wednesday it will outlaw the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040 in a bid to cut air pollution but environmental groups said the proposals did not go far enough.

A new study projects that if climate change continues unabated, heat-related deaths will rise dramatically in 10 major U.S. metropolitan areas compared to if the predicted increase in global warming is substantially curbed …

Hydrogen at elevated temperature creates high electrical conductivity in the Earth’s mantle.

The idea of geoengineering, also known as climate engineering, is very controversial. But as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in our atmosphere, scientists are beginning to look at possible emergency measures.

A new study found that Caribbean staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis) are benefiting from “coral gardening,” the process of restoring coral populations by planting laboratory-raised coral fragments on reefs.

Humanity will have used up its allowance of planetary resources such as water, soil, and clean air for all of 2017 by next week, said a report Tuesday.

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Research at Lake Baikalfor the protection of a unique ecosystem – Phys.Org

Oregon Ecosystem Files Lawsuit to Defend Its Rights – Truth-Out

The Siletz River in Lincoln, Oregon. (Photo: USFWS – Pacific Region)

On July 24, the Siletz River Ecosystem (SRE) in Northwestern Oregon took legal action to protect itself.

Becoming the third US ecosystem to do so, the SRE took this self-defense step by filing a motion to intervene in the lawsuitRex Capri and Wakefield Farms, LLC v. Dana W. Jenkins and Lincoln County, and Lincoln County Community Rights.

Carol Van Strum, a farmer, author, parent, naturalist, copy editor and co-custodian of 20 acres of temperate rainforest, bottomland and river in the Oregon Coast Range, is an advocate for the intervention of the SRE. She told Truthout why.

“This is a significant and groundbreaking effort, literally from the ground, offering a far more effective, comprehensive way to protect the planet we’re part of than piecemeal campaigns to ban a single chemical or fight a single fracking or mining operation at a time,” she said. “It is also significant because it starts with communities taking back control of their lives and environment that industry-controlled governments have taken from them.”

“If Nature Has No Rights, Neither Do We”

The two plaintiffs, Rex Capri of Newport and Wakefield Farms of Eddyville, claim that it is their “right” to spray toxic pesticides aerially, and that this right is greater than the right of the people of Lincoln County to protect public health, clean water, and the rights of ecosystems and natural communities.

To see more stories like this, visit “Planet or Profit?”

The SRE has been in trouble for years. Its watershed has lost nearly half of its forest in just the last 16 years alone, and massive clear-cuts from strip logging plague the ecosystem.

Much of the area has been sprayed with pesticides from the air multiple times, and huge parts of the watershed are completely barren of vegetation. This has also resulted in critical habitat for salmon and steelhead being degraded and, in some cases, completely annihilated.

Today, because of this mistreatment, mudslides into the river are common, and pesticide run-off into the river and creek tributaries is rampant. This runoff now poses a major risk of contaminating one of Lincoln County’s main drinking water sources.

Van Strum, who has lived in the area for nearly 50 years, explained to Truthout that she herself is part of the SRE ecosystem, and pointed out that the US Declaration of Independence asserts that the laws of nature “pre-empt human law.” She also cited the Dr. Seuss bookThe Lorax,which chronicles the plight of the Lorax and his environment. The Lorax speaks for the trees against an entity that is seeking to destroy them. Van Strum told Truthout she is acting as the Lorax for the SRE.

“I speak for the rights of waters and forests and wildlife to challenge human violations of natural law,” she said.

Dr. Seusshadsaidthat The Lorax was his personal favorite of his books, as it addressed economic and environmental issues. Hesaid the book”came out of me being angry,” explaining, “I was out to attack what I think are evil things and let the chips fall where they might.”

There are precedents for ecosystems filing lawsuits to defend their rights in other countries.

Ecuador has written the rights of nature into its constitution, and in New Zealand, rivers are granted personhood with human rights.Over the last year, high courts in India and Columbia have also recognized the rights of rivers as a means of creating higher protection standards for their ecosystems.

The federal constitution of Ecuador has recognized the rights of nature since 2008, and there, two different legal cases have affirmed that rivers have rights and damaging human activity violates those rights.

The United States hasn’t taken any of these steps so far — but, of course, that doesn’t mean it never will.

“So far, I don’t think any of those efforts have succeeded in this country, but no one [in power] gave the women’s suffrage movement or civil rights movements here much chance but ultimately, they succeeded,” Van Strum added. “I think this will, too, inevitably, because no matter how many suits and ties and shiny vehicles we hide behind, we are still and always a part of nature, so if nature has no rights, neither do we.”

Rights Essential for Nature

Court documents for the case, obtained by Truthout, state, “The Freedom from Aerially Sprayed Pesticides Ordinance of Lincoln County (hereafter “the Ordinance”) for the first time in Oregon law recognizes the rights of ecosystems and natural communities,” and, “Pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Ordinance, the Siletz River Ecosystem and all natural communities and ecosystems within Lincoln County secured legal rights to be free from toxic trespass and aerially sprayed pesticides. These rights are essential for nature — the physical world including human beings — to survive and thrive.”

The Ordinance thus sets a precedent by giving standing to ecosystems and natural communities to enforce and defend their rights through a human member of the system or community.

That means that the SRE is a real party with legal standing to participate in litigation to enforce or defend its rights. This then enables the SRE and all natural communities and ecosystems within Lincoln County to be a named party in an action brought by a Lincoln County resident or for Lincoln County to enforce or defend the ecosystem or natural community’s rights.

Kai Huschke with theCommunity Environmental Legal Defense Fund(CELDF), the public interest law firm representing the SRE and Lincoln County Community Rights, in a press release about the recent filing, said that this case is a perfect example of what can happen when individuals as well as communities step forward “to secure nature’s rights.”

Van Strum encouraged people around the country to fight for both their communities’ rights and nature’s rights, and pointed to CELDF as a valuable resource in these struggles.

The lawsuit is now moving forward, but there is currently no indication of when the court will respond to the SRE’s motion to intervene.

Did you know? Truthout is a nonprofit publication and the vast majority of our budget comes from reader donations. It’s easy to support our work — click here to get started.

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Oregon Ecosystem Files Lawsuit to Defend Its Rights – Truth-Out

Financial services platform efforts drive new partner ecosystem – TechTarget

Financial institutions are riding the digital transformation wave.

In this new era, the financial services industry is looking to invest in innovative technologies that improve business processes and address changing consumer expectations. Financial institutions are also looking to engage reliable tech partners to help them with IT engagements.

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To seize opportunities in this burgeoning market, large IT vendors are offering platforms on which fintech companies, independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators can build new applications. The result is a still-developing channel ecosystem that aims to deliver IT solutions tailored to the financial services sector. These emerging financial services platforms are surfacing as financial institutions place their bets on such technologies as cloud computing, blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI).

“What we are seeing is a confluence of technologies,” said Tom Eck, CTO at IBM’s Industry Platforms unit. Eck said cloud computing has not only brought about economies of scale to financial institution’s data centers, but it has also increased the pace of application development.

“Banking technology traditionally has been on quarterly release cycles, but now they’ve learned by seeing what’s going on with fintech companiesthat have shortened the cycles of getting new products and updates out into the marketplace,” Eck said. “Cloud has accelerated innovation because it’s much quicker to get from a concept into production on cloud platforms.”

By working with cloud technologies and agile software development methodologies, Fintechs are able to develop applications faster –on the order of months rather than years, Eck said. He added that banks can do the same by utilizing these tools and techniques, but the difference is that many fintechs were “born on the cloud” and hence these practices are instinctual. Nevertheless, banks are learning to adapt to these technologies as well.

Beyond cloud, financial institutions are also drawn to the attractiveness of using blockchain technology to keep a shared digital ledger of transactions that maintain a growing list of records. In addition, AI’s cognitive capabilities, which can augment the intelligence or capabilities of a financial advisor, for example, are driving banks, insurance companies, wealth management firms and other financial companies to embrace this technology.

As the competition to build the next generation of financial apps takes shape, the IBM Cloud for Financial Services platform was launched in March to give fintech companies, ISVs and others access to APIs, data and content to build, monetize, and speed up the pace of developing financial services apps.

“IBM Cloud for Financial Services is a platform for developers to rapidly build next-generation financial services products and, as a platform, the value increases as more functionality is added,” Eck said.

He added that IBM has capabilities that were previously only available as monolithic, on-premises applications. Now, the new platform is enabling some pieces of the functionality of those systems through APIs.

One example Eck cites is taking pieces of IBM Algorithmics, a risk management offering and financial modeling platform, and making it accessible to a much broader range of application developers. He said IBM is focused on accelerating the value of the platform by building out its ecosystem of third-party partners.

“We have a marketplace where we are plugging in offerings from fintechs that want to start selling some of their capabilities through the marketplace,” Eck said. “By offering one platform with an integrated marketplace, a developer can tap in just as easily to the offerings from IBM as they can to offerings from the third parties. We think it is critical to build out this ecosystem so that we can more rapidly bring and expose value from our platform.”

Executives at Actiance Inc., an ISV based in Redwood City, Calif., said it joined the IBM Cloud for Financial Services platform to extend its software offerings and introduce its tools to global financial customers. Actiance provides products for communications compliance, archiving and analytics.

“We are trying to sell our products to the biggest global banks worldwide,” said Barry Ruditsky, Actiance’s senior vice president of business development, channels and alliances. “Having a partner like IBM that has the infrastructure, the resources, and the relationships with these customers — not just in New York, but in London and Hong Kong — can help us deploy our capability to these global banks. IBM helps us gain that scale,” he added.

Specifically, Actiance has three products: The company’s Vantage and Socialite offerings enable organizations to add compliance policies to unified communications, collaboration and social media communications. These products capture this content and send it to a third product, Alcatraz, a cloud-based content archive for electronic communications. Actiance will use the IBM’s financial services platform to take advantage of its AI technology and worldwide infrastructure.

Part of the strategy, Ruditsky said, is developing apps that, for example, track trader-to-trader discussions or communications between wealth managers and their clients on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media products. That communication tracking feature is important in a regulated sector like the financial industry. Furthermore, employees at financial companies are using various social media platforms to interact with younger clients.

It’s costing them a lot of money to stay on the status quo and they are looking for new platforms that reduce cost and open opportunities to adopt new, compelling types of applications. Barry Ruditskysenior vice president of business development, channels and alliances, Actiance

To deepen their understanding of this burgeoning market, companies want a better handle on customer behavior and financial product preferences. As a result, financial institutions can benefit from using AI along with archiving tools to mine communications data, spot trends and gain insights in a predictive and cognitive manner throughout their value chain, Ruditsky said.

“Many financial institutions can’t do that right now,” Ruditsky said, noting that those organizations are stuck in traditional on-premises environments that prevent them from digging into the content. They are unable to search through content and access the detailed metadata that would help them adopt predictive or cognitive applications moving forward, he said.

“It’s costing them a lot of money to stay on the status quo and they are looking for new platforms that reduce cost and open opportunities to adopt new, compelling types of applications,” he said.

As the financial industry marches toward adopting blockchain technology, Red Hat Inc. has been moving in that direction as well. Last year the company announced the OpenShift Blockchain Initiative, which encourages fintech companies and ISVs to develop blockchain solutions on Red Hat’s OpenShift Dedicated, a container application platform.

“ISVs in general are struggling with the idea of how they do containerized app development and how they handle on-premises, hybrid and public cloud deployments,” said Rob Cardwell, Red Hat’svice president of strategic partnerships and alliances. “We believe our technologies help them solve a lot of those struggles with how to architect their systems to meet these various demands from their customer base.”

Cardwell described the initiative as being set up to facilitate building blockchain solutions on OpenShift which, in general, can work in a variety of environments. Options for deployment include the customer’s site, Red Hat’s managed cloud, public clouds or a sandbox brought in by a partner. As fintechs and ISVs develop newer applications more quickly, part of what Red Hat offers is a platform that lets them develop, test and deploy software on the same underlying application architecture, he added.

Similarly, Red Hat believes its technology lets application developers manage transitions from an on-premises environment to a hybrid private-public cloud mix without having to change their approach or architecture.

“Moving from one environment to the next is one of the foundational elements toward being able to develop applications more quickly and can change the turnaround time, or the cycle time, for developing these apps from months to weeks to days,” Cardwell said.

The ability to work in different environments is one reason BlockApps Inc., an ISV, became a Red Hat partner. The company recently deployed its BlockApps Strato, an Ethereum blockchain infrastructure, on OpenShift.

Victor Wong, CEO at BlockApps, said many customers that originally launched the BlockApps offering primarily on a public cloud noted that they wanted more flexibility as they moved to serve larger blockchain production systems.

“OpenShift gave us the ability to provide our customers that flexibility of deployment on public clouds, private cloud or any sort of hybrid cloud environment,” Wong said.

Wong added that financial companies have been toying with the idea of implementing blockchain in recent years, but they are suddenly moving into more serious production-grade applications and that has been a driving force behind the partnerships between vendors and application developers. It’s the main reason why BlockApp is partnering with Red Hat.

“Prior to this partnership there was a big question about how our company was going to manage to serve new blockchain infrastructure,” Wong said. “The primary reason we decided to work with Red Hat is to show that blockchain is a real technology that enterprises can start to take seriously.”

Learn more about channel opportunities in the financial sector

Read about the potential for blockchain in financial services

Gain insight into multicloud computing and fintech companies

More here:

Financial services platform efforts drive new partner ecosystem – TechTarget

New Startups Fuel Growth in the Energy Blockchain Ecosystem – Greentech Media

Tokyo Electric Power Company has cemented its interest in blockchain technologies with a major stake in peer-to-peer energy trading platform developer Conjoule.

The Japanese utility giant pumped 3 million ($3.5 million) into the German startup as part of a 4.5 million ($5.3 million) Series A funding round alongside German energy company Innogy SE.

Innogy had been incubating Conjoule within its Innovation Hub division since late 2015, after one of the Hubs staffers, Conjoulesco-founder and Managing Director Sam Warburton, came up with the idea for the renewable energy peer-to-peer marketplace.

Using blockchain technology, the Conjoule team [is] building one of the most exciting technology developments to enable new transactional models in energy, according to a press releasefrom Tepco.

The investment, which should allow Conjoule to increase its technical team and launch its platform commercially across Europe, follows Tepcos alliance with Shell, Statoil, Centrica and others in the blockchain-focused Energy Web Foundation in May.

We aim to develop the use cases and the platforms using blockchain technology in the electricity and energy sector with this participation, Maki Murayama, of Tepcos international public relations group, told GTM.

Tepco sees a growing role for peer-to-peer energy transactions in Japan as distributed generation leads to an increasing level of “prosumers”being involved in local production for local consumption, Murayama said.

Conjoule is beta-testing its blockchain-based peer-to-peer platform with a restricted number of users this year, after developing a simulation based on real historic data in 2015 and creating a minimally viable product for real-world testing in 2016.

It is planning to launch commercially in 2018, with an initial focus on Germany and the Netherlands and possible expansion into Austria and the U.K.

Our target is to be the peer-to-peer platform of choice for distributed electricity producers, consumers and prosumers in Europe and in selected markets globally, said Warburton.

He admitted Conjoule was entering an increasingly crowded market for energy blockchain platforms, though. Other startups in the space include Drift, Grid Singularity and Electron.

Nevertheless, Warburton said: We believe our energy market experience, track record, focus on the needs of our customers and improvement of their customer journey with us mean that we are in an extremely strong position compared to many of the other companies.

For now, other energy blockchain players have been broadly receptive to Conjoules appearance on the scene.

Annie Satow, media relations manager for Siemens, which last November partnered with New York-based peer-to-peer platform developer LO3 Energy, said: This announcement is further confirmation of the markets interest in blockchain technology.

Other energy blockchain developers noted how Conjoule might form part of a wider technology ecosystem in which different blockchains are used for different forms of exchange.

Conjoule superficially appears to be very similar to the blockchain-based solar generation rewards program SolarCoin. ButFrancois Sonnet, co-founder of ElectriCChain, an energy generation data project, said there are differences between them.

SolarCoin comes on top of peer-to-peer energy platforms such as Power Ledger, Grid Singularity or LO3 Energy, and provides a solution to the whole solar value chain, utilities and governments, he said. It is distributed on top of government-backed subsidies.

Ian Worrall, founder of an energy blockchain startup called MyBit, which is aiming to raise funds through a token sale crowdfunding initiative, was similarly quick to draw a distinction between his companys offering and Conjoules.

What they are doing is tokenizing energy itself to trade to neighbors, he said. What MyBit does is tokenize the actual hardware so investors can profit from the revenue solar panels produce and make solar panels more accessible to people with financial constraints.

What seems to be emerging is a web of different energy blockchains with very specific applications, such as trading electrons with the person next door, helping landowners raise cash for solar panels or making it easier to take advantage of subsidies.

While this arrangement may suit energy blockchain startups seeking a niche in a bustling market, it isn’t clear how so many choices of peer-to-peer systems will make things easier for end users, as all the platform developers claim.

Trying to understand blockchain’s role in the energy sector? Listen to our recent episode of The Interchange podcast for a detailed overview.

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New Startups Fuel Growth in the Energy Blockchain Ecosystem – Greentech Media


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