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Humanity Will Continue to Live an Inferior Life Than What is Possible Until the Two Halves: All Individuals in Them: That Make It are Absolutely Fundamentally and Jubilantly Equal at Liberty
 

 

Year Gamma: London: Wednesday: October 18: 2017
The Arkive

First Published: September 24: 2015

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IV PRAT Conference 2017: New York: October 27-28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Humanion Bank of Copyrightfree Works

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Medicine: An Oath to Life: An Ode to Life

 

 

 

 
The Humanion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Political Economics Arkive 2017 Q-Alpha

||  January    ||    February    ||   March  ||

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Political Economics Arkive 2017 Q-Alpha

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Women from the Keyo Pottery Women’s Group stack cook stoves in the kiln for firing. Image: World Bank:Peter Kapuscinski

Political Economics Arkive 2016

If Political Economics Does Not Seek to Achieve Liberty and Equality for all it is doomed to remain a broken system of human affairs management reflecting a broken and fragmented society and it will continue to hurt, divide and harm all members of society: The Humanion

 

We are Speaking to the Entire World's Investment Agencies: This is Time You All Rush to Support the Astonishing Works That are Going on in Tunisia: It is Time the World Gives Tunisia, Not Just a Helping Hand But 'Bricks and Mortars, Sand and Cement' of Investments to Build Infrastructures and Create Jobs and Opportunities Without Which Tunisia Cannot Succeed on Its Own in the Dreams That It is Striving So Hard to Achieve: Just Giving the Quartet Nobel Prize is Not Good Enough: The World Must Go and Invest and Support Tunisia NOW

|| June 16: 2016 || ά. Invest in Tunisia to help Its people: help young women, like this young woman here, have decent jobs so that they can help build their lives, ther communities and their country: to help young men like these who are sitting here and having nothing to do: yet with decent jobs they all, both men and women, could become Promethean soldiers to raise their country from the ashes like a phoenix! It is time the world goes and invest in Tunisia: without the world's concrete support, their still-hard-determination to rebuild their country and nation will falter and if it did, what would Tunisia join to? Do we need to go on? No one wants that: No one can want to see the determined Tunisians fail. That is why it is vital, paramount that world agencies, investment agencies and generally the people who are working in these fields: You can and will make money investing anywhere: but if you do in Tunisia your investment would actually become a TRUE Investment in Humanity. The Humanion call onto everyone, please, rise up to go and offer a helping at to these Promethean people the way ILO is seeking and trying so hard to do.

 

Please, Note: The Humanion Does Not Give Investment Advice

The Humanion does not offer investment advice. Investment of any kind has risks as the value of investment may go up as well as down and, most importantly, past performance of a particular 'fund':any 'fund' is not a guarantee of similar future performance but a guide only. It is, therefore, paramount to seek to make investment decisions, having acquired enough facts:knowledge about the entity being considered for investment from well established and legitimate sources including relevant professional:financial bodies and government departments:agencies, and having consulted professional investment advice from bona fide, qualified financial advisers. Only than, one is likely to be able to make an informed choice and decision about an investment. The Humanion

Working to Eradicate Child Poverty in Africa

The European Union to support local production of fortified food in Chad, where malnutrition is a major obstacle to development. Image: WFP

 

|| March 31: 2017: University of Bristol News || ά. A team from Bristol Poverty Institute, a new specialist research institute at the University of Bristol set up to tackle global poverty, have been working with UNICEF to provide technical advice and assistance to the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics:UBoS and the Economic Policy Research Centre:EPRC to help integrate multidimensional child poverty measures into Ugandan National Statistics. World governments have signed up to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of ‘ending poverty in all its forms everywhere’. Including the aim of reducing by half by 2030 the multidimensional poverty of adults and children in every country. However, most countries have no official measure of multidimensional child poverty.

The need to improve the measurement of poverty is, therefore, urgent as politicians and the public need reliable information to see how effectively and efficiently anti-poverty policies are working or not working. The Consensual Approach for measuring poverty is the only method available, which can produce accurate and comparable policy relevant information in low, medium and high income countries. It has been developed over 30 years, based on Bristol’s internationally acclaimed research on poverty in the Faculty of Social Science and Law.

The method takes into consideration the opinions of the general public about what items and activities they consider to be necessary for an acceptable standard of living, from which no one should be excluded due to a lack of resources. Importantly, the approach introduces a democratic element into the definition and measurement of poverty enabling the public, rather than just academics or politicians, to determine what constitutes poverty.

Dr Eldin Fahmy, who recently returned from Uganda, said, “Over half the population of Uganda is under the age of 18 so the need to develop robust and culturally appropriate official measures of child poverty is increasingly urgent. What we're trying to do is to measure poverty not just in terms of whether people have enough food and clothes but also whether they can participate fully in the social life of their community and meet their social obligations.

“We ask members of the Ugandan public to identify what they believe are the necessities of life for children and adults in their society, using tried and tested focus group and social survey methods, which we have developed over many years of research. This produces a socially realistic measurement of poverty and something that's easy to understand for both the public and politicians.”

Members of Bristol’s new Specialist Research Institute on Poverty have a long history of providing scientific help and support to our colleagues in African countries. For example, the EdQual programme helped Ghanaian academics to develop evidence which persuaded their government to fund national professional development programmes for primary school leaders throughout Ghana.

Our work helped head teachers to implement a range of successful initiatives: community support for school meals, remedial classes to boys who were going out to work; and a programme to reduce sexual risk and pregnancy for young girls. Simpler projects influenced parents to make sure children ate breakfast and came to school with pen and exercise books. Access to education and literacy, especially for girls, is often used as a measure of poverty. Education enables improvements in life chances for girls. Improving this access is one way the EdQual programme helped to reduce multidimensional poverty in Ghana.

Professor David Gordon, Director of the Bristol Poverty Specialist Research Institute, said, “The University of Bristol is proud to be in partnership with the Universities of Ghana, Nairobi and Cape Town through the World Wide Universities network, we will work with our academic colleagues, UNICEF and other international organisations to reduce and eventually eliminate poverty during the 21st Century.

Providing policy makers and the public with high quality scientific information about the extent and nature of child poverty is a necessary step towards ending the blight of poverty.” “Many African countries have long and proud academic traditions, for example 500-years ago the University of Sankore, Timbuku had 25,000 students from all over Africa and the Middle East, we still have much we can learn from each other.”

The Bristol Poverty Specialist Research Institute is dedicated to multi-disciplinary research on poverty in both the industrialised and developing world. The Institute has been established by the University of Bristol in response to the United Nations call for Universities to play their part in helping to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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LIDC Biennial Conference 2017: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Inequality: April 27

 

|| March 31: 2017 || ά. The London International Development Centre:LIDC Biennial Conference 2017: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Inequality is taking place on April 27 at the Birbeck, Clore Management Lecture Theatre at 43 Gordon Square, London between 09:00 and 17:00. Keynote Speakers are Professor Bina Agarwal of University of Manchester and Alex Prats of Oxfam.

The theme of this year's conference will be 'Interdisciplinary Approaches to Inequality. LIDC was created in 2008 to facilitate innovative research in international development across the University of London Bloomsbury Colleges, cutting across sectoral, disciplinary and institutional barriers. The first conference was held in 2013. Now, four years later, LIDC is looking back at what it has accomplished and forward to its future work.

The LIDC has facilitated projects to the value of over £25 million and have held hundreds of public events. The membership network is at least 2,500 strong, including students, staff and alumni from across five member colleges.

The LIDC Conference, held every two years, offers its members a platform to discuss best practice in interdisciplinary research projects in international development, engage with one another, and develop new project and training ideas. The conference, also, coincides with the Award Ceremony of the LIDC Interdisciplinary Seed Fund, that offers small grants to support new interdisciplinary projects in international development at Bloomsbury Colleges.

Alex Prats: Alex is Inequality Lead at Oxfam Intermón, Spain. Previously he was the Principal Economic Justice Advisor for Christian Aid and the Regional Director for West Africa and Maghreb at Oxfam.

Professor Bina Agarwal: Bina is Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester. Other speakers in the include Professor Ben Fine, School of Oriental and African Studies, Melissa Leach, Institute of Development Studies, Dr Barbara Haesler, Royal Veterinary College, Dr. Jeff Waage, Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health and Jasmine Gideon, Birkbeck.

Expect a mixture of panel sessions and interactive parallel sessions on issues of inequality in nutrition, health, financialisation, systems of provision, poverty and more.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Dr Olivia Champion is Seeking to Raise Just a Tiny Little Amount of £100,000 for Her Company BioSystems Technology: Where are the Investing People of the City: This is Your Opportunity to Support a Company That is Determined to Bring to Good to Research and Innovation: Deadline 08:00 April 23

Image: BioSystems Technology

 

|| March 30: 2017: University of Exeter News || ά. A Biosciences expert from the University of Exeter is celebrating after being honoured as one of an exclusive group of leading entrepreneurs, at a special ceremony at the House of Commons. Dr Olivia Champion was named amongst the top 50 entrepreneurs by the university business incubator, SET Squared, at the celebratory event in London on Wednesday, March 29. But The Humanion is not writing about this big achievement of Dr Champion but about the very thing, for which she has been honoured. Olivia was selected for her pioneering spin-out company, BioSystems Technology, which she co-founded with fellow Exeter professor, Richard Titball. Dr Champion has launched a Crowd Funding Campaign to raise £100,000 for the company. And we are inviting investor to support BioSystems Technology, that has developed a great deal since its inception and requires support. This project will only be funded if at least £100,000 is pledged by 08:00 April 23.

Dr Champion and Professor Titball developed a proprietary method for breeding and sterilising the larvae of the greater wax moth, called TruLarv, to help reduce the reliance on the involvement of mammals for conducting research. In little under a year from its launch, Dr Champion has secured more than 50 customers and started exporting to eight countries worldwide. Speaking of the achievement, she said, “I’m delighted to have been selected as one of the SETSquared top 50 entrepreneurs. Our moth larvae are an ethical, cost effective product, that can be used by researchers and where they have been used, the number of mammals used in those projects has been reduced by up to 80%.” And this is why these kind of companies must receive all the support that we can provide them with for things simply do not get better on their own: we have to do, to change, to make better.

And this is why, The Humanion is calling on those, who have money to invest, to do so, to support not just a good business but to support a business that is seeking to do good and on its way to do greater good. And as you have read the headline, they are seeking to raise a tiny little amount of money, tiny little, in terms of how much money there is, say, in the, FTSE 100, just a tiny little £100,000.

Dr Champion said that the spin-out company is now running this crowd funding campaign to fund research into the genetics of TruLarv, so they can be used for a wider range of applications. SETsquared worked with an expert panel of investors and innovation corporate leaders to select the Top 50 Entrepreneurs, which includes companies from across various industries such as health, green technology and five G and wireless communication.

This list was drawn from more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, who have been supported by SET Squared, which supports high growth tech companies with significant economic impact, over the past 15 years. The companies honoured have reached milestone achievements, including raising significant investment, exporting products globally, creating thousands of jobs or achieving a world first.

The reception at the House of Commons was an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to celebrate their achievements along with MPs and special guests, as well as sharing stories on how they have successfully raised investment, exported products globally or had a major impact on their industry. Michael Queen, an investor on the panel, said, “Creating a successful business requires talented entrepreneurs and a great idea but this isn’t enough. SETsquared acts as a catalyst providing support, logistics, training and mentoring to turn dreams into reality.

Over the last 15 years, SETsquared has made a major contribution to building a dynamic technology based business sector in the UK.” Simon Bond, Innovation Director at SET Squared, said, ''When I look back on the last 15 years, I am overwhelmed by the talent and achievements of the entrepreneurs that SETsquared has supported.

They have brought world-leading innovations to market and these have been exported across the globe. SETsquared has provided support and a network for these entrepreneurs including access to mentors, experts, international markets and investors, and they are now out there doing SETsquared and the UK proud.”

The date of the announcement coincided with Prime Minister Theresa May triggering Article 50 to leave the EU, serving as a reminder of the UK’s strength in innovation and entrepreneurship in the global market. The List.

Dr Olivia Champion needs to raise £100,000 for further important research, which has much potential, in order to take their product to wider research arena. And what a prospect, to imagine, that it is possible to use these larvae and not any mammal in research. Let us see and hear that you all have tried to support BioSystems Technology: to do, to change, to make better by making tiny little investments to build up a tiny little figure of just £100,000. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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DBV Technologies, BioNet-Asia and Geneva University Hospitals Announce Phase I Trial Results of Viaskin rPT in Pertussis Booster Vaccination

Image: BioNet-Asia

|| March 30: 2017 || ά.  DBV Technologies, the Geneva University Hospitals:HUG and BioNet-Asia Co. Ltd today announced results from a Phase I trial assessing Viaskin rPT's ability to boost immunity against pertussis by epicutaneously administering two doses of BioNet's recombinant pertussis toxin. The study evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of Viaskin rPT 25 ųg, n=25 and 50 ųg, n=25, in 60 healthy adults randomised 05:01 to each dose cohort versus placebo, n=10. The primary endpoint of the study was the incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events:AEs related to the application of Viaskin rPT and secondary objectives assessed humoral responses compared to placebo.

After further analysis of the data, limitations in the study design and protocol were observed. DBV, HUG and BioNet continue to review preliminary study data and are evaluating if further development pathways, including optimisation of Viaskin rPT, will be explored. Mild application-site reactions were observed in all cohorts and no serious adverse events:SAEs attributed to study drug were reported. After the second application of Viaskin rPT 25 ųg and 50 ųg, measures of PT-specific antibody responses by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay:ELISA were not observed to be statistically significant but serum samples showed a wide distribution of human anti-PT IgG antibodies.

In the placebo, Viaskin rPT 25 ųg and 50 ųg cohorts, respectively, 30%, n=03, 36%, n=09 and 40%, n=10 of subjects were seropositive at baseline, defined in this study as having anti-PT IgG antibodies greater than or equal to 05 UL:mL and thus not assessable for seropositivity analysis. In the seronegative population at baseline, two subjects on Viaskin rPT 50 ųg, 13.3%, one subject on Viaskin rPT 25ųg, 06.3% and no subjects on placebo, 0.0%, were seropositive following the second administration of Viaskin rPT. DBV, HUG and BioNet continue to evaluate the immunogenicity findings observed to better understand potential future development plans for Viaskin rPT.

"We have seen promising preclinical data, showing significant immunogenicity with Viaskin rPT. We can now take key learnings from this first clinical trial attempt and implement the necessary improvements needed to potentially conduct more informative studies and improve the immunogenicity of Viaskin rPT in the future." said Professor Claire-Anne Siegrist, Director of the Centre of Vaccinology of HUG.

"The application of the novel Viaskin technology platform in immunisation enables us to explore potential areas of development for patients, that are currently being underserved by approved vaccines today." This Phase I proof of concept study was conducted under the supervision of Professor Claire-Anne Siegrist, from the Clinical Research Centre of HUG and was sponsored by DBV Technologies.

About the Phase I Viaskin rPT Trial: This Phase I dose-escalation, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled safety and immunogenicity study assessed the safety of BioNet's genetically-detoxified recombinant pertussis toxin administered by DBV's Viaskin patches in 60 young healthy adults. Secondary endpoints assessed the subjects' humoral responses elicited by Viaskin rPT 25 ųg and 50 ųg compared to placebo. Immune cellular responses were also monitored as exploratory endpoints.

The trial was conducted in the Clinical Research Centre of the Geneva University Hospitals. Men and women aged 18 to 40 years who were vaccinated during childhood against pertussis were randomized into two cohorts of 30 subjects each. The Viaskin patches were applied for 48 hours, with a two-week interval between applications.

Four weeks after the second Viaskin application, participants received one dose of Boostrix dTpa vaccine to ensure the recall of immunity against diphtheria, tetanus and the three pertussis antigens, only a single antigen will be delivered through Viaskin rPT. All subjects were observed after each application. Local and systemic adverse events were monitored.  The first cohort received two applications of Viaskin rPT 25 ųg or placebo. Following a positive DSMB review, the second patient cohort received two applications of Viaskin rPT 50 ųg or placebo.

About Bordetella Pertussis: Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a type of bacteria, known as Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis vaccination is recommended as part of routine childhood immunisation. Although the incidence of pertussis has declined as a result of immunisation of infants and young children, vaccine-induced immunity does not persist for long.

This phenomenon, known as waning immunity, has increased since the introduction of acellular pertussis vaccines in 1996, which tend to provide short-lived protection against the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention:CDC, there are 16 million pertussis cases worldwide each year, mainly in adolescents and adults, who often can infect infants, who have not yet completed their pertussis immunisation. In these young patients, pertussis can be severe and fatal.

Booster immunisations are now recommended for adolescents and adults but compliance is not always high. A new vaccine technology, that is patient-friendly, painless and non-invasive could help increase the compliance for booster immunisation against whooping cough.

About DBV Technologies: DBV Technologies is developing Viaskin, a proprietary technology platform with broad potential applications in immunotherapy. Viaskin is based on epicutaneous immunotherapy, or EPIT, DBV's method of delivering biologically active compounds to the immune system through intact skin. With this new class of self-administered and non-invasive product candidates, the company is dedicated to safely transforming the care of food allergic patients, for whom there are no approved treatments. DBV's food allergies programmes include ongoing clinical trials of Viaskin Peanut and Viaskin Milk, and preclinical development of Viaskin Egg. DBV is, also, pursuing a human proof-of-concept clinical study of Viaskin Milk for the treatment of Eosinophilic Esophagitis, and exploring potential applications of its platform in vaccines and other immune diseases. DBV Technologies has global headquarters in Montrouge, France and New York, NY. Company shares are traded on segment A of Euronext Paris, ppart of the SBF120 index, and traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market in the form of American Depositary Shares, each representing one-half of one ordinary share.

About Geneva University Hospitals:HUG: The Geneva University Hospitals:HUG reference academic institution at both national and international level, gather eight public hospitals of Geneva. Their centres of excellence cover hepato-biliary and pancreatic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, oncology, musculoskeletal and sports medicine, old age medicine, genetic medicine and vaccinology. Its Centre of Vaccinology, led by Professor Claire-Anne Siegrist, gained international recognition through the performance of a large first-in-humans Phase I randomised clinical trial that enrolled 115 subjects to characterise the safety and immunogenicity of the VSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine candidate.

With their 10,500 employees, the HUG welcome each year 60,000 hospitalised patients and assure 91,000 emergencies, 990,000 consultations or ambulatory care and 26,000 surgical procedures. More than 800 physicians, 3,000 interns and 150 apprentices perform their training here. The HUG are working closely with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva and WHO in various training and research projects. They develop partnerships with CHUV, EPFL, CERN and other actors from the Lemanic Health Valley.

About BioNet-Asia: BioNet-Asia offers access to vaccine and technology through biotech innovation and partnering networks. BioNet has built several international partnerships fostering vaccine self-reliance and leading to the supply of billions of doses of vaccines worldwide. BioNet has also a broad pipeline of vaccines in RD and clinical stages. In December 2016 BioNet received Marketing Authorisation Approval from the Thai Food and Drug Administration for its standalone recombinant acellular Pertussis:aP vaccine Pertagen and Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular Pertussis:TdaP combination vaccine Boostagen BioNet's new generation pertussis vaccines are produced from a proprietary Bordetella pertussis strain expressing genetically-inactivated Pertussis Toxin:PTgen. The unique properties of PTgen enables the vaccines to induce superior anti-PT immune response as demonstrated in comparative studies. Both BioNet recombinant aP and TdaP vaccines are indicated for booster use in adolescents and adults.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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For J J Churchill It Was Literally Measure for Measure to Measure up Treasures Doubly: For You Keep on Learning and Keep on Making Better to Serve Better

Image J J Churchill

 

|| March 30: 2017 || ά. Engineering company JJ Churchill has set itself a target to double its turnover by 2022, because of using Sharing in Growth:SiG programme. Engaging in SiG has helped the company set a vision and strategy for the future. It, also, enabled JJ Churchill to weather the turbulence in the oil and gas sector and, at the same time, reshape the business with a greater focus on the aerospace market. Andrew Churchill, Managing Director of JJ Churchill, said, “Working with SiG we were able to identify the structural and process weaknesses in the business and to put a plan in place to address these. And this wasn’t just at a strategic level. The SiG team supported our teams to implement structured problem solving.”

One of these was a metrology issue, where recordings from JJ Churchill’s CMMs did not match the results from the customer’s CMM. This posed a real problem as parts inspected by JJ Churchill with accompanying metrology documentation did not match that of the customer, leading to parts being rejected. As part of the SiG programme, measurement experts, the National Physical Laboratory:NPL worked alongside SiG and JJ Churchill’s engineers to develop capability. JJ Churchill’s Quality Manager Paul Oldfield said, “All our CMM readings showed an exact match with the drawings the customer provided, but these were not replicated when the customer checked. Our CMM and the customer were telling two different stories.

The problem was fundamentally with the two different sets of algorithms used by the two different CMM brands: measuring an aerofoil surface is not straightforward. When we showed this to the customer, we were able to explain the reason for the variations and to re-establish our quality credentials. We learnt a valuable lesson in the use of metrology. We, also, with SiG’s support, spread quality skills around the company, for example, with Gauge RR and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis:FMEA training.”

And this is one of the key achievements of SiG at the company, enhancing the skills of the workforce. As part of the SiG programme, Continuous Improvement Engineer Pete Manton led an NVQ initiative to enhance skills, which gave the two teams of eight complete autonomy in solving three production problems. At the same time, it generated a potential benefit to the company of almost £500,000 per year and had a positive impact on staff motivation and productivity.

There were three main parts to the NVQ project, reducing waste in an aerofoil development programme; reducing damage to a production part and lost staff time across the organisation. We addressed each of these in a structured way, using several operational techniques, such as fishbone diagrams, value stream mapping and statistical data analysis to solve the problems.

This resulted in a wide range of benefits: reduced time spent looking for tools; material for jobs easily identified; improved layout; time saved cleaning down machines; improved visual appearance of work areas; Five S checklists in place; SOPs in place. And each member of the team achieved an NVQ qualification. Personally speaking, I have been able to develop my role and I now play a much greater part in ensuring communication is efficient, with the whole company acting as one team. We couldn’t have done any of this without SiG.”

The focus on communication is one that Ms Sarah Penny, Production Scheduler for Aerospace, builds on. Ms Sarah Penny, who was one of the first of 25 new recruits during the SiG programme, said, “SiG helped the company establish that there was a need for my role, so I thank them for that. Also, I’ve been given free rein to drive JJ Churchill’s scheduling and SiG has ensured I built on the skills I had already developed and left me feeling empowered in my role.

Since I started at the end of 2015, I feel I have grown as the role has grown and that I have put my own stamp on ways of working, enabling me to develop effective and efficient methods. And I think one of the most important aspects is communication. There is no point developing schedules if all they are going to do is sit in a desk drawer. Communicating with the various production teams is one of my favourite parts of the job.”

So JJ Churchill was and is, deploying SiG at all levels of the company, across all functions. Andrew Churchill added, “We rolled the SiG blueprint throughout the company. This enabled us to weather the downturn in oil and gas. It supported us in bringing in fresh blood to complement the existing skills within the company. And we were able to run two cohorts of employees through an NVQ initiative.

SiG gave us access to experts across a range of functions, including Lean and logistics, who sit in our management meetings. Their coaching adds real value to our working processes and systems. This level of expertise would normally not be available to a company of our size. We are, also, now engaging with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to enable our company to take the next significant step forward: in advanced automation.

Mentoring from SiG has enabled us to re-shape the business and put in place a regeneration plan, supporting a transition, where we look at customers and markets from a new perspective. We are now endowed with modern manufacturing processes and best-practice systems. We track performance with layered KPIs and we’ve been able to make the most of the opportunities we have found, doubling our aerospace business while maintaining core competencies in other industrial markets.

SiG is an excellent example of the Government and the engineering industry working together to make our industry more effective, more efficient and future-proofed. This is increasing opportunity, sales and jobs. And with the resurgence of Industrial Strategy as a political imperative, we know that we have the support we need.”

SiG Chief Executive Officer Andy Page, said, “Sharing in Growth is an intensive four-year programme designed to transform the productivity and competitiveness of the UK aerospace supply chain. So it is great to see how JJ Churchill has embraced the learning, implemented best practice, grown in confidence and delivered tangible results. By developing skills across the business, they will ensure sustainable benefits for the company and their customers.”

About JJ Churchill: Founded by Walter Churchill on Christmas Day 1937, Churchill Components, as the company was originally known, was based in Coventry and supplied machined parts, such as exhaust values for radial aero-engines to Armstrong-Siddeley. After being blitzed out of Coventry in 1941, the company re-located to Market Bosworth and following the loss of Walter Churchill during the air defence of Malta in 1942, the company was taken on by his young wife Joyce. Having worked closely with Sir Frank Whittle in the 1930s, the transition to gas turbine work was a natural step and compressor blades became a core product from the mid-40s.

Today, the business is located on the same 32,000 sq. metre site and is firmly rooted in the local community, supporting the annual Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, The Bosworth Arts Festival, Bosworth In Bloom, the Christmas Fair and many other local school, sports and community projects.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Climate Launch Pad Green Business Idea Competition 2017 Open for Submissions: Deadline April 20

 



|| March 29: 2017: Aalto University News || ά. If you have a green business idea, this is the time to put it to the test to see whether it could go forward to become a reality? Now, you can take part in the Climate Launch Pad Competition by April 20 to turn that idea into a global business! The Climate Launch Pad Competition aims to accelerate innovation that enables a low-carbon future. The competition scouts cleantech talent and helps them grow their sustainable idea into a global business.

By looking for the world's best sustainability ideas, Climate Launch Pad aims to unlock the world’s cleantech potential and create opportunities for innovators to address climate change. The Competition is open to early stage cleantech entrepreneurs, researchers and students with a green business idea. Proposals from outside Aalto University are welcome. The business idea can be an innovation in renewable energy, a sustainable transition in the food chain, a mind shift in urban mobility or any other way to tackle climate change.

In 2014, Climate Launch Pad set off in seven countries. Since then, the competition has become a large international one. Now, three years later, Climate Launch Pad is organised in 34 countries and it has become the world’s largest green business idea competition spreading outside Europe.

In Finland, Climate Launch Pad 2017 starts off in May with an intensive Boot Camp and follow-up Coaching Sessions. In June, the teams compete in the Climate Launch Pad National Final in front of an expert jury. On top of this, the top three teams will be sent to Cyprus in October to pitch their ideas in the Grand Final.

Find out more and take part by April 20 visit the Competition website.

Climate Launch Pad is part of the EU-backed EIT Climate-KIC initiative which Aalto University joined as a partner in 2015. The competition is co-ordinated in Finland by Impact Iglu.

For more information: Sini Olkanen: sini.olkanen at aalto.fi:
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Forest Fuels to Take Part in a New Energy Technologies Institute Project to Remove Impurities From Biomass to Make Bioenergy Cheaper and More Efficient



|| March 29: 2017 || ά. Forest Fuels, a UK supplier of premium grade and RHI compliant wood pellet and wood chip, is to take part in a new £02.2m project of the Energy Technologies Institute:ETI, an initiative to make bioenergy more cost-effective and resourceful. Working with Uniper Technologies, the experts will lead the project from start to finish and help to clear out contaminants from biomass fuels.

Gill Alker, Head of Consultancy at Forest Fuels, said, “We are extremely proud to be a part of this initiative. At Forest Fuels, we are committed to improving the quality of sustainable biomass, but we know that by working together with expert partners we can really make a difference.” The Energy Technologies Institute:ETI launched the new biomass feedstock improvement process project with the aim of showing how the removal of impurities and contaminated material from sustainable biomass could make bioenergy cheaper and more efficient, consequently delivering better greenhouse gas savings.

A prototype plant will be built to pre-treat biomass feedstocks to remove impurities at Forest Fuels’ depot near Widmerpool, Nottinghamshire. The cleaned feedstocks will then be blended and combustion tested at University of Sheffield’s Pilot scale Advanced Capture Technology Facilities, with expertise from the University’s Energy 2050 Institute.

The University of Leeds is also a partner on the project and will test the ash produced during combustion testing. Biomass fuels, including waste wood, arboricultural and forestry residues, and purpose-grown biomass feedstocks such as Miscanthus, often contain undesirable contaminants, picked up for example during harvesting, transport or storage. The idea behind the project is that this pre-treatment process will reduce such concentrations and therefore deliver downstream operational benefits and value.

The ETI project will use various biomass feedstocks including waste wood, energy crops and other waste arisings to test the process. If successful this process could lead to lower environmental and operating costs for power producers leading to a lower cost of low carbon energy.

Geraint Evans, ETI Bioenergy Programme Manager, said, “A lot of waste wood currently ends up in landfill sites or is used in incinerators. This project will take waste wood, wash it and blend it to remove impurities to make it as clean as possible in the lowest cost way. By removing such impurities this will lead to improvements in the efficiency of biomass boilers and the feedstocks used within them.

We want to show that improving the quality of biomass feedstocks in this way is a viable way of increasing the amount of sustainable sources of bioenergy, obtaining more energy from them and delivering improved greenhouse gas savings. The intention is that once the process has been proven and tested it could then be used on other bioenergy crops and scaled up to treat larger amounts of material creating even greater efficiencies.”

Peter Solly, Managing Director of Forest Fuels, said, “Building on Forest Fuels’ experience of developing new products and markets in the virgin wood fuel sector, this project is an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of the next generation of bioenergy feedstocks. Improving the quality of biomass feedstocks is a big opportunity for the future, and Forest Fuels is delighted to be leading this project.”

About Forest Fuels: Founded in 2006 Multi-award winning supplier of premium wood pellet and wood chip, fully funded and maintained commercial biomass installations with no upfront costs and pioneers of innovative remote fuel usage monitoring systems. Woodsure and ENplus Trader accredited; Registered on the government’s Biomass Suppliers List:BSL; Headquartered in Okehampton with over 40 local depots and three regional offices in Telford, Leicestershire and Sheffield; In-house RHI consultancy and expert advice; Leaders of commercial boiler buy-back scheme; Energy Supply Contract specialist:ESCos. Owned by Aggregated Micro Power Holdings plc:AMP specialist providers of distributed energy projects and sustainable biomass installations on long term renewable energy contracts . ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Bittium to Exhibit Its Products and Solutions for Cardiology at the EuroPrevent 2017 in Malaga Spain: April 06-08

 

|| March 29: 2017: Oulu: Finland || ά. Bittium is to exhibit its innovative products and solutions for cardiology at the EuroPrevent 2017 on April 06-08 in Malaga, Spain. The main theme of the event is to present research and share knowledge covering the spectrum of cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation for cardiologists, allied health professionals, general practitioners, basic scientists, young researchers and policy makers.

In November 2016 Bittium acquired the healthcare technology company Mega Electronics Ltd, specialised in biosignal measuring for cardiology, neuroscience, neurophysiology, rehabilitation, occupational health and sports medicine. The products and solutions exhibited are Faros ECG Event and Faros ECG Mobile software solutions focused on remote heart monitoring, Faros Cardiac Rehab monitoring solution, BrainStatus compact EEG amplifier and the three-in-one Faros ECG product line.

Faros ECG is a versatile one or three channels ECG device that can be used for recording high quality data for Heart Rate Variability:HRV analysis; Faros can store original ECG data as well as activity data derived from three-D accelerometer data in addition to plain HRV data.

Faros ECG Event and Faros ECG Mobile are software solutions for remote heart monitoring, where the cardiac arrhythmia identified by the detection algorithms embedded in the Faros device are quickly passed to professionals for examination. The solutions enable earlier repatriation of patients and even better ability to react to potentially emerging arrhythmias faster.

Faros Cardiac Rehab is a solution for Cardiac rehabilitation real-time monitoring for up to 16 patients simultaneously. The solution enables more effective rehabilitation of the patients and increases their safety during training.

Further information about Bittium’s products and services. Further information: Arto Pietilä: Senior Vice President: Tel. +358 40 344 3507

Bittium: Bittium specialises in the development of reliable, secure communications and connectivity solutions, drawing on its 30 year legacy of expertise in advanced radio communication technologies. Bittium provides innovative products and customized solutions based on its product platforms and RD services. Complementing its communications and connectivity solutions, Bittium offers proven information security solutions for mobile devices and portable computers. Starting from November 10, Bittium also offers healthcare technology products and services in biosignal measuring in cardiology, neurology, rehabilitation, occupational health and sports medicine. Net sales of continuing operations in 2016 were EUR 64.2 million, and operating profit was EUR 02.5 million. Bittium is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki Exchange. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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In Everything We Do There is a Choice by Which We Can Make a Difference: Devine Chocolate is Such an Example That Calls on You to Make That Choice to Make a Difference

Images: Devine Chocolate


|| March 28: 2017 || ά. Cherish chocolate and the women farmers, who grow the cocoa this Easter, by choosing Easter eggs from Divine Chocolate, the Fairtrade and farmer owned chocolate company. All Divine’s cocoa is produced by the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative in Ghana, who co-own the company, so they share the profits, from the trade you offer this company. Unlike other chocolate companies Divine makes delicious chocolate that puts farmers at the heart of everything it does, which is why Christian Aid has been behind Divine right from the start as one of Divine’s founders.  Together Christian Aid and Divine have worked to keep Fairtrade and trade justice on the public agenda and mobilised consumers to champion for Fairtrade causes for the past 19 years.

Loretta Minghella OBE, Chief Executive of Christian Aid, says, ''Christian Aid has supported Divine since its foundation as an example of a business, that does things differently, fighting for social justice and a more positive future for cocoa farmers.'' Divine Chocolate is the UK’s only Fairtrade chocolate company that is, also, 44% owned by Kuapa Kokoo, a cocoa farmers’ co-operative in Ghana. The company is committed to empowering farmers and creating a more equitable trading relationship, with a particular focus on empowering women. Together Divine and Kuapa have been working for more than 19 years to empower women cocoa farmers to gain the necessary skills, confidence and influence to succeed in their industry, including through support programmes, partly funded by Divine Chocolate, like adult literacy classes or model farming schemes.

Divine and Christian Aid have worked together for 19 years, working together to campaign for Fairtrade. MD Sophi Tranchell says, “In the early days, when Divine was really just a good idea with only one bar and very little presence in the supermarkets, Christian Aid ran a Stock the Choc campaign. Their wonderful network of supporters handed in postcards to get them to stock Divine because they wanted to see a farmer-owned company succeed and the campaign was a success. Divine got full distribution at Sainsbury’s and has never looked back. It was one of the first examples of consumers really exerting their purchasing power in a positive way.”

Divine and Kuapa invest in women because it is shown to lead to better quality cocoa to create the most delicious chocolate but also thriving communities. When women have additional income to invest in their families and communities, the skills and confidence to participate fully in their industry and their rightful place and share of voice in their organisation, communities will flourish.

Today 35% of Kuapa’s 85,000+ members are women, women have leading roles of responsibility throughout the organisation, including an elected woman President and they are accessing the education, tools, training to make the most of their farms and families, and take their rightful place in their organisation and communities. Divine and Kuapa have published a report about how they are supporting women, ‘Empowering Women Cocoa Farmers, that was launched this month. The report details the main initiatives taken by Kuapa Kokoo with Divine and other partners and hear first-hand from the women cocoa farmers who have been empowered.

About Divine Chocolate Eggs: All of Divine’s chocolate eggs are made in the UK using high quality, Fairtrade ingredients sourced from growing communities around the world, including Fairtrade sugar from Kasinthula, a Malawian Fairtrade co-operative and flavoured with creamy vanilla from Fairtrade farmers in Madagascar as well as Ghanaian cocoa.

NEW Milk Chocolate Gourmet Popcorn Egg: The first-of-its-kind chocolate Fairtrade certified popcorn egg combines a seriously smooth thick Divine milk chocolate shell embedded with Joe and Seph’s gourmet salted caramel popcorn made with Fairtrade ingredients, for the perfect mouthful of smooth chocolate combined with sweet and crunchy popcorn.

NEW Luxury 70% Dark Egg with Divine Chocolate Tasting Set, A thick, deliciously rich 70% dark chocolate shell is accompanied by the Divine Chocolate Tasting Set, a gorgeous gift box with 12 little bars in six fabulous Divine flavours, individually wrapped to cherish and share.

NEW Shaun the Sheep Chocolate Lolly: Perfect for kids or big kids, Divine Chocolate is continuing its partnership with this much-loved British character following the success of Divine’s Shaun the Sheep The Movie Egg in 2015.

Divine Chocolate was selected to be exclusive chocolate supplier for Aardman in the UK because of 'the chocolate’s excellence and the company’s Fairtrade and farmer-owned credentials'. This seriously smooth milk chocolate lolly with creamy white chocolate decoration is made with Fairtrade certified, all natural ingredients for a playful yet delicious treat for kids and adults alike.

Divine Luxury Milk Chocolate Egg: A luxurious thick shell made from smooth and creamy Divine milk chocolate and a clutch of praline mini eggs for extra indulgence. Now in a new triangular carton design which uses 08% less carton than before! To celebrate, this year nature lovers can enter a competition to win a selection of Woodland Trust bluebell products and Divine chocolate treats, all worth £50.

With Divine’s range of chocolate Easter eggs, you’ll know that you’re getting the very finest ingredients, quality and taste whoever you’re buying for while also supporting Fairtrade farmers.

About Devine: Divine Chocolate Limited is a private company limited by shares. When the company was first established in 1998, its 99 ordinary shares were owned by three parties; 52% by the Fairtrade NGO Twin Trading, 33% by Kuapa Kokoo farmers’ co-operative, and 14% by the international retailer Body Shop International.

In July 2006, in the true spirit of social entrepreneurship, Body Shop made the decision to donate its shares in Divine Chocolate to Kuapa Kokoo. In the same year international development finance institute Oikocredit bought 12% of the shares, giving Kuapa Kokoo a 45% stake in the company. In addition the international NGO Christian Aid own preference shares and the leading UK charity Comic Relief enthusiastically support the company and are also partners in the Dubble Fairtrade bar created specially for young people.

The board of directors includes two people from Kuapa Kokoo, the Managing Director of Kuapa Kokoo Ltd and the President of the Kuapa Kokoo FarmersnUnion, two people from Twin and one person from Oikocredit, Christian Aid and Comic Relief. The governance structure is unique in both the UK Fairtrade and confectionery markets, and in 1999 was awarded 'Millennium Product' award status from the Design Council for its innovative organisational model. The company has since won a number of awards acclaiming its outstanding social enterprise status.

Divine in UK: The Divine offices are based in Tower Bridge, London. We are a small energetic and dynamic team which thrives on collaborations with all our supporters, partners, NGOs, fellow Fairtrade companies and a variety of other complimentary brands. We are inspired by the cocoa farmers who own the company and motivated by the tangible changes we see happening in their lives, Our aim is to continue to deliver delicious chocolate and a social business model that everyone can cherish.

Divine in USA: In 2007 Divine Chocolate Inc was launched in the USA announced by a Kuapa cocoa farmer giving a briefing to White House staff at Capitol Hill. Divine Chocolate Inc was established with Kuapa Kokoo owning 33%.

Divine merges its UK and USA businesses: In 2015 Divine Chocolate merged its UK and USA businesses with Kuapa Kokoo owning 44% of the merged company. Divine Chocolate Ltd’s Managing Director Sophi Tranchell MBE takes the role of CEO. Divine Chocolate Ltd UK has acquired the 69% of Divine Chocolate Inc USA that was in other ownership, through a mutually agreed share swap, resulting in Divine Chocolate Ltd owning 100% of Divine Chocolate Inc., whilst bringing in some minority shareholdings to Divine UK.

When the announcement was made, Sophi Tranchell said, “Having launched Divine in the USA nine years after the founding company launched in the UK, it has been very exciting to see it successfully navigate all the challenges in the USA market and mirror the success of Divine in the UK. We have seen a growing appetite around the world for business being done differently.

The new structure strengthens the group, making us more resilient and giving us a wider consumer reach, and in doing so gives Divine more power to deliver our mission to fairly and sustainably remunerate smallholder cocoa farmers in West Africa, as well as empowering them to take their future into their own hands.”

Each year Divine and Christian Aid run a Poetry Competition for young people, now in its 15th year, asking young people to write a poem about Fairtrade chocolate with a different theme each year.

Divine Chocolate Ltd is the only Fairtrade chocolate company that is also co-owned by cocoa farmers. Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of over 85,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana, benefit not only from the Fairtrade premium on the sale of their beans, but also receive a 44% share of Divine’s distributable profits giving the farmers more economic stability, as well as the increased influence in the cocoa industry company-ownership brings.

All Divine products carry the Fairtrade Mark. This is an independent guarantee certified by the Fairtrade Foundation that the ingredients are sourced under internationally agreed fair trade terms and conditions. These include a guaranteed, secure minimum price, an extra social premium payment for the farmers to invest in their own community programmes, long term trading contracts, decent health and safety conditions, all aimed at empowering farmers to make their own improvements to living standards and prospects for the future

The UK chocolate market alone is worth approximately £04.1billion a year, Mintel, 2015. If Fairtrade products can capture even a small proportion of that market, producers in developing countries gain real benefits.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Nepalese Economy: Rebounding From the Aftermath of the Earth Quake: Mind the Political Instability and Managing the Macro-Prudential Risks and the Reform Agenda

Sharmila Rai Gurung: Image: ILO

|| March 28: 2017 || ά. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund:IMF concluded the Article IV consultation with Nepal on March 27 and considered and endorsed the staff appraisal without a meeting on a lapse-of-time basis. Nepal’s economy is rebounding, following a slowdown caused by the 2015 earthquakes and trade disruptions at the southern border. The growth of real GDP at market prices slowed to 0.6 percent in 2015:16, mid-July 2015 to mid-July 2016. Shortages of fuel and other essential goods due to the trade disruption drove up inflation to 12 percent, y:y in January 2016 but eased subsequently to 03.2 percent in January 2017, mainly on account of lower food prices.

Budget under-spending worsened in 2015:16. At the same time, revenues exceeded the budget due to one-off telecom sector collections. As a result, the budget was in surplus for the fourth year in a row and net public debt declined further to 22 percent of GDP, down from 34 percent of GDP in 2011:12. Private sector credit growth surged to a seven-year high of 31 percent, y:y in January 2017. The current account surplus reached 06.3 percent of GDP in 2015:16 on account of lower imports from the trade disruption. Exports, also, suffered. The growth rate of remittances slowed sharply, to 01 percent in 2015:16, from an annual average of 15 percent during the previous five years, due to weak growth in oil-producing host countries. Gross reserves of the central bank reached a record US$08.7 billion, covering more than nine months of imports, in January 2017.

Growth is projected to reach 05.5 percent in 2016:17 and inflation is expected to undershoot the central bank’s mid-2017 target of 07.5 percent. In concluding the 2017 Article IV consultation with Nepal, Executive Directors endorsed the staff ’s appraisal, as follows: Nepal’s economy is rebounding following a slowdown caused by the 2015 earthquakes and trade disruptions. The normalisation of economic activity is supported by a good monsoon, accommodative monetary policy and rising government spending. Inflation has been decelerating due to base effects related to last year’s trade disruption but is expected to remain above India’s inflation. More recently, the authorities have also been able to advance reforms in a number of areas.

The medium-term outlook critically depends on efforts to sustain and deepen the nascent reform momentum. Stronger policies are needed to enhance confidence amid ongoing political uncertainty. They are, also, needed to strengthen key institutions and administrative capacity, which are critical for overcoming poor service delivery and chronic under-implementation of the budget, and for boosting private investment and growth. Accordingly, in the absence of stronger policies, and taking into account the lower projected growth of remittances and the effects of the earthquakes and trade disruption, growth would likely fall below the average of the past decade and fall short of what is needed to substantially improve living standards and social indicators.

Risks to the outlook are broadly balanced. The rebound in economic activity could be more pronounced and persistent than set out in the baseline, particularly, if the momentum in policy and structural reforms is sustained and deepened. Key downside risks pertain to domestic political instability, the weak financial sector, slowing remittances impacting financial sector liquidity, and lower growth in India due to the demonetization shock.

To support Nepal’s recovery while maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability, the macroeconomic policy mix should be rebalanced toward a more accommodative fiscal position and a tighter monetary stance. Staff welcomes the authorities’ plans and efforts to scale up government spending to rebuild after the earthquakes and address infrastructure gaps to boost medium-term growth. In view of the limited implementation capacity, it will be essential to have a realistic budget that effectively prioritizes spending to maximise growth dividends, including in social spending areas most important for inclusive growth. The scaling up of government spending should not exceed the economy’s aggregate absorptive capacity and should be anchored in a medium-term expenditure framework to ensure quality and fiscal sustainability.

The monetary policy framework needs further strengthening. Staff welcomes the introduction of an interest rate corridor. Next steps would involve refining the framework by fixing the floor of the interest rate corridor to reduce the volatility of interbank interest rates and adopting a medium-term inflation objective consistent with eliminating the inflation wedge with India on a sustained basis. With remittances set to slow, fiscal policy turning expansionary, and the current account turning to a deficit, a tightening of monetary policy is needed to prevent the exchange rate from becoming somewhat overvalued.

Financial sector reforms should be accelerated in line with FSAP recommendations to mitigate macro-financial risks, including related to the rapid growth of credit. Financial sector supervision should be strengthened, building on the recent amendments to several aspects of the regulatory framework. Macro-prudential measures introduced in the aftermath of the 2010-11 episode of financial sector pressures to contain credit growth have served Nepal well and should be maintained after the temporary relief granted in February lapses in July.

Raising Nepal’s potential growth requires sustained efforts to build policy implementation capacity, improve the business climate, and develop the hydropower sector. Structural reforms to deregulate product and factor markets should complement prioritized investment to upgrade transportation infrastructure and improve power supply.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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UN Report Explores Ways Urbanisation Can Be a Catalyst for Rural Development


|| March 27: 2017 || ά.  One way to encourage mutually beneficial developments for urban and rural areas alike is to develop value chains and food systems more efficient and inclusive, a United Nations-backed report examining the ‘quiet revolution’ towards sustainable urbanisation has found. ''Meeting the rising urban demand for food can increase the incomes of the rural poor, most of whom derive their livelihoods from small and family farm agriculture.'' said the Food and Agriculture Organisation:FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva.

“But growing urban demand will not automatically benefit small farmers, so we must look for solutions that can seize on the opportunities and avoid the downside of increasing urbanisation.” he said in a new release on the report presented by the International Food Policy Research Institute:IFPRI and FAO. ''Better roads, reliable and extensive electrification, refrigerated transportation and better storage facilities are all key to success.'' Mr. Graziano da Silva said. Mr. Da Silva noted that such transformation would, also, lead farmers to grow higher-value and more nutritious produce, which is essential for the proper nutrition of growing urban populations.

The report notes that growing urban populations will be especially visible in Africa, as a majority of the continent’s fast-growing population will be living in cities by 2030. Globally, some 02.5 billion more people will be living in urban areas than do today. Africa and Asia will account for 90 per cent of the increase.

Quality concerns over locally produced food by urban residents in many developing countries often result in greater preference for imported varieties, according to the report. Better vertical integration of the domestic food value chain, requiring improved processing, milling, cleaning, marketing, bagging, branding and possibly even supermarkets, could remedy that.

Such an effort would produce a host of agribusiness jobs and enhance the agricultural sector’s ability to make productivity-boosting investments. The report  highlights the role of intermediate towns, which can play a catalysing role in mediating the urban-rural nexus. The vicinity of such towns tends to provide smallholder farmers with greater opportunities to market their products and share in the gains from economic growth.

Smaller towns offer migration destinations, that are more likely help the rural poor escape from poverty than big cities do. “Intermediate cities can be, and most of the time, are, the effective promoter of rural development.” said Mr. Graziano da Silva.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Forest Fuels’ David Newman to Speak on the Future of Biomass Heating at the Smart Energy Marketplace Exeter: March 28



|| March 27: 2017 || ά. Mr David Newman, Head of Sales and Business Development of Forest Fuels  to speak on the future of biomass heating at Smart Energy Marketplace Exeter. The event is showcasing the emerging smart, decentralised energy systems of the future. Forest Fuels, a major supplier of premium grade and RHI compliant wood chip and wood pellet. Mr Newman will discuss the changes in the industry and present his unique thoughts on how it came move forward and continue to innovate. The event will take place at Sandy Park Conference Centre, Sandy Park Way, Exeter EX2 7NN on Tuesday, March 28, between 10:00 and 16:00.

Speaking about the upcoming event, Mr Newman, said, “The changes announced recently created new opportunities for heat networks, heat pumps, biomass boilers and Anaerobic Digestion, to transform how we heat our homes and businesses. It’s down to us, as experts, to take the lead and keep up the pace. And events like this are key to keeping up with developments and sharing best-practice.” Now in its second year, Smart Energy Marketplace is the new name for the hugely successful Renewable Energy Marketplace, which featured over 80 exhibitors and attracted over 1,000 delegates last year.

An exclusive showcase of the emerging, smart, decentralised energy systems of the future, it will focus on the changes to the way lives are powered and focus on the huge opportunities on offer. There’s a wide spread of delegates booked to attend the event, including manufacturers, utilities, energy generators, landowners and farmers, construction, tourism providers, local government, and community energy groups.

Topics covered within the expert talks will include energy storage, transforming housing, heat networks, engaging communities in network innovation, energy demand response-balancing the grid, as well as local energy supply for Cornwall and the south west. Mr Newman will speak during the 11am session on the future of biomass heating now the government has announced a revamp of the Renewable Heat Incentive. He will discuss tariffs, give an update on the wood fuel market, and highlight the best opportunities now available.

“The changes announced recently created new opportunities for heat networks, heat pumps, biomass boilers and Anaerobic Digestion, to transform how we heat our homes and businesses. ” said Mr Newman.

The session will, also, look at what models of renewable heat that are due to prosper in the future. Joined by Steve Edwards, Director of Regulation and Commercial at Wales and West Utilities, and William Johnson, technical Manager, Heat Pumps at OMNIE, the trio will offer key takeaways for delegates and ensure they are up to speed on the changes that affect the industry.

About Forest Fuels: Founded in 2006 Multi-award winning supplier of premium wood pellet and wood chip, fully funded and maintained commercial biomass installations with no upfront costs and pioneers of innovative remote fuel usage monitoring systems. Woodsure and ENplus Trader accredited; Registered on the government’s Biomass Suppliers List:BSL; Headquartered in Okehampton with over 40 local depots and three regional offices in Telford, Leicestershire and Sheffield; In-house RHI consultancy and expert advice; Leaders of commercial boiler buy-back scheme; Energy Supply Contract specialist:ESCos. Owned by Aggregated Micro Power Holdings plc:AMP specialist providers of distributed energy projects and sustainable biomass installations on long term renewable energy contracts . ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Obama-Era Executive Orders on Federal Contractors are Important Tools to Raise Wages and Boost Living Standards: They are Now Poised to Face the Trump Repeal


|| March 26: 2017 || ά.  
A new memo from EPI’s Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages lays out the various pro-worker executive orders signed by President Obama, that are now under threat, either by Congress or by President Trump. Soon, congressional Republicans will begin the process, through the Congressional Review Act, of repealing the rule implementing President Obama’s executive order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, a measure designed to protect workers on federal contracts from wage theft, unsafe workplaces and being forced to waive their rights under anti-discrimination statutes.

“Repealing this rule will do nothing to help working people or create jobs. It will strip workers of an important protection and leave law-abiding contractors exposed to competition from businesses that don’t play by the rules.” said EPI Labour Counsel Celine McNicholas. “If Congress moves forward with repealing this rule, American taxpayer dollars will continue to support employers, that violate basic wage and hour laws, safety regulations and anti-discrimination protections.” The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order is just one of several executive orders by the previous administration to raise wages and benefits, reduce discrimination, improve worker safety and increase worker rights.

Executive orders only dictate how agencies manage the operations of the federal government itself but because approximately 25 percent of the U.S. workforce is employed by companies, that do business with the federal government, executive orders that relate to federal contractors can have a broad impact on the workforce. Meanwhile, Trump signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to repeal two regulations for every one new rule they put forth. EPI’s Perkins Project has strongly condemned this order.

“Regulations can be important tools to raise wages, protect savings, increase standards of living and protect working people on the job.” said Heidi Shierholz, EPI Director of Policy. “Going after regulations wholesale in this manner is misguided and inefficient and will undoubtedly harm working people and suppress their wages.”

The previous administration’s executive orders related to worker rights and wages include:
Fair Pay Safe Workplaces, E.O. 13673, which requires that contractors disclose violations of federal labour laws and executive orders addressing wage and hour, safety and health, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections

Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts, E.O. 13495, which gives employees of federal contractors the right of first refusal for employment on a new contract when a federal service contract changes hands

Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labour Laws, E.O. 13496, which requires federal contractors and subcontractors to notify employees about their rights under the National Labor Relations Act

Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, E.O. 13502, which encourages agencies to use project labor agreements, PLAs, on large-scale construction projects

Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors, E.O. 13658, which raised the minimum wage for workers on federal contracts to $10.10 on January 01, 2015 and increases it annually thereafter based on inflation

Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information, E.O. 13665, which prevents contractors and subcontractors from punishing employees for discussing, disclosing or inquiring about their own pay or that of their co-workers

Prohibiting Contractor Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, E.O. 13672, which prohibits contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring, firing, pay, promotion and other employment practices

Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors, E.O. 13706, which requires that employees of federal contractors accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked on a federal contract, up to seven days annually. ω.

Read the Report

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Question: Is It a Human Right for Human Beings to Have Access to Suitable and Nutritious Food and Drink: And Should It Not Be the Statutory Duty of the State to Guarantee All Citizens Have This Most Fundamental of Human Rights Met

The European Union to support local production of fortified food in Chad, where malnutrition is a major obstacle to development. Image: WFP

|| March 24: 2017 || ά.  This piece of news is interesting because it raises the question: is it a Human Right for Human Beings to have access to suitable and nutritious food and drink that meet a human's physiological needs? Mr Arif Husain, Chief Economist of World Food Programme:WFP says, ''It is a reminder that access to affordable, nutritious food should be a right for all.” Yes, it is his opinion that it should be but is it? Is it a right, a Haman Right? What use these other things are, that are viewed and at least, in theory and principles of declarations and laws taken as human rights, if one is dead because of hunger? If one cannot feed oneself with suitable and nutritious food and drink one is going to die. So where are we going to put this mockery-knife that cuts like a spherical knife that mocks the very 'right to life' when one cannot feed oneself and comes to succumb to death where is her:his 'right to life'? Where is their right to life, the babies and children, who perish every day because of this killer? Right to life means that one's life must not be taken away. But this lack of access to suitable and nutritious food and drink eventually kills one and takes one's life away.

Whose job, whose function, whose work is this to ensure that this 'killer' of hunger, malnutrition and severe and acute malnutrition does not kill people? Apparently, no one's because it is not even in the human rights that says clearly and without any ambiguity that it is all human's human right to have access to suitable and nutritious food and drink. People, business people are gathering around hotels and guesthouses in Davos, Switzerland and they would be speaking of lofty and huge things about business and commerce and investment and downturn and slow down and negative conditions, headwinds, fiscal stimulus, budgetary policy measures, fluctuations, growth and trends and micro and macro economic interactions, adjustment and packages of measures of scope and orientation, inflationary or deflationary pressures and customer confidence and flow of capital and profit margins, market conditions as well as sustainable development and the ever so drummed up SDGs and they would even quote some of these SDGs, even with their numbers. The Humanion would like to put to them this question: is it a human right, a human's right to suitable and nutritious food and drink so that one is able to biologically sustain existence so that one can seek to be a human?

And if it is a human right why is it not part of our Political Economics and our Political Philosophy and our Jurisprudence? Why does it not form part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Why is it not part of our business and commitment to eradicate hunger? Malnutrition? And other question is this, though, there are many people in this world, who are going on about civilisation, Eastern and Western and Muslim and Christian and African and Jewish and this and that civilisation in order to create pseudo arguments to advance phobia and division, what is civilisation when we, this humanity spread about all over the globe, are absolutely, desperately and despicably failing to ensure all humans have access to the absolute first 'h' of 'human rights', that is, access to suitable and nutritious food and drink for without that there exists no human? What is this civilisation that we are running where humans die of hunger, of malnutrition and severe and acute malnutrition, if we forget about all other ills? Or rather, how could we call this a civilisation when we let and do nothing and accept it that people will die of hunger, of malnutrition and severe and acute malnutrition? And children, babies and people with disabilities in most part of the world are dying of this hunger, of malnutrition and of severe and acute malnutrition? ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The One Percent Solution: How Corporations are Remaking America, One State at a Time: Book Launch in Washington D.C: April 04

 

|| March 23: 2017 || ά. On Tuesday, April 04 at 10:30 Eastern, the Economic Policy Institute will host Gordon Lafer as he presents his new book, The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America, One State at a Time. In The One Percent Solution, Lafer traces the workings of the country's largest corporate lobbies as they have promoted anti-union and anti-worker legislation across all fifty states legislatures in the years since Citizens United.

Lafer shows how corporate strategies have been shaped by twenty-first-century conditions, including globalisation, economic decline and the populism reflected in the 2016 presidential election and how the corporate agenda is coming to endanger the scope of democracy itself. Joining Lafer in discussing how progressives are pushing back on corporate-financed efforts to shape labour and economic policies on the state level is U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Dianne Stewart of the Economic Policy Institute and Christian Dorsey, Board Supervisor for Arlington County, VA.

This event is free and open to the public.
Tuesday, April 04: at 10:30 a.m. Eastern
Gordon Lafer, author of The One Percent Solution
Rep. Rosa DeLauro D-CT
Dianne Stewart, Economic Policy Institute
Christian Dorsey, Board Supervisor, Arlington County, VA

Economic Policy Institute: 1225 Eye St. NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Plastic Omnium Urban Systems Expands Its Team in Expanding Business


|| March 23: 2017 || ά. The success of Plastic Omnium Urban Systems Ltd within the UK market has led the company to expand its sales team. Plastic Omnium Urband Systems is a manufacturer and supplier of high quality waste containerisation products for local authorities and property developers has made two key appointments, with Simon Witty joining as Sales Manager for Southern UK and Vicky Haigh becoming Sales Manager Northern UK.

Both Mr Witty and Ms Haigh, as new members of the team, will focus on engaging with local authorities and private sector waste collection companies to establish productive new relationships, renew existing ones and boost sales activity. Mr Witty brings extensive knowledge and experience of the waste management industry, having previously worked as Sales Manager with Mattiussi Environmental Limited. There he was responsible for running the UK entity of Mattiussi Ecologia, the Italian manufacturer of waste containers.

Ms Haigh has worked previously with MGB Straight and is experienced in creating strong and lasting business relationships. Richard Gregg, Managing Director of Plastic Omnium Urban Systems, welcomed the new members of staff, saying, “Our UK activities are developing rapidly, so in response we are expanding our sales team with the appointment of a couple of experienced sales people.

Their knowledge of the market and expertise with resellers, waste management companies and facilities management companies will play a considerable role in ensuring the continued successful expansion of our UK business.”

Plastic Omnium Urban Systems Ltd is the UK subsidiary of Plastic Omnium Environment and was incorporated in 1997 in the UK. Initially operating from Halesfield, Telford, before relocating to Oldbury, West Midlands in 2007, Plastic Omnium Environment acquired bin manufacturer Sulo in 2007. With 2,000 employees and seven manufacturing plants around the world, Plastic Omnium Environment has equipped 8,000 local communities with waste management products and services. To date, the company has also delivered over 100 million bins, containers and underground and semi-underground systems, alongside associated maintenance, cleaning and technology services, to local communities, developers and businesses.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Waste Not Waste-Water But Recognise and Recycle It as Valuable Resource

 

|| March 22: 2017 || ά.  In a world where the demand for water continues to grow and the resource is finite, a new United Nations report argues that wastewater, discarded into the environment every day, once treated, can help meet the needs for freshwater as well as for raw materials for energy and agriculture. Needless to mention, treating wastewater and removing pollutants can remarkably reduce the impact on the environment as well as on health.

“Improved wastewater management is as much about reducing pollution at the source, as removing contaminants from wastewater flows, reusing reclaimed water and recovering useful by-products as it is about increasing social acceptance of the use of wastewater.” noted Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation:UNESCO Director-General in her foreword to the World Water Development Report 2017, 'Wastewater: An Untapped Resource'.

The report, launched today in Durban, South Africa, on the occasion of World Water Day, highlights that improved management of wastewater is essential in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “It's all about carefully managing and recycling the water that runs through our homes, factories, farms and cities.” said Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the UN International Labour Organisation:ILO and the Chair of UN-Water, urging for reducing and safely reusing more wastewater.

Sustainable Development Goal six has specific targets on halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally as well as supporting countries in wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies.  The report, also, showed that low-income countries were particularly impacted by the release of waste water into the environment without being either treated or collected, where, on average, only eight per cent of domestic and industrial wastewater was treated, compared to 70 per cent in high-income countries.

As a result, in many regions of the world, water contaminated by bacteria, nitrates, phosphates and solvents is discharged into rivers and lakes ending up in the oceans, with negative consequences for the environment and public health. For instance, in Latin America, Asia and Africa, pollution from pathogens from human and animal excreta affects almost one third of rivers, endangering the lives of millions of people.

Furthermore, growing awareness on the presence of hormones, antibiotics, steroids and endocrine disruptors in wastewater poses a new set of complexities as their impact on the environment and health have yet to be fully understood. These set of challenges underscore the need for urgent action on collection, treatment and safe use of wastewater. In addition to providing a safe alternative source for freshwater, wastewater is also a potential source of raw materials, noted the report.

Owing to developments in treatment techniques, certain nutrients, like phosphorus and nitrates, can now be recovered from sewage and sludge and turned into fertilizer. It is estimated that nearly 22 per cent of the global demand for phosphorus, a depleting mineral resource, can be met by treating human urine and excrement.  Similarly, organic substances contained in wastewater can be used to produce biogas, which could power wastewater treatment facilities as well as contribute to energy needs of local communities.

In addition, use of treated wastewater is growing for agricultural irrigation. At least 50 countries around the globe are now using treated wastewater for this purpose, accounting for an estimated 10 per cent of all irrigated land. Lastly, the report mentioned that treated wastewater could augment drinking water supplies, although this is still a marginal practice. Cities such as Singapore, San Diego, United States and Windhoek, Namibia have been treating wastewater to supplement drinking water reserves.

A great example is use of treated wastewater, long practised by astronauts, such as those on the International Space Station, who have been reusing the same recycled water for over 16 years.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Low-Carbon Business Initiative to Support New Public-Private Business Innovation Around Climate Change

Image: University of Strathclyde

 

|| March 22: 2017: University of Edinburgh News || ά. The University is to host the Scottish arm of Europe’s largest climate entrepreneurship programme. The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation:ECCI, based at the University, has been named the official partner of Climate-KIC in Scotland. ECCI will support Climate-KIC in its role as Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focussed on climate change. Scottish entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to bid for funding and dedicated support through the Climate-KIC Centre, which is supported by the European Union.

ECCI will be one of four centres in the UK and Ireland and the first in Scotland, for Climate-KIC, which seeks to help tackle climate change through partnerships between the private, public and academic sectors. The Scottish centre will focus on developing low-carbon ideas in the use of data and on the themes of rural areas and water. ECCI fosters collaboration between experts from business, research and government and provides policy insight and evidence to inform government decisions.

It will, also, supports a range of low-carbon enterprises. ''ECCI brings people together to turn good low-carbon ideas into reality, so it’s hugely exciting for us to be bringing Europe’s leading climate innovation programme to Scotland. Scotland has a world-leading approach to tackling climate change, and we’re looking forward to being able to offer our home-grown climate innovators the money and expertise to take on growing global markets.'' said Dr Andy Kerr, Director of ECCI.

''Getting ECCI on board as a Climate-KIC Partner is a huge boost for our work with city regions in the UK and Ireland, which focuses on putting climate innovation at the heart of jobs and skills strategies.

From Edinburgh there is real potential to build jobs and climate-positive technologies with global relevance around Scotland’s climate change ambitions and its existing strengths in the new climate economy.'' said Tom Mitchell, Director of Climate-KIC UK and Ireland. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Palaeonto-Politiconomics: We Baptise Thee Context 958 with a Name to Humanise You Into Being a Human Being Named Cambriewlliam Poorchildsmith: And Open the Blank Book of a New Discipline of Study We are Calling Palaeonto-Politiconomics

Images: Dr. Chris Rynn, University of Dundee

|| March 21: 2017 From the University of Cambridge News || ά. This is the story of Cambriewlliam Poochildsmith. And surely, this story, his story is such a story, where, as if time itself had taken the duty of keeping the 'genome' of the palaeo-politiconomics alive of the poor, for the sake of posterity, about whom or whose lives, there were no chroniclers or historians or fiction writers, interested or willing to waste their time so that in the UK and in all other parts of the country we have all the rich people's tales dominating all the historic discourse, as if to say, they, the poor, the massive population of this country, did not exist. Well, they might as well not have existed, so far evidence goes for we have legends of Knights and the Fairie Queeenes and all the rest. But here, we find, evidence of a representative of that vast multitude of humanity, who lived an absolutely ruthless and hostile life, a life so hostile, that seemed to have been absolutely determined to wipe their existence clean as soon as they were born.

This story is of, what the researchers, called, Context 958. The Humanion, 'baptised' Context 958, with a name and named him, Cambriewlliam Poorchildsmith. Well, Cambriewlliam Poorchildsmith was, really lucky that he had lived, after the violent and trying childhood and lived to tell the tale till he was in his forties. Moreover, as it appears, that he was again lucky to have been able to reach the charitable hospital that cared for him, which probably ensured that he lived a few more years than otherwise, would have been the case. Not many were or would have been as lucky as he, in his day. And now, let us let Cambriewlliam Poorchilsmith enter, as the the First human soul into the Museum of our new branch of study of human economic activities in the long lost past. No, it is not anthropology but a new discipline, that will seek to use the archaeological, palaeontological, historic, sociological, literary and anthropological areas to simply concentrate on studying how civilisations were built not by 'the rich and powerfuls' but by these multitude of humanity, whose ingenuity and tremendous work created epics, that no poet sung about. Think of the legend that the Russian Tsar built the city of St Petersburg. The Tsar may have ordered a city built but he did not nor could carry a stone. Or the fact that King Shahjahan built Taj Mahal. He could not have built a match box, let alone the Taj Mahal.

Dr Sarah Inskip examines the skull of Context 958. Image: Laure Bonner

New facial reconstruction of a man buried in a medieval hospital graveyard discovered underneath a Cambridge college sheds light on how ordinary poor people lived in medieval England. The audience of an event at this year’s Cambridge Science Festival found themselves staring into the face of a fellow Cambridge resident, one who spent the last 700 years buried beneath the venue in which they sat.

The 13th-century man, called Context 958 by researchers, was among some 400 burials for which complete skeletal remains were uncovered when one of the largest medieval hospital graveyards in Britain was discovered underneath the Old Divinity School of St John’s College, and excavated between 2010 and 2012. The bodies, which mostly date from a period spanning the 13th to 15th centuries, are burials from the Hospital of St John the Evangelist which stood opposite the graveyard until 1511, and from which the College takes its name. The hospital was an Augustinian charitable establishment in Cambridge dedicated to providing care to members of the public.

“Context 958 was probably an inmate of the Hospital of St John, a charitable institution which provided food and a place to live for a dozen or so indigent townspeople, some of whom were probably ill, some of whom were aged or poor and couldn't live alone.” said Professor John Robb, from the University’s Division of Archaeology.

Image: Laure Bonner

In collaboration with Dr Chris Rynn from the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, Robb and Cambridge colleagues have reconstructed the man’s face and pieced together the rudiments of his life story by analysing his bones and teeth.

The work is one of the first outputs from the Wellcome Trust-funded project ‘After the plague: health and history in medieval Cambridge’ for which Robb is principal investigator. The project is analysing the St John's burials not just statistically but also biographically.

“Context 958 was over 40 when he died, and had quite a robust skeleton with a lot of wear and tear from a hard working life. We can't say what job specifically he did, but he was a working class person, perhaps with a specialised trade of some kind.” said Robb.

“One interesting feature is that he had a diet relatively rich in meat or fish, which may suggest that he was in a trade or job which gave him more access to these foods than a poor person might have normally had. He had fallen on hard times, perhaps through illness, limiting his ability to continue working or through not having a family network to take care of him in his poverty.”

There are hints beyond his interment in the hospital’s graveyard that Context 958’s life was one of adversity. His tooth enamel had stopped growing on two occasions during his youth, suggesting he had suffered bouts of sickness or famine early on. Archaeologists, also, found evidence of a blunt-force trauma on the back of his skull that had healed over prior to his death.
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: This text, Beginning with,  ''New facial reconstruction of a man buried in a medieval hospital graveyard'' is of the University of Cambridge, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License:

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Greener Energy for a Third of the World Bodes Well for All: United Nations on International Forest Day

Sustainably managed forests are a key to meeting energy needs of almost a third of the world's population. Image: UN Photo:Logan Abassi



|| March 21: 2017 || ά. Cautioning the impact of human activity, such as practices use of woodfuel on world’s forests, the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs and the Food and Agriculture Organisation:FAO today called for better wood-energy conversions technologies and more sustainable management of forests so that everyone benefits. “This is an area where we can make a real difference.” said Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. “Sustainably managed forests are productive and resilient ecosystems, providing people with livelihoods and renewable energy, along with timber, food, shelter, clean air, water and climate benefits.” he added.

At the same time, fuel wood, the primary source of energy for nearly a third of the world’s population and a product derived from forests, is, also, an important part of the energy equation. However, current fuel production practices, such as production of charcoal, are not only contributing to degradation of forests and soils, they are estimated to cause up to seven per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. Most of the emissions is largely due to unsustainable forest management and inefficient charcoal manufacture and fuelwood combustion, FAO said in the report, The Charcoal Transition, which was launched coinciding with the International Day of Forests .

“This is especially important for poor people in rural areas of developing countries, where wood is often the only energy source available and its conversion to charcoal is often done using rudimentary and polluting methods.” noted FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva announcing the report at a ceremony marking the International Day in Rome.

Forests and energy are, also, linked to sustainable development and can help combatting climate change. According to estimates, about a third of the world’s population, about 02.4 billion people, still rely on the traditional use of woodfuel for cooking and many small enterprises use fuelwood and charcoal as the main energy carriers for various purposes, such as baking, tea processing and brickmaking. 

Of all the wood used as fuel worldwide, about 17 per cent is converted to charcoal, however, the production often relies on inefficient technologies and unsustainable resources and in some cases, the emission of greenhouse gas can be as high as nine kilograms of carbon dioxide-equivalent per kilogram of charcoal produced.

“Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs and it is fundamental for addressing the impacts of climate change and eliminating extreme poverty and hunger.” explained the head of FAO. “We need, for instance, to adopt improved technologies for energy conversion.” he noted, referring to the UN agency’s programmes to deliver fuel-efficient stoves, especially for poor people in Latin America and Africa.

Greening the charcoal value chain and applying sustainable forest management practices can, therefore, mitigate climate change and further efficiencies can be gained by reducing charcoal waste, for example, by transforming charcoal dust into briquettes, adding a new iteration to the energy cycle. The FAO report, also, argues that, although the transition from unsustainable to sustainable sourcing could impose costs on the charcoal value chain, a greener charcoal sector would have an overall positive economic impact.

For instance, a cost-benefit analysis in Kenya estimated that a transition to efficient charcoal production would require an investment of $15.6 million per year, excluding upfront costs. However, it would generate $20.7 million in benefits.

At the same time, demand for sustainable charcoal production can provide opportunities for afforestation and reforestation. And providing local people with greater tenure security can increase their willingness and ability to invest in sustainable approaches. Furthermore, fostering an enabling political environment and an attractive investment climate for transition to a greener charcoal sector can, at the same time, help increase government revenue collection and investments in sustainable forest management and efficient wood conversion technologies.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Everything Must Begin Somewhere with a Tiny Dream: You Buy and You Get the Same Getinge Everywhere: On the Hospital Floor a Delivery or at a Neurology Clinic a Machine

Image: Getinge


|| March 21: 2017 || ά. ''Saving lives is the greatest job in the world. Everything we do, from architectural planning to the equipment, therapies and solutions aim to secure the safest and most reliable care. As a leading medtech company, we focus every talent and resource towards helping our customers save as many lives as possible.'' says Getinge, the company from Sweden, founded in 1904 in a small town, called, Getinge and that is why the title has a tiny in it for everything begins with a tiny dream. So did Getinge. It Provides products and solutions to healthcare and life sciences and has more than 15,500 employees worldwide and operates in 44 countries. What's more? It has had 29.8 billion SEK in revenue in 2016. Getinge's Head office is located in Gothenburg, Sweden from where Mr Joacim Lindoff acts as its President and CEO and Mr Carl Bennet is Chairman of the Company Board. Getinge has been listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm Large Cap list since 1993.

But, here, The Humanion, would like you, dear Reader, to emphasise, not since when it was listed on the Nasdaq but the years it had not been listed on anything since 1904 because it was striving on that tiny dream, bringing it better and bigger on reality and see what it has become. Anyone, who believes that they can simply set out and begin a giant, particularly, without a dream, is doomed to falter and fail to create something that not only lasts but also continues to grow and do more and do better to better the human condition. If not that, to strive to seek to better the human condition, than what for do we strive, what for do we exist? To just make money, profit and use, abuse and waste all of life in nothing but Consumption? There were many, many billionaires in human history and there will be many more in time to come but no one bothers about them but there were human beings, who set out to do, to change, to make better and not only they made money but also they made better and left what they had created, that keeps on going,, doing that job of 'making better', the human condition. And here Getinge is still seeking to do, to change, to make better.

In order to better convey the customer offering and further strengthen the leading position, Getinge now approaches customers with a total portfolio that accumulates all inherent equities of current brands within one single brand, Getinge. The Getinge Group’s rapid growth, mainly through acquisitions, over the last 25 years has built up an extensive brand portfolio with brands like Maquet, Lancer, Atrium and more. In line with the ongoing company transformation, Getinge now takes the next step to unify its offering under the Getinge brand.

All the group’s products will carry the Getinge logo in the future. The redesigned company logo is accompanied by a new identity and tonality that contribute to reinforcing the customer-centric face of Getinge. Some of the current brands within the Getinge Group, such as Maquet, will become product family names under the Getinge master brand.

“Unifying the company under one brand is in line with our ongoing transformation program that aims at making Getinge even more market and customer-centric. The single brand approach will, also, continue to reinforce our position as a leading global medtech company.” says Mr Joacim Lindoff, Acting President and CEO at Getinge.

For further information, contact, Kornelia Rasmussen: Executive Vice President Communication and Brand Management: Phone: + 46 10 335 58 10: email: kornelia.rasmussen at getinge.com

About Getinge: Getinge is a global provider of innovative solutions for operating rooms, intensive-care units, sterilisation departments and for life science companies and institutions. Based on our first-hand experience and close partnerships with clinical experts, healthcare professionals and medtech specialists, we are improving the every-day life for people, today and tomorrow.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The World Water Day 2017: March 22: Why Did Humanity Fail So Miserably to Get the Right to Water as the Paper on Which Universal Declaration of Human Rights were Written on: Why Do Still 4,500 Children Die Every Day and 03.5 Million Human Beings Die Every Year Due to Unsafe Drinking Water Related Diseases: Why Does Humanity Accept This Fact That 923 Millions of Its Fellow Beings Across the Globe Have No Access to Safe Drinking Water


|| March 20: 2017 || ά.  Without water, there is no life, no food, no development. Without water, neither countries nor societies can develop economically, culturally, socially or politically. Access to water is key and has an impact on all of our lives, not only in directly affected regions of Africa or Asia-Pacific and certain regions of Latin America but also in developed countries in Europe and North America. Lack of access to clean water can contribute to famine, wars and uncontrolled and irregular migration. Currently 319 million or 32%, of Sub-Saharan Africans, 554 million Asians or 12.5%, and 50 million Latin Americans or 08%, do not have access to safe drinking water. Of these regions, Papua New Guinea has the lowest availability with only 40% of people with access, followed by Equatorial Guinea at 48%, Angola at 49%, Chad and Mozambique at 51%, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar at 52% and Afghanistan at 55%. 

Worldwide, the total cost of water insecurity to the global economy is estimated at US$500 billion annually. Including environmental impact, this figure may rise to 01% of global gross domestic product:GDP. In observance of World Water Day on March 22 the World Water Council:WWC, calls on all governments to focus on water issues and encourages them to contribute a relevant part of their budget to projects that make safe water available to all on the planet, considering that 12% of the world´s population currently does not have access to safe drinking water and that water-related diseases account for 03.5 million deaths each year. The World Water Council, in collaboration with partners UCLG, ICLEI and GWOPA, reaffirms that people's access to sanitation and water are key priorities for local and regional governments in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal Six. Universal access to water and sanitation cannot be achieved without good local governance, sustainable management of natural resources and effective urbanisation.

“There is an absolute necessity to increase water security in order to overcome the challenges brought on by climate change and human influence.” commented World Water Council President Benedito Braga. “World leaders realize that sanitation is fundamental to public health, but we need to act now in order to achieve the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goal number Six to deliver safe water and sanitation to everyone everywhere by 2030. We need commitment at the highest levels, so every town and city in the world can ensure that safe, clean water resources are available.”

The World Water Council:WWC, founded in 1996, is comprised of over 300 member organizations globally, with the primary goal to push for the availability of safe water for all and help increase water security at large. As a key facilitator in the funding of water security projects and a driving force for political change in the quest for water security, the World Water Council unites hundreds of associations, think tanks, university bodies, governments and institutions, private and public operators, service providers and water experts worldwide in order to advance water security.

The World Water Council encourages governments and citizens to help increase water security in their homelands, as well as to provide support to the nations most in need, namely those concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, where 32% and 12.5% of the populations, respectively, are without access to safe water.

“This year, the impact of wastewater is the focus of World Water Day,” commented Braga. “Approximately 90% of the world’s wastewater flows untreated into the environment while more than 923 million people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water, 02.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation, one out of five children under the age of five die prematurely each year from water-related diseases, and nearly 40% of the population already face water scarcity, which may increase to 66%, or two thirds of the population, by 2025. In addition, approximately 700 million people are living in urban areas without safe toilets.”

Many countries are aware of the importance of water security. While the right to water and sanitation was recognized by the UN in 2010, two-thirds of the 94 countries surveyed by the World Health Organisation in 2014 recognised drinking-water and sanitation as a universal human right specifically in national legislation. More than 80% reported having national policies in place for drinking water and sanitation and more than 75% have created policies for hygiene. However, much more remains to be done. An estimated $650 billion US dollars of annual investment is required from now until 2030 to ensure the infrastructure necessary to achieve universal water security is put into place.

According to Braga, “Water is an essential ingredient for social and economic development across nearly all sectors. It secures enough food for all, provides sufficient and stable energy supplies, and ensures market and industrial stability amongst others benefits. In the context of natural disasters and climate change, floods and droughts are at the root cause of many of our societies´ woes. Improved multi-purpose infrastructure is an essential step towards growth for many developing countries.

The world has fallen short on its sanitation target, leaving 02.4 billion people without access to improved sanitation facilities. It is therefore imperative that all nations continue to improve water and sanitation. For every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is an estimated $04.3 dollar, 400%, return in the form of reduced health care costs for individuals and society worldwide. In the run-up to the World Water Forum in Brazil in March 2018, which will bring together over 30,000 politicians, experts, academics and NGO´s to work towards enhanced water security and water availability, I encourage all governments to contribute a higher percentage of their overall budgets to projects that increase water security.”

Continuing in its mission to achieve greater water security for all, the World Water Council is currently organizing the 8th World Water Forum, the world’s largest water-related event. The upcoming event is expected to be attended by over 30.000 participants and will take place in just one year’s time, from the 18th to the 23rd of March 2018, in Brasilia, under the theme 'Sharing Water'. The previous World Water Forum was organised by the World Water Council in the Republic of Korea, bringing together tens of thousands of participants from 168 countries, including nine heads of State, 80 governmental ministers and hundreds official national and local government delegations.

About The World Water Council: The World Water Council is an international multi-stakeholder platform organisation, the founder and co-organiser of the World Water Forum. The World Water Council’s mission is to mobilize action on critical water issues at all levels, including the highest decision-making level, by engaging people in debate and challenging conventional thinking. The Council focuses on the political dimensions of water security, adaptation, and sustainability, and works to position water at the top of the global political agenda. Headquartered in Marseille, France, and created in 1996, the World Water Council brings together over 300 member organisations from more than 50 different countries.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Housing Market Review: Statistics Does Not Paint a Very Picturesque Health of the Market


|| March 20: 2017 || ά. HM Land Registry data for the whole of 2016 has now just been released. London Central Portfolio:LCP’s analysis shows some changing market dynamics. The Prime Central London, defined as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and City of Westminster, average prices reached a new high of £1,818,262. This was largely due to a rally in Q4 which saw prices increase 14% over the previous quarter. Overall, prices increased 03.75% over the previous year. Sales, however, remain substantially down. Only 3,330 took place over the year, the lowest number on record. This represented a fall of 29% over the previous year.

Despite this, Q4 showed some recovery in activity with an additional 118 sales, a 19% increase over the previous quarter. This was still down 33% on Q4 2015.
PCL was the only area analysed to reflect any increase in sales in Q4. In Greater London, average prices now stand at £584,694, down 03% since the beginning of the year. However, prices were up 05.7% overall over the previous year. Sales remain low with a 29% fall over the same quarter in 2015, a 06.3% fall over the previous quarter and a 21% fall over the year.

In England and Wales, average prices now stand at £278,167, down 01.1% since the beginning of the year. However, prices were up a marginal 02% over the previous year. Like Greater London, sales volumes remain low, with a 17% fall over the same quarter in 2015, a 06.6% fall over the previous quarter and an 08% fall over the year.

Following a year of turbulence as Brexit uncertainty and Stamp Duty changes impacted buyer sentiment, Prime Central London:PCL has begun to show signs of recovery. According to just released HM Land Registry data for the whole of 2016, average prices exceeded £01.8m in Q4, their highest level on record and 02.5% higher than the previous peak in Q3 2014. Despite falls in annual price growth in the first three quarters of the year, a rally in Q4, which saw a 14% quarterly increase in prices, brought 2016 annual price growth to 03.75% at the end of the year.

“Having taken a big knock following last April’s new Additional Rate Stamp Duty and the shock of Brexit, evidence of a recovery in PCL in Q4 is positive news. As an international buying market, the weakness in sterling, combined with the Trump-effect and increasing instability in Europe, appears to have drawn investors back to PCL as a safe haven asset class. The uptick has been led, in particular, by Kensington and Chelsea which saw a 24% quarterly increase in prices.” comments Naomi Heaton, CEO of residential experts London Central Portfolio, which analysed the statistics.

The picture for PCL sales volumes, however, was far less positive. Compared with the previous year, sales were down 28% with only 3,330 taking place, equivalent to just 64 a week, the lowest number on record. This is half the volume registered just two years ago. Despite this, LCP believe there is reason for optimism:

“As with PCL prices, sales volumes saw a recovery at the end of last year. Whilst transactions remain significantly down for the year as a whole, lower even than the depths of the Credit Crunch, Q4 reflected a 19% increase in sales compared with Q3, albeit from a very low base. This is notable, however, as it is bucks the seasonal trend where volumes typically tail-off in the quieter pre-Christmas period. It is our expectation that sales numbers will continue to harden gradually as the initial shock of Brexit and tax changes wash through."

In contrast, the picture for the UK’s domestic housing market is more bleak. According to the statistics, transactions in England and Wales were down 17% in Q4 over the same period in 2015, with average prices increasing just 02.1% over the previous year. This is far below the 06.6% long term average since 1996.

In Greater London, the fall in transactions was even more marked, down 29% in Q4 over the same period in 2015. Whilst annual price growth was more positive, up 05.7%, average prices took a hit across the year, finishing 03% lower than in January.

Heaton comments: “Despite Government initiatives to support buyers with reductions in basic rate Stamp Duty and their flagship Help to Buy scheme, it appears the domestic market is still struggling. Salary caps on mortgage lending, which do not reflect the ratio between house prices and earnings, are hampering buyers to get on the housing ladder and their ability to trade up. This has been exacerbated by the failure to meet affordable housing targets, a trend which shows little sign of reversing.”

About London Central Portfolio Limited:LCP: LCP is a specialist residential property advisor focusing on Prime Central London. It has an extensive private client practice and has successfully brought multiple funds to market, capitalising on this sector. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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A High-Pressure Economy Can Help Boost Productivity and Provide Even More Room to Run for the Recovery

Image: Exmos

|| March 19: 2017 || ά. In a new report, Economic Policy Institute:EPI, USA, Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens writes that recent weakness in productivity growth is just one more symptom of shortfall in aggregate demand that has characterised the post-recession U.S. economy. Moreover, policies to rein in the economy’s growth in coming years, like interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, risk keeping productivity growth slow for years to come. “Simply put, businesses’ incentives to invest in equipment and technology to make workers more productive are blunted when labour is so cheap.” said Bivens. “A tighter labour market and the rising wages that come with it, would provide an incentive to boost workers’ productivity and will, thus, boost investment.”

The last four years have seen an extraordinarily sharp deceleration in productivity growth, with productivity coming in below one percent for three years. While the reasons for this slowdown have been the subject for much speculation, Bivens argues that it is primarily the result of weak aggregate demand. A 'high-pressure' economy, with low rates of unemployment and stronger wage growth, would likely induce faster productivity growth. This high-pressure economy can be aided by either more expansionary fiscal or monetary policy. If, instead of going this route, policymakers prioritise public spending cuts or raise interest rates, writes Bivens, we risk 'locking in' this sluggish productivity going forward.

Report Summary

The last four years have seen an extraordinarily sharp deceleration in productivity growth, the average amount of income generated in an hour of work in the economy. In fact, it has been below one percent for three years. This is an important trend for many reasons and it is crucially important that policymakers respond to it correctly. Taking the slow productivity growth in recent years as fixed and unchangeable would be a huge policy mistake.

It would lock in weak labour markets and keep most American workers from getting the pay raises they could have gotten in a healthier economy. On the flip side, there is evidence that pushing up wages by further reducing unemployment would increase productivity as businesses gain more incentive to invest in the capital equipment and processes, that make those workers more productive.

Key Findings of this Report

The weakness in productivity growth in recent years is predominantly a function of weakness in private investment. Businesses are not investing in the equipment and technology, that makes workers more productive.

The main cause of the weakness in private investment is the chronic shortfall of aggregate demand, spending by households, governments and businesses, relative to the economy’s productive capacity, lingering from the Great Recession. In other words, businesses are not investing in productivity-boosting equipment because their customers aren’t demanding enough to ensure that the existing productive capacity will be fully used.

Some potential benefit to investment from less-slack demand in recent years was largely extinguished by the large fall in energy prices, that led to declines in investment in extractive industries. Given that these price declines have relented, low energy prices should no longer drag on business investment in coming years.

The economy’s long-run potential rate of productivity growth is likely significantly higher than what the past few years of growth would indicate. The weakness in private investment that is driving low productivity growth will reverse if and when the slack in aggregate demand is taken up. Most credible forecasters, both public and private, think that trend productivity growth in the U.S. economy remains well above one percent annually. The confidence that trend productivity growth is higher than readings of very recent years is driven by a long empirical history of productivity growth reverting to long-run trends. This means it is a bad idea to base future projections of potential productivity growth on the very near past.

If we take these last few years of productivity growth as given, this means the economy is quite close to full employment and policy should stop aiming to boost aggregate demand. This view is wrong and potentially damaging, if embraced by policymakers.

If the Federal Reserve decides that the economy is indeed at full employment, it will raise interest rates in an attempt to pre-emptively rein in inflation. But undertaking these rate increases in the current economy, not allowing the recovery 'room to run', in Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s phrasing, could be leaving hundreds of billions of dollars in potential output unclaimed in coming years. This is particularly, true if an economy given 'room to run' was needed to restore decent rates of productivity growth.

Similarly, if the economy is seen as at full employment by fiscal policymakers, it could lead them to underestimate the need for public investment to increase aggregate demand and to prioritise the need to reduce federal budget deficits. But an investment swing toward further fiscal austerity would reverse some of the progress we are just starting to see on wage growth for many workers, Gould 2017.

A 'high-pressure economy', that eliminates the remaining demand shortfall in the U.S. economy and leads to low rates of unemployment and rapid wage growth would likely induce faster productivity growth. This faster productivity growth would in turn blunt much of the potentially inflationary pressure stemming from tighter labour markets that generated faster wage-growth.

Both cross-country and international studies show a correlation between rising wages and the pace of business investment. This evidence suggests that any inflationary effect of faster wage growth on prices could be significantly blunted by a corresponding increase in productivity growth as rising labour costs spur employers to boost capital investments and other drivers of productivity growth.

Economic Policy Institute:EPI: EPI is an independent, non-profit think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States. EPI’s research helps policymakers, opinion leaders, advocates, journalists, and the public understand the bread-and-butter issues affecting ordinary Americans. ω.

Read the Report

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Christine Lagarde Calls for Global Co-operation and Strong Policies to Sustain the Growth Momentum

Image: Johnson Matthey

|| March 18: 2017 || ά. Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund:IMF, issued the following statement today at the conclusion of the Group of 20, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany: Our meeting showed once again that the G20 provides a critical platform for major economies to work together within an established framework. We met at a time when growth is gaining momentum around the world and there are signs that the global economy has reached a turning point, even though uncertainties remain.

Strong monetary, fiscal and structural policies matter more than ever for what comes next. Global co-operation and pursuing the right policies can help achieve strong, sustained, balanced, and inclusive growth, while the wrong ones could stop the new momentum in its tracks. I reaffirmed the IMF’s readiness to contribute to enhancing global understanding and co-operation in line with our mandate, including through vigorous exchange rate surveillance and analysis of global imbalances.

As global financial conditions may tighten, we are committed to supporting our membership in the management of risks stemming from excessive capital flow volatility. We will enhance our monitoring tools and stand ready to provide policy advice, including on macroprudential policies, as well as capacity building and financial support as warranted.

I strongly welcome the proposed compacts between African and G20 countries to build capacity and unlock investment flows. All five countries in the first wave have Fund-supported arrangements. We will work closely with the authorities to strengthen their macroeconomic frameworks and will step up the provision of technical assistance.

I would like to thank Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, the German authorities, and the people of the beautiful town of Baden-Baden for their generous hospitality and superb organization. I look forward to the Hamburg G20 Summit in July."
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Keapstone Therapeutics Launched to Develop New Drugs for Parkinson’s Disease

|| March 18: 2017: University of Sheffield News || ά. The University of Sheffield and Parkinson’s UK have launched a new £01 million virtual biotech company in the next stage of a pioneering research programme to create new drugs for Parkinson’s. In a partnership that is the first of its kind, Keapstone Therapeutics will combine world-leading research from the University with funding and expertise from the charity to help develop revolutionary drugs for Parkinson’s, which affects around 127,000 people in the UK. Although similar partnerships between charities and research specialists have been formed in the past, this is the first time a charity has directly approached researchers to launch a spin-out company with the aim of advancing one particular research programme.

The creation of Keapstone Therapeutics is part of Parkinson’s UK’s new Virtual Biotech venture, formed to combat the lost opportunities in drug discovery and early clinical development caused by the changing pharma landscape. It allows the charity to work virtually, providing leadership and critical funding, in partnership with a range of other organisations that have the facilities and staff to carry out scientific work on a contract basis. Keapstone is the first ‘single-asset’ spin-out company to be created in this way and it ensures that, if successful, the research is in the best possible position to receive investment, allowing immediate progress towards clinical trials. The structure of the set-up also means that Parkinson’s UK and The University of Sheffield will each retain a stake in any future developments.

Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, Arthur Roach, said, “Due to the funding gap in early stage drug discovery, there are promising scientific breakthroughs for Parkinson’s happening every day that are not being picked up and developed by commercial companies. This major new programme of work will allow us to act in a similar way to a small biotech company. However, unlike a commercial company, our primary goal is the creation of new treatments to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s, regardless of commercial considerations.

Keapstone is our first step in this pioneering programme and it is a world-first in terms of its formation. By seeking early collaboration with a University in the creation of a spin-out biotech company, we will be able to investigate and develop potential Parkinson’s treatments with an intensity that is unprecedented for a charity.”

Keapstone Therapeutics will build on over a decade of research at the University’s Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience:SITraN, where researchers have pinpointed a way to trigger a possible in-built defence system that helps protect brain cells from oxidative stress. This stress is caused by a damaging build-up of free-radicals and is found in the brain cells of people with Parkinson’s.

Dr Richard Mead, of SITraN, discovered a new class of compounds that can activate the brain cell defence system in the IMI Funded EU lead Factory project.
Keapstone Therapeutics will now fund the chemistry specialists, Sygnature Discovery, to further develop these molecules, which could eventually become new drugs that can slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s.

Dr Mead said, “We are very excited about this new partnership with Parkinson’s UK. It is a great opportunity for us to pursue a novel drug discovery programme for Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative conditions, such as motor neuron disease:MND. We will now progress these molecules through the next stage of drug development.”

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Director of SITraN, said, “We are very excited to have the opportunity to further our programme of work to develop new approaches for protecting neurons and slowing disease progression in Parkinson’s disease and MND, by designing drugs which boost the internal cellular defence mechanisms.

Along with Parkinson’s UK, Keapstone Therapeutics will facilitate a step-change in the drug development programme emerging from the scientific and pre-clinical research within SITraN”.

Sarah Fulton Tindall, Director of Research and Innovation Services at the University of Sheffield, said, “We are delighted to be working with Parkinson’s UK to support this novel form of commercialisation. This potential therapy can benefit patients worldwide, and gives the University another exciting spin-out company led by our world-class academics."

Steve Ford, Chief Executive at Parkinson’s UK, said, “Parkinsons’ UK is delighted to be working with Sheffield University through the formation of Keapstone, to help unlock the potential of the very promising discoveries made by Dr Richard Mead and his team.

For years we have worked to support and accelerate the progression of research discoveries from the lab into clinical trials, with the aim of developing new drugs that can be used to manage and treat Parkinson’s. The launch of Keapstone marks an exciting step change in our strategy, which will allow us greater involvement in research and more flexibility to progress promising leads.

This extraordinary venture would not have been possible without our supporters and partners - and we’re looking forward to sharing the developments of this new project with them.”

For more information about Parkinson’s UK’s virtual biotech programme.

Parkinson’s UK: Every hour, someone in the UK is told they have Parkinson's. It affects 127,000 people in the UK - which is around one in 500 of the population, making it the second most common neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer's. Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition caused by the unexplained death of brain cells that create a chemical called dopamine. Without dopamine people experience slowness of movement, rigidity and a tremor. As well as affecting movement, people with Parkinson's can find that other issues, such as tiredness, pain, depression and constipation, can have an impact on their day-to-day lives. This year is the 200th anniversary of James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy, which first recognised the condition. Although medication that can treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s have been developed over time, there has still been no treatment shown to reverse the effects of Parkinson’s or slow its progression. There is no known cure. Parkinson's UK is the UK's leading charity supporting those with the condition. Its mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's through cutting edge research, information, support and campaigning.

The University of Sheffield: With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities. A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in. Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields. Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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New Research Urges a Rethink on Global Energy Subsidies: That Costs Too Much to Too Many in Every Sense of the Word

Image: University of Delhi



|| March 17: 2017: University of Sussex News || ά. The hidden toll that subsidies for electricity, fossil fuels and transport have on social welfare, economic growth and technological innovation needs to be exposed through better research, says a new paper in Ecological Economics by Benjamin K Sovacool. Energy subsidies, which have mostly supported fossil fuels and nuclear power over the previous half century, have historically kept energy prices artificially low, compared to market rates. But they come at a high cost to governments and taxpayers. The Indian government, for example, spends as much as it does on fuel subsidies for kerosene and liquid propane, used to light rural houses, as it does on education.

India subsidises fossil energy consumption by $21 billion every year, which works out at $16 per person. Given that 500 million of its people live on less than $02 per day, this is a surprisingly large amount.  Such costs aren’t benefiting the poorest households, meant to the key beneficiaries of the subsidies, because they have less money to spend on fuel and electricity in the first place. Of the tens of billions spent on fossil fuel subsidies in India in 2010, for example, less than $02 billion benefited the poorest 20% of the population. Instead, the subsidies benefitted wealthier households, which consume around 20 times more energy services than their poorer counterparts. They, also, tend to benefit energy companies and equipment suppliers.

Practically every energy system has been subsidised at some point. This results in budget deficits and higher taxes, which potentially could have been spent more effectively elsewhere. If the world’s projected $01.9 trillion in energy subsidies were repealed tomorrow, that would provide enough money to eliminate worldwide hunger and malnutrition one hundred times over.

Environmentally, energy subsidies tend to have 'substantial carbon footprints' because they tend to favour fossil fuels, such as coal and petroleum. As subsidies lower the price of electricity and fuel, they generally lead to higher levels of consumption. They, also, generally diminish efforts to promote energy efficiency or to conserve energy.

This is why the negative impacts of subsidies need to be better understood. The key elements listed in the paper to be improved or reformed so subsidies can better benefit societies and the environment.

Impact Studies: The new paper calls for more transparent, complete and comparable data on the impact of subsidies to help bring about further independent analysis. These impact studies could help governments and communities better determine the costs and benefits of particular subsidies, and decide which ones need revising or repealing.

Sunset Clauses: Once governments adopt subsidies they tend to become self-replicating with expenditure tending to operate, maintain and improve existing technologies. Adding sunset clauses can put an end to this. By setting an expiration date, subsidies can’t operate indefinitely.

Managing the Risks: A review of 22 case studies of subsidy reform by the IMF found that only 12 didn’t cause major economic or social disruption. Subsidy reforms should aim to ensure that the poorest in society don’t lose out from the removal of the subsidies. Adjustment packages targeting those likely to be hit hardest can help. The paper also calls for more research on the political economy dimensions to subsidy reform.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Challenge for Aspiring Entrepreneurs to Apply for Support to Start New Business: Deadline March 31

Image: University of Strathclyde

 

|| March 17: University of Strathclyde News 2017 || ά. Students at the University of Strathclyde are being set an entrepreneurial challenge by energy company ScottishPower-Iberdrola. Aspiring entrepreneurs with strong, original business ideas are being invited to put forward their plans for new technologies, services or business models which could be turned into successful commercial ventures. The winning team will take part in Iberdrola’s Innovation Week in Madrid, where they will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to Iberdrola and its partners. Applications close at 17:00 on Friday, March 31.

The competition is open to all Strathclyde students, at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level and targets aspiring entrepreneurs whose novel business proposals are relevant to ScottishPower-Iberdrola’s core innovation and technology areas. A judging panel of Strathclyde staff members, entrepreneurs and Iberdrola managers will assess proposals against a set of criteria, including originality, feasibility, market potential and team ability. Selected participants at this stage will be able to apply for seed funding to develop their initial vision and developed propositions will be screened again by the judging panel, with the most promising invited to seek further funding for their concept.

Students will receive support at the initial stage of the challenge through a dedicated coach and a development workshop. After projects have been further screened, those selected will proceed to the final round, which includes a dedicated commercialisation workshop.

Strathclyde was named Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year in 2013, in recognition of the outstanding culture of entrepreneurship fostered at the University through education, research, mentoring and partnership programmes.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Rural Development: The Rural Economy: An Untapped Source of Jobs, Growth and Development

Sharmila Rai Gurung: Image: ILO

|| March 17: 2017: ILO News: Alette van Leur Writing || ά. Decent work in the rural economy will be key to fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’ pledge to leave no one behind. In post-earthquake rural Nepal, the ILO is promoting investment and better infrastructure to increase opportunities for decent jobs so that young people will not be pushed to migrate to the cities and abroad.  Sharmila Rai Gurung, 27, left Nepal 10 years ago to work in Saudi Arabia. From there, she moved to Oman and then to Kyrgyzstan, before ending up in war-torn Iraq, prior to returning to Nepal. The ILO and its Nepalese partner organisation, POURAKHI, offered her training in farming as a returning migrant worker.

She has used her newly acquired skills to earn a living from raising poultry and vegetable farming. She and her husband, who will return soon from Dubai, intend to stay in Nepal for the rest of their lives. They have already bought a piece of farmland. Decent work is increasingly recognised as an indispensable driver of sustainable development with the potential to lift households and communities out of poverty. Poverty is predominantly a rural phenomenon as rural areas are home to the majority of the world’s poor. ILO estimates that in developing and emerging countries, over 80 per cent of the poor live in rural areas.1 In 2012, extreme poverty rates, defined as people living on less than $01.90 in purchasing power parity terms per day, were four times higher in rural areas than in urban areas.

A large share of the rural poor still depend on low-productivity subsistence farming for their livelihoods. The poorest rural households lack access to productive assets and often rely on income from wage employment. Of the 300-500 million wage workers in agriculture, many depend on jobs in the plantation sector. Some 59 per cent, or over 98 million child labourers, aged five to 17, are in rural areas, mostly in agriculture. Forced labour, too, is prevalent in agriculture.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals:SDGs by 2030, and ending extreme poverty everywhere, will thus require increased policy focus on rural development. Placing decent work in the rural economy high on national and international policy agendas is crucial to find sustainable, long-term solutions to the massive challenges affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Numerous factors contribute to rural poverty. These comprise informality; weak institutions, including ineffective law enforcement and compliance; the absence of an enabling environment for businesses; underdeveloped production systems; poor infrastructure and limited access to services, including education, finance and health-care.

Challenges facing rural economies are multifaceted and interwoven, and addressing them requires integrated, cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and context-specific interventions. Close cooperation and coordination between all government departments is essential to ensuring interventions result in the hoped for impact.

Rural economies remain largely associated with primary agricultural production. Rural development is therefore often considered outside the mandate of ministries of labour. And yet, the productive transformation of both agriculture and the rural non-farm economy cannot be fully effectively without their active involvement. Improving the quality of agricultural jobs, generally among the least protected, poorly remunerated, most hazardous and of low status, is essential to attract rural youth.

Effective solutions are also required to emerging challenges as changing employment relationships arising from outsourcing, including on plantations. Decent jobs facilitate agricultural growth, which can in turn raise rural incomes, promote higher consumption and lead to significant economy-wide multiplier effects. Given the rise in global demand for food, the agricultural sector offers untapped employment opportunities.

To attract a new generation of farmers like Gurung, however, the sector needs greater modernization, to increase its lucrativeness and dynamism and to raise its status as a source of decent jobs. Investing in education and skills of rural youth is key for triggering productive transformation and promoting economic diversification in rural areas. There is more to rural economies than just farming. Rural areas are characterized by a great diversity of economic activities, including processing and marketing of agricultural products, tourism, mining and services.

Ministries of labour should take the lead in ensuring that social and labour issues are effectively reflected in rural policies. They can also ensure the involvement of social partners in rural development, which is a prerequisite to the success of these policies. There are many national and international actors involved in rural development; many focusing on improving the plight of smallholder farmers.

Within this huge and crowded area of work, ILO interventions in this area should be based on comparative advantage: its normative approach to development, its unique convening power to bring together the main actors and its mandate and expertise in the world of work. Its Decent Work Agenda offers many instruments, approaches and tools to support governments, employers and workers in their efforts to promote sustainable rural livelihoods.

Effort should focus particularly on filling knowledge gaps on rural wage employment, which is poorly understood and inadequately measured as a basis for providing countries adequate policy advice in this area.

ILO’s strategy for rural development comprises the following interrelated policy areas: The ILO is already providing support to a number of countries on all these issues, in Zimbabwe on improving rural women’s employability and economic empowerment; in Kenya on enhancing access to financial services in rural areas; in Nepal and India on improving rural infrastructure through employment-intensive investment programmes; in rural areas of Paraguay, Ecuador and Bolivia on value chain development; and in Indonesia on the promotion of decent work for food security and sustainable rural development.

Harnessing the potential of the rural economy through decent work is key to sustainable development. It is critical in fulfilling the SDGs’ pledge to leave no one behind. ω.

Alette van Leur, Director of ILO’s Sectoral Policies Department and Mariangels Fortuny, Rural Economy Coordinator, ILO’s Sectoral Policies Department

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Scientists Harness Solar Power to Produce Clean Hydrogen From Biomass: Now Who Has the Vision to Invest in This Hugely to Bring This to the Widest Possible Market in the Shortest Possible Time

Paper releasing gaseous hydrogen under solar light. Image: Department of Chemistry: University of Cambridge


|| March 15: 2017: University of Cambridge News || ά. A team of scientists at the University of Cambridge has developed a way of using solar power to generate a fuel that is both sustainable and relatively cheap to produce. It’s using natural light to generate hydrogen from biomass. One of the challenges facing modern society is what it does with its waste products. As natural resources decline in abundance, using waste for energy is becoming more pressing for both governments and business. Biomass has been a source of heat and energy since the beginning of recorded history. The planet’s oil reserves are derived from ancient biomass, which has been subjected to high pressures and temperatures over millions of years.

Lignocellulose is the main component of plant biomass and up to now its conversion into hydrogen has only been achieved through a gasification process, which uses high temperatures to decompose it fully. Dr Moritz Kuehnel, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, joint lead Author on a new research paper published in Nature Energy, says, "Lignocellulose is nature's equivalent to armoured concrete. It consists of strong, highly crystalline cellulose fibres, that are interwoven with lignin and hemicellulose, which act as a glue. This rigid structure has evolved to give plants and trees mechanical stability and protect them from degradation and makes chemical utilisation of lignocellulose so challenging."

The new technology relies on a simple photocatalytic conversion process. Catalytic nanoparticles are added to alkaline water, in which the biomass is suspended. This is then placed in front of a light in the lab, which mimics solar light. The solution is ideal for absorbing this light and converting the biomass into gaseous hydrogen, which can then be collected from the headspace. The hydrogen is free of fuel-cell inhibitors, such as carbon monoxide, which allows it to be used for power.

The nanoparticle is able to absorb energy from solar light and use it to undertake complex chemical reactions. In this case, it rearranges the atoms in the water and biomass to form hydrogen fuel and other organic chemicals, such as formic acid and carbonate. Joint lead author, Dr David Wakerley, also, of the Department of Chemistry, says, “There’s a lot of chemical energy stored in raw biomass but it’s unrefined, so you can’t expect it to work in complicated machinery, such as a car engine.

Our system is able to convert the long, messy structures, that make up biomass into hydrogen gas, which is much more useful. We have specifically designed a combination of catalyst and solution, that allows this transformation to occur using sunlight as a source of energy. With this in place we can simply add organic matter to the system and then, provided it’s a sunny day, produce hydrogen fuel.”

The team used different types of biomass in their experiments. Pieces of wood, paper and leaves were placed in test tubes and exposed to solar light. The biomass didn’t require any processing beforehand. The technology was developed in the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Sustainable SynGas Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. The head of the laboratory, Dr. Erwin Reisner.

Dr Reisner says, “Our sunlight-powered technology is exciting as it enables the production of clean hydrogen from unprocessed biomass under ambient conditions. We see it as a new and viable alternative to high temperature gasification and other renewable means of hydrogen production.

Future development can be envisioned at any scale, from small scale devices for off-grid applications to industrial-scale plants and we are currently exploring a range of potential commercial options."

With the help of Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the University, a UK patent application has been filed and talks are under way with a potential commercial partner.
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Paper: David Wakerley et al: Solar-driven reforming of lignocellulose to H2 with a CdS/CdOx photocatalyst: Nature Energy March 13, 2017 DOI: 10.1038/nenergy.2017.21

: This text, of University of Cambridge, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License:

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Scottish Firm Exmos Recognised for Industry Tech Advancements with EIE17 in Edinburgh: May 10-11

Image: Exmos


|| March 15: 2017 || ά. An international company based in central Scotland will be taking to the stage at this year’s Engage Investment Exploit:EIE investor event to showcase their innovative technology to an impressive array of global investors. Exmos, which specialises in process monitoring in the manufacturing sector, will be among the 60 Scottish companies selected for their original approaches in utilising and applying technology to solve problems and create solutions.

Gordon Coulter, CEO of Exmos, said, “We’re excited to be part of this year’s EIE conference. It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase our plans for our innovative process monitoring tool, SentiLAN, which is harnessing big data and machine learning to deliver a truly industry 04.0 technology to a sector we’ve been working with for 25 years. We’re looking forward to connecting with international investors and sharing our vision for Exmos’ future.”

Exmos is at the forefront of providing technology allowing British and worldwide industry to take advantage of big data and machine learning developments, helping to optimise processes across the manufacturing, production, and logistic sectors. The firm’s in-house developed remote monitoring and management platform SentiLAN makes IT networks simple to monitor, while still providing real-time reports and insights that can drive businesses forward.

Steve Ewing, Director of Operations, Informatics Ventures, the organiser of EIE,  said “Now entering its tenth year, EIE in 2017 will be the biggest, the boldest and the best yet. We’re delighted to have such an outstanding cohort of pitching companies, of which Exmos is certainly one, and I look forward to hearing them deliver a compelling investor pitch on the day.”

Russell Dalgleish, an Entrepreneur, Board Advisor and Strategist, who has been working closely with Exmos, commented, “This is a highly-regarded event attracting international speakers and investors. It’s not surprising that Exmos, an international business born and bred in Scotland, has been selected to showcase its IP-rich innovative technology.”

The EIE17 event is celebrating its tenth year this year and has a full programme for delegates to enjoy. As well as exciting pitches from 60 of Scotland’s most innovative technology companies, including Exmos, attendees will be able to take part in planned social events, including a pub trail through the iconic streets of Edinburgh before networking with inspiring entrepreneurs eager for investment and new opportunities. This year’s event will be held at the EICC, just a stone’s throw away from the famous Edinburgh Castle, on May 10-11.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Greensleeves Care Proves That It is Not Hard to Raise Funds From the Market for Social Enterprise as It Raises £33m in a Short Time After Launching Retail Charity Bond and Closes Sales Two Weeks Early

 

|| March 15: 2017 || ά. Greensleeves Care, which last week became the first care home operator to launch a Retail Charity Bond, has announced the closure of the Bond, two weeks early and oversubscribed, having raised £33m, the largest ever amount on the Retail Charity Bond platform. The Retail Charity Bond, 04.25% due 2026, will be listed and tradable on the London Stock Exchange’s ORB.

Greensleeves Care is a charity providing care and accommodation for older people, primarily through residential, dementia and nursing care services. The funds raised will be used to buy and develop new homes, as well as pay down existing debt and to expand the number of residents who receive its award-winning care. Following the success of this bond, Allia expects more charitable care home providers to look at raising funds in this way.

Paul Newman, Chief Executive of Greensleeves Care, commented, “We are delighted that we have been part of the largest ever Retail Charity Bond issue. The money will be put to immediate use to buy and develop new homes and sites as we invest in our portfolio and our ability to increase the number of older people who benefit from our award-winning care.”

Tim Jones, Chief Executive of Allia, said, “The success of this latest Retail Charity Bond reinforces the strength of demand for impact investment opportunities through mainstream financial products. Allia is very pleased to help Greensleeves Care increase the number of older people it cares for and to have proven the viability of this funding route for other charities in the care sector.”

Henrietta Podd, Director, Peel Hunt, said, “We are delighted that Greensleeves have raised this new funding at an attractive rate of interest. This is now the fourth Retail Charity Bond to be successfully issued and we have been pleased to see an even wider range of institutions and individuals investing in this latest Bond.” Retail Charity Bonds is a platform that issues retail eligible bonds for UK charities. It was created by Allia, a UK charity and social investment specialist.


About Greensleeves Care: Greensleeves Homes Trust, operating as Greensleeves Care, is a registered charity in England and Wales, offering care services across the UK. Operating independently since 1997, Greensleeves Homes Trust emerged from the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service. Greensleeves Care is a not-for-profit organisation that operates care homes across the UK. The organisation has grown to support 789 residents offering residential, dementia, nursing, respite and end of life care. Greensleeves Care provides first-class quality care, adhering to the values of respect, openness and responsibility, with a dedicated and highly skilled staff and management team.  With 20 care homes, including two nursing homes across the Midlands, South and East of England, each home is run by Care Quality Commission:CQC registered managers.

Dedicated and highly skilled staff are committed to providing residential, dementia, and nursing care, comfort and security to all residents and their families. Greensleeves Care has a sustainable business model that delivers growth and social value resulting in award-winning care. Greensleeves Care has a balanced approach to growing its portfolio, based on a mixture of acquisitions, redeveloping the existing estate and managing the development of new homes to ensure operational efficiency. Led by an experienced management team with significant sector experience, Greensleeves Care is committed to its long-term strategy of delivering quality care and nursing services to an increased number of older people.

About Retail Charity Bonds: Retail Charity Bonds is a platform that issues retail eligible bonds for UK charities. It was created by Allia, a UK charity and social investment specialist. Retail Charity Bonds PLC is a public limited company; it was established as a special purpose issuing vehicle but is not itself a charity. It is governed by an independent and experienced board of directors from the financial and charity sectors who are acting on a pro-bono basis.
The platform is also supported by a range of patrons, including: Peel Hunt, Canaccord Genuity, Cabinet Office, Allen and Overy, Bank of New York Mellon, Bell Pottinger, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Big Society Capital, Edentree Investment Management, Linklaters, London Stock Exchange, Prudential Trustee Company Limited, Rathbones and Threadneedle Investments. Other charities to have successfully raised finance through Retail Charity Bonds include Golden Lane Housing, the housing arm of Mencap, Hightown Housing Association and Charities Aid Foundation.

About Peel Hunt: Peel Hunt is an independent corporate broking:advisory house that has highly rated, sector-aligned Research, Sales and Corporate teams, with a current retained corporate client list of over 115 listed companies and a trading platform that makes markets in c.3,500 equity and fixed income products. Peel Hunt ranked 1st with the UK’s largest Fund Managers and received more ‘Top 3’ sector teams than any other broker in the 2016 Thomson Reuters Extel Survey of UK Small and Mid Cap Brokerage Firms. At the influential Starmine Awards, the firm’s research team ascended into the top three for the first time, coming in second between Goldman Sachs, 1st and Bank of America, 3rd, Thomson Reuters Analyst Awards. Peel Hunt’s Debt Capital Markets is part of a collaboration with debt advisory, risk and hedging specialists JC Rathbone Associates.

About the bonds: The bonds may not be suitable for all investors. Investors should ensure they fully understand the risks and seek independent financial advice. Investors should note that the market price of the bonds can rise and fall during the life of the investment and the price of the bonds could fall below the issue price of £100. In the event that Retail Charity Bonds PLC or Greensleeves Homes Trust defaults, becomes insolvent or goes out of business, investors may lose some or all of their investment.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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The Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions to Develop X-Road Technology

Image: Finland Government


|| March 14: 2017 || ά. Finland and Estonia enhance their co-operation by setting up the Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions. The agreement on this was signed on March 07, during the state visit of the President of Estonia, H.E. Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid and her spouse Mr. Georgi-Rene Maksimovski. The institute, to be placed in Estonia, operates in the form of an association governed by private law and its mission is to develop the X-Road technology to be used in the Suomi.fi-palveluväylä digital service. Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology of Estonia Urve Palo and Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen signed the agreement on setting up the institute at the Business Forum of the two countries.

The parties to the agreement are the Ministry of Finance of Finland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia. Minister Mykkänen signed the agreement under the authority of Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms Anu Vehviläinen, who is responsible for the digitalisation of public services. The aim of the institute is to engage in co-operation on a long-term basis, secure a high quality standard, enable cross-border components for e-government infrastructure and ensure the operative development and strategic management of X-Road. The institute, also, aims for savings in the resources, practical collaboration and sharing of experiences and strengthening development innovations. The operation model is something quite unique in the world.

“The new institute means even deeper co-operation between Finland and Estonia. It also enables cross-border co-operation among several countries. So far bilateral agreements have been required for all e-operations across national borders.” says  Anu Vehviläinen, Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms.

The institute solidifies the collaborative arrangements based on fixed-term agreements for the years ahead, while the parties are still also entitled to engage in their own development work. The main data exchange solution for Finnish public sector organisations, Suomi.fi-palveluväylä, is based on X-Road technology. Palveluväylä was introduced in Finland as part of the programme implementing the National Architecture for Digital Services and the public sector organisations have a statutory obligation to use it.

The institute continues the well-functioning co-operation between Finland and Estonia started under the programme. Technically the X-Road of Estonia and the Finnish Palveluväylä, National Data Exchange Layer are to be linked together during spring 2017.

About Suomi.fi: Suomi.fi is a one-stop portal for Finnish public sector online services for citizens. The portal contains links to sites that provide information and services for citizens. These sites are produced by state and local government organisations, municipalities, nationally operating NGO’s and certain private companies. Suomi.fi gives information for anyone who needs to transact with Finland’s public administration, regardless of whether they reside in Finland or abroad. The portal includes texts, service information, e-services and forms. Suomi.fi is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Suomi.fi portal is a service funded by the Ministry of Finance. Suomi.fi editorial team is located at the Population Register Centre. Public Service Info is an advisory service for citizens about public services. Public Service Info gives advise by phone and e-mail and responds to feedback from citizens. Public Service Info gives advice regarding the contents of Suomi.fi portal, its accessibility and functionality of the forms and e-services available in the portal.

Each state or municipal authority, organisation or public body linked to Suomi.fi portal is responsible for the provision of advisory service on the contents of their services, the processing of e-service matters and malfunctions in the use of forms and e-services. Public Service Info forwards feedback on these issues to the relevant organisation for further action. It is not possible to bring up matters via Public Service Info or feedback forms; nor is it possible for individual citizens to enquire about details concerning the processing of their matter.

The Suomi.fi portal presents and connects citizen-oriented information and services found on the web sites and joint systems of public authorities and organisations, NGO’s and certain private companies. The portal team is not responsible for the content and up-to-date quality of the sites and services linked in Suomi.fi.

The correct functioning of the e-services, forms and links in Suomi.fi is checked automatically every night. The Suomi.fi editorial team will correct or remove broken links. In the case of e-services and forms, a request for correction is sent to the relevant public body. The Suomi.fi editorial team is not responsible for the proper functioning of links, forms and e-services in the service providers’ systems. Each individual authority, organisation, NGO and company with content or services linked to Suomi.fi is responsible for their own web sites, e-services and forms, content, up-to-date quality, technical availability and usability.
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Inquiries: Olli-Pekka Rissanen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 2955 30364, olli-pekka.rissanen at vm.fi
Tuomas Vanhanen, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 2955 30216, tuomas.vanhanen at vm.fi

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Bittium to Exhibits Its Neuroscience Products at the Nordic Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology and Kuopio Epilepsy Symposium in Kuopio: March 15-16
 

 

|| March 14: 2017: Oulu: Finland || ά. Bittium is exhibiting its innovative products and solutions for neurology and cardiology at the Nordic Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology and Kuopio Epilepsy Symposium 2017, taking place on March 15-17 in Kuopio, Finland. In November 2016 Bittium acquired the healthcare technology company Mega Electronics Ltd, specialises in biosignal measuring for cardiology, neuroscience, neurophysiology, rehabilitation, occupational health and sports medicine.

Bittium presents NeurOne monitoring solution for neuroscience measurements, BrainStatus compact EEG amplifier and the three-in-one Faros ECG product.
NeurOne is one of the most accurate and quickest EEG measuring devices in the world designed for research and clinical use. NeurOne system enables fully synchronised group measuring of up to 30 persons simultaneously for example in different types of psychological studies.

The solution is optimized for use with transcranial magnetic stimulators:TMS-EEG, with optional possibility to use during magnetic resonance imaging procedures:fMRI-EEG.

BrainStatus is a wireless compact EEG amplifier, which is used together with a disposable easy and quick to wear BrainStatus electrode headband for example to diagnose epileptic seizures and brain stroke. BrainStatus enables quick measurement in field conditions as well as in hospitals, thus making the treatment process of the patient faster.

Faros ECG is a versatile one or three channels ECG device that can be used for recording high quality data for HRV:Heart Rate Variability analysis; Faros can store original ECG data as well as activity data derived from 3D accelometer data in addition to plain HRV data.

Further information about Bittium’s products and services. Further information: Arto Pietilä: Senior Vice President: Tel. +358 40 344 3507: Jari Sankala: Senior Vice President, Defense and Security: Tel. +358 40 344 3507: Email: sales1global at bittium.com.

Bittium: Bittium specialises in the development of reliable, secure communications and connectivity solutions, drawing on its 30 year legacy of expertise in advanced radio communication technologies. Bittium provides innovative products and customized solutions based on its product platforms and RD services. Complementing its communications and connectivity solutions, Bittium offers proven information security solutions for mobile devices and portable computers. Starting from November 10, Bittium also offers healthcare technology products and services in biosignal measuring in cardiology, neurology, rehabilitation, occupational health and sports medicine. Net sales of continuing operations in 2016 were EUR 64.2 million, and operating profit was EUR 02.5 million. Bittium is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki Exchange.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Invest in Finland Healthtech Invest Europe 2017 in Finland: March 15-16

 

|| March 13: 2017 || ά. Invest in Finland, an initiative part of Finpro, announces Healthtech Invest Europe 2017, a new event aiming to bring together investors and health technology growth companies from all over Europe. The event is taking place on Maarch 15-16 at the Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland. “We are pleased to announce Healthtech Invest Europe 2017 and are grateful for the support of leading investors.” announces Nora Kaarela, Head of Health Industry at Finpro. “This is Finland’s first event of this magnitude in the field of health technology. We took the initiative to organize Healthtech Invest Europe 2017 after recognising the challenges Finland’s own capital markets have in funding promising early-stage health technology companies, given the explosion of startup activity in Finland.” Kaarela adds.

“We aim to hold this event annually and make it Europe's leading event for investors in health technology.” Health Tech Invest Europe 2017 is open to all international investors and European growth companies operating in health technology, as well as the media. Supported by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation:Tekes and the City of Helsinki, the event has already attracted investors from Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, the United States, South Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Norway, France, Spain, Poland and Portugal, in addition to key Finnish investors. The Tech Tour, an experienced investor event organiser, is responsible for the event arrangements.

“Health Tech Invest Europe 2017 will focus on health technology and digital solutions in healthcare, for which there is a growing need worldwide and where Finland is seen as one of the world's pioneers.” says Invest in Finland Advisor Sampo Sammalisto, the project manager for the event. Finland’s KIDE Systems and Combionistics are two of the 40 European companies, all selected by an expert panel of seasoned investors, invited to present at Health Tech Invest Europe 2017.

Imaging is increasingly being used not only for diagnosing disease, but increasingly also for monitoring the effectiveness of treatment. However, users often face poor system interfacing and connectivity with the disparate systems in clinical use today. KIDE Systems has developed cloud-based services, which allow for more efficient and effective medical imaging information workflow to support patient care.

Using artificial intelligence to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, Combinostics is a spin-off company of the Technical Research Centre of Finland:VTT. Combinostics solutions allow for earlier and more accurate diagnoses, promising better planning of care. “With an aging population and lifestyle changes, memory disorders are becoming more common in today’s societies. However, earlier diagnosis with appropriate care offers hope of significantly extending the quality of life for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.” Kaarela envisions.

“In recent years, startups and growth companies in Finland have been able to attract the highest level of funding in Europe, in relation to GDP.” notes Kaarela. “Also, a recently published study commissioned by the European Commission praised Finland for its highly skilled work force, ranking the country first in knowledge and innovation capacity of all EU states. With this solid foundation, I am very optimistic about boosting foreign direct investment also in the health technology sector.”

 Kaarela concludes, “The successful financing rounds for both Noona Healthcare and Desentum are recent examples of the progress we are making in Finland.” Noona Healthcare offers cancer clinics a real-time holistic view of their patients' wellbeing as a remote, interactive mobile service. At the end of last year, Finland’s Noona Healthcare raised seed funding of €01.5 million from Finland’s Inventure, Belgium’s Capricorn ICT Archives and Noaber Ventures from the Netherlands. With this new financing, Noona aims to launch its service in ten new markets, together with strategic partners.

Desentum is a Finnish biopharmaceutical company developing hypoallergen-based immunotherapies for people suffering from common allergies. In January 2017 Desentum announced that that it had garnered around €02 million for the development of a novel birch pollen allergy vaccine. Participating in the investment round were Belgium’s Cascara Ventures, Luxembourg’s ACME Investments, Finland’s VTT Ventures and Sto-Rahoitus, as well as the company's founding shareholders.

More information: Nora Kaarela, Head of Health Industry, Finpro, nora.kaarela at finpro.fi, +358 400 897 020
Sampo Sammalisto, Advisor, Health Industry, sampo.sammalisto at finpro.fi, +358 50 584 1100

About Finpro: Finpro helps Finnish SMEs go international, encourages foreign direct investment in Finland and promotes travel to Finland. Finpro is a public organization consisting of Export Finland, Visit Finland and Invest in Finland. Our 240 professionals work in 37 offices in 31 countries abroad and six offices in Finland. Finpro is part of the Team Finland network.

About Invest in Finland: As part of Finpro, Invest in Finland assists international companies in finding business opportunities in Finland and marketing Finland as a location for foreign direct investment:FDI. In addition, Invest in Finland develops and coordinates Finland’s FDI promotion work by actively networking with other regional and international organizations. Invest in Finland also compiles statistics on the foreign-owned companies operating in Finland.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Why Does the World Need a Stockholm Environment Institute: Because It Matters to Base Public Policy on the Ground of Science

 

|| March 13: 2017: Stockholm Environment Institute News || ά. The Stockholm Environment Institute:SEI is an international non-profit research organisation, that has worked with environment and development issues from local to global policy levels for a quarter of a century. SEI works to shift policy and practice towards sustainability. SEI bridges science and policy to find robust responses to the challenges of sustainability. SEI’s vision is a sustainable future for all. Our mission is 'to support decision-making and induce change towards sustainable development around the world by providing integrative knowledge, that bridges science and policy in the field of environment and development'.

To deliver on our mission, we work across issues like climate change, energy systems, water resources, air quality, land-use, sanitation, food security and trade, and we approach these issues from a range of perspectives from the natural and social sciences. We combine scientific research with policy analysis, connecting our work to decision-makers and civil society in global governance, national public policy, regional cooperation, local planning, and the private sector. We generate and share knowledge that catalyses action, and always take a highly collaborative approach: stakeholder involvement is at the heart of our efforts to build capacity, strengthen institutions, and equip partners for the long term.

Making scientific knowledge accessible is a priority. We publish our own series of open-access reports and briefs, alongside articles in leading academic journals, and work creatively through a range of media to ensure that our research is available to those that need it. We convene seminars and conferences that bring together decision-makers, academics, and practitioners to debate key issues and share knowledge, and engage in and inform policy processes, development action, and business practice worldwide.

We are committed to transparency and believe that full disclosure of our finances and funding builds trust in our work. Sida is our most substantial donor, but we also receive broad support from development agencies, governments, NGOs, universities, businesses, and financial institutions. SEI is: International: SEI is distributed across nine locations around the world, works locally, regionally and globally, and has a diverse international staff. Trusted: both policy-makers and the academic community recognize SEI as an independent and non-partisan institute. Credible: SEI’s research is objective, and supported by a rigorous system of internal and external peer review. Integrated: only joined-up research can solve joined-up problems. SEI places a strong emphasis on making connections across the natural, physical, and social sciences, allowing us to approach sustainability challenges from new angles and offer robust and insightful policy advice.

SEI’s Five-Year Strategy: SEI has been providing knowledge and solutions for sustainability for the past 25 years, a period of dizzying economic, social, and environmental change. Our strategy for 2015–19 builds on our strengths and supports innovation so that SEI can better respond to emerging challenges – and harness opportunities – to contribute to a better future for all. It is based on thorough consultations with our staff, Board, Scientific Advisory Council and external partners. It also builds on SEI’s previous strategy and the experience gained from the past five years of successful development.

The strategy steers SEI’s research direction, policy engagement, and capacity development for the coming five years. It also sets out our goals for communication, our signature tools and information technology, management and finances, and how we learn as an organization and monitor our work. Each of the elements in this strategy feeds into and supports the others, and all of them underpin the outcomes we strive for.

The SEI Board: The SEI Board consists of members appointed by the Swedish Government for a period not exceeding four years.
Kerstin Niblaeus: Chair, Sweden
Andreas Carlgren: Vice-Chair, Sweden
Stephen Lintner, USA
Ingrid Petersson, Sweden
Allan Polack, Denmark
Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Sweden
Teresa Ribera, Spain

Management

SEI’s global management structure consists of three management functions in support of the SEI Executive Director and the SEI Board:
The Executive Team is the principal decision making body for SEI. Its role is to provide overall governance direction, strategic leadership, direction of the work of the institute and monitor and evaluate progress towards meeting the institute’s strategic objectives and key performance requirements as defined in SEI’s long-term strategy and annual work plan of the SEI at a corporate level;
The Management Team is the principal SEI-wide advisory body that supports the Executive Team and Executive Director to plan, implement, control and monitor the development, management and activities of the entire institute. It supports and assists individual Centre Directors and other Directors with strategic and long-term development of each centre or activity area, Research, Policy, Capacity Development, Communication, Finance and HR;
the Centre Directors are responsible for the day-to-day management of each SEI location.

Executive Team
Johan L. Kuylenstierna: Executive Director
Måns Nilsson: Deputy Director and Research Director
Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna: Policy Director
Åsa Gerger Swartling: Capacity Development Director
Tom Gill: Acting Communications Director
Simon Persson: Financial Director
Maria Westerlund: Human Resources Director

Centre Directors
Louise Karlberg: Director Stockholm Centre
Lisa Emberson: Director York Centre
Ruth Butterfield: Director Oxford Centre
Lauri Tammiste: Director Tallinn Centre
Michael Lazarus: Director US Centre
Niall O'Connor: Director Asia Centre
Stacey Noel: Director Africa Centre:
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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UK Supermarket Property Investments Find Increasing Favour



|| March 13: 2017 || ά. After a period, in which the UK supermarket property investment market reflected the problems of the sector’s major operators, it has now recovered some ground and is proving increasingly popular with investors. The latest Colliers International and MSCI UK Supermarket Investment Report, says that despite the events of last year, which muted property investment activity generally, around £01.1bn of supermarket assets were traded in 2016, a very similar level year-on-year.

Colliers’ Head of Retail Capital Markets, Mr James Watson, comments, “In an uncertain world, long-dated income from relatively sound covenants once again looks increasingly attractive to investors. The main structural concern about the current market is supply. Without substantial development programmes and an absence of sale & leasebacks, it will become increasingly difficult to source the best supermarket assets”. Sale and leasebacks by the Big Four operators, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda, used to be a major source of asset supply to the market.

However, 2016 saw no sale & leaseback activity for the first time since the early 2000s. With operators generally fighting to bring costs under control, it did not make sense to further expose themselves to factors such as inflation over which they have no control. In contrast, Tesco has become a net buyer of stores as it continues to exercise ‘buy back’ options to mitigate its exposure to property cost. It is estimated that Tesco has spent around £450m on store acquisitions in the past 18 months.

Mr James Watson says, “Taking full control of these assets leaves Tesco free to ‘reboot’ the stores as they wish and align them with their ongoing strategy.” The discount supermarket operators led by Aldi and Lidl have been major disruptors in the sector but there is now some evidence that their extraordinary growth curve is slowing. Mr Watson says,  “In 2014, new Aldi store openings only contributed around 27% to total sales growth, but this figure had risen 83% in 2016. However, if the contribution of new stores is stripped out, year-on-year sales growth for the chain’s existing stores in 2015-2016 falls to less than 02%.

This slowdown in growth, combined with greater challenges in securing new sites means market share gains for the discounters may begin to plateau. We don’t expect combined discounter market share to exceed 14% in five years’ time.” The supermarket sector’s property investment market continues to have a definite two-tier structure in terms of yield profile. The average yield for prime assets has remained relatively unmoved at around 04.5% for conventional inflation-linked rent review, long leased supermarkets, while secondary asset yields are around 05.75%-06.25%.

Colliers expect 2017 to be a more positive year for the sector so these may firm slightly over the next 12 months although the prevailing yield gap between prime and secondary assets will remain at around 125 basis points. James Watson comments: “The health of the UK supermarket sector is, of course, relative and with margins still under pressure, unprofitable stores will need to be tackled wherever possible as they are negatively impacting bottom lines which remain strained.

There is a sense though that the sector is entering a calmer period where the major operators have a clearer vision of what their strategy will be. Recent trading figures have been encouraging and all of the Big Four can point to initiatives which improved the bottom line. This is further strengthening the property investment case for the sector.”
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Greensleeves Homes Trust Retail Charity Bond Launched for UK Market


 

|| March 13: 2017 || ά. The Retail Charity Bonds PLC announced the launch of the Greensleeves Homes Trust Retail Charity Bond, offering 04.25% due 2026. Greensleeves Homes Trust, operating as Greensleeves Care, is a registered charity, providing care and accommodation for the elderly, primarily through residential, dementia and nursing care services. The Charity, which supports up to 789 residents across 20 residential, dementia and nursing homes located across England, aims to set and maintain the highest standards of good practice within an environment that encourages residents to thrive as individuals.

The Bonds will be issued by Retail Charity Bonds PLC, a special purpose issuing vehicle that connects charitable organisations seeking unsecured loan finance with investors looking for fixed income bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange. The funds raised will be loaned, via a loan agreement, to Greensleeves Homes Trust. The Bonds are available to wholesale and retail investors and will pay a fixed rate of interest at 04.25% per annum, payable twice yearly on March 30 and September 30, of each year, with the first coupon payment being made on September 30, 2017. The Bonds are expected to mature on March 30, 2026 with a final legal maturity on March 30, 2028.

At any time during the life of the Bond, investors are permitted to sell the Bonds, within market hours and in normal market conditions, on the open market through their stockbroker.

Authorised Offerors: AJ Bell Securities Limited, Alliance Trust Savings Limited, Barclays Bank Plc, Equiniti Financial Services Limited, Interactive Investor Trading Limited, Redmayne-Bentley LLP. Peel Hunt is acting as Lead Manager on the issue.

The Bonds have a minimum initial subscription amount of £500 and are available in multiples of £100 thereafter. The offer period is expected to close on March 24, 2017 at 12:00. The Issuer retains the right to close the offer early, in conjunction with the Lead Manager. The Bonds are expected to be listed on the UK Listing Authority's Official List and admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange's regulated market and through the electronic Order book for Retail Bonds.

This is the fourth Retail Charity Bond to be launched, following successful issues for Golden Lane Housing, Hightown Housing Association and Charities Aid Foundation. Mr Paul Newman, Chief Executive of Greensleeves Care, said, “Greensleeves is a growing charitable organisation and the funds raised will be used to diversify our sources of funding and allow us to invest for the future and in our key aim to expand our provision of high quality care.”

Mr Tim Jones, Chief Executive of Allia, added, “Quality care for the elderly is a significant and growing issue. Allia is delighted to welcome Greensleeves Care as the fourth bond to be issued on the Retail Charity Bonds platform. We will continue to help charitable organisations such as Greensleeves Care to expand their services and further their ambitions by accessing the strong demand from this investor market through Retail Charity Bonds.”

Ms Henrietta Podd, Director, Peel Hunt, said, “Socially responsible investing continues to grow in popularity. Retail Charity Bonds offer opportunities for investors to invest in a diverse group of quality organisations with clear social benefits, as well as offering charities a new source of medium-term, unsecured loan finance.”

For further information, visit the offer website. For enquiries, contact: Greensleeves Care: Anna Kleinman: Tel: +44 (0)20 7793 3150: Bell Pottinger: Victoria Geoghegan: Elizabeth Snow: Tel: +44 (0)20 3772 2582: Peel Hunt LLP: Henrietta Podd: Tel: +44 (0)20 3597 8676

About Greensleeves Care: Greensleeves Homes Trust, operating as Greensleeves Care, is a registered charity in England and Wales, offering care services across the UK. Operating independently since 1997, Greensleeves Homes Trust emerged from the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service. Greensleeves Care is a not-for-profit organisation that operates care homes across the UK. The organisation has grown to support 789 residents offering residential, dementia, nursing, respite and end of life care. Greensleeves Care provides first-class quality care, adhering to the values of respect, openness and responsibility, with a dedicated and highly skilled staff and management team.  With 20 care homes, including two nursing homes across the Midlands, South and East of England, each home is run by Care Quality Commission:CQC registered managers.

Dedicated and highly skilled staff are committed to providing residential, dementia, and nursing care, comfort and security to all residents and their families. Greensleeves Care has a sustainable business model that delivers growth and social value resulting in award-winning care. Greensleeves Care has a balanced approach to growing its portfolio, based on a mixture of acquisitions, redeveloping the existing estate and managing the development of new homes to ensure operational efficiency. Led by an experienced management team with significant sector experience, Greensleeves Care is committed to its long-term strategy of delivering quality care and nursing services to an increased number of older people.

About Retail Charity Bonds: Retail Charity Bonds is a platform that issues retail eligible bonds for UK charities. It was created by Allia, a UK charity and social investment specialist. Retail Charity Bonds PLC is a public limited company; it was established as a special purpose issuing vehicle but is not itself a charity. It is governed by an independent and experienced board of directors from the financial and charity sectors who are acting on a pro-bono basis.
The platform is also supported by a range of patrons, including: Peel Hunt, Canaccord Genuity, Cabinet Office, Allen and Overy, Bank of New York Mellon, Bell Pottinger, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Big Society Capital, Edentree Investment Management, Linklaters, London Stock Exchange, Prudential Trustee Company Limited, Rathbones and Threadneedle Investments. Other charities to have successfully raised finance through Retail Charity Bonds include Golden Lane Housing, the housing arm of Mencap, Hightown Housing Association and Charities Aid Foundation.

About Peel Hunt: Peel Hunt is an independent corporate broking:advisory house that has highly rated, sector-aligned Research, Sales and Corporate teams, with a current retained corporate client list of over 115 listed companies and a trading platform that makes markets in c.3,500 equity and fixed income products. Peel Hunt ranked 1st with the UK’s largest Fund Managers and received more ‘Top 3’ sector teams than any other broker in the 2016 Thomson Reuters Extel Survey of UK Small and Mid Cap Brokerage Firms. At the influential Starmine Awards, the firm’s research team ascended into the top three for the first time, coming in second between Goldman Sachs, 1st and Bank of America, 3rd, Thomson Reuters Analyst Awards. Peel Hunt’s Debt Capital Markets is part of a collaboration with debt advisory, risk and hedging specialists JC Rathbone Associates.

About the bonds: The bonds may not be suitable for all investors. Investors should ensure they fully understand the risks and seek independent financial advice. Investors should note that the market price of the bonds can rise and fall during the life of the investment and the price of the bonds could fall below the issue price of £100. In the event that Retail Charity Bonds PLC or Greensleeves Homes Trust defaults, becomes insolvent or goes out of business, investors may lose some or all of their investment.

Important Legal Notification: The information contained in the news, relates to  the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements. The information contained herein DOES NOT  relate to the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, the Republic of Ireland or in any other jurisdiction, where it is unlawful to distribute this document. The bonds referred to below may only be sold in Jersey in compliance with the provisions of the Control of Borrowing Jersey Order 1958 and the Financial Services Jersey Law 1998, as amended. ω.

Please, Note: The Humanion Does Not Give Investment Advice

The Humanion does not offer investment advice. Investment of any kind has risks as the value of investment may go up as well as down and, most importantly, past performance of a particular 'fund':any 'fund' is not a guarantee of similar future performance but a guide only. It is, therefore, paramount to seek to make investment decisions, having acquired enough facts:knowledge about the entity being considered for investment from well established and legitimate sources including relevant professional:financial bodies and government departments:agencies, and having consulted professional investment advice from bona fide, qualified financial advisers. Only than, one is likely to be able to make an informed choice and decision about an investment. The Humanion

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Laser-Solution-Technology That Has Applications for Water Purification, Treatment and Many Other Industrial Systems: A Future Investment

Image: Tampere University of Technology



|| March 12: 2017:
Tampere University of Technology News: Sanna Schildt Writing || ά. What could take hours of manual work with laboratory samples, a laser beam may find in ten seconds. An invention made at Tampere University of Technology:TUT is a future solution for analysing water impurities in industrial applications and at water treatment plants, for example. Several fields of industry use water in their processes. In order for everything to work as it should and to have clean discharge water, it is important to analyse water impurities as frequently as possible. At the moment, detailed measurements from samples are taken manually in laboratories. Therefore, industry has a clear demand for better and faster methods. “Analysing water impurities with a laser is a project that set off based on an explicit need and upon the mining industry’s initiative.”

Associate Professor Juha Toivonen from TUT’s Department of Physics and the head of a research group for applied optics relates. Research targets of the research group for applied optics: laser-based gas content measurements and related applications in combustion technology; element specification of water impurities; optical perception and imaging of ionising radiation; laser radar, i.e. LIDAR methods and application of fluorescent nanoclusters in polymer films. This newly invented method was developed by Samu Järvinen, a doctoral student at the Department of Physics, through collaboration between the Optics and Aerosol Physics laboratories. Järvinen’s doctoral dissertation will be examined this spring. The method involves taking a drop of water as a small specimen for the measurement device and then levitating the droplet in an electric field.

As the droplet dries out, the relative impurity levels in the specimen increase, facilitating measurement. The laser scatters the impurities into atoms and measures the levels. “The measurement method combines optics and aerosol studies. Being an optics researcher, atomization with a laser was the most fascinating aspect for me. The biggest challenge was learning to levitate the droplet. To learn it, we obtained support from the University of Bristol,” Samu Järvinen explains.

There are many areas, in which accurate information on water impurities is required. “The mining, metal, paper and chemicals industries. Oil refining, environmental control and waterworks.” Järvinen lists. With industrial waters, it is possible to measure secondary aspects, such as opacity, conductivity and pH levels with a high level of automation, but more detailed impurity results have thus far required laboratory tests. Therefore, process adjustment has been very slow.

Samu Järvinen’s measurement method could replace laboratory tests, at least for the most part. “Today, perhaps one-two tests are taken each day and the results are often only available on the following day. With laser measurement available, there would be a far less frequent need for manual analyses, perhaps only once or twice a week. The equipment would manage all intermediate-phase measurements, every ten seconds, around the clock.” Toivonen explains.

At water treatment plants, for example, a sulphate solution is currently used for phosphorus removal based on the average measurement to ensure that the water has been purified. “A higher level of detail with the water contents enables faster and more accurate reactions, however.” Toivonen continues.

“Not everyone around the world is as lucky with clean drinking water as we are here in Finland. This equipment could be used as an alarm system for dangerous water impurities elsewhere in the world. There are many possible applications for this, and we do not even comprehend the full potential yet.” Järvinen notes.

Samu Järvinen analysed the potential of his idea in a commercialisation project that came to an end this autumn. The project involved discussions with roughly 20 companies. Many were interested. The researchers feel confident that the developed method can be turned into a functional commercial product.

“The methods we applied, such as the water droplet levitation and the content measurement of chemical elements, have already been tried and tested in other contexts and found highly functional. The same laser that measures element contents is used in the Mars Exploration Rover, for example. In other words, what we have done now is a new combination of a couple of previous inventions. We have a long way to go before we have a commercially available product in our hands, however.” Juha Toivonen says.

One patent application is already pending. The goal is to have the invention on the market in a few years. “I will first have to finish my dissertation project this spring, and then we will pay a few visits to startup investors.” Samu Järvinen comments.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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So What is the Business Case, Canada: Well, Tell You in Guatemala Next Year: What About the London Southbank: They Went Home with Dublin at Half Past Three

|| March 12: 2017: Satakunta University of Applied Sciences News: Katri Väkiparta and Päivi Sorvi Writing || ά. The Carleton University from Ottawa, Canada has won the week-long Business Case Competition Organised by the Network of International Business Schools with the Concordia University , from Montreal, securing the 2nd place. Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Rauma Campus, hosted the competition, taking place between February and  March 2017.  The Carleton´s team members were Carlos Cantafio, Jacqueline De Sousa, Chongo Bwalyan and Sonia Fendt. Dublin Institute of Technology:DIT and the London South Bank University shared the 3rd place.

After Round three, eight out of the participating 16 teams went out on Wednesday, including the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences team: Jan Joensivu, Van Nguyen, Marcel Uhlig and Uyen Thuc Le with Vesa Rosenqvist as a coach. The competition week with its extremely busy schedule was a real effort for the organisers: while, as the outcomes show, Marina Wikman and Anssi Pajala, of the University, responsible for organising the event, did not do a bad job.


''A hectic, absolutely brilliant, unique feeling.'' describes Marina Wikman, who ensured the logistics and practical arrangements fall into the the right places at the right time. ''A phenomenal, incredible happening that left a good feeling.'' summarised Anssi Pajala, responsible for co-chairing the case and judging arrangements.

The 22nd NIBS Competition was given credit for the ample amount of volunteers, well-functioning arrangements and a relaxed and stylish gala evening. The distinguished gala evening got special thanks for its atmosphere from NIBS Vice Chairman Robin Ritchie.

Next year NIBS finalists will be competing at Universidad del Istmo in Guatemala.
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Images: A Student of Satakunta: They would rather not use their name.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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BioSO4 Ltd: A New Company Arising Out of Research to Seek to Commercialise Biopolymer-Based Water Purification Materials



|| March 11: 2017: University of Eastern Finland News || ά. The University of Eastern Finland has concentrated on adsorbent research in the context of water purification for nearly a decade already. As part of this research, a new spin-off company from the School of Pharmacy, BioSO4 Ltd was created to seek to commercialise biopolymer-based water purification materials and to pilot these solutions in customer processes. The commercialisation process was carried out in a New Knowledge and Business from Research Ideas:TUTL project funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Tekes. Two patent applications, relating to the inventive foreground created in the project have been filed and BioSO4 Ltd has purchased the related commercial rights from the University of Eastern Finland.

At the moment, the company is negotiating its first deals with Finnish customers and the method is expected to have export potential in, for example, the US and Canada. In Finland, sulphate and its removal from various waters, including those of mines, pulp factories and thermal plants, has been a topic of heated discussion in the media. The traditional method of removing sulphate is to use gypsum precipitation, but due to gypsum water solubility, typically 01.5–02 g:l of sulphate remains in the water. Currently, no quick and reliable method for lowering the sulphate concentration of various waters to a level that is in line with the recommendations set for drinking water, 0.25g:l exists.

Project Manager Mr Janne Kankkunen, from the Geological Survey of Finland, Researcher Mr Juha-Matti, Aalto and Professor Jouko Vepsäläinen, from the School of Pharmacy have spent years studying bio-based adsorption materials in order to find a solution to the problem. Their research has led to the creation of a method that uses a compound originated from crayfish shells to remove sulphate from water almost completely.

The method has been successfully tested in various authentic water samples ranging from industrial process waters, containing 10,000 mg:l of sulphate to tap water in the city of Kuopio, eastern Finland, containing 40 mg:l of sulphate. Compared to other methods, a significant advantage of this methods is recyclability, as both the adsorbent and the adsorbed sulphate can be recycled for further use.

The idea for the method was initiated in a project that received spearhead funding from the University of Eastern Finland, after which the invention has been further developed in a New Knowledge and Business from Research Ideas:TUTL project of Tekes. The technical reviews and market analyses carried out during the project showed that there is a demand for bio-based adsorbents.

Mining companies operating in Finland have been actively involved in the project, and the method has been piloted in several mines in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Finland and Savonia University of Applied Sciences. “There is a great demand for various bio-based adsorbent materials also in the field of nutrient removal.” says CEO Mr Tuomo Leppänen of Mayt Ltd, who has been following the establishment of the new company and the commercialisation of the invention closely.

In addition, the university's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Services has played a significant role in the creation of research-driven business. “Tekes funding serves as excellent financing bridge when utilising the university’s excellence in research for the benefit of the Finnish business and industry. A strong commitment by the researchers to the project’s goals and to a wider utilisation of their research expertise is always a critical success factor. The establishment of this new research-driven company is an indication of such commitment.” says Business Development Advisor Mr Matti Höytö from Entrepreneurship and Innovation Services.

He participated in the commercialisation of the project and in the related technology transfer. “BioSO4 Ltd will continue to work closely with the university and Finnish companies alike. In the future, the goal is to commercialise also other bio-based adsorbents developed at the university, together with the university’s other research groups.” says Mr Janne Kankkunen, Chair of the BioSO4 Board of Directors. ω.

For further information, contact: Janne Kankkunen, Chair of the BioSO4 Board of Directors, tel. +358 44 3099322, janne.kankkunen at gtk.fi
Jouko Vepsäläinen, Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Eastern Finland, tel. +358 40 3553256, jouko.vepsalainen at uef.fi
Matti Höytö, Tekes TUTL funding, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Services, University of Eastern Finland, tel. +358 40 3545916, matti.hoyto at uef.fi

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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European Funding Launches Marine-i to Provide Support to Marine Businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Image: University of Exeter


|| March 11: 2017: University of Exeter News || ά. Up to £06.8m of European Regional Development Funding:ERDF has been secured to develop marine technology research, development and innovation activities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Marine-i, a £09.3m collaboration between the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, the Cornwall College Group, Cornwall Marine Network, Cornwall Development Company and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult brings together key infrastructure and expertise to enable the generation of new innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s marine sector, which has been identified as an area of high growth potential.

Marine-i forms part of the recently announced Marine Hub Cornwall sector collaboration, which will bring together all of Cornwall’s marine expertise, helping the region to compete with other key markets globally. Marine Hub Cornwall is a world class centre for marine technology. A collection of physical sites offering the best infrastructure for marine in the UK as well as a world-leading network of thought leaders and research facilities. Marine-i will focus on four interconnected themes: marine energy, marine manufacturing, maritime operations and marine environmental technologies, to stimulate and support business-led and market-driven research and development and innovation to drive productivity and the exploitation of new market opportunities.

The Marine-i team will include the innovation managers and business research fellows from the partners who will provide direct business to business technology innovation support to SMEs, and will act as the conduit to access the wide range of specialist services and facilities that are available within the project. Marine-i will be based at ‘Chi Gallos’, a bespoke office complex at the heart of the Hayle Marine Renewables Business Park, and will also support businesses wishing to access the £03.18m Marine Challenge Fund – a delegated grant scheme that has been specifically designed to drive marine sector research, development and innovation.

Further activities are also planned to encourage and enable businesses to gain access to the region’s key research and development and innovation assets, facilities, knowledge and expertise required to develop new and improved products, improve business processes and downstream applications which will create well paid skilled jobs.

Strengthening the Marine Hub Cornwall offer is the recently enhanced infrastructure at Wave Hub. A European Regional Development Fund investment of £02.1m supported the project which recently completed at the site 16km offshore from the world-class facility based in Hayle. Installation of additional subsea cables makes the Wave Hub site an even more attractive proposition for offshore renewable energy developers to demonstrate and prove their technology. The project attracted £1m of private sector investment.

Project manager Professor Lars Johanning said, “Marine-i will strengthen business innovation and has been set up in direct response to the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly marine roadmap to secure the continued growth of this sector. There is an expectation that as the regional commercial infrastructure grows, the marine sector will grow in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly through smart innovations benefiting from the expertise and skills within the local supply chain and academia. This funding provides a unique opportunity for businesses to enhance expertise and create jobs through collaboration and co-creation”

Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy, said, “I’m really excited about this project, the marine technology sector is very important to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The investments we have already made in Wave Hub and the Hayle Marine Renewables Business Park, make new projects like this one possible. Our unique location as well as the expertise and experience available will make us front runners in the emerging sector and will create well paid jobs for our residents. “
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Iran and Middle East Could Adopt Fully Renewable Electricity Systems

Image: Lappeenranta University of Technology


|| March 09: 2017: Lappeenranta University of Technology News || ά. Iran can transition to a fully renewable electricity system and financially benefit from it by 2030. Researchers at Lappeenranta University of Technology:LUT show that major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and North Africa:MENA region could turn their abundant renewable energy resources into lucrative business opportunities in less than two decades. According to the study, a fully renewable electricity system is roughly 50-60 percent cheaper than other emission-free energy options for the MENA region. For example, new nuclear power costs around 110 euros per megawatt hour. Fossil-CCS option costs around 120 euros per megawatt hour. But the cost of the fully renewable energy electricity is around 60–40 euros per megawatt hour, based on financial and technical assumptions of the year 2030.

The cost of wind and solar electricity would reduce further to 37-55 euros per megawatt hour, if different energy resources were connected with a super grid, that allows the transmission of high volumes of electricity across longer distances. For Iran, the price could go as low as 40-45 euros per megawatt hour. Such low cost shows that the transition of the current fossil-based electricity system towards a fully renewable electricity system can cover all electricity needs in the decades to come. “The low cost renewable electricity system is a driver for growing standards of living, continued economic growth, in particular, also, for energy intensive products and finally, more peace.” emphasises Professor Christian Breyer.

Transforming the electricity system fully to renewables for Iran requires 49 gigawatts of solar photovoltaics, 77 gigawatts of wind power and 21 gigawatts of hydropower. Most of the hydropower already exists but the solar and wind capacities would require new investments. Wind power can be installed in many parts of the country and solar systems in all parts of Iran for an attractive cost.

Both technologies can be easily added to the existing energy infrastructure, which is mainly based on flexible fossil natural gas fired power plants and hydropower.

The scientists also prepared a renewable oil refining scenario, in which fossil fuels are replaced by synthetically produced from carbon dioxide, water and electricity. With this so called power-to-fuel technology, 100% renewable system can still use carbon fuels and chemicals for aviation, materials and medicine.

These are the most difficult sectors to decarbonise because batteries are too heavy for powering airplanes and carbon atom is needed in plastics and various chemicals, such as solvents and medicine.

“The picture that emerges from that study is that the fossil fuel industry can transform its business to meet the COP21 target of a net zero emission energy system. This requires fundamental change in how we think carbon but it could potentially open major new business opportunities.” says Professor Breyer.

The results were published at the 11th International Energy Conference held in Tehran, Iran and presented during COP22 in Marrakech to official representatives of the MENA region.

The study was done as part of the Neo-Carbon Energy research, which is funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Tekes, and is carried out in co-operation with Lappeenranta University of Technology:LUT, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and University of Turku, Finland Futures Research Centre. ω.

Further information: Christian Breyer, Professor, +358 50 443 1929, christian.breyer at lut.fi
Pasi Vainikka, Principal Scientist, +358 40 582 5987, pasi.vainikka at vtt.fi

Publication: The MENA super grid towards 100 renewable energy power supply by 2030: The Role of a 100% Renewable Energy System for the Future of Iran: Integrating Solar PV, Wind Energy, Hydropower and Storage: Renewable Energy-based Synthetic Fuels Export Options for Iran in a Net Zero Emissions World: Simulation on 100% renewable electricity systems in full hourly resolution for an entire year

Neo-Carbon Energy

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The First Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting in London to Discuss Ways of Increasing Commonwealth’s Combined Exports of Goods and Services, Valued at Around £02.7 Trillion: March 10

 

|| March 09: 2017 || ά. A historic meeting, bringing together Trade Ministers from across the Commonwealth will be held in London, hosted by Lord Marland of Odstock, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. The main aim of the meeting is to explore ways of maximising the Commonwealth Factor, which makes it on average 19% cheaper to do business between Commonwealth countries. Convened by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council:CWEIC, the first ever Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting will gather 35 Commonwealth Trade Ministers, including representatives from Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago, along with over 60 business leaders from a variety of sectors, including De La Rue, Standard Chartered, Santander, Jumia, Prudential, Burberry and Fonterra.

Right Honourable Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will co-host the closed door Ministerial Meeting on March 10th at Marlborough House said, “This Commonwealth gathering takes place at a challenging time for world trade. Upheavals currently taking place in the global trade landscape make it more important than ever to look at how we can increase trade by making more of the immense potential and distinctive dynamic arising from our Commonwealth advantage of similar systems of governance, administration and law. Over these two days we are bringing together the ministers and officials responsible for trade in Commonwealth countries, and representatives of business in every continent and ocean, in order to build on this advantage to accelerate development, prosperity, and employment opportunities, by boosting intra-Commonwealth trade.” The Commonwealth Secretariat, the City of London, De la Rue, the Government of Malta and the UK Government are supporting this important event.

Regarding the significance of the Meeting, Lord Marland, Chairman of CWEIC, said, “The Executive Order to pull the USA out of the Trans Pacific Partnership:TPP, alongside the UK’s decision to exit the EU, mean that a trading system group is perhaps more important now than ever before. The level of attendance, both from Ministers and private sector is a testament to the enduring and enabling power of the Commonwealth and will help to focus the agenda in the lead-up to a UK-hosted Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting:CHOGM in Spring 2018 on our shared objectives of increasing growth, creating jobs and ensuring that trade remains as free and fair as possible. The Commonwealth holds a unique position in global trade and the development of an Accord that Commonwealth countries could agree to trade under, would be a significant achievement.”

At present, the 52 Commonwealth members’ combined exports of goods and services are valued at around US$03.4 trillion or £02.7 trillion, about 15 per cent of the world’s total exports. Intra-Commonwealth trade was estimated to stand at US$592 billion or £477 billion in 2013. Trade Ministers will also be urged to define an 'Agenda for Growth' to promote trade, investment and job creation in member countries by maximising opportunities offered by the Commonwealth network including the ‘Commonwealth Factor’ of shared language, legal systems, regulatory frameworks and cultural values makes it on average 19 per cent cheaper to do business between member states; the Commonwealth is home to 02.3 billion citizens, 60 per cent of which are under the age of 30; between 2013 and 2015, Commonwealth countries grew at a combined rate if 04.1 per cent of GDP, compared to 01.8 per cent in the EU and 02.6 per cent in the United States.

The two-day meeting will bring Ministers and private sector leaders together to discuss the future of trade and the role the Commonwealth can play. Six roundtable discussions will explore the following pillars

Financial Services: with pre-existing legal similarities, the Commonwealth has a head start in aligning regulatory approaches to provide maximum value for cross border financial services.

Ease of Doing Business: the Commonwealth Secretariat has shown that if Commonwealth countries could all achieve the same level of trade facilitation efficiency as Singapore or the United Kingdom, then combined GDP gains would be US$502 billion.

Technology and Innovation: this session will focus on supporting start-up entrepreneurs, the importance of investment in science and R&D and the enormous potential for a greater focus on Open Data across the Commonwealth.

Business and Sustainability: a discussion around the opportunities presented by the green economy, the role green finance can play in unlocking these opportunities and the importance of economic empowerment for all sections of society.

Creating an Export Economy: certain Commonwealth countries have the potential to become regional hubs or act as gateways to help companies enter new regions, if they develop world class trade infrastructure. The Commonwealth should make it a priority to create a strong export culture and encourage SME's to take advantage of the Commonwealth Factor

Attracting Investment: studies have shown that Commonwealth members generate 10 per cent more Foreign Direct Investment:FDI between them than the average. Strengthening the rule of law and governance should also be key objectives in developing strong investment promotion strategies.ω.

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How is the Baangladesh Economy Doing: Solid Macroeconomic Performance Set to Continue This Year, with Output Growth to Remain at Current Levels and Inflation Within the Target: But Maintaining Past Growth Performance Will Become Increasingly Challenging: Macroecconomic Policy-Institutional Upgrading Necessary to Support the Country’s Ambition to Reach Middle-Income Status. 

This image, by Sajeeb Ahmed Photography, who has no connection with The Humanion, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license


|| March 09: 2017 || ά. An International Monetary Fund:IMF mission, led by Mr. Brian Aitken, visited Dhaka during February 26-March 09 to hold discussions on the 2017 Article IV Consultation with Baangladesh. The mission met with the Finance Secretary, Baangladesh Bank Governor, Executive Chairman Baangladesh Investment Development Authority, Secretary Bank and Financial Institutions Division, Chairman National Board of Revenue, other senior officials, as well as representatives of the business and banking sectors, labour unions, think tanks and development partners. At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Aitken made the following statement: “Steady monetary policy management and fiscal discipline have delivered the macroeconomic stability, that allowed the economy to benefit from a favourable external demand, high remittances and low commodity prices.

The result has been strong output growth, falling inflation, moderate public debt and a rebuilding of external resilience. This solid macroeconomic performance is set to continue this year, with output growth projected to remain close to current levels and inflation broadly in line with Baangladesh Bank’s target. Looking ahead, maintaining the economy’s past growth performance will become increasingly challenging over the medium term and will require upgrading the macroeconomic policy-making practices and institutions to support the country’s ambition to reach middle-income status. Against this backdrop, the staff team and the authorities discussed policies and reforms to preserve macroeconomic stability and contain risks, maintain competitiveness, build buffers against global uncertainties and shocks, mobilise revenue to fund needed public investment without compromising debt sustainability and build a financial sector that supports a productive use of Baangladesh’s ample savings.

Baangladesh’s investment needs are large and will require stepping up intermediation of the country’s underutilised pool of savings over longer horizons. As commercial banks’ ability to carry out this function will remain limited, policies that develop the country’s capital markets for financing long-term private investment would greatly improve future growth prospects. An important impediment to modernising the financial sector arises from the increasing reliance on high-cost National Savings Certificates:NSCs as a financing vehicle for the government budget, which prevents the development of a deep and liquid market for government securities. The authorities could consider whether there are better targeted and less costly alternatives that achieve the government’s social policy goals without distorting financial markets.

Modernising the tax system will be needed to boost Baangladesh’s low budget revenue and allow room for public investment and social spending to increase to levels consistent with the government’s growth ambitions without compromising fiscal sustainability. Launching the new VAT Law in July 2017 as planned will be central to raising revenue and will have other significant benefits as well. In particular, it will make tax administration more transparent, it will reduce taxpayers’ compliance costs and serve as a key building block for a modern tax system more broadly.

The Baangladesh economy will continue to rely on exports and remittances for growth and remains particularly exposed to the changing external environment. It is, therefore, essential that the country’s foreign exchange reserves buffers, which have been built over the last several years, continue to be maintained at levels adequate to ensure the economy’s resilience.

The IMF stands ready to support the government’s reform efforts through policy advice and capacity building, including on monetary and fiscal policies, financial sector supervision and regulation and macroeconomic statistics.”
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Budget 2017: 86% of the Savings the Treasury Has Made From Tax and Benefit Changes Have Fallen on Women: A Million Working Households Claiming Housing Benefit Because Their Wages Aren’t Enough to Pay the Rent. And There are Three Million Working Families, Who Simply Rely on Tax Credits to Make Ends Meet. This is Modern Britain: This Budget Budget Has Done Nothing to Tackle Low Pay: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn MP


|| March 08: 2017 || ά. Mr Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, replying to the Spring Budget statement in the House of Commons, said, “Mr Deputy Speaker, this was a Budget of utter complacency; about the state of our economy, utter complacency about the crisis facing our public services and complacency about the reality of daily life for millions of people in this country. Entirely out of touch with that reality of life for millions. This morning over one million workers will have woken up not knowing whether they’ll work today, tomorrow or next week. Millions more workers know their next pay packet will not be enough to make ends meet. Millions struggling to pay rent or mortgage; with private renters on average pay nearly half their income in rent.

Yesterday Mr Deputy Speaker, over three thousand people in this country will have queued at food banks to feed themselves and their families. Last night Mr Deputy Speaker, over four thousand people will have slept rough on the streets of this country. And the Chancellor made his boasts about a strong economy but who is reaping the rewards of this economy? For millions it is simply not working. Not working for the NHS, in its worst crisis ever, with funding being cut next year. Not working for our children’s schools, where pupil funding continues to be cut. Not working for our neighbourhoods, which have lost 20,000 police officers, leaving the force in a 'perilous state' in many parts of the country. And not working for our dedicated public servants and the people who work in them, nurses, firefighters, teachers, no pay rise for seven years for them.

And for people with disabilities, who are twice as likely to be living in poverty and that this Government is denying them support that the courts say they need. Four million children living in poverty, which will rise by another million in coming years. Not working for thousands of young people, who can’t get anywhere to live, can’t get on the housing ladder and cannot in many cases leave the parental home. Parents of grown-up children, who would expect to be debt-free by now but are having to bail out student debt or try and help with a deposit to get housing if they can manage it. And a million elderly people and I will come onto this again, denied the social care they need due to the £04.6 billion of cuts made by his government with the support of the Lib Dems over the past five years.

Not for pensioners for whom the security of the Triple Lock remains in doubt. Mr Deputy Speaker, that is the reality facing Britain today. A government cutting services and living standards of the many to fund and continue to fund the tax cuts of the few. There are some people, Mr Deputy Speaker, who are doing very well under the Conservative government.

The chief executives of big companies now paid 180 times more than the average worker and taxed less. The big corporations making higher profits and being taxed less. Speculators making more and being taxed less and wealthiest families, taxed less due to cuts in inheritance tax. All this adds up to £70 billion of tax giveaways over the next five years, to those, who need it the least. This government is the government with the wrong priorities let me give you three examples:

The pain of losing a child is unimaginable for most of us but for those who do, that pain is worsened by the stress of having to pay for their own child’s funeral. I pay tribute to my friend, the member for Swansea East, for her campaign to establish a Children’s Funeral Fund. But far from establishing such a fund, costing just £10 million a year, the Government is instead cutting support for bereaved families, three in four bereaved families would receive less. This is utterly heartless.

Despite generous tax giveaways at the top end, there was no money either for the 160,000 people with disabilities that a court has ruled deserve a higher rate of Personal Independence Payments. These are people with debilitating mental health conditions dementia, schizophrenia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Prime Minister came to office talking about 'fighting burning injustices'. Less than nine months later, she seems to have forgotten all about them because none of them are being fought today.

Low pay holds people back and it’s holding our country back. We’re the only major developed country, in which economic growth has returned yet workers are worse off. Wages are still below the 2008 level. Inflation rising, an urgent need to address the pressures on people’s incomes; massively rising personal debts, rising energy bills and the cost of the weekly shop, transport costs and housing costs all rising.

The Chancellor faced a series of tests as to whether he would stand on the same side of the people or not. He could have raised the minimum wage to the level of the living wage, the real living wage, of £10 per hour as we Labour are pledged to do. It would pay for a pay rise for six million people in this country, 62, percent of whom are women. He failed to do that.

Since 2010, millions of public sector workers have endured a pay freeze and then a pay cap, dedicated public servants who keep our services going have lost over 09 per cent of their real terms wages or will have done by 2020. He could have ended the public sector pay cap, as we are pledged to do and given a pay rise to five million dedicated public servants, who we all rely in day in day out in our hospitals, our health service in general and our local government. He failed to do that. It’s an insult to say they deserve falling living standards, when we all know those in the public sector are working harder than ever covering the jobs of those that have gone.

There is a crisis, too, Mr Deputy Speaker, in job security. Millions of workers don’t know whether or not they’ll be working from day to day, millions of workers who don’t know how many hours they’ll be working this week or next week, just imagine what it’s like to try and plan your life if you don’t know what your income is going to be from one week to the other. Because, Mr Deputy Speaker, that is the reality. Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker, there is nothing funny about being one of 900,000 workers on zero hours contracts, 55 percent of them women.

He could have announced a ban of zero hours contracts, we are pledged to do. Again he failed. But zero hours contracts, Mr Deputy Speaker, are only the tip of the iceberg, of 04.5 million workers in Britain in insecure work, 02.3 million working variable shift patterns, 01.1 million on temporary contracts. We have long argued for a clampdown on bogus self-employment but today the Chancellor seems to have put the burden on self-employed workers instead.

There has to be a something for something deal, so I hope the Chancellor will bring forward extra social security in return? One policy that Labour backs is extending statutory maternity pay to self-employed women, which is likely to cost just £10 million per year. Low pay and insecure work have consequences for us all. Mr Deputy Speaker, in reality we all pay for low pay. There are a million working households, having to claim housing benefit, just get that figure, a million working households, claiming housing benefit because their wages aren’t enough to pay the rent. And there are three million working families, who simply rely on tax credits to make ends meet. This is modern Britain.

The most effective way of boosting wages and increasing job security as all studies show is actually to improve collective bargaining through a trade union. Words that the Chancellor did not use in his speech. But instead the Trade Union Act we have will further shackle unions and perpetuate chronic low pay which actually costs us all a lot of money through in-work benefits. We will promote collective bargaining and repeal the Trade Union Act.

This is a Chancellor and a Government not on the side of the workers, not on the side of taxpayers, who pick up the bill for low pay and insecure work. Mr Deputy Speaker, on International Women’s Day did the Chancellor deliver a budget that works for women? According to House of Commons Library analysis, commissioned by my friend, the member for Rotherham, who is doing a brilliant job speaking up for women from our front benches, 86 per cent of the savings the Treasury has made from tax and benefit changes have fallen on women.

Women’s lives have been made more difficult through successive policies of this Government. Women struggling with more caring responsibilities due to the state of emergency in social care. The WASPI women born in the 1950s, who with little notice are having to face a crisis in retirement, they could not possibly have predicted. 54,000 women a year, who are forced out of their jobs through maternity discrimination . They can’t afford this Government’s extortionate fees to take their employer to a tribunal in search of justice.

Women up and down the country, who will have to wait another 60 years before the gender pay gap is closed. The hundreds, hundreds of women being turned away from domestic violence shelters every year through lack of space or appropriate services or because they’ve simply been closed. Mothers struggling, put under more pressure through cuts to universal credit and to tax credits. And as if it wasn’t bad enough to cut benefits to children, whose only crime is to be born third or fourth in a family, most shamefully, Mr Deputy Speaker, as of next month, women will have to prove their third child is a product of rape, if they wish to qualify for child tax credits for that child.

I pay tribute to my friend, the member for Rotherham and the honourable member for Glasgow Central, for their campaigning on this issue . I hope the Chancellor will reverse this cut. There is, Mr Deputy Speaker, a housing crisis in this country, a crisis of supply and of affordability. Since 2010, house-building has fallen to its lowest rate in peacetime since the 1920s. The building of social homes for rent is at its lowest level for a quarter of a century. Did he empower councils to tackle the housing crisis by allowing them to borrow to build council housing as we are pledged to do? No.

Have they replaced council houses sold under right-to-buy as they promised? No, just one-in-six have been replaced. And was there any commitment to return to councils the £800 million right-to-buy proceeds the Treasury has taken back, which would build twelve thousand homes? No. Did he scrap the unfair bedroom tax as we are pledged to do? No. Did he reverse housing benefit cuts that would take support away from ten thousand young people? Despite opposition from Shelter, Crisis and Centrepoint, which even the honourable member for Enfield Southgate correctly described as 'catastrophic'.

Last week the Institute for Government said there were 'clear warning signs' of the damaging impact of the Government’s cuts on schools, prisons, health and social care. This government has taken a sledgehammer to public services in recent years, the Chancellor now expects praise for patching up a small part of the damage. The Budget didn’t provide the funding necessary now for the crisis in our NHS, which the BMA reckons needs an extra £10 billion.

It didn’t provide the funding necessary to end the state of emergency in social care now, which needs £02 billion a year just to plug the gaps, according to the King’s Fund. That is not met by £02 billion over three years. The money is needed now. More than a million people, mainly older people, desperate for social care still can’t get it. The money ought to be made available now. Because this government ducks really tough choices, like asking corporations to pay a little bit more in tax. Not every local authority can just text Nick and get the deal they want.

And other council services are suffering as well. Our communities are stronger, when we have good libraries, and they are evaluable obviously to children but for the entire community. 67 closed last year because of local government underfunding. 700 Sure Start centres closed because of lack of funding for local authorities. Denying the life chances that a Labour government delivered to them with the opening of Sure Start centres in the 90’s. And 600 youth centres have closed as well.

These painful decisions being taken by councils not because they want to do it, but just because they don’t have enough money even to keep essential services running because of the slashing of their budgets, year on year. And it goes on, it affects our communities and our lives in so many ways. Last year councils proposed to sell-off of school playing fields the equivalent of 500 football pitches. 500 pitches not available for young people to indulge in sport. It’s our duty as a community surely, to ensure all our young people wherever they live have a decent chance to grow up with a library, with a playing field, with a Sure Start centre. It’s not a lot to ask. The Chancellor boasts, Mr Deputy Speaker, of a strong economy but abandoned the targets of the previous Chancellor so let’s give a more realistic context to today’s figures: the deficit that was going to be eradicated in 2015, you’ll remember the 'long term economic plan'. The debt that was going to peak at 80% of GDP and then start falling.

Our economy is not prepared for Brexit. We still have an economy suffering from underinvestment and an over-reliance on consumer spending and wholly unsustainable levels of personal and household debt. Investment must be evenly spread around our country and despite the announcements today, London continues to receive six times as much investment as the North East. And so that’s why Labour is backing a ‘fair funding formula for investment’ so that every area gets it’s fair share of capital spending. What’s been announced today doesn’t achieve that. You can’t build a ‘Northern powerhouse’ or a ‘Midlands Engine’ if investment does not follow the sound-bites.

Our country currently spends 01.7% on Research and Development, which is well below the OECD average. The strongest economies spend over 03%. In the immediate term, and the Chancellor didn’t have much to say about this, he must also focus his attentions on the precarious future of skilled workers jobs at Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port and Luton Ellesmere and at Ford in Bridgend. It would give export businesses more confidence if the government clearly committed to negotiating for tariff- and impediment-free access to the single market and dropped this reckless threat of turning Britain into a tax haven on the shores of Europe.

One of the biggest challenges facing our country, Mr Deputy Speaker, is environmental; it’s climate change. This Government is failing to lead, failing to drive a mission-led industrial strategy as our own Business Select Committee has recommended.

The Chancellor failed to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority. No commitment to establishing a zero carbon standards on new buildings. And unclear about investments in public transport that will definitely reduce pollution. The poor air quality is appalling. It’s killing thousands of people in this country. Its taking away the life chances of many children growing up alongside polluted roads. The good work being done by Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the good work being done by the Welsh Labour Government has rightly recognised this as an ‘urgent public health crisis’, particularly for children. We have to deal with this crises and deal with it urgently.

There cannot be Mr Deputy Speaker, an industrial strategy or productivity gains unless there’s serious investment in skills. Adult skills training cut by 54 per cent, further education budget by 14 per cent the small amounts committed today are long overdue but woefully insufficient. Over the coming years the schools budget is being cut by 08 per cent. Does the Chancellor really want fewer teachers and teaching assistants, even larger classes , shorter school days? Which is it?

I agree with the Prime minister that every child deserves a decent education. Every community deserves decent schools. You do it by working with those communities to provide those schools, not plonking into them selective schools which are not being demanded by those communities. The money announced by the Prime Minister yesterday for new grammar schools is frankly a vanity project. Cancel this gimmick, reject selection and segregation and why not honour their own 2015 manifesto pledge to protect per pupil funding which is clearly not happening.

This is a Budget that lacks ambition for Britain and lacks fairness. It demonstrates again the appalling priorities of this Government, another year of tax breaks for the few, public service cuts for the many. When she took office, the Prime Minister said, 'If you’re one of those families, if you’re just managing, I want to address you directly'.

This Budget did not address them; it failed them. This Budget has done nothing to tackle low pay; nothing to solve the state of emergency that persists for so many people demanding and needing health and social care now and nothing to make a fair economy that truly works for everyone. It’s built on unfairness and it’s built on failure to tackle unfairness in our society.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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ESMO is to Take Over the Organisation of Targeted Anticancer Therapies Congress



|| March 07: 2017 || ά. The European Society for Medical Oncology:ESMO, a leading European organisation for medical oncology, has announced it will take over the organisation of the Targeted Anticancer Therapies Congress series, with the aim of expanding its educational offer and ensure that professionals are kept up to date with the latest drug developments to improve outcomes for cancer patients. Starting in 2018, the TAT Congress, considered the 'home of phase one in oncology', will take place annually in Europe, with next year’s congress organised in March in Paris, France.

“Early drug development in oncology is undergoing a revolution.” said the Scientific Chair of TAT, Professor Jean-Charles Soria of South-Paris University and Chair of the Drug Development Department at Gustave Roussy Cancer Centre in Paris, France. “Phase one trials are no longer the exclusive domain of highly specialised investigators and scientists. They are now a field where academia, industry, clinicians, researchers, regulators and scientists discuss together to speed up the development of new anti-cancer treatment for the benefit of cancer patients.

Safety:toxicity is no longer the only focus of phase one studies. Goals have broadened to include clinical activity:response and biomarker research.” “The role of early-phase trials in oncology drug development has changed dramatically with the advent of precision medicine.” said ESMO President Fortunato Ciardiello.

“ESMO is committed to the organisation of events and educational activities that provide comprehensive updates on the latest developments, be it in clinical practice or in earlier phases of development, as stated in the second pillar of the ESMO 2020 Vision, Specialised Education. It is only natural for ESMO to include such a fundamental event in our educational offer providing an expanded programme as well as a broader experience to attending professionals.” Ciardiello continued.

ESMO takes over the organisation of TAT from the NDDO Education Foundation, which initiated this congress series in 2002. “We are very pleased to see that ESMO recognises the value of TAT and that we are now in the position to pass on this congress series to Europe's leading medical oncology society. We are confident that ESMO will build upon what we have achieved and will enhance the role of TAT in the oncology community.” said Chris Maats, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation.

“TAT offers a top-quality programme, put together by a distinguished international advisory board, covering the most promising new drugs and targets under development in early phase clinical and translational research, as well as drugs close to entering clinical development.” explained Josep Tabernero, ESMO President Elect and member of the TAT 2017 Organising Committee. “If you want to know what your clinical practice is going to be like in five to ten years, this is the meeting to attend. TAT offers a glimpse into the future.”
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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On International Women's Day: Two Opportunities for Two Women Seeking to Start a New Business

Julie Chen: Founder and Director of the Cheeky Panda. Image: The Cheeky Panda

|| March 06: 2017 || ά. An award winning entrepreneur, in the name of, Julie Chen, who founded and runs, Essex based business the Cheeky Panda, is looking to help others ‘Be Bold For Change’ this International Women’s Day, March 08 by offering free mentoring to women wanting to start a new businesses. International Women's Day is a global day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality. The theme this year is ‘Be Bold For Change’. Julie Chen, the Director of the award-winning the Cheeky Panda, has a proven track record in international business.

There is little she does not know about starting a successful new venture, having taken an idea for bamboo toilet tissue and made it a reality; a process involving everything from dreaming up a product and getting it made, to crowd-funding and producing a much-admired brand. Knowing what it is like to find success herself after making some bold and successful changes in her life, Julie now wants to help other women, who want to start a business of their own. Julie, who is originally from China, but now lives in Shenfield in Essex, explains, “I was born in a small town in China, moved to a big city for university, then went on to study in Japan and later University of Glasgow for my Masters, so I understand what it is like to make bold but successful choices, having also made a success of a number of businesses I have worked with.

“For me, this has all culminated in running the award-winning the Cheeky Panda. I now feel with all the skills I have, it is a good time to give something back to other women by offering my support as a mentor.” Julie is offering her mentoring to two women, who are looking to start new businesses in 2017. One of the women should be based in Essex, while the other can be anywhere in the UK. Julie is an expert in global sourcing, import and export and she has years of experience sourcing goods from and working with manufacturers in the Far East. She is also experienced in branding, crowd-funding, digital marketing, social media and search engine optimisation.

Julie, who is fluent in four languages, said, “Running the Cheeky Panda, I am passionate about sustainable business, so I would be particularly, keen to hear from anyone, who wants help starting a green business. I would also be interested to hear from anyone with an international background like me, although I am delighted to consider all applications and will pick the two, I think best meet all the skills I have so I can support them to my best ability.”

The Cheeky Panda, winner of Essex’s Big Business Boost Award 2016, makes three-ply bamboo toilet paper. This means rather than using traditional toilet paper or recycled toilet tissues, which use de-inking chemicals that can cause potential health hazards, people in the UK will now be able to purchase toilet paper which is made from 100% virgin bamboo pulp that is 100% tree free.

One of the great things about bamboo is the fact it is a grass and unlike trees, which take 30 years to grow, bamboo harvests every year. It has many skin-friendly benefits, including being super-absorbent, hypoallergenic and naturally anti-bacterial, great for toilet paper use. Julie Chen also said, “We all want to make better choices. Sometimes we are just simply not bold enough to make a change. By offering a free mentoring service to women, who wants to start their own businesses, I’m hoping to encourage more people to make better choices for their lives and for our planet.’’

Women interested in having Julie as their mentor are asked to go to the contact page on the Cheeky Panda website and enter their name and contact details, including email, phone number and address and explain in 200 words or less what the business is that they would like to start or have recently started in 2017.

About the Cheeky Panda: Created by British entrepreneurs Chris Forbes and Julie Chen, the Cheeky Panda makes three-ply bamboo toilet paper. Apart from being 100% FSC certified, another added benefit of the Cheeky Panda product is that it has 65% less carbon than traditional toilet tissue and 31% less carbon than recycled tissue. It has achieved public support through crowd-funder, 127.9% overfunded and an angel investor. The Cheeky Panda has also designed and created a range of other tissue products. Other products in the range such as facial tissues and napkins can be purchased very soon.  As well as gaining the support of the public and an angel investor, the Cheeky Panda has been nominated for six awards in 2016, including the National Business Award and also won the support of the LOCASE programme. Low Carbon Across the South East:LoCASE is an EU funded project set up to help businesses tackle and adapt to climate change. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Mining Procurement Trends in Namibia and South Africa

Front row from left: Dr Harmony Musiyarira, Head: Department of Mining and Process Engineering; Veston Malango, CEO: Namibia Chamber of Mines;
Emily Nickerson, Program Manager: Mining Shared Value; Jeff Geipel, Founder: Mining Shared Value; Prof Errol Tyobeka: Special Adviser to the VC;
and Prof Godfrey Dzinomwa, MD: Paasol Resources pictured at the launch. Image: Namibia University of Science and Technology
 

|| March 06: 2017: Namibia University of Science and Technology News || ά. A research report comparing Namibian and South African mining company procurement strategies and their regulatory environments was launched last week. The research was conducted by the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute:CIRDI and the Mining Shared Value:MSV venture of Engineers Without Borders. The launch was hosted at Namibia University of Science and Technology:NUST due to the long standing relationship that the Department of Mining and Process Engineering has with Professor Dirk van Zyl from the Norman Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Colombia in Canada.

Professor Van Zyl has worked closely with the CIRDI and MSV.  One of the main findings of the report is that there are significant challenges in both countries’ efforts to increase local procurement in mining and there are a number of opportunities for the governments to support current and future approaches in this area. In the case of South Africa, the recommendations offer opportunities to support existing regulations and ease some of the tensions surrounding them. The report recommends that similar interventions should be considered as options in Namibia for any future introduction of legislated requirements for mining local procurement. In addition, the report states that companies are keen on local procurement as this drives host communities to support their mining operations.

However, while all the companies expressed a desire to purchase as many goods and services as possible, concerns over the ability of local suppliers to meet their needs were widespread. One of the authors of the report, Emily Nickerson, from MSV, highlighted other key findings and potential future studies.

“This study provides policy insights for both South Africa and Namibia, as well as for policy makers across the continent. However, there remains a large gap in empirical research on the effects of regulations, requiring local procurement and this study in many ways is only a start.” remarked Nickerson.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Tjama Tjivikua’s speech was read at the event by Professor Errol Tyobeka, his Special Adviser. “While the economic relationship between South Africa and Namibia is significant, the South African mining industry is relatively bigger than that of Namibia.

 Nonetheless, it is important that Namibia, also, draws relevant lessons on how best certain regulations can be crafted and modified in the interest of increasing local procurement. It is possible to learn from the mistakes that other countries have made and build on the successes that we have registered to date.” he said. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Circular Economy: Copying the Way Oceans Take Water Forever From the Supplying Rivers Yet Neither Ever Losing Any: Or We Can't Change the Laws of Nature, So We Must Live by Them

Image: Lappeenranta University of Technology


|| March 05: 2017: Lappeenranta University of Technology Finland News || ά. The circular economy is much more than just recycling produced waste. It is an economical model, in which materials and raw materials circulate until they no longer have any value left. This minimises waste production, reduces the need for virgin raw materials and creates new jobs. At Lappeenranta University of Technology:LUT, the circular economy is being researched from a technological, economic and social viewpoint.

The phenomenon is not new: newspapers and paper have been collected for reuse in Finland for over 70 years and old clothes have traditionally been used as rags or as material for making rugs. What is new is the fact that the circular economy has become a necessity for our planet. ''The basic idea behind the circular economy concept is that we only have access to the natural resources provided by our planet and the Sun. In other words, the Earth is a closed system, where we have to manage with the resources we have. We can't change the laws of nature, so we must live by them.'' says Professor Lassi Linnanen, the head of the Sustainability Science Unit at LUT.

With our current consumption habits, we use up a year's worth of natural resources by August, and the rest of the year is spent living on resources borrowed from future generations. This means that we consume the equivalent of about 01.5 Earths every year. States and municipalities are living on debt, and the wellbeing of people is reducing due to increasing pressure from various directions.

Reasons behind these phenomena include population growth, the instability of the economy, urbanisation, and even digitalisation. Digitalisation facilitates various tasks, such as communication and consumption, and makes them less expensive. However, it can also increase unemployment by replacing manual labour and reduce wellbeing, for instance through information overload.

''The sustainable use of natural resources is only one aspect of this challenge. We need new techniques, methods and understanding to break the cycle of incurring a triple debt: consuming financial, social and natural capital simultaneously.'' Linnanen states.

Social capital refers to social relationships and reciprocity, shared values and rules, and trust in others. It is directly linked to health and wellbeing: people who actively participate in events and trust other people and society are healthier than people who participate less and have a lower level of trust in other people. The social capital of people who are less active does not grow.

In order to stop incurring a triple debt, we should simultaneously save natural resources and money and improve wellbeing. As the global population grows and different raw materials become scarce, people will have to reduce their consumption of natural resources and energy. Keeping nature and human activities in balance is key to ensuring that current and future generations will have the opportunity to pursue a good life.

In order to bring our consumption to a sustainable level, the use of raw materials per person must be reduced to a sufficient extent. ''Consumer demand should focus on products that promote the effective use of raw materials. When paying customers want specific types of products, they create a demand to which suppliers react. It's better to buy a lasting duvet cover than one that tears after three washes.''

In a circular economy the entire life cycle of a product, including environmental matters, emissions, recycling, ­reuse and remanufacturing, is taken into account since very early on in the design and development process. Products are made of recycled materials and they are long-lasting and environmentally friendly. When products reach the end of their life cycle, the materials are recycled, sorted and turned into new recycled materials.

In the best case scenario, a circular economy can create new jobs related to the recycling, collecting and sorting of materials and the repairing, servicing and remanufacturing of products. A model like this requires more workforce than a model where products are manufactured from virgin raw materials in a steady stream and sent to landfills once their life cycle comes to an end. As the employment rate increases, improvements can also be seen in the economy and the wellbeing of people.

From the viewpoint of ordinary citizens, a circular economy means that products are repaired and serviced, borrowed and rented, and purchased with others after careful consideration. Instead of buying disposable products, consumers invest in quality and good materials. Energy is produced using renewable energy sources and used in an efficient manner, for instance by reducing the consumption of electricity or using electricity at a time when it is less expensive.

Renewable energy includes solar power, wind power and hydropower and can even be produced in your own backyard: in the future, large plants will be complemented by local energy produced using small solar and wind power plants. Anyone can produce their own electricity, store it or sell the excess electricity to the grid through various cloud computing services. Consumers will no longer be seen as purchasers but as users using various products and services.

All stages of the circular economy model are user-oriented and based on saving natural resources. This will enable economic growth and better employment rates, but require a complete reform of current operating models: instead of streamlining production and work, things will have to be done in an entirely new fashion.

''It's important to keep in mind that the circular economy is an essential tool but it won't solve all our problems. We don't currently have all the competence and technology that will be needed in the future, so there is still a lot of work to be done. The development of new solutions will require letting go of old models. We have to have the courage to adjust the benefits we have achieved in order to be able to provide everyone with appropriate living conditions.'' Linnanen says.
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Female High Fliers Accelerator 2017 Open for Applications: Deadline March 21

Image: Dublin City University


|| March 05: 2017: Dublin City University News || ά. The Dublin City University Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs is calling on female-led start-ups to apply for its prestigious Female High Fliers Accelerator Programme 2017. Since its launch in 2014, over 40 female entrepreneurs have participated in the programme and have continued to achieve impressive results; 35 have received investments totalling €07 million, businesses have continued to expand, creating 115 jobs and 19 are now exporting their products and:or services.

The application process is open to female founders or co-founders of Irish or international innovative start-ups less than five years old. All companies must be female-led and participants will be selected, based on their growth and export potential as well as business idea and team strength. The closing date for applications is Tuesday, March 21. Supported by Enterprise Ireland, the 13-week accelerator programme aims to address challenges, facing female entrepreneurs across all industries and support Ireland’s top early stage start-ups in fast tracking their business to achieve scale.

Ten selected participants will gain access to a peer start-up founder network and to the DCU Ryan Academy network of experienced entrepreneurs and investors. They will take part in weekly tailored workshops delivered by a team that understands the particular needs and challenges facing their individual business. They will also be challenged on their business plans and be given an opportunity to pitch to potential investors.

Niamh Collins, FHF Programme Director and DCU Ryan Academy COO, commented, “The Female High Fliers programme has a proven track record in supporting businesses achieve objectives and deliver tangible results. We are extremely proud to have been part of this journey with some of Ireland’s leading female entrepreneurs and we look forward to working closely with those selected this year. I would encourage any female founder or co-founder of an innovative start-up that has international growth potential and ambition to get in touch.”
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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No, Think Tank: Thank You Very Much: New Economics Where It is a Work of the People as One-Energy-Unit-of-Human-Ecology: Work of the People, by the People for the People: The Humanion Presents the New Economics Foundation

These are some of the individual humanity that form the New Economics Foundation. Images: The Economics Foundation.


|| March 04: 2017 || ά. The Humanion presents the New Economics Foundation, that declares that it is not a 'factory' of 'economists' and that economics is about nothing but the living, breathing humanity and it is not something, given to them, but rather, it is something, that should belong to them, because they are the ones that create, shape, build, run, manage, structure, work for, creates, nurture and foster it. This is the New Economics Foundation's Declaration of Existence, as to why they are here and why they do what they do. Therefore, in their own words, here is The New Economics Foundation: Building a new economy where people really take control: Our Agenda for Change: There has never been a greater need for a new economy or a more important moment to act than right now, because a storm that has been gathering for decades is firmly upon us.

Millions of people feel they have lost control over their lives and are now being left behind by changes in the economy, technology and climate, even while being promised a parody of control that threatens to make matters worse. Yet, in the midst of all this upheaval, a surge of energy is being generated that can crack open new possibilities for change now, not at some distant point in the future. The New Economics Foundation exists to drive this change and help give people the tools they need to take real control. And why, We Reject the Old Model of Think Tanks: We reject the old model of think tanks. We know change does not begin in the corridors of power. And the summit of our ambition is bigger than solely influencing legislation or hoping to get included in a political party’s manifesto.

Instead, the New Economics Foundation exists to drive this change and give people the tools they need to take real control. We are rooted outside the traditional boundaries of politics. We care most about people’s everyday experience and we will work with communities of all kinds to help them take control.
And we will offer an agenda for people to take more control over the decisions and resources that affect their lives today and a plan for how we can all begin to change the whole system tomorrow.

In an era where people must co-operate to survive, we will always seek to overcome what divides us, campaigning against racism and xenophobia, never shutting ourselves off from the world or turn our backs on those different from ourselves. We will forge new partnerships with institutions with real power ranging from devolved government and city mayors, business and trade unions, communities, campaigns and movements.

Ours is an Agenda for Control Today: To Change the System Tomorrow

We believe change begins when people recognise that the spiralling chaos and insecurity of daily life is caused by concentrations of power and ownership – whether old or new – operating increasingly beyond their control. We believe change happens when people are able to seize opportunities to take control over what matters most, not wait for it to be done to or for them.

We believe change succeeds when people take control over their own future in everyone’s interests to improve the place in which they live and shape even the most powerful institutions. In short, ours is an agenda for people to take more control today, so that we can change the whole system tomorrow.

The Chief Executive of the New Economics is Mr Marc Stears and Aniol Esteban, Programme Director, Anna Coote, Principal Fellow, Christine Berry, Principal Director, Policy and Government, Daniel Vockins, Principal Director, Campaigns and Movements, Rachel Laurence, Principal Director, Communities and Localities, Will Brett, Director of News and Media and Aniol Esteban, Programme Director.

Alice Martin, Subject Lead, Housing and Work, Annie Quick, Subject Lead, Inequality and Wellbeing, David Powell, Subject Lead, Environment, Josh Ryan-Collins, Senior Economist, Finance and Economy, Ross Haig, Head of Communications, Digital and Brand, Sam Read, Fundraising Manager, Sarah Lyall, Subject Lead, Social Policy, Fernanda Balata, Project Lead, Coastal and Marine Environment

Flavia Moller, Office and Admin Manager, Frances Legg, Media Officer, Gabriel Bristow, Assistant Researcher, George Woods, Head of Organising, Giorgos Galanis, Senior Research Economist, Griffin Carpenter, Economic Modeller, Hanna Wheatley, Assistant Researcher, Laurie Macfarlane, Economist, Lois Fiander, HR Manager, Lucie Stephens, Head of Co-production, Olivier Vardakoulias, Senior Economist, Richard Kleinjans, Assistant Researcher, Stephen Devlin, Senior Economist,

The Board of Trustees: David McCoy, Fiona Weir, Gurnek Bains, Ian Christie, Jeremy Till, Jules Peck, Margaret Gardner, Mike Tuffrey, Teasurer, Rosie Rogers, Rukayah Sarumi, Tess Gill, Chair.

And Where Do the Funds Come From: Tansparency is fundamental to democracy and we believe that all organisations trying to influence policy should be open about how they are funded. The next time you see us on TV you can be sure that our opinions are not pushing a hidden agenda. The New Economics Foundation is proud to be independent of political parties and special interests. We are a registered charity and rely on a broad cross section of individuals, charities, companies and public sector funders to undertake our work.

We are delighted to thank our major funders, listed below. We are also very grateful to all of you, too numerous to name, who give generously each month or have donated to one of our appeals. Together we are a powerful movement for change.

NEF’s total income for 2013-14 was £3,556,076. This was derived from three sources: major grants and donations, listed here, individual supporters and donors and earned income. We earn income through consultancy services in impact evaluation and organisational development for charities, the public sector and businesses, much of it through NEF Consulting. These contracts do not affect our research and advocacy agenda. Full financial information is available in our Annual Report and Accounts.

Name Amount in Pound Sterling

Oak Foundation 416,982
The Hadley Trust 200,074
Sciencewise and the Cabinet Office 180,000
Network for Social Change 165,610
Adessium Foundation 127,060
The VELUX Foundations 115,158
European Commission – FP7 113,590
AIM Foundation 110,000
European Commission–Interreg 82,203
Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister 67,368
The Waterloo Foundation 52,000
Stichting DOEN 48,545
Arts Council England 44,955
The Tudor Trust 40,000
The Nationwide Foundation 37,667
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation 31,700
John Ellerman Foundation 30,000
Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust 25,000
Kestrelman Trust 25,000
The Roddick Foundation 25,000
Tinsley Charitable Trust 25,000
HACAN East 20,000
R H Southern Trust 20,000
People’s Health Trust 20,000
The Connectus Kommonia Charitable Trust 17,300
The Tedworth Charitable Trust 15,000
Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network 15,000
Nesta and the Cabinet Office 14,090
Trust for London 11,500
BScope 11,225
Bielenberg Family Foundation 11,225
Oxfam GB 10,000
Roger de Freitas 10,000
Everyone at Lots Road Auctions 10,000
The Van Neste Foundation 10,000
Walton on Thames Charity 10,000
Anne Robbins 9,142
Barrow Cadbury Trust 7,250
City Bridge Trust 7,000
Joseph Rowntree Foundation 5,100
Sudhakar Ram 5,000
Sherwood Forest Fund 5,000

And, people both as individuals and as organisations, who want to support this organisation's work, can do so by donating to their funds. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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So, What Have You Been Doing for the Last Two Centuries, Johnson Matthey: Well, We Have Built Something That Keeps on Growing with 13,000 Human Beings Determined to Serve Humanity in 30 Countries Through Inspiring Science and Sustainable Innovation: Out of £150 Grew This Tree of Life Through 200 Hundred Years to Tell Us to Seek to Create Something That Keeps on Giving Life to Life

 

|| March 03: 2017 || ά. Johnson Matthey, one of the longest-trading businesses in the FTSE 100 Index, celebrates its 200th birthday this year. Now one of the global leaders in science and technology that makes the world cleaner and healthier, the company was founded in London by Percival Norton Johnson in 1817 as a gold assaying business. In the same year, the first bicycle was built, the states of Mississippi and Alabama were created and the fifth President of the United States was sworn in. In the UK, George III was King, Lord Liverpool was Prime Minister, the first Waterloo Bridge was completed and it was three years before Charles Darwin set sail on HMS Beagle to hatch his theory of evolution. In China it was the midpoint of the Qing Dynasty, the tea trade experienced a surge and in South East Asia, it was two years before the founding of modern Singapore.

Two hundred years later, the company Percival Norton Johnson founded is global with operations on all continents and annual sales of more than £03 billion. Over 90% of the company’s sales come from technologies that have an explicit environmental, health or sustainability benefit. Today the company employs 13,000 people in 30 countries worldwide. One pound in every twenty generated is reinvested in research and development. Last year alone, Johnson Matthey invested £188 million in research and development projects around the globe. Starting his business at the age of 25 with just £150 of capital, Percival Norton Johnson established himself in the City of London as an ‘Assayer and Practical Mineralogist’.

His pioneering work in assaying, determining precious metal content and refining precious metals quickly established Johnson’s reputation for the quality and accuracy of his work. As Johnson’s reputation grew, his business flourished. George Matthey joined the business as an apprentice in 1838, becoming a partner in 1851. In the early years, Johnson Matthey alloys of platinum and iridium were used to create the benchmark metre and kilogram, as well as standards for imperial measurements.

Johnson Matthey’s science is helping to enhance people’s lives on a global scale. Innovative technologies developed by the company’s scientists are transforming the quality of air around the world. New materials are reshaping battery technology for the automotive industry and advanced technologies are being developed that optimise the efficiency of world scale processes used to produce many important chemical intermediates.

Today, one third of all new cars on the planet are fitted with catalysts manufactured by Johnson Matthey at its facilities around the globe, dramatically reducing vehicle emissions worldwide. The exhaust from cars fitted with Johnson Matthey catalysts is often cleaner than air that enters the engine. At the same time, the company is applying its expertise to create vital products for the pharmaceutical and medical industries, making a difference to the health and wellbeing of many people around the world.

Johnson Matthey has always had science and technology at its core. Through the constant application of new ideas and new processes, the company has built an organisation that has sustained 200 years of growth and helped create a sustainable future for our planet. The steely determination of Johnson Matthey employees over many generations has made a positive contribution to the company, its shareholders and the world at large.

Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey said, “This is a very special year for all of us at Johnson Matthey as we celebrate our 200th anniversary. This extraordinary achievement belongs to my colleagues worldwide and to our predecessors. For two centuries Johnson Matthey has been at the forefront of inspiring science.

Much of the important work that we do is not visible to the naked eye but the impact of our science is global and profound. This year we renew our mission to make the world a cleaner and healthier place for everyone”.

Johnson Matthey in the Past

Percival Norton Johnson established his assaying company in London in 1817 aged 25 with just £150 of capital, equivalent to £11,500 today. George III was on the throne, Lord Liverpool was the Prime Minister and it was a full three years before Charles Darwin set sail on HMS Beagle.
In 1838 George Matthey joined Percival Norton Johnson’s company as an apprentice at the age of thirteen.
George Matthey played a significant role in the development of the standard metre and kilogram as well as the standards for imperial measurements, based on his work in the creation of platinum / iridium alloys.
Johnson Matthey began producing autocatalysts in 1974, and since then, these products have prevented millions of tonnes of pollutants from entering the air.

Johnson Matthey in the World Today

Johnson Matthey is continuing to increase the amount that it invests in research and development, now up to £188 million a year.
Johnson Matthey employs 13,000 people around the world, with 13% involved in cutting-edge RD work.
More than 90% of Johnson Matthey’ sales come from products that have a direct environmental, health or sustainability benefit. They make the world cleaner, healthier and more efficient and conserve the planet’s valuable resources.
Around 60% of Johnson Matthey’s sales come from products that improve air quality by reducing transport emissions.
Johnson Matthey is the world’s largest recycler of platinum and platinum group metals.
Johnson Matthey’s eXovation initiative invites people to send in their ideas for new products and processes that JM will help develop.

Johnson Matthey Applications Past and Present

Johnson Matthey technology was integral to the Apollo and Space Shuttle programmes’ fuel cell systems.
Johnson Matthey supplies around a third of all the autocatalysts fitted in new cars around the world.
Johnson Matthey supplied the thin gold film used to shield astronauts’ helmet visors from the glare of the sun.
Johnson Matthey manufactures precious metal and other material components for medical implants and surgical devices.
Johnson Matthey helped develop and produces platinum based active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for use in anticancer treatments.
Johnson Matthey supplied the tungsten alloy used in the manufacture of officially approved darts.
Johnson Matthey can print working circuits in gold on paper, plastic, glass and other surfaces.
Johnson Matthey technology in food packaging helps to prolong the shelf life of fresh produce.
Bitrex – the world’s bitterest substance – is supplied by Johnson Matthey as a safety product to prevent children from swallowing harmful substances.
In 1982, Bitrex was officially recognised as the world's most bitter substance by the Guinness Book of Records. Bitrex is so strong-tasting that it would be possible to taste a single teaspoon of the substance in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The sculpture popularly known as Eros in Piccadilly Circus is made from aluminium supplied by Johnson Matthey.

About Johnson Matthey: Johnson Matthey is one of the global science leaders that specialises in sustainable technologies. We make it our business to make the world a better place. Our 200-year commitment to innovation keeps the company at the forefront of technological breakthroughs that make life cleaner and healthier for us all. Enabled by our science, manufacturers across many industries apply our innovations to improve the function, performance and safety of their products at a lower environmental cost. Working at an atomic scale, our science has a global impact in areas such as low emission transport, pharmaceuticals and chemical processing. Today more than 13,000 Johnson Matthey professionals work with our network of customers and partners to fulfil our mission of building a cleaner, healthier future for our planet and a growing business for our shareholders.
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Images: Johnson Matthey

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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How Does Nanocellulose Figure in the Bioeconomy

 

|| March 03: 2017: Jarkko Kutvonen Writing || ά. While nanocellulose was discovered already in the late 1970s, it was only in the last ten years that a rise of patent applications related to nanocellulose occurred. As promising as the nanocellulose materials do sound, we are still waiting to see their concrete applications expand to mass production. Nanocellulose is nano-structured material derived from cellulose fibre. Depending on the nanocellulose type, it typically measures between 02-50 nm in width and 100-5,000 nm in length, which compares to 80,000 nm of human hair width and 0.3 nm of a gold atom’s width. Nanocellulose has numerous beneficial qualities, including light weight as well as high strength and absorbency, which means it can improve the functionality and cost-effectiveness of various materials and products.

Nanocellulose is completely renewable, which gives it an advantage over fossil fuel based raw materials. The potential applications for nanocellulose are numerous, including the paper and board, composites, food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical as well as electronics industries. Probably the first application for bacterial nanocellulose, one of the main categories of nanocellulose, was developed back in 1989 when Sony made a limited set of 2,000 units of headphones. Sony apparently tried every conventional material for forming diaphragms but found nothing which would yield the 'broad, deep sound of a room speaker system' and eventually discovered "bio-cellulose”.

The price for the headphones was a staggering $2,499.95. Since then, due to its high purity, bacterial nanocellulose has been used in applications such as wound dressings, face masks and artificial blood vessels. It is produced synthetically from low molecular weight sugars such as glucose by using acetic acid bacteria.

Nanocrystalline cellulose, NCC or CNC, another type of nanocellulose, is produced by strong acid hydrolysis and is already being manufactured in a demo production plant in Canada by CelluForce. However, actual high volume applications are still missing. So far it has been tested in oil drilling applications and used in adhesives. As far as composite use, the problem is how to utilise the full strength potential of the crystals as they easily behave like a filler.

Nanofibrillated cellulose:NFC, the third main category, is produced by mechanical fibrillation and can be used in industrial and food applications as a rheology modifier. It has also potential for use as a barrier material in food packaging as it has better oxygen barrier properties than polyethylene for example.

Wood-derived ingredients, such as xylitol:E967, microcrystalline cellulose:E460, cellulose powder:E460 and carboxymethylcellulose:E466 have been used as food additives already for decades. However, food additive or novel food legislation does not, at least yet, cover nanofibrillated cellulose. It seems likely though, that nanofibrillated cellulose will be added to E460.

The packaging industry is driving ecological and lighter packaging material, favouring low grammage coated boards. With nanofibrillated cellulose, the basis weight of board material can be reduced without compromising the required strength properties. The result is light weight products that consume less raw materials, which, in turn, increases revenue and creates smaller ecological footprint. For this reason, nanofibrillated cellulose is already being produced in industrial scale and has found its way into a high volume application in the liquid packaging board industry.

The above means that the best option is to produce nanofibrillated cellulose at the same site where it is used. For example, in the board application, this integration provides clear advantage in quality and in energy efficiency.

A large scale production of bacterial nanocellulose would require high volumes of sugars, nutrients and fermentation tanks. In addition, production capability is also very low, at 0.4 g:l:h. The solution could lie in genetically-altered algae that would be entirely self-sustaining. They could produce their own food from sunlight and water, and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Nanocelluloses are generally considered expensive and challenging to produce. High energy consumption and complicated chemistry create a hindrance for entry to market, added to the competition from already existing products. This means that it would be crucial to create completely new applications or significant added value compared to existing rivals. In addition, current low oil prices can have a negative effect on novel products that might not be able to compete in the same price league.

The key is to identify the applications where currently available products can be out-performed by nanocellulose. In the optimal case, nanocellulose would solve a problem where existing products have failed. This would also require that customers understand the potential of nanocellulose and create a market-pull for the product.

In the end, it all comes down to bringing together the right specialists with extensive knowhow and tuned mindset for solving these obstacles.
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Jarkko Kutvonen: Process Engineer, Industry Business Group, Northern Europe.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Financial Speculation Led to Unsustainable Global Housing Crisis: UN Special Rapporteur on Housing

 Image: Jessica Mulley


|| March 02: 2017 || ά. ''The world's money markets have priced people out of cities.'' a United Nations independent Special Rapporteur has said, blaming financial markets and speculators for treating housing as a 'place to park capital'. “Housing has lost its social function and is seen instead as a vehicle for wealth and asset growth. It has become a financial commodity, robbed of its connection to community, dignity and the idea of home.” said Leilani Farha, the Special Rapporteur on the right to housing. Her latest report, which Ms. Farha presented today to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, examines how housing has become a repository for global capital, and the impact that commodification has had on affordability of housing and homelessness.

The total value of the global housing market is a staggering $163 trillion, Ms Farha said, the equivalent of more than twice the world's total economy. “The financial world has essentially operated without any consideration of housing as a human right and States are complicit: they have supported financial markets in a way that has made housing unaffordable for most residents.” Ms. Farha said. Her report recommends stronger rights-based frameworks both domestically and internationally to address the problem. It suggests that States must regulate private actors not simply to prevent blatant violations of human rights but also to ensure that their actions are consistent with the obligation to realize housing as a human right for all.

''In London, for instance, developers have not been scared off by the social housing requirement, while in Vancouver, vacant homes face a one per cent tax levy which is intended to contribute to low-income accommodation. In her statement Ms Farha says, “The financial world has essentially operated without any consideration of housing as a human right and States are complicit: they have supported financial markets in a way that has made housing unaffordable for most residents. This is an issue of accountability. Government accountability to international human rights obligations has been replaced with accountability to markets and investors.”

The report recommends stronger rights-based frameworks both domestically and internationally to address the problem. It suggests that States must regulate private actors not simply to prevent blatant violations of human rights but also to ensure that their actions are consistent with the obligation to realize housing as a human right for all.

“The consequences of placing the interests of investors before human rights are stark. Millions of people around the world are being evicted through foreclosures, or being displaced by development, and priced out of cities.” she warned. “Under the Sustainable Development Goals, States are required to ensure adequate housing for all by 2030. If they are serious about that commitment they will have to implement rights-based housing strategies and ensure integration of human rights standards and principles within housing markets and financial institutions.”

Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. A United Nations expert has issued a strong rebuke to the dominance of financial markets in the global housing sector. In her latest report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, addresses the repercussions of a hyper-financialised housing market that pits speculation against human rights and pushes the cost of housing out of reach of most households.

Ms. Leilani Farha, Canada, is the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living and on the right to non-discrimination in this context. She took up her mandate in June 2014. Ms. Farha is the Executive Director of the NGO Canada without Poverty, based in Ottawa, Canada. A lawyer by training, for the past 20 years Ms. Farha has worked both internationally and domestically on the implementation of the right to adequate housing for the most marginalised groups and on the situation of people living in poverty.
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Or Laser Presents Its Orlas Creator for the Dental Market



|| March 02: 2017:
Dieburg: Germany || ά. With the introduction of its new, accessible direct metal additive manufacturing system, Or Laser believes that the dental industry will benefit hugely from the price and performance ratio of the Orlas Creator. The dental industry has long been a beneficiary of three-D printing with polymers for both direct and indirect production applications. More recently, the dental market has also proved to be a prime target for metal additive manufacturing. However, key barriers to adoption of metal AM within this sector is that many of the commercially available hardware systems operate within a large footprint, are not very intuitive or easy to operate and, last but certainly not least, they are too expensive for many dental laboratories to justify bringing in-house.

With the introduction of its new and accessible metal additive manufacturing:AM system, the Orlas Creator Or Laser believes it offers dental laboratories an economical solution to enable its clients to benefit from the advantages of metal AM. Metal AM is a good fit for dental applications for a variety of reasons, most notably, the ability to customise every solution to patient specific requirements, which improves fit, function and comfort for the patient. Further advantages include the fact that dental parts are invariably small and complex, which aligns perfectly with the typically small build envelopes of commercially available metal AM systems; utilising AM simplifies and shortens the production process, ensuring patients are treated in much shorter time frames; the selective laser melting:SLM process minimises material consumption using only the material required for the parts being produced, plus, support structures, where required.

Compared with traditional dental production methodologies such as milling and lost wax casting, the time and cost savings are highly significant. However, metal AM systems that are commercially available today require huge capital costs, which precludes many dental laboratories from considering the technology.

This is one area where Or Laser believes it can make a big difference for many dental companies. The Orlas Creator is a new system, from a trusted industrial hardware manufacturer, which utilises the SLM process and offers economically viable, direct metal AM without compromising speed, productivity or quality. Its unique circular build-platform design in combination with a proprietary, rotation-led precision coater blade ensures high quality production of metal dental parts with a 30% increase in build speeds.

The Orlas Creator, according to Or Laser, is an end to end AM solution that has been designed and developed specifically to break down many of the existing barriers to adoption for dental companies which include complex software, usability issues and long build times. The Orlas Creator is ideally suited for the direct production of bridges, crowns, brackets, copings and implants utilising industry approved dental materials, such as Cobalt Chrome:CrCo. This material exhibits the right combination of hardness, corrosion protection and biocompatibility for dental applications.

Priced competitively, at less than half the cost of comparable machines on the market,
The Orlas Creator is a high-end, comprehensive AM solution that incorporates in-house developed software, innovative hardware and flexible process control combined to ensure that the system is both safe and easy to operate and manage in-house directly by dental companies.

Metal dental parts can be realised in as little as a few hours, produced directly from digital data captured from the patient without the investment of time and money into casting. Part quality is facilitated by a high quality 250-watt fibre laser that provides exceptional beam quality and power stability and ensures optimum and consistent processing conditions in order to produce the specific, customised dental parts.

With a 19-year history in the field of lasers and quality machine production, Or Laser  truly believes that
The Orlas Creator is a step changer for the dental industry. The Orlas Creator was launched at Formnext in Frankfurt in November and is due to start shipping Q2 2017.

About O.R. Lasertechnologie GmbH: Producer of Industrial Laser Systems: Since founding O.R. Lasertechnologie GmbH in September 1997, Yhushua Resnik and Uri Resnik have steadfastly pursued the goal of developing new applications for lasers in materials processing and innovative laser technologies for a wide range of customers in the metal- and plastics-processing industries. The company’s comprehensive portfolio of products is the outcome of unceasing efforts to build on and apply many years of practical experience in the fields of laser welding and cladding. Development and manufacture of laser equipment in Germany for companies that include Siemens, Bosch, Geberit, Freudenberg, and General Electric. Solutions for the automotive and aerospace, mechanical engineering, electrical, medical, plastics, and tool- and mold making industries.
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Managing Directors: Yhushua Resnik and Uri Resnik. O.R. Lasertechnologie GmbH: Dieselstrasse 15: 64807 Dieburg, Germany: Phone: +49:0:6071-209 89 0 Fax: +49:0:6071-209 89 99: email: info at or-laser.de

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Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development 2017 in Thailand: Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing Asia-Pacific: March 29-31

 

|| March 01: 2017 || ά. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific:ESCAP's Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development 2017 is taking place on March 29-31 in Bangkok, Thailand. Pursuant to ESCAP resolution 72:6 committing to the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, Governments and other stakeholders will convene at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development:APFSD 2017 on the theme of 'Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing Asia-Pacific'.

As an inclusive regional intergovernmental forum, APFSD 2017 will engage member States, United Nations and other institutions and major groups and other stakeholders in dialogue on regional perspectives on the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including in depth review of the theme and SDGs one, two, three, five, nine, 14 and 17, the cluster of goals to be discussed by the high-level political forum on sustainable development:HLPF in 2017; and strengthening implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific, including the consideration of a draft regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific, with a view to strengthening implementation efforts.

The event will be preceded by a civil society forum, capacity building workshop for countries submitting Voluntary National Reports to the HLPF, and other events.

The third session of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development:PFSD, 2016 agreed that the Forum may be convened annually as an inclusive intergovernmental forum preparatory to the High-Level Political Forum and that the theme should be consistent with that of the High-Level Political forum. To this end, the theme of the fourth session of the APFSD, 2017 is 'Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing Asia-Pacific'.

APFSD, 2017 is organised around several interconnected themes. The Forum will engage Member States, United Nations and other institutions, major groups and other stakeholders in a dialogue on regional priorities for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific.

It will address scientific and technological innovation for sustainable development and focus attention on poverty eradication whilst fostering prosperity, through a discussion on achieving SDG 1 in the region. The forth session of the APFSD will also consider the draft of a regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific, and define form, function and modalities after 2017.

A number of special sessions will also be held, focusing on Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data, and on the implementation of SDGs: One: End poverty in all its forms everywhere; two: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; Three: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages;

Five: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; nine: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation; and 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Furthermore, Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development is to be considered each year.

Queries may be directed to: escap-apfsd at un.org:
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IMF and the United Kingdom Sign $02.71 Billion Agreement to Support Lending to Low-Income Countries

Overworked and undervalued, women migrant workers in the Thai construction and domestic work sectors are regularly
discriminated against and often lack labour protection. Image: ILO

 

|| February 28: 2017 || ά.  The International Monetary Fund:IMF and the United Kingdom have signed a Billion Agreement to Support Lending to Low-Income Countries under which United Kingdom is to provide up to SDR02 billion in new loan resources for the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust in support of the IMF’s low-income member countries.

The continued support from the United Kingdom is a critical element towards sustaining the Fund’s concessional lending operations over the medium-term. This agreement, made effective on January 23, 2017, constitutes the United Kingdom’s second contribution of lending resources to the PRGT. This puts the United Kingdom among the first seven countries to provide new PRGT loan resources under the current fund-raising campaign to increase resources available for concessional lending.

Following the Executive Board’s endorsement, the Managing Director launched this campaign in November 2015 with a target of raising SDR 11 billion in new bilateral loan resources. ω.

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If Every Soul That Makes up This United Kingdom Finds an Angharad Griffith in Their Soul That Empathises What It's Like to Be Homeless Homelessness Will Become History in a Day: It Requires Each and Every One of Us to Make a Choice That We are Not Going to Accept It

Image: WAPP

|| February 27: 2017: University of South Wales News || ά. University of South Wales student Angharad Griffith opened a pop-up shop in Cardiff this week after teaming up with homelessness charity The Wallich. Angharad, who is in her final year of a Fashion Marketing and Retail Design degree, set up a new not-for-profit brand called Two of a Kind, which will sell street-style clothing in aid of the charity. The first pop-up shop opened on Friday-Saturday, February 17-18 in Duke Street Arcade, Cardiff, selling jumpers to help support The Wallich and its WISE programme.

WISE or Working in Sustainable Employment supports homeless and vulnerable people to move in to employment by delivering training, volunteering opportunities and work placements with the ultimate aim of the participants gaining employment.  The scheme, launched in 2015, has so far supported 29 people, with three people employed by The Wallich. Angharad said, “I hope to use my degree to break down societal norms and use creativity to get people talking about homelessness.

“I've been a volunteering in the charity sector for the last few months and it's opened my eyes to the issue of homelessness within Cardiff. Only a handful of projects support getting homeless people back into work and The Wallich and their WISE project have inspired me to want to be a part of that.

“I believe the next generation should care for each other and I want to express this with the designs that I create. The whole project has been a great experience and I hope Two of a Kind becomes a well-known brand in the future. The possibilities are endless and there’s always someone who needs the support.

I also want to thank promotional products company WAPP for supporting me. They printed some of the clothing for me at cost price and in addition provided free prints, so more of what I raise from garment sales can go to the charity."

Michael Cowley, Fundraising and Partnerships Senior Manager at The Wallich, added, “Angharad’s innovative idea to use her talent and interest in fashion to fundraise for The Wallich is a great example of the different ways you can get involved to support the causes you care about.

Angharad is passionate about helping people to get back into work, and the money raised from her event will make a real difference to the participants of our WISE programme as they begin to re-build their lives.”
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Trade in Information and Communications Technology Goods Fell in 2015 as Industry Juggles Shifts in Demand



|| February 26: 2017: Geneva: Switzerland || ά. For the first time since 2009, the value of global imports of information and communications technology:ICT goods declined in 2015 by 03.6 percent in current prices to just over $02 trillion. Whereas the 2009 decline was connected to the 2008 global economic crisis, the 2015 slump came amid overall economic growth and the appreciation of the US dollar. However, imports of ICT goods declined significantly less than international trade as a whole. This dipped by 10% in 2015, on the back of a manifest fall in commodity prices and currency fluctuations.

Communications equipment was the only category of finished ICT goods that continued to record positive growth. Global imports of such equipment exceeded those of computers and peripherals for a second consecutive year. In developing countries, the trend was even more pronounced. For every dollar's worth of imported computers and peripherals, developing countries spent $01.5 on imported communication equipment. This means that developing countries accounted for as much as 45% of global communications equipment imports in 2015. This share has been steadily increasing since the launch of smartphones in 2007.

The decline in demand for PCs, laptops, tablets, storage units, parts and accessories accounts for as much as 65% of the overall decline in ICT goods imports in 2015. The 2015 decline can also be associated with meager prospects for consumer electronics equipment, such as TV cameras, radio receivers, digital cameras and projectors. Imports of such products had already been waning for the past five years. The 2015 global value of $182 billion is even below the 2005 level.


Much of the growth in imports of communication equipment to developing countries is associated with the 'mobile revolution', which has connected millions of people. But the shift also benefited from reduced import prices both for handsets and for setting up and upgrading network equipment. As illustrated by data from two Least Developed Countries in Africa, Rwanda and Zambia, the rise in mobile subscriptions is closely correlated with imports of communication equipment.

Although mobile penetration in many developing economies levelled out after 2010–2011 as the market became saturated, communications equipment imports continue to grow as networks need upgrading and handsets become obsolete. The growth in China's exports of communication equipment is also linked to better access to mobile phones and networks, not only in China but also in other importing countries. In China, domestic production plays a significant role in meeting the demand for mobile equipment. Imports also grew but at a much slower pace.

By contrast, Brazil, which was an exporter in the first half of the 2000s, has relied mostly on imports to sustain rising mobile subscription rates following the launch of the iPhone in 2007. In Mexico, sustained imports and exports played a role. Interestingly, back in the early 2000s both Mexico and Brazil were exporters of telecom equipment but mobile subscription rates in these countries were very low.

Imports of intermediate ICT goods, electronic components, maintained their proportion of about one-third of the total. The lion's share of intermediate ICT goods imports, more than 80%, continued to go to factories in developing countries, notably in Asia. Europe and Japan, China's main trade partners in ICT goods, saw a sharp drop in their US dollar-valued imports of ICT goods, of 07% and 13%, respectively, largely due to the depreciation of the euro and yen. This explained more than half of the 2015 decline in ICT goods imports.

Chinese imports of ICT goods accounted for nearly a third of the global total. However, a significant slowdown in demand from China, especially for finished ICT goods, affected production all over the world. After expanding at more than 15% annually between 2009 and 2013, Chinese imports dropped 04% in 2014 and saw growth of only 02% in 2015.

Faced with a situation of market adversity, a few economies reported remarkable increases in their exports of ICT goods in 2015, such as Viet Nam, +32%, the Philippines, +18%, Israel, +19%, Ireland, +10% and Egypt, +07%.

By contrast, transition economies, notably the Russian Federation, witnessed sharp declines in both imports and exports of ICT goods in 2015 with imports shrinking by 25% and exports down 37% for the region as a whole, mostly due to the depreciation of the Russian ruble.
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Deprivation in Early Childhood Can Affect Mental Health in Adulthood

Image: University of Southampton

|| February 25: 2017: University of Southampton News || ά. Experiencing severe deprivation and neglect in childhood can have a lasting psychological impact into early adulthood, according to a unique study conducted at the University of Southampton, which has followed the mental health of a group of children adopted from Romanian institutions to UK families in the 1990s. Published in The Lancet, this is the first large-scale study to follow a group of children who were subjected to extreme deprivation into adulthood, tracking how their mental health and cognition has developed as a result.

The English and Romanian Adoptees study  is a collaborative study between the University of Southampton and King’s College London and began shortly after the fall of the communist regime in Romania. Children living in institutions were subjected to extremely poor hygiene, insufficient food, little personalised care and no social or cognitive stimulation. The study, running since 1990, analyses the mental health of 165 children who spent time in Romanian institutions and who were adopted by families in the UK between the ages of two weeks and 43 months. In the UK, they joined socioeconomically advantaged, stable, caring and supportive families.

Comparing against 52 children adopted within the UK, the study has followed them throughout their childhood using questionnaires, IQ tests and interviews with the children and their parents to analyse social, emotional and cognitive outcomes at ages six, 11 and 15. The latest part of the study, led by Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke while he was at the University of Southampton. Dr Jana Kreppner is now the Southampton Academic Lead, followed the adoptees to ages 22 to 25 years old. It includes around three-quarters of the original adoptees, 39 UK adoptees, 50 Romanian adoptees who had spent less than six months in an institution as children and 72 who had spent over six months.

The researchers found that the amount of time spent in a Romanian institution was an important marker of children’s future mental health. Romanian adoptees who had spent less than six months had similar rates of mental health symptoms as UK adoptees. However, adoptees who had spent more time in the institutions had higher rates of social, emotional and cognitive problems throughout their lives.

People who had lived in Romanian institutions for more than six months as children had higher rates of social problems including autistic features, difficulties engaging with others, inattention and over activity which persisted from childhood into adulthood. They were also three to four times more likely to experience emotional problems as adults, and had lower educational attainment and employment rates than the other UK and Romanian adoptees. This all despite living in strong and supportive families for over 20 years.

As children, more adoptees who lived in Romanian institutions for over six months had an IQ of less than 80, but this recovered within normal levels, an IQ of 90 or above by early adulthood, suggesting developmental delays but no permanent impact on general cognitive abilities.

Additionally, one in five, 21 per cent, 15 children, adoptees who spent over six months in Romanian institutions did not experience any mental health problems throughout their lives. The next steps of the research will involve an in-depth genetic analysis of the most exposed adoptees who did not develop mental health problems to distinguish whether genetic and epigenetic differences contribute to resilience.

“Being exposed to very severe conditions in childhood can be associated with lasting and deep-seated social, emotional and cognitive problems, which are complex and vary over time.” said lead author Professor Sonuga-Barke, who is now at King’s College London.

“This highlights the importance of assessing patients from deprived backgrounds when providing mental health support and carefully planning care when these patients transfer from child to adult mental health care. Although focussed on children adopted from Romanian institutions in the early 1990s, our findings may also be relevant to large numbers of children, who are still exposed to abusive or neglectful conditions around the world.”

Because the children were different ages when they entered institutions and lived there for different amounts of time, the study could not determine whether there is a window during childhood development when children may be more or less likely to be affected by deprivation. In addition, it cannot control for other early risk factors affecting the child’s mental health, such as maternal smoking or substance abuse during pregnancy but the authors argue that there are unlikely to be significant differences among the two groups of Romanian adoptees.

Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Frank Verhulst, Erasmus University Medical Centre, The Netherlands, said, “Whatever the underlying mechanisms, the findings of Sonuga-Barke and colleagues’ study elegantly support the rule of the earlier the better for improving the care-giving environment for young children whose basic needs are profoundly violated. This finding is true for millions of children around the world who are exposed to war, terrorism, violence, or mass migration. As a consequence, many young children face trauma, displacement, homelessness, or family disruption.”
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Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Understanding and Reducing Inequalities in Europe

 Image: Jessica Mulley
 

|| February 24: 2017: Brussels: Belgium: ILO News || ά. A new report by the ILO in co-operation with the European Commission looks at the key factors leading to rising inequalities in fourteen EU Member States. Labour market policies and the industrial relations systems underpinning collective bargaining practices have a key influence on the level of inequalities observed in EU Member States, a new ILO report shows. The report 'Inequalities and the World of Work: What role for industrial relations and social dialogue?' looks beyond wage inequalities and also analyses other forms of inequality, such as inequality in working time, as well as access to jobs, training, career opportunities and social protection.

It examines overall trends in Europe and includes specific chapters on Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the Baltic States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In several European countries, the erosion of collective bargaining has led to an increased number of low-paid jobs and rising inequality among the workforce. Conversely, countries with more centralised or highly co-ordinated collective bargaining systems such as Sweden or Belgium have been successful at preventing the rise of low-paid or employment insecurity and the growth of inequalities.

“Countries with low income inequality tend to have strong social dialogue institutions, leading to a reduction of the gender pay gap and better working conditions for employees in non-standard forms of employment.” explains Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, ILO Senior Economist, who edited the volume. The minimum wage can also contribute to limiting wage inequality but only if it is combined with effective collective bargaining, the report finds.

In the United Kingdom and the Baltic States, for instance, the minimum wage helped to raise wages at the very bottom of the pay scale. However, the industrial relations systems have not allowed to generate positive spill-over effects on wages and working conditions overall. By contrast, even if in different ways, in Belgium and Ireland but also France and the Netherlands, the combination of a floor-setting minimum wage and a strong social dialogue framework has limited fragmentation in terms of pay and working conditions.

Compared to other European countries, Belgium stands out as one of the few that have been able to prevent the development of low-paid jobs and the growth of inequalities. It has a higher minimum wage than most EU Member States, which helps to reduce the lower tail while multi-level collective bargaining contributes to limit overall wage dispersion.

“The erosion of social dialogue in some countries is worrying and calls for a strong policy agenda. If we want to preserve economic growth and social cohesion, we must strengthen collective bargaining to curb inequalities.” concludes Heinz Koller, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.

The full report was presented at a two-day conference on February 23-24, attended by the Ministers of Labour of Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal, and the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs.
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Bittium Exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona: February 27-March 02



|| February 24: 2017: Oulu: Finland || ά. Bittium is to exhibit its innovative products and mobile solutions at the Mobile World Congress 2017 exhibition in Barcelona, Spain, February 27–March 02. Bittium presents a new software version of its secure Bittium Tough Mobile LTE smartphone with Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. Bittium will also present newly launched Confidential classification level version of the Bittium Tough Mobile with related Bittium Secure Suite device management and encryption software. Bittium’s products and solutions are exhibited in hall 5 stand 5E40.

Bittium Tough Mobile’s unique dual-boot functionality for the Confidential classification level makes it possible to operate the device with two completely separate operating systems: Public and Confidential. The operating system classified as Public is meant for personal communications with access to e.g. social media applications. The operating system classified as Confidential is completely isolated and hardened for secure authority and information security use. Bittium Tough Mobile’s security solutions are based on a unique hardware solutions close integration with the devices secure software solutions, therefore, the security of Bittium Tough Mobile is unique.

The entity enables the user to have only one device for calls and messaging for both personal and for demanding information security needs, thus eliminating the need to carry two separate devices.

Bittium Secure Suite software is a comprehensive, security classified solution that enables for example remote management and encrypted connections of the device. The latest software version includes Bittium SafeMove Analytics functionalities, which enables devices visual and real-time tracking as well as sensor based data collection.

Users’ movements can be tracked on a map and the administrator is able to create alarms based on the devices geographical locations, Geo-Fence. Measurement data gives valuable information about functionality of mobile networks and it can be combined with comprehensive amount of information from the smartphones various sensors.

Bittium also exhibits “Bittium wearable platform for health monitoring” targeted for preventive healthcare, which enables the development of customized products and services quickly and cost-efficiently, as well as Faros ECG Event and Faros ECG Mobile software solutions focused on remote heart monitoring and the 3-in-1 Faros ECG product line.

Products presented at the event: Bittium Tough Mobile is a secure and durable Android-based LTE smartphone combining the latest information security and commercial device technologies. Bittium Tough Mobile incorporates a hardware-based security platform, which enables strong device security as well as deep integration of both customers' own and third party software security solutions.

Bittium Secure Suite is a device management and encryption software product that complements the Bittium Tough Mobile smartphone with a scalable set of new software services for remote management, remote attestation and securing the network connections of the device. Bittium Tough Mobile smartphone and Bittium Secure Suite form a unique, complete, reliable system for processing and transferring sensitive and classified material and securing critical communication.

Bittium wearable platform for health monitoring is a wearable device platform integrated with four sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, Optical Heart Rate (OHR), skin temperature and EmoGraphy skin conductance sensor. These sensors allow the measurement of person’s stress level, fatigue and sleeping quality. The wearable platform provides an easy way to develop and test new healthcare specific products and services such as remote patient monitoring or professional driving applications.

Faros ECG Event and Faros ECG Mobile are software solutions for remote heart monitoring, where the cardiac arrhythmia identified by the detection algorithms embedded in the Faros device are quickly passed to professionals for examination. The solutions enable patients’ earlier repatriation and even better ability to react to potentially emerging arrhythmias faster.

Further information about Bittium’s products and services. Further information: Jari Sankala: Senior Vice President, Defense and Security: Tel. +358 40 344 3507: Email: sales1global at bittium.com.

Bittium: Bittium specialises in the development of reliable, secure communications and connectivity solutions, drawing on its 30 year legacy of expertise in advanced radio communication technologies. Bittium provides innovative products and customized solutions based on its product platforms and RD services. Complementing its communications and connectivity solutions, Bittium offers proven information security solutions for mobile devices and portable computers. Starting from November 10, Bittium also offers healthcare technology products and services in biosignal measuring in cardiology, neurology, rehabilitation, occupational health and sports medicine. Net sales of continuing operations in 2016 were EUR 64.2 million, and operating profit was EUR 02.5 million. Bittium is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki Exchange. ω.

Whatever Your Field of Work and Wherever in the World You are, Please, Make a Choice to Do All You Can to Seek and Demand the End of Death Penalty For It is Your Business What is Done in Your Name. The Law That Makes Humans Take Part in Taking Human Lives and That Permits and Kills Human Lives is No Law. It is the Rule of the Jungle Where Law Does Not Exist. The Humanion

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Frequency Therapeutics: Can You Hear Me: Soon You Will Be Able to

Image: Frequency Therapeutics

|| February 23: 2017: Cambridge: Massachusetts: USA || ά. This is about the Frequency Therapeutics, a company spearheading the movement to restore hearing by harnessing the regenerative potential of progenitor cells in the body, announced on February 21 that a team, led by Frequency’s Scientific Co-founders published research highlighting a breakthrough small-molecule approach to regenerate inner ear sensory hair cells. Frequency is advancing the approach to develop a potentially restorative treatment for chronic noise-induced hearing loss. The paper titled, 'Clonal Expansion of Lgr5-Positive Cells from Mammalian Cochlea and High-Purity Generation of Sensory Hair Cells' is a cover feature in the journal Cell Reports and can be accessed in the current online edition.

The sensory hair cells in the hearing portion of the inner ear or cochlea, detect sound and transmit their signal to neurons that ultimately communicate with the brain. These cells are susceptible to damage, and because these cells do not regenerate spontaneously, the number of hair cells in the ear only decreases with age. Per the World Health Organisation:WHO, 360 million people worldwide have moderate or worse hearing loss, with an additional 01.1 billion people at risk for hearing loss from recreational noise alone. Previously, sufficient numbers of mammalian cochlear hair cells could not be obtained to facilitate the development of therapeutic approaches for hearing loss.

The investigators built on previous work to control the growth of intestinal stem cells expressing the protein Lgr5, Nature Methods, 2014 and targeted a different population of Lgr5 cells that were discovered to be the source of sensory hair cells in the cochlea during development, a subset of supporting cells or progenitors. The team successfully identified a protocol of small molecules to efficiently grow the cochlear progenitor cells into large colonies with a high capacity for differentiation into bona fide hair cells.

“The ability to regenerate hair cells within the inner ear already exists in nature. Birds and amphibians are able to regenerate these cells throughout their lives, which provided the base for our inspiration to find similar pathways in mammals.” said Jeff Karp, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and a corresponding author on the publication. “With our collaborators at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, we were able to study a small molecule approach, that we developed at MIT and BWH, to expand progenitor cells from the mouse cochlea. We believe this technique represents a major advance for hearing loss research and will enable new physiological studies as well as genetic screens using drugs, siRNA or gene overexpression.”

“Humans are only born with 15K hair cells per ear that do not regenerate and are susceptible to damage by loud noise. Because our approach utilizes small molecules, we are particularly excited about the therapeutic potential of this work to restore hearing in people with acquired forms of hearing loss.” said Bob Langer, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and a corresponding author on the publication. “We are working with Frequency Therapeutics to translate our early findings into approaches that can be delivered with a simple injection that targets drugs to the inner ear.”

The research team, which included collaborators from Harvard Medical School, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts Institute of Technology:MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, first focused on optimizing the expansion of Lgr5 expressing cochlear progenitor cells. With the combination of a GSK3 inhibitor to activate the Wnt signaling pathway and a histone deacetylase:HDAC inhibitor to activate gene transcription, the research team achieved >2000-fold expansion of cochlear supporting cells compared to previous approaches.

This protocol was used successfully and with consistency to generate colonies of neonatal and adult murine cells as well as primate and human progenitor cells. Furthermore, the team achieved 60-fold enhancement of hair cell production from the progenitor cells compared to current methods. The generation of new hair cells was achieved even in cochlear tissue that had been depleted of hair cells by exposure to an ototoxic antibiotic. Importantly, hair cells produced from the protocols exhibited the same physical features, gene expression, and functionality as typical cochlear hair cells.

“This work has opened an entire field of what we call Progenitor Cell Activation, which we believe has many regenerative applications beyond hearing loss, ranging from skin-related diseases and ocular ailments to gastrointestinal diseases and diabetes.” commented Will McLean, Ph.D., Co-founder and Vice President, Biology and Regenerative Medicine of Frequency Therapeutics, and lead author of the publication.

“Furthermore, the approach creates a platform with potential to explore large populations of previously difficult-to-access progenitor cell types. Drug discovery for the inner ear was limited by the inability acquire enough primary cells to explore drug targets. This approach unlocks that ability for hearing research and a variety of other fields.”

“By using Progenitor Cell Activation to restore healthy tissue within the inner ear, we’re harnessing the body’s innate ability to heal itself.” said David Lucchino, Co-founder, President and CEO of Frequency Therapeutics. “Frequency’s development of a disease modifying therapeutic that can be administered with a simple injection could have a profound effect on chronic noise-induced hearing loss, our lead indication, and we are rapidly advancing this programme into human clinical trials within the next 18 months.” added Chris Loose, Ph.D, Co-founder and CSO of Frequency Therapeutics.

About Frequency Therapeutics: This is the story of Frequency Therapeutics, as the company tells it: Frequency Therapeutics develops small molecule drugs that activate progenitor cells within the body to restore healthy tissue. Through the transitory activation of these progenitor cells, Frequency enables disease modification without the complexity of genetic engineering. Our lead program re-creates sensory cells in the inner ear to treat chronic noise induced hearing loss, which affects over 30 million people in the U.S. alone. Our platform technology is founded on discoveries in progenitor cell biology by Bob Langer, Sc.D. at MIT and Jeff Karp, Ph.D., at Harvard, with contributions from Xiaolei Yin, Ph.D. and other members of the Karp Lab at Harvard and Brigham & Women's Hospital.

Our initial focus is on chronic hearing loss, a potential $20 billion market with no effective therapeutic solution. Our breakthrough therapy uses a proprietary combination of small-molecule drugs to cause dormant inner ear progenitor cells to multiply and create new hair cells. Frequency is actively engaged in developing additional products through strategic alliances and internal development, such as eye and skin disorders, gastrointestinal diseases and diabetes.

What if simple small molecules could enable our body to regenerate and heal itself: Our story begins in the labs of Robert Langer, Sc.D., and Jeff Karp, Ph.D., at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. They asked the question, “Can we acheive disease modifying benefits with a simple small molecule approach?” The idea revolved around taking cues from regenerative biology, and then applying carefully selected small molecules that can target relevant pathways to directly heal cells and tissues in place within the body. The process is intended to activate those cells in a way that allows the body to heal itself.

The search started by looking to nature. Certain species can regenerate and heal specific cells and tissues, whereas that capability remains biologically elusive to humans and other mammals. For example, some amphibians can regrow limbs and amphibians and birds can regrow hair cells in the inner ear if they’ve been damaged. Mammals have underlying progenitor cells in the inner ear with the potential to become hair cells, but their regenerative capacity is dormant after development.

Knowing that natural cellular regeneration was possible in other species, our founders looked for similar molecular pathways by studying areas of active regeneration in the human body. The epithelium in the gastrointestinal tract regenerates itself approximately every five days. Some of the epithelial stem cells are marked by a specific receptor called Lgr5. Lgr5 is a member of the Wnt signaling pathway and plays an instrumental role in the development of certain stem cells into fully differentiated cells.

It turns out that these epithelial cells, a special type of Lgr5+ progenitor cell, are also found in the inner ear, skin, eye and in the pancreas. However, there was something special that causes these cells to regenerate in the GI tract and not in other areas. Langer, Karp and Yin, along with other members of the Karp Lab, made a seminal discovery when they successfully activated the proliferation and then differentiation of Lgr5+ cells in the lab with cocktails of small molecule drugs.

Frequency Therapeutics was founded in 2015 to translate the breakthrough work of our founders into new treatments, where controlled tissue regeneration with locally delivered drugs could have profound therapeutic potential.

Progenitor Cell Activation: Broad therapeutic potential: A progenitor cell can differentiate into defined types of cells. The difference is that a progenitor cell is already more mature than the typical stem cell, and is only pushed to differentiate into its designated 'target' cell type depending on where in the body it is located. Most progenitor cells only divide spontaneously under special conditions or during certain stages in human development, such as during fetal development.

Scientists have tried for decades to push targeted cells to regenerate to no avail. The founders of Frequency, alongside Robert Langer, Sc.D., and Jeff Karp, Ph.D., devoted the work in their labs to uncovering pathways already existent in nature and applying their findings to the human body to drive cellular regeneration and healing. It is within these progenitor cells that we found a pathway to transiently reactivate and regenerate cells later in the human life cycle.

Unlike some approaches which result in forced conversion of Lgr5+ cells into the desired cell type, Frequency’s precise and controlled approach 'activates stemness', causing Lgr5+ progenitor cells to divide and differentiate, much like what is seen in naturally regenerating tissues such as the skin and intestine. We call this proprietary approach our Progenitor Cell Activation:PCA platform. We believe that PCA has the potential to yield a whole new category of disease-modifying therapeutics for a wide range of degenerative conditions. Frequency’s initial focus is on chronic hearing loss. Other potential applications include skin disorders, gastrointestinal diseases and diabetes.

The Minds Behind Frequency Therapeutics

David Lucchino: Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer: David is the Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Frequency Therapeutics. He has over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience and has played an integral role in launching, building and operating many successful companies in the life sciences and other innovation sectors. Previously, David was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Entrega Bio, a PureTech Health, UK:PRTC company developing an innovative capsule technology to make injestable substances available orally.

David’s first MIT-based startup was Semprus BioSciences, a biomedical company that went from business concept, to FDA 510k clearance and CE Mark approval, to major acquisition in five years. Semprus won the MIT $100K Entrepreneurial Competition for its business plan to develop a novel platform technology for reducing complications associated with long-term medical device implants, such as thrombosis and microbial adhesion.

David subsequently led Semprus’ closing on several large financings before the company was acquired by Teleflex in 2012. Prior to Semprus, David was a Senior Executive at the leading venture capital firm, Polaris Partners, where he was responsible for deal-sourcing and originating and the execution of Polaris’ investment in Athletes Performance, a leading training facility for NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA professional athletes.

David launched his career in the life sciences by co-founding LaunchCyte, an investment firm specialized in commercializing biomedical intellectual property, and was instrumental in launching six companies from Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania, among others. David currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of MassBio.

He serves as a trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee of Mt. Auburn Hospital, a Harvard Medical School facility, and holds a Board position with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. David is on the advisory council for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) where he was part of expedition that summited Denali, North America’s high point. David earned an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, an M.S. from Syracuse University and a B.A. from Denison University.

Michael Jirousek, PhD: Chief Operating Officer: Michael is the Chief Operating Officer of Frequency Therapeutics. Prior to Frequency, he co-founded Catabasis Pharmaceuticals and served as Chief Scientific Officer, where his contributions helped create several potential new therapeutics and guide the company to an IPO in 2015. During his almost 30-year career, Michael has overseen 100’s of RD programs and has brought more than 15 new therapeutics from discovery into clinical study to address muscular dystrophy, dyslipidemia, cancer and a variety of metabolic diseases.

Michael is the former Senior Vice President of Research for Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2008 after an IPO in 2007. He also led the metabolic disease therapeutic area at Pfizer’s Laboratories in La Jolla, California and has had leadership roles at Abbott Laboratories and Eli Lilly. Michael holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University and completed his post-doctoral study at Harvard University.

Chris Loose Ph.D: Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer: Chris is the Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of Frequency Therapeutics. Chris co-founded Semprus BioSciences and served as Chief Technology Officer through the company’s acquisition by Teleflex in 2012. He led the technology team in developing medical products with surface modifications designed to reduce infection and clotting, leading to FDA:CE Mark clearance. Prior to Semprus, Chris worked as a chemical engineer at Merck Research Labs. In 2011, he was awarded the inaugural Peter Strauss Entrepreneurial Award from the Hertz Foundation. Chris has also been named to the TR35, the 35 innovators under 35 most likely to impact technology, and the Boston Business Journal 40 under 40. He is currently an Associate Adjunct Professor of Urology in the Yale School of Medicine. Chris holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT, where he studied under Robert Langer, Sc.D., and a BSE from Princeton University.

Peter C Webber M.D., M.B.A: Chief Medical Officer: Peter is the Chief Medical Officer for Frequency Therapeutics. Prior to Frequency, Peter was the Director of the Ear Institute at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai:NYEE, where he was also a Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Before joining NYEE, Peter served as Chief Medical Officer at Cochlear Americas and was a Professor and Director of Otology-Neurotology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

He was also formerly the head of the Otology-Neurotology Department and Co-Director of the Hearing Implant Program at the Cleveland Clinic, and was previously named Acting Chairman in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. Peter has served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and is a former President of the Board of Governors for Otolaryngology. Peter received his B.S. and M.S. in Engineering from Washington University and his M.D. from Albany Medical College. He completed his residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, a fellowship in Neurotology at the University of Iowa and received an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Raj Manchanda Ph.D: Senior Vice President, Drug Development and Technical Operations: Raj is the Senior Vice President of Drug Development and Technical Operations for Frequency Therapeutics. Prior to joining Frequency, Raj was Vice Pres