Archive | March 30, 2013

Food is ripe for innovation


The global population is on track to reach 9 billion by 2050. What are all those people going to eat?

We need to find new ways to deliver protein and calories to everyone. Our approach to food hasn’t changed much over the last 100 years. We need to look for new ways to raise nutrition in the poor world while shifting some of our choices in the wealthy world.

Fortunately, there are thousands of plant proteins in the world, and many of them have yet to be explored for use in the production of meat alternatives. Food is ripe for Innovation.

Emerging Markets: Opportunities for Energy Innovation


Emerging markets provide attractive opportunities for innovative energy systems. The competitive advantage of renewable over traditional energy sources is greater than in developed countries. However, socio-economic, cultural, and policy issues might interfere with the innovation process in these countries.

The green revolution must include and empower women. According to Katherine Lucey, founder & CEO of Solar Sister, the main cultural barrier for energy innovation in Africa is gender. Women need access to electricity to bring progress in the community.

Brazil is an emerging global leader in the renewable energy industry, gaining this position by implementing favorable policies and market mechanisms, such as reverse auctions, aimed to remove financial barriers for the energy innovation progress. Today, wind energy represents 25% of Brazilian market share and Lauro Fiuza, VP for International Relations of ABEEolica, said the next step will be bringing solar to the same level, thus creating a complementary system that will make renewables a major power generation source in Brazil.

In developing countries, solar and wind energy are already cost competitive. Technological, financial, and policy innovations are creating win-win conditions for renewables and bringing national energy independence. Although there is not a right set of energy policies for every country, Dr. Kelly Sims Gallagher, associate professor of energy and environment policy at Tufts University, said those countries experimenting with policy solutions – e.g. China – are better positioned than countries spending too much time deciding the right strategy to implement.

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Worldwide Projected Tablet Market Share Projection – Q1 2013


Using the data from December & January, we get the following market share split by platform.

This projection is likely to be somewhat conservative for Android tablets. Display shipments in February are likely to be closer to January’s figures, as compared to December, which puts the iPad’s market share under even more pressure.

In addition to this, rising demand from emerging markets is likely to continue to boost Android tablet shipments. Meanwhile, Windows 8/RT tablets seem to be following in Windows Phone’s footsteps.

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Deutsche Post DHL wins German Industry Innovation Award


Deutsche Post DHL has just been awarded the German Industry Innovation Award (“Innovationspreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft”) in the category of “innovative HR concepts” for its Generations Pact, a trend-setting model for designing and facilitating age-based working solutions.

The award pays tribute to the most significant scientific, technical, business and intellectual innovations and was presented for the 32nd time during a festive event. This year, nearly 300 companies competed in four categories for the coveted prize, which is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

In October of 2011, Deutsche Post AG and the German trade union ver.di agreed upon a trend-setting model which makes it possible for older employees to actively participate in professional life until they reach the age of legal retirement.

Specifically, through the Generations Pact, the “working-time accounts” and a demography fund serve as a supplement to the partial retirement program. Working-time accounts give employees the opportunity to save up a credit balance during the active working phase and redeem it before they enter retirement. The Bonn-based company Deutsche Post DHL offers attractive models – including financial ones – for older employees that allow them to continue working at reduced hours until the age of retirement.

At the same time, the Generations Pact improves employment opportunities for young people: Last year, some 1,300 trainees received job offers at the company, approximately 25 percent more than the prior year. In the summer of 2013, all suitable trainees will once again be offered permanent employment status at the company.

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3D printing research showcased on top industry innovation list


3D printing has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing processes in a vast number of fields and that includes objects both big and very, very small. The US-based Society of Manufacturing Engineers has highlighted KTH research into 3D printing of nanoscale silicon structures as one of 10 top manufacturing innovations for 2013.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) connects researchers with industry experts and other resources worldwide, working to spread manufacturing knowledge among its 24 000 members, representing 21 000 companies worldwide, and the broader manufacturing community in fields from aerospace to energy to medicine.

Every year SME honors 10 new and emerging technologies that have the potential to make an impact on manufacturing processes. The 2013 list includes KTH research into 3D printing of silicon nanostructures used to manufacture photonic and silicon micro-sensor products in low volumes at an affordable cost.

Today, producing silicon-based sensors at a micro- or nanoscale requires a full-scale clean-room laboratory, which can cost several million euros. These labs are also rarely suitable for small-scale manufacturing, as the production technology is usually optimised for large production volumes running into hundreds of millions of devices.

The technology developed at KTH consists of an additive layer-by-layer process for defining 3D patterns in silicon, using a focused ion beam, followed by silicon deposition. The layered 3D silicon structures are defined by repeating these two steps over and over, with a final etching step in which the excess silicon material is dissolved away. In the team’s vision of the future, the structure would first be designed in a 3D drawing programme then sent to a 3D printer that recreates the structure in silicon, layer by layer from the bottom up.

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Why you need to industrialize your Mobile Center of Excellence


Scaling innovation certainly does pose challenges – particularly when it comes to mobile, unless mobile is at the heart of your innovation strategy.

Today, the top 5 devices activated are iPhones and iPads and enterprise adoption of smartphones is reaching 80%. App development has also accelerated. Companies who were experimenting with a handful of business apps are now deploying dozens or even hundreds of apps. And organizations that were once considered early adopters are now joining the majority. Given the proliferation and impact of mobile, it’s easy to see why scaling mobile innovation is now critical.

But how do you accomplish this? And what role should your Mobile Center of Excellence (MCoE) play? There are four obstacles that may be standing in your way:

1. Putting All Your Apps In One Basket

Mobility is a channel, not only a technology. With expansive proliferation of mobile apps, mobile stores, point solutions and platforms, there is a significant risk of investing in the wrong place – or putting all your eggs in one basket — a point made amply clear by the high rates of mobile app abandonment after first use.

2. Organization Without Representation

How do you organize and operate to drive mobile innovation within your enterprise? What kinds of operating models can capture the strategy and innovation cycles of your mobile effort while also accommodating the sometimes-stormy implementation and survival phase? Identifying influential mobile stakeholders will help you uncover ottom-up alignment opportunities amongst those who drive and support use case decisions.

3. A Use Case is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Today with mobile, the transformation focus is shifting to business user behavior and engagement. Finding the right way to engage users or customers can direct process change and subsequently transform entire businesses and industries. Use cases that leverage mobile technology and provide the right level of business orientation ultimately become the strategic use cases that truly matter.

4. Not Innovating Innovation

To realize the true power of mobility, especially Enterprise Mobility, the innovation process must be ongoing. It needs to focus on finding, building, managing and operating the right mobile portfolio at a predictable cost while also evolving with the needs of your users.

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Singapore Institution Establishes Innovation Centre


Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) in Singapore, has partnered with Samsung to drive research in new educational environments, mobile applications, and retail technology.

Samsung and NYP have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding to establish the ‘Samsung Digital Convergence and Mobility Innovation Centre’ at NYP, equipped with smart devices, large format display screens, and interactive surfaces from Samsung. R&D in the three areas will be conducted by staff and students from NYP.

The Centre is expected to be operational by October this year.

Collaborative Learning

The first pillar of the Innovation Centre is new learning environments. Research in this area is meant to help NYP stay up-to-date with the massive changes taking place in education today, and meet increasingly sophisticated expectations from learners and employees, and the rising demands from industry.

Smart Device Application Development

The second area that research at the Centre will focus on is emerging mobile technologies. Students will have the opportunity to create applications for devices such as Smart TVs, tablets, and smartphones, in areas such as near-field communications for retail and location-based advertising for businesses.

Retail Solutions

The third area that research at the Centre will focus on is retail technology, starting in 2014. The Singapore Institute of Retail Studies (SIRS) at NYP will collaborate with Samsung through the Centre to develop innovative technology and business solutions that enhance customer experience and business outcomes.

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How play at work can lead to IT innovation


Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute for Play, explains why a playful office helps corporate problem-solving and sparks innovation

What is play, compared to brainstorming or innovating?

Play is directed by the player and you’re not anxious or grinding toward some outcome. There’s improvisation potential and it takes you out of time and gives pleasure. It might feel purposeless. Getting into that state opens up a lot of avenues for innovation and creativity, but incorporating play in the workplace is not always easy. It often seems antithetical to productivity and responsibility.

Why should we play at the office?

There’s a sense of exploration, a search for novelty, an engagement. From these outcomes, you see increased mastery and skill, increased perseverance and lots of good byproducts–preparation for the unexpected and flexibility and adaptability when something unforeseen heads your way.

Why don’t more companies encourage play?

The cultural norm says that play is trivial and it’s for kids or for the weekends. That’s an Industrial Revolution heritage that’s tough to change. I don’t think I’ll see the shift in my lifetime, but the neuroscience evidence is piling up that play works. It can be really useful during a merger. Let’s say the cultures are in conflict. One company ethic has been more improvisational and the other is organized around goals. If the employees play with each other, they will understand the heritage and start to look at long-term goals for the company.

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Google 2013: great year of business?


In fact, like many businesses, 2013 Google attitude is rather refocus its business on his heart craft the search.

This is why they have gradually eliminated non-core activities: iGoogle Reader, Knol, Waves … and full of smaller services.

In fact Google is like all companies on a growth market, which develop new products and services, via a vertical expansion (products upstream or downstream of their heart the art, for example Youtube is looking after a system operating as Android …) or horizontal (complementary to its business as a Social Network like Google Plus, Chrome, …).

So it is likely that Google will offer new features to its basic services, and they will try to strengthen in products that are growing or potential.

Which Google products emerge clearly Landscape 2013?

The search and Adwords are and will remain the cash cow of Google, and in its wake there Youtube.

Google in 2013 will be in my two signs:

  • Mobility

Always with an effort on Android, and I hope finally a change of Motorola, because at the moment it’s disappointing. But as it takes 1 to 2 years to make a revolution in the area of ​​Mobile, be patient.

There is also Google Glass, which is being developed and is currently in beta testing .

  • The Social Media:

2013 will be the year of Google Plus, otherwise the service will be discontinued because it has not reached a place of 1st or second in its market. Google’s strategy be leader or not to be

One of the “killer app” is Google Hangout, but it still lacks a real added value to the service, which is used exclusively for SEO, and therefore by no means the vast majority of users.

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Contactless Cards: Innovation in Payments Industry


Contactless payments are being promoted by payment providers without necessarily being demanded by consumers. Aimed at displacing cash, which is generally disliked by merchants and financial institutions due to the costs of handling it, contactless payments face strong competition from increasingly popular Chip and PIN debit card payments.

Although contactless cards are the short-term future for low-value payments, they will over time converge with mobile handsets.

Innovators such as Google and Apple have already launched NFC-enabled devices, and other mobile handset manufacturers will follow when acceptance of contactless mobile payments broadens.

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