EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI)

European Commission


«The Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) programme is a financing instrument at EU level to promote a high level of quality and sustainable employment, guaranteeing adequate and decent social protection, combating social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions.

»Structure and funding

»EaSI is managed directly by the European Commission. It brings together three EU programmes managed separately between 2007 and 2013: PROGRESS, EURES and Progress Microfinance.

»As of January 2014, these programmes form the three axes of EaSI. They support:

»▪ the modernisation of employment and social policies with the PROGRESS axis (61% of the total budget);

»▪ job mobility with the EURES axis (18% of the total budget);

»▪ access to micro-finance and social entrepreneurship with the Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship axis (21% of the total budget).

»The total budget for 2014-2020 is EUR 919,469,000 in 2013 prices.


»▪ Strengthen ownership of EU objectives and coordination of action at EU and national level in the areas of employment, social affairs and inclusion.

»▪ Support the development of adequate social protection systems and labour market policies.

»▪ Modernise EU legislation and ensure its effective application.

»▪ Promote geographical mobility and boost employment opportunities by developing an open labour market.

»▪ Increase the availability and accessibility of microfinance for vulnerable groups and micro-enterprises, and increase access to finance for social enterprises.

»In pursuing these objectives, EaSI will:

»▪ pay particular attention to vulnerable groups, such as young people,

»▪ promote equality between women and men,

»▪ combat discriminations,

»▪ promote a high level of quality and sustainable employment,

»▪ guarantee adequate and decent social protection,

»▪ combat long-term unemployment,

»▪ fight against poverty and social exclusion.»


A Major Long-Term Change In The Labor Market Is Bad News For The US Economy

Business Insider
Shane Ferro


«The US just isn't as dynamic as it used to be, and we need to start thinking hard about how that affects the economy.

»That's the conclusion from Steven Davis and John Haltiwanger, two National Bureau of Economic Research economists (Davis is at U Chicago and Haltiwanger at the University of Maryland). The two presented at the Fed's Jackson Hole conference over the summer and an updated version of the paper was published at the end of October.

»Declines in labor market fluidity - the ease with which workers can move between jobs - have continued since the 1980s. According to the authors, there's been an unusually “large secular decline in the pace of job reallocation” during this period in the US. Reallocation is defined as which is the total jobs created plus total jobs destroyed, divided by total jobs in the economy.

»“A decline in these rates [job creation and destruction] could indicate less innovation or less labor market flexibility, both of which are likely to retard economic growth,” explains economist Mark Curtis at the Atlanta Fed's macroblog regarding this paper.

»The big driver of this before 2000 was the retail sector, as big box stores came in and demolished smaller competitors (that actually turned out to be relatively good for retail wages).

»But you can really see in the above chart that there's been a decline across sectors. And there is a school of thought that bigger companies mean less competition, which in turn pushes down wages (most recently floated by Justin Lahart in the WSJ).

»Regardless of firm size, declining fluidity in the labor market matters for a few reasons. If you believe that creative destruction is good for the economy, the declining number of small, young companies is a bad thing. But perhaps more pressingly, the researchers find that job reallocation rates have an impact on employment rates, particularly for the young and even more strongly for young men.

»Not only is it associated with lower unemployment rates, but it potentially negatively affects the length of time that the unemployed have to look for work, as fewer job changes likely means fewer job openings, and therefore fewer chances for those out of work to jump back in. “Employment today begets employment in the future,” write the authors.

»And fewer job openings mean fewer people moving between jobs in the same industry. Here's how job churn over the last 15 years breaks down by gender.

»There are a number of reasons listed by the authors for this lack of labor market fluidity:

»▪ A shift to older firms (fewer people are working for young companies, despite the prevalence of reporting out of Silicon Valley).

»▪ An aging workforce.

»▪ The transformation of business models (globalization favors bigger firms with more resources to invest in the global supply chain).

»▪ The impact of the information revolution on hiring practices.

»▪ Occupational labor supply restrictions (based on policy).

»▪ Exceptions to employment-at-will (contracts that make it harder to quit and/or be fired).

»▪ The establishment of protected worker classes (this makes it harder to fire people - though in a good way).

»▪ “Job lock” because of employer-provided health insurance (let's not even talk about this one).

»There are two notable things about the second half of this list: first, the authors point out that it's impossible to know how much the policy-related factors “contributed to secular declines in fluidity.” While all of these are possible factors for the trend, no one is quite sure how much each factors in.

»Further, it's important to note that some of these are policy protections meant to protect workers, and while they may reduce churn, they also protect people from getting fired because of discriminatory employers.

»Even though there are some reasons why regulating fluidity could be good for workers, the long-term decline in reallocation is bad for the economy. That much you can tell from this paper. What you can't tell is what are the main drivers of this problem, and how to fix it. That's the challenge for economists and policy makers if they want to build a healthier economy. .../...»


How young entrepreneurs are innovating in agriculture (Agriculture 2.0)

The News Hub
Eleonora Crisafulli


«Modern farmers and tech startups bring their digital culture to bear on farming, creating online fruit and veg shops, apps and other tools for environmental sustainability.

»Old meets new economy on fields. Young people who are involved in farming aim industry innovation and there are increasing numbers of digital farmers, online veg shops and tech startups that are making agriculture their business. In Italy that’s called agriculture 2.0. There is a lot of talk about it, in view of the food-themed Expo 2015. But the theme concerns the whole Europe, where belief that agriculture industry needs new blood and innovative workers to grow is emerging.

»Beyond the enthusiasm of a happy return to the land, we need to acknowledge that the percentages of farmers under 35 are still low. While in Poland they reach 14,7%, the figures are more daunting in other countries, such as Italy (5,1%), Uk (4,1%) and Portugal (2,6%). For this reason, the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council has just approved a document to support young farmers, focused on access to credit, land and knowledge. It aims for generational change and innovation to combat the economic and employment crisis.

»In anticipation of institutional incentives, a first push for innovation comes from the bottom, from young who decided to bring their digital culture to bear on agriculture, often combining ecommerce and organic farming. It’s the case of Contadini per passione, three guys who grow an orange grove in Sicily and use the web to promote themselves and sell their products. Through their website they do storytelling, by describing their activity on the fields. Social media and web marketing are used to acquire new customers, ecommerce shortens the supply chain and eliminates intermediation between producer and consumer. “Arms aren’t enough. It is finally understood that agriculture also needs brains. It needs to involve new people, smart, dynamic, brilliant, so as to improve the relationship between innovation and tradition”, 31-year-old founder Paolo Barbera said.

»Oscar Green winner 2014, Straberry is a startup that grows and sells berries through sustainable technology and in two years has achieved a turnover of 1 million euros. The photovoltaic panels on the greenhouse roof enable the company to produce clean energy for itself and other 5000 people. Strawberries grow out of the soil, in hanging gutters suspended 1,50 metre above the ground. Fruit, along with jams, juices and salads, is delivered in the city by Ape cars and every consumer, by using a code, can verify when it was harvested, where and by whom, through a certified traceability system.

»Ecommerce-based Cortilia is a digital agricultural marketplace that allows users to get fresh and seasonal products boxes at home from local farmers, in subscription or occasionally. Its purchase model responds to the increasingly consumers demand to eat healthily and sustainable, saving time. Here too, the farmers use the website to tell their stories and describe work behind their products. This business model has convinced investors and the company raised 2,5 million funds since its founding in 2011.

»Innovative ideas are also coming from experienced entrepreneurs like Oscar Farinetti, founder of high-end Italian food chain Eataly. He plans to sell fresh products online from a big garden, which will equipped with cameras to show how vegetables will be farmed.

»Then there are startups inventing apps and high-tech products to optimize agricultural practices such as Smart Ground, which simplifies activities and reduces the waste of water resources through environmental detection devices and a user-friendly software. The main aim is to promote sustainable use of water - more and more limited and subject to waste - by monitoring the amount in the soil and allowing irrigation only when and where there is a genuine need, according to the different crops.

»This and other innovative tools from all around the world will be showcased during the next universal exposition in Milan.»


Doing away with human employees is not the answer, but redistributing them

Manufacturing Digital
Abigail Phillips


«Industrial robots are on the verge of revolutionizing manufacturing. As they become smarter, faster and cheaper, they are becoming used more frequently to carry out ‘human’ tasks.

»Up until very recently, robotics in the sector have been used predominantly to carry out repetitive, onerous and dangerous tasks such as welding and materials handling. However technological advancements have paved the way to allow robots to take on human-like capabilities and traits such as sensing, dexterity, memory, trainability and object recognition. As a result, robots are taking over more jobs such as picking and packaging, testing and inspecting products or assembling minute electronics. In addition a new generation of collaborative robots usher in an era, which will see robots work side-by-side with human operators who train them through physical demonstration.

»The viability of these robots has increased dramatically in recent years, with technological advancement making it possible from a physical standpoint and costing making it feasible from a financial perspective. The cost of robots has fallen from several thousands of dollars to several hundreds, and at the same time their applications have widened meaning industries beyond automotive and food and beverage are adding them to their ranks. One major robotics company refers to the new generation of robots as intelligent industrial work assistants.

»The ‘R’ generation: The rise of robotics

»As it stands, there are approximately 1.5 million robots in situ across the globe, with more than 230,000 in the US alone. According to the International Federation of Robots (IFR) in 2013 global shipments reached in the region of 180,000 – an all time high – with 200,000 forecasted for 2014. Further, robots have also attracted the attention of investors such as recent high-profile pure-play robotics investments by Google and Amazon. In fact, venture capital in robotics technology has surged in recent years, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

»The maturing ‘R’ generation certainly has implications for the future of manufacturing. Wider adoption of robots comes at a time when manufacturing companies, both big and small, are under increasing pressure to squeeze even greater productivity from their workforces at reducing costs. Furthermore, wage arbitrage seems less attractive to some manufacturing hubs such as China compared to a decade ago. With this in mind, broad adoption of robotics could spur greater reshoring of manufacturing from oversees.

»Is now the time to hire automated help?

»The answer: possibly, yes. Automation in the sector isn’t only going to help reduce cost – the nascent age of ‘nearly human’ robots is driving greater efficiency and has the potential to reduce labor force injuries. In fact, automation is showing signals of changing the way the industrial workforce is composed – even the nature of the jobs themselves.

»Manufacturers are also recognizing that being competitive means injecting greater flexibility into their production lines in order to satisfy consumer demand for products with shorter life cycles and more variety – robots can help on this front as well.

»How collaborative robotics can stimulate innovation

»The introduction of collaborative robotics to the sector gives manufacturers a lot more choice. For example, robots have the potential to free up and make better use of human resources, which in turn could result in greater innovation across the sector. Conversely, robots could be applied in applications that a human workforce is unable to carry out (such as those of high precision or force) which will open the door to new opportunities of faster and greater production of existing products or indeed new product development.

»So the question that remains to be seen is, are robots an economically viable and realistic solution to the increasing difficulty of securing a sustainable manufacturing workforce? And if robots do displace employees, are there plans in place to move those employees to other tasks, which are more interesting and attractive to them and thus more valuable to the company? These question need to be addressed by manufacturing companies looking to implement collaborative robotics into their workforce. Doing away with human employees is not the answer, but redistributing them as a resource could pave the way for a new era of manufacturing innovation and strength.»


«Newsletter L&I» (n.º 31, 2014-11-24)

Familia desestruturada (Brasil)

Instituto Harpia Harpyia, Foz do Iguaçu e Itaipu Binacional: projeto da segurança alimentar e do o combate à violência na região da tríplice fronteira [web] [intro]

Projeto leva atendimento bucal de emergência a favela do Rio [web] [intro]

O governo trabalha em várias ações, como no combate às drogas, por exemplo, mas esquece que a base de todos os problemas é a desestruturação familiar [web] [intro]

Escolas de São Paulo estudam deixar de comemorar o tradicional Dia das Mães para celebrar o inovador Dia de quem cuida mim [web] [intro]

Periferia (Portugal, África lusófona)

Presidente da República desafia os jovens a assumirem-se como agentes da mudança e serem cada vez mais inovadores [web] [intro]

Jens Weidmann: Investimento público teria impacto "negligenciável" nos países periféricos [web] [intro]

Na cidade do Porto não temos um problema de localização ou de periferia mas de escala [web] [intro]

Projeto Regeneração Urbana - Um Novo Impulso em Viseu [web] [intro]


La e-Health es una herramienta para afrontar los procesos asistenciales y mejorar los resultados clínicos y la eficiencia [web] [intro]

Nintendo apuesta por eHealth con aparato para medir sueño [web] [intro]

Microsoft presenta su pulsera inteligente y plataforma de eHealth [web] [intro]

Google completa su estrategia eHealth con Google Fit [web] [intro]

Numerique et papier

Parallèles Editions: Rencontre entre papier et numérique (Exposition) [web] [intro]

Le livre et la presse sous l'emprise du numérique, omniprésent [web] [intro]

La fin du journal? Informer et s’informer, du papier au numérique [web] [intro]

La presse africaine et la révolution du numérique [web] [intro]

Family innovation

Brandeis IBS announces creation of Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center [web] [intro]

SOFA 2014 Focuses on Family Farming and Innovation [web] [intro]

Innovation keeps Hatcher Dairy flowing [web] [intro]

The importance of sparking entrepreneurial spirit in family businesses [web] [intro]

Licencia Creative Commons Licencia Creative Commons
4.0 Internacional


The importance of sparking entrepreneurial spirit in family businesses

Financial Post
David Steinberg


«EY’s Strategic Growth Forum (SGF) is North America’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. This by-invitation-only CEO event brings together more than 2,000 of the top executives, entrepreneurs, advisors and investors who are embracing their dreams and igniting the possibilities. Here, David Steinberg, tax partner and national private mid-market practice co-leader at EY shares his thoughts, observations and insight on family businesses, live from EY Strategic Growth Forum 2014.

»Driving innovation and growth in a family business can be, at times, challenging. Each family business is unique, but the successful ones also have much in common. While 80% of the world’s businesses are family-owned, almost 70% of those won’t make it to the second generation. Here at SGF, this daunting statistic generated a lively discussion around how family businesses can position themselves for growth and remain competitive in the marketplace.

»How do family businesses maintain longevity? And how can family business owners use innovation to drive their desired growth plans? Those are just a few of the questions I was intrigued to discuss at the Family Business sessions here at SGF. .../...»


Innovation keeps Hatcher Dairy flowing

The Tennessean
Collin Czarnecki


«A decade ago it would have been hard for the Hatcher family to imagine that their dairy farm would still be operating, let alone expanding.

»The College Grove dairy farm, which has been family run since 1831, was in a sour situation.

»“Almost 10 years ago we were at a crossroads with the small family dairy in terms of whether to sell the dairy out or do something in order to survive,” said fifth-generation Hatcher and dairy co-manager Charles Hatcher. .../...»


SOFA 2014 Focuses on Family Farming and Innovation

International Institute for Sustainable Development


«Family farmers are crucial to eradicating hunger and achieving sustainable food security and rural development, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN's (FAO) State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2014, ‘Innovation in Family Farming.' The report highlights innovation as key for family farmers to achieve these goals.

»The family farm is the most predominant form of agriculture, according to the report; there are at least 570 million family farms globally, which produce 80% of the world's food. They are also critical in improving ecological and resource sustainability, according to the report, noting that small farms generally have higher yields than large farms with the same agro-ecological settings in the same countries, although these farms' high productivity involve lower labor productivity.

»The report also recognizes family farmers' vulnerability to climate change and resource depletion. It describes, for instance, climate-induced threats to agriculture, including increases in temperatures, water shortages, diseases and pests and extreme weather events, while also recognizing agriculture's contribution to climate change. .../...»


Brandeis IBS announces creation of Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center

Brandeis NOW


«Brandeis International Business School (IBS) has received a $2.5 million gift to establish the Hassenfeld Family Innovation Center, which will build upon the university’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading research institutions by supporting faculty research while catalyzing innovation on campus. The center will provide a platform for increased corporate outreach to innovative firms, provide new educational opportunities for Brandeis students, and leverage the experience of industry professionals to ensure that the societal impact of the university’s groundbreaking research is maximized. [...]

»The Hassenfeld Center will also enhance efforts to bring Brandeis’ research and technology advances to commercial partners in sectors such as life sciences, clean energy and information technology. It will serve as a platform to identify potential relationships with like-minded academic institutions and corporations around the globe.

»“Massachusetts is a world leader in innovation, including through the extraordinary contributions of our Brandeis faculty, staff and students,” said Brandeis President Frederick M. Lawrence. “We are grateful for this generous gift from the Hassenfeld family that will ensure that the cutting-edge research conducted on our campus continues to make the greatest possible impact across the world.” .../...»


«Newsletter L&I» (n.º 30, 2014-11-17)

Innovar para... (Brasil)

Inovação para encantar consumidores [web] [intro]

Reinventar para competir [web] [intro]

Inovar para conseguir manter a fonte de renda da família [web] [intro]

Inovar para se manter e conquistar [web] [intro]

Espaço para inovar (Portugal, África lusófona)

Programa Mitra – Pólo de Inovação Social da Casa da Misericórdia: novo espaço para inovação social [web] [intro]

Ana Rita Clara: Change it [web] [intro]

Pedra sobre Pedra [web] [intro]

A lusofonia, um espaço de geração de valor na economia global [web] [intro]

Ideas grandes de emprendedores de todos los tamaños

Alpaca Fiesta 2014 deslumbrará [web] [intro]

Innovación gráfica para la protección de documentos patentada por el paraguayo Jorge Bernardes Brugada en México [web] [intro]

Marine Armor System, nominada por su innovación a los Lloyd's List Awards [web] [intro]

Frutos del segundo encuentro de emprendedores IncMty ITESM [web] [intro]

Rencontre avec l’innovation

Réseaux sociaux d’entreprise: les ministères développent des usages innovants [web] [intro]

La logique des sociétés capitalistes mondialisées est nécessairement celle de l’innovation permanente. Le progrès a un prix qu'il ne faut pas sous-estimer [web] [intro]

Rencontre avec Aviram Rozin: L’utopie, un moteur pour entreprendre? [web] [intro]

Industriels de l’agroalimentaire: osez l’international! [web] [intro]

Interaction and innovation

Innovation Dialogue: Partners′ Interaction Over Innovation Policy [web] [intro]

2015 AFBF Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show Features More Exhibits, Innovation and Interaction [web] [intro]

Harness Could Allow Dogs, Humans To Communicate [web] [intro]

A fascinating listening innovation [web] [intro]

Licencia Creative Commons Licencia Creative Commons
4.0 Internacional


A fascinating listening innovation

Harvard Business Review
Greg McKeown


«Listening is often considered the softest of the soft skills. So the idea of being a powerful listener can seem like an oxymoron. And yet, my work with executives has taught me that when they really listen to discover what is essential, the impact can be astonishing. It’s one of the most important ways to engage employees.

»We know that engagement is a challenge. A recent Gallup survey found that 63% of the global workforce is not engaged. That adds up to waste in the range of half a trillion dollars globally. Putting it more positively, Jim Harter, the Chief Scientist for Gallup, has found that “publicly traded organizations that achieve top decile in our employee engagement database outperform their competition on earnings per share by 147%.”

»With both the waste and opportunity implied in these findings, it begs the question, “How can we improve engagement scores quickly and inexpensively?” Among the short list of items that really move the engagement needle is that people believe that “at work, my opinions seem to count.” Listening — really listening — matters.

»Many companies fall into the trap of trying to engage their employees by doing more — which is, in essence, just creating more noise. I have seen this firsthand in Silicon Valley, where managers sometimes go to extreme measures with perks like 24/7 food; show-stopping offsite events with concerts; sports competitions; clubs on every subject from hula dancing to American Idol and many other bizarre and bombastic activities. I believe in the power of play, but at their worst, such activities can completely miss the mark. They sometimes remind me of Pleasure Island in the movie Pinocchio, where the puppet almost becomes a donkey.

»Such panem et circenses (“bread and circuses”) may appease some employees, but I am not convinced that these types of “perks” engage people’s hearts and minds in a way that enables them to give their highest and best contribution — in the end, they still treat employees like wooden puppets, and they mirror the problem described by Guy Kawaski as a “bozo explosion,” a downward slide that seems inevitable after a company achieves success. Moreover, such gimmicks don’t make the cut in Gallup’s top twelve engagement measurements.

»Deep engagement does not begin with getting people to listen to you; it begins when you really listen to them. Powerful listening is one of the rarest executive practices today, not because of a lack of skill – although that is often the case – but because it’s a skill that’s under attack from social media, smart phones and the ubiquitous expectation of instant reactions. Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation when the other person just started checking his phone? Of course you have. We have a listening famine going on and it’s a shame, because in a knowledge age, so much value creation lies in the ability to figure out what’s important—by listening.

»The Quakers practice a particularly powerful way to listen. They conduct what’s called a “Clearness Committee,” which is founded on the belief that, as author Parker Palmer has written, “each of us has an inner teacher, a voice of truth, that offers the guidance and power we need to deal with our problems.” Here is how it works:

»First, a member of the Quaker community defines a key decision, personal problem or question that represents a dilemma for a member of their community, who is the “focus person.” Then, they form a committee to meet with the focus person, inviting only select people (the “members”). These members must first commit to the highest levels of confidentiality: nobody can speak of the meeting afterwards, unless the focus person specifically asks to discuss it. Members can take notes, but they must be given to the focus person at the end of the committee meeting.

»The committee then meets in an offsite location, where the focus person spends 10 minutes presenting a concise statement of the problem, including any relevant background information. The committee creates a safe space for the focus person to speak, prioritizing that space over the social comfort of the members. For example, there should be no talking between committee members, no loud laughter, no side conversations, no phones or computers, and no rapid-fire questions that could overwhelm the focus person.

»Then, there are two hours of interaction, during which members of the committee may only speak to the focus person by asking honest questions – which are not the same as manipulative questions. Manipulative questions have answers embedded in them, such as: “Have you ever thought that this is really happening because you did X?” Honest questions are defined as questions that members couldn’t possibly know the answer to, such as “Did you ever feel this way before?” Honest questions are, simply, all inquiry and no advocacy.

»Before the meeting is over, the focus person can allow people to reflect back what they have heard. Again, there should be no opinions offered, just reflections. Five minutes before the end of the meeting, the members are allowed to affirm the focus person for showing strength and courage in sharing vulnerably deep insights. Even at this point there is no advice given and there are no suggestions made. The idea is that the focus person goes away and listens to his or her own inner voice for continued guidance.

»The clearness committee is a fascinating listening innovation. If it seems too intense or involved for regular use, you can still apply many of its aspects in your interactions with your team. For example, you can have a rule that you and your team will only ask honest questions: in this way you can avoid the manipulative questions that complicate communication. When one of your team members comes to you with a particular challenge, you can ask her questions to define what the real dilemma is, instead of jumping in with premature, well-intended solutions that actually miss the mark. Finally, you can increase the ratio of listening to speaking by asking questions and spending at least 50% of any conversation actively listening to the other person speak.

»The bottom line is this: if you want to engage your employees at a whole new level, if you want to become a person of greater influence, and if you want to discover a new kind of power — listen.»


Harness Could Allow Dogs, Humans To Communicate

NPR via 90.1 FM WABE
Samantha Raphelson


«The relationship between man and dog is unlike any other.

»Many people dream of understanding what their dogs are thinking and feeling. Technology even lets us strap a camera on a dog’s head to see what it sees.

»Soon, we may be able to talk to our dogs — but not exactly with our voices.

»Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a high-tech dog harness that they say allows dogs and humans to communicate using a computer. The prototype harness, called the Cyber-Enhanced Working Dog, has sensors that collect and interpret dogs’ behavioral signals, and humans are able to send them appropriate commands.

»“It’s a communication platform that is designed specifically to provide two-way remote computer-mediated communication between handlers and their dogs,” says David Roberts, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and a co-author of a paper on the work.

»“It’s never going to replace the human interaction with our dogs, but what it can do is help us interact with them in new ways,” he says.

»The harness could be used for a variety of functions including search and rescue operations and basic training.

»A small computer on the harness called BeagleBone Black monitors the dog’s movement, emotional state and outside environment. Information is wirelessly transmitted back to the handler, who can interpret it from a distance.

»Sensors read the dog’s heart rate and body temperature to determine its emotional state, such as if the dog is stressed.

»“We can start to characterize things like stress or distraction or excitement and help handlers become more aware of what their dogs are doing and why,” Roberts says.

»Human commands are translated for the dog through speakers and vibrating motors on the harness. Roberts says dogs would be trained to respond to nearly 100 different signals in the same way they respond to voice and hand commands.

»“We have integrated [sensors] into the harness in eight different locations,” he says. “This just feels like your cellphone going off in your pocket on vibrate.”

»Roberts says the prototype is quite bulky at 4 pounds, and the researchers hope to make a smaller version to fit smaller dogs.

»Additional devices, such as cameras and environmental sensors, can be added to the harness in order to customize it for various uses. The harness has a battery life of about eight hours.

»Beyond police and military use, this device can be used on Seeing Eye dogs and to help average people more consistently and effectively train their dogs.

»“One of the things dogs struggle with is humans are very inconsistent with how they reward dogs,” Roberts says. “So dogs can struggle to learn the boundaries and the rules when there aren’t consistent communications about what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable.”

»The device can also help handlers identify and reduce common stressors, Roberts says. Stress is one of the main reasons why service dogs are retired early.

»Shortly after developing the harness, the NC State researchers teamed up with the Smart Emergency Response System project, which aims to integrate high-tech systems with search and rescue efforts.

»“You’re never going to replace the human element of search and rescue,” he says. “What we’re really trying to do is help these dogs be safer and more efficient in doing their jobs. We are not enabling dogs to go into situations that are more dangerous than they were going into before.”

»Roberts and his team hope to integrate the harness with drones and other robotic technologies. They plan to present a proposal to the National Science Foundation sometime next year.»


2015 AFBF Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show Features More Exhibits, Innovation and Interaction

American Farm Bureau Federation


«“The new IDEAg Trade Show is a greatly expanded exhibition of all the tools and technology that are essential for farmers and ranchers to succeed in today’s efficient and productive agricultural environment,” said Raymond Bianchi, senior director, expositions and events for AFBF and IDEAg Group. “The IDEAg brand is truly premier in the farm show business. Adding this expertise to the AFBF Annual Convention offers farmers and ranchers a great opportunity to pack a lot of business into one dynamic event.”

»The IDEAg Trade Show will feature cutting-edge technologies and products for America’s farmers and ranchers presented in a new format. Featured exhibitors will include Case IH, Dow Agroscience, DuPont Pioneer, General Motors, John Deere, Monsanto, Nationwide Insurance and Valley Irrigation. The show is divided into four focus areas:

»▪ Innovate: focused on the latest technology;

»▪ Invest: focused on the business of agriculture;

»▪ Infrastructure: focused on the systems used in agriculture; and

»▪ Engage: focused on state Farm Bureau’s and policy engagement.

»The IDEAg show will also feature an on-site Cultivation Center programmed with short content that will engage attendees on the focus areas of the show. The show also will feature, on Saturday, Jan. 10, the IDEAg Innovate conference, which will spotlight topics such as managing agricultural big data, the use of drones for farming purposes, precision agriculture and Internet strategies for farmers and ranchers. That day’s events and all the exhibits will be open to all farmers, ranchers and agricultural professionals, not just Farm Bureau members. .../...»


Innovation Dialogue: Partners’ Interaction Over Innovation Policy



«The III Moscow International Forum for Innovative Development “Open Innovations” and the Open Innovations Expo in 2014 were organized by Russia in partnership with the People’s Republic of China. On 14 October the heads of governments of the two countries held a plenary session – “The Emerging Global Innovation Map: Closing the Gap Between Countries.” International cooperation was also discussed during the event “Innovation Dialogue: Partners′ Interaction Over Innovation Policy”. A special research project “Developing the technology market: perspectives for Russia” prepared by EY and devoted to the main trends of global market development and innovative technologies and their impact on the Russian business environment was presented during the second day’s plenary session “When knowledge and technology converge: enabling cross-industry innovation”. .../...»


«Newsletter L&I» (n.º 29, 2014-11-10)

Inovar (Brasil)

Inovar-Auto: Metalúrgicos do Brasil definem plano de ação para o setor automotivo [web] [intro]

ENAI 2014 debate agenda da indústria para os próximos quatro anos [web] [intro]

Catraca Livre: Melhor Comunicador Digital do Brasil [web] [intro]

¿Ficar 30 anos na mesma empresa? Esqueça [web] [intro]

Inovar (Portugal, África lusófona)

Tradição são-tomense e inovação portuguesa no Salão do Chocolate em Paris [web] [intro]

Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores (SPA): Cooperação lusófona nos direitos de autor deve ser dinâmica [web] [intro]

Angola e 2º maior mercado das exportações escocesas [web] [intro]

Vocês formaram-se para uma profissão que tem cada vez maior reconhecimento social e onde é importante ser criativo e inovar, por isso apostem na formação ao longo da vida [web] [intro]


¿Por qué tantas empresas grandes son malas innovando? [web] [intro]

Prefiero innovar a comprarme un Porsche. En Europa todo son egos; EE UU es distinto [web] [intro]

Innovar es entender lo que la gente quiere [web] [intro]

¿Hay espacio para innovar en el sector del turismo online? [web] [intro]


Innover pour combattre la faim [web] [intro]

L’autodiagnostic de l’innovation par le numérique de le CEFRIO [web] [intro]

Innover pour la biodiversité [web] [intro]

La Réunion doit montrer sa capacité à innover [web] [intro]


Our innovation system needs innovating [web] [intro]

Facebook has chosen to stop some experiments [web] [intro]

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark [web] [intro]

Yummy chocolates are giving traditional sweets quite some competition this Diwali [web] [intro]

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Yummy chocolates are giving traditional sweets quite some competition this Diwali

The Times of India
Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey


«Beautifully designed boxes carrying chocolate cubes in myriad shapes, wrapped most attractively in coloured foils are clear favourites over traditional sweet boxes, simply because of their exclusivity. Naturally the chocolate sellers are innovating, to keep ahead in the race. The latest gifting favourites are chocolate bouquets that are selling better than hotcakes, admit boutiques and private chocolate makers. While chocolate roses, moulded to perfection, are doing best, bouquets with chocolate, gladioli, jasmine and other seasonal flowers or chocolates moulded into fruit baskets or baskets holding champagne bottles are also being designed and gifted. "It is a global market and clients who are coming to us have experience of shopping for chocolates abroad. Naturally, they would not only look for novelty in taste and ideas with chocolates but also in the finish and packaging. Luckily, the moulds that are available these days are extremely good and hence we are being able to ladle out chocolates that are in no way inferior to imported ones," said Keshav Sethia, owner of Krazy For Chocolates, that has four outlets in the city. .../...»


Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

The Harvard Crimson
The Crimson Staff


«Criticism of Daylight Savings Time resurges every year, and in spite of the immediate benefit of an extra hour of sleep the first night the clocks change in fall, many complain that 4:30 p.m. sunsets are sufficiently repugnant to endorse stopping the practice altogether. A piece published in the Boston Globe last month proposed that Massachusetts switch to Atlantic Standard Time, igniting particular interest again in the topic this fall. Though the piece’s conclusions in favor of upending the status quo are interesting, they are not compelling.

»The argument turns on the question of how the shift away from Daylight Savings Time would be implemented. Tom Emswiler suggests in the Globe that Massachusetts should lead the charge and move to Atlantic Standard Time, which would be the equivalent of "keeping the clock an hour forward all year". The benefits of this switch, other than simply a later sunset, would apparently be medical, environmental, and psychological. Even if other northeastern states were to decide against such a switch, Emswiller still thinks Massachusetts would benefit: "New England,” he says, “should join a time zone more suited to us, not one that works for New York". .../...»


Facebook has chosen to stop some experiments

Venture Beat
Gregory Ferenstein


«Last July, there was a media firestorm when Facebook was caught manipulating user emotions with newsfeed experiments. The data science team wanted to understand how positive and negative stories impacted the way users interacted with content and Facebook itself. Since the uproar, a Facebook spokesman confirmed to VentureBeat that it has, in fact, chosen to stop some experiments, including a massive study to see whether the social network can encourage voting among its young audience. In 2010, one of the nation’s leading political scientists, Professor James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, conducted a massive experiment to see if placing an “I voted” counter at the top of the newsfeed had a measurable impact on election turnout. Since the “I voted” counter was randomized and the team had access to actual voter records, Fowler’s team could reliably see how exposure to certain messages influenced voting.

»As a former political scientist, I would argues that this the most important academic study on the value of social media in democracy to date. Facebook managed to boost turnout 2.2 percent, which is really large by traditional election standards. Previous research found that is nearly the entire effect of the 2008 Obama campaign. If that seems small, it’s because most elections are won at the margins; campaigns spend millions just trying to get a few thousand more voters to the polls.

»Facebook continued to conduct more experiments from the 2012 elections as well. But, for the upcoming 2016 election, it’s stopped. The service will show everyone the exact same button (or no button at all). This means it won’t know how much it’s encouraged people to vote, or if some messages are more effective than others. In other words, Facebook can no longer innovate. .../...»


Our innovation system needs innovating

The Daily Courier
Stan Chung


«The Conference Board of Canada says “despite a decade or so of innovation agendas and prosperity reports, Canada remains near the bottom of its peer group on innovation, ranking 13th among the 16 peer countries.”

»Canadian business leaders say in surveys that they don’t know how to innovate, and rate their innovation skills as average.

»What happens if we don’t innovate? It’s a slow economic death spiral that will result in Canada’s famed quality of life going backward.

»Innovation can be defined as the ability to create unique products, services and processes that have measurable value in the marketplace. There are many ways to measure innovation, but conventional wisdom believes innovation is best measured by dollars of new revenue as an output.

»For example, a general rule of thumb is that 10 per cent of an organization’s revenue should be new every year. (Other measures of innovation include number of patents, number of start-ups, research investment and access to capital investment.)

»New ideas on innovation metrics focus less on output and more on human input factors, such as internal capability, innovation intensity and sector collaboration.

»Most Canadian organizations do not have an innovation strategy or an innovation plan. On the other hand, strategic plans are filled with the vocabulary of innovation – the words are there, but the culture, reliable systems, processes, and strategies, are not.

»An important way of thinking about innovation is seeing it as the development of a culture not just a set of imperatives or nice-sounding words.

»So, if you’re a school, band office, start-up, non-profit, government department or a big company, what should you do to kickstart your culture of innovation?

»Here are seven steps to get you started. .../...»


«Newsletter L&I» (n.º 28, 2014-11-03)

Despoluir oceanos, mares e rios (Brasil)

Enterrados vivos: a saga dos rios de Pinheiros [web] [intro]

Brasileiros integrantes de projeto de despoluição dos oceanos fazem palestra na XVI FIMAI [web] [intro]

O sonho olímpico de despoluir a Baía de Guanabara [web] [intro]

Minas Gerais: Rio São Francisco passou de atração a canal de esgoto [web] [intro]

Incubadora de empresas (Portugal, África lusófona)

Agência Espacial Europeia lança incubadora de empresas em Portugal [web] [intro]

O sonho americano em Portugal [web] [intro]

Artesanato e queijo de Penela vão beneficiar da inovação tecnológica [web] [intro]

INOVA Startup Proença [web] [intro]

Los grandes innovadores

Destaca Oppenheimer en libro a innovadores de América Latina [web] [intro]

Los grandes innovadores no son lobos solitarios [web] [intro]

Los dos grandes innovadores de los últimos 30 años: Elon Musk, ¿el nuevo Steve Jobs de Wall Street? [web] [intro]

Michael Schrage: «Una empresa no innova porque no tiene talento para hacerlo» [web] [intro]

Transition au numérique

Le kiosque numérique de Blendle séduit Axel Springer et le New York Times [web] [intro]

L’industrie du câble en France compte sur les transitions numérique et énergétique pour se relancer [web] [intro]

Une école créative et juste dans un monde numérique [web] [intro]

Télévision numérique terrestre: le Cameroun ne sera pas prêt d’ici juin 2015 [web] [intro]

Social change

Laboratory for Social Machines (LSM): Building systems solutions for social change [web] [intro]

The chocolate that is creating social change [web] [intro]

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Clarence Page publishes his perspectives on the politics of race and social issues: «We tolerate too much inequality in this country,» he said [web] [intro]

Collective force for social change [web] [intro]

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