«Biological nano-drones can vaccinate against cancer»

Nanowerk News. Technical University of Denmark.

«When cancer hits, your immune system shuts down. Over the past 5–10 years, research into cancer has therefore increasingly focused on helping the immune system start up again. Because if we succeed in that, there is much to indicate that this approach will prove significantly more effective than the aggressive, all encompassing chemotherapy treatments we currently use.

»One of the initiatives in this area is the work of Professor Thomas Andresen from DTU Nanotech. He has recently been awarded a grant from Innovation Fund Denmark for a project in which biological nano-drones are used to train the immune system to recognize cancer cells; and kill them.

»This is something it cannot do on its own, because cancer cells are adept at concealing themselves. It is true that when chemotherapy or radiotherapy is used to kill cancer cells today, the immune system steps in afterwards to clear away the dead cells, but it doesn’t learn anything from the process. This is what Thomas Andresen is looking to change.

»“The strategy is for us to start by using radiation therapy to kill a small number of cancer cells. While the immune system is working to clear up after the attack, we send in our drones, which emit substances that place the immune system in ‘emergency response mode’. It then orders the body’s T-cells to attack the cancer cells. And because cancer cells are slightly different to other cells in the body, we can make them react to specific proteins on the surface of these cells, so only the hazardous cells are targeted,” explains Thomas Andersen.

In the field of cancer research, we have seen many examples over the years of a situation in which we thought we had made a major breakthrough, but where the effect proved less impressive than expected.

»Mice vaccinated against cáncer

»The method has initially been tested on mice. The findings from these tests revealed that around 70 per cent that had been infected with cancer were cured. But that was not all. It proved impossible to reintroduce cancer into any of the mice that had been cured. Their immune system had been improved to the extent that the mice were actually vaccinated against cancer.

»It is now a question of developing and testing the method so that it can also be used on people. Because even though the mice seemed relatively unaffected by the tests, and many of them were cured of the disease, there is still not enough data available to allow the method to be transferred to human subjects. This is where the grant from Innovation Fund Denmark comes into play, and Thomas Andresen is counting on being ready to start clinical trials when the project expires four years from now.

»There are several types of cancer therapy that use the immune system in one way or another, and all kinds of eye-catching results have been presented. That is why Thomas Andresen is much more optimistic on patients’ behalf than ever before in a career stretching back over 20 years:

»“In the field of cancer research, we have seen many examples over the years of a situation in which we thought we had made a major breakthrough, but where the effect proved less impressive than expected. We have generated results that have made the treatment slightly more effective, and we have gradually become much better at treating cancer. However, the development in immunotherapy we are currently witnessing is a huge leap forward in relation to what we have achieved previously. We are now seeing terminal patients, who have otherwise resigned themselves to their fate, suddenly being cured. This is something we’ve hardly ever seen before. And I think it’s just the beginning ...”»

An innovation


«The invisible disruption of nano-scale»

Lin Yangchen. Straits Times

«The science of very small structures works its magic in the background, but this emerging technology has also revolutionised many industries and is set to do much more.

»A local start-up has set its sights on using minuscule particles to kill off bacteria, an innovation that could end people's worries about smelling bad after a workout, or after walking from home to the train station on the way to work due to the hot and humid climate. Bacteria is what makes sweat smell bad and young start-up firm Salus Nanotechnologies is developing a formulation of nano-particles that gives fabrics anti-bacterial properties. These particles work by creating bacteria-killing chemicals called reactive oxygen species.

»What's even better is that the production of these reactive chemicals is stimulated by the presence of light and moisture, two things in abundant supply in sunny Singapore.

»Welcome to nanotechnology - the science and art of manipulating structures as small as a billionth of a metre, and harnessing the special properties they have at those scales. Such particles are, of course, invisible to the naked eye since it would take some 100,000 of them to make up the width of a human hair.

»Nanotechnology is also invisible in another sense - it has been working its magic in the background in areas ranging from cosmetics and clothing to construction materials and even cancer-fighting drugs.

»Take products people come into contact with every day. A 2013 report by the US non-profit organisation Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies highlights the steep growth rate of those with a nano-element; from 54 products in 2005 to over 1,600 in 2013. Health and fitness is by far the biggest group, led by personal care products such as toothpaste and soaps; followed by clothing such as those with wrinkle-resistive features; then cosmetics, sporting goods and sunscreen.

»The research team from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology that developed the green tea nanocomplexes for targeted cancer drug delivery - (from left) Dr Nunnarpas Yongvongsoontorn, Dr Joo Eun Chung, Dr Shujun Gao, Prof Jackie Ying, Dr Susi Tan (holding the green tea formulation), and Dr Motoichi Kurisawa. PHOTO: INSTITUTE OF BIOENGINEERING AND NANOTECHNOLOGY

»The value of manufactured finished products that will include some aspect of nanotechnology is difficult to determine, but various estimates place the number at between US$3 trillion (S$4.1 trillion) and US$4.4 trillion by 2018, up from about US$731 billion in 2012.

»These figures were cited in a report prepared for Munich RE, the reinsurer, which considers nanotechnology such a significant force it is studying the possible impact of its health effects on insurance claims.


»Singapore is at the forefront of nanotech research in certain areas, says Dr Lerwen Liu, managing director of consultancy NanoGlobe. She is of the view that the city state "has state-of-the-art infrastructure for R&D in nanoscience and technology".

»There is a centre here to develop materials as thin as a single layer of atoms, which scientists say can do wonders such as enable batteries to be recharged in 16 seconds, and pave the way for ultra-thin glowing display screens. It's called the Centre for Advanced 2D Materials and, in 2014, the National Research Foundation (NRF) poured $50 million into it.

»Another world-class institution here is the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*Star) Nanoimprint Foundry launched in 2013, which helps companies develop industrial-scale applications.

»It is collaborating with local small and medium-sized enterprise Wangi Industrial to produce an anti-reflective glass that repels both water and grease. They hope to bring the product to market by the end of next year.

»At Nanyang Technological University (NTU), researchers are designing nanorobots that draw energy from chemicals to propel themselves and navigate according to the direction of light or magnetic fields. These could eventually be deployed in nanosurgery and drug delivery.

»Then there's A*Star's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering. It is working on using nanotech to enhance security features on banknotes and product authentication tags so as to make them almost impossible to counterfeit. Its scientists do this by producing overlapping colour prints at a resolution of 62,500 dpi (dots per inch) that appear three-dimensional under a microscope. They are working towards 100,000 dpi.

»In the biomedical realm, researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) at A*Star have also managed to incorporate substances from green tea into nanoparticles for targeted cancer drug delivery. These green tea-enhanced particles are more effective in targeting cancer cells and leaving healthy cells unharmed, reducing the dosage, cost and side effects of the drug.

»IBN executive director Jackie Ying says the multidisciplinary approach adopted in this project is important to nanotechnology.

»"They (biologists and clinicians) feed us with interesting problems, and then we (engineers and chemists) come up with interesting solutions together with them."

»Associate Professor Xiong Qihua of NTU's School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences believes that the nanotech sector here will continue to grow for decades to come, with the emergence of new ideas that straddle different sectors.

Associate Professor Xiong Qihua of NTU's School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences believes that the nanotech sector here will continue to grow for decades to come, with the emergence of new ideas that straddle different sectors.


»It is difficult, however, to put a number on the size of the nanotech sector here. That is partly because of the way national funds for science and research are allocated. The NRF does not have a separate category for nanoscience and nanotech because it regards them as "horizontal enablers" that span different disciplines.

»The NRF does, however, expect current funding mechanisms, such as its Competitive Research Programme (CRP), to continue to support research in this field. In fact, a quick check of the 68 research projects funded by the CRP since its inception in 2007 finds that more than 25 per cent are related to nanotechnology.


»Academic institutions may be doing much of the heavy lifting, but nanotech start-ups here are also receiving more support.

»Salus Nanotechnologies, for instance, has an investment offer from local venture capital firm Red Dot Ventures under the NRF's Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS), in which the Government funds up to $500,000 for qualifying start-ups. This is Red Dot Venture's first proposed investment in the nanotech sector.

»Mr Leslie Loh, managing director of Red Dot, says: "In our pipeline, nanotechnology hopefuls compete alongside other highly technical businesses.

»”Salus Nanotechnologies earned Red Dot Ventures' support because they are easily scalable across multiple verticals, address an immediate market need, and fit well within existing customer processes.”

»If the funding is approved, Salus will get a total of $589,000 to fund manpower and other operational needs.

»Mr Loh highlighted the importance of public-private co-investment schemes, such as TIS, as they encourage venture capitalists to take greater risks in supporting emerging technologies.

»“Nanotech inventors and entrepreneurs rely on publicly available funds because of the expensive nature of nanotechnologies,” he adds.

»He believes the sector will continue to grow due to three factors - first, technology is optimised through nano-scale manipulations; second, nanotechnology manufacturing gets cheaper; and third, government funding continues.

» “We predict the sectors the Singapore Government supports as part of Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020's (RIE2020) spending portfolio will be the sectors that nanotechnology commercialisation will be greatest,” he says.

»He is referring to the four main sectors identified in RIE2020, the NRF's funding programme which has allocated $19 billion towards research and development over the next five years.

»These four main sectors are advanced manufacturing and engineering, health and biomedical sciences, services and digital economy and urban solutions and sustainability.


»Dr Alex Lin, head of Infocomm Investments, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's venture capital unit, has a different, more pessimistic view of nanotech's trajectory. He says the high entry cost of nanotechnology currently puts it out of reach for most applications, and it remains difficult to scale up.

»The equipment needed for nanotechnology - such as electron microscopes - are expensive, and many nanomaterials can currently be produced only in small quantities.

»IBN's Prof Ying, who applies nanotech in bioengineering, believes that more can be done to further drive progress here.

» “In many countries, including the US, nanotechnology is so special that it is a line item in the budget,” she says.

»Take as an example the 2017 US Federal Budget which will provide more than US$1.4 billion for the country's National Nanotechnology Initiative. US-based inventors also lead the world in nanotechnology patent applications and grants, accounting for 54 per cent of them, according to a 2012 study by the law firm of McDermott, Will and Emery. By contrast, Asian inventors account for 24 per cent.

»Prof Ying says that with more funding in nanotechnology, researchers here in institutes like the IBN, which she heads, will be able to set up more spin-off companies to bring their innovations to the masses.

»In this respect, Prof Ying thinks Singapore is still too risk-averse. In biomedical research, for example, there is good funding for the research phase but that dries up come time for clinical trials that involve administering drugs or nanoparticles to humans, as chances of success are lower. But such trials are important steps towards commercialisation.

»NanoGlobe's Dr Liu says adoption of nanotechnology in consumer products in Singapore is not as quick as in countries like China and Japan which have greater manufacturing capacity. She says that investors here still see more opportunities in information technology and software rather than in hardcore engineering.

»“Singapore does not have this manufacturing value chain to take what's developed in the laboratory to the market,” she adds.

»That is an area ripe for review as Singapore works out how best to position itself for the economy of the future. As Dr Liu points out, “nanotechnology is coming to maturity and it is going to disrupt a lot of stuff”.»

An innovator


«UAE, Canada promote partnerships in innovation, sustainability»

Khaleej Times

«A Dubai Government delegation, led by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) has concluded a successful tour of three prominent cities in Canada in a bid to explore commercial and investment partnerships for promoting sustainable and innovation-driven economic development.

»The delegation comprising officials from Jafza, Dubai South, Tecom Group, Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Emirates, and Emirates SkyCargo, toured the cities of Edmonton and Calgary (both in the province of Alberta) and Vancouver in British Columbia, during their 10-day mission, put together with the support of the Canada-UAE Business Council.

»Members of the delegation held various rounds of fruitful dialogue with people leading innovative public and private sector initiatives across varied industries such as smart technologies, entertainment, logistics, transportation, export facilitation, agri-business, research and development (R&D), and sustainability in the three Canadian cities.

»Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI said the emphasis on creativity and sustainability in the Dubai Plan 2021 makes it all the more important for the emirate to engage closely with investors and institutions in countries like Canada, known for their expertise and focus on innovations.

»“UAE- Canada relations remain remarkably strong, and have been expanding into new and emerging sectors. Between 2014 and 2015, bilateral trade rose from around Dh5.4 billion to more than Dh6 billion and for Canada, the UAE is their fourth largest export market in the world and the largest in the whole Middle East and North Africa region,” said Al Gergawi.

»Al Gergawi added that the mission was successful in updating Canadian businesses on the added value Dubai can provide as a source market and supply chain hub. “Dubai's manufacturing and distribution infrastructure and connectivity provide Canadian industries a unique opportunity to build on their home-grown expertise and expand it into new markets. The mission enabled us understand the requirements of diverse industrial sectors in Canada in terms of sourcing and exporting products and services.”

»The UAE investments in Canada, estimated at Dh85 billion (30 billion Canadian dollars) and distributed across major projects such as the DP World-owned marine terminals in British Columbia, TAQA North and the IPIC-owned Nova Chemicals, provide a significant number of jobs in Canada. Meanwhile, over 150 Canadian companies have based their regional operations in the UAE, which is also home to more than 45,000 Canadian citizens.

»“We had visited Calgary along with Toronto and Montreal in 2015, and the experience gained then helped us make a stronger pitch for Canadian investments in Dubai this time. It was a highly productive mission in terms of knowing each other and introducing Dubai as the most efficient link to a consumer market of over 2.2 billion people spread across the Middle East, North Africa, CIS, and the Indian Subcontinent,” added Ibrahim Ahli, director of Investment Promotion, Dubai FDI.

»A 'Showcase Dubai Forum' organised in co-operation with the Government of Alberta and Edmonton Economic Development marked the start of the Dubai delegation's programmes in Edmonton, a predominantly agricultural region which is now a an emerging entrepreneurial and technology hub.

»The delegation toured TEC Edmonton and Alberta Agri-Value Incubator, leading business incubators promoting innovation, and Start-up Edmonton, a complete growth ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs, to learn about Canadian experiences in new enterprise development.

»State-of-the-art technology was the main theme across all the networking sessions and meetings in Edmonton, which saw the delegation visiting the University of Alberta, one of the top 100 research universities in the world, as well as the E-hub at the National Institute of Nanotechnology, in addition to the ICE District development and Stantec, a global engineering services firm based in Edmonton.

»Innovations in transportation and logistics as well as oil and gas dominated the discussions in Calgary. The delegation visited the GE Customer Innovation Centre, Canada Beef Centre of Excellence, the distribution centre of Home Depot, which is the world's largest home improvement specialty centre, and District Ventures, Canada's first accelerator for packaged goods. The delegation was supported by the Calgary Economic Development and met with the deputy mayor of Calgary.

Innovations in transportation and logistics as well as oil and gas dominated the discussions in Calgary. The delegation visited the GE Customer Innovation Centre, Canada Beef Centre of Excellence, the distribution centre of Home Depot, which is the world's largest home improvement specialty centre, and District Ventures, Canada's first accelerator for packaged goods.

»The delegation met with representatives from various industries and associations in Calgary, such as Calgary Regional Partnership, Petroleum Services Association of Canada, Venture Capital Association of Alberta, ATB Financial, Innovate Calgary, Calgary Airport Authority, and Calgary Stampede over a Hub & Spoke Roundtable, aimed at creating reciprocal export hubs for the Middle East and North America.

»In Vancouver, one of the largest industrial centres in Canada with an ethnically and linguistically diverse population, the Dubai delegation met with leading innovators in the digital technology, sustainability, communication, leisure and entertainment sectors, with the support of the Vancouver Economic Development. The delegation was briefed on Vancouver's Green Economy and its Greenest City Action as well as 100 per cent Renewable Energy Strategy.

»“The well organised and intensive sessions with the relevant provisional government and businesses have proved that there is tremendous potential for Dubai, not only for exploiting the phenomenal business opportunities presented to us, but also to learn from Canadian businesses in the fields of Innovation, Research and Development and the development of Small and Medium Enterprises, “said Asim Al Abbasi, deputy chief executive officer and chief financial officer, Economic Zones World.

»Al Abbasi added: “This mission was the right step in attracting Canadian businesses to Dubai, especially targeting foodstuff, livestock and agricultural enterprises. I would like to commend Dubai FDI for enhancing the efforts in targeting Canada as an important global market, and raising Dubai's profile as the gateway to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region to develop mutually beneficial business development partnerships”.

»Khadija Turki of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “Dubai Tourism's participation as part of the government mission in Canada helped push a common position on Dubai as an attractive investment hub, providing entrepreneurs and business groups a holistic perspective of Dubai's diverse offerings and vast potential. The roadshow in Canada also helped put the spotlight on Dubai as a leading family tourism destination, while giving us the opportunity to showcase it as one of the fastest growing cities in the world that takes immense pride in its cosmopolitan character and vibrant yet safe environment.”

»“As the emirate's leading urban project, Dubai South is happy to have met with several business leaders in Canada. Dubai South's business-friendly ecosystem and our unrivalled multimodal logistics dimension - which includes the Al Maktoum International Airport, the world's largest airport in the making - is only one part of the value-add we can offer Canadian companies as they access the emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. This visit marks the start of our engagement with our Canadian peers, especially in the engineering, R&D, IT, energy, and agriculture sectors,” said Edward Batten, senior manager - business development in Dubai South.

»Visits to the UBC Centre for Integrated Research on Sustainability - an accelerator of sustainable building and urban development practices; Moovee Innovations - urban traffic technology solutions provider; Electronic Arts - Canada's largest studio; General Fusion - global leader in fusion power solutions; Digital Domain - Visual Effects and Animation Studio, and Wavefront Wireless Innovation, a national centre of excellence were the key points in the delegation's Vancouver itinerary. A roundtable was also hosted by Dubai FDI in partnership with Vancouver Economic Development. - business@khaleejtimes.com»

Public Administration and innovation


Newsletter L&I, n.º 110 (2016-06-27)

n.º 110 (2016-06-27)

TAGS: # nanotecnologia # nanotecnología # nanotechnologie
# nanotechnology

Administração Pública e inovação | Administración Pública e innovación |
Administration Publique et innovation | Public Administration and innovation

Um inovador | Un innovador | Un innovateur | An innovator

Uma inovação | Una innovación | Une innovation | An innovation

A execução da inovaçao | La ejecución de la innovación | L’exécution de l’innovation |
The innovation execution


Liderar Inovando (BR)

«Nanotecnologia: o futuro da inovação científica no Brasil» ( ► )
«Pesquisador fala da nanotecnologia em veículos robustos durante simpósio da SAE BRASIL» ( ► )
«Aedes: pesquisadores do RS anunciam parceria para
desenvolver tecnologias» ( ► )
«Livro sobre nanossegurança é lançado no Simpósio SAE BRASIL de Novos Materiais e Nanotecnologia» ( ► )

Liderar Inovando (PT)

«Centro da UMinho vai usar Nanotecnologia para criar alimentos funcionais mais eficientes» ( ► )
«Investigadores portugueses em destaque na Europa» ( ► )
António Lúcio Baptista: «Saúde e reformas: o que falta resolver» ( ► )
«Startup do futuro são “minúsculas”. Em Braga, são Startup.Nano» ( ► )

Liderar Innovando (ES)

«El centro de nanociencia vasco nanoGUNE usará el modelo de la Fundación Barrié para rentabilizar la investigación» ( ► )
«Nanotech, la vanguardia en nanotecnología en México» ( ► )
«Con biosensor de glucosa ganan Premio Santander» ( ► )
«BeAble, un fondo para convertir la ciencia en empresa» ( ► )

Mener avec Innovation (FR)

Laurent Alexandre, Thierry Berthier et Bruno Teboul: «Le prochain président devra faire face à la révolution NBIC!» ( ► )
Nouria Hernandez: «La science est une force qui avance toute seule» ( ► )
«Luc Ferry, philosophe de l’ère des nanotechnologies, des biotechnologies et de la cognitique» ( ► )
«Corée du Sud / innovation: Séoul et Paris veulent s’entendre pour peser au niveau mondial» ( ► )

Leadership and Innovation (EN)

Markus J. Beyrer: «No risk, no innovation: Europe needs an
Innovation Principle» ( ► )
Edward Greenspon: «A true 'innovation agenda' requires government to think differently» ( ► )
Todd Hirsch: «Canada should take advantage of a new power innovation» ( ► )
«How to pitch your business idea: Insight from the Ci2016
innovation scholarship» ( ► )

Licencia Creative Commons Licencia Creative Commons
Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional


«How to pitch your business idea: Insight from the Ci2016 innovation scholarship»

SmartCompany. Thea Christie.

«This November, Creative Innovation 2016 Asia Pacific will be handing the stage over to emerging leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to pitch their enterprise at the largest innovation event in the Southern Hemisphere.

»Upon sharing their idea in a 60 second pitch, entrants have the chance to win one of ten scholarship places and rub shoulders with world-class thinkers, senior leaders and executives.

»“As a young entrepreneur it’s a great platform to pitch your ideas, network, and potentially get funding and valuable strategies from the conference,” explains Alrick Pagnon, Creative Development, Innovation & Partnership Manager of Creative Innovation Global.

»“We’re looking for entrepreneurs, innovators and freelancers across the board. Whether that’s from a social enterprise, from the service or tech sector, we’re hoping for a diversity of new talent.”

»This year’s pitching theme, “The Exponential Shift: Making Transformation happen” reflects the need for businesses to think beyond a linear growth mindset.

»“Businesses need to adopt an exponential growth mindset if they want to be in tune with the current landscape and keep up with the rate of innovation,” says Pagnon.

»“Change is happening every day – the first commercial drone delivery flight happened only a few weeks ago in the US by an Australian company.

»“3D printing continues to have a massive impact on the medical field and other industries. Nanotechnology is changing the way we cure disease and treat patients, not to mention AI, which is essentially critical in everything that we interact with,” he says.

Nanotechnology is changing the way we cure disease and treat patients.

»Ci2013 Scholarship Winner and Brand & Culture Transformation Expert, Stephen Scott Johnson, says the scholarship was a fantastic opportunity to connect and learn from world-leading change makers.

»“Winning a scholarship in 2013 enabled me to present my brand in front of 700+ CEOs, senior executives, entrepreneurs, policy makers, educators, NFP leaders and the media. I encourage entrepreneurs and innovators to apply for the Ci2016 scholarships program if they are serious about transforming the status quo and taking their venture to new heights,” says Johnson.

»It’s one thing to believe you have a great idea, but you have to learn how to express your pitch persuasively. Here are Pagnon’s top three pieces of advice for pitching your innovative idea:

»1. Have a great idea: This may seem obvious, but it’s one thing to have an idea and another to present a problem that is worth solving. Focus on meaningful innovation – we don’t need another photo sharing app or another Instagram. Ensure your business, product or service adds value and helps consumers to live a better life.

»2. When pitching, get to the point: Be brief, and share your core message and what you’re trying to achieve.

»3. Perfect your storytelling: People listening to a pitch want to be taken on a journey, to understand where you’re coming from, why you came up with the idea and the challenges you may be facing. People admire truth, so if you lack some key business skills share that as part of your story.»

The innovation execution


Todd Hirsch: «Canada should take advantage of a new power innovation»

Todd Hirsch. Special to The Globe and Mail.

«What do you get when you combine orphaned oil and gas wells, nanotechnology, 3-D printing and a bunch of really smart geologists? Throw in a government committed to eliminating carbon-fired electricity, and you get the perfect conditions for some mind-blowing innovation in power generation.

»Geologists and engineers at the University of Alberta are developing something called “low temperature micro-geothermal engines.” It may be an awkward name, but what they’re working on could be an innovative breakthrough for Alberta’s power generation aspirations. The provincial government has announced intentions to eliminate all coal-fired power by 2020 – an aggressive goal that has been applauded by many. Yet the question of how we are going to get there looms large over an economy mired in recession.

»The geothermal engines at the U of A are basically a redesign of something that’s been around for more than two centuries: the external combustion engine. Using nanotechnology – which enables scientists to construct things at the molecular level – the engines can be designed to be about the size of an inflatable kids’ pool and a couple of metres high. In the words of Dr. Jonathan Banks, the geologist and lead researcher at the university, “we’re going to optimize the bejeezus out of it” using nanotechnology.

»Built at the molecular level using 3-D printing, the units would be placed atop orphaned oil and gas wells – something Alberta has in abundance – pulling up boiling hot brine water from more than two kilometres below the Earth’s surface. Unlike natural gas, which loses a tremendous amount of heat while it is being brought to the surface, water loses very little of its heat energy while it’s pulled to the surface. The water’s heat can be converted to electricity by the micro-geothermal units, and pushed onto the grid.

Geologists and engineers at the University of Alberta are developing something called “low temperature micro-geothermal engines”. Using nanotechnology, the water’s heat can be converted to electricity by the micro-geothermal units, and pushed onto the grid.

»No carbon. No nuclear waste. No ruined caribou habitat.

»One engine could produce enough electricity to power 100 homes. And the best part of it is that using 3-D printing, the cost of producing one will be a few hundred thousand dollars, not millions or billions. They’d be compact, easy to install and simple to connect to the electricity grid.

»If this innovation had taken place at the University of Copenhagen, we’d think “Oh those Danes are so clever!” If it had been in China, we would say “There goes China again, eating our lunch on innovation.” But it’s happening right here in Canada – and our response is dangerously close to a yawn. Few Canadians are even talking about the technology or the enormous opportunities it creates for geothermal energy.

»There are at least two reasons why we should be jumping for joy at the prospect. The first is the potential for the province to replace coal – at least partly – as the largest source of electricity generation. That could go a long way in improving Alberta’s image, which has suffered in a world at war with carbon.

»But the second reason is even more important, at least economically. The development and innovation of such power systems here in our own backyard provide the opportunity to sell the technology to the rest of the world – a world that is also keen to move away from coal, hydrocarbons and nuclear. That can provide long-lasting labour market opportunities and could help establish Alberta as a leader in renewable energy.

»There are many definitions of “innovation,” but the one I use is this: the application of an existing technology to a new and very useful purpose. Here we are seeing true innovation take shape. For a very long time, it seems nanotechnology has been an invention waiting for something useful to do. But now we are seeing the emergence of something not only useful, but crucial to solving our power needs.

»We need to be innovative, but we also need to recognize and capitalize on innovation when it happens. The advances in nanotechnology, 3-D printing and geology must not remain trapped in university labs. Commercializing the technology is the next step, but this is where Canadians have often fallen short. We’ve innovated something amazing – now let’s capitalize on it.

»Todd Hirsch is the Calgary-based chief economist of ATB Financial and author of The Boiling Frog Dilemma: Saving Canada from Economic Decline

An innovation


Edward Greenspon: «A true 'innovation agenda' requires government to think differently»

Edward Greenspon is president and CEO of the Public Policy Forum. Otawa Citizen

«Innovation is fast becoming the new weather. Everybody talks about it, but nobody is sure what to do about it. They aren’t even sure what it is.

»Perhaps that’s because the conversation on innovation needs fresh voices with more “rubber meets the road” perspectives.

»Six new voices recently talked their way into the national discussion at an unusual town hall: the doers spoke and the experts listened. That each of the doers had received one of the inaugural Governor General’s Innovation Awards the previous day invested them with an extra dollop of street cred.

»Their most basic message to policymakers was “Do No Harm.” They had insider stories about the perversity of government procurement practices, the dizzying alphabet soup of support programs, the impenetrable tangles of red tape, the mixed record of incubators and accelerators and the rigidities they encounter in post-secondary educational structures. Oh yeah, and the perennial matter of internal trade barriers making a small country even smaller.

»Governments that want to help often inadvertently hinder

»The simple proposition behind the town hall led by the Public Policy Forum is that if we are to have an Innovation Nation, its citizens must be heard.

»In this case, the citizens have created a wearable technology so people with diabetes can detect on their smart watch what they can’t feel in their feet. They’re extending the lifespan of the lithium ion batteries that power electric cars, attracting the attention of Tesla’s Elon Musk and drawing a dream team of graduate students to Dalhousie University. They’re marrying traditional indigenous knowledge with cutting-edge applied arts and design, using technology and art for social justice and change.

»They’re using nanotechnology to create a breakthrough dressing for burn survivors that simultaneously kills bacteria and decreases inflammation. They’ve developed a minimally invasive procedure to treat brain tumours using laser probes guided by MRIs. They have invented a robotic arm that allows people with physical disabilities to manipulate objects.

A dream team of graduate students to Dalhousie University are using nanotechnology to create a breakthrough dressing for burn survivors that simultaneously kills bacteria and decreases inflammation. They’ve developed a minimally invasive procedure to treat brain tumours using laser probes guided by MRIs. They have invented a robotic arm that allows people with physical disabilities to manipulate objects.

»They don’t dislike government. They just don’t want to get caught up in its obsessions. One said whenever he hears an offer of matching funds, he heads for the exit. Another observed that governments have dozens of funding programs on offer, more than a small start-up can ever investigate. Nobody wants to divert their discovery and development time to filling out forms.

»Governments that want to help will have to slim down and run faster

»They’ll have to be all-in as well when it comes to using their huge purchasing power, in the manner of governments decades ago in helping build a telecommunications sector. The award winners identified an odd paradox in current public procurement practices: On the one hand, economic development departments champion innovation; on the other, public electricity and health care systems display indifference, even hostility, to anything new.

»Winnipeg’s Mark Torchia and Richard Tyc have installed their NeuroBlate brain tumour treatment system in more than 35 hospitals in the United States and just one in Canada. The JACO robotic arm faces similar resistance. “I tell politicians they should stop giving me grants and instead give me orders,” says its inventor, Charles Deguire. “If you want to have an innovation nation, your biggest buyer has to be innovative.”

»Herein lies a critical cultural gulf. Governments, under siege from the inquiring minds of auditors and the harsh judgments of the failure-intolerant, find it safest to direct spending toward known knowns. In contrast, genuine innovators are outliers chasing the unknown. University of Alberta nanotechnologist Robert Burrell comments that discovery often boils down to seeing what everyone else sees, but thinking about it differently.

»Figuring out how to boost up those thinking differently has fallen to Navdeep Bains, whose former Department of Industry has been rebranded Innovation, Science and Economic Development. He’s been mandated to develop an Innovation Agenda that supports economic growth, attracts investment and builds export-oriented companies.

»Job One is getting governments, like innovators, thinking and acting differently. If you insist on sticking to code, you’ll keep building what you already know. That’s the opposite of innovation.»

An innovator


Markus J. Beyrer: «No risk, no innovation: Europe needs an Innovation Principle»

Markus J. Beyrer has been Director General of BUSINESSEUROPE since late 2012. EurActiv.com

«Are you in favour of innovation? If you ask anyone in Europe, I believe 99% would say, yes, it’s a good thing. But if you ask the same people if our European researchers, engineers and companies should be allowed to take more risks to explore new and innovative products and companies to put these new products easier on the market the answer would be: “I’m not sure.” “Better not.” Just a few may say “Yes, because otherwise innovation will just happen outside Europe.”

»Unfortunately, too often, the reflex is to first look at a new product’s risks as opposed to its benefits. Europeans have their feet on the brakes whenever they fear risks. We regulate everything.

»Technological progress is often hindered or almost impossible in Europe. Meanwhile economies such as China, South Korea and North America are competing for global innovation leadership. The pace of change is increasing. In these countries, the R&D intensity is up to two times greater than in Europe, which will ultimately reduce our competitiveness. Europe was once the innovation leader and is now the regulation leader. We can’t successfully compete with other faster moving markets where capacity to innovate, adapt, and exploit new technologies is critical for success.

»In Europe, we spend nearly €80 billion over 7 years from the EU budget for the so-called Horizon 2020 to support research and innovation which we strongly support. But public financial support is not enough. They also need a supportive regulatory environment. Regulation must keep pace with scientific progress and technological innovation in all industries.

Public financial support is not enough. They also need a supportive regulatory environment. Regulation must keep pace with scientific progress and technological innovation in all industries.

»For some time now, the European Commission has been more active on this front. Last year, in its Better Regulation package, it put forward first guidance on how policy-makers should assess the impact of regulation on research and innovation. It’s the right direction, but politicians must now scale up to frame this supportive environment.

»Let me give you one example. Nanotechnology has been identified by the EU as a ‘key enabling technology’, representing the basis for further innovative solutions in a range of sectors such as health, energy, water or construction. However, companies face multiple and inconsistent definitions of nanotechnology across different EU regulations and lack of standard methods and clear references whether certain material can be classified as nanotechnology. It’s hindering researchers and business in Europe.

»We need to embed an Innovation Principle in European policy making. This principle sets out to provide a new and positive framework for ensuring policy makers not only recognize societal and environmental needs for precaution, but also the need for innovation. It simply states that whenever legislation is under consideration, its impact on innovation should be assessed and addressed.

»This Principle would also require better evaluation of innovation through impact assessments and better quality control of evidence. This doesn’t mean removing the Precautionary Principle – it is an essential part of the European Treaties. But, but we want to ensure that the innovation principle complements well the precautionary principle and existing risk management regulations. Together, it would encourage a balanced view of risks and benefits. The result will be better regulation and more innovation.

»I believe many EU member states see the need to act but their stronger support for this Innovation Principle would be an important signal as it’s important for Europe and its businesses competing on global level. That’s also why twelve CEOs of innovative multinational companies have signed an initial letter to the Presidents of the three EU institutions, proposing the adoption of the Innovation Principle. They’re representing a wide range of industrial sectors, including electronics, oil and gas, chemicals, biotechnology, crop protection, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, farm machinery, consumer products, innovation consultancy, IT and fertilizers and they’re investing €30 billion a year in R&D. This initiative was pursued further when a larger group of 22 CEOs sent a letter to Commission President Juncker.

»They stressed that we must not stifle innovation and competitiveness with too prescriptive and too detailed regulations. Jobs, growth and investment will only return to Europe if we create the right regulatory environment and promote a climate of entrepreneurship and job creation. Today increasingly risk-averse legislation blocks Europe’s ability to innovate and invest in new technologies. We should accept the fact that there is no innovation at zero risk. Of course these risks should be recognized, assessed and managed. But they cannot simply be avoided to a 100 per cent if Europe wishes to remain competitive.

»At the same time the Innovation Principle is complementary and should go hand in hand with the need to protect human health and the environment. Today we can claim in many ways to be leading the world in regulations to protect health and the environment, but there is no coherent industrial policy to protect innovation. To re-balance this situation we should promote a cultural change, with a more positive attitude towards innovation across society and EU citizens. We should also improve the innovation governance.

»To succeed we also need credible and independent scientific advice to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council, to ensure high scientific standards and transparency, better impact assessment, routine consultation with innovative organisations, from both public and private sectors. We need better law for administrative procedures to ensure appropriate quality, governance and predictability when drafting and implementing legislation in Europe.

»Europe is a rich and ageing continent. Therefore, we need to be more and not less innovative than other regions. In order to achieve this, we need an Innovation Principle in Europe.»

Public Administration and innovation


Newsletter L&I, n.º 109 (2016-06-20)

n.º 109 (2016-06-20)

TAGS: # comêrcio # comercio # comerce # commerce

Administração Pública e inovação | Administración Pública e innovación |
Administration Publique et innovation | Public Administration and innovation

Um inovador | Un innovador | Un innovateur | An innovator

Uma inovação | Una innovación | Une innovation | An innovation

A execução da inovaçao | La ejecución de la innovación | L’exécution de l’innovation |
The innovation execution


Liderar Inovando (BR)

«BNDES pode ajudar governo do estado do Rio na privatização de empresas» ( ► )
«Mercado segurador aposta em inovação para crescer» ( ► )
«Comércio de Manaus realiza dia livre de impostos» ( ► )
«Blairo Maggi negocia no G20 ampliação de comércio com vários países» ( ► )

Liderar Inovando (PT)

«OCDE fixa como desafios o aumento da produtividade e o combate das desigualdades» ( ► )
«Portugueses dão cartas no comércio digital em França» ( ► )
«Revolução tecnológica e sustentável também está a passar pela agricultura» ( ► )
«Missão de embaixadores europeus busca inovação» ( ► )

Liderar Innovando (ES)

«Startups pactan negocios por US$20 millones en Lima» ( ► )
«Bezos fía a la inteligencia artificial el futuro del comercio electrónico» ( ► )
«José María Ferrer, inspiración entre grifos» ( ► )
«Bankia e Insomnia ponen en marcha la primera incubadora y aceleradora fintech de España» ( ► )

Mener avec Innovation (FR)

«Emmanuel Macron, ministre de l’Economie, alerte sur le risque de stagnation qui “menace” l’Europe» ( ► )
«Aéroport de Bordeaux-Mérignac: un 3e Terminal à l'horizon 2019» ( ► )
«Carbios: crée Carbiolice, une JV avec Limagrain et Bpifrance» ( ► )
Philippe Portier: «Le coavionnage, nouveau défi collaboratif en l'air ( ► )

Leadership and Innovation (EN)

«Passing the ball of innovation from science to commerce» ( ► )
«Broadleaf Commerce Sponsors Retail Innovation at IRCE 2016» ( ► )
«Great Firewall Curbs Innovation and Commerce» ( ► )
«Innovation, funds key to growth in e-commerce: Parag Gupta, Morgan Stanley» ( ► )

Licencia Creative Commons Licencia Creative Commons
Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional


«Innovation, funds key to growth in e-commerce: Parag Gupta, Morgan Stanley»

The Economic Times. R Sriram & Jochelle Mendonca & Dia Rekhi

«Plotting a firm path to profitability is not necessarily the most important task for Indian e-commerce startups, according to Morgan Stanley's Parag Gupta. Gupta, who is the executive director heading internet research, told R Sriram, Jochelle Mendonca & Dia Rekhi, that it is still early days for the Indian ecommerce sector. Edited excerpts:

»Q- What is your view on what is happening with ecommerce valuations? Do you think it is an adjustment that is necessary, that is being made in the normal course of things or is there a larger problem?

»A- As far as funding is concerned, I don't think you can look at India on a standalone basis, you have to look at India on a global basis. Look at what has happened to global markets and within that, look at what has happened to global technology stocks. Publicly-listed technology stocks are coming down in value. From an investor perspective, you're not just looking at investing in India, you are looking at investing in technology globally. If you find value in a listed stock elsewhere, you will obviously use that opportunity to buy that stock.

»There will be a curtailment in funding to some extent and you can also assume that when things start becoming slightly difficult on the funding side, investors also start looking for other variables such as unit economics, the path to profitability not in the next year alone but the next twofive years and what the visibility on when this will happen. If investors don't see this, then funding can dry up.

»Q- How important is the 'path to profitability' for Indian ecommerce startups these days? Is it the most important thing for them to look at?

»A- Path to profitability for any company is important. Price attraction has been an enabler of growth for a lot of internet ecommerce companies, globally. So, India is not unique in that respect.

»So would I actually say that path to profitability is the most important factor, I would say not necessarily. As long as you are building a strong business, and seeing growth in your traffic base and improvement in your operating metrics, eventually that would lead to better margins. It's year two or year three in ecommerce in India today. So, it is very early to be talking about profitability.

»Q- There has also been a lot of upheaval in the food and grocery delivery sector. How is that market going to play out?

»A- Who is going to be the eventual winner that is very hard to say because the market has just opened up. But it is very important for companies to keep an eye on customer acquisition costs and unit economic costs and experience to customers and have positive gross margins. Companies which can do it all have massive room to grow.

It is very important for companies to keep an eye on customer acquisition costs and unit economic costs and experience to customers and have positive gross margins. Companies which can do it all have massive room to grow.

»The total orders per day that are serviced by the larger food aggregators in India put together are about 60,000-70,000 per day. If you look at the larger food aggregation companies in China put together, each of them by itself serves 1 million orders per day. So, the avenue for growth is massive. All you need is focus on the business and to execute well. Both of these will help you get funds, which will help you build a moat around your business. And those will be the few companies that will be winners. And the final point in the food delivery is not a winner take all market.

»Q- What do you think is going to be the biggest threat for ecommerce companies in India?

»A- So, I think the way I would point out is that there are two things for an internet company or an ecommerce company to succeed, and this is global. The first is innovation — as a technology company you have to use the synergies of technology to deliver phenomenal customer experience. Companies who are able to innovate at low-cost structures will be the winners in this market at some point in time.

»The second is funding. One of the reasons that India has seen a significant increase in startups is because of the funds that have come in. That needs to continue to develop this ecosystem further. Obviously, there is going to be a dryup in the new startup ecosystem.

»Obviously, the companies that are doing well, those are companies that are using technology to provide that experience, are those that will attract funds. Companies that have raised large rounds in 2014, 2015 will need to focus on execution before they move to the next round.»

The innovation execution


«Great Firewall Curbs Innovation and Commerce»

China Digital Times. Posted By: Cindy

«Time’s Hannah Beech reports that academic scholars in China are becoming increasingly frustrated with the country’s stiff internet restrictions, as the lack of access to online resources continues to isolate Chinese researchers from the global exchange of ideas and hamper their ability to innovate.

»[...] At a scientific conference held late last month in Beijing, domestic researchers protested that the nation’s Internet restrictions are harming their ability to innovate. One unnamed Chinese academic told the China Science Daily that “it is very difficult to achieve world-leading results or to be a frontrunner in global scientific research without any knowledge of [other countries’ achievements] and without comparison.” That’s a big problem, given that at the same academic conference, China’s President Xi Jinping set ambitious targets for Chinese innovation. He urged the nation’s researchers to catapult China into the ranks of the world’s most innovative societies by 2020. […]

»But how can Chinese researchers fulfill Xi’s directive, given that the Great Firewall blocks everything from online tools like Google Scholar to groundbreaking papers by international peers? “Our nation’s mind is caged,” say Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology. “How is it possible for our nation to have prosperous culture and science? If we can’t access Google or other resources on the Internet, it is impossible for us to have a good vision and an open mind, let alone innovation. That’s why China has few great minds.” [Source]

How is it possible for our nation to have prosperous culture and science? If we can’t access Google or other resources on the Internet, it is impossible for us to have a good vision and an open mind, let alone innovation. That’s why China has few great minds.

»While China’s Great Firewall has long been a source of frustration for the country’s internet users, many have found ways to access blocked foreign websites by circumventing the system. Most recently, a group of investors cheated in a financial scam collectively scaled the Great Firewall to spread news of their plight on Twitter. Even Fang Binxing, the man involved in the initial construction of China’s Great Firewall, was forced to use a VPN while giving a speech in April. Despite the inconvenience posed by the Great Firewall, reports suggest that the Chinese government is working to “perfect” internet censorship within its borders. Elsewhere, writers at The Economist look at how free speech has come under attack globally in recent years with growing restrictions coming from government and non-state actors alike.

»Earlier last month, U.S. Trade officials renewed criticism of Chinese internet censorship by adding it to its official list of trade barriers. At The Wall Street Journal, Eva Dou writes that Chinese internet and cybersecurity controls are forcing a growing number of U.S tech companies operating in the country to deepen joint ventures and other forms of local partnerships in order to overcome business hurdles.

»Western companies have struggled with China’s increasingly stiff cybersecurity regulations and many U.S. tech firms are now finding that their best way to go forward in China is by strengthening joint ventures and conducting more of their business through Chinese partners.

»Microsoft Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc.—which all have faced headwinds in China, including antitrust probes and espionage accusations—have formed new Chinese joint ventures in the past year tailored to meet Chinese security requirements. Newer companies such as Uber Technologies Co. have chosen to enter China through purely Chinese ventures with all their data stored in the country.

»[...] After Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. government spying in 2013, Chinese regulators have used both carrots and sticks to push foreign tech suppliers to localize product development and data.

»A slate of new cybersecurity laws requires technology companies to store their data in China, submit to security checks and help the government with decryption if requested. Government agencies and key industries have been urged to adopt “secure and controllable” technologies, a term widely interpreted to mean Chinese products.»

An innovation


«Broadleaf Commerce Sponsors Retail Innovation at IRCE 2016»


«Fortune 500 eCommerce solution provider, Broadleaf Commerce, [revealed] new eCommerce management solutions and provide retailers with an opportunity to demo interactive web stores at IRCE 2016.

»Broadleaf Commerce, the eCommerce platform solution provider for enterprise commerce brands, including O'Reilly Auto Parts and The Container Store, [announced] their participation at the 2016 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) [Video: IRCE 2016 - Teaser. (VTEX TV)]. At the conference, Broadleaf [unveiled] new eCommerce management solutions surrounding Multi-Tenant and B2B platform features, and provide eRetailers the ability to create and demo interactive web stores. With more than 600 companies filling the 250,000 square-foot showroom floor, IRCE is the largest display of eCommerce technology and services. The exhibition [took] place in Chicago from Tuesday, June 7 through Thursday, June 9.

»Located at booth #540 in the exhibit hall, Broadleaf [provided] retailers with interactive web store management experiences, allowing visitors to personally manipulate a retail store environment. Additionally, retailers [had] an opportunity to maneuver the demo with hands-free Leap Motion technology. Broadleaf product [revealed] during IRCE [included] new Multi-Tenant and B2B platform offerings. [...]

Broadleaf knows a customer’s site behaviour. This data enables relevant offers to be made and marketed to the customers while they’re visiting the site, and not just through email follow-ups.

»“We’re excited to show commerce teams at IRCE how easy managing an enterprise-level site can be,” stated Brian Polster, CEO of Broadleaf Commerce. “Our clients continue to reaffirm us as the best commerce framework for building complex or highly customized solutions. We look forward to seeing if our recent improvements with B2B and Multi-Tenant features resonate with the needs of IRCE attendees.”

»The new administrative features have been introduced to the eCommerce solution to help streamline the website management process within Broadleaf. With Broadleaf, retailers can increase conversion rates by easily targeting offers and promotions to the right customer at the right time. “Broadleaf knows a customer’s site behavior,” stated Brad Buhl, COO of Broadleaf Commerce. “This data enables relevant offers to be made and marketed to the customers while they’re visiting the site, and not just through email follow-ups.”

»Understanding the importance of remaining agile in an evolving market, Broadleaf’s modular architecture boasts a feature set trusted to support Fortune 500 enterprises — yet is priced for the mid —market. Those interested in learning more about Broadleaf may [...] contact Broadleaf directly at info(at)broadleafcommerce(dot)com.

»About Broadleaf Commerce, LLC

»Broadleaf Commerce provides B2B and B2C eCommerce platform solutions to simplify the complexities of multi-channel commerce and digital experience management. As the market-leading choice for enterprise organizations requiring tailored, highly scalable commerce systems, Broadleaf is fully customizable and extensible. Trusted by Fortune 500 corporations, yet priced for the mid-market, Broadleaf provides the framework for leading brands, including Google, The Container Store, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and Vology.

»For the original version on PRWeb visit [this web]

An innovator