Category Archives: Innovation and Technology

Ready For Meat Grown From Animal Cells? A Startup Plans A Pilot Facility

Memphis Meats, a California based company, plans to build a pilot production facility to grow meat from animal cells. They have funds raised from high-profile investors including Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Kimbal Musk, as well as two giant players in the animal protein and feed space: Cargill and Tyson Foods. The company says its latest funding round has brought in $161 million in new investment. Memphis Meats is still technically made from animals, but helps fight against the environmental impact of livestock agriculture. Read More >>

Think Universities are Making Lots of Money from Inventions? Think Again.

About $75 billion dollars is spent on academic research, and it makes way for little return on investment.  A very small amount of university research products ever makes it to the public market. Colleges and universities only provide a small proportion of the nation’s patents.  In 2016, academic institutions only produced 6,639 of the 304,126 patents according to the National Science Board. A possible reason for this is that faculty are awarded tenure and promotion based on measures such as how much research money they bring in and how many papers they publish, not their numbers of patents or start-ups or the licensing revenue they earn.  Obtaining a patent is a long process that can take seven years. It is easier for universities to calculate merit over papers instead of patents.   Read More >>

Why Your Next Brainstorm Should Begin with an Embarrassing Story

New research from the Kellogg school shows that embarrassment can be a gateway to creativity.  It turns out that holding cringe-worthy anecdotes back creates an unintentional barrier of self-censorship.  “When you have a brainstorming session, what you’re hoping is that people are putting out any idea, without regard to any judgment or evaluation,” says Leigh Thompson, a professor of management and organizations at Kellogg and author of Creativity Conspiracy: The New Rules of Breakthrough Collaboration.  Sharing embarrassing stories is also a good way for groups to break the ice, as it creates a humorous space where people are allowed to feel vulnerable. This is opposed to traditional ice-breakers where people share their accomplishments. Adding this sense of pride inevitable turns ice-breakers into a competition.  Bragging about one’s accomplishments may be a confidence boost, but it results in a hindering of innovative thinking. Instead of closing people off from each-other, reinforcing funny or embarrassing stories can lead to trust and better performance.  Read More >>

The Science of Building Great Teams

While teamwork may have been fostered in youth, it is an incredibly useful skill in the workforce.  A study generated over five years of 19.9 million scientific papers and 2.1 patents showed that people produce more work in teams than as individuals.  Teams are more important than they used to be because there is much more to learn within a given field. When it comes to building the teams themselves, team-members’ ability to coordinate effectively trumps the individuals on the team’s respective talent.  Additionally, teams have their own level of intelligence, which is measured by a group’s ability to perform tasks. Read More >>    

In Bed, Bath, or the Bus: The Secret to Solving your Problems

Brainstorming is a task that many people find difficulty in.  Humans tend to hit mental blocks when it comes to problem-solving.  According to Professor Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, taking breaks from wicked problems could be the key in finding solutions.  The idea is that ‘Eureka!’ moments cannot be forced, and many breakthroughs are found while tapping into one’s creativity. According to the Three B’s of Creativity, the best way to receive a solution from out-of the blue, is by being in bed, bath, or on the bus.  Dreaming, relaxing, and following routine leads the mind to wander, and gives rise to insight previously not thought of. Read More >>

Deep learning for Internet of things

Deep learning is a type of machine learning that leverages multi-layered neural networks that are capable of transforming high-dimensional inputs into an output. Preferred Networks (PFN) a Tokyo-based start-up has been increasingly exploring the concepts of AI in order to reshape IoT ever since they moved on from being a search engine to a deep learning-based company in 2014, The founders of PFN started as a Japanese search engine in the early 2000s and later on as deep learning sectors boomed they readily cashed in their opportunity to integrate IoT and the robust manufacturing sectors of Japan.PFN has a wide range of services that they cater ranging from medical diagnostics to self-driving cars. But their early partnership with Fanuc a large Japanese robotics firm led to one of the biggest breakthroughs of the company in the field of bin picking. Although it is a low-skilled, tedious yet necessary task for the manufacturing sector, machine learning has made it possible to automate these tasks using robotic arms.PFN developed a vision-based solution enabling bin-picking bots to learn quickly from each fumbled attempt and achieved a 90% success rate after 8 hours of work. Recently PFN partnered with Toyota to develop Toyota’s Human Support Robot Platform that aims at making robots that are capable of carrying out mundane tasks autonomously. Read More>>

a giant leap forward in an effort to decarbonize earth.

On November 11th 2019, A group of Investors took a trip to Lancaster, California in order to witness the major breakthrough that Heliogen the latest startup of Bill Gross the founder of Idealabs was unveiling.  They are a company that aims to reduce the carbon emission involved in the manufacturing of cement, lime, coke, and steel which are some of the most energy-intensive and polluting industries currently. Heliogen’s indigenously developed solar concentration technology has the capability to attain high temperatures required for the manufacturing processes and they are on a quest to one day replace fossil fuel completely. The setup involves Four high-resolution cameras that capture real-time video of a field of mirrors that are controlled by sensors to focus the sun’s energy on a particular spot either at a transmission pipe used to transport gas, or a tower, is heated to over 1,000 degrees Celsius.  The testing facility has 70 mirror panels that prove the technology will work.  However, the real model will have mirrors spread across 2 acres and will also integrate with the current fossil fuel burners ensuring 24hr long working of the plant, but with almost 60% reduction in usage of fossil fuels. Read More>>

iS Smart home a convenience OR THREAT

Living in a smart home neighbourhood is both convenient and sometimes creepy admit the residents of Black Diamond a suburb of Seattle, The younger generations of the family love using the technology to voice-control their home lighting, setting up reminders and also using it to call people and play videos on their display screens. However, the older ones feel really threatened by the surveillance features that accompany the smart home facility this is mainly because of the presence of cameras in most of the rooms and the exterior walls that track motion both inside and outside the house. automatic switches save data and doorways keep a log of people, this data can be stolen by someone in order to make a revenue out of it which posses a serious threat. Amazon has a tie-up with construction companies inorder to promote the use of their smart speakers and voice control devices, this also gives the construction agency a unique selling point over other builders in the locality. But is all this high tech stuff really worth what’s at stake? Read More>>

the reason why Hypersonic pitch day is so exciting.

The pitch was held at Doolittle Institute in Niceville, Florida on November 7th,2019. Over 9 startups pitched their products on Hypersonic Flight such as Mach 5 plus capabilities, These included small propulsion units to composite materials that are capable of withstanding very high temperatures and speed. The reason the pitch is so exciting is not just the same day contract of $750,000 that will be awarded to the winner of the pitch by the Airforce but also the opportunity presented by Airforce to the company to partner on the current up-gradation project of their warfighters such as  F-35 with Hypersonic grade weapons. The pitch day winner will support the two major Air Force boost-glide hypersonic prototype efforts now underway: the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon and the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (AARW). Read More>>

Next-generation delivery drones bring medical and other supplies to the front lines

Recently when a live-fire exercise was in session between the Australian,US and other troops, a number of highly autonomous drones successfully carried out more than 380 drop missions to the front lines that included blood and other medical supplies to the troops. These drones were designed by a startup called zipline and were part of the Defense Innovation Unit and the Naval Medical Research Center’s Naval Advanced Medical Development who were demonstrating the capabilities of their drone technology that could aid during the war. the zipline drones carried out over 461 sorties throughout the day and night and successfully dropped 381 supply packages with the help of small parachutes. These are not the first of the unmanned vehicles that were used to deliver cargo during a crisis. However, these are very compact and easy to handle compared to the previous unmanned helicopters Kmax which was used until 2015. Read More>>