Challenge to meet future needs accomplished

first_imgA new test that helps people confirm that they’ve taken a life-saving HIV drug, a nonprofit that helps people navigate personal bankruptcy, and a venture working to accelerate artificial intelligence were the big winners in Tuesday’s President’s Innovation Challenge awards ceremony at the Harvard Innovation Labs.President Drew Faust awarded each of the three student ventures, UrSure, Upsolve, and Lightmatter, with $75,000 in prize money to help transform their innovative ideas into real, world-changing ventures.“Your aspirations are so exciting because they are bold, they are risk-taking, and they are devoted to imagining the world as a better place — fairer, healthier, safer,” said Faust in her introduction. “It is so inspiring to see what you are trying to accomplish, for young children, for people who have found themselves in financial distress, for women who need health care, for a whole range of different problems that we’ve seen addressed in these proposals.“I look forward to seeing in the future how all of you, winners and those of who aren’t winners today, continue to pursue their goals,” Faust added. “And I look forward to seeing these proposals turn into things I’m reading about in the news or seeing in stores or hearing about around the world.”The President’s Innovation Challenge is open to any Harvard student from any School. This year, 440 student teams submitted declarations of interest, a record 200 teams entered business plans in the competition, and 15 finalists were selected in March. All 15 finalists gave elevator pitches for their companies at the ceremony.Harvard Innovation Labs Managing Director Jodi Goldstein said she was proud that all 12 Harvard Schools were represented among the applicants, reflecting the spirit of President Faust’s One Harvard initiative. “In fact, half of our finalist teams contain a mix of teammates from different Schools,” she said.The winners split $310,000 in prizes in three categories: Health or Life Sciences; Social Impact or Cultural Enterprise; and a new Open Track. Three runners-up, which received $25,000 prizes, were Jane Diagnostics, a venture developing molecular diagnostic devices for point-of-care screening of HPV; C16, which uses synthetic biology to create environmentally conscious palm oil; and Aircrew, a maker of advanced air-purification systems.Based on voting by the audience, an inaugural Crowd Favorite prize of $10,000 was awarded to one other team: Two Rabbits, a venture bringing culturally adapted curricula and teaching to schools at the margins of society.UrSure’s CEO and founder Giffin Daughtridge, whose venture received The Bertarelli Foundation $75,000 grand prize, said, “This is an absolute game-changer for us.”“We had enough funding to get through the next couple of months, but this will help us accelerate our timeline,” said Daughtridge, who is about to receive dual degrees in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.Upsolve CEO Rohan Pavuluri, whose team won the Social Impact or Cultural Enterprise grand prize, said, “The beauty of startups is that they are an outlet to make a change in the world. You can choose any problem you want and start working on it.“We are so happy to win,” he added. “But now we have more work to do.”The President’s Innovation Challenge underwent some significant changes in its sixth year, merging what previously had been two separate challenges: one in which the prizes were selected by Harvard’s deans in categories such as health and life sciences, cultural entrepreneurship, and sports, and a separate President’s Challenge that invited students to create early stage ventures to solve specific global problems. Additionally, a new Open Track was created this year, allowing for greater diversity of student ventures entering ideas that defy easy categorization.“This is validation that we have a good idea and that we should keep going forward with our business,” said Open category winner Lightmatter’s Nicholas Harris. “It’s really raised our energy, and we are going to try to raise money this summer to make Lightmatter a real thing. This money is going to help make that happen.”“By empowering these students as they go through the experience of building a venture, we are unlocking the personal potential that other types of endeavors tend not to,” Goldstein said, “That’s why this competition exists. Because people who otherwise wouldn’t have participated in the entrepreneurial process can build, learn, fail, and grow.“It’s an important distinction,” she added. “This isn’t just a business plan competition. We aren’t just evaluating the business potential of these teams. It’s about the students and the realization of their potential for impact.”last_img read more

The Dawn of a New ERAA

first_imgWith the speed of innovation and rate of technological change today, it’s critical that everyone in the ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) ecosystem be aware of new technology inflections, and explore new technology directions and educational opportunities that will enable them to deliver to the business imperatives that emerge.Dell Technologies recently partnered with the Institute for the Future (IFTF) to explore how some of those emerging technologies such as AI, Robotics, VR, AR and Cloud Computing will shape the future. In the recently released report, “Next Era of Human-Machine Partnerships,” one of the key findings is that people will be learning “in the moment,” as the pace of change will be so rapid that new industries will be created and new skills will be required to survive.In order to stay ahead of that rapid pace of change, companies must innovate. Innovation is the lifeblood of Dell EMC and critical to us as well as to our customers’ success and competitive differentiation.To address and meet the demands of innovation for the digital economy, our External Research and Academic Alliances (ERAA) team, as part of the Dell EMC Global Office of the CTO, explores emerging technologies (“horizon watching”) and new business opportunities/skills that will be required for the “Next ERAA”.We explore, engage and share knowledge with leading global researchers and faculties across the ecosystem to increase our speed and breadth of innovation. It’s not just a monetary investment, it’s a collaborative engagement with our Dell EMC technology thought leaders, sharing in an open and sometimes unexpected environment. For example, what’s a cranberry farm have do with IoT/sensor networks? The partnership accomplishes more than you can imagine.Sometimes, the outcome of the explorations might be “understanding what NOT to do, which can be as important as understanding what to do”.ERAA plays an active role as a community partner to share knowledge gained from these engagements to build the education and knowledge base for future innovators. By collaborating with 2700+ academic institutions in 93 countries through our Academic Alliance Education Program, we’ve closed the growing technology skills gap for over 640,000 students since the program’s inception and contributed a global in kind value of $265M in educational support for 2016.The Academic Alliance Education Program offers unique ‘open’ curriculum-based education on technology topics such as cloud computing, big data analytics, and information storage and management (such as our free foundational IT courses). We also access and share a number of other educational opportunities, which includes a close partnership with the Cloud Foundry Foundation.“What a long, strange trip it’s been. We’ve democratized information and changed the way we live, learn and communicate.” –Michael DellAre you interested in innovating with us for the Next ERAA to keep changing the way we live, learn, and communicate? Please reach out to me directly at Deborah.Stokes@dell.comlast_img read more

German Parliament Supports ITT Environmental Initiative of Ecuador

first_imgBy Dialogo June 19, 2009 A vision becomes reality. Ecuador annonced a plan, the German parliament reacted and supported the idea. Now we need money to finance the rescue. Germany will be the first to give money – ITT needs more countries to spent money for the rescue of this world treasure. Berlin, June 18 (EFE).- Today the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Equador, Fander Falconí, received the support from members of committees on Foreign Affairs, Environment and Cooperation, and Development of the German Parliament, to whom he presented the ITT environmental initiative of his government. The project Ishpingo-Tambaococha-Tiputini (ITT) seeks not to develop a large oilfield in the Amazon in exchange for financial compensation from the international community aimed at environmental preservation and social development of Ecuador. The German social democratic MEP Sascha Raabe emphasised the “absolute commitment” of all the political forces of the German Parliament and the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Ecuadorian proposal, and expressed his desire for this project “to be a success.” The ITT initiative intends to preserve about 900 millions barrels of crude oil in the Amazon areas of Ishpingo, Tambococha and Tiputuni, where the Yasuní National Park, one of the main biodiversity places in the word, is located. The project seeks to avoid the production of 407 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), by not developing the oil field. Falconí qualified the proposal as “promising and pioneering,” and he added that it “marks a different rhythm” in the management of international relations and in the fight against global warming. According to his explanations, the initiative recognizes for the first time “the right of nature to be respected. We appeal to the world to be aware of the planet’s destruction.” In order to promote this awareness and protection of the Amazon, Ecuador will organize on September 29 a concert in Madrid, that is expected to attract 300,000 people, and which will be broadcast live on big screens in New York, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, London, Sydney and Tokyo. Among the artists, music bands Radiohead and Green Day are confirmed to participate. The chairman of the board of the ITT initiative, Roque Sevilla, explained that Ecuador will issue “Yasuní Guarantee Certificates (CGY),” the guarantee of oil to remain under the soil” and these certificates will be available to governments, international institutions, companies, foundations and private entrepreneurs. Taking the system of “carbon credit” from the Kyoto Protocol as an example, Sevilla remarked that the cost of stopping 407 million tons of CO2 emissions is worth 7,000 million dollars. Quito proposes the funds be to obtained to be deposited in a mutual fund administrated by an international organization such as the United Nations, the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) or the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Said funds will be used to protect and preserve 40 national parks and native reserves in the country, which cover 38 percent of the territory. Besides, it is expected to be used to reforest a million hectares, changing the energy matrix of the country, and financing the fight against poverty in the places where the project will take place. During his visit to Berlin, Falconí signed the Constitutive Agreement of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena). This organization will encourage the use of renewable energy through the assessment of energy policies, the search for funding, the improvement of regulations and promotion of development and transfer of new technologies.last_img read more

Good news on corporate stabilization

first_imgNCUA recently released its semiannual update on the Corporate Stabilization Fund. Of note is the “Q&A on Costs and Assessments” at, which the agency began posting several years ago at CUNA’s urging.From the update, we can conclude that credit unions can look forward to substantial refunds of the costs they paid as the corporate credit union crisis unfolded. But that won’t happen soon.Between 2008 and 2012, credit unions paid $10.4 billion as a result of the failure of five corporate credit unions: $5.6 billion as extinguished capital at the corporates and $4.8 billion as assessments paid by all federally insured credit unions.In 2012, the projected range of total losses to the fund was $13.9 billion to $16.1 billion. Had those estimates held up, credit unions would still be on the hook for $3.5 billion to $5.7 billion in additional assessments. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Uptick in Long Island’s Housing Hides Real Concern: High Cost of Living

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island is experiencing a welcome renewed boom of housing construction. But are we pricing out the region’s young families by building exclusively for the elderly? Shouldn’t we be catering our downtown development proposals to the supposed wants of millennials? Or are we missing the boat completely by failing to address the true drivers of housing costs in the region?While Nassau and Suffolk counties are often called “The Land of No” when developers are asking the question, the figures, showcasing both historic and recent building permits, don’t lie. In recent years, LI has seen an uptick in housing starts, especially when compared to the years of the Great Recession. Throughout the 1980s, Suffolk saw an increase of more than 5,000 multifamily units. The average increase remained fairly static at 5000-plus from 1990 to 2000, but the last decade or so is a different story. From 2000 to 2010, Suffolk saw more than 15,000 units of multifamily housing built – triple the rate being built in the last 20 to 30 years.The number of senior housing units is ballooning as well. In 1980, there were 5,000-plus units of senior housing in Suffolk. By 2014, that total number grew to more than 25,000 – and more units are being added. Clearly, the supposed “Land of No” has seen year-over-year increases in housing. But prices remain on the verge of unaffordable, so it seems that building more units is doing little to alleviate the Island’s housing cost woes.Demographically, LI is aging. According to the U.S. Census, the Island had more than 324,000 residents aged 65 and older in 1990. By 2013, that total swelled to over 441,000, with more elderly expected to proliferate as the Baby Boomers leave their younger days behind. Compare the growth of this demographic segment to the ever-critical decline of millennials that LI policymakers always seem to grimly tout.In 1990, the Island had 626,000 residents aged 20 to 34, but by 2013, the region saw the total drop to 500,000. Yet, this supposed Brain Drain represents an actual gain since the region had 478,000 people in this demographic group in 2010. Luckily for Long Island, the 5-19 age range has 582,000 residents in the pipeline, so all is not lost.Why the lesson in the number of housing starts and the cyclical nature of demographics on LI?It is important to understand these trends because making policy, especially housing strategies, based on age demographics—and age demographics alone— isn’t sound planning. In fact, it ignores the true causes of concern especially regarding housing.Ever-increasing costs, a symptom of the Island’s lack of economic opportunity due to the proliferation of low-wage service sector growth, is the serious issue we must address. In the past two decades, construction has inched along, yet companies are still fleeing our region. While local policymakers and developers play Chicken Little by claiming the sky is falling due to the Brain Drain, what they should dread is not the flight of the young or the lack of housing for the old – it’s reigning in the cost of living on Long Island.Some argue that increasing the region’s housing supply is the answer, but this blind adherence to supply and demand economics ignores the fundamental reality that Long Island is environmentally fragile thanks to its sole-source aquifer, it is surrounded by water and its vacant open space is limited.There is no simple answer, but a good place to start would be the creation of high-paying, quality jobs that take advantage of LI’s educated workforce. The Island needs a vibrant, diversified economy with multiple sectors that foster business-cycle resiliency while offering opportunities for all types of workers. Policymakers must take a serious look at Long Island’s economic and racial segregation – and conduct an honest analysis of what, exactly, is driving up housing costs.Is it “exclusionary zoning” as urbanists often claim? Or are Long Island’s balkanized school districts, fire districts and countless other political and quasi-political overlapping fiefdoms to blame?Until these hard questions can be answered honestly, our policies will continue to be misguided by anecdotal evidence, stakeholder whims and insiders’ political savvy – while our corporations flee and housing affordability slips ever further away from those who would pay to stay.Rich Murdocco writes about Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran master planner. Murdocco is a regular contributor to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.last_img read more

Ex-player: I support players kneeling for anthem

first_imgI have been reading about the Niskayuna students protesting during the national anthem. I attended Niskayuna High and played football in the late ‘70s. We had no such protests — professional football players standing on the sideline while the anthem was played is a relatively new development. So while these social injustices existed, no protests were visible.I have come to the painful conclusion that if such protests had happened in my time, and a teammate had kneeled, I probably would have continued to stand; 17 year-old me would not have wanted the scrutiny, and I was too naive about the world. I also realize that I would have eventually regretted my inaction.Older me has seen things. Older me has learned to listen to peoples’ stories and not dismiss them simply because I haven’t had the same experiences. It’s much easier for older me to understand that I simply am not subject to the same actions that people of color (or women) continually face. Older me has had the benefit of serving in the Navy, allowing the concept of shipmate to forge with the idea of teammate. Older me has also learned that there is not just one way to be patriotic.So older me says this to the students: I’m your teammate. Even though I’m not with you in person, I kneel with you in spirit. You are my brothers and sisters. You have every right to protest injustice, and I will have your back while you do it.Tom SwansonFalls Church, Va. (formerly of Niskayuna)More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Crest unveils its plans for Crawley

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Spain’s home-working draft bill to make employers pay for expenses

first_imgThe Spanish government has agreed with unions and business leaders that employers must cover home working expenses after the coronavirus pandemic caused millions to work from their living rooms.”It was fundamental to regulate remote working to protect the rights of workers,” Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias told state-owned TV channel TVE on Tuesday.”This new rule will boost productivity and the competitiveness of the Spanish economy”, as well as the working conditions of the Spaniards who partly worked from home in 2020, Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz told a news conference later. Official data show more than 3.5 million people were working remotely in the second quarter.Under the government’s draft proposal seen by Reuters, companies would have to bankroll all expenses employees may have when working from home, including computer equipment and furniture, while employees can ask for flexible working hours.The benefits would only apply to employees who stay home for at least 30% of their work schedule, and employers will have the right to monitor workers’ online presence while respecting dignity and privacy.All home working arrangements have to be voluntary, both for employers and employees. The new rules, if approved by parliament, would not apply to home working schedules that were put in place specifically to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.Three months after the end of Spain’s lockdown, many Spaniards are still working remotely, as social distancing rules limit office capacity.The labor ministry is also seeking an extension of a furlough scheme that is due to expire on Sep. 30.The lockdown marked a big change for Spaniards mainly unaccustomed to clock in from home. Only 3.5% of Spanish workers partly worked from home in 2019, compared with a 9% average in the European Union, according to Eurostat.With 671,468 cumulative infections, Spain has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Western Europe. More than 30,663 people have died since the start of the pandemic. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Social distancing in jeepneys difficult to carry out – Treñas

first_imgThe regional director also told Treñas allhealthcare workers boarding buses do not have to pay fare; they just have topresent their identification cards. The jeepney ban starts today. Social distancing, however, is very difficult to carry out in publicutility vehicles, specifically the passenger jeepneys, according to Mayor JerryTreñas. Still, tricycles and trisikads could only pass local roads,not national roads, stressed Treñas. Osmeña said TFRB is ready to dispatchmore buses, if the city government will request for augmentation./PN Treñas, however, clarified that jeepneysdelivering agricultural products to and from the city could ply the city’sstreets. Only the following public utilityvehicles are allowed to transport passengers because social distancing in themis possible: buses, taxis, tricycles and trisikads. For non-healthcare workers, a P10 fareis imposed. Osmeña, meanwhile, assured the citymayor the Board will permit 10 buses to serve passengers in the first few hourstoday. Because COVID-19 can spread fromperson to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spreadwhen a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales, social distancing is highlyrecommended by the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization(WHO). “Mabudlaymag-social distancing ang aton mga pumoluyo sa public utility jeepneys,” said Treñasyesterday. PHOTO BY IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN ILOILO City – Social distancing means increasing the physical space betweenpeople to avoid spreading illness such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The objective of social distancing is toreduce the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection, andothers who are not infected, so as to minimize disease transmission, morbidityand ultimately, mortality. Treñas said he consulted with LandTransportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) regional directorRichard Osmeña about the temporary jeepney ban. ‘GHOST TOWN’. The usually congested Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue in the bustling district of Mandurriao, Iloilo City is empty on the first day (March 20, 2020) of the nearly month-long lockdown imposed by the city government in a bid to keep the metro free from the coronavirus disease 2019. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN He thus ordered a halt to the operation of passenger jeepneys whilethe city is on an enhanced community quarantine against COVID-19 until April14, unless extended or shortened.last_img read more

INDOT to open I-74/SR 3 bridge on Friday

first_imgGREENSBURG, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to open all lanes and ramps at the State Road 3 and Interstate 74 interchange on Friday (12/9).The concrete barrier walls were removed on Thursday.Traffic at the bridge had been restricted to a single lane in each direction since early April.The main work has been completed. In the spring, crews will return to remove the temporary crossover lanes, landscape, and complete final tasks.last_img