The citywide program, funded by a $170 million municipal bond and $111 million federal grant, is perhaps the most effective public-Internet operation in the country; high-powered fiber optics offer every home and business up to one-gigabyte-per-second speed for a low price. The Gig was running before Berke took office in 2013, but he’s upped the ante and it’s paid off: More than two dozen startups have located here since 2012. “What the Gig did was change the idea of what our city could be,” Berke says. It’s also got Tennessee Democrats thinking Berke could be the next governor.
Renewables just finished another record-breaking year, with more money invested ($329 billion) and more capacity added (121 gigawatts) than ever before, according to new data released Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
This wasn't supposed to happen. Oil, coal and natural gas bottomed out over the last 18 months, with bargain prices not seen in a decade. That's just one of a handful of reasons 2015 should have been a rough year for clean energy. But the opposite was true.
Down a side alley sits a warehouse that serves as one of the 4,000 motorbike delivery centers in the country—the first such service in Amazon’s 20-year history. There was a frenzy of action inside as each bike rider filled a large black backpack with packages, grabbed a list of addresses, and raced out the door. Straddling on the back of one of the bikes, I clung to the sides as we weaved through rush-hour traffic, dodging cars and rickshaws, women in saris, and the occasional cow. Experts in their districts, the riders are essential to Amazon’s ability to make speedy deliveries, since the country has an arcane address system, patched together haphazardly over the decades, with many addresses containing descriptions reading something like “behind the mosque, across from the stadium.”
Amazon faces a far bigger logistical hurdle than addresses, however: getting paid. Barely 60% of Indians have bank accounts, and only a fraction of those have credit cards. So Amazon’s payment systems in India are drastically different from any the company has attempted before and involve the kind of hand-holding that would be unimaginable to U.S. customers. About half the customers pay cash only when their purchases are delivered. Amazon has partnered with thousands of small shop owners across the country to act as pickup points in exchange for receiving a small commission per package.
The 21-year-old Dutch is the founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, an ambitious operation involving a massive static platform that passively corrals plastics with wind and ocean currents. The array features a floating V-shaped boom so that fish and other marine life can swim underneath.
Further trials will take place off the coasts of Japan and the Netherlands, and if all goes to plan, the project will officially launch in 2020 and be the longest floating structure ever deployed in the ocean.
In the 2015 Global Innovation 1000 study, Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business, analyzed the flows of R&D spending among companies and countries worldwide. We found that the geographic footprint of innovation has expanded dramatically in the years since our 2008 study, when we first charted the globalization of R&D. The new landscape reflects significant regional shifts, as more companies pursue innovation programs abroad in search of access to top talent and high-growth market.
Couple of the many interesting trends in the report – R&D investment has shifted sharply away from Europe and Asia, and the Auto Industry is going through a phase of significant R&D and innovation
“This year is an active one for ship debuts. In fact, the class of 2016 includes two ships expected to be more luxurious than anything before seen on the high seas, as well as the debut of the newest world’s largest ship.”
Photo below of the infinity-edge pool on the Seven Seas Explorer
With a tech industry one-third the size of California’s, Canada has confounded expectations by becoming a leader in the booming market for artificial intelligence. Pioneering technologies developed in Canadian labs can be found in Facebook’s facial recognition algorithms, Google’s Photos app, smartphone voice recognition and even Japanese robots.
Now Canada risks losing its AI edge to Silicon Valley.
Already members of the Canadian AI community are trying to protect what they helped build. A startup called Maluuba (in photo) which makes technology that helps computers talk, is opening a research office in Montreal; the University of Toronto has opened a startup accelerator and this fall launched a program dedicated to AI research.
In the geopolitical sphere, the recently signed nuclear deal between Iran (in photo) and the UN security council has opened up opportunities for Americans to more readily visit the cosmopolitan capital of Tehran and the mosques of Kashan. And while Cuba was onlast year’s list, a spate of new cruises that dock in Havana—all thanks to eased travel restrictions for Americans—mean the destination is continuing to blossom. Cruise ships are also heading to Batumi, in Georgia, with its gorgeous botanical garden. It’s a Black Sea port that’s gaining attention from the big cruise brands given the safety concerns in Ukraine.
Italy’s craftsmen have been undermined by competition from China and other parts of Asia. Since the beginning of the global economic crisis, the northeast’s industrial sector has shed about 135,000 jobs—some 17 percent of its total workforce. “We needed to find an escape route,” says Ignazio Pomini, the president of HSL, a 27-year-old maker of automotive prototypes located in Trento, northwest of Venice. “To use the same technology, the same skills, the same space, the existing investments, but for a new business.”
A few years ago, in an effort to diversify his company’s offerings, Pomini teamed up with Selvaggia Armani, an artist and designer. The two began working on a series of lamps designed by Armani and manufactured to order on Pomini’s 3D printers. The pieces—some of which include intricate meshwork or interlocking chains that would be difficult to produce using traditional methods—take shape slowly, each layer fused from powdered nylon by a high-power laser. The project was a surprising success: Pomini now works with more than a dozen designers; he introduced 3Dprinted jewelry in 2012. “This is the beauty of this technology,” says Armani, 47. “You can build things that are impossible.”