Porsche has recently acquired a ten percent stake in the Croatian automotive company Rimac Automobili, nestled near the childhood home of Nikola Tesla. The small Croatian company has just showcased their new hypercar 'C_Two' at the PETERSEN AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM. It is the companies all-new, all-electric hypercar priced at $2.1 million. The Rimac C_Two is scheduled to begin delivery in 2020 and only 150 will go into production. The car is projected to go from 0 - 60mph in 1.85 seconds, half a second quicker than Bugatti’s Chiron.
Earlier this year Apple announced that it will be contributing $350 billion into the US economy over the next five years.
The investments will concentrate on three areas: direct employment by Apple, spending and investment with Apple’s domestic suppliers and manufacturers, and the digital App Store economy.
Ony $75 billion of that total number will come from capital expenditures, new investments in manufacturing, and its repatriation tax payment. The rest of the number is due to normal growth and spending.
Apple CEO Tim Cook commented in the announcement that “We believe deeply in the power of American ingenuity, and we are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness. We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible.”
A 24-Hectare site is being developed near Coventry. The project has received £35m investment from the government and a further £10m from Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council. The new site is intended to attract manufacturers and supply chain firms and will be operational from next year. Funding for the site will also help to improve transport links to the area via connection with the A45, and a bridge being constructed to connect with other manufacturing developments being built.
"It's vital we maintain momentum and keep creating high-skilled jobs and don't let any opportunity slip through our fingers. Today's £35 million investment unlocks land that will help to cement the region as a leading destination for investment.” said business minister, Margot James.
Nova Innovation says it has successfully delivered power by turbine based systems in the Shetland Isles. The group said its technology marks an advancement in harnessing the renewable source of energy. The Shetland Isles project currently consists of an array of two turbines, with three more to be constructed in a project worth £3.6m. They also claimed that the project will eventually supply enough power for 300 houses. The installation is small compared to offshore wind farms, but it is believed the predictable nature of the strong UK tides could eventually supply 12% of its electricity requirements. Tidal power firms have previously been reliant on government subsidies, but investors are increasingly showing interest as advancements are made in the field. The government has launched a review of tidal lagoon power headed by former UK energy minister Charles Hendry, which is due to be published later this year.
The new state-owned entity has been created to help China realise its tech goals of building a world-class aircraft engine. Aero Engine Corp of China (AACC) will research and develop aerospace technology, including jet engines and gas turbines, according to Chinese media. Such technology is difficult to develop and China has previously been reliant on imports. The project has received investment of 50 billion yuan ($7.5bn) from the Beijing Municipal Government, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, with registered capital of 50 billion yuan (7.5 billion US dollars). It is believed to be a strategic move to modernise the countries military.
London based Therapy Box was the only UK firm to receive an award at this year's Talent Unleashed Global Awards. The start-up provides mobile speech and communications solutions to assist people with learning difficulties, such as those with dyslexia. Apple co-founder and supporter of the awards, Steve Wozniak stated: “We often suffice with ‘adequate’ – any voice will do. But Therapy Box focuses on the person and their own voice. Technology should adapt to let humans be humans, not vice versa. What a beautiful concept."
Talent Unleashed Global is an awards ceremony hosted by IT and recruitment firm, Talent International. The awards aim to celebrate start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs dedicated to transforming business through technological innovation. Therapy Box representatives now have the opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley for a tour of leading technology companies and a consultation with Wozniak himself.
“The Talent Unleashed awards represent people who have had ideas, started companies and created products that either do good for society, help people and give us more in our life.”
- Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak
London based FiveAI raised over £2m in July and claims it will have driverless cars on the road in 2019 - two years earlier than predicted by Ford or BMW. The company believes its advanced machine learning system will give it an advantage over competitors. The vehicle would use an array of sensors to accurately assess it’s surroundings, without relying on high resolution 3d maps. This will however, mean that FiveAI’s car will require more on-board processing power than systems designed by competitors, such as Google. Company founder, Stan Bolan, is the former CEO of chip designer Element14 and founder of mobile technology firm Icera, which he sold to Nvidia for $367m in 2011. Bolan says that the first batch of vehicles will be limited to city perimeters, until consumers are ‘ready’ for fully free roaming vehicles.
Intel has predicted that a new USB development could spell the end of the long-term standard in audio connectivity. The new USB type-C will allow for enhanced audio playback and more control options. It will also feature much lower power consumption than previous USB versions, which has thus far been the biggest obstacle in moving away from the old stereo technology.
Intel Architect Brad Saunders has suggests the new interface will also allow for further streamlining of handsets and reduce interference that can be cause by the old style circuitry. Saunders states USB type-C will be more suitable for video connectivity, using less battery than HDMI but with more capability than previous USB versions, making it ideal for mobile devices. The revelation comes amid rumours that Apple’s iPhone 7 will not feature the old 3.5mm interface.
California based start-up, Kernel, has this week announced plans to develop a brain prosthetic to treat patients with memory issues, such as those suffering from alzheimer’s disease. The device will be designed to be implanted in the hippocampus— a region of the brain that is vital for memory storage. It'll stimulate neurons via tiny electrodes. Kernel’s technology is based on research by the director of the Center for Neural Engineering at the University of Southern California, Ted Berger, says they are “Testing it in humans now, and getting good initial results.”
The research has been funded primarily by tech entrepreneur Bryan Johnson, via his venture firm Os Fund, which aims to invest in entrepreneurs who ‘promise to reinvent the operating systems of life.’ Kernel will not be the first company to commercialise such technology— brain implants have previously been developed to treat Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
According to sources, The Telegraph has published that Google intends to release its very own handset by the end of the year in an attempt to regain control over design, manufacturing and software. After hiring Rick Osterloh, former president of Motorola earlier in the year, there have been speculations of Google’s intentions to invest more in the smartphone market. Google’s Android operating system already runs freely on four out of five smartphones sold worldwide, and endorses a range of phones made by partners such as LG and Huawei, but manufacturing is left up to company’s like Samsung. In recent years, Google has already released new hardware, including a tablet computer, laptop and other gadgets.
A British bike builder, Filament, recently launched its carbon fibre bicycle design at the Bespoked Handmade UK Bicycle Show in Bristol earlier this year. Although many road bikes today are built using the lightweight material, Richard Craddock is overcoming the technical difficulties of carbon fibre in order to make a frame that is custom built for its rider. From his workshop in Worcestershire, Craddock selects the right tube diameters, fibre and resin types, the number of sequence and plys used for joining the tubes, as well as the bike’s geometry, based on the rider’s height and weight. Other specialty features also include Sram’s new wireless eTap gear changing system. After four years of development and testing, Filament bespoke, carbon frames are now available for purchase by the public and start from £2,680.
25 year old, Vicky Hamilton from Gourock, Scotland, has recreated the traditional kneepad design to offer tradesmen a product that reduces pressure on the knee by 76%. The design engineering graduate was inspired by her dad who has worked as a joiner his entire career and now suffers from osteoarthritis. The Recoil Protective Kneepads absorb impact and reduce pressure across the entire knee joint due to its double-layered system. Last year, Vicky won several entrepreneurial awards for her innovative design received £65,000 from the Scottish EDGE fund to bring her product to life. With the nearest competitor merely reducing pressure on the knees by 60.7%, Recoil Protective Kneepads are now being purchased worldwide through the website and on Amazon.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy project with his wife, Priscilla Chan, has led a $24 million Series B funding for Andela yesterday. Andela is a startup that trains and recruits the top 1% of software developers in Africa and places them in engineering organisations. Currently with almost 200 engineers employed in Nigeria and Kenya, Andela will be using the funds to expand their outreach to a third African country by the end of the year. "We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela's mission is to close that gap," Zuckerberg said in a statement.
As part of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) program, Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company, has announced its Commitment to Action to invest $25 million in sustainable companies and technologies by 2020. By actively identifying sustainability initiatives, Cox Enterprises will provide organisations with financial support to help bring concepts to scale and provide backing for further innovation in the sustainable space. Organisations will also have the opportunity to learn from the company’s sustainability experts and potentially pilot their technologies within one of the Cox companies. Alex Taylor, Cox Enterprises Executive Vice President believes that this investment is “not only smart for the environment, but it’s also good for business.”
Cox Conserves was launched in 2007 and has already prevented 65,000 tons of carbon from entering the environment, diverted 6,000 tons of waste from landfill, and conserved 55 million gallons of water. Their goal is to send zero waste to landfill by 2024, and be carbon and water neutral by 2044.
In the wake of the UK’s 2020 EU renewable energy targets, Bristol is taking matters into its own hands with the newly elected mayor, Marvin Rees, taking the lead. Last week, Rees approved £5 million in capital funding to build a low-carbon district heating network that will serve the entire city. Through underground pipes connected to energy centres, low-carbon heat is distributed to buildings and homes. District heating networks are said to be the most efficient way of heating homes in urban areas; less than 2% of UK heat is supplied in this way. The scheme is already seeing results as social housing blocks are currently benefiting from the biomass-fuelled heat centres that were installed last year.
Only in its first stages, the Bristol network is a major infrastructure project but it will inevitably provide the city with a sustainable source of renewable energy, reducing its reliance on gas, protecting it from fluctuating energy prices, and amend the fuel poverty that some residents are currently experiencing.
According to a recent report by Deloitte, office construction in London is at its highest level in 20 years. Currently, there are 51 new office buildings under construction, including new headquarters for Facebook and Goldman Sachs in West End and Farringdon, respectively. The data for total office space under development shows an increase of 28% over the last six months to 14.2 million sq ft, the highest level since the beginning of 2008. The increase in building activity has been driven largely by the finance and IT sectors, together they have signed for 4.5 million sq ft of space.
Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has announced it is acquiring a 34% equity stake in Mitsubishi Motors in a deal worth £1.5 billion. However, the deal is subject to regulatory approval and also needs the support of Mitsubishi shareholders. If approved, Nissan would become the largest shareholder of Mitsubishi. The announcement comes in the wake of Mitsubishi's recent fuel efficiency scandal, in which it was revealed the car maker had used testing methods that were not in compliance with Japanese regulations for 25 years. Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn said the deal with Mitsubishi is a win-win for both companies, and Mitsubishi's CEO Osamu Masuko said the alliance with Nissan is a way of restoring confidence in the company.
British low-cost airline Easyjet has posted a loss of £24 million for the six months ended 31 March 2016, in contrast to a £7 million profit recorded for the same period last year. Net profits were hit by a falling pound and attacks in Egypt, Paris, and Brussels. Total revenues rose 0.3% to £1.77 billion and the number of passengers increased 7.4% to 31.0 million. CEO Carolyn McCall said the airline had delivered strong results despite challenging events, and expressed confidence regarding the prospects for the rest of the year. The market reacted positively on the news and Easyjet shares rose 2.9% in London trading on Tuesday.
South Korean electronics giant Samsung estimates the firm's operating profits for Q1 2016 will increase by 10% year-over-year, and its revenues to rise by 4%, reflecting strong sales of the Galaxy S7, its latest flagship smartphone. Although the forecast was well above analyst expectations, Samsung shares closed down 1.25% in Seoul. However, Samsung's guidance is in sharp contrast to the 40% slump in net profits reported for Q4 2015, when strong competition from Apple and Chinese rivals Huawei and Xiaomi reduced Samsung's smartphone sales. The company is set to release its first quarter results at the end of this month.
Alaska Air Group has announced that it is acquiring Virgin America, the US airline founded by Sir Richard Branson that has traded on the Nasdaq since November 2014. The deal, worth $4 billion, was unanimously approved by the two company boards, and it will create the fifth largest US airline, pending regulatory approval. For Alaska Air, the deal will strengthen its ability to compete with larger US airlines, and enable it to expand into the hubs of San Francisco and Los Angeles. This is the first merger of US commercial airlines since US Airways and American Airlines merged in 2013, forming the world's largest carrier.