Scientist’s in California are developing a fantastic new process utilizing revolutionary 3D printing techniques & laboratory grown brain matter.
Dr F Stein describes the process:-
” Human brain matter can be grown quite successfully in the laboratory from stem cells. This process can be accelerated using standard pressure cooking techniques which enables us to grow 1kg of pure brain matter in less than a week. This material is then fed into a 3D printer cartridge. A 3D Cat Scan image of the donors brain is then fed into the 3D printer program & an exact duplicate is then ‘printed’ layer by layer.”
“The next step of the process is to store the donors brain which may then be transplanted into her body at a later date; perhaps at the onset of any sign of brain disease”
This incredible innovation ranks alongside other 3D printing firsts like printing your own house, your own robot or your car.
Even Nokia have got in on the act by releasing templates so you can print your own phone cover.
2012 has been a pretty miserable year with freakish weather on both sides of the Atlantic, in the U.K the highest rainfall since records began saw people washed out of house and home and businesses ruined. In the USA Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast and several lives were lost, homes ruined & businesses destroyed.
Scandal followed scandal in the world of banking, PPI miss-selling, Libor fixing, Rogue traders etc etc
As austerity measures bite, wages decline & the economy bumps along the bottom like a flat baloon.
OK, so that was 2012, what do we want from 2013:-
Less emphasis on GDP and more on sustainability. The current system based on mass consumption, Consumerism & unsustainable growth fed by mountains of debt is bust ! We need to replace it with a more responsible, ecologically sound system based on managing the worlds scarce resources more effectively and equitably.
We need to take environmental change seriously. Whether there is a direct link between recent extreme weather & man made global warming is up for debate but there is irrefutable Scientific evidence that carbon dioxide emissions are having a direct impact on average global temperature. The long term consequences could be cataclysmic.
More People Power – the disaffection with the banks has led to huge defection to “community” banks like the Co-operative bank. Long may this continue. We are the mass consumers and we can have a massive impact by promoting ethical business practice & behavior.
Reduce our thirst for Oil – despite most of the Western world being in recession (or near) the price of Oil remains stubbornly around $100 a barrel. There are a number of factors at work here but there is little doubt we have reached “peak oil” where future supplies will gradually decline and the price rise. We need to break the cycle by urgently seeking alternative energy sources AND reducing consumption. The Automotive industry has made great strides in recent years but nowhere near enough. Much more Innovation is needed in this area.
A flatter playing field – whilst workers real wages & salaries have reduced year after year the income of Senior Management & Board members has continued to rise. The gap between rich & poor gets larger every year. This defies rational thought. It is up to us to change things by greater political action, workers representatives on company boards, greater shareholder influence on remuneration committees etc etc. There is NOTHING inevitable about allowing this obscene poverty gap to continue increasing.
So there are some of our wishes for 2013. Whether they come true is up to me and you. All the best. firstname.lastname@example.org
According to new research published today by Allianz Insurance, some 83% of UK managers rank Innovation as the key to their organization performing strongly.
However, despite the fact most leaders are fully aware of the benefits of innovation, the ongoing challenging economic environment has caused many to opt out of such projects in recent months.
For instance, 23% of the 500 respondents noted that the economic slump has pushed innovation further down their list of business priorities, with issues such as a lack of funding and a focus on profits being the main reasons behind this fact.
This approach is not only wrong it is patently short sighted. Innovating value added products or services is the only way to ensure long term survival never-mind success. Long-term it is not possible for organizations to compete purely on cost. Globalization ensures that whenever you compete purely on cost, someone, somewhere will be able to undermine your cost base and do it cheaper. The only way to compete successfully, particularly in the West, is to produce differentiated products with high added value, which cannot be easily reproduced elsewhere where labor costs are significantly cheaper.
This requires investment in R & D, training and advanced manufacturing techniques.
Fantastic news today regarding the development of a National Automotive Innovation Campus at the University of Warwick.
Funded jointly by the Government’s U.K Research Investment fund, Tata Motors & Jaguar Land Rover, the centre will cost 92 million pounds.
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “The UK has world-class companies and great universities. This new investment will get them working together to deliver innovation and growth.”
“The automotive industry in the UK has seen a recent resurgence, but for the UK to remain internationally competitive we must create urgently a critical mass in research excellence,” said WMG chairman and founder Professor Lord Bhattacharyya. “Our vision is to create the National Automotive Innovation Campus where we link people, research and world-leading infrastructure to create and develop novel technologies.
“NAIC will be an ‘engine’ for economic growth, with wide economic benefit, and sustained growth from the creation of world-leading technologies. It will enable academic and industry teams to work together in state of the art buildings, with tailored equipment and digital solutions to create and integrate breakthrough technologies with a whole system approach crossing multiple disciplines.”
This is exactly the type of investment British Science & Engineering has been crying out for & is a terrific example of how collaboration between successful organizations and Government can work together to increase innovation & deliver high value added products along with well paid jobs.
Last week saw a little reported milestone in Automotive history when Californian Governor Jerry Brown signed through legislation to allow fully automated vehicles on California’s roads.
This took place at Google’s ‘Mountainview’ headquarters where the team have been working on a car which utilizes Google’s ‘Street View’ mapping technology, a number of sensors & some clever software to enable the car to navigate without human intervention. The company has already done over 300,000 miles testing with zero collisions so far.
So why is all of this so important ?? As Highways get increasingly congested it has long been a dream to enable convoys of vehicles to travel nose to tail in close proximity in separate lanes, breaking off as necessary, to reach local destinations.
Robot cars may smack of Sci-Fi but this development could herald a massive social change and a glimpse of the future.
At today’s Paris Motor Show British Automotive manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover revealed 2 fantastic new vehicles. The new aluminium bodied Range Rover and the fabulous new F-type sports car, Jaguars first for over 30 years reviving memories of the iconic 60′s classic the E-type. These vehicles illustrate the very best of British Design and Manufacture. The Quality standards and attention to detail in Design, Product Development and Manufacturing are second to none.
Jaguar Land Rover goes from strength to strength with annual sales over 50% up on the previous year, and all this in the depths of a recession.
This proves that excellence in design, product development, engineering & manufacturing can create tremendous commercial success & generate thousands of high value jobs.
Take a look at the unveil by following this link:-
The spacecraft Voyager 1 is the furthest man made object from Earth & is miraculously still transmitting data 0ver 35 years after it’s launch in 1977.
As it travels out of the solar system and heads for deep space we can only marvel at the journey of this object which has passed close to the asteroid belt, Jupiter & Saturn and has provided extensive scientific knowledge about our solar system.
It is well worth reminding ourselves of Innovation back on Planet Earth since 1977.
The first commercially available mobile phone went on sale in 1983.
The Internet was in it’s infancy in 1977 & didn’t become widely available until the 1990′s.
The World Wide Web did not exist until 1991.
The first commercially available personal computers only appeared in the late 1970′s & had a fraction of the computing power of today’s machines.
This makes the achievements of the Voyager programme all the more remarkable.
You only have to follow the News to find out who’s suing who in the Intellectual Property wars, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia – they’re all at it – but is the whole intellectual property industry an anachronism of the past ?
Most technical innovation takes place at such a rapid pace, & product life-cycles are so short, by the time the dispute get’s to Court the product is obsolete.
Geography also plays its part with some countries immune to International legislation.
There is also a strong argument that resources currently deployed pursuing & defending IPR could be better & more effectively deployed in innovation itself.
The recent news that Eastman-Kodak had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy created much derision around the fact that Kodak invented the digital camera back in 1975 but failed to exploit this achievement.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing & perhaps we should consider that back in 1975 Kodak had 90% market share of the conventional film market & the vast expansion of digital technology was difficult if not impossible to predict. In 1975 only a handful of hobbyists had a computer at home & most of these were incapable of displaying a decent colour image.
Innovation isn’t easy. Companies have to decide very carefully what to invest in & can spend many millions backing the wrong “horse”
One way to make this process easier is to capture the “Voice of the Customer” by carrying out carefully worded customer surveys, engaging the customer in online conversations via Social Media, having effective call centers & by analysing customer return data. All of these activities can help organisations predict market trends.
The closer the supplier can get to its customers the better the chance of Innovation success.