HMC Global - Daily Digest

There are many advantages from knowing your industry, by doing this you can ensure that you understand your customer, what their needs are and ultimately sell your product or service. Constantly keeping up to date can be difficult as you have to fight through all the millions of articles and reports to find what is relevant and beneficial. Here at HMC Global, we’ve made this easier - with our Daily Digest.

20 November 2017

European and UK business leaders have told Prime Minister Theresa May of their Brexit concerns. At a meeting in Downing Street on Monday, representatives from groups including the CBI and BusinessEurope pressed for a transitional deal that preserves the status quo after Brexit.

There’s a lot going for the sector in Scotland and now is the time to get that message across. David Lee reports, the life sciences sector in Scotland is on the up, with an ageing population driving a fast-growing domestic and global market for new healthcare products.

The industry 4.0 movement involves the concerted operation of modern technologies – the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, robotics etc – to capture and contextualize data and then automate manufacturing processes to reduce waste and optimize efficiency.

The aerospace industry has become more complex and competitive, according to an expert. IMechV vice-president Ian Joesbury, who has just joined consultancy Vendigital’s team of aerospace experts, said the increasing availability of information had made customers much more intelligent in the way they analyse the market.

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15 November 2017

Some of the world’s biggest car-markers have warned that a hard Brexit would put significant pressure on their UK operations, urging the government to agree a standstill transitional period amid fears that time is running out.

Dean Kamen creates the vision and gathers the players and resources to bring 3D manufacturing of human organs to full-scale production. It takes a force of nature to move an idea from the lab to the factory. Luckily for regenerative medicine that force of nature, in the person Dean Kamen is on the job.

Seeking venture capital (VC) financing for a young life sciences company can often be a difficult and frustrating job. Thus, it pays to consider the external factors that influence a successful equity financing and take a data-driven approach before embarking on such a quest.

Canadians could be using their mobile devices for much longer without draining the battery thanks to the Government of Canada investment in a new clean technology aimed at dramatically reducing the energy needed to power wireless devices.

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13 November 2017

The European Union and Britain will not be able to reach a comprehensive deal on their future economic relations by a two-year exit deadline, Germany’s largest industry group BDI said on Friday, adding that the threat of a hard Brexit was high. The two sides will need many years to complete a comprehensive deal on trade and investments before the March 29, 2019.

The UK’s industrial production was surprisingly strong in September, pushed up by another bounce in the UK’s manufacturing industry. Industrial production rose 0.7 per cent in September, ahead of expectations of a 0.3 per cent rise. 

Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism head, Oleg Safonov, has claimed that Blockchain technology has the capability to transform the country’s tourism industry. He further stated that the sector is on the verge of transformation from new emerging technologies like Blockchain. 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has published an Industry Transformation Map (ITM) outlining its plan to cement the country’s status as a leading global financial centre in Asia. With technology increasingly transforming financial services, MAS believes it needs to facilitate the updating of the whole financial sector. 

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10 November 2017

Portadown firm Irwin’s Bakery has been awarded a £500,000 per annum contract with Asda. This major contract is to supply its iconic ‘Batch’ bread to over 300 Asda stores throughout the UK. The deal is for three new lines of batch breaks and one speciality fruit and oat muffin. The firm which employees around 350 people locally, revealed that each will be available under Asda’s premium own label range Extra Special. 

The Confederation of British Industry is calling on the Government to throw its weight behind a new industrial strategy, designed to prepare the UK for a new age of automation and leapfrog other countries rather than just catch up with them. Unveiling the results of a major member survey on Monday. 

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has signed an agreement with the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to share information that will enable the regulators to maintain visibility over regulatory and relevant economic or commercial developments that occur on each other’s markets.

An agreement was signed Wednesday giving Tri-Cities Airport the go-ahead to purchase $8.5 million in revenue bonds to fund the expansion of Aerospace Park. The Aerospace Park Intergovernmental Financing Agreement was signed by the majors of Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City and the counties of Sullivan and Washington during a ceremony attended by about 100 local and state leaders.

 

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08 November 2017

  • Brexit: Government’s ‘secret’ studies assess green industry impacts

Renewables, environmental services, agriculture and nuclear power all covered by in government’s 58 undisclosed Brexit impact assessments. The government has confirmed the impact of Brexit on a host of green industries has been assessed in a series of studies, but is continuing to resist calls to make the controversial documents public.

There’s some glorious thunder down under, with a census revealing that the Australian fintech ecosystem has seen massive growth over the past year. According to the annual EY Fintech Australia census – based on survey results from 166 fintech companies – it found that the nation’s ecosystem has boomed over the past 12 months.

Output in Britain’s construction industry edged into growth territory last month despite confidence sinking to a near five-year low. The Markit/ CIPS UK Construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed a reading of 50.8 in October, up from 48.1 in September and above economists’ expectations of 48.5.

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) says the country is set to strengthen its position as one of the top agriculture and agri-food trading nations in the world. The optimism comes from two FCC reports that say agriculture will continue to be a major contributor to Canada’s economy.

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06 November 2017

Britain’s businesses are prospering despite fears over the state of the economy, with profits rising and investment spending back on the agenda. Although companies remain cautious because of political uncertainty, their finances are increasingly in good shape, according to a survey from the ICAEW.

From robotics to artificial intelligence (AI), advances in technology have been gathering pace over recent years. Built on the digital advances of the past four decades, the so-called fourth industrial revolution is cooking up a storm in the business world, and the UK is determined to be an integral part of the revolution.

New space company Blue Origin has spent the better part of this decade developing a powerful rocket engine for use in its orbital rocket, New Glenn, and potentially other US based launchers. This engine, the liquid natural gas-powered BE-4, has closely watched both within aerospace industry and in military space because it uses innovative new technology.

Pioneered by expensive and cumbersome legacy electronic data interchange (EDI) systems, the B2B e-commerce market has been evolving, showing a staggering growth rate with a projected volume of $1.1 trillion in the US alone and $6.7 trillion globally by 2020.

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03 November 2017

 

The number of UK visas granted to individuals representing foreign businesses has dropped since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. According to law firm Collyer Bristow, 125 visas were granted in the year ending March 2017, down 11 per cent from 140 that were handed out in the previous year.  

Banking giant HSBC has reported pre-tax quarterly profits of $4.6bn (£3.5bn) for the three months to the end of September. The result marks a huge 448% increase from $843m posted in the same period a year ago. At that time, earnings were hit by a one-off loss of $1.7bn from the sale of its Brazilian unit. 

Microsoft first unveiled its HoloLens headset almost three years ago, and the company continues to sell them to developers and commercial customers. While HoloLens seemed like a product that would change a lot over time, Microsoft appears to have found specific customers that are willing to adopt headsets early: firstline workers and information workers.

The UK aerospace sector is battling away Brexit blues, after the industry globally soared to a bumper third quarter for commercial aircraft deliveries, according to trade body Aerospace Defence Security (ADS). The total value to UK industry from the deliveries was estimated at up to £7bn, taking the total value so far for the year to £20bn. 

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01 November 2017

The head of Britain’s financial watchdog has warned that the value of a Brexit transition period will start ‘’eroding’’ by the start of 2018 as banks introduce ‘’irreversible’’ contingency plans by the start of the new year.

Faith in the security of baby monitors took a hit when researchers discovered some could be compromised and turned into surveillance devices, but UK computer chip designer ARM has unveiled a proposed solution. The firm, has developed a security framework for so-called IoT devices.

The government wants to attract $100 billion foreign direct investment in tourism sector and generate up to 100 million jobs over the next five years. The tourism ministry will also take up the demand of hotel industry for rationalization of the GST rate to 4-5% for five star hotels.

Whether or not Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos watched Carvey’s show, many in the industry agree that pharmacy is primed for disruption – starting with home delivery. In fact, despite the best efforts of a group of companies called pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), mail order pharmacies only fill a paltry 1 out of every 10 prescriptions.

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30 October 2017

International drug companies are keen to invest in the UK’s life sciences industry provided there is evident of match funding from the government, members of the House of Lords science and technology committee were told on 24 October 2017. But there is a danger that some big pharma investment may be put at risk because of the impact on the UK industry caused by Brexit. 

The word Internet of things has sparked many conversions in the recent past and the world has been gradually gearing up to embrace it. The IoT is bound to have significant impact on our daily life, where everything from household chores to business decisions are made at the touch of a button. Industrial IoT is a subset of the IoT concept, focused on the manufacturing sector.

Despite receiving overwhelming support from health groups, the Government’s new sugar tax on sweetened drinks has been slammed by Food Drinks Industry Ireland (FDII), who described it as ill-conceived and based on ‘’emotive rants rather than hard evidence.’’ The Ibec-supported trade body claimed the measure, which will coincide with a similar tariff in the UK. 

The UK’s artificial intelligence sector will squander a historic lead unless government, industry and academia come together to give it cohesive support, says a government-sponsored report. A government-sponsored review into the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the UK economy is urging a comprehensive programme of support for the discipline. 

 

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27 October 2017

The European Union is likely to offer Theresa May a significantly shorted transition period than the two-year time frame she hopes for, Brussels sources have told the Guardian. In a recent speech in Florence, May outlined the government’s desire to secure an ‘’implementation period’’ lasting two years.

The Cyber Security Challenge UK Masterclass finale takes place on 12-14 November and it’s going to be tough. Attendees will have earned their place through taking part in a series of Cyber Security Challenge events across the UK. Among the challenges they have already faced are those looking at mock cyber-attacks on the Ministry of Defence.

Britain’s embattled construction sector is expected to flatline next year after its outlook was downgraded again by forecasters. Economists at trade body the Construction Products Association (CPA) now believe the industry’s output will not grow at all next year, a downward revision from its previous estimate of 0.7pc growth.

These presentations at major international conferences are important steps in establishing the scientific maturity and credibility of our technologies. One of the world’s leading microbiome scientists is to present OptiBiotix Health plc’s latest research at a large industry conference in San Diego next week.

 

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25 October 2017

The outcome of Brexit is up to the UK, the president of the European council has said in a speech that stressed the importance of EU unity. ‘’It is in fact up to London how this will end, with a good deal, no deal or no Brexit,’’ Donald Tusk told MEPs as he reported on last week’s EU summit. The next stage of Brexit talks would be ‘’the toughest stress test.’’

Australia can become a hub for advanced manufacturing but is being held back by a ‘defeatist attitude’ that has taken hold since its carmakers closed, an industry expert says. BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Philips says there is no future for low-cost, high volume manufacturing in Australia.

The information Technology Industry Council – a DC based group representing the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple – is today releasing principles for developing ethical artificial intelligence systems. The tech industry is trying to get ahead of growing anxieties about the societal impact of AI technologies.

Hurricane Maria left the agricultural industry on Puerto Rico in shambles after dragging across the US territory as a Category 4 storm last week, according to the New York Times. About 80% of the crop value on the island is gone, according to Carlos Flores Ortega, Puerto Rico’s secretary of Agriculture.

 

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22 October 2017

UK business leaders have united to urge David Davis to quickly establish a Brexit transition deal that mirrors existing arrangements or risk losing out on British jobs and investment. In a letter to the Brexit secretary, seen by the Guardian, five of the UK’s biggest business lobby groups said time was running out for the government to strike a transition deal.

DHL Supply Chain will offer a new last-mile solution for its life sciences and medical device division. An increasingly aging population and rising costs set by healthcare providers present rising challenges for the life sciences industry. The new services hopes to provide a just-in-time, fully traceable and compliant solution for the industry.

Singapore is attracting the world’s leading artificial intelligence talent because of its status as a cosmopolitan society and strong state backing for technology research, according to the head of the private equity firm building a mega hub in the city for start ups involved in the sector.

McAfee says shift in industry’s approach is evidenced by adoption of its Data Exchange Layer and new collaborations through McAfee Security Innovation Alliance. The information security industry is moving towards collaborative, open and integrated security, according to security firm McAfee

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20 October 2017

A total of £30m should be spent protecting firms from possible damage from Brexit over the next two years, Plaid Cymru’s leader has said. Leanne Wood, who will address Plaid’s annual conference in Caernarfon later, said the Brexit Preparedness Fund could help ‘’mitigate any Brexit shock.’’ Mainly SMEs should get specialised help and financial assistance, she said.

London remains the top European city for venture capital investment in financial technology firms, according to data released by Mayor Sadiq Khan’s promotional agency. Investors have poured more than $1b into fintech companies across the UK, including those in London, since the beginning of the year, London & Partners said Thursday. 

Siasun’s high-tech industrial park, the largest robotic industrial base in China, went into operation in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China’s Liaoning province, on Wednesday, according to a report by chinanews.com. In the industrial park, there is China’s first demonstration manufacturing project for Industry 4.0.

The inflow of technology in every aspect of life has transformed the way we function on a daily basis. From the payment industry to the transport industry, most of our interactions are through an application or interface. Technology and analytics which originally impacted us at an individual level has slowly but surely begun influencing various industries around us, including the auto-rental. 

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18 October 2017

Two years ago, Airbus Chief Executive Ton Enders halted negotiations to buy Canada’s CSeries program at midnight after the talks with Bombardier leaked to Reuters. On Tuesday, he performed a U-turn by backing a similar deal after all – again at dead of night.

Britain’s global leadership in advanced technologies used in high performance cars could be threatened unless the UK achieved a favourable Brexit deal. A new industry report reveals that while UK heads the world in the low volume, high value car manufacturing industry, this could be endangered by leaving the EU.

A Welsh tourism tax could have a ‘devastating effect’ on businesses and deter visitors from coming to Wales, according to some in the industry. Welsh ministers will decide in 2018, whether to ask UK ministers if they can introduce such a tax, one of four potential new taxes being considered.

Amazon, Facebook and other US tech companies are expanding operations south of the border as Mexico works to capitalize on the Trump administration’s anti-immigration stance. Since the beginning of the year, Amazon has opened a new engineering office in Mexico City, while Facebook has partnered with local groups to develop technical talent in the region.

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16 October 2017

Small businesses are now more worried about the future of the UK economy than they were in the aftermath of Brexit vote last year, a new study has found. Brexit, rising inflation and increased political uncertainty have all weighed on business confidence over the last 12 months.

Bombardier is seeking investors for its aerospace businesses and considering a sale of some operations, people familiar with the matter said, as a turnaround plan at the Canadian planemaker faces pressure from potentially crippling US tariffs on its marquee jetliner.

This is the conclusion of the British Cambers of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey, which canvassed over 7,100 businesses in the private sector. The proportion of manufacturing firms reporting improved domestic sales and orders both rose in the quarter to their highest level since Q1 2015.

A Scottish agricultural expert has issued a warning about health and safety after it was revealed five people have been killed on farms in Scotland in the past year – the second highest rate in Britain. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have revealed that in 2016/17, agriculture had the highest rate of fatal injury.

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13 October 2017

UK tourism leaders are working on a deal to get wider recognition from the government, which they say could more than double the amount of money the industry brings in. Tourism is often marginalized by politicians who don’t see it as a coherent entity, but the UK’s destination marketing organisation Visit Britain and other stakeholders want to change all that.

A hard Brexit with no trade deal will cost the economy £400bn by 2030, according to a new report. A study by Dutch banking and financial services company, Rabobank has found that leaving the single market without trade agreement in place would cost up to 18 per cent of the UK’s GDP growth by 2030, compared with remaining in the EU.

Fintech must get its own sector deal in order for the UK to remain a world leading centre after Brexit, City leaders have signalled. The industry has been urged to come together to urge the government to come up with a deal for the sector, which contributed £6.6bn to the economy last year, to ensure the UK remains a global hub for fintech.

Imperial scientists joined industry experts and academic colleagues in Tokyo for the largest life-sciences trade mission to Japan in a decade. The delegation aimed to build on collaborations between the UK and Japan and showcase the UK as open for investment, research and business. 

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11 October 2017

BAE Systems is planning to cut almost 2,000 jobs in military, maritime and intelligence services, the firm says. A total of 750 posts will go at the Warton and Samlesbury plants in Lancashire where parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon are manufactured. BAE is facing an order gap for the Typhoon so wants to slow production before an expected order from Qatar,

Tourism is booking in the UK with nearly 40 million overseas people expected to have visited the county during 2017 – a record figure. Tourist promotion agency VisitBritain forecasts overseas trips to the UK will increase 6% to 39.7 million with spending up 14% to £25.7bn this year.

An accelerator to enhance the competitiveness of Alabama’s automotive and aerospace industries has been formed by the Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs Centre at the University of Alabama. The Automotive-Aerospace Accelerator will focus on creating greater research and development capabilities for these sectors in an effort to keep them competitive with those in other states.

People may worry that robots are coming for their jobs – but the companies making the bots are struggling to find qualified employees, research suggests. According to analysis from jobs site Indeed, there are at least twice as many jobs in artificial intelligence as there are suitable applicants. It says the number of roles in AI has riven by 485% in the UK since 2014.

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09 October 2017

As Ireland prepares for an expected tax cutting budget this week, the body credited with attracting multinationals has defended a controversial scheme for high earners, which critics have labelled a bribe for foreign bankers and investors. Ahead of the budget on Tuesday, Ireland’s Social Democrats have called for the scrapping of the Special Assignee Relief Programme (Sarp), which cuts the tax of those earning between €75,000 and €500,000 a year.

Business activity in China's services sector grew at its slowest pace in 21 months in September as the pace of new business cooled, a private survey showed. The survey was in sharp contrast to an official gauge of the non-manufacturing sector that showed the services sector expanded at the fastest clip since 2014 in September, blurring the picture on how a key part of the economy is performing.

The winners of the second annual Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards have been announced. The awards are part of Security Serious Week, a security industry initiative aimed at raising awareness about cyber security. Security Serious Week, from 2 to 6 October, coincides with the start of European Cyber Security Awareness Month and features a series of high-level webinars, this year focusing on tackling the cyber security skills gap.

Majestic scenery, adventure tourism and agricultural products may be central to New Zealand's international image, but technology and digital exports are growing fast, prompting industry calls for greater recognition."We're spending millions promoting tourism but we need to show we're a tech nation too," said Graeme Muller, chief executive of the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech).

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06 October 2017

German firms operating in the UK must brace themselves for a ‘very hard Brexit,’ the Federation of German Industries has warned, as it called on its members to take precautions or be prepared to face heavy economic losses. Speaking at a conference in Berlin, the BDI’s managing director, Joachim Lang, bemoaned the fact that the UK had failed to produce a clear road map of how it planned to extract itself from the EU.

Unnecessary trade restrictions will hamper growth at US ports by weighing on the automotive industry, Jim Newsome, CEO of South Carolina Ports Authority, told CNBC on Friday. Ports in the south-eastern US are dependent on the automotive trade, which has ‘’thrived from having free trade basically,’’ Newsome told CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ on Friday.

Fintech also has a hype pattern like every other industry and it is perhaps going through the peak hype phase at the moment. The sheer number of meetup groups, accelerator programmes, conferences and job openings dedicated to a relatively new industry like fintech is phenomenal. The number of startups being launched in cities like London and countries like India every week is huge.

When the federal government announced the establishment of a national space agency recently, it brought into sharp focus how the nation’s defence industry is inextricable tied to the wider economy and manufacturing sector. On the day of the announcement, Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Senator Michaelia Cash said the global space industry is growing rapidly and it is crucial that Australia is part of this growth.

 

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04 October 2017

US solar manufacturers on Tuesday asked federal trade officials to impose tariffs on cheap foreign-made panels, clashing with companies who rely on those products to build low-priced projects that can compete with gas and coal.

The Bank of England has warned that lending to businesses could dry up after Brexit because not enough preparations are being made by companies in the EU to keep operating in the UK after March 2019.

August is traditionally a slow month in the London construction industry, due to summer holidays and a consequent decreased demand. Late August, however, broke sharply with industry tradition, as the value of newly awarded contracts reached a total of £5.8bn based on three-month ongoing average.

Many traditional big-name finance and consulting firms made an appearance at last week’s General, Technical and Professional School Career Fair, but an overwhelming number of students stood in line waiting to speak with representatives from prominent tech firms like Google and Microsoft.

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02 October 2017

Michael Fallon’s weasel words threatening Boeing about MoD contracts, following the trade tariffs placed on Bombardier aircraft are pathetic. His government since 2010 has placed order after order with Boeing for helicopters when they could have been made under license in the UK, keeping British aerospace workers in a job.

A new review has called for the Government to take action to ensure the UK’s creative industries receive more jobs, funding and diversity. The independent Review of Creative Industries, conducted by Sir Peter Bazalgette was published this month and puts forward recommendations on how to ensure job and financial growth in the sector.

Nearly a third of all UK electricity came from renewable sources in the second three months of this year, setting a record for clean energy generations, the Government has revealed. Wind, solar and other forms of low-carbon power were responsible for 29.8% of the total amount of electricity generated in the UK.

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) has released the 2017 Edition of Canadian Life and Health Insurance Facts, which shows that the industry continues to see growth in both life and health insurance products.

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29 September 2017

Businesses and trade unions have issued a rare joint statement attacking UK and European politicians over their approach to citizens’ rights post Brexit. The Confederation for British Industry (CBI) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) – which represents 190,000 businesses and 5.8 million workers respectively.

Dyson became the latest manufacturer to hop aboard the battery-powered bandwagon this week, revealing a £2.5bn investment plan to produce an electronic vehicle by 2020. In doing so, British inventor Sir James Dyson and his vacuum cleaner-making firm, raised eyebrows across the auto industry.

An agricultural expert is urging farmers to be vigilant after new figures show that three people were killed on farms in the East of England in just 12 months. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have revealed that in 2016/17, agriculture had the highest rate of fatal injury, around 18 times higher than the all industry rate. 

Jalopnik’s Justin Westbrook reported recently how when Hurricane Irma pounded Florida, Tesla remotely upgraded select Tesla owners’ car to expand their mileage capacity in an effort to help people evacuate and escape from the path of the storm.

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28 September 2017

Global sales of industrial robots rose by 16 percent in 2016, driven by the electronics industry, and are expected to rise faster in 2017, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) said on Wednesday. The world market was worth $13.1 billion (9.77 billion pounds), an increase of 18 percent, or an estimated $40 billion including software peripherals and systems engineering.

There was more evidence the UK’s construction industry had a disappointing summer this morning, after a closely-watched measure showed growth in activity fell in August. Markit’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the sector fell to 51.1 in August, down from 51.9 in July and way below the 52 analysts had expected.

For the sixth consecutive year, Connecticut is celebrating October as manufacturing month, and coordinating activities with a nationwide campaign to draw more talent to the industry. Licensed and led by East Hartford’s Connecticut Centre for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) and financed by the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund.

Figures released today by the Welsh Government show that tourism in Wales enjoyed an extremely busy summer with an increase in visitors compared to last year. Record-breaking visitor figures were recorded at Cadw sites as well as the best ever figures being achieved for Amgueddfa Cymru sites.

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26 September 2017

London and Frankfurt will lose out to New York and Sinapore unless a free trade deal on financial services after Brexit is agreed, according to leading City businesses. The report from key banks, law firms and fund managers in the UK proposes a ‘bespoke’ free trade agreement once Britain leave the EU.

Local economic developers in Clark County say the biotech and life sciences industry sector is poised for new growth. Across the state, the sector supports more than 98,000 jobs and generates more than $12.5 billion revenue.

As political polarization continues to plague Washington, a rare consensus is emerging between the left and right that America’s largest technology companies must be subject to greater scrutiny.

In summer 2017, a North Star Imaging X7000 CT system delivered to the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) in Wichita State University, Kansas. The system can perform Digital Radiography (2D imaging from X-ray) as well as 3D CT scanning, and it can also be employed for external and internal inspection.

 

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22 September 2017

Optimism among small UK firms has dropped to its lowest level since the aftermath of the EU referendum. The Federation of Small Businesses’ Small Business Index for the third quarter of 2017 dropped to +1 from +15 in Q2, close to the -3 seen immediately after last June’s Brexit vote. FSB chairman Mike Cherry said rising inflation and a slowing economy were mainly responsible. 

The technology industry’s future depends in large part on the relationship between the US and China. That’s one of the takeaways from a Mobile World Congress conference on technology and finance in San Francisco on Wednesday. Although companies in both countries compete against each other, globalization and improved wireless technology have linked businesses from the two countries in ways that haven’t existed before.

Banks and startups are rallying behind the fintech industry in a fresh push to keep Britain ahead as a world leader in the high-flying and innovation sector after Brexit. Several of the world’s leading banks have vowed to support fintech startups in the UK. While entrepreneurs have promised to remain here rather than moving their businesses abroad to another European city.

Earlier this year, PM Theresa May earmarked life sciences as one of the five areas critical to the UK’s economic growth and commissioned a proposal on how to bolster the sector, especially as the country prepares to leave the EU. Last month, that proposal was released. The report – the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy – laid out an ambitious agenda, from launching a Health Advanced Research Programme that would fund new industries and high risk ‘moonshot’ projects, to establishing a migration system to recruit and retain highly skilled life sciences workers.

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20 September 2017

South Carolina’s position as a national leader in advanced materials just got a giant boost. A team of researchers from 10 universities across the state has received a $20 million, five-year grant from National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to establish a new initiative: Materials Assembly and Design Excellence in South Carolina, or MADE in SC. 

The British government is to invest £146m in discovering new medicines, in a bid to help the UK become a world leader in life sciences. Earlier this year the UK said it would put £1bn over the next four years into boosting science and technology. The £146m is part of that earmarked sum and it will go to five different manufacturing centres. 

French oil company Total is in talks with tech giants Google and Microsoft to help develop bespoke artificial intelligence (AI) in the energy sector’s race to tap digital technologies. Engineers at Total are currently working alongside top software developers to explore how complex algorithms could be applied to its work in oil and gas.

US airlines have told the UK to move faster to ensure passenger and cargo flights to Heathrow, Stansted and other airports will continue without disruption after Britain leaves the EU. The aviation trade body Airlines for America, whose members include United, American Airlines and FedEx, says the multibillion pound traffic in both directions will be put at risk unless politicians concentrate their minds on the impact Brexit will have on the industry. 

 

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18 September 2017

Great article – to say that we’re in technology revolution would surprise no one. With the Internet of Things constantly growing and mobile devices taking over the world, everyone can see that technology is changing the world at a breakneck pace. But it may surprise you to know that technology is also having a major effect on the shipping industry. 

British business leaders urged Prime Minister Theresa May to seek a three-year transitional period after Brexit, warned failure to secure more time would jeopardise ‘our collective prosperity.’ In a letter organised by the Confederation of British Industry, executives from 120 businesses with more than one million employees again warned off a so-called cliff edge in which Britain leaves the European Union.

British manufacturing continued its climb up the global rankings as growth returned last year, according to facts and figures published today by EEF and Santander. Launching the 2017 manufacturing fact card, the new data shows that Britain is now the 8th largest industrial nation with an annual output now worth $249bn, up from 9th last year. In the post-Brexit world, manufacturing will increasingly provide Britain’s link to the world, currently generating 44% of total UK exports. 

This week we were all reminded of a government success – that employment in Britain is at a record high, with 3 million jobs created since 2010, and most of them full-time. This achievement has been the result of policies enacted over the past seven years, and I don’t think its importance can be overstated. In 2010, one in 5 households had no one in work.

 

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15 September 2017

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has accused Britain of ‘backtracking’ on its commitment to pay what it owes the EU budget in the years after Brexit. Michel Barnier said he was ‘disappointed’ by the UK position and publicly warned the Britain team it should go back to the drawing board after it presented a legal analysis arguing that Britain owed far less that the Commission believed.

Microsoft is working with Isarel’s Bank Hapoalim on a system that uses blockchain technology to manage digital bank guarantees. Bank guarantees are essential in sectors such as real estate, where they represent security for tenants’ leases, or where companies need to demonstrate that they can pay for expensive goods.

Professor Sir John Bell, one of the UK government’s champions for life sciences, has set out his thoughts – informed by the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board – on just how the UK can make the most of the mostly unwanted move out of the EU. His Life Sciences Industrial Strategy sets the scene for a deal between Government and the life sciences industry. 

The successful sabotage of an energy company could spell mass power outages, total shutdown of electrical grids, disruption to utilities or worse. Experts at Symantec believed Dragonfly, which has been trying to crack into the systems since 2011, may be silently on the systems, waiting to push the red button. 

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13 September 2017

Strategy report calls for funding to create new industries, increased collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and the National Health Service, and incentives to keep the UK attractive to world class scientists after it leave the EU.

A grey metal box in North Wales countryside is home to the jewel of Britain’s aerospace industry. Airbus’s factory in Broughton, Flintshire, is where the pan-European aerospace and defence group manufacturers all the wings for its commercial aircraft. The well-paid jobs, cutting edge technology and headline-grabbing products are highly prized – by Britain, and by other Airbus factories around Europe.

IBM and MIT today announced that IBM plans to make a 10 year $240m investment to create the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab in partnership with MIT. The lab will carry out fundamental AI research and seek to propel scientific breakthroughs that unlock the potential of AI. The collaboration aims to advance AI hardware, software and algorithms related to deep learning and other areas, increase AI’s impact on industries and explore economic and ethical implications of AI on society,

The European Central Bank is working on new licensing guidelines that would also cover financial technology firms, Daniele Nouy, the ECB’s top bank supervisor told a conference on Wednesday. The fintech sector, though still relative small, has been stealing market share from traditional lenders in a variety of sectors from payments to lending, attracting investment $6.4 bn in the first half of the year.

 

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11 September 2017

The aerospace industry is a cash cow for South Carolina and leaders are confident aerospace will only fly higher as it pulls in billion of dollars in export value. The $19 billion industry, resulting in roughly 100,000 industry-related jobs, has accrued more than $5.7 billion in exports, a nearly 50% increase, S.C. Secretary of Commerce Booby Hitt said Wednesday at the South Carolina Aerospace Conference and Expo.

Local industry will have more opportunities to participate in major defence infrastructure projects as part of a pilot programme announced by Minister of Defence, Senator Marise Payne. The Local Industry Capability Plan pilot will ensure that local industry has the best possible opportunity to be involved in the Turnbull Government $200 billion investment in Defence capability over the next decade.

Firms within the UK’s financial technology sector are extremely positive about their revenue growth for the year ahead, with half anticipating an increase of 100% or more during the next 12 months. In its latest census of 245 FinTech companies, EY and Innovate Finance got other positive readings from key indicators of success. For example, historical average UK revenues grew by 22% between 2014 and 2016, where average revenues reached £5m.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing in Singapore is set to benefit from industry partnership, with Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran announcing the launch on Sept 5 of the Pharma Innovation Programme Singapore. The industry development scheme was initiated by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in partnership with the National University of Singapore, with pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline, MSD International and Pfizer Asia Pacific joining in the programme as pioneer members.

 

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08 September 2017

The EU wants NI to have a different Brexit deal from the rest of the UK, papers seen by the BBC suggest. The document says the UK should take responsibility for finding a ‘unique solution’ so people can work, go to school or get medical treatment either side of the Irish Border.

Output in the manufacturing industry across Britain and NI unexpectedly pushed to a four-month high in August thanks to a jump in new work. The closely-watched Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed a reading of 56.9 last month, up from 55.3 in July and above economists’ expectations of 55. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Technology enthusiasts claim that Blockchain technology can be used to introduce major changes to the security industry. They argue that technology is not only effective in powering digital currency exchange, but can also be used to strengthen the existing security solutions. Travis Biehn, technology strategist at enterprise software company Synopsys, believes that the technology has great promise in the security industry.

Construction industry bodies have raised concerns over a leaked Home Office report outlining plans to reduce immigration, particularly in low-skilled roles, after the UK leaves the European Union. The Confederation of British Industry, Arcadis, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Home Builders Federation and the British Property Federation have called on the government to safeguard access to EU labour or ‘face a skills cliff edge’ in construction.

 

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06 September 2017

A new scheme unveiled yesterday is primed to give drug-makers and the wider manufacturing sector a shot in the arm as disruptive change roils industries and poses huge challenges to bosses. The initiative centres on bringing pharmaceutical giants together to jointly develop new technologies and enhance productivity.

Accounting giant EY and Wednesday that it plans to launch the first blockchain platform for marine insurance, alongside Microsoft, A.P Moller-Maersk and others. The distributed ledger will be used to capture information about shipments, risk and liability, and to help firms comply with insurance regulations.

A grey metal box in the North Wales countryside is home to the jewel of Britain’s aerospace industry. Airbus’s factory in Broughton, Flinshire is where the pan-European aerospace and defence group manufactures all the wings for its commercial aircraft. The well-paid jobs, cutting-edge technology and headline-grabbing products are highly priced.

The number of job losses in the UK oil and gas sector was worse than expected last year, a major report has said. Trade body Oil & Gas UK’s annual report said 60,000 direct and indirect jobs were lost across the industry in 2016, more than 40,000 it had predicted. The report said the sector could lose another 13,000 jobs in 2017.

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04 September 2017

Many economists do not expect UK interest rates to rise until 2019 despite inflation remaining above target, according to a BBC snapshot. They believe that the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will be reluctant to raise rates during Brexit negotiations. Inflation stood at 2.6% in July – well above the Bank’s official target of 2%.

The shipping industry is calling on the Government to double the funding it puts towards helping train seafarers to £30m in a bid to protect UK maritime jobs as the country gets closer to Brexit. The UK Chamber of Shipping said it had proposed an extension to the Government’s existing Support for Maritime Training Scheme.

BenevoltentAI uses artificial intelligence to mine and analyse biomedical information, from clinical trails data to academic papers. Following this approach, BenevolentAI can, for instance, identify molecules that have failed in clinical trails and predict how these same compounds can instead be more efficient targeting other diseases.

After a sharp slowdown in July, expectations are low going into August’s UK construction data, while the pound was steady during early trading in London. Sterling saw a mixed open in London Monday, falling against its major rivals and gaining on the remaining G10 basket, ahead of key construction industry data that could make or break the session of the pound to dollar and pound to euro exchange rates.

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01 September 2017

Growth in the UK’s manufacturing sector accelerated last month, according to a closely watched survey, with output, orders and employment all picking up. The Markit/ CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for manufacturing rose to 56.9 in August from 55.3 in July. A figure above 50 indicates expansion. 

Britain’s second largest energy supplier has steadily grown the profits it makes from supplying energy to households for a third year in a row despite mounting political pressure to keep bills low. The energy regulator has revealed that SSE is the only Big Six supplier to have grown its pre-tax margins every year since 2013, even as the debate over energy bills and profits has heated up. 

Software and IT services is the highest-paying industry, with a median salary of $104,000 this year, according to LinkedIn’s 2017 U.S State of Salary report, which was released this morning. It’s followed closely by the hardware and networking industries, which pay $101,000 per year. Compare that with the median wage for U.S workers of $44,148 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Details of a £160m Government investment in life sciences will be announced later at the launch of an independent review of an industry worth £64bn to the British economy. The review, by British-Canadian geneticist Sir John Bell, will set out proposals to encourage growth and investment as the Government tries to alleviate concerns about the negative of Brexit on scientific research, academia and pharmaceutical industry. 

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30 August 2017

One of the largest global pharma companies, Merck & Co., became the recent victim of a ransomware attack. This attack also targeted the rest of the healthcare industry. Hospital networks, such as Heritage Valley Health Systems, which manages two hospitals, were victimized, leading to impaired emergency services and surgeries being postponed. These attacks are believed to be part of the Petya ransomware, which encrypts files and systems in an environment. Instead of moving information out of the environment, the attackers charge a ransom to decrypt the files.

A report that has been released by Lloyds Bank has shown that the UK could be left behind by the other G7 countries in terms of productivity. The report published by Lloyds Bank is called ‘Understanding the Puzzle’ and demonstrates that they lack of investment being made by the UK into technology, people or innovation is having a knock on effect on productivity of the manufacturing industry and could see us being left behind by the other countries in the G7 who are.

Many in the New Zealand agri-food sector are not ready for the changes that new technologies are about to usher in, a Massey University report warns.The changes would not be incremental but disruptive and game changing, if technologists were to be believed, said report leader Professor Stephen Kelly.

A straw-like crop could significantly reduce the construction industry's impact on the environment, Aberystwyth University scientists believe.They are helping to build a house using miscanthus - or elephant grass bales - near Machynlleth, Powys.In a typical house, 50 tonnes of carbon dioxide can be emitted through heating, contributing to global warming.

 

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 28 August 2017

Private sector growth within NI is lagging behind the rest of the UK, a new financial report has claimed. The region’s private sector firms recorded the weakest performance in business activity after the North East of England where output fell, according to the July study for Ulster Bank. 

Leaving the EU will reverse the progress made in past decades and may wipe out small suppliers, says Britain’s motor society. As the latest car figures show that uncertainty over Brexit is helping to drag down sales, motor manufacturers fear the industry’s revival over the past couple of decades could be put at risk by Britain’s departure from EU.

Sydney is home to over half of Australia’s fintech companies and is helping to drive unprecedented growth in the industry, according to a new report by the Committee for Sydney and KPMG.The number of fintech startups in Australia has increased from less than 100 in 2014 to 579 companies today, with around 60% of all fintech companies basing themselves in Sydney.

MSPs have been warned that without freedom of movement between the EU and UK there will not be enough people to work in Scotland’s food and drink industry. n its submission to an inquiry into Article 50 by Holyrood’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, Food and Drink Federation Scotland say the shortfall in staff in the sector is going to hamper Scottish businesses and could even push up the price of food.

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25 August 2017

Fantastic news for independent coffee shop chain Bob & Berts – who have become the third company in NI to secure a major equity investment from BGF, the UK’s most active investor in SME companies. BGF’s investment will be used to support the company’s continued growth strategy, with plans to open 30 additional stores in NI, Scotland and ROI. Once opened the new stores will create up to 600 new full time and part time jobs. 

China has struggled to shake off the perception that it’s lagging behind developed economies in technology and innovation. And while much of that perception is warranted, there is one industry where China is considered to be a leader: Fintech. The country makes some of the world’s largest investments in the sector, and it has adopted fintech technologies faster than anywhere else. 

Britain risks damaging crucial parts of its technology industry unless it can secure an unprecedented deal with the EU on data exchange after Brexit, according to a government paper published Thursday. The document made clear that Britain’s aim in this area after Brexit is for as little as possible to change. It argued that the UK has played a central role in the development of the EU’s data rules and proposed a cooperation model that reflects this. 

Food Drink Ireland (FDI), the Ibec group that represents the food sector, today launched its Budget 2018 submission to the government. The submission calls on government to bring in a series of measures so that the sector can maintain its competitiveness and achieve its growth potential against the backdrop of Brexit and a significant weakening of the sterling currency.  

 

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23 August 2017

Hospitality and tourism businesses around the country are looking to recruit over 6,000 entry-level employees each year across all areas of their operations. According to the Irish Hotel Federation, the industry is well-positioned to create 40,000 jobs over the next five years. The IHF have said there is a variety of career options available through the CAO, PLC courses as well as opportunities for those who wish to start working straight from school. 

The number of people working in the creative industries is growing at four times the rate of the UK workforce as a whole, new government figures show. The latest employment statistics from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport found that almost two million people worked in the creative industries in 2016, a 5% increase. Across the UK, employment grew by 1.2% year on year. 

The cyber security industry has generally welcomed planned UK data protection legislation, but some say it is hypocritical in the light of the Investigatory Powers Act. The government has announced the details of the planned UK Data Protection Bill as part of its commitment to update and strengthen data protection laws and bring UK law into line with EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

AI and machine learning have the potential to transform the healthcare industry. In a recent Infosys multi-market research study ‘Amplifying Human Potential Toward Purposeful AI,’ pharmaceutical and life sciences emerged as the leader in the journey to AI maturity. For several years now, the pharmaceutical sector has been quietly using AI and automation technologies for clinical trials, drug analysis, and to accelerate the process of launching products.

 

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21 August 2017

Sydney is home to over half of Australia’s Fintech companies and is helping to drive unprecedented growth in the industry, according to a new report by the Committee for Sydney and KPMG. The report, Scaling the Fintech Opportunity: For Sydney and Australia, finds the number of Fintech startups in Australia has increased from less than 100 in 2014 to 579 companies today.

Recently, federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced $10m in funding for the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT) in Winnipeg. CATT describes itself as ‘’a perfect example of a partnership between industry and research/education/’’

The state’s ‘burgeoning’ $11.4b life sciences industry ‘has become a major driver in South Carolina’s economy,’ according to the state Department of Commerce. A report released last week by the department shows the industry now has a footprint of 15,000 employees and 400 firms, many providing, high-paying jobs in the Upstate. 

 

The debate over how to eradicate poor employment practices in some UK factories flared up again this week, promoting retailers and manufacturers to call for more support from the government. It comes after New Look Chief Executive last week told Drapers he wanted to bring volume production back to these shores, but complained that many UK factories fail to meet ethical regulations. 

 

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18 August 2017

A trade deal with the EU following Britain’s exit from the bloc is ‘desirable but no essential,’ according to a leading free-market think-tank. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has said the possibility of a hard Brexit would ‘not be a disaster,’ despite most businesses and politicians in Britain warning against it. 

A record one million overnight trips were taken in NI during January to March this year according to the latest tourism figures. The latest NISRA statistics show an increase of six per cent in overnight trips on the same period in 2016, with growth reported across the board in the overseas, Great Britain and Republic of Ireland markets. 

The American diary industry is split on the question of Canada’s supply-management system as national negotiations get set to hold their first session on agriculture Saturday in North America free trade talks. A vocal contingent of American farmers actually supports the Canadian system of price-and-import controls and want their national negotiators to leave the Canadian system alone instead of fighting it as expected.

The British Chambers of Commerce, with assistance from DHL, published its latest quarterly international trade outlook Wednesday. The report showed many exporters had easily carried strong performances in the first quarter over to the second but, listed some wider economic factors as a cause for concern. 

 

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16 August 2017

FinTech firms continue to attract investment from start-ups, as new entities look for ways to disrupt current financial markets, while venture capitalists remain interested in investing in companies, although they have taken a more cautious approach. Latest figures show investment in Q2 2017 running at around $8.4b, around double of Q1, though still lower than Q2 2016.

Slowing economy, falling wages and rising costs fuel weakest growth in six years for UK construction industry, trade group forecasts. The number of cranes needling Britain’s city skylines is often used as crude shorthand for the health of economy.

Technology companies such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems have ramped up lobbying ahead of talks to renegotiate the North America Free Trade Agreement, looking to avoid any future restrictions on cloud storage and to promote an international pact to eliminate technology goods tariffs.

Unemployment in the UK fell by 57,000 in the three months to June, official figures show, bringing the jobless rate to 4.4% - its lowest since 1975. Average weekly earnings increased by 2.1% compared with a year earlier – slightly higher than last month’s 2% increase.

 

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14 August 2017

Mainland quickens the pace of change to spur growth and competitiveness, entice global market investors. China has quickened the pace of opening up its financial market, to spur economic growth, raise financial competitiveness and actively participate in global markets.

A £86 million fund for investment in innovative healthcare technology has been announced by the government – it will include the launch of a new Digital Health Catalyst. Unveiled last week, the multi-million-pound fund will support small and medium sized enterprises to develop, test and integrate new technologies in the NHS.

Japan’s economy grew faster than expected in the second-quarter of the year as consumer spending and capital expenditure ramped up. Gross domestic product expanded at an annualised rate of 4% in the April-to-June period, government data showed, beating expectations for a 2.5% rise.

The key nuclear power players have been called in by the Government for crunch talks on plans to meet Britain’s energy demans with new small reactor technology, amid mounting fear over delays and Whitehall paralysis. Industry giants including NuScale, Rolls-Royce etc have been summoned by ministers in a bit to reignite interest in the project.

 

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11 August 2017

The Irish government’s decision to allow craft breweries and distilleries to sell their products to their visitors on site will hurt the hospitality sector in the north it has been claimed. Last month legislation was approved to allow microbreweries to sell their products on their premises in the ROI between the hours of 10am and 6pm.

European and Asian markets follow Wall Street lower after President Trump issues another proactive warning to North Korea.

Oil prices have been mired in a 2 ½ years slump. Crude last reached $100 per barrel in 2014. After hitting a rock bottom of $27 in early 2016, global oil prices have recovered but cannot seem to break out of the range of $50 per barrel. This stagnation has led some energy companies to tighten their belts, hoping to extend their business until the price recovers.

These are tough times for nuclear power in the U.S Power plants under construction are facing serious delays, halts and cost overruns. Utilities in South Carolina abandoned a project to complete construction of two power plants in August, while the cost of the only nuclear plant now under construction ballooned to US $25 billion.

 

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09 August 2017

Ten years ago this week the financial crisis began. Few people knew it at the time. The first milestone was French bank BNP Paribas’ decision to freeze three hedge funds that specialised in sub-prime loans, a market not previously much noticed outside the world of high finance.

Firms could face fines of up to £17m or 4% of global turnover if they fail to protect themselves from cyber-attacks, the government has warned. The crackdown is aimed at making sure essential services such as water, energy, transport and health firms are safeguarded against hacking attempts.

Political and economic uncertainty drags on demand for new projects, with firms reluctant to commit to ventures, a survey reveals. Construction activity slumped in July to its lowest level in almost a year, the latest snapshot of the sector reveals.

The frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks continues to rise globally according to research data in the Q2 Threat Intelligence Report released by NTT Security. Findings were of extreme interest and concern – cyber attacks were up 24% globally during Q2 2017. Manufacturers continue to be a key target for cybercriminals. 67% of malware attacked were delivered by phishing emails.  

 

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07 August 2017

The NI economy has grown at a higher rate than the UK in the past quarter and over the past year official figures show. The NI Composite Economic Index (NICEI), published on Thursday shows an estimated annual growth of 2.4%, higher than the UK rate of 2%.

The goal of producing smarter factories and a vision for connected industry is not just a concept – it is now a reality, and Bosch Rexroth has long been a leading player in this field, being both a pioneer and user of Industry 4.0 technologies.

Bitcoin’s value has jumped to record high, following a month of turmoil. The virtual currency reached $3,434.02 per coin in Monday trade, according to the Coindesk Bitcoin Price Index. It had never crossed the $3,000 mark until the weekend. The surge followed the creation of a spin-off crypto-currency, Bitcoin Cash, last week.

The US economy saw strong jobs growth in July, helped by a wave of hiring in the hospitality industry. The Bureau of Labour Statistics said 209,000 jobs were created in July, which was more than expected. The unemployment rate edged lower to 4.3% matching May’s figure which was the lowest since 2001.

 

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04 August 2017

Britain’s £60bn life sciences sector is in line for a major boost this summer as the Government prepares to fire back up its industrial strategy. Life sciences, which employs more than 220,000 people in the UK, is expected to be the first to benefit from the launch of a sector report under the industrial strategy.

UK interest rates may have to go up by more than the market expects in the future, Bank of England deputy governor Ben Broadbent has told the BBC. He said the drop in sterling following the Brexit vote had fueled inflation. Mr Broadbent said there was a ‘’trade off between stabilizing inflation and keeping the economy going.’’ 

The market size for global defibrillator market was estimated at USD 12.1 billion in 2016, which is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of more than 6.8% during the forecast period. Increasing demand of defibrillators due to supportive legislation policies by the government of developed countries is a major driver responsible for growth.

UK taxpayer-owned bank reports first half-yearly profit for three years with full-year loss likely as it outlines plan to ensure passporting rights continue. Royal Bank of Scotland is in discussions about using Amsterdam as its post-Brexit EU hub and has revealed it is being investigated for potential breaches of money laundering rules.

 

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02 August 2017

Kainos, the Belfast-based IT firm, has been awarded a £3.1m grant by Invest NI to support research and development. The money will be used for the development of mobile software in the firm’s healthcare division. Kainos has a software platform called Evolve which is used for the storage of patient records and has the integration of healthcare data.

British Gas will increase electricity prices by 12.5% from 15 September, its own Centrica has said, in a move that will affect 3.1 million customers. Gas prices are unchanged, but the average annual dual-fuel bill for a typical household on a standard tarrif will rise by £76 to £1,120, up by 7.3%.

The pharmaceutical and life science industry leads in AI adoption, according to a research, Amplifying Human Potential – Towards Purposeful AI, conducted by Infosys. However, this leadership position was not gained overnight. It was earned over several years, in which this sector has adopted AI to conduct clinical trials, perform drug analysis and fast-track product launches.

The British manufacturing sector bounced back from a slowdown to post a much stronger than expected expansion, according to a closely watched indicator which adds a further puzzling divergence from government measures of production.

 

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31 July 2017

Survey suggest UK property market hampered by Brexit as banks tighten lending. The pace of growth in Britain’s construction industry slowed over the second quarter as investment was delayed by uncertainty over Brexit.

 

According to the Telegraph, smart machines are about to usher in the age of Industry 4.0. Robots have been taking our jobs since the 1960s. So why are politicians and business leaders only now becoming so worried about robots causing mass unemployment.

 

Almost 100 industry and local government leaders from across the North have been brought together to give their insight into the future of the region’s energy industry. Andy Koss, has been leading a series of workshops with business leaders.

Contributing well over a quarter of GDP, the UK’s engineering sector has aptly been described as the ‘core of our society,’ but it faces a serious skills shortage that Brexit could exacerbate.

 

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28 July 2017

Confidence in the traditional financial services industry has failed to recover since the global crash ten years ago, according to a survey of active UK investors. It reveals that 55% trust the industry less than before the crisis.

Asset managers in London oversee funds worth €1.2 trillion in the EU – more than their peers in France, Germany and Italy combined. Britain-based investment firms’ long-standing ability to manage billions of euros of assets elsewhere in Europe could be threatened by Brexit.

According to the BBC small firms are being ‘crippled’ by the continuing impact of last month’s NotPetya cyber attack on Dutch delivery firm TNT. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says it has ‘serious concerns’ over the effects of the 28 June attack.

British car industry’s ambition to reach an all-time high production figure of 2 million by 2020 is now in jeopardy from a variety of factors, including the impact of Brexit.

 

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26 July 2017

According to the Telegraph, a shortage of industrial space is threatening to curb British manufacturing after UK businesses experienced a post-Brexit vote boom brought about by weakened pound

The BBC brings us the news that an agreement gives US farmers access to the world’s biggest rice consumer, with China importing about 5 million tonnes last year. It follows trade talks that resulted in little progress on other issues.

Greece could be close to returning to sustainable economic growth at last after almost a decade of devasting recession and crises, economists believe. The country’s government is getting closer to restoring a degree of financial stability through the last rounds of talks.

Nearly 126,000 people are currently employed across the United Kingdom’s renewable energy industry, according to new figures from the country’s Renewable Energy Association, but employment growth is slowing.

 

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24 July 2017

The world’s first full-scale floating wind farm has started to take shape off the north-east coast of Scotland, according to BBC News. The revolutionary technology will allow wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for the current conventional bottom-standing turbines.

Belfast is one of the world’s top 50 cities for female entrepreneurship according to a new report from Dell. The 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities Index) has assessed cities throughout the world on a wide range of assessment criteria.

The UK and US economies will expand more slowly in 2017 than previously predicted, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It said ‘’weaker- than-expected-activity’’ in the first three months of the year meant the UK would grow by 1.7% compared with an earlier 2% forecast

A lobby group for the UK finance industry claims the sector could add £43 billion to the UK economy by 2025 if industry, regulators and the government pull together to work on a ‘’roadmap for change.’’ PwC and lobby group The CityUK published a blueprint for transforming the UK’s financial sector post-Brexit on Thursday.

 

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21 July 2017

Published by the Irish Times, the NI economy has grown at a higher rate than the UK in the past quarter and over the past year official figures show. The NI Composite Economic Index (NICEI), published on Thursday shows an estimated annual growth of 2.4 % higher than the UK rate of 2%.

The Telegraph published the growth in Britain’s aerospace industry – the world’s second largest, will be hurt by failure to secure a good Brexit deal. The prospect of Britain crashing out of the EU in 2019 having not negotiated an exit deal with the EU was labelled as ‘’chaos, the worst possible outcome’’ by trade body ADS.

According to the Financial Times, Brexit could provide a ‘’once-in-a-generation’’ opportunity to reform Britain’s financial services industry, a report for the Trades Union Congress has said. The report carried out by The Financial Inclusion Centre on behalf of the TUC, found a number of issues affecting Britain’s financial services sector.

The Irish Times have shared that the US banking group Citigroup confirmed to staff on Thursday that it plans to extend its operations in Dublin, where it employs about 2,500 people, as the UK banking giant prepares itself for the fallout from Brexit.

 

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20 July 2017

Brought to us by Sync NI - GolfNow, a US-based technology company that first set up shop in Belfast in September 2014, is expanding its presence in Northern Ireland’s capital city with a move to new state-of-the-art offices in City Quays.

European Pharmaceutical Review shares how Veep’s Rik Van Mol explains how streamlining the clinical process will not only improve the speed but also the quality of the data. The life sciences industry is moving toward a unified clinical model by streamlining clinical systems and processes.  

According to the West Virginia Morning ‘the power sector is moving toward more use of natural gas. Even the Ohio Valley, where coal has long been king, the switch to gas is under way, with big implications for the region’s economy and environment.’

Despite growing uncertainty in the run up to the general election last month, recent data published from a leading  UK independent job board, CV-Library , suggests that engineering companies remained confident in Q2 2017.

 

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19 July 2017

Brought to us by Financial Times, this summer numerous China investors will travel to a facility in Cambridge. There presence is ‘’what fund managers say is rising demand for opportunities in agriculture as financiers seek to capitalise on trends.’’

Fantastic news for a British start up, who help UK leading retailers better manage their digital marketplace, are expected to enter the US market and double in size by next year.

According to an EY survey the amount of tech-related foreign direct investment (FDI) into Northern Ireland remains low compared to the rest of the UK. However, the region ranks first when it comes to the number of FDI jobs created, a new study shows.

China may be the world’s biggest polluter, however, it is also leading on renewable energy. Beijing is investing hundreds of billions of dollars in creating millions of jobs in clean power. Additionally, they have built vast solar and wind farms, helping to duel the growth of major industries. 

 

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18 July 2017

The UK’s inflation rate dropped to 2.6% in June, from 2.9% in May. The fall in rate has not happened since October of last year. Those have said the recent spike in inflation is likely to be temporary but this one-off effect will draw some comfort. However, the cost of living squeeze continues. 

An industry body has warned about the ‘’major risk’’ to performance of Britain’s £28bn food and drink sector, thanks to Post-Brexit trade tariffs. Manufacturers are already under pressure by higher import costs linked to sterling’s weakness. 

The Commercial Drone Industry is accelerating rapidly. With drone solutions, the integration of AI into hardware, data pipelines and analysis tools provides customers with more value and data more easily.  

The UK aerospace sector has enjoyed a windfall of £10.5bn so fa this year after the industry globally delivered 524 aircraft to its customers. In May along, there were 118 aircraft deliveries worldwide the second largest on record behind 2016.

 


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