Saturday, 18 May 2013
Design & Tech
Airocide: NASA’s Answer to the Home Air Purifier
By Jeff McIntire-Strasburg via Sustainablog.org
I’ve gotten a number of pitches to profile/review air purifiers in recent years. Generally, I’ve turned them down. While I have no problem with cleaner indoor air – who does? – I know an awful lot of products on the market don’t deliver like they claim. That was the mindset I had when a PR friend approached me with the Airocide; just a little digging, though, showed me that this wasn’t the average product in this niche.
Why’s that? Well, in one word (or acronym), NASA. That’s right, the agency that contracted the research and development for everything from solar panels to microwave ovens to Tang also needed a way to protect space station astronauts from polluted indoor air: specifically, ethylene gas produced by plants for accelerating the ripening of fruit. The technology that differentiates the Airocide from conventional air purifiers was the result of this research: the technology’s ability to remove ethylene particles was so impressive that the grocery and fresh flower industries were the next customers. Further research showed that Airocide’s filterless method of destroying particles with chemical reactions (that produce no harmful emissions) worked with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and even common allergens.
Saturday, 11 May 2013
"Cultivating a Culture of Innovation"
Innovation, the endless effort to find a better way, cannot be achieved by robotically lining up best practices and imitating them. The real catalyzing agent for innovation is the ground from which these best practices spring -- the confluence of purpose, people, and processes better known as culture.
From where will the next wave of groundbreaking innovation come?
Not from organizations mechanically mimicking each other's best practices, but from organizations with the commitment to take their stand on ground that has beencultivated for breakthrough.
If you check the contents of the most popular books on innovation, the same topics show up again and again: strategy, systems, process, leadership, customer focus, risk, speed to market, prototyping, metrics, mass collaboration, market intelligence, technology, and creative thinking.
Friday, 19 April 2013
What does "clean" technology really mean? How can we make a shift toward a more ecological and low-carbon economy?
Investments in clean technology have grown considerably since coming into the spotlight around 2000. According to the United Nations Environment Program, wind, solar and biofuel companies received a record $148 billion in new funding in 2007 as rising oil prices and climate change policies encouraged investment in renewable energy. $50 billion of that funding went to wind power. Overall, investment in clean-energy and energy-efficiency industries rose 60 percent from 2006 to 2007. By 2018 it is forecast that the three main clean technology sectors, solar photovoltaics, wind power, and biofuels, will have revenues of $325.1bn.
Thursday, 18 April 2013
Creativity & Design
A Mirrored Installation Lets You Crawl Up Walls Like Spider-Man
"Bâtiment (Building)" by Leandro Erlich ... uses simple mirrors instead of digital trickery to create a vertigo-inducing illusion.
Augmented reality! Kinect hacks! Enormous video projections! We’ve seen all kinds of wacky digital ways of making immersive, arty illusions. Here’s what we love about Bâtiment (Building) by Leandro Erlich: It just uses mirrors. To do what? How about float in midair, scale a building like Spider-Man, or defy gravity like someone in an Escher drawing (or David Bowie in Labyrinth). Is that "immersive" enough for you?
Publicado por EcowR en Thursday, April 18, 2013
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Monday, 25 March 2013
Friday, 15 March 2013
Sustainability & Entrepreneurship
Why Japan Has A Massive 'Entrepreneurship Vacuum'
Empirical research has shown that "opportunity-driven" entrepreneurship is the wellspring of growth in the modern market economy. In Japan, the relative dearth of opportunity-driven entrepreneurship has contributed to the nation's economic malaise over the past two decades -- since the asset price bubble burst in 1991.
Although there are encouraging signs -- given the sophistication of Japan's technological base, the promise of female entrepreneurs, the advent of start-up incubators and the rise of "intra-preneurship" within established companies -- entrepreneurship levels today are markedly low relative both to pre-1991 Japan and to current levels in other developed countries. Ironically, during Japan's two lost decades, foreign-run enterprises, small businesses and entrepreneurs accounted for nearly all job creation. To revitalize its sluggish economy, Japan must create incentives to promote homegrown start-ups and must rapidly commercialize patented, cutting-edge technologies.
Publicado por EcowR en Friday, March 15, 2013