June 2013

Science & Technology
  • Researchers from both MIT and Lockheed Martin are reportedly looking into applications of Graphene within desalination processes. Essentially, the arrangement of spaces in graphene is thought to be more conducive to that in currently used polymers in enabling water molecules to pass through and thus separate from HCL ions. This means that desalination could theoretically occur with water placed under less pressure, thus reducing energy requirements. More.
Business
  • The FT ran a good article about mistakes commonly seen within start-up business plans. Things to avoid include out-of-date information, vague CVs, boring content full of jargon and overly-complex information and financial models.
  • Smart window company View raised $62m from investors including Khosla Ventures. The company’s dynamic glass automatically adjusts to external light levels in order to control the sunlight (and associated heat) entering buildings and can thus reduce energy consumption.
  • ResearchGate, a Berlin-based network that enables scientific researchers to collaborate and share research, raised $20m from investors including Bill Gates. The company believes that it can reduce duplication and speed up R&D by, for instance, allowing researchers to easily share negative data/unsuccessful results that would not traditionally be published in scientific journals.
  • Spinnakr launched a platform that aims to make big data analysis of website traffic user friendly and possible for companies without access to in-house data expertise.
  • Swell launched a podcast discovery app analogous to Pandora.
  • Peek launched its smartphone-enhancing hardware, which can be used to detect cataracts and retinal diseases. The low-cost and mobile nature of the solution makes it particularly useful in remote communities within developing countries.
Other
  • The UK government announced that it will be making £19m available for UK energy innovators, and also launched a new multi-million pound prize for innovations that address the world’s ‘big problems’. More.