Science & Technology
- The BBC ran a profile on a new open-source designed clean wood stove that offers numerous environmental and health benefits and is being targeted at the estimated 2.5bn people in the world that rely on mud stoves. The design employs a small fan to redistribute heat and reduce fuel consumption by 50%. More.
- A design for a generator that runs on wave power won the UK round of the James Dyson Engineering award. The design can capture energy from waves travelling in any direction, thus addressing a key limitation of many existing designs. More.
- Researchers from the Technische Universität München have developed a low-cost process for depositing thin films that incorporate gas sensors based on carbon nano-tubes. This could pave the way for innovations such as smart food packaging. More.
- In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm, invested in New Zealand-based ike, which enables users to produce precise 3D models of objects using an app and a laser-based phone attachment. The company has reportedly raised $8.5m to date. More.
- Lift Labs raised a further $1m to develop Liftware, a device that attaches to utensils to cancel out tremors when used by people with Parkinson’s disease. More.
- Academia.edu, the social networking platform for researchers and academics, raised $11.1m from investors including Khosla Ventures. The company is attempting to make it easier to access and validate cutting edge research.
- GE started sharing hundreds of unused patents via crowdsourced product development platform Quirky. More.
- Sarjaval has developed an ATM-style system for water distribution for urban slums in India.
- A survey by Hiscox found that UK SME owners work shorter hours (37.6) than counterparts in the US, Germany and France
- The BBC published an interesting profile of the British academic who created the first search engine, 5 years before Google.
- Only around 5% of university patents are being licensed, with many academic institutions turning to ‘patent trolls’ as a result, according to an article in Nature.