Science & Technology
- MIT spin-out TeraDiode has developed a new direct diode laser, based on the wavelength beam combining technique, capable of cutting and welding metal more efficiently than any other commercially available industrial laser. More.
- Google launched the Little Box Challenge, which is offering $1m to teams that can develop significantly smaller power inverters. More.
- Microsoft and Amazon Web Services announced the launch of grant programmes that will provide climate change researchers with access to cloud computing resources. More.
- NASA launched the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 as part of a $500m project to gain a deeper understanding of the global distribution of carbon dioxide.
- Researchers at Imperial College, London published results from a study into the impact of fires in wind turbines, revealing that fires occur much more frequently than previously thought. More.
- A collaboration between Berkeley, MIT and Microsoft is developing display technology to enable people with basic and possibly even complex visual problems to view screens clearly. More.
- Researchers at Princeton University, working alongside Liquid Light, have reportedly developed the most efficient process yet for converting carbon dioxide into water and formic acid. More.
- Neuroscientists at MIT reported that they have been able to plant false memories in the brain of rodents using optogenetics. The process could ultimately have applications in the treatment of trauma-related disorders. More.
- The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has developed a drone capable of locating a mobile phone via its wi-fi signal, accurate to around 10 metres. This has numerous applications in disaster recovery. More.
- Researchers at Cambridge University are developing a new method of material construction that enables manipulation of the material’s interaction with light. This technique could ultimately facilitate the development of ‘cloaking’ devices. More.
- The ten finalists of the Google Impact Challenge 2014 were announced, including projects investigating smart glasses for the blind, novel solutions to malaria and social reintegration of former offenders. More.
- UK-based Surrey NanoSystems has reportedly created the ‘darkest’ material known to man. Composed of carbon nanotubes, the material reflects just 0.04% of incoming radiation and has applications in optical instrumentation. More.
- Researchers at the University of Maryland have successfully mimicked fibre optic cables using air ‘tubes’ of varying densities. The technology could ultimately be used for communications with remote locations or space-based systems. More.
- Researchers at the University of Bradford are in the early stages of developing a simple blood test capable of detecting all types of cancer. More.
- Amazon reported a loss of £74m for Q2 2014, reflecting ongoing investment into its web services infrastructure, digital content and delivery systems.
- Start-up survey the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor revealed a surge in UK entrepreneurial activity among people aged 50 or over, who now account for more start-ups than entrepreneurs aged 18-29.
- The North West Fund and Index Ventures have been the most active early-stage venture capital funds in the UK since 2009, according to CB insights. More
New Sources of Funding
- Santander launched a $100m venture fund for fintech companies.
- In the US, NextView Ventures raised a $40m fund for seed-stage opportunities, Garage Technology Ventures launched a new early stage venture fund focusing on sectors including software, robotics and internet of things, while Charles River Ventures closed a $393m fund.
- Founders Fund announced that it will be dedicating part of its new $1bn fund to seed stage science-based opportunities.
- Qualcomm announced that it plans to invest $150m in Chinese start-ups operating within the internet, semi-conductor, education and health sectors.
- Google announced that it will launch a $100m London-based fund dedicated to European start-ups.
- London-based Seedcamp raised a $30m fund to further support participants of its accelerator programme. The company also announced that it will be expanding into the US.
- Soundhawk, which develops smart listening systems, received a $5.5m investment from Foxconn and True Ventures.
- Atox Bio, which develops ‘flesh-eating’ bacteria for treatment of severe infections, raised $23m from investors including SR One.
- US-based HandUp, a platform designed to facilitate transparent donations to the homeless, raised $850,000 to expand throughout the US.
- Partnered, which connects start-ups with established brands to solve problems, raised $850,000 from investors including Kima Ventures.
- San Francisco-based Icix, which develops solutions for monitoring global supply chains and verification of consumer product testing, raised $25m from investors including DFJ and Starfish Ventures. More.
- Kurbo Health, which is developing mobile apps designed to tackle obesity in children, raised $5.8m from investors including Signia Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.
- Beyond Meat, which is developing plant-based animal protein substitutes, raised additional funding from investors including DNS Capital.
- Israel-based ThetaRay, which develops cyber security solutions for power plants and airlines, raised $10m from investors including GE. More.
- Canada-based quantum computing company D-Wave raised an additional $30m from investors including Goldman Sachs and DFJ.
- Switzerland-based Genny Mobilty, which is developing a novel self-balancing motorised wheelchair, raised €3m from investors.
- The Flir One iPhone case, which incorporates a thermal imaging camera, became available for pre-order.
- IBM has developed a data analysis system designed to help determine the source of food-borne disease outbreaks. More.
- MIT spin-out Gradiant is developing a new process for efficiently cleaning wastewater produced by the oil and gas industry. More.
- US-based Ecosphere is developing the Ecos PowerCube, an all-in-one energy, water, satellite communications and wi-fi system for disaster relief.
- US-based Imprint Energy is developing ultra-thin and bendable zinc-polymer rechargeable batteries with applications in wearable electronics. More.