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First Ever Innovation Week In Birmingham Launched By Future Cities Catapult

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The first Innovation Week in Birmingham, the UK’s second city, is being launched by the Government backed global centre of excellence in urban innovation, Future Cities Catapult.

Aimed at Birmingham’s thriving community of SME’s and entrepreneurs, Future Cities Catapult has developed a week-long programme of events to connect with local businesses, drive innovation, and promote opportunities in the smart cities market.

Innovation Week Birmingham will bring together businesses, universities and city leaders to explore ways to make the city of Birmingham an even better place to live, work and visit.

Six free talks and workshops will be taking place across the city covering a variety of themes, including:

  • Health and Future Cities: focusing on how cities can harness new technologies and approaches to mitigate the negative health impacts of city life
  • Future of Planning: exploring how technology could transform planning and urban development in Greater Birmingham and beyond
  • Data Visualisation: looking at techniques to turn raw city data into striking visualisations which explore and address urban challenges

Scott Cain, Chief Business Officer at Future Cities Catapult, said:

“Future Cities Catapult is very excited to be holding our first ever Innovation Week in the UK’s second city. From the birth of the Industrial Revolution to the pioneering reforms under Joseph Chamberlain, Birmingham has a great history of innovative thinking and is home to a vibrant pool of SMEs and startups. We’re really looking forward to collaborating with local entrepreneurs to harness innovation, solve urban problems, and future-proof this great city.”

Councillor John Clancy, the Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“I cannot think of a more suitable place than Birmingham for Future Cities Catapult to stage the first ever Innovation Week. Birmingham, once renowned across the world as the city of a thousand trades, is still at the very heart of entrepreneurialism – nurturing small businesses is ingrained in our DNA.

“In fact, I’m delighted to say that Birmingham was named the most entrepreneurial place in the UK in this year’s Enterprising Britain Awards.

“You only have to look at cranes on the skyline to know that big things are happening here. We are earning a growing reputation as one of the most attractive city regions in the world to do business.

“We’ve seen almost 1,000 foreign direct investment projects in Birmingham over the past four years, and 14,152 new businesses were registered here during 2015.

“Creating jobs and inclusive economic growth are at the top of the City Council’s list of priorities, and we recognise the vital role in wealth creation played by SMEs.”

To find out more and register attendance, visit: https://futurecities.catapult.org.uk/2016/11/18/innovation-week-birmingham/

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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