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Canary Wharf Group Joined by Intel and 20 Smart Cities Start-Ups to Form ‘Cognicity Hub’



Canary Wharf Group has announced the founding members of the Cognicity Hub, a dedicated smart cities ecosystem based at the Level39 technology accelerator in One Canada Square. Following the recent success of the Group’s Cognicity Challenge, a variety of companies have taken permanent residence at Level39 within the Cognicity Hub, an optimised workspace for the development of world-class smart cities technology.

Multinational company Intel is also joining the Cognicity Hub as a founding technology partner, placing a focused smart cities and Internet of Things (IoT) team within the space.

Canary Wharf Group’s CEO and Chairman, Sir George Iacobescu CBE says “Following the success and experience of Canary Wharf Group’s Cognicity Challenge in 2015, we are delighted to announce our continued commitment to smart cities innovation with the launch of our hub today.

“This dedicated space will help us and the broader smart cities community identify and develop some of the most exciting breakthrough technologies, benefiting our own development pipeline while helping to build a smarter and more future-proof London.”

Founding SME members of the Cognicity Hub include:

  • BlockDox: a system that puts a wealth of services at residential tenants’ fingertips. From their app residents can perform everyday tasks, likecontacting reception and arranging repairs.
  • Boldmind: an Internet of Things startup that develops bespoke apps to control connected systems and devices, while also analysing the data they generate
  • BuzzStreets: a way-finder and navigation app that uses augmented reality to bring art to life, while saving time and money.
  • Demand Logic: is a health-monitoring system for buildings that improves the condition of your property by making it more efficient and comfortable whilst cutting costs and effort.
  • Opinsta: A delegation tool which ensures a business’ customer feedback is instantly directed to the individuals or teams responsible so that customer opinions are not lost or forgotten
  • Polysolar: a manufacture of innovative transparent solar PV window glass that generates electricity and prevents buildings from overheating.
  • SEaB Energy: a plug-and-play waste-to-energy company that patented a miniature anaerobic digester that is able to transform organic waste into energy and water.
  • Snapback: a platform which creates a multimodal way for people to interact with smart devices and reinvents the interaction between human and machine as a user-centered relationship.
  • Tridify: An interactive collaborative visualisation and design tool delivered on a range of devices, from iPad to Virtual Reality environments, which enables support and cooperation across all stages of the building lifecycle – from concept planning, design, construction to refurbishment.
  • Voyage Control: a company helping businesses manage, optimise and track their freight deliveries by streamlining logistics, helping with security and meeting environmental objectives

To turbocharge the growth of smart cities companies at Level39, a Cognicity curriculum has been curated. This tailored programme provides Cognicity Hub members with access to Level39’s long-standing partners, industry players and investors, as well as one-to-one mentorship with smart cities and IoT experts and a range of complementary startup activities and events.

Level39, Europe’s largest technology accelerator space, is already home to a number of existing smart cities companies including EcoMachines, Flexeye, ET Index, Eurosender, Pointr, Intelico, Melin Medical, Multipass, NRGbase, QURAMI and Your Parking Space.

Mayor of London’s Special Adviser for Business and Science, Joe Mitton, says “London is attracting talent from all over the world to help create the smart cities of the future.  Initiatives such as the Cognicity Hub are vital to this success. Cognicity is a jewel of innovation and a great environment for creative work on smart cities. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and I are hugely supportive and inspired by the ideas pouring out of Level 39.”

Intel UK Smart Cities Director, Ian Jones says “Intel is delighted to be a founding technology partner of this smart cities ecosystem – we look forward to working with innovative entrepreneurs and technologies which can revolutionise how citizens live, work and play. Technology working closely with real-estate and property marks a significant turning point in creating a smarter future. Collaborating with Canary Wharf Group, Level39 and these innovators will create impacting and meaningful results for the residents of smarter cities everywhere.”


7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption



Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions |

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis




Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens |

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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