Are We Overdue a Building Construction Revolution?


Louis Brasington
While global labor productivity has risen by 2.8% in the past 20 years, productivity in construction reportedly has only increased by 1%, and compared to the 3.6% increase for manufacturing, is actually in decline (see Figure 1). If the construction industry could close that gap to match the global economic average, the industry's value could increase by $1.6 trillion, boosting global GDP by 2%. However, the construction industry is extensively regulated, risk averse and hard to navigate for new players.... Read More »

Coming Out of the Cage: The Evolution of Automation and Robotics


Josh Gilbert
Manufacturing efficiency gains have played a key role in economic growth throughout the 20th century, and since the 1970s, much of the growth in output can be attributed to more efficient manufacturing and assembly lines driven by automation and robotics. The availability and sophistication of sensors, data and processing power are driving robotics to become more mobile, autonomous and allow them to work alongside people. These applications range from warehouse fulfillment, last-mile logistics, factories, and food preparation – they make... Read More »

Infinite Drivetime: Talking Solar Cars With Lightyear


Louis Brasington
Solar-powered cars have been mostly experimental vehicles trying to break records at competitions like the World Solar Challenge in Australia. On the commercial side, the efforts have tended toward Solar Assisted Electric Vehicles (SAEVs). These vehicles have proven impractical and expensive, providing nothing more than small incremental gains to mileage. Ford and Toyota have had shots at products and to date, no system has managed to gain traction. With the coming of low cost-efficient solar cells alongside the transformation of... Read More »

Technological Innovation in Aquaculture


Chris Sworder
We need more seafood to meet demand for protein. It took over a generation to industrialize livestock processes, and the environmental and social consequences of that development are being brought into sharp focus. The aquaculture industry is much further back on that curve, with environmental concerns beginning to come to light. Whether it is ecologically damaging aquaculture practices in Southeast Asia or the environmental consequences of large fish escapes or managing problems like sea lice, many factors are driving innovation in... Read More »

Autonomous Datasets and V2X Transactions: Blockchain in Mobility Pilots Getting Traction


Jules Besnainou
With connected, electric, autonomous and shared mobility on the way, systems that can handle increasingly complex data and transactions have to be built. In the last couple of years, automakers and blockchain companies alike have been exploring ways to apply distributed ledger technology to the mobility space and tackle some of these challenges. Ahead of our executive summit on Blockchain in Energy & Mobility taking place in New York on October 24th, we talked to some of the major market... Read More »

European Utilities Support UN Development Goals


Louis Brasington
Last month, the United National delegates came together in New York, assessing the progress for their Sustainable Development Goals. The focus this year was on how nations can provide access to affordable and reliable energy, water, and safe and resilient cities. The meeting marked three years since the UN committed to reaching universal access to affordable and clean energy by 2030. Large energy corporates have been actively involved in the push across the globe, deploying decentralized energy systems through partnering... Read More »

Aquaculture: A Regional Look at a Global Industry


Chris Sworder
Introduction Globally, about 2% of overall calorie intake and 15% of protein intake comes from seafood both wild-caught and farmed. The most recent available data on global seafood production puts the total annual amount in 2015 at 138 Mt (million metric tons), of which 60% was wild-capture landings (including 20 Mt reduction fisheries) and 40% aquaculture production. Of this 40%, around 75% of the tonnage comes from finfish (as opposed to molluscs, crustaceans, etc.), and finfish account for 62.5% by... Read More »

Intelligent Traffic Systems: Implementation and What’s Down the Road?


Leo Zhang
According to INRIX’s 2017 Traffic Scorecard study, the estimated total economic costs from traffic congestion for the US, UK, and Germany amounted to almost $461 billion in 2017. The dollar value increases when the calculation includes data from the other 35 countries in this study. Furthermore, several major developing countries were excluded from this study, so total global economic impact from traffic congestion could be significantly higher than what INRIX has reasonably estimated. In other words, the economic cost of... Read More »

July Was Smart Irrigation Month: How Sensor-based Smart Irrigation Tools Influence Agriculture


Yuanzhen Pan
According to the World Bank, agriculture uses approximately 70% of global water withdrawals, with as much as 50% being wasted due to overwatering and inefficient systems. Meanwhile, farmers continue to make significant capital investments in on-farm irrigation facilities; over $2.64 billion was spent on US farms in 2013. To improve water use efficiency, startups are innovating, and farmers are deploying sensor-based smart irrigation systems utilizing irrigation intelligence based on real-time field data. A sensor-based irrigation system can be broken down into... Read More »

Closing the Circle on Textiles


Lily Lin
The world generates 92 million tons of textile waste annually, with an estimated increase of 60% to 147 million tons in 2030. Textile waste management is a global challenge that that is likely to become a source of regulatory and reputational risk. Just ask Burberry after burning £28M of products, or H&M who was called out for burning an average of 12 tons of unsold product a year. If dealt with correctly, textile waste could become a business opportunity. According... Read More »