Η Dell ανακοίνωσε στις αρχές της εβδομάδας την οποία διανύουμε, την εξαγορά της EMC Corporation (EMC2) η οποία είναι μια αμερικανική εταιρία που δραστηριοποιείται στον τομέα της υψηλής τεχνολογίας και ταξινομείται στις λίστες Fortune 500 και S&P 500. Συγκεκριμένα η υπό εξαγορά εταιρία κατασκευάζει λογισμικά και υλικά συστημάτων για τη διαχείριση πληροφοριών και την αποθήκευση τους.

Η αγοραπωλησία αναμεμένεται να ολοκληρωθεί μέσα στους επόμενους μήνες, έναντι 67 δισ. δολαρίων, το μεγαλύτερο δηλαδή τίμημα στην ιστορία του τεχνολογικού κλάδου.

Σύμφωνα με το δελτίο τύπου το οποίο εξέδωσε την προηγούμενη δευτέρα η εταιρία ηλεκτρονικών υπολογιστών Dell, η διοίκηση του ομίλου συμφώνησε να εξαγοράσει μια πρωτοποριακή εταιρία συστημάτων αποθήκευσης δεδομένων, την EMC, με ένα τίμημα των 67 δισεκ. δολαρίων, το μεγαλύτερο ποσό το οποίο έχει ποτέ συμφωνηθεί στην ιστορία του τεχνολογικού κλάδου.

Η εξαγορά θα βοηθήσει την Dell να διαφοροποιηθεί από την στάσιμη αγορά προσωπικών υπολογιστών και θα της δώσει μεγαλύτερη παρουσία στην ταχύτερα αναπτυσσόμενη και πιο ιδιαίτερα κερδοφόρα αγορά της διαχείρισης και αποθήκευσης δεδομένων για επιχειρήσεις.

Η συμφωνία στην οποία κατέληξαν οι δύο πλευρές αποτιμά την EMC στα 33,15 δολάρια ανά μετοχή.

Η Dell θα καταβάλει 24,05 δολάρια ανά μετοχή σε μετρητά και θα δώσει στους μετόχους της EMC ειδικές μετοχές που θα συνδέονται με την τιμή της μετοχής της θυγατρικής εταιρίας της EMC, VMWare, η οποία παρέχει λογισμικό εικονικοποίησης. Στην προσυνεδριακή της διαπραγμάτευση, η μετοχή της EMC κατέγραψε άνοδο 3,9% στα 29,08 δολάρια!

«Ο συνδυασμός της Dell και της EMC δημιουργεί μια υπερδύναμη στις επιχειρηματικές λύσεις» τόνισε ο Μάικλ Ντελ, που θα αναλάβει τα ηνία της νέας εταιρίας από τη θέση του προέδρου και του διευθύνοντος συμβούλου.

ADVERTISEMENT

Το διοικητικό συμβούλιο της EMC έχει εγκρίνει τη συγχώνευση και θα προτείνει στους μετόχους να δώσουν την οριστική έγκριση, κατά την διάρκεια της έκτακτης γενικής συνέλευσης της εταιρίας η οποία προγραμματίστηκε για τις αρχές του επομένου μηνός.

 

 

 

By Bernard Marr*

The flight of refugees from troubled areas of the world has often been one of the most devastating consequences of warfare. Mass migration involving thousands of people travelling with no infrastructure in place to support their journey often leads to humanitarian catastrophe. Additionally, resources are often stretched both in the countries they pass through and the destinations where they hope for asylum.

According to Amnesty International over four million refugees have fled the conflict in Syria, with the majority now in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Sheltering, feeding and providing essential healthcare is a huge undertaking requiring coordinated work from hundreds of governmental, private sector and voluntary organizations.

With huge numbers such as these, logistics clearly play an important role, and technology – particularly technology driven by data and analytics – is being put to use in some innovative and potentially life-saving ways.

Last year, Nagina Kaur Dhanoa, chief information officer for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHRC) said “The first thing people running the Za’atri [refugee] camp in Jordan ask for is not tents and blankets, but where they can charge their mobile phone.”

While to us a smartphone might be a way to pass idle time nattering with friends on social media, to a refugee it is a lifeline, offering access to information and services put in place to help them, as well as keeping in touch with loved ones left behind. In fact the mobile phone is central to a wide range of strategies being pioneered, many by the UNHRC’s Innovation program.

When a refugee arrives at a country and makes a claim for asylum, their details are entered into the UN’s ProGres database, which was developed in partnership with Microsoft. This makes them eligible for first-line humanitarian aid such as the provision of food and medical aid from the UN and partner organizations while the details of their individual claims to asylum are assessed. With the current Syrian crisis, all of this aid is distributed in the form of vouchers and cards encoded with digital identifiers. These identifiers allow their use to be tracked, so demand for resources can be monitored and forecast. While in some countries such as Lebanon the digital cards and vouchers can be used to draw cash from ATMs, their usage can still be used to track the underlying trends behind the movement of people. The technology uses iris scanning to establish the identity of refugees and this biometric information is encoded into the aid cards and vouchers they receive. In the Middle East, iris scanners are increasingly becoming a part of the furniture in the retail shops where the cards and vouchers are accepted in exchange for basic necessities.

It’s worth noting that refugees have just as much right to protection of their sensitive personal data as everyone else does – and this right is coded into the technology behind the system. It has been built from the ground up to allow a refugee to confirm their identity without divulging personal details to a third party (such as a shopkeeper).

Technology is also vitally important to the refugees themselves during their journey. An article in the British Newspaper ‘The Independent’ recently addressed the fact that people sometimes seem surprised to see refugees travelling with expensive-looking smartphones. As the article points out, if you’re travelling thousands of miles without a reliable source of shelter or nutrition, a device which can immediately tell you where to find these things is pretty much the most useful thing you could take with you.

In fact this need is seen as so pressing that the GSM Association earlier this year launched the Humanitarian Mobile Connectivity Charter calling for a coordinated plan from mobile service operators to provide emergency network coverage in areas where it is needed by refugees. This demand can be assessed through data from the UNs ProGres system as well as that collected in the field by other NGOs and voluntary organizations.

Health data is obviously very important for refugees, too. Medical records provide essential information for ongoing healthcare, but clearly many people who have fled a warzone will not have access to theirs. Due to this, projects are underway to develop ways for a person to carry their own health records in a portable, electronic format. It is thought that this could save many lives in situations where acute care is first needed, such as when a refugee arrives at their destination following a long, badly resourced journey. It is also hoped that it will overcome difficulties caused by language barriers when a translation interface is not always available between doctors and patient, such as at a front-line refugee arrival point.

In these crowded centers around the Middle East, there is never enough experienced medical staff to cope with demand, and as a result many healthcare agencies are turning to the newly emerging field of telemedicine for solutions. Organizations such as the Syrian American Medical Society allow specialists around the world to communicate with patients in Middle Eastern field hospitals remotely, and even to supervise complex surgical procedures.

In Jordan, SIM cards for local networks are handed out to refugees, which not only help the refugees stay in touch with loved ones, but mean important information within camps can be spread via text messages, and allow a more accurate count of the population to be kept by monitoring the number of active cellphones in the region. Other services – such as that provided by charity Refunite – provide simple interfaces for refugees to use their smartphones to connect with loved ones they have become separated from on the journey. It uses Unstructured Supplementary Service Data to allow people to search for others registered on the service using technology similar to text messaging, in locations where full internet access might be unavailable or unreliable.

Ongoing connectivity is important for education, too. In locations where war has shut down schools, particularly in developing nations, it simply isn’t viable for an entire generation to miss out on the opportunity of schooling. To combat this, initiatives involving remote learning are being set up to assist displaced people. Unicef – which recently said 13 million children are missing out on schooling because of war in the middle east – has set up a service called Sahabati (Arabic for “My Cloud”) to offer online, remote teaching and assessment to refugee children.

Technology might be mitigating the humanitarian effects of war, but the battle is ongoing and by current projections is likely to get worse before it gets better. This prompted Barack Obama to call on Silicon Valley companies to come up with more innovative ways of offering aid and assistance. Many are already stepping forward – such as crowdsourcing platform Instagram, which relaxed rules preventing it from being used by charities and non-profits to allow aid to be crowd-sourced for refugees.

Online accommodation-sourcing agency AirBnB has created a dedicated channel allowing aid workers and others working to help refugees to stay close to locations they are needed. At the same time, a separate, grassroots group which has become known as “AirBnB for refugees” has been set up to help crowdsource accommodation for refugees in European nations.

In fact crowdsourcing is proving to be one of the most useful data-driven tools for tackling refugee challenges. Last year the UNHCR launched an initiative using Midjet’s Spigit Engaged platform to encourage citizens of destination countries to come up with ways to help refugees integrate with communities in their new homes

The tech community has undoubtedly responded positively to the ongoing and worsening humanitarian crisis which we are seeing develops across the Middle East and now into Europe, too. But there is still a great deal to be done. Problems caused by widespread migration away from warzones are only going to become more acute. The global population continues to increase, as does our technological capability, but we seem unable or unwilling to move away from the violent tendencies which cause these problems in the first place. While we may have to conclude that technology will not prevent war, it may go some way to easing the suffering of its innocent victims.

*Bernard Marr is a best-selling author, keynote speaker and business consultant in big data, analytics and enterprise performance.

  source: "Forbes"

 

 

by George Serafeim

No matter what happens with the Greek bailout, all parties agree that the Greek economy will have to become more competitive.

Many politicians and commentators mention two critical factors in accomplishing this: increasing innovative capacity and reducing bureaucracy.

Both are important, but they are far more difficult to achieve than many understand because they are, to a significant extent, influenced by culture.

“Culture” can sound like a catchall, a convenient way to place the blame outside the realm of policy, but I am talking about one specific dimension of culture: avoiding uncertainty.

Different societies deal differently with the fact that the future can never be known, and there is a well-known index to measure the extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations. High uncertainty-avoidance cultures try to minimize the occurrence of unknown circumstances and proceed by implementing rules, laws, and regulations.

In contrast, low uncertainty-avoidance cultures accept and feel comfortable in unstructured situations or volatile environments, try to have as few rules as possible, and tend to be more tolerant of change.

The uncertainty-avoidance measure was originally created by Geert Hofstede through a cultural survey of more than 100,000 IBM employees around the world and subsequently confirmed in additional global surveys.

The cultural dimensions identified by Hofstede have been used by more than a 1,000 academic studies.

Greece tops this index of uncertainty-avoidance across all countries, scoring 100 out of 100.

Greeks’ high level of discomfort in ambiguous situations creates at least two effects. First, they are less likely to take risks – which means they are unlikely to invent new products, processes, or business models.

This helps to explain why Greece has one of the lowest license and patent revenues from abroad as a percentage of its GDP, as well as one of the lowest contributions from high-tech product exports to its trade balance.

Second, bureaucracy, laws, and rules exert particular influence in Greece because they help make life more structured and less uncertain.

In Greece, acquiring construction permits, registering property, and enforcing contracts in courts require vast amounts of paperwork and time.

 

The data in the graph above demonstrate the link between innovation, bureaucracy, and uncertainty.

Countries that score high on uncertainty avoidance score low on innovation (as measured in the innovation union scoreboard of the European Commission) and high on bureaucracy (as measured on the easiness to do business ranking of the World Bank).

Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, the UK, and Finland all have low uncertainty avoidance, high innovation, and low bureaucracy.

These countries have excellent research systems with a high number of influential scientific publications, relatively high levels of government and business R&D expenditure and venture capital financing, strong public-private collaborations, and a wealth of intellectual assets in patent applications and community trademarks.

At the same time the citizens in these countries spend less time dealing with procedures to start a business, get electricity, register a property, pay taxes, enforce contracts in courts, and trade across borders. Their cultures’ comfort with uncertainty helps to make all of this possible.

This suggests that in addition to short-term policy changes, Greece needs a longer-term cultural shift.

We Greeks must learn to accept and tolerate more risk and uncertainty about the future.

And it all starts in school.

We need to teach children to be courageous enough to take risks throughout their careers and to deal with the failures that unavoidably occur.

To do this we must learn from the successes of other countries.

Closer collaboration between schools, research institutes, and companies would enable the incubation of new ideas.

Inventors’ competitions for young people held every few years could also stimulate new ideas and inspire a new generation of inventors and innovators. Mentorship of small companies by larger corporations and the public sector would also assist the training and professional growth of young entrepreneurs. Finally, the development of venture capital funds would provide the necessary financing for the development of new ideas since such ideas are typically too risky to receive bank financing.

Of course, in the near term, political stability and sound economic policies are necessary to avert crisis.

But Greece cannot stop there.

In the long term the goal must be broader: to create an economy built around innovation, one that embraces uncertainty.

 

source: "Harvard Business Review"

 

 

Το νέο πρόγραμμα εργασίας 2016-17 στην έρευνα και την καινοτομία παρουσίασε χθες Τρίτη,13 Οκτωβρίου 2015, η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή.

Σύμφωνα με την Κομισιόν το νέο πρόγραμμα παρέχει δυνατότητες χρηματοδότησης μέσω προσκλήσεων υποβολής προτάσεων, δημόσιων συμβάσεων και άλλων δράσεων, ενώ θα υποστηρίξει και μια σειρά διατομεακών πρωτοβουλιών

Μεταξύ των τομέων που θα χρηματοδοτηθούν είναι η «Κυκλική Οικονομία» για την ανάπτυξη ισχυρών και βιώσιμων οικονομιών, οι «Έξυπνες και Βιώσιμες Πόλεις» για την καλύτερη ενσωμάτωση των περιβαλλοντικών, μεταφορικών, ενεργειακών και ψηφιακών δικτύων στο αστικό περιβάλλον της ΕΕ και τα προγράμματα αυτόματης οδήγησης οχήματα χωρίς οδηγό.

Με την έγκριση ενός προγράμματος εργασίας για το διάστημα 2016-17, η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή θα επενδύσει σχεδόν 16 δισ. ευρώ στην έρευνα και την καινοτομία την επόμενη διετία στο πλαίσιο του ευρωπαϊκού προγράμματος χρηματοδότησης της έρευνας και της καινοτομίας Ορίζοντας 2020.

Οι νέες δυνατότητες χρηματοδότησης που προσφέρει το πρόγραμμα εργασίας ευθυγραμμίζονται πλήρως με τις πολιτικές προτεραιότητες της Επιτροπής, που παρουσίασε ο Πρόεδρος Ζαν-Κλoντ Γιούνκερ και θα συμβάλουν ουσιαστικά στη δέσμη επενδύσεων για την απασχόληση, την ανάπτυξη και τις επενδύσεις, στην ψηφιακή ενιαία αγορά, στην πολιτική για την ενεργειακή ένωση και την κλιματική αλλαγή, στην εσωτερική αγορά με μια ισχυρότερη βιομηχανία και στην ανάδειξη της Ευρώπης σε ισχυρότερο παγκόσμιο παράγοντα.

Ο Κάρλος Μοέδας, επίτροπος Έρευνας, Επιστήμης και Καινοτομίας, δήλωσε σχετικά: «Η έρευνα και η καινοτομία αποτελούν τους μοχλούς ανάπτυξης της Ευρώπης και έχουν ζωτική σημασία για την αντιμετώπιση των σημερινών νέων πιεστικών προκλήσεων, όπως η μετανάστευση, η κλιματική αλλαγή, η καθαρή ενέργεια και οι υγιείς κοινωνίες. Μέσα στα δύο επόμενα χρόνια, θα διατεθούν 16 δισ. ευρώ από το πρόγραμμα «Ορίζοντας 2020» για την ενίσχυση κορυφαίων Ευρωπαίων επιστημόνων, οι οποίοι με το έργο τους αλλάζουν τη ζωή των πολιτών.»

Σύμφωνα με τις στρατηγικές προτεραιότητες του επιτρόπου Μοέδα, το πρόγραμμα «Ορίζων 2020» θα είναι ανοικτό στην καινοτομία, ανοικτό στην επιστήμη και ανοικτό στον κόσμο. Το νέο πρόγραμμα εργασίας 2016-17 παρέχει δυνατότητες χρηματοδότησης μέσω προσκλήσεων υποβολής προτάσεων, δημόσιων συμβάσεων και άλλων δράσεων, όπως τα βραβεία του προγράμματος «Ορίζοντας» που καλύπτουν συνολικά περίπου 600 θέματα. Η δομή του προγράμματος εργασίας αντικατοπτρίζει τη γενικότερη ευελιξία του προγράμματος «Ορίζοντας 2020» που επικεντρώνεται στις μακροπρόθεσμες προτεραιότητες της ΕΕ και στις πλέον πιεστικές κοινωνικές προκλήσεις, ενώ ταυτόχρονα συμβάλλει στην ταχεία αντιμετώπιση των αναδυόμενων προβλημάτων, όπως οι επιδημίες.

Το πρόγραμμα θα υποστηρίξει μια σειρά διατομεακών πρωτοβουλιών: τον εκσυγχρονισμό της ευρωπαϊκής μεταποιητικής βιομηχανίας (1 δισ. ευρώ), τεχνολογίες και πρότυπα για την αυτόματη οδήγηση (περίπου 100 εκατ. ευρώ), το «Διαδίκτυο των Αντικειμένων» (139 εκατ. ευρώ) με επίκεντρο την αντιμετώπιση της ψηφιοποίησης των βιομηχανιών της ΕΕ, τη «Βιομηχανία 2020» και την «Κυκλική Οικονομία» (670 εκατ. ευρώ) για την ανάπτυξη ισχυρών και βιώσιμων οικονομιών και τις «Έξυπνες και Βιώσιμες Πόλεις» (232 εκατ. ευρώ) για την καλύτερη ενσωμάτωση των περιβαλλοντικών, μεταφορικών, ενεργειακών και ψηφιακών δικτύων στο αστικό περιβάλλον της ΕΕ.

Επίσης, θα διατεθούν τουλάχιστον 8 εκατ. ευρώ για τη χρηματοδότηση της έρευνας στον τομέα της ασφάλειας των εξωτερικών συνόρων της ΕΕ, με στόχο τον εντοπισμό και την αποτροπή της παράνομης διακίνησης και εμπορίας ανθρώπων, 27 εκατ. ευρώ για τις νέες τεχνολογίες με στόχο την πρόληψη του εγκλήματος και της τρομοκρατίας, καθώς και 15 εκατ. ευρώ για έρευνα σχετικά με τα αίτια και τον αντίκτυπο των μεταναστευτικών ροών στην Ευρώπη.

Το νέο πρόγραμμα εργασίας θα βασιστεί σε ερευνητικές επιτυχίες στον τομέα της υγείας, όπως οι ριζοσπαστικές ανακαλύψεις για την αντιμετώπιση του ιού του έμπολα, που χρηματοδοτούνται ήδη από το πρόγραμμα «Ορίζοντας 2020», και θα επενδύσει 5 εκατ. ευρώ στην καταπολέμηση του βακτηρίου ξυλέλλα (Xylella fastidiosa) που προκαλεί μεγάλη ζημιά στα ελαιόδεντρα.

Το νέο πρόγραμμα εργασίας στοχεύει επίσης στη βελτίωση του αντίκτυπου της χρηματοδότησης του προγράμματος «Ορίζοντας 2020». Κατ΄αρχάς, θα διασφαλίσει περισσότερα κονδύλια για καινοτόμες επιχειρήσεις χάρη στις νέες δυνατότητες μόχλευσης που υποστηρίζονται από το Ευρωπαϊκό Ταμείο Στρατηγικών Επενδύσεων (ΕΤΣΕ), επιπλέον του ποσού άνω των 740 εκατ. ευρώ που διατίθεται για τη στήριξη δραστηριοτήτων έρευνας και καινοτομίας σε σχεδόν 2.000 μικρομεσαίες επιχειρήσεις (ΜΜΕ).

Επίσης θα επιδιωχθεί να βελτιωθούν οι συνέργειες με άλλα χρηματοδοτικά προγράμματα της ΕΕ, όπως τόνισε ο Πρόεδρος Γιούνκερ στην ομιλία του για την κατάσταση της Ένωσης, καθώς και να υποστηρίζονται οι ερευνητές κατά την υποβολή αιτήσεων, με την παροχή σαφέστερων οδηγιών και κριτηρίων επιπτώσεων, τονίζεται στην ανακοίνωση της Κομισιόν.

πηγή: "Econews.gr"

 
 
 
 

The Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) has named six EdTech startups the winners of the third “Learning Innovation Hub (iHub) Pitch Games” held at Adobe Systems.

Eleven EdTech entrepreneurs participated in the games. Each startup was required to pitch its product to a panel of educators and top Silicon Valley business leaders in the vein of the TV show “Shark Tank.” During the nearly three-hour event, the entrepreneurs answered a barrage of questions about their products and business models. The competition is supported by grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Strengthening the connection between the startups and teachers is the optimum way to be able to test products more quickly and develop more relevant instructional technology tools for students,” SVEF CEO Muhammed Chaudhry said in a press release. "This moves us toward transforming classroom learning and improving student ach

As part of the prize, the winning startups will test their science, English and math-friendly software in 40 Silicon Valley schools.

Here’s a brief rundown of what they’re working on.

Allcancode
Based in Athens, Greece, the startup teaches elementary school-aged children math and biology through an adventure game featuring a young boy who travels the world.

Teaching Garage
The Boston-based startup uses programs that guide elementary school teachers with no engineering background to teach young students the engineering design process.

Seesaw
The San Francisco company teaches young students to document and organize what they learn in school and to chart their academic growth.

 Drawp for School

The second winner out of San Francisco is a tablet app that turns class assignments into creative learning by using enhanced drawing, painting and text, and includes a built-in sharing platform.

Sesame
The Ontario, Canada-based startup offers products for teachers to capture and assess learning with quick feedback and is particularly helpful to English Language Learners.

codeSpark
The Pasadena, Calif. company introduces students as young as 5 to 8 years old to coding with the help of friendly animated creatures.

Panelists, or “sharks,” at the competition included Dave House, chairman of Brocade Communications Systems; Ron Sege, chairman and CEO of Echelon; Emily Dalton Smith, product manager at Facebook; Kathy Gomez, superintendent of Evergreen School District; and Peter DeMarzo, Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business.