26 May 2016

Video: Ken Finnegan IoT Lead for IDA Ireland - IoT World

Smart Tech News recently sat down with Ken Finnegan, R&D Advisor & IoT Lead for IDA Ireland, the entity within the Irish Government responsible for direct foreign investment, at IoT World Silicon Valley 2016 to learn about the latest IoT Initiatives occurring in Ireland.
Watch the brief video here to learn more about the initiatives including an Internet of Bees (IoB) Project on the roof of Dell's Building to help understand the plight of bees in the world.

Examples of IoT-based technologies which have been implemented throughout Dublin include

1. Croke Park Smart Stadium:
Croke Park has a capacity of 82,300, making it the third largest stadium in Europe and it is the test bed for some of the most cutting edge Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and is wired up with multiple connected devices including sensors and cameras that collect data from special events. The analysis of this data helps Croke Park build new services, and better customer experiences. Croke Park has partnered with Intel, DCU, Sun Devil Stadium and Arizona State University to deploy pilot IoT technologies, mostly involving fan experience and crowd behavior.

Pilot IoT Projects at Croke Park include:
• Pitch monitoring: 7 million images and 970 Gb of light exposure and moisture have been generated through sensors and outdoor IP cameras to provide datasets for pitch automation, management, and maintenance.

• Flood management: rain gauges, weather stations, sewer sensing, sewer watt level sensing, and water tank sensing have all been installed in the Croke Park area to forecast and detect flooding risks.

• Crowd management: use of calculated crowd motion patterns to provide collectiveness, conflict and stability indexes for forecasting transportation flows, identifying congestion patterns during events as well as describing and detecting abnormal collective behavior.

• Athlete performance monitoring: wearable sensing RFID tags in the athletes’ sports clothes produce real time performance statistics during matches.

2. Smart City ChallengeKeeping Our City Streets Clean’:
A critical role of the city council is street cleaning and managing waste across busy city center areas. There is a network of over 3,500 street bins which are manually emptied on a regular basis. This street cleaning service is critical to maintaining a clean and litter-free city. There has been an increasing trend of successful deployment of smart bin technologies in cities that incorporate features such as:
• Sensors that communicate back to the street cleaners when they are full
• Use of accompanying software that allow for optimization of routes for cleaning schedules
• Use of software applications which deliver real time data information (through a web portal or Smartphone) on each bin status, their inventory management and other efficiency related data.
Smart Bins are solar powered, wifi enabled bins that are being installed in towns, villages and residential areas across the country to replace traditional public litter bins.
There are currently 401 Smart Bins installed in the southCounty area. The project is managed by the County Council by the Environment Department with the purpose to improve the efficiency of waste management.
More on Dublin:
Dublin City Corporation are planning to make this part of the city the most ‘densely sensored’ urban area in the world - producing lots of data that will be accessible by companies, government, academia and citizens. We anticipate that this is going to be a very powerful demonstration of Ireland’s capabilities to design and develop the sensors, connect them over multiple transmission types and finally with one of Europe’s largest data analytics research centres here, uncover, discover and predict value.
  • Central to the smart city goals is also to ensure that the infrastructure in place, the LORA (Low Powered Radio) transmission standards are currently being rolled out across the entire Island. This is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and coordinated by the CONNECT Research centre and allows companies to conduct robust due diligence into what transmission standard works for them.  Companies can also access and rent the live radio spectrum, access the Sigfox network and lots more infrastructure; the building blocks are in place for technical solutions.

Beyond smart cities - other innovations being worked within IoT in Ireland include:
  • Intel’s Quark chip and Galileo board.
  • Movidius’s vision processing chip that will be used in all google mobile devices.
  • Robust and flexible transmissions options for companies to access and trial (LORA, SIGFOX, NIBOT, 3G, 4G, M2M etc)
  • One of Europe’s largest data analytics research centre (Insight)
  • Organizations like Accenture, SAP, HP, IBM have established global centres of excellence in data analytics 
  • More stories are here: http://smartdublin.ie/smart-stories/


17 May 2016

Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference - May 25 San Francisco

Smart Tech News will be attending the The Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference which will explore how Applied Artificial Intelligence is changing:

SOCIETY - Transportation | Smart Cities | Logistics | Legal | eHealth

ENTERPRISE - FinTech | Future of Work | HR | Sales | Marketing | Security | Retail

PEOPLE - Virtual Assistants | Connected Home | Safety | Entertainment | Lifestyle

More information about the speakers and the final agenda can be found on http://hackers.ai/

21 March 2016

Videos & Highlights: California’s Distributed Energy Future 2016

Image Credit: Greentech Media
The Greentech Media California's Distributed Energy Future Conference provided the audience with great insight into the current direction of distributed energy.
Below you'll find two videos featuring:
1. Keynote Panel: Distributed Energy Resources as Grid Assets
2. Fireside Chat: Michael Picker, President, California Public Utilities Commission
3. Audience Vote Feedback on Various topics.

1. Keynote Panel: Distributed Energy Resources as Grid Assets
California is at the forefront of the push to consider distributed energy resources as assets to the grid. On this panel, leading experts discuss the benefits and challenges of shifting the lens through which distributed energy is viewed, and how markets must adjust to enable this transformation.
Caroline Choi, Vice President, Energy & Environmental Policy, Southern California Edison
Mark Ferron, Member, Board of Governors, CAISO, Former Commissioner, CPUC
David L. Geier, Vice President, Electric Transmission & System Engineering, San Diego Gas & Electric
Moderator: Rick Thompson, President & Co-Founder, Greentech Media
2. Fireside Chat: Michael Picker, President, California Public Utilities Commission
3. Audience Questions and Answers
1. What will be the primary benefit of the shift toward distributed energy in California?
B) Decreased greenhouse gas emissions (38.7%)
A) Increased customer choice (27.1%)


2. What will be the primary negative consequence of the shift toward distributed energy in California?
B) Increasing integration costs of intermittent generation. (28.9%)
C) Growing wealth divide (26.9%)

3. What remains the greatest challenge for California's distributed energy future? 
D) Regulatory - distribution planning, rate reform (40.6%)
C) Structural - utility business model evolution (34.7%)

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4. What technology will have the greatest impact on the growth of DER in California?
B) Energy Storage (45.1%)

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5. What will be the primary solution to the so-called "duck curve" phenomenon?
B) Energy Storage (59.6%) 

14 March 2016

Economist Wins Tyler Prize for Lifetime of Work Illuminating Connections between Poverty, Sustainable Development and Environmental Health

43rd Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement honors Sir Partha Dasgupta’s contribution to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment

Los Angeles, CA (March 14, 2016) – The Executive Committee of The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement today announced the selection of Sir Partha S. Dasgupta, PhD, as the 2016 Tyler Prize Laureate. He is recognized for developing economic theory and tools to measure the relationships between human and environmental well-being, poverty, population, economic growth and the state of natural resources. Dasgupta is the Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Cambridge.

“Sir Partha Dasgupta’s contributions to economics have driven fundamental and ongoing changes in the international conversation about sustainable and just development, and use of natural resources,” said Tyler Prize Executive Committee Chair Julia Marton-Lefèvre, the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Environmental Scholar at Yale University.

“From co-chairing the committee that advised Pope Francis on the scientific basis of climate change to helping shape the Sustainable Development Goals, Sir Partha’s work has ensured that we keep in mind both people and the way we use our natural resources to benefit present and future generations,” added Marton-Lefèvre.
Dasgupta’s work challenges the conventional thinking on how nations measure their well-being and places an emphasis on population and environmental sustainability.

“We have long measured the progress of nations in terms of what they produce and consume as expressed in the gross domestic product (GDP),” said Dasgupta. “We need to be working with an entirely different measure. GDP doesn’t tell us if we are growing in a way that benefits all in society, including future people; it ignores factors like inequity and whether we are using our natural resources in a way that can also benefit future generations.”

Since its inception in 1973 as one of the world’s first international environmental awards, the Tyler Prize has been the premier award for environmental science, environmental health and energy.

“Sir Partha’s work to create a framework for sustainable development and his commitment to addressing poverty and the environment have made him unsurpassed among environmental economists in the world,” said Simon Levin, the 2014 Tyler Prize Laureate.      

As the winner of the Tyler Prize, Dasgupta will receive a $200,000 cash prize and a gold medallion and join the ranks of Laureates that include Edward O. Wilson, Jane Goodall, Jared Diamond, Paul and Anne Ehrlich, M.S. Swaminathan, Thomas Lovejoy, Jane Lubchenco and Madhav Gadgil. A full list of past winners is available at www.tylerprize.usc.edu/pastlaureates.html. The Prize, awarded by the international Tyler Prize Executive Committee with the administrative support of the University of Southern California, honors exceptional foresight and dedication in the environmental sciences and policy—qualities that mirror the prescience of the Prize’s founders, John and Alice Tyler, who established it while the environmental debate was still in its infancy.

Chasing Questions in Economics: From the Streets of Calcutta to the Vatican

“I didn’t have a big vision or an agenda when I started my career,” says Dasgupta. “This has been a 40-year chase in which I started with narrow problems and then found that I needed to understand them in a larger context.”

For Dasgupta, one part of this chase began while walking the streets of Calcutta to see his parents. “I saw women begging and some had children with them. It was part of life,” explained Dasgupta. “On one occasion I saw a baby about a year old lying next to her mother with flies on her face. It was a moving sight, but I began wondering why she wasn’t swatting the flies away.”

Thinking about how this girl was using—or not using—very limited energy led Dasgupta to explore broader questions on the relationship between nutrition and health and what they meant for human productivity. These interests expanded quickly to the use of and value placed on natural resources, population, and sustainability.

Forty years later, Dasgupta is recognized as a leading global expert for his work studying economic and environmental issues and incorporating other disciplines. Notably, Dasgupta co-chaired the joint report for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences—entitled Climate Change and The Common Good—which served as the scientific basis for Pope Francis’ call to action on climate change, the encyclical on the environment (Laudato si').

Rethinking a Nation’s Ledger: Challenging Our Understanding of Wealth and Economic Growth

Dasgupta’s work across economic questions led him to recognize that a more comprehensive and complex measure of national and economic well-being is necessary to help governments craft better economic and development policies.

“Judging the wealth and health of countries using GDP captures just a moment in time and not where the country is headed. It’s like judging the current and future prospects of a household by only noting its annual expenditure on goods and services and not enquiring whether that expenditure was drawing down the household wealth,” explained Dasgupta.

Instead, Dasgupta and colleagues advocate that nations should measure their “inclusive wealth,” which includes not only the value of a country’s infrastructure and tools for production—such as roads, buildings and factories—and education and health of its citizens (human capital), but also the value of natural capital (environmental health, ecosystems, sub-soil resources). Inclusive wealth measures a nation’s potential productivity.

Dasgupta and his colleague Karl-Goran Maler showed that future generations will have a higher quality of life if an economy’s inclusive wealth grows at a faster rate than its population. “It’s no good talking about sustainable development without moving to a system that incorporates inclusive wealth,” said Dasgupta.

Dasgupta serves as the Scientific Advisor to the Inclusive Wealth Project, a UN-sponsored initiative that seeks to measure the wealth and long-term sustainability of countries. This approach, he argues, must be put to work in global discussions around sustainability, including the recently agreed upon UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).         

“We can’t trick ourselves into thinking that reaching the SDGs benchmarks—such as no poverty or no hunger—is success alone. We have to reach them through smart development policies or that success will be fleeting,” said Dasgupta. “We’ll only know if we’ve done that by asking whether the development policies that will be adopted to meet the SDGs will raise inclusive wealth at a faster pace than the population grows.”

Engaging Diverse Perspectives to Answer Big Questions: From Environmental Stewardship to Population

Over the course of Dasgupta’s career, he has collaborated with experts from many other disciplines, including ecologists, epidemiologists and anthropologists. While Chair of the Board of the Beijer Institute, Dasgupta and colleagues brought together economists and ecologists from around the world to address problems of environmental stewardship and helping the world’s most disadvantaged people.

“Sir Partha had the intellectual leadership to help bring together partners that had never worked together in this way,” said Levin.

In 2013, Dasgupta chaired a diverse expert committee for India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which constructed a framework for measuring India’s national well-being that incorporates not only economic output, but also the health and value of environmental and natural resources.

“Doing economics is like peeling an onion. ‘Why’ is a persistent question,” said Dasgupta. “The problem, as well as the attraction, for me has always been that at each stage I discovered that I needed other disciplines to help me answer the questions.”

Dasgupta’s efforts to engage diverse perspectives extend to regional views as well. He co-founded the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) to elevate the work of scholars from developing countries, and launched the journal Environment and Development Economics, which publishes research on poverty and environmental resources by scholars in poor countries.

“In the developed world the environment is often thought of as an amenity—is the beach polluted or is the national park a place I want to go on vacation—but most of humanity does not enjoy the environment solely as an amenity,” explained Dasgupta. “People in poorer countries understand this complexity, but their voices aren’t heard enough.”

04 March 2016

EERE’s FY2017 Renewable Power Budget Webinar

The Department of Energy (DOE) hosted a Renewable Power Budget Webinar this week hosted by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power Doug Hollett. Wind & Water Technologies, Solar Technologies, and Geothermal Technologies are discussed. Please see the Slideshow below.