Nothing quite like it had ever been attempted. Deep in the California desert last March, as a few fatigues-clad U.S. MARINES stood nearby, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, fiddled with a 1.5-meter airplane with six walnut-sized bundles of electronics ATTACHED to the undersides of its wings. Each bundle, swaddled in pink plastic, held a magnetic-field sensor, short-range radio transmitter, antenna and microprocessor run by a custom low-powered operating system dubbed “Tiny OS.” And then the remote-controlled plane, freighted with the early embodiments of a hoped-for advance in miniaturized, networked sensing, buzzed aloft, traveled about two kilometers and dropped its pink payload along a dirt road. Soon, as planned, a few trucks drove past the innocuous electronic spies. The bundles detected the trucks’ magnetic fields, shared this information among themselves and beamed a report on the vehicles’ location, speed and direction to the … [Read more...] about DARPA’s Disruptive Technologies
Environmental technologies fund
This is the first of two articles by David Rotman on technology and the federal stimulus package. The second, “ Chasing the Sun ,” appeared in the July/August 2009 issue and examined the impact of spending billions of dollars on renewable energy will have on the future of solar power. By any measure, $100 billion is a staggering amount of money. That’s how much the federal stimulus bill devotes to the discovery, development, and implementation of various technologies. Some $20 billion will fund the increased use of electronic medical records; another $7.2 billion will support the extension of broadband Internet access to areas currently without such services. Most impressive, roughly $60 billion will be spent on energy, funding everything from energy-efficiency programs to loan guarantees for the construction of large facilities that use new biofuel and solar technologies. The spending is unprecedented, not only in scale, but also in the breadth of … [Read more...] about Can Technology Save the Economy?
The green technology investment movement is gaining ground. Investors, like AOL founder Steve Case, venture capitalist John Doerr, and Microsoft's Bill Gates, among other luminaries, are pouring millions of dollars into environmentally friendly, or environmentally sound, technologies."Green-tech could be the largest economic opportunity of the 21st Century," said Doerr.In fact, some see "green" technology as the new Internet -- a source of unimagined wealth and opportunity.According to the firm Expansion Capital Partners, clean, or green, technologies netted less than 1 percent of venture capital funds as of six years ago. Today, however, the figure has risen to 8 percent, the firm told TechNewsWorld. In just three years, experts say, the market could be generating US$3.4 billion in venture capital investment per year.The investments are in a number of fields. Gates, for example, has put millions in a firm called Pacific Ethanol. Case has invested in Flexcar, a car sharing service, … [Read more...] about Technology Investors Going ‘Green,’ and Clean
For those who are hungry for some good economic news, venture capitalists apparently are seeing green in clean technology.Indeed, so-called green technology -- everything from eco-friendly auto parts to alternative fuels to smart buildings to streamlined manufacturing processes -- appears to be blooming, even if the world economy is in wilt mode.The National Venture Capital Association is making just that contention, and it's offering some numbers to back up its case. To start with, US$2.2 billion was invested in clean-technology businessess in the first half of this year, According to a report the association issued jointly with Ernst & Young. The sector drew $3 billion in investments for all of last year, and that set a record."I actually see a continuation of more and more investment," Mark Heesen, the association's president, told the E-Commerce Times. "Venture capital firms are starting to raise funds, working on the idea they're investing in clean technologies."The … [Read more...] about VC Funding: One Green Light in a Sea of Red
Informatics ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The $1.89 billion in economic activity generated by the Sandia Science & Technology Park (SS&TP) since it was established in 1998 has produced more than $73 million in tax revenue for the state of New Mexico and $10.4 million for the city of Albuquerque, according to a new report by the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG).And direct and indirect jobs associated with the research park, which houses private companies and several Sandia National Laboratories facilities, have generated $3.06 billion in wages, a major boost to the local economy, the report said.Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins and city of Albuquerque Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry announced the report’s findings Tuesday at Ted Hobbs Park in the 300-acre master-planned SS&TP. The report is available at http://www.sstp.org/about-sstp/economic-impact.“Institutions such as the Sandia Science & Technology Park are instrumental in … [Read more...] about Sandia Science & Technology Park fuels economy with jobs, tax revenue, spending