Earth Observation Data Could Represent A Billion-Dollar Opportunity For Africa
Earth observation [EO] data provides a billion-dollar opportunity for economies on the African continent, one that could create jobs and build new resilience after COVID-19.
The newly released report Unlocking the Potential of Earth Observation to address Africa’s critical challenges lays out the multiple economic benefits from EO data. The report was written in collaboration with Digital Earth Africa, an initiative that is a world first in providing freely accessible data that maps the entire African continent.
This report marks the first known time the potential impact of EO for Africa has been quantified. According to estimates, EO could be worth up to $2 billion a year thanks to:
1. A strengthened EO industry. Improved use of EO data could lead to an extra $500 million in yearly EO sales along with new job opportunities and increased fiscal revenues.
2. Boosted agricultural productivity. Better data could potentially be worth an extra $900 million a year, thanks to water savings and productivity gains for farmers, not to mention reduced pesticide usage.
3. Better regulation of gold mining activity. Data allows countries to crack down on illegal mining, providing a potential savings of at least $900 million from reduced environmental damage and fiscal evasion.
The report shows the opportunity available in EO data to strengthen economies and reach sustainability goals. EO data can help governments make more informed decisions regarding water, agriculture, food security and urbanization. Advancing new collaborations between public and private efforts can incentivize data sharing to develop EO industries on the continent even further.
Dr Adam Lewis, Managing Director of the Digital Earth Program welcomes the findings of the report as the first of its kind to quantify the potential benefits of the program. “Through collaboration with key partners both within Africa and across the globe, we have made significant progress in turning this potential into a reality. Over the last 12 months the program has met a number of milestones in improving access to data and services within Africa. Working with Amazon Web Services as well as international space agencies and the private sector, we have been able to provide access to locally stored analysis-ready satellite data within Africa.” Adam said.
“We are proud to support Digital Earth Africa’s efforts to make Earth observation data more easily accessible to African nations,” said Ana Pinheiro Privette, Lead for Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative. “Through the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative, Amazon is making available petabytes of Earth observation data, which provide valuable insights for communities to manage climate impacts including increased floods and droughts.”
Valuing the impact of EO is an emerging practice globally, with recent reports covering the Asia Pacific, Australia, the European Union and the UK, but this is the first such report for Africa. The report was developed following examination of the readiness of African countries to effectively and efficiently grow their geospatial capabilities, integrated with study of the potential economic benefit of EO data adoption on specific sustainable development focus areas.
European Security Spending to Grow 10.6% in 2023, Driven by the Financial Sector
Growing security needs, new regulations, and the increasing risk of ransomware attacks due to the current geopolitical situation continue to drive European security spending. According to IDC’s Worldwide Security Spending Guide, total European spending will grow 10.6% in 2023. Spending in the region will continue to see almost-double-digit growth over the forecast period, with total spend reaching $71 billion in 2026.
The U.K., Germany, and France are the top spenders on security, together accounting for over half of the European security market. In Central and Eastern Europe, Czech Republic will have the fastest growth in 2023, at over 12% YoY.
“IDC research shows that ongoing disruptions and a dynamic threat landscape have led European organizations to rethink their cyber resilience and proactively ensure their organization maintains good cyber hygiene,” said Romain Fouchereau, research manager, IDC European Security. “Adopting zero-trust principles to harden security measures and implement secure access controls across networks, applications, and devices has become a top priority, with a defined strategy and support from senior management for new investments and initiatives.”
European spending on software will lead YoY growth in 2023, with approximately 11% YoY growth, but security services will see the largest spending in 2023, reflecting its key role for European organizations across industries.
“We’re seeing that in addition to software and hardware, European companies also have a very real need for security services to guarantee their continued operations and regulatory adherence,” said Vladimir Zivadinovic, senior research analyst, IDC European Data and Analytics. “This is especially true for organizations with limited competencies in security, especially SMBs in less digitally mature verticals such as media, manufacturing, and healthcare.”
In 2023, the finance sector will have the highest spending in Europe, driven by the need for data protection and regulatory compliance. At the same time, market dynamics are pushing financial institutions to increase their responsiveness and agility. Security services will be pivotal to unlock the full potential of their internal IT teams to focus on new services and improved customer experience.
Finance will be closely followed by manufacturing, with the government sector having the third-largest spending in 2023. Manufacturing will continue to focus on protecting its industrial assets, which will be increasingly connected with the enterprise IT network. The government sector will continue to invest in data protection and in executing its digital transformation initiatives, which are being targeted by ever more sophisticated ransomware attacks.
IDC’s Worldwide Security Spending Guide quantifies the global revenue opportunity for both core and next-generation security purchases with detailed forecast data for security spending by 20 industries across nine regions and 44 countries.
Lemon peel, flax fibres hold keys to eco-friendly car parts
Natural materials including farm waste can make autos and other industries more sustainable, less toxic
By HELEN MASSY-BERESFORD
Think of the car or construction industry and lemon peel, corn starch and almond shells hardly come to mind. Yet manufacturers may rely increasingly on such raw materials as Europe seeks to reduce waste – from both agriculture and plastics.
New high-performance industrial materials from farm waste emerged from the BARBARA project, pointing the way to stepped-up innovation in the European bioeconomy.
Funded in a partnership between the EU and the private sector, the project used agricultural residues including lemon peel, corn starch, almond shells and pomegranate skins as additives for biopolymers, which occur in living organisms such as plants and can be used in manufacturing.
The result: prototypes of car parts and construction moulds made using the 3D printing expertise of Spain-based Aitiip Technology Centre.
‘The most exciting thing from our point of view is that there are no residues, only resources,’ said Berta Gonzalvo, research director at Aitiip, which coordinated the three-and-a-half-year project. ‘Automotive and construction pieces have been successfully validated, demonstrating that a circular economy is possible and contributing to reducing environmental impact.’
The EU is spurring the development of products derived from materials of biological origin, part of a push not just to cut waste but also to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and to make industrial goods safer.
The EU bioeconomy has been expanding for a decade, reaching €2.4 trillion in 2019, and has further growth prospects, according to an October 2022 study.
In a sign of the high expectations for bio-based industries, the EU in 2014 established a €3.7 billion joint undertaking with them to spur research in the field. This was followed in 2022 by a €2 billion initiative with players ranging from farmers to scientists to overcome technical, regulatory and market barriers for bio-based products.
The EU produces around 60 million tonnes of food waste and 26 million tonnes of plastic waste a year.
Making industrial materials from renewable sources including waste is set to become increasingly important and projects like BARBARA are just the beginning, according to Gonzalvo.
When BARBARA began in 2017, only one biopolymer was available for 3D printing. The project increased the number of bio-based materials using a combination of industrial biotechnology, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing technologies.
It came up with new processes for the extraction and use of compounds such as natural dyes, biomordants that fix dyes, antimicrobials and essential oils from pomegranate, lemon, almond shells and corn.
Doors and dashboards
BARBARA created eight materials containing pomegranate and lemon pigment, pomegranate biomordants, lemon fragrance and almond shell that could be used instead of existing plastics. The new materials led to different colours, aromas, textures and antimicrobial properties.
The 11 partners also printed prototype door trims and a dashboard fascia for the car industry as well as a mould for truss joints for the construction sector.
The new materials have better mechanical, thermal and even aesthetic properties.
As a result, they can be used to improve the quality of the end material, even adding a colour or fragrance.
While the project has ended, the participants hope the technology can move forward to the demonstration phase within the next four to five years. That would show the possibilities for large-volume production.
With the global biopolymer industry growing 6% a year and the European sector expanding 30% annually, Gonzalvo said the EU is in a prime position to lead the way.
‘We are one step closer to a real circular economy,’ she said. ‘Waste can be a resource and not just waste.’
On the plastics front, the research outlook also looks promising.
In Europe, only 14% of plastic waste was recycled domestically in 2020, according to the European Commission. The remaining 86% was incinerated, landfilled, littered or exported, highlighting the need to establish a more sustainable system.
With production of plastics set to increase in the medium term, reducing their environmental footprint is all the more important.
The ECOXY project, funded through the same public-private partnership as BARBARA, looked for bio-based alternatives to plastics known as “fibre-reinforced thermoset composites,” or FRTCs.
While FRTCs are light and strong, their green credentials are lacking. Besides being derived from fossil fuels, they can’t be recycled and are often made from toxic materials including an endocrine-disrupting chemical compound called bisphenol A.
‘Fibre-reinforced composites are being used more and more, so these bio-based composites should be able to substitute them in all the fields where they are used,’ said Aratz Genua, a researcher at CIDETEC, a Spanish institute that coordinated ECOXY.
The project, which ran in parallel with BARBARA, included a consortium of 12 research and industry partners from across Europe.
They took as their starting point materials deemed to comply with the three Rs: recyclable, reshapable and repairable. While these 3R materials had already been patented by CIDETEC, they had a downside.
‘We had made it more sustainable, but we were still working with products derived from oil and the most commonly used one is derived from bisphenol A,’ said Genua. ‘We had the opportunity to go one step further and make it more sustainable by using bio-waste to create bio-based FRTCs.’
The consortium looked to lignin, derived from wood and plant fibres. It used bio-based resin from lignin with flax fibres as a reinforcement to manufacture a demonstrator, in this case the backseat panel of a car.
‘Being able to upscale and manufacture a demonstrator was really good,’ said Genua. ‘We started with small quantities of materials, and we have shown that these are usable at an intermediate scale.’
The real challenge was to make sure the new material would have comparable properties to the ones currently in use.
Bio-based resins demonstrated very good properties, equivalent to those derived from fossil fuels, according to Genua. But there is room for improving the strength of the flax fibres.
Future research could include exploring the use of bio-based carbon fibres, also extracted from lignin.
‘We will continue working on the development and optimisation of bio-based 3R resins for different applications,’ Genua said.
For example, the EU-funded BIO-UPTAKE project is working on ceiling panels for the construction industry.
‘In these cases, not only flax fibre but also bio-based carbon fibre will be used,’ said Genua.
In the short term, the new materials are better for the health of workers handling them during manufacturing.
In the long term, the environment will benefit thanks in no small part to the resulting reduction in waste.
Research in this article was funded via the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), which in 2022 was followed by the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU). The article was originally published in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine.
What You Should Definitely Pay Attention to When Hiring Java Developers
Today there are about 700 programming languages. Java is among the most requested tools. The scope of the language is very wide, respectively, developers may be needed in a variety of areas. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult to find a great Java developer, some companies decide to outsource Java development. If you are looking for a Java developer, then this article is for you. We will give you recommendations on how to attract the best employees to the project.
How and Where to Find a Java Developer?
The selection of a Java developer is a very responsible task since the quality of product development and its future depend on it. Let’s look at the factors that you should definitely consider when looking for a specialist.
Define Project Requirements
First of all, you need to determine the requirements of your project. They should be based on company goals or how your product can meet customer goals and needs. In addition, it is necessary to form a vision for the product in the long term and think over strategies for monetization and product improvement.
Define the Category of Development
Every Java project is different. Therefore, you must know what the requirements of your project are. Before hiring IT staff (remotely or in the office), it is important to classify your project.
- Java web development. Hire a full-time Java developer experienced in building easy-to-use web applications.
- Custom java application. If you have a unique business requirement, be sure to enlist the help of a senior developer. He has experience building enterprise applications.
- Java game development. Hire a lead Java application developer who knows about Meta and Screenkit used to create game applications.
- Java product development. Find a Java application development company where programmers know about ideas, validation, requirements assessment, and implementation.
- Java system integration. Integrate a Java application with the framework of your choice when you have trusted experts by your side.
- Upgrading and migrating Java applications. Certified Java experts are always up to date with the latest tools and frameworks.
- Maintenance of Java applications. Every application requires ongoing maintenance as well as support. So, cooperate with developers who know how to do this.
Make sure you know which category your project belongs to, then hire Java developers according to the requirements.
To create a team of experienced Java developers that meets the needs of your project, it is important to hire programmers who have years of experience in the industry. It will help you get highly optimized Java programming solutions.
In today’s results-driven industry, it’s more important than ever to partner with a development team that delivers best-in-class services.
Frameworks and Technologies
There is a long list of mobile and web applications that can be created using the Java programming language. Different Java development tools allow developers to achieve different results. Several frameworks include JSF, Grails, Plat, Spring, Maven, and more.
You may run into a situation where Java developers are aware of various frameworks but not the one you are looking for. Therefore, before selecting IT specialists, double-check whether the expert has the relevant knowledge and experience.
Before hiring a developer or development team, make sure you like it. Also, go through multiple interviews with the development team you’ll be working with and see if they’re capable enough. List of core skills that will allow you to appreciate the experience of Java developers:
- Object Oriented Programming Concepts;
- Core Java Theories;
- Java Developer Certificates.
You should also interview them on technical parameters:
- Development skills. Knowledge of JDBC, RESTful, and design patterns;
- Tools. Java experts should be experts in Seam, HIbernare, Android Studio, GradleMaps Store as well as Spring, ORMLIte, Corona SDK, and Caching Touch.
The strengths of Java developers should include wireframing, user interface design, conceptual design, AR, and APIs. Recheck the skill set required and then make your final decision. Not every developer will have all the skills mentioned above and then mix and match to create a brilliant team.
Questions to ask all Java developers in an interview:
- What is the importance of main() in Java?
- Difference between path and class.
- What is the last Java keyword?
- What is Enum and Composition in Java?
- Do you know about the Java Reflection API?
- Explain user and daemon flow
- CountDownLatchC function
- Compare and Swap Algorithms
- OutOfMemory error
- Explain JDBC
- What is biphasic fixation?
Lots of Satisfied Customers
Testimonials are social proof of satisfied customers as they provide enough confidence in developers and their reliability. Your projects will be successful if the team is passionate enough to work.
One thing you have to take care of is whether the testimonials are genuine or not. You can also rely on Google and AngelList reviews.
What if you need not only Java development services, but also design, development, testing, and more? In this case, partner with an outsourcing company that can offer you comprehensive services and still take good care of your project.
In addition, it will help you avoid unnecessary hassle. In addition, the programmers you hire must understand the value of your business secrets, source codes, data, and various information that you provide to them during an NDA.
Developers are creative people. Many of them work not for the sake of money (although the level of payment is also important), but for self-realization. To attract the best developers, you need to explain why your project will be interesting for a programmer, what unique experience he will get, or what important problem he will solve.
The services of good developers are not cheap, but it is not worth saving on programmers. In practice, experienced programmers work faster, and sometimes cost less, if you sum up all the costs of the project, its refinement, bug fixes, and testing. If you have trouble finding Java for a developer or an entire team of developers, we recommend that you contact Alcor. The company has many years of experience and deep knowledge in the selection of valuable employees for IT companies from Eastern Europe, including developers and managers.
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