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UK will be the first European country to launch spacecrafts from home soil
The UK has announced a new regulatory framework that will allow the country to become the first European country to launch satellites and spacecraft from home soil. The first UK space flight is expected to launch next year, after the new rules come into force. The Department of Transport said the space industry has "a potential £4bn of market opportunities over the next decade".
Biofourmis' heart failure digital therapy receives FDA breakthrough device designation
Digital therapeutics company Biofourmis's BiovitalsHF, a platform designed for heart failure medication monitoring, received an FDA breakthrough device designation. BiovitalsHF helps patients adjust the dosage of their medications accurately using a wearble device. Currently, less than 1% of heart failure patients receive the optimal dose of their medication on a regular basis.
Exo raises $200m to build affordable ultrasound devices
California-based startup Exo has raised $220m in its latest Series C financing aimed at commercializing its affordable handheld ultrasound device and point-of-care workflow platform. The round was led by RA Capital Management. While the average cost of an ultrasound machine is between $40,000 and several million depending on the tech's precision, Exo’s device will be around the cost of a laptop.
City of Vaughan, Canada, to implement smart street lighting programme
The Canadian City of Vaughan, Ontario, has announced a smart streetlight programme that aims to improve road safety reduce energy consumption and emissions. Vaughan will replace its 23,000 streetlights with energy-efficient LEDs combined with Telensa wireless controls. The project is backed by the City’s Corporate Energy Fund, and it is expected to achieve $1m in annual cost savings.
France will pay citizens to swap cars for e-bikes
France is planning to become the world’s first country to offer drivers a chance to trade in their old cars for a 2,500 euro credit that can be used to purchase an electric bike. It is part of France's plan to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 2030. “The solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number,” said a spokesperson from the French Federation of Bicycle Users.
Patchwork Health raises £3.5m to improve hospital management
Patchwork Health, a digital platform that helps hospitals to fill vacant shifts and offer staff flexible working has raised £3.5m from Praetura Ventures and BMJ New Ventures, the investment arm of BMJ. Founded in 2016 by NHS doctors Anas Nader and Jing Ouyang, the platform is now used by over 70 NHS sites. Currently, the NHS has 90,000 vacancies and 1 in 5 staff are suffering from burnout.
BioNTech to use mRNA tech to develop malaria vaccine
Germany's BioNTech has announced its plans to use the mRNA-based technology it developed to create the COVID-19 vaccine to prevent the spread of malaria. BioNTech aims to start clinical testing by the end of 2022. The WHO and the EU have been involved in the early planning phase of the new vaccine and offered to help identify and set up the necessary infrastructure.
EV subscription service Onto raises $175m
The UK’s Onto, a subscription service for electric vehicles (EVs), has raised $175m in a Series B round. Founded in 2017, Onto allows drivers to rent EVs via a subscription model, taking away the need for deposits and long-term commitments. The company, which is partnered with Tesla Supercharger, Shell Recharge, InstaVolt and BP Pulse, says it will use the funding to expand further within the UK.
Disinformation and online harm detection platform reaches $500m valuation
ActiveFence is a startup with a mission: to target online abuse, disinformation, fraud and other malicious content. The company has built a tech platform that can quickly identify these threats and help trust and safety teams combat them. The startup, co-headquartered in New York and Tel Aviv, has raised $100m in its latest funding round, reaching a valuation of over $500m.
Jeff Bezos willing to cover $2bn NASA costs in exchange for lunar landing contract
Amazon and Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos has offered to cover billions of dollars of NASA costs in exchange for a contract to build a lunar lander to land astronauts on the moon in an open letter to the organisation. Blue Origin would also fund its own pathfinder mission to low-Earth orbit, according to the letter. In return, the company requested a fixed-priced contract from the government agency.
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