NASA targets electric aircraft by 2035
NASA says it wants to work with the aviation industry to design planes that use an Electrified Aircraft Propulsion (EAP) system. NASA’s studies say that electrifying aircrafts will result in a significant reduction in carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions, as well as energy use. It is aiming for global flights by 2035. Commercial planes currently account for 2% of all human-produced emissions.
Following Australia, Indian government passes social media laws
India's government has announced a new set of sweeping rules regulating social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, and streaming services like Netflix. The rules will force these companies to erase contentious content faster and assist investigations. In sensitive cases such as those surrounding explicit sexual content, firms will need t take down the content within 24 hours.
Cognizant to pump $250m into CSR
Tech giant Cognizant has pledged to spend $250m across a new five-year CSR programme. It says it wants "to advance economic mobility, educational opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and health and well-being" in communities the world over. It will focus in particular on Australia, Canada, Germany and the UK. "We care deeply about unlocking human potential," said Cognizant's CEO Brian Humphries.
Foodtech startup Next Gen raises $10m
Next Gen, a plant-based foodtech startup, has raised $10m in seed funding. Launched only last October, Next Gen is launching its first product, TiNDLE, in Singaporean restaurants in March. TiNDLE is an alternative to chicken thighs, which uses a mix of plant-based fats to replicate chicken. Next Gen claims that $10m is the largest seed round funding raised by a plant-based food tech company.
GCHQ plans to use AI to fight child abuse, trafficking and cyberattacks
UK intelligence agency GCHQ has published a paper called 'Ethics of AI: Pioneering a New National Security' explaining how GCHQ will put AI at the hearts of its operations to fight child sexual abuse, disinformation, human trafficking and cyberattacks. "AI is already invaluable in many of our missions as we protect the country, its people and way of life," said GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming.
Healthcare startup Redox raises $45m
Redox, a healthcare cloud data solutions startup, has raised $45m in a Series D round. Redox’s integration platform allows different healthcare organisations to securely exchange data, and it integrates with AWS and Salesforce. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen Redox's integrations rise by 300%, with over 1400 using its platform. The funding was led by Adams Street Partners, a private equity firm.
NHS launches assessment framework for digital health tools
NHSX, the digital transformation arm of the NHS, has unveiled its new framework to assess digital health tools. The Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC) is designed to give patients confidence that tools meet NHS standards. DTAC is a process that can be completed in just a few days, and all parts of the NHS will be encouraged to use it. It was first released in beta last year.
Hyundai to recall 82,000 EVs due to fire risk
Hyundai is recalling around 82,000 Kona electric vehicles globally following issues with its battery pack. The South Korean manufacturer will replace the packs following 15 fires and warnings to not charge the Kona above 90%. The South Korean transport ministry blamed the battery cell maker, LG Chem, which LG has denied. The recall could cost an estimated $900m.
Yuanfudao eyes yet more funding - report
Chinese edtech giant Yuanfudao is targeting another sizeable funding round, reports Bloomberg. The Tencent-backed company looks set to raise yet more cash at a valuation of around $20bn. According to the report, it has held preliminary discussions with investors Boyu Capital and DCP Capital. Only last October it raised $2.2bn in new funding. Yuanfudao is China's leading online learning tool.
Issue 8
We speak to NASA and the European Space Agency to get the lowdown on their use of satellites to measure the rapidly rising sea levels. Elsewhere we cover online therapy, Defra’s sustainability mission, AI’s role in dementia detection, and plenty more.
Truvian Sciences nabs $105 million for blood-testing tech
Truvian Sciences has completed a huge Series C funding round. The company's automated benchtop blood-testing technology has proven popular with investors, who backed Truvian to the tune of $105m. The round was led by TYH Ventures, Glen Tullman of 7wireVentures and Wittington Ventures. Truvian says it will now grow its product development team around the automation piece.
Seville turns leftover oranges into electricity
The Spanish city of Seville produces over 5.7 million kilograms of oranges, which have become a hazard for road safety. Seville's municipal water company has launched a pilot scheme to use the methane produced during fermentation to generate electricity to run one of the city’s water purification plants. Eventually, the plan is to put surplus electricity back into the grid and power homes.
India's Flipkart to deploy over 25,000 EVs by 2030
India's Flipkart has announced its plans to deploy more than 25,000 electric vehicles in its supply chain by 2030, in order to meet its goal of becoming 100% electric within the next decade. The Walmart-owned company has partnered with leading EV makers such as Hero Electric, Mahindra Electric, and Piaggio to build its new EV models. Flipkart has already deployed over 450 EV this year in India.

Hyundai launches latest electric vehicle crossover
Hyundai has unveiled it’s Ioniq 5 electric vehicle (EV) crossover. The South Korean company says the car uses fewer components than its current EVs, which allows for faster production. Hyundai believes its new operating platform will allow it to take up a 10% global share in EV sales by 2025. The Ioniq's driving range of 298 miles is almost 20% further than Hyundai's previous longest range.
ConstellR raises €1m to monitor land temperatures from space
German spacetech startup ConstellR has raised €1m in pre-seed funding. The company measures land surface temperatures via a 30-strong satellite constellation, with the data used by farmers to reduce monitoring costs through using less water and fertiliser. “Our mission is to monitor every single field on the planet every single day of the year,” says Dr Max Gulde, ConstellR's CEO.
Anuvia raises $103m to reduce carbons in agriculture
Anuvia Plant Nutrients has landed $103m from a Series C funding round. The company's fertiliser technology reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to a third compared to other fertilisers. It says it will use the cash to increase production capacity and expand the commercialisation of its product. Anuvia, used on approximately 1,200 farms in the U.S., aims to cover 20m acres by 2025.
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