A plane flies in the polluted air above the airport fences in Beijing February 22, 2012. The aviation industry is not covered by the United Nations climate talks currently being held in Paris because it is organized under a separate U.N. body, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The latest draft of the climate change pact, released Wednesday, dropped any mention of aviation or shipping, although officials from Europe said they were working hard for a paragraph encouraging nations to curb the carbon output of these two industries to be put back in. ICAO is working on options for a market-based system to enable airlines to reduce emissions by buying carbon offsets or allowances, plus a global CO2 emissions standard for aircraft. The organization hopes to unveil the market-based system at a meeting next September. "There is genuine momentum building behind the ICAO process and we're confident there will be a successful outcome at ICAO Assembly," Michael Gill, Director Aviation Environment at IATA, told journalists in Geneva. Gill said among the main sticking points were how airlines would measure and report their emissions, and how the scheme would take into account the different rates of economic development both of countries and their airlines. Gill, who had flown to Geneva for an IATA briefing to journalists from Paris and was returning to the talks, said there was a general sense in Paris that things were "in good shape" for a global agreement on climate change. IATA expects an agreement on the stringency and the applicability of the CO2 standard to be reached by governments in February, Gill added.
Tips are everywhere. There’s an abundance of generic advice available for how to build teams and culture, how to fundraise, how to be productive, how to stay above the noise… But what about specific advice? Specific tips for what differentiates the leaders from the followers. And even more specifically, a guide to differentiate and succeed as a hardware startup. We’ve learned a ton while working on Notion over the past couple of years. We’ve had some big wins and some big losses. We read the blogs, read the books, attended conferences, focused on best practices and did our best to be a walking TED talk. What we really could have used, though, was an insider’s guide; a sherpa for navigating the common challenges all IoT startups will face, a treasure map to the best-kept secrets. Although we weren’t able to track down such a coveted document along our path, we figured it was time to put one together for those who are finding their way now. Without further delay, here are a number of insider tips for building a great IoT company and product. Ideas! Innovation! Changing the world! There will always be improvements you know you can make to your product. But, as the second tip alludes to, a minimum viable product (MVP) should be the main the focus — what is the least functional, the least capable implementation of your product that is commercially viable? Go build that! Expand on it later. Take solace in the plot below, which seemingly illustrates most startups (hardware or software). You’ll have an idea, expand on it before you build it, realize you don’t have the time or resources to make it as feature-rich as you’d hoped, make your way through development and, finally, launch — with fewer features than you thought possible at the beginning. But, if you follow the second tip, that will all be okay. By definition, if your product is at MVP, it’s viable. Therefore, there are no additional features needed, no additional bells and whistles. Could it be better? Of course! Should it be? No! MVP is key. And, defining what MVP means for your product and team is paramount. To give you an idea, our overview document is 10 pages and outlines more than 150 features in excruciating detail. They range in complexity and depth, but a few examples are: “As a user, I should be able to access support via email” (on the simpler end) and “As a sensor, I should be able to be adhered to any household surface” (on the more challenging end). From here, we have two additional frameworks: “acceptance criteria” and “definition of done.” For the latter feature above, here’s a reference outline: Data makes for informed decisions. That’s easy and well understood. But, how much data is needed to make these so-called “informed decisions”? Paralysis by analysis can cause many an argument amongst teams. If you’re waiting until you’re 100 percent comfortable with a decision, you’ve waited too long. Startups aren’t afforded the discretionary time to make for such clear-cut decisions. When you’re 80 percent sure (or even 70 percent sure), move ahead. You must accept the risk of being wrong or you’ll never get to the finish line. Will you have export restrictions? Do you have more than two batteries in your device (meaning you need an IATA battery handling label on every box)? How will you display your radio compliance IDs on your packaging? On your product? These are all tough questions that can have somewhat ambiguous answers. Finding the right outfit to guide you through the process can be challenging. Get started early. Be proactive and build compliance research into your feasibility assessments and budgeting (FCC alone can run $10,000+). Here are a few companies that can likely help you: Intertek, Nemko and Shipwire. Unicorns won’t just make a single manufacturing run, right? Then give yourself the best chance to succeed and make that initial manufacturing run as simple as possible. We’ve had to adjust processes for reflow, stenciling, AOI (automatic optical inspection), panelizing, de-panelizing, flashing, testing components, heat staking, assembly, ID assignments, packout, packaging and more. If our contract manufacturer wasn’t 30 minutes away, we’d have had a much harder time working through solutions. Per-part costs will be higher initially, but all that matters is you know what your upside can be. Sell the dream to investors, “We manufacture for price X now but will be at price Y when we ramp overseas.” Know what price Y is in full detail and be ready to pull the trigger when the POs start rolling in. Check out PCH Access and Dragon Innovation for more info on how to scale. From test environments to server instances, the infrastructure for your product will be complex (to say the least!). As you scale, operating your own data centers can become expensive and unwieldy. The cloud offers the promise of on-demand pricing, but how do you ensure your services run the same on your dev machine as they do in production? Enter Docker, a container technology giving you portability, agility and consistency. Containers run independent of the hosts on which they are placed, giving you consistency from test, to dev and all the way to production. With open-source tools like Kubernetes, or AWS’ EC2 Container Service, running containers at scale in the cloud is becoming easier than ever. Hardware is hard. While diligent testing, unit tests and purposeful QA processes help, there are always going to be logic changes and feature adjustments. Get out in front of that need and plan for your over-the-air updating (OTAU) system. OTAUs give you the flexibility and capability to patch mistakes, upgrade services and, overall, provide a much better product as you move past MVP. Once your OTAU plans are in place, test, test, test! We call our system the “NUT,” which stands for “never-ending update test.” We constantly run sensors through over-the-air changes alongside a series of diagnostics to help isolate any issues that pop up. This is your bread and butter. This is how you set yourself apart. If you have a consumer-facing product, make it consumer-proof. Make it intuitive, neighborly, intelligent. Make it purposeful and appealing. This takes work… lots of it. But, you’ll be all the better for it, we promise! Run user tests in person, ask people not only if they’d buy your product but how much they’d pay for it, be critical and don’t make assumptions. Some great resources: UserTesting.com, Mechanical Turk and InVision. “So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose.” — Dead Poets Society Messaging is everything. Be thoughtful, be transparent and be forthright. Often times, engineers and creative/expressive writing don’t mix. Figure out how to bring that missing link to your team, whether it be through a professional copywriter or a full-time team member. An articulate, personable website, a useful, intuitive mobile application and a poignant branding campaign can go a long way toward success. Words can get you into accelerators, they can garner investor interest and they can ease the pain of tight circumstances. Write like your business depends on it… because it does! Your product will never be ready. It’ll never be bug-free. Your product will never have five-star reviews from all users and perfect 10s for NPS surveys. There will always be improvements to be made, better interfaces to develop, better copy to implement. But, you know what? That doesn’t matter! Stick with what you defined as your MVP. Get your product out there and let people use it. Get more feedback and iterate from there. A transparent company iterating through launch challenges is much better received than a silent company not acknowledging issues. If you’re ready to launch, you waited too long. If you don’t have to build your own Wi-Fi solution, why should you? Just like knowing your overseas COGS, know what your upside is to spin your own component solutions, as well — but don’t do it… yet. You can save time and energy utilizing platforms like Electric Imp to connect your product. It’ll get you to launch more quickly and help you prove product market fit. Once you’ve hit it big time, cost-engineer down to what you’ve known all along you could get to: Your bottom line will appreciate it, your investors will be happy because you did what you said you could do and you’ll have been on the market that much sooner because you didn’t belabor your team creating something that was already at your fingertips. This last one sounds a little silly, but stay with me here. Founders and members of early-stage startups tend to eat, sleep and breathe their product. It stands to reason that sleep and energy may suffer after long bouts with launch-the-product-itis. The best way to kick nagging colds, tackle tough travel periods and be at your best is to make sure you sleep. And sleep hard! A great pillow could be the best investment you ever make. Get a memory foam mattress topper. Get a Hello Sense system to help you track sleep cycles and to wake you up at the best possible time within those sleep cycles. Get an air quality monitor, like Awair, to help you create an environment conducive to best sleep. That’s it! Twelve insider tips to help you reach the top. We could go on and on (get your packaging figured out before it’s too late, crowdfund like a boss, build a model with recurring revenue, be thinking about unit tests for hardware QA…). It sounds like we just talked ourselves into a revision to the handbook — but hopefully, this gets you started!
Torres-Escribano S.,IATA |
Denis S.,University of Auvergne |
Blanquet-Diot S.,University of Auvergne |
Calatayud M.,IATA |
And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2011
Bioaccessibility, the fraction of an element solubilized during gastrointestinal digestion and available for absorption, is a factor that should be considered when evaluating the health risk of contaminants from food. Static and dynamic models that mimic human physiological conditions have been used to evaluate bioaccessibility. This preliminary study compares the bioaccessibility of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) in two food certified reference materials (CRMs) (seaweed: Fucus sp., IAEA-140/TM; Lobster hepatopancreas: TORT-2), using two in vitro gastrointestinal digestion methods: a static method (SM) and a dynamic multicompartment method (TIM-1). There are significant differences (p < 0.05) between the bioaccessible values of As, Cd, Pb and Hg obtained by SM and TIM-1 in the two CRMs. The specific form in which the elements studied are present in the CRM may help to explain the bioaccessibility values obtained. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source
Martinez-Abad A.,IATA |
Ocio M.J.,IATA |
Ocio M.J.,University of Valencia |
Journal of Applied Polymer Science | Year: 2014
In the present study, silver ions were incorporated into a poly-(l-lactide) (PLA) matrix by a solvent casting technique using different solvents and glycerol as plasticizer. The effect of the different formulations on the morphology, thermal, mechanical and color properties were first evaluated. Additionally, a thorough study of the silver ions release to an aqueous environment was also monitored over time by anodic stripping voltammetry and correlated with the antimicrobial performance against S. enterica. The incorporation of silver contents of up to 1 wt % did not affect morphology, thermal or mechanical properties of the films. A sustainable, antibacterial effectiveness was found for the films in liquid medium and a breakpoint of 10-20 μg L-1 silver was established under the stated conditions, evincing silver ion releasing technologies may be applied to liquid environments while complying with current legislation. This study provides insight into the structure properties relationship of these antibacterial polylactide materials of significant potential in coating applications. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source
« Tesoro to support development of renewable biocrude for its refineries; Fulcrum, Virent, Ensyn partners | Main | New QNX software platform enables ADAS and automated driving » In a first for commercial aviation, Air BP, together with Norwegian airport operator Avinor, and sustainable biofuel specialist SkyNRG, announced that all airlines landing at Oslo Airport can have jet biofuel delivered from the airport’s main fuel farm, via the existing hydrant mechanism. Lufthansa Group was the first airline to confirm that it will uplift the Air BP aviation biofuel at Oslo, and began by refueling an Airbus A320 aircraft. Further airlines including Scandinavian national carrier SAS and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines confirmed they will also purchase jet biofuel at Oslo. Air BP anticipates this will lay the foundations for the increased adoption worldwide of jet biofuel supply. Air BP has worked closely with Avinor to reach the milestone, and has agreed to provision of a minimum of 1.25 million liters (330,215 gallons) of jet biofuel. Avinor will also support Air BP in its assessment of market demand. The initiative has been driven by the requirement for the aviation industry to work towards a sustainable, low-carbon future. It acknowledges the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) aim to achieve carbon neutral growth by 2020 and a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. Air BP’s Biojet initiative further responds to the EU goal to ensure 3.5% of total aviation fuel consumption consists of jet biofuel by 2020. Growing consumer awareness for responsible aviation practice also underpins the move towards jet biofuel supply. Working with experts from SkyNRG, Air BP sourced the initial batch of drop-in Biojet from Neste’s Porvoo refinery in Finland. The Biojet is produced from Camelina oil within the framework of the demonstration project ITAKA, which is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme. SkyNRG has its operations RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials)- certified and is structurally advised by an independent sustainability board which includes a seat for the World Wildlife Fund for Nature the Netherlands. As the aviation division of BP, Air BP is one of the world's largest suppliers of aviation fuel products and services. It currently supplies over 7 billion gallons of jet kerosene and aviation gasoline to its customers across the globe each year. Through its direct operations, Air BP fuels more than 6,000 flights every day—more than four aircraft every minute or one every 15 seconds. The company operates at more than 700 global locations in over 50 countries serving customers from private pilots to some of the world’s largest airlines. Avinor is a wholly state owned limited company under the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications and is responsible for 46 state-owned airports. Oslo Airport is the major hub. Norway’s first flights using biofuels were conducted in November 2014. Avinor has allocated up to NOK 100 million (approximately US$11.4 million) over a ten-year period (2013–2022) for initiatives and projects that can contribute to the realization of Norwegian biofuel production. SkyNRG is the global market leader for sustainable jet fuel, having supplied more than 20 airlines worldwide. SkyNRG sources, blends and distributes sustainable jet fuel, guarantees sustainability throughout the supply chain and helps to co-fund the premium. At the same time, SkyNRG focuses on developing regional supply chains that offer a real sustainable and affordable alternative to fossil fuels. SkyNRG has its operations RSB certified and is structurally advised by an independent Sustainability Board in which the World Wide Fund for Nature the Netherlands (WWF-NL), Solidaridad and the University of Utrecht hold a seat. The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials is an independent and global multi-stakeholder coalition that works to promote the sustainability of biomaterials.