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ZÜRICH und NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Geneva Association und die International Insurance Society (IIS) geben die Preisträger des Jahres 2017 für ihr gemeinsames Versicherungsforschungsprogramm, die 2017 Shin Research Excellence Awards, bekannt. Thomas Holzheu und Ginger Turner von der Swiss Re erhielten die Auszeichnung für ihre Arbeit zum Thema „The Natural Catastrophe Protection Gap” nach eingehender Beurteilung unter der Leitung von The Geneva Association und IIS. Die Forschungsarbeit wi

ZURICH & NUEVA YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Geneva Association y la International Insurance Society (IIS) han anunciado los galardonados en su programa de investigación de seguros colaborativos, los Shin Research Excellence Awards. Thomas Holzheu y Ginger Turner de Swiss Re han recibido el premio por su estudio sobre “The Natural Catastrophe Protection Gap” (El vacío en la protección ante catástrofes naturales), tras una exhaustiva revisión de The Geneva Association e IIS. El estudio se presentar

ZURICH & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“The Natural Catastrophe Protection Gap" wins The Geneva Association and International Insurance Society (IIS) 2017 Shin Research Excellence Award.

TBM Signs Memorandum of Understanding with JGC and NICDP “LIMEX” is new material developed by TBM Co., Ltd. (TBM) which are mainly made of limestone and turned into paper and plastics without using water nor pulp. TBM, JGC Corporation (JGC) and National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) have reached a basic agreement on March 14, 2017 to explore the possibility of expanding LIMEX business into Saudi Arabia. In accordance with this basic agreement, TBM will conduct a feasibility study of manufacturing LIMEX products in Saudi Arabia. And to begin with this agreement, TBM will strive to expand the LIMEX business globally. In February 2015, TBM set up its first LIMEX manufacturing plant with a grant from The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and started selling LIMEX products. Since then, TBM has been discussing strategies for the second manufacturing plant with JGC. At the same time, TBM has been working on global expansion of LIMEX business, with the launch of its first overseas office in Silicon Valley, U.S. in July 2016 and conducting an overseas market research. NICDP is a program established with the approval of Saudi Arabian Ministerial, which aims to support partnership between industries in Saudi Arabia and their partners in global manufactures that can foster the growth of domestic industries and diversification. TBM has been planning to export a LIMEX plant and technology globally (“LIMEX Export Scheme”). LIMEX Export Scheme is likely to make a great contribution to create employment opportunities apart from the conservation of water resources globally. NICDP has recognized that the LIMEX Export Scheme will create non-oil related employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia, that would fit the scheme of economic reform plan ’Saudi Arabia Vision 2030’. TBM and NICDP, along with JGC who has extensive experience in building plants and developing business overseas, will conduct a feasibility study toward expansion of LIMEX business into Saudi Arabia. The following three scope areas will be discussed between the three parties to clarify respective role and activities, with an aim of exploring the LIMEX business expansion into Saudi Arabia and examining the relevant regulations as well as location of new plants. ・ To study and collect information related to LIMEX production, e.g., paper and plastic usage, Kingdom's domestic production and current import volume and other market information. ・To  execute the feasibility study for LIMEX production in Saudi Arabia. ・LIMEX made from limestone that can be used as paper and plastics is a revolutionary material that is both ecological and economical. ・In 2013, TBM was adopted Innovation center establishment assistance program (subsidy for advanced technology demonstration and evaluation facility development, and others) run by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. ・In 2014, LIMEX acquired a patent in Japan. It has acquired patents in 6 countries worldwide and applied for patents in 43 countries including America and Europe. ・In February 2015, TBM completed a pilot plant in Shiroishi, Miyagi Prefecture, with an annual production capacity of 6,000 tons. ・In 2016, TBM became the first winner of Plug and Play in social impact sector, one of the three largest incubators in Silicon Valley. ・While producing one ton of regular paper would normally require roughly 20 trees and 100 tons of water, LIMEX can be produced one ton of LIMEX paper with 0.6–0.8 tons of limestone and roughly 0.2-0.4 tons of polyolefin and without using wood or water. ・ It is highly water-resistant, so it can be used in the bathroom, in wet areas, outdoors, and underwater and recycled almost indefinitely. ・While conventional plastics are made 100% from petroleum-derived resins, LIMEX is made primarily from limestone, permitting a major reduction in the quantity of petroleum-derived resins used. ・LIMEX is made mainly from limestone, which is inexpensive, meaning that the product can be provided at a low cost. ・LIMEX plastics can be produced from recycled LIMEX materials including printings, contributing to reduce the burden on the environment. ・Japan itself is 100% self-sufficient in limestone. There are abundant reserves of limestone available worldwide and it is considered virtually inexhaustible. ・TBM has conducted a life cycle assessment, collaborating with Oki Lab, IIS, The University of Tokyo since April 2016, and assessed water footprint and GHG emission through to raw materials and product manufacture in LIMEX paper and LIMEX plastics. ・The water footprint of LIMEX paper through to raw materials and product manufacture is approximately 98% reduction, compared to conventional coated printing paper. ・The GHG emission of LIMEX paper through to raw materials, product manufacture and disposal (combustion) is approximately 5% reduction, compared to conventional coated printing paper. ・The GHG emission of LIMEX plastics through to raw materials and product manufacture is approximately 37% reduction, compared to conventional plastics. ・We will continue to engage in further reducing water footprint and GHG emission while choosing raw materials and reviewing the manufacturing process. Business description:Development, manufacture and sale of LIMEX and LIMEX products 1. Consulting, planning, basic and detailed design, materials and equipment procurement, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance services for various plant and facilities 2. Investment in oil and gas field development projects and utility business Business description: The industrial Clusters program established as a government agency under the leadership of the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, aims to develop the five industrial clusters in Saudi Arabia, including automotive, minerals and metal processing, solar energy products, plastics and packaging, and pharma & biotech, by attracting oversees manufactures. NICDP was established as a government agency in 2007. It provides facilitation support through other government agencies in a wide range of areas including industrial land allocation ,  industrial loans and aligning the needs of  foreign investors with the policy of government agency in Saudi Arabia. *All company, product and service names in this news release are trademarks or registered trademarks *Information contained in this news release is current as of the date of the press release but is subject to change without notice.

News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) have discovered a new mechanism of action of metoprolol, a drug that can reduce the damage produced during a heart attack if administered early. The team led by Dr. Borja Ibáñez, Clinical Research Director at the CNIC and cardiologist at the Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital Health Research Institute (IIS-FJD), has identified the mechanism that explains why this drug is so beneficial: rapid administration of metoprolol during a heart attack directly inhibits the inflammatory action of neutrophils, a type of blood cell. The reduced inflammation translates into a smaller area of damaged tissue in the post-infarcted heart. The finding, published in Nature Communications, opens the way to new applications for this cheap, safe, and simple drug. Acute myocardial infarction is a serious disease that affects more than 50 000 people a year in Spain. Treatment has advanced a great deal in recent years, especially in the extensive use of coronary angioplasty, in which a catheter is used to re-establish blood flow through the blocked coronary artery. Nevertheless, many heart attack survivors have seriously impaired heart function that limits their long-term health and generates major costs to the health system. The search for treatments to limit the irreversible damage caused by a heart attack is an extremely important research area in terms of both patient care and health policy. Neutrophils are white blood cells that target and fight infections. In noninfectious diseases, neutrophils mount an excessive response, and after a myocardial infarction these cells attack the heart, contributing to the long-term injury and impaired function. "In an infarction," explained Dr. Ibañez "the most important thing is to re-establish blood flow as soon as possible. But unfortunately the incoming blood sets off an inflammatory process, started by neutrophils, that causes additional, permanent damage to the heart." This additional damage due to blood flow restoration is known as reperfusion injury, and has been regarded as a necessary evil because it is essential to unblock the coronary artery as rapidly as possible. Metoprolol is a beta-blocker that has been in clinical use for more than 30 years and is a cheap drug (costing less than €2 per dose) of little commercial interest. In 2013, the METOCARD-CNIC clinical trial, led and coordinated by the same CNIC research team, showed that administration of metoprolol very early after an infarction reduces the size of the cardiac injury and improves long-term health. It has taken the team 7 years to determine why this simple and cheap pharmacological strategy is so effective. The study published today in Nature Communications shows that early administration of metoprolol protects the heart by acting directly on neutrophils. "Metoprolol stuns the blood neutrophils, altering their behavior and limiting their injurious inflammatory action on cardiac muscle," explained first author Jaime García-Prieto. When coronary blood flow is re-established, neutrophils launch a complex and organized inflammatory reaction, with negative consequences. According to García-Prieto, "when neutrophils enter the infarcted heart tissue after the restoration of blood flow, they act disproportionately, inducing the death of cells that, while weakened, have survived the infarction." As Andrés Hidalgo, CNIC scientist and expert on neutrophils, explained, "neutrophil tissue invasion is intimately related to their interactions with platelets. Metoprolol blocks these interactions, drastically limiting the number of neutrophils arriving in the infarcted tissue." Moreover, impeding neutrophil invasion also prevents the formation of blood-cell aggregates that block the microcirculation in the post-infarction heart. Dr. Antonio Fernández-Ortiz, study co-author and a cardiologist at the Hospital Clínico San Carlos, clarified that "we knew that platelets were an important factor in the clotting that causes an infarct, but until now we could not be certain that they also act together with neutrophils to magnify injury after blood flow restoration." Dr. Ibañez concluded that "the priority after a heart attack remains the restoration of blood flow as soon as possible, but we need to prepare the heart for this by administering metoprolol." Also an author on the study is Dr. Valentín Fuster, CNIC General Director and Physician in Chief at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Commenting on the study, he emphasized that "the imaging technology at the CNIC has allowed us to rapidly determine the status of a patient's heart after a heart attack, and this has enabled us to discover a new mechanism of action of this drug that we have been using for decades." The study, coordinated by the CNIC, is an example of multidisciplinary networked collaboration involving not only the CNIC and the IIS-FJD but also the San Carlos Clinical Hospital, the Quirón Madrid University Hospital, Asturias Central Hospital, the Ruber Juan Bravo Hospital Complex, Basurto Hospital, and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Most of these centers are members of the recently created CIBER research network on cardiovascular diseases (CIBERCV) within the group led by Dr. Ibáñez. The study is the fruit of collaboration among cardiologists, ambulance emergency service staff, veterinarians, biochemists, physicists, and engineers, all of them participants in the CIBERCV consortium.

News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

The traditional interface for remotely operating robots works just fine for roboticists. They use a computer screen and mouse to independently control six degrees of freedom, turning three virtual rings and adjusting arrows to get the robot into position to grab items or perform a specific task. But for someone who isn't an expert, the ring-and-arrow system is cumbersome and error-prone. It's not ideal, for example, for older people trying to control assistive robots at home. A new interface designed by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers is much simpler, more efficient and doesn't require significant training time. The user simply points and clicks on an item, then chooses a grasp. The robot does the rest of the work. "Instead of a series of rotations, lowering and raising arrows, adjusting the grip and guessing the correct depth of field, we've shortened the process to just two clicks," said Sonia Chernova, the Georgia Tech assistant professor in robotics who advised the research effort. Her team tested college students on both systems, and found that the point-and-click method resulted in significantly fewer errors, allowing participants to perform tasks more quickly and reliably than using the traditional method. "Roboticists design machines for specific tasks, then often turn them over to people who know less about how to control them," said David Kent, the Georgia Tech Ph.D. robotics student who led the project. "Most people would have a hard time turning virtual dials if they needed a robot to grab their medicine. But pointing and clicking on the bottle? That's much easier." The traditional ring-and-arrow-system is a split-screen method. The first screen shows the robot and the scene; the second is a 3-D, interactive view where the user adjusts the virtual gripper and tells the robot exactly where to go and grab. This technique makes no use of scene information, giving operators a maximum level of control and flexibility. But this freedom and the size of the workspace can become a burden and increase the number of errors. The point-and-click format doesn't include 3-D mapping. It only provides the camera view, resulting in a simpler interface for the user. After a person clicks on a region of an item, the robot's perception algorithm analyzes the object's 3-D surface geometry to determine where the gripper should be placed. It's similar to what we do when we put our fingers in the correct locations to grab something. The computer then suggests a few grasps. The user decides, putting the robot to work. "The robot can analyze the geometry of shapes, including making assumptions about small regions where the camera can't see, such as the back of a bottle," said Chernova. "Our brains do this on their own -- we correctly predict that the back of a bottle cap is as round as what we can see in the front. In this work, we are leveraging the robot's ability to do the same thing to make it possible to simply tell the robot which object you want to be picked up." By analyzing data and recommending where to place the gripper, the burden shifts from the user to the algorithm, which reduces mistakes. During a study, college students performed a task about two minutes faster using the new method vs. the traditional interface. The point-and-click method also resulted in approximately one mistake per task, compared to nearly four for the ring-and-arrow technique. In addition to assistive robots in homes, the researchers see applications in search-and-rescue operations and space exploration. The interface has been released as open-source software and was presented in Vienna, Austria, March 6-9 at the 2017 Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI2017). The study is partially supported by National Science Foundation Fellowship (IIS 13-17775) and and the Office of Naval Research (N000141410795). Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

retarus Inc. and Instant InfoSystems (IIS) reinforced their partnership by addressing the increasing security and compliance concerns for customers and organizations that rely heavily on faxing for secure document transmission. In a recent webinar, Retarus touched upon the critical requirements for enterprise cloud messaging providers and how it fulfills those prerequisites by adhering to the most stringent requirements for data protection and security. Retarus‘ Technical Consultant, Christian Graninger, having dealt with a variety of security-related concerns in his 10 years of working with cloud technologies, elaborated on Retarus‘ secure global networks, next-gen infrastructures, resilient systems, tier-2 support, and sophisticated monitoring dashboards. This is the second time Retarus collaborated with IIS to host a webinar. The success of the first webinar ‘Make Fax Great Again’ in terms of participation, response and queries prompted the decision to follow up with an in-depth overview of Retarus’ portfolio and its security and network capabilities. According to a recent survey conducted by IIS to discover the biggest concerns with Fax in the cloud, 30% of the customers believed security to be their prominent concern, followed by cost (18%) and regulatory compliance (12%). As a security-focused vendor, Retarus understands the critical requirements of companies for enhanced security features. Therefore, during this webinar, Retarus addressed concerns related to information security and cloud capability through an overview of its standard operations, for both local and global businesses. The webinar was also focused on Retarus’ services and infrastructure that are designed to keep organizations HIPAA, HITECH compliant while providing them with the flexibility to securely distribute documents from their existing applications using a centralized fax and delivery solution. “When you’re in an industry that transmits mission-critical information on a daily basis, risk mitigation and data security act as the prime contenders in influencing business decisions,” said Steve MacDiarmid, President & CEO, retarus Inc. “Retarus’ ability to deliver and adhere to strict system of internal protocols, data regulation laws, security agreements and external audits, is what makes us competent in the enterprise messaging marketspace. We are grateful to IIS for collaborating with Retarus to shed light on the unique business requirements of Fortune 500 companies and how Retarus fulfills them.” The webinar concluded with a series of questions from the participants, which were answered by the subject matter experts from both Retarus and IIS. The global enterprise messaging provider attended to the queries related to service, migration, security, user administration, MFDs etc., helping the audience understand the benefits of choosing Retarus as their cloud-messaging provider. As a global organization, Retarus possesses the knowledge and capability to provide services to organizations both domestically and internationally, further underscoring the ability to comply with the stringiest data security and privacy requirements. About Retarus Since 1992, Retarus has been supporting companies in achieving highly efficient communication. The global information logistics provider always plays an important role where large amounts of data need to be transmitted securely and reliably — irrespective of which communication channels, interfaces, applications and devices are required. The services are soundly based on a Global Delivery Network which includes the company’s own data centers in the USA, Europe and the APAC region, as well as redundant carrier infrastructure. A total of 17 percent of Dow Jones corporations as well as numerous Fortune 500 companies in the banking, finance and healthcare sectors depend on Retarus’ services. Longstanding customers include Adidas, Bayer, Continental, DHL, Honda, Puma, and Sony. For more details: www.retarus.com/us About IIS              For more than 20 years, Instant InfoSystems has provided leading document delivery and automation solutions to companies of all sizes in nearly every industry. Today, we are one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent providers of enterprise fax, cloud fax, and hybrid fax solutions and services.

SECAUCUS, N.J., May 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- retarus Inc. and Instant InfoSystems (IIS) reinforced their partnership by addressing the increasing security and compliance concerns for customers and organizations that rely heavily on faxing for secure document transmission. In a recent...

News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.npr.org

The MP3 Is Officially Dead, According To Its Creators "The death of the MP3 was announced in a conference room in Erlangen, Germany, in the spring of 1995." So opens Stephen Witt's How Music Got Free, an investigation into the forced digitization and subsequent decimation of the music business, from which it has only very recently started to recover. That ironic conference room eulogy actually took place just before the compression algorithm caught on (don't worry, we'll explain in a bit). Soon, the MP3 not only upended the recording industry but, thanks to the iPod, also contributed to Apple's late-'90s transformation into one of the most successful companies in history. (On Tuesday, the tech giant passed $800 billion in market capitalization, the first U.S. company to do so.) But now, 22 years later, the MP3 truly is dead, according to the people who invented it. The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, a division of the state-funded German research institution that bankrolled the MP3's development in the late '80s, recently announced that its "licensing program for certain MP3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated." Bernhard Grill, director of that Fraunhofer division and one of the principals in the development of the MP3, told NPR over email that another audio format, AAC — or "Advanced Audio Coding," which his organization also helped create — is now the "de facto standard for music download and videos on mobile phones." He said AAC is "more efficient than MP3 and offers a lot more functionality." As Witt illustrates throughout his excellent opening chapters, the MP3, before upending the musical world as we knew it, almost died in the research lab. The team of engineers that invented the format was attempting to make it possible to send audio over telephone lines, which could only transmit small amounts of data. Fraunhofer — in competing for the legitimacy it needed to persuade tech companies to actually use MP3s, and so actually make money — hit numerous speed bumps. It was repeatedly beleaguered by clever corporate sabotage and later by piracy. Other failures hinged on the need for the world to catch up with the technology's possibilities: Along the way, one computer engineer on the team had a patent for a music streaming service denied by the German government because it was technologically absurd at the time. Another innovation the team failed to leverage? The portable MP3 player. In early 1995, the format was on life support, with one licensing deal being the use of the technology by hockey arenas across the U.S. (That spring meeting in which the MP3 was declared dead came months later, after another failed pitch that denied it being standardized and widely adopted.) A little later, Fraunhofer began giving away the software that consumers needed to turn compact discs into MP3s at home. The rest is recent history. So is it the end of an era? We may still use MP3s, but when the people who spent the better part of a decade creating it say the jig is up, we should probably start paying attention. AAC is indeed much better — it's the default setting for bringing CDs into iTunes now — and other formats are even better than it, though they also take up mountains of space on our hard drives. And it's not just that more efficient and complete ways of storing music have been developed. There was a deeper problem. The engineers who developed the MP3 were working with incomplete information about how our brains process sonic information, and so the MP3 itself was working on false assumptions about how holistically we hear. As psychoacoustic research has evolved, so has the technology that we use to listen. New audio formats and products, with richer information and that better address mobile music streaming, are arriving. Deezer, a music streaming company relatively popular in its native France, launched in the U.S. offering "high-resolution" streaming, for double the price of a Spotify account. Tidal did the same. Neil Young tried his hand with the hotly tipped Pono. While all three are not exactly taking over the world — Pono, in fact, is officially dead, rebranded "Xstream" — the record business has put its stamp of approval on the idea, at least. "Master Quality Authenticated" is a promising new technology that uses a type of audio origami to spare cellular data when necessary and to "bloom" in quality when it's not — though it has drawn pointed criticism for being a closed loop that allows for recording industry cash-ins. It wouldn't be the first time. The formats that convey art and media to us also delineate that media; vinyl records require a session-interrupting flip, which The Beatles brilliantly exploited by creating an infinite loop of gibberish at the end of Sgt. Pepper's second side. The VHS tape in both image and sound was as soft and fuzzy as a worn teddy bear, while new high-definition televisions render images perhaps too robotically, tracking movement like T-1000. The MP3, as mentioned, enabled millions or billions of song listens, just with incorrect biological assumptions. The lesson seems to be, simply, that our media will always be as exactly imperfect as we are.

News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.com

NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- IIS announced they have been named HPE 2016 Global Partner of the Year. In response to this recognition they have released the following statement: There was no shortage of competition. With a large network of HPE partners across the world,...

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