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News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

PULLMAN, Wash. - A WSU research team for the first time has developed a promising way to recycle the popular carbon fiber plastics that are used in everything from modern airplanes and sporting goods to the wind energy industry. The work, reported in Polymer Degradation and Stability, provides an efficient way to re-use the expensive carbon fiber and other materials that make up the composites. Carbon fiber reinforced plastics are increasingly popular in many industries, particularly aviation, because they are light and strong. They are, however, very difficult to break down or recycle, and disposing of them has become of increasing concern. While thermoplastics, the type of plastic used in milk bottles, can be melted and easily re-used, most composites used in planes are thermosets. These types of plastics are cured and can't easily be undone and returned to their original materials. To recycle them, researchers mostly have tried grinding them down mechanically or breaking them down with very high temperatures or harsh chemicals to recover the expensive carbon fiber. Oftentimes, however, the carbon fiber is damaged in the process. The caustic chemicals used are hazardous and difficult to dispose of. They also destroy the matrix resin materials in the composites, creating a messy mixture of chemicals and an additional waste problem. In their project, Jinwen Zhang, a professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and his team developed a new chemical recycling method that used mild acids as catalysts in liquid ethanol at a relatively low temperature to break down the thermosets. In particular, it was the combination of chemicals that proved effective, said Zhang, who has a chemistry background. To break down cured materials effectively, the researchers raised the temperature of the material so that the catalyst-containing liquid can penetrate into the composite and break down the complex structure. Zhang used ethanol to make the resins expand and zinc chloride to break down critical carbon-nitrogen bonds. "It is critical to develop efficient catalytic systems that are capable of permeating into the cured resins and breaking down the chemical bonds of cured resins," he said. The researchers were able to preserve the carbon fibers as well as the resin material in a useful form that could be easily re-used. They have filed for a patent and are working to commercialize their methods. The work was funded by the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation (JCATI) in collaboration with industry partner, Global Fiberglass Solutions. The state-funded JCATI works to support the Washington's aerospace industry by pursuing research that is relevant to aerospace companies and by providing industry-focused research opportunities. In addition to Zhang, researchers on the project included Junna Xin, assistant research professor, Tuan Liu, postdoctoral research associate, and graduate student Xiaolong Guo. The research is in keeping with WSU's Grand Challenges initiative stimulating research to address some of society's most complex issues. It is particularly relevant to the challenge of "Smart Systems" and its theme of foundational and emergent materials.

News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

To treat headaches, back pain or fever, most of us have reached for ibuprofen at one point or another. But we often have to take doses every four to six hours if the pain warrants it. Now scientists are working on a way to package the commonly used drug so it can last longer. Their approach, reported in ACS' journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, could also be used to deliver other drugs orally that currently can only be taken intravenously. Recently, scientists have been studying compounds called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are made of metal ions linked to organic ligands, for drug delivery. Active ingredients can be packed inside MOFs, which are porous, and some of them have additional traits such as water solubility that make them good candidates for drug couriers. But few studies have so far investigated whether such MOFs could be used in oral formulations. J. Fraser Stoddart and colleagues wanted to test promising MOFs using ibuprofen as a model drug. The researchers loaded therapeutically relevant concentrations of ibuprofen into easily prepared, biocompatible MOFs with cyclodextrin and alkali metal cations. Testing in mice showed that the compounds reached the blood stream quickly in about 10 to 20 minutes and lasted twice as long as ibuprofen salts, which are the active ingredient in commercial liquid gel formulations. The researchers say the promising findings suggest that these compounds could take the next step toward commercial development for delivering ibuprofen and potentially other drugs. The authors acknowledge funding from the Joint Center of Excellence in Integrated Nanosystems at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Northwestern University, and the National Cancer Institute. The abstract that accompanies this study is available here. The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com

A team of researchers from Washington State University (WSU) has developed a method to recycle carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites that strays from traditional approaches. The researchers’ method does what only a handful have been able to accomplish: recycling epoxy-based thermoset composites. As the researchers explain, thermoplastics are easily recycled, but thermosets are not due to their cured resin. For the research, Jinwen Zhang, a professor in the WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and his team studied a chemical recycling method that used mild acids as catalysts in liquid ethanol at a relatively low temperature to break down the thermosets.  To break down cured materials effectively, the researchers raised the temperature of the material so that the catalyst-containing liquid could penetrate into the composite and break down the complex structure. The approach is similar to Hayward, Calif.-based company Connora Technologies’ approach, which also breaks down thermoset CFRP composites at the chemistry level. Zhang says the combination of chemicals is what makes the approach effective. The team used ethanol to make the resins expand and zinc chloride to break down critical carbon-nitrogen bonds. “It is critical to develop efficient catalytic systems that are capable of permeating into the cured resins and breaking down the chemical bonds of cured resins,” Zhang said. The work was funded by the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation (JCATI) in collaboration with Global Fiberglass Solutions. The state-funded JCATI works to support Washington’s aerospace industry by pursuing research that is relevant to aerospace companies and by providing industry-focused research opportunities. The ability to recycle carbon fiber is imperative to the growth of the state’s economy. According to a study by honor society Phi Kappa Phi, Boeing and Airbus each generate as much as a 1 million pounds of cured and uncured carbon fiber prepreg waste each year from Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 XWB production. In the state of Washington alone, 96 composites companies produce 2 million pounds of production waste carbon fiber each year that is sent to a landfill.

News Article | December 20, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

SUZHOU, China, Dec. 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chinese firms need to innovate or face oblivion – that was the message from the country’s President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit this year. He said rising protectionism and a sluggish global economy meant “supply side reform” was necessary. It is a call to action that has not gone unheeded in Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), which is staying ahead of the game by rolling out a raft of initiatives to attract cutting-edge tech firms and encourage outdated plants to become cleaner, smarter and faster. “It’s fair to say that everybody will eventually face these challenges but the eastern coastal areas are the first to see the glass ceilings in this regard,” says Barry Yang, Chairman of SIP. “Therefore, it’s no surprise that we took a proactive approach to explore a transformation route.” Coastal cities such as Suzhou are already losing their competitive edge to other cheaper countries and there is also an oversupply of lower end products, which means companies, as well as the industrial parks where they are located, urgently need to move up the value chain if they want to survive. To make this happen, SIP is dishing out relocation payouts, tax breaks, interest-free loans, R&D grants and setting up incubators for a series of high-value industries, in the hope of becoming the country’s next Silicon Valley. Out With the Old, In With the New SIP was created two decades ago as a joint-venture project between the Chinese and Singapore governments and is already an internationally competitive high-tech industrial park that resembles a garden-like metropolis. High-tech firms and services-based industries now make up about half of all manufacturing there. Among the latest innovative tenants to choose SIP are the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ electrical institute and nanotech research centre, R&D centers for big multinationals such as Microsoft and Siemens and international collaborations such as the China-New Zealand Joint Center of Innovation and the China-Israel Joint Center of Heathcare Innovations. Meanwhile the old firms making simple products in polluting factories are on the way out. “Should tenants fail to upgrade their facilities voluntarily, they will get relocated elsewhere,” says Zhang Dongchi, Director of SIP’s Science, Technology & Informatization Bureau. “Hence we need to ever bring in burgeoning firms.” Although there has been a steady outflow of tenants from traditional industries over the past five years, the park’s GDP has continued to grow– a testament to the strength of the higher-value sectors, Zhang says. The park has also launched a range of talent scouting programs and under the latest overseas incubator program launched this year, foreigners can incubate their projects at SIP and tap into its resources without themselves relocating to the city. “We want to use all available resources to attract innovative professionals from around the world,” says Barry Yang. “New mechanisms and approaches are critical for this and a more flexible and open mindset will help us bring in some of the world’s best people. This offshore talent incubator program is a showcase of our pursuit in this direction.” SIP aims to have over 500 projects nurtured in this cross-border program by 2020, and hopes about 30 such companies will eventually become publicly-listed. Like any living, breathing organism, businesses need suitable conditions to thrive and SIP is working hard to create the right business ecology to nurture its nascent hi-tech industries. From setting up a list of world-class research institutes to building state-of-the-art incubating centers that house a mixture of start-ups and mature enterprises, SIP hopes the clustering of academies and companies can help foster innovation and test-bed new ideas. One of the brightest prospects is the SIP CMO Base at Sangtian Island – a massive pharmaceutical and nanotechnology research and commercialization project whose first phase began operating this year. It is home to Chinese and international companies including Roche Diagnosis, BeiGene, Zai Lab, Beike Biotech, Beckman Coulter and Hyssen, a bio-nano company incubated successfully by SIP. SIP has also nurtured vertically-specialized incubators such as bioBAY, Nanotech National University Science Park and Nanopolis, which collectively help spearhead the development of nanotechnology in a wide range of areas including material, energy, environmental protection, biology and medicine and information and advanced manufacturing. SIP is now among the world’s top eight hubs for nanotechnology. This kind of ecosystem allows entrepreneurs to quickly prototype concepts into physical products, while the presence of more than 300 venture capitalists, private equity and fund management companies means start-ups can easily find financial support that cover all stages of growth. “A few years ago, most of the high-tech manufacturing plants were based in Shenzhen but we are starting to see more of them spring up in the park and around the Yangtze River Delta region,” says Wu Xiaozhen, Chief Administration Officer & HR Director at Aispeech, which specializes in developing voice control software for smart consumer products, including smart auto-gadgets, robots and home systems. Aispeech sited itself in 2014 at SIP’s Dushuhu-based SISPARK (Suzhou International Science Park). “One of our clients is a robot maker in the area and we are also looking to partner up with more smart-product makers here. The maturing of the AI (artificial intelligence) industry in SIP is helping to close the loop in commercializing our research and latest technology,” Wu adds. Smart gadgets are the next big thing and manufacturers around the world are rushing to create voice-activated gadgets that can interact seamlessly with humans and execute tasks smoothly. This has led to a boom in demand for AI researchers globally and intense competition in this field means companies and industrial parks alike need to be even more creative in attracting talents. One such initiative allows scientists yet to join the corporate sector to test their work while keeping their academic status by carrying out activity at research labs set up by Aispeech jointly with SIP. Opportunities for collaboration between local and foreign companies – both looking for technological advancement – are also a catalyst for innovation. “This means investors in the same or supporting industries will be more willing to work together in areas such as strategic alliance, licensing, and joint venture,” says Deli Yang, R. Burr & D. Clark Professor of International Business at Trinity University. SIP’s total output is expected to exceed 500 billion yuan by 2020, with electronic & IT as well as machinery manufacturing surpassing 400 billion yuan. The hi-tech sectors, namely biopharma, nanotech and cloud computing, are targeted to exceed 200 billion yuan, compared with 110 billion yuan recorded in 2016. China has since 2008 been drawing hundreds of experts to the country by offering generous relocation and research grants. The progress achieved has led some industry experts to say China is now at the golden age of innovation and the technological gap between it and the US, Japan and major EU nations, will narrow quickly. China comes top for the most domestic patent filings the last two years, outstripping the combined total in its next-closest followers, the US and Japan, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. The number of patent applications received in China was 1.48 million in the first six months of 2016, up 38% from year ago. “There isn’t anywhere else in the world that is spending as much effort as China to drive R&D in science and technology,” said Du Zhengming, senior vice president of BeiGene, a Nasdaq-listed biopharma company developing molecularly-targeted cancer drugs which is locating in the new SIP CMO Base at Sangtian Island. Du says China’s maturing system of trading in intellectual property is also boosting progress. He also points out that entrepreneurship is beginning to find its feet in China after defining itself for decades against entrepreneurship elsewhere. Companies that were founded to do the same thing as their foreign counterparts but better or cheaper still exist, he says, but there is now creative thinking too. “People here have been isolated for so long time that it takes time to catch up on the journey of being truly original and creative,” says Du, an American citizen who has over 20 years of pharmaceutical experience. “But there is a lot of exciting work being done and I believe you will see Chinese companies leading in these fields in eight to ten years.”

Researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities have been awarded a $50,000 National Science Foundation I-Corps grant to explore the commercialization potential of their new pathway for biojet from biomass waste. The WSU process, described in a 2015 paper in the RSC journal Green Chemistry, uses hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of dilute alkali extracted corn stover lignin catalyzed by a noble metal catalyst (Ru/Al O ) and acidic zeolite (H+-Y) to produce lignin-substructure-based hydrocarbons (C -C ), primarily C -C cyclic structure hydrocarbons in the jet fuel range. (Earlier post.) Current biorefineries undervalue lignin’s potential, largely because selective conversion of lignin has proven to be challenging. Processes that have been successful at breaking the lignin bonds have typically resulted in shorter chain monomers as opposed to the longer chain hydrocarbons needed for fuel. In contrast, the output of the WSU processis a mix of hydrocarbons that are long-chain and can be made into nearly the right mix for jet fuel. Scaling this process and putting it into production alongside current biorefinery production facilities would significantly improve biomass conversion and improve the economics of biofuels and chemicals production. Bin Yang, associate professor of biological systems engineering and principal investigator for the grant, and his team have spent several years developing the process for transforming lignin, a polymer that makes plants woody and rigid, and currently a waste product in the biofuels production process, into hydrocarbon molecules that can be certified as jet fuel. Yang said by leveraging research results from projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation and The Boeing Company, he and his team have successfully demonstrated a new, water-based process for deconstructing and recovering lignin from biomass and converting it into jet fuel-range hydrocarbons that may be certified as jet fuel in the near future. Yang currently holds a patent on the process. Libing Zhang, a WSU Tri-Cities postdoctoral research associate and the entrepreneurial lead of the project, said the NSF I-Corps program helps leading researchers develop a business platform for their research and technology that could one-day change the world, while not trying to “reinvent the wheel” by recreating processes and strategies that are already working well within the industry. For the NSF I-Corps grant, Yang and his team are working under the mentorship of Terri L. Butler from the University of Washington for the business aspects of the project.

News Article | November 4, 2016
Site: www.fastcompany.com

As we near the final phase of the election cycle, issues like terrorism, taxes, immigration, and gun regulation have been widely discussed. But housing policy has mostly failed to work its way into stump speeches, debates, and other political pit stops on the road to the White House. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump doesn’t mention housing within his list of priority issues. And while housing is among the 19 policy proposals listed on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s website, the plan is overly broad. Clinton says she wants to make rentals more affordable and create better access to homeownership through educating people on how to build credit and manage a mortgage, updating underwriting tools, clarifying lending requirements, and providing financial support for blighted areas. Though there's little information on how much this kind of program would cost, it does offer a very basic foundation for how Clinton would begin to deal with a large housing issue that remains largely untouched. In the years since the market crash, lawmakers have recoiled from talking about the increasing difficulty people are having affording a home. That may be because one of the precipitating factors in the 2008 housing crisis was the fact that policies and goals were aimed specifically at growing home ownership among people with incomes below the local median. For instance, between 1997 and 1999 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development pushed national mortgage entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to have 42% of their mortgages be for families with below median income. The agency also had targets to deliver mortgages to certain "underserved" neighborhoods. The prevailing thought at the time was that increasing home ownership among Americans of all classes would lead to both better economic outcomes and encourage people to invest in their communities. The government was then forced to put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under its purview and plunk down enough money to save 400,000 families from losing their homes. Unchecked subprime loans were able to proliferate in this climate. Though both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had standards for the loans they accepted from banks, they expected banks to do their own due diligence. "Historically, the way Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would buy loans, is that originators would deliver them to us with the promise that they conformed to our standards," Fannie Mae's CEO Timothy J. Mayopoulos said during a fireside chat with The Atlantic's Steve Clemons in September. "The companies didn’t have any effective way of inspecting that because they have millions of loans coming to them every month." In 2007, people who couldn't afford the subprime mortgages they signed up for were facing foreclosure. As homes flooded the market, supply outpaced demand. Soon others found themselves with homes below the value of their outsized mortgages. The government was then forced to put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under its purview and plunk down enough money to save 400,000 families from losing their homes. While the nation has recovered substantially thanks to the government's efforts, access to housing still remains a problem in 2016. In the last eight years, thanks in part to an economic recession, bloated student debt, and a large number of housing foreclosures (9.4 million according to CoreLogic estimates in Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies State of The Nation's Housing 2016 report), home ownership is at its lowest level in nearly half a century. In the second quarter of this year, the home ownership rate dipped down to 62.9%, bringing it back to the same level it was in 1965, according to the Census Bureau. In 2016, just a third of adults between the ages of 20-24 own homes, compared with 35% in 1995 and above 40% in 2005. Low homeownership levels have put pressure on a slow-growing stock of rental homes, sending rent prices skyward, and leaving more people than ever scrambling to find affordable housing. But with the economy brightening and more millennials heading into their thirties, it won’t be long before the government has to address these dismally low homeownership figures and the barriers to affordable living in 2016, including access to credit. "We need to have a national policy that says what is our strategy for housing people," said Mayopolous. "We don’t really have one." Housing policy in this country is often regarded as an issue for poor people who don’t have a lot of political agency. But in the wake of the 2008 housing crisis, people in a larger scope of income brackets are having difficulty finding affordable places to live. The U.S. doesn’t, in fact, have a national housing policy, as Mayopoulos refers to it. A combination of tax subsidies and public housing help support people without the means to afford a home, but critics say the scope of those programs is limited—not everyone who is eligible for public housing gets it. "When you have 11 and a half million renter households spending more than half their income on housing, meaning they have very little left over to spend on food, on health care, on savings for retirement—it’s a problem," says Christopher Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. To alleviate stress on the saturated rental market, Congress may have to reconsider homeownership. While owning a home may not be feasible for everyone, the government could build an infrastructure that helps people develop good credit and promotes sustainable homeownership. However, lawmakers may not be quick to engage on this issue. The reluctance to address the current housing dilemma may be compounded by the $503 billion national deficit projected for fiscal year 2017. Democrats and Republicans alike may be loath to add a costly new domestic housing program to the agenda during an election year. Plus, housing policy tends to be convoluted, requiring input from a variety of organizations. "The number of stakeholders and the number of people that interact and intersect with housing policy and housing finance reform is so complex that actually getting consensus around this issue is very difficult," says Jeff Foster, founder of lending startup Clara and former senior policy advisor to the Department of Treasury. In Congress there is currently one bill, submitted by Senator Ron Wyden (D) Oregon, aimed at tackling a portion of the housing problem through a Middle Income Housing Tax Credit. This would expand on the existing Low Income Housing Tax subsidy that helps those making less than 60% of area median incomes cover shelter expenses. Not only would Wyden's bill extend the pool of eligible candidates to those that make up to the area median income, it would also allocate more money to the overall housing tax credit program. The subsidy could help those with average incomes stay afloat in metropolitan areas where rents are rising. It could also draw more attention to the housing problem by making housing a middle class issue. Wyden’s bill hasn’t seen much movement since it was proposed last month. Opponents say there are not enough government dollars being devoted to low-income housing as it is, and adding middle class households to the mix would only further dilute available resources. Only a quarter of those eligible for assistance actually get it, according to the Urban Institute. That shortage has lead to years-long waiting lists for public housing and lower income household’s getting left behind. The National Low Income Housing Coalition argues that the vast majority of qualifying low-income households are so overburdened financially, that Congress should be devoting more resources to them—not middle-income families. But Herbert argues that creating a middle-income housing subsidy could actually grow the pot of money available to low income families. "We’ll do that by saying, look, we can make it available to people in the middle-income distribution while still allowing states to target down lower if that’s where the need is," explains Herbert. He thinks the law could allow states to customize housing subsidies based on local needs. So, if one area doesn't have many middle-income families asking for housing subsidies that money could be reallocated to low-income families in the same area. There's a question over how much of this is a local responsibility versus a federal one. The White House released a white paper in September that put blame on local regulation and zoning for creating barriers to housing development and made suggestions for how to create pathways for more development. Adding more rental supply through construction could help house more people, but only if the new units are affordable. In 2015, the majority of new building development in major metropolises was aimed at the luxury market, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some city officials have teamed up with developers to brainstorm ways to make building housing cheaper so it can increase the stock of public housing. Among the various pilots are modular and prefabricated homes, which could get both public housing and other affordable construction up more quickly. In the private sector, innovative lenders are trying to reverse the home ownership trend through improving access to credit and revamping mortgage applications. Quicken Loans, as well as a few smaller financial tech startups like Blend and Clara, are rolling out technology to make the mortgage process less cumbersome. The technology both simplifies and digitizes the paperwork and enhances underwriting, potentially giving more people the opportunity to get a home loan. There's also a smattering of products aimed at helping people repair their credit in the wake of the recession. Goldman Sachs recently launched Marcus to help people consolidate debt. Meanwhile, online lenders like SoFi and Lending Club provide personal loans with the same intention. Another service, Credit Karma, gives people access to their credit rating year-round, as opposed to the normally allotted three times a year. A smattering of products are aimed at helping people repair their credit in the wake of the recession. Even Fannie Mae, the federal national mortgage association, is overhauling its internal operations to be more fast-moving. In his conversation with The Atlantic, Mayoloulos said the institution is ditching its digs on Wisconsin Avenue in favor of an open floor plan office in the middle of Washington, D.C. to operate more like a startup. It’s also embracing new financial technology to both speed up the mortgage process and provide better oversight and transparency into the loans themselves. "Now at Fannie Mae our goal is to get to a point where we’re able to independently verify borrower income, borrower assets, and the collateral value of the property electronically within seconds before the loan is even delivered to us," said Mayopoulos. Of course, homeownership itself is not a panacea for the overall housing crisis, though increased home ownership could reduce strain on rental properties. "One thing I believe is important is that we promote sustainable homeownership versus homeownership for homeownership's sake," says Foster. "I think the policies of the past promoted homeownership as an absolute good and homeownership isn’t right for everyone." Rebalancing the scales in the housing economy may require a federal hand—one that can pull in officials from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, and the Department of Treasury. That's because ensuring home ownership in a financially responsible way that picks out individuals who—despite their lower credit rating or income—may be good candidates for owning a home, may require a more sweeping plan than states or cities alone can provide. "There are lots of loans that we would feel comfortable buying and guaranteeing that are not coming to us," said Mayopoulos, "and that is constraining the market."

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwired - February 22, 2017) - The Cambia Health Foundation is making a dramatic impact by advancing projects that create a more person-focused health care system. Improving children's mental health, expanding access to palliative care and streamlining the way the health care system works are all at the forefront of the Cambia Health Foundation's efforts. To support programs that raise the standard of health care, the Cambia Health Foundation has awarded over $1.2 million in grants to non-profit organizations both regionally and nationally. Listed below is a synopsis of the eight efforts that were recently funded by the Cambia Health Foundation. The VitalTalk program was granted $279,725 over two years to develop and pilot a regional training hub in Salt Lake City in partnership with the University of Utah School of Medicine. This is the second regional hub that has been developed in an effort to expand the VitalTalk program on a national level. The goal of the program is to help train physicians to build communication skills that help support the seriously ill and their families. The program will provide a regular offering of one-day communication courses for clinicians in Utah and Idaho with a goal of training 240 clinicians. A recent survey funded by the Cambia Health Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation demonstrated that even though 99 percent of physicians surveyed felt that advance care conversations were 'very important', only 14 percent of these physicians had billed Medicare for actually conducting one of these conversations. In addition, most physicians reported having no formal communication skills training which is critical in helping these patients and their families make the right decisions in difficult situations. A Joint Center for Health Systems Innovation at Brigham and Women's Hospital; and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health The Ariadne Labs program was granted $70,000 for one year to support the consensus process and writing of a white paper and journal article after a two-day Summit on Quality Metrics in Serious Illness Communication which will take place at the Cambia Grove in May 2017. The white paper will summarize the state of the evidence about measurement of communication, key themes and recommendations for a national strategy for implementation of a consistent, scalable measurement framework across health systems. Additional activities will focus on engaging national advocacy and policy organizations to promote the framework and infrastructure nationally. The Unity Center for Behavioral Health was granted $225,151 over two years to assist individuals who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis, 30 percent of which are living unsheltered according to the 2015 Point-In-Time Count study. The behavioral health emergency room model will be staffed by both psychiatric and medical providers as well as social workers, peer specialists and other resource specialists who can address a patient's acute care needs as well as initiate therapeutic intervention and connect individuals with appropriate community resources. Neighborcare Health was granted up to $200,000 over two years to completely transform the business and service model based on Lean Management and Leadership Development. Serving as the first Federally Qualified Health Center System in the country, the goal is to develop a business model that focuses on improving health outcomes, reducing costs and inefficiencies, and creating an unparalleled consumer experience. The work will take place across 24 health centers in King County, Washington, serving over 60,000 patients. The Virginia Garcia Memorial Fund was granted $250,000 over two years to achieve better mental health for children through an innovative school-based model of integrated primary care and mental health care. In addition, they will develop an agency-wide assessment and action plan to initiate a system-wide transformation to trauma-informed care. The goal of the program is to increase access to sustainable mental health care for priority patients and identify how to integrate a trauma-informed approach across Virginia Garcia's six School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) and primary care clinics. The CHOICE Regional Public Health Network was granted $87,500 for one year to support four pilot schools to provide a better support structure for care to support at least 200 children. The program is designed to connect children with unmet behavioral health needs to the services that they need, including behavioral health, physical health, and social support services, and to ensure that communities in this region are aware of trauma-informed practices and the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences. A standard teacher training program will be developed that can easily be shared across school districts all over the region in the most cost-effective way. The North by Northeast Community Health Center was granted $41,000 for 18 months to deliver personalized, high quality, cost effective care designed for the African American community in the Portland Metropolitan Region. The project will double its successful primary and preventive care model from approximately 525 patients in 2017 to more than 1,100 by the end of 2019. The expanded, culturally specific primary care model will be supported by chronic disease prevention and management groups, health screenings, and their Cuts&Checks™ barbershop blood pressure program. The Healthy Living Collaborative of Southwest Washington was granted $45,000 for 18 months to continue support for their Community Health Worker programs in Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum counties. Each of the projects are improving consumer knowledge, increasing healthy behaviors, and mobilizing community advocate for healthier communities. The three pilot sites have formed a regional learning and navigation network that supports individual and population health goals. Based in Portland, Ore., Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate Foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience health care. Founded in 2007, Cambia Health Foundation awards grants in three program areas: Palliative Care, Transforming Health Care and Children's Health. The Foundation has funded just over $29 million in grants to support these causes. Cambia Health Foundation's investments in palliative care advance patient- and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering. Learn more at www.cambiahealthfoundation.org, and follow us on Twitter: @CambiaHealthFdn.

News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Statement from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) following President Trump’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress: “We support President Trump’s efforts to strengthen economic growth and expand job creation. As the industry that houses 39 million residents, supports over 12 million jobs and contributes $1.3 trillion to the economy, the President’s direct focus on issues of critical importance to the apartment industry such as tax reform, infrastructure investment and rolling back burdensome regulations is commendable. “Today, there are over 43 million renter households and Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies believes that demand for renter households could increase by as much as 4.4 million by 2025. The multifamily sector is under increasing pressure to meet that booming demand across the country, yet, excessive regulation and compliance uncertainty results in costly mandates that make it impossible to develop and operate multifamily housing. “NMHC/NAA applaud the Administration’s efforts to overhaul the federal regulatory landscape. To that end, we look forward to working with the Trump Administration and leaders in Congress to develop policies that drive investment, spark development and remove barriers and remove burdens on current operators, supporting the future growth of the apartment industry.” More information about apartments is available at www.weareapartments.org. For more than 20 years, the National Apartment Association (NAA) and the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) have partnered on behalf of America’s apartment industry. Drawing on the knowledge and policy expertise of staff in Washington, D.C., as well as the advocacy power of 170 NAA state and local affiliated associations, NAA and NMHC provide a single voice for developers, owners and operators of multifamily rental housing. Apartments and their 39 million residents support more than 12 million jobs and contribute $1.3 trillion to the economy.

News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

OULU, Finland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nokia and the University of Oulu have strengthened their collaboration by establishing a new research and training center focusing on work around wireless infrastructure for 5G and beyond. The Nokia Bell Labs and University of Oulu Joint Center for Future Connectivity collaboration agreement was signed on 10 February 2017. The center aims to be a world leader in developing future 10X technologies – disruptive ideas with ten times greater impact than the state of the art today – for the new digital era, where networks will have seemingly infinite capacity, much greater energy efficiency, heightened application awareness and built-in self-optimization. Our living environment within the next 20 years will be smart, sensing and interactive, requiring very low latency, high-speed broadband connectivity and trustworthy machine-type communications given the billions of devices that will be online and connected with each other. Virtual and augmented reality applications will form the basis for future interactions in seamless connectivity with an abundance of networked devices. In the beginning, the center’s research themes will focus on developing new radio technologies for 5G and early demonstrations of 5G’s possibilities. A new spearhead project has started under this agreement focusing on 5G RFIC design, 5G test network and system development activities. With this collaboration, Nokia can ensure that the right technical selections and architectures for future communication networks will be made early enough. The company will also benefit from the university’s live-lab environment to build joint experiments for pre-commercial products. “Nokia has been one of our most important collaborators for two decades. This new center is mutually beneficial to train future talents for the needs of digital society,” said Oulu University Rector Jouko Niinimäki. “An engineer in 5G and beyond must master the latest technologies to develop disruptive concepts and solve future “big problems” in wireless connectivity,” says research department head Jari Hulkkonen from Nokia Bell Labs.

OULU, Finlandia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nokia e l'Università di Oulu hanno rafforzato la collaborazione aprendo un nuovo centro di ricerca e formazione incentrato sull'infrastruttura wireless per 5G e oltre. L'accordo di collaborazione tra Nokia Bell Labs e il Joint Center for Future Connectivity dell'Università di Oulu è stato firmato il 10 febbraio 2017. Il testo originale del presente annuncio, redatto nella lingua di partenza, è la versione ufficiale che fa fede. Le traduzioni sono offerte unicam

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