News story: UK and US launch innovation fund for ideas to save millions of lives in conflict zones

first_imgThe UK and US have joined forces to find the next technological breakthrough to save and transform millions of lives in the world’s most dangerous conflict zones.International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and USAID Administrator Mark Green announced the new Humanitarian Grand Challenge at an event held at the Overseas Development Institute today (Monday 19 February).The Challenge fund will provide grants to help get innovative technology projects off the ground, and will provide further support to expand projects that prove the most successful.This new fund is the latest of the Grand Challenges, which are a tried and tested way of leveraging the power of businesses, and it is expected to attract tens of millions of pounds in private sector funding.It aims to drive innovation in the aid sector, with a call for projects to focus on developing new ways to deliver water, sanitation, energy, health assistance and life-saving information in hard to reach conflict zones.In a departure from traditional forms of aid, this will see new low-cost technology being produced for the most remote places and extreme conditions.The ‘Saving Lives at Birth’ Grand Challenge – which was backed by DFID, USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – attracted more than £60million in private sector investment and has already helped save 10,000 lives.Successful projects backed by previous Grand Challenges have produced an electronic nose to smell tuberculosis from patients’ breath, a maternal and child health app for people in Burma to give birth safely and give their children the best start in life, and low-cost microchips to diagnose diarrhoeal diseases.International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: If we are to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and help all those who need humanitarian support then we need to do things differently, and we need to lever all hands to that cause. The Challenge fund will give grants of up to £150,000 for innovative technology projects to get started and a further £600,000 so that successful projects can grow even bigger.The £11million fund will be administered by Grand Challenges Canada and is equally funded by DFID and USAID, with each organisation providing £5.5million.The event followed a strategic dialogue between Ms Mordaunt and Mr Green where they discussed how to work together to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse in the global aid sector and the action the UK has already taken; how best to boost economic development and help the poorest countries stand on their own two feet, and how to boost security at home and abroad.center_img Our new Humanitarian Grand Challenge will create cutting-edge technology and leverage the power of the private sector to help respond to conflicts which will save lives, improve conditions for the most vulnerable and make humanitarian responses by the UK and US more effective.last_img read more

Digital banking transformation: Where should you start?

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Bank and credit union executives are getting bombarded daily with messages warning of the demise of the banking industry as we know it if major actions aren’t taken immediately. From replacing legacy operations systems to implementing artificial intelligence solutions, there are more priorities than any organization can handle at once. As a result, many organizations end up doing nothing or focusing on initiatives that don’t move the revenue, cost containment, customer experience or market value needle.The question, “Where should we start?” has never been more important, because there are mounting pressures from the consumer, the government, new competition and shareholders to do something meaningful … TODAY. While there could be significant debate around which priorities are the most important for any specific bank or credit union, below are some ‘low hanging fruit’ ideas that should be considered. Most are relatively easy to implement, providing a foundation for broader strategies going forward.Improve Your Mobile Banking ExperienceConsumers are increasingly selecting bank and credit union providers based on digital banking functionality. It is no longer enough to just provide account balances and a list of recent transactions on a smartphone. Consumers want advanced functionalities that not every financial institution provides today. Some of the ‘must have’ capabilities include: continue reading »last_img read more

Bryant plays well, but Lakers fall to 0-2 with loss to Phoenix

first_imgPHOENIX >> The shades of Kobe Bryant’s former self emerged with each pull-up jumper, drive to the basket and foul shot he made with dependable accuracy.But as they showed in their 119-99 loss on Wednesday to the Phoenix Suns at U.S. Airways Center, the Lakers’ success this season will not solely correlate with Bryant’s. His 31 points on 11-of-25 shooting and 7-of-7 mark from the foul line featured fluid movement, increased athleticism and sharp fundamentals, a comforting sign after he played in only six games last season because of injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. Bryant also hit the 30-point plateau for the first time since shattering his Achilles 18 months ago.“Kobe’s the least of my worries,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said.That’s because the Lakers offered little else as they dropped to 0-2 for the third time in the past four seasons. The Lakers may have spent most of training camp stressing defense after ranking last season toward the bottom of the NBA in most statistical categories. But the Lakers still conceded plenty to Phoenix from 3-point range (16 of 32), points in the paint (36) and double-digit scoring by Isaiah Thomas (23 points), Marcus Morris (21), Goran Dragic (18), Eric Bledsoe (16) and Markieff Morris (12). “We’re not a big 3-point shooting team,” Bryant said. “So we can’t afford to give up 16.”The Lakers also cannot afford to have an offense solely centered on Bryant. Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer, Wesley Johnson, Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price shot a combined 10 of 32 from the field. Boozer committed eight of the Lakers’ 13 turnovers.“He’s more than a willing passer,” Scott said of Bryant. “It’s just that guys have to quit watching.”Both Scott and Bryant took particular aim at Lin, who has shot 3 of 10 in the Lakers’ first two games. Scott said Lin played with “indecision” while Bryant said he implored Lin to run the offense instead of him.“I told him that’s a big urban legend of me,” Bryant said. “I want to score. But that means coming off of picks, catching and shooting. You handle the ball and you run the show.” Lin sounded open toward making adjustments, but initially sounded skeptical of the commentary.“I didn’t feel like I was that hesitant,” Lin said. “I felt like when I had opportunities I was trying to attack. I’ll go and take a look at the film and see if that’s the case or not. In my mind, I thought I was assertive and trying to make plays.”Regardless, everything was mostly left to Bryant, whose frustration boiled over enough that he collected a technical foul for the second consecutive game. Bryant was whistled with 2:55 left in the third quarter, showing visible frustration for not being sent to the free-throw line after attacking the basket against multiple defenders. Bryant sounded much more at ease afterward.“In hindsight, the call is not a big deal,” Bryant said. “But getting your butt kicked a little bit, it’s only natural.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more