Primal Pictures and the Anatomical Society Partner for Medical School 3D Digital Anatomy Learning Toolkit

The collaboration features explanatory videos, interactive models, clinical content & self-assessment exercises

LONDON, Feb. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Primal Pictures is partnering with the Anatomical Society to launch its latest anatomy education resource: Primal’s Anatomy Learning Outcomes for Medicine. This dynamic collection of video lectures from 50-plus international experts and accompanying 3D human anatomy and physiology digital resources is engineered for mastery of medical education. Anatomy Learning Outcomes for Medicine combines the more than 100-year legacy of the prestigious Anatomical Society and its world-standard syllabus of required anatomical knowledge with Primal’s human anatomy model built from real human cadavers and scans — the most medically accurate on the market.

“We’re thrilled to offer this revolutionary product to today’s medical students and educators,” said Lorna Wilson, Primal Pictures’ product director. “We’d like to thank the Anatomical Society for the wealth of experience, care and dedication that went into originally creating their learning outcomes. It’s a perfect collaboration for bringing the content to life, and one that will have an immediate impact in academia.”

The Anatomical Society’s learning outcomes include 156 anatomy lessons that every medical student should learn by graduation, and that are required to safely practice medicine. This Core Regional Anatomy Syllabus for Undergraduate Medicine is applicable to all medical programs, providing a checklist that helps institutions meet the training standards demanded by the clinical world.

“I’m excited about this project as it combines Primal Pictures’ more than 30-year history of providing excellent anatomical resources with the Anatomical Society’s meticulously researched and revised learning outcomes,” said Professor Tracey Wilkinson, president of the Anatomical Society. “It provides students with very specific, directed areas in which they can concentrate and learn through credible, verified content that isn’t found just by searching online — which should make this fascinating subject more accessible for all.”

Primal’s Anatomy Learning Outcomes for Medicine — hosted on Primal’s Anatomy.tv platform — amplifies anatomy learning for both students and educators. It bridges the gap between textbook and patient with trustworthy content, is fully embeddable into a learning management system or virtual learning environment and provides focus on exactly what students need to learn to make anatomy less daunting.

Contact info@primalpictures.com for a demo or free trial.

About Primal Pictures
Powering Anatomy.tv, Primal Pictures, part of the Citeline portfolio of solutions and services for the life sciences, is the only complete and medically accurate digital human 3D model based on real body scans and imaging data. For more than 30 years, Primal’s award-winning software has been used by millions of educators, students, and practitioners in over 1,500 institutions across more than 150 countries. Primal’s learning solutions meet the needs of any educational program with an anatomy component, including medicine, nursing, dentistry, physical therapy/rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and sports medicine. Learn more at PrimalPictures.com.

About the Anatomical Society
The Anatomical Society aims to promote, develop and advance research and education in all aspects of anatomical science. The Anatomical Society achieves these aims by organizing scientific meetings; publishing the Journal of Anatomy and Aging Cell; and making annual awards of Ph.D. studentships, grants and prizes. The society has links with anatomical societies in the United States (American Association for Anatomy), in Europe (including Sociedad Anatómica Española, Anatomische Gesellschaft, and the Turkish Society of Anatomy and Clinical Anatomy) and is a member of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists and of the European Federation for Experimental Morphology. Learn more at Anatsoc.org.uk.

Primal Pictures PR contact:
Helen Olivares
helen.olivares@primalpictures.com
+1 802-310-0216

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8745542

One World International School Set to Enter India’s Premium IB School Sector

One World International School

SINGAPORE, Feb. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Singapore’s renowned One World International School (OWIS) is all set to bring its high-quality international education to India, with its first two campuses to commence operations in Bengaluru – as it continues its global expansion plan to serve more communities across Europe, the Middle East, India and Japan.

OWIS schools will provide full International Baccalaureate education as well as future skill programmes that include arts, sports, music, and languages. Their modern infrastructure within a digital environment is designed to impart 21st-century learning to students, who study in an environment of kindness and mutual respect.

The entry of Singapore-headquartered OWIS into India marks a new frontier for the fastest-growing international school, which will have nine campuses across the world by the end of 2023. Earlier in September 2022, the OWIS campus in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was officially opened by Singapore’s Foreign Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan. OWIS is also set to open two new schools in Japan later this year.

OWIS is part of Global Schools Foundation (GSF), which has entered into a strategic partnership with the reputed Silver Oaks international schools in Bengaluru, which have been providing research-led indigenous curriculum and grooming lifelong learners for the last 20 years.

Under the partnership with GSF, Silver Oaks will bring the international best practices of globally renowned One World International School into its education system, which will include comprehensive and personalised teaching and learning in a digitalised and technologically savvy environment. The two campuses at Sarjapur Road and Whitefield will also be rechristened One World International School from the next academic year.

Atul Temurnikar, GSF Chairman, said: “It is imperative that OWIS has a presence in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India, and caters to the education needs of the locals and relocating families, providing them continuous and seamless full IB education. OWIS will strengthen the present values and ethos of the schools and give the students and teachers access to a global network.”

Mr. Dhanunjaya  Vallabhaneni, Managing Director of Silver Oaks International Schools, said: “Joining hands with a prestigious global institution like OWIS will bring a world-class education ecosystem to our Bengaluru campuses. This is a significant milestone in improving educational opportunities for all our students and offering them a chance to get international exposure for their development.”

Students of GSF schools have been placed in Ivy League and other universities highly ranked on QS Rankings. Each year, representatives of over 150 universities participate in person or virtually in the GSF schools’ Education Fair.

About Global Schools Foundation

GSF, a Singapore-based not-for-profit foundation that reinvests for growth, has a network of 35 campuses across 11 countries, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Cambodia, United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia, where 31,000 students from 70 nationalities study. It is a recipient of over 450 international education excellence awards from national quality organisations. In addition to International Baccalaureate and Cambridge IGCSE, its schools provide American, IPC, CBSE and ICSE curricula.

GSF schools rank high in the IB Diploma Board exams with over 100 students having scored World Topper positions (45/45) and Near Perfect Score positions (44/45). Similarly, GSF schools have delivered some of the best Cambridge IGCSE results, and to date, more than 800 students of GSF schools have scored A and A* in all subjects.

Contact Information:
Rupali Karekar
Dy Divisional Manager
rupali.karekar@myglobalschool.org
+6598734320

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Fluence Nispera Becomes Leader in Asset Performance Management Software for Energy Storage and Renewables, with 267 MW / 948 MWh Storage Assets Under Management Globally

The cloud-based asset performance management software is now operational for energy storage and all categories of renewables including solar, wind, and hydro

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fluence Energy, Inc. (“Fluence”) (NASDAQ: FLNC), a leading global provider of energy storage products and services, and cloud-based software for renewables and storage, today announced that Fluence Nispera™ has expanded to provide real-time performance monitoring, AI-enabled performance analysis, and optimization of energy storage assets, and is currently operational on five energy storage assets totaling 267 MW / 948 MWh globally. The cloud-based asset performance management (APM) software is now available for energy storage and all categories of renewables including solar, wind, and hydro.

According to a report by the International Energy Agency, the global deployment of renewables is expected to grow by 2,400 GW between 2022 and 2027. The energy storage solutions needed to flexibly and reliably integrate renewable energy into the power system are also estimated to grow significantly: BloombergNEF estimates an increase of 387 GW / 1,143 GWh of energy storage capacity between 2022 and 2030. This accelerated growth of clean energy generation and storage brings an increasing need for digital solutions such as Nispera to allow asset owners to scale their portfolios without scaling their resources. Nispera gives storage and renewables asset owners visibility into what, where, when, and why performance issues and trends are occurring and helps prioritize action to resolve it.

“For years, Nispera has been the leading global APM solution for renewables. By expanding into energy storage, Nispera is now further driving the APM software industry forward by offering asset owners and operators with access to the most comprehensive set of assets for renewables and storage available. This includes wind, solar, hydro, and energy storage from any technology provider, anywhere in the world,” said Fluence Global Head of Digital Asset Management Gianmarco Pizza.

Nispera integrates asset performance and financial data with intelligent machine learning models and visualization tools to help renewable asset owners uncover hidden performance issues and boost energy production. Nispera’s advanced optimization functionalities allow users to prioritize the highest impact performance and O&M interventions. For example, a PV Digital Twin uses geographically accurate maps and animated videos to compare actual and AI-modeled producible energy and show the exact location of and reasons for component issues.

“From the start, Nispera was built by renewables’ asset managers who know the challenges facing owners and operators looking to scale their renewables portfolio. Now, Fluence’s deep expertise in energy storage operations has been built into Nispera’s storage asset management capabilities,” said Fluence SVP & Chief Digital Officer Krishna Vanka. “We’re thrilled to bring this cutting-edge monitoring and analysis software to our Fluence energy storage customers and to owners and operators of diverse portfolios of energy storage and renewables globally.”

Nispera’s functionality for energy storage helps storage asset owners identify, prioritize, and act on asset performance issues to reduce downtime and maximize revenue. Already operational on energy storage assets across the world, the software automates asset- and component-level analyses of real-time and historical production, time-based availability, state of charge, state of health, energy exchanged, and more. Asset owners can drill deeper into performance trends over time and across assets using a drag-and-drop analysis builder of more than 20 key energy storage asset performance variables. Instead of manual and computationally intensive analysis, users can easily and quickly compare, for example, average state of charge over a week across multiple storage assets and identify a priority asset for performance intervention.

Nispera is currently operational on more than 8.5 GW of renewable and energy storage assets across 28 markets. Fluence is a leader in Software-as-a-Service products for managing renewable energy and storage assets, with Fluence IQ, an advanced digital platform which includes both Nispera and Fluence Mosaic™, intelligent bidding software for renewables and energy storage.

About Fluence

Fluence Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FLNC) is a global market leader in energy storage products and services, and cloud-based software for renewables and storage. With a presence in over 40 markets globally, Fluence provides an ecosystem of offerings to drive the clean energy transition, including modular, scalable energy storage products, comprehensive service offerings, and the Fluence IQ Platform, which delivers AI-enabled SaaS products for managing and optimizing renewables and storage from any provider. The Company is transforming the way we power our world by helping customers create more resilient and sustainable electric grids.

For more information, visit our website, or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter. To stay up to date on the latest industry insights, sign up for Fluence’s Full Potential Blog.

Forward-Looking Statements

The statements described herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the anticipated operational performance of Nispera, including its expansion into energy storage and ability to optimize energy storage assets , Nispera’s impact on the APM industry as a whole, and anticipated growth of clean energy generation and need for digital solutions like Nispera. Such statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. When used in this press release, words such as “may,” “possible,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “targets,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. and variations thereof and similar words and expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking.

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on our current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments, as well as a number of assumptions concerning future events, and their potential effects on our business. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance, and there can be no assurance that future developments affecting our business will be those that we have anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, which include, but are not limited to, the adoption, deployment, and use of Nispera by customers s, unforeseen circumstances outside of Fluence’s control which may cause interruptions, delays or unanticipated performance of Nispera, and other factors set forth under Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on December 14, 2022 and in other filings we make with the SEC from time to time. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to predict all such risk factors, nor can we assess the effect of all such risk factors on our business or the extent to which any factor or combination of factors may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of the assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements made in this press release. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur, or which we become aware of, after the date hereof, except as otherwise may be required by law.

Media Contact
Shayla Ebsen, Director of Communications
Email: media.na@fluenceenergy.com
Phone: +1 (605) 645-7486

Analyst Contact
Lexington May, Vice President of Investor Relations
Email: investorrelations@fluenceenergy.com
Phone: +1 (713) 909-5629

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8748197

BluWave-ai Secures $9.5M Series A Round Including a Strategic Investment From PowerON Energy Solutions

Investment to Expand EV Fleet and EV Everywhere Business Units

Featured Image for BluWave-ai

Featured Image for BluWave-ai

OTTAWA, Ontario, Feb. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BluWave-ai announces that it has completed a $9.5M Series A financing round on Dec. 15, 2022. PowerON Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation, has made a strategic investment and taken a minority stake along with existing and new private investors led by Capital Angels Network. BluWave-ai has also received a $1.73M grant through the Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)1 which was previously announced in November 2022.

PowerON is a leading provider of turnkey electric vehicle charging solutions for fleets. PowerON is servicing the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)’s Electric Vehicle fleet for the next 20 years. As a result of the PowerON investment, James Brewer (VP, New Growth & Business Development at OPG) has been added to the Board of Directors at BluWave-ai.

The resources from this round will be deployed to build on the company’s Grid Optimization solution with the EV Fleet Orchestrator product line for EV Fleet operators, and the EV Everywhere product line for utilities dealing with the onslaught of personal EVs and electricity grid congestion and upgrade challenges. BluWave-ai has already secured lead customers for its EV Fleet orchestrator product with Dubai Taxi, other fleet operators, and PowerON. The EV Everywhere solution’s lead customers are Hydro Ottawa and IESO.

“BluWave-ai started its journey in 2017 and was built from the ground up to apply supercomputing and AI to the decarbonization of electricity on the plant. Over the last 5 years, we have won many international awards, completed 16 USPTO filings and deployed our products on three continents with recurring revenues,” said Devashish Paul, CEO and founder of BluWave-ai. “We built our grid optimization platform to deal with solar, wind, grid connections, weather, real-time market pricing, grid carbon content and utility-scale battery storage, but now EVs represent the biggest type of variable storage on the grid side, while representing an asset to absorb fluctuating renewables while decarbonizing road miles. Our Series A round is to grow the EV side of our business as it hits prime time during this next growth phase of the company.”

“PowerON has been established by OPG to deliver behind-the-meter electrified solutions for fleet operators across North America,” said Keegan Tully, Managing Director at PowerON Energy Solutions. “We chose to partner with a Canada-based world leader like BluWave-ai that is poised to transform the industry with AI and real-time automation.”

“The addition of a large penetration of EVs in the Ontario grid is a challenge,” said Thomas Triplet, BluWave-ai Senior Director of Engineering. “The IESO has collaborated with BluWave-ai on its EV Everywhere program. As part of the IESO project, working with Hydro Ottawa, and using this Series A financing, we’ve already launched our BluWave-ai EV Flight Test Center.”

“We are pleased to see the steady growth and progress of Ottawa-based cleantech leader, BluWave-ai,” said Michael Tremblay, President & CEO, Invest Ottawa. “They are paving the way for regions around the world to increase their use of renewable energy sources. We are particularly excited about their work in optimizing EV fleet deployment and smart/micro-grid operations, including a pilot project that they have underway with Hydro Ottawa at Area X.O. One more reason why the world needs Ottawa.”

“The future of Canada’s transportation industry is green. That is why FedDev Ontario has invested over $1.7 million in BluWave-ai as it creates the tools needed by our businesses to adapt to a new energy-efficient future,” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “Investments like these will help our entrepreneurs contribute to Canada’s end-to-end electric vehicle supply chain to ensure a seamless transition to electric vehicles.”

The use of proceeds from this round is for commercial scale-out, new customer acquisition, growing staff to 60, and expansion in existing markets for grid optimization as well as the EV market. As a result of the financing, the company has in excess of 30 months of runway with cash on hand and contracts to date; this enables product growth to service key customers in the market.

All shares issued in the round and to date are common class A shares. BluWave-ai has commenced the fundraising process for its Series B round for interested Climate Investors or strategic corporate partners for scale-out to build the world’s premier renewable energy and electric transport AI company.

The BluWave-ai EV Fleet Orchestrator is partially funded by support from FedDev Ontario. For details, click here. To purchase BluWave-ai’s EV Fleet Orchestrator™ and EV Everywhere products, please contact info@bluwave-ai.com.

Notes:

1. The grant from Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario previously announced in November 2022 is a repayable interest-free loan.

About BluWave-ai

BluWave-ai is focused on driving the proliferation of renewable energy and electric transportation worldwide. Our solutions apply artificial intelligence (AI) cloud software to optimize the cost, carbon footprint, and reliability of different energy sources, both renewable and non-renewable, in real time. This lets our customers – utilities, fleet operators and electricity system operators – improve their energy-related decision-making in planning and in live systems to decrease costs and carbon footprint. Every day, our employees come to BluWave-ai with the mission to decarbonize the planet by using hardware assets more efficiently with AI software while we build the world’s premier renewable energy and transport electrification AI company based in Canada.

Click here to learn more about BluWave-ai EV Fleet Orchestrator™.

About PowerON Energy Solutions

PowerON Energy Solutions is the catalyst for organizations to electrify and create a better climate future. We provide turnkey planning, design, installation, operation and energy management for fleets to reduce cost and emissions. We understand that electrification is about more than just chargers and our technical expertise, experience and mastery of electrical systems allow us to deliver maximum ROI for our partners. PowerON is a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation, one of the largest power generators in North America with more than 100 years of history building and operating complex electrical infrastructure.

About FedDev Ontario

For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s website.

Contact Information:
Brandon Paul
Senior Corporate Marketing Manager
brandon.paul@bluwave-ai.com

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Developing the first ESG handbook for marine minerals

A broad international consortium has been established to develop the first handbook for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure in relation to marine minerals. The purpose of the guidance document is to enable evidence-based assessments of the ESG performance of marine mineral projects in the context of global standards

Polymetallic nodule

A seafloor polymetallic nodule

NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The IEA estimates a quadrupling of the amount of critical minerals required for the energy transition to meet the sustainable development scenario by 2040. The greater our climate ambition – the greater the demand for minerals will be. The renewable energy system is far more mineral intensive than the current system powered by fossil fuels. While recycling will play an important role, increased recycling rates will be insufficient to meet the increasing demand for minerals necessary for the energy transition for at least the next couple of decades.

Marine minerals are emerging as a potential source of minerals to help meet the growing demand. As with any extractive industries, consideration of ESG issues is key to ensuring transparent and responsible supply chains. While some ESG challenges and opportunities are shared across different sources of minerals, others are unique to marine minerals.

The ESG handbook will be a guidance document to addresses material topics related to marine mineral projects in the deep-sea environment using a standardized approach.

The need for creating a tailored ESG handbook for marine mineral mining is to specifically address the unique material topics of this new industry and provide guidance for companies to disclose ESG performance of their operations in a consistent manner. The handbook will build upon existing broad ESG reporting standards such as GRI and CDP, and industry specific standards such as IRMA (The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance) and Towards Sustainable Mining. The handbook seeks to become a useful disclosure guidance tool for companies, and to enable internal and external stakeholders to access this data in a format that is consistent across the ESG disclosure world. The handbook will not drive any legal framework and is not intended to be used as a compliance tool.

The development of this handbook is also intended to promote ESG thinking and improvements before any commercial activity begins.

The handbook will be based on a collective input from all the collaborating institutions. Furthermore, the project will invite other stakeholders to open hearings and meetings to enable a wider input to the work. The project is open to enter for other collaborating institutions and sponsors.

The project was initiated by GCE Ocean Technology (Norway) and Fórum Oceano (Portugal) in 2021, both being members of the BlueTech Cluster Alliance. DNV performed a scoping of the work from Q4-21 to Q2-22, that was funded by GCE Ocean Technology. The aim is to finalise the project by the end of 2023.

Collaborating institutions

The projects reference group consists of the following companies and organisation:

  • Adepth Minerals
  • Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea (ACOPS)
  • Aker BP
  • AU Commission and the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC)
  • DeepSea Mining Alliance (DSMA)
  • DNV
  • Equinor
  • Fearnley Securities
  • Fórum Oceano
  • GCE Ocean Technology
  • Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR, part of the DEME group)
  • Guangzhou Geological Survey (GMGS) / China Geological Survey (CGS)
  • INESC TEC
  • International Marine Minerals Society (IMMS)
  • Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC)
  • Loke Marine Minerals
  • MiningImpact project
  • Norwegian Forum for Marine Minerals (NMM)
  • NOV
  • Natural History Museum, UK
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration
  • Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique
  • The Metals Company (TMC)
  • The Nickel Institute
  • The Pacific Community (SPC)
  • UK Seabed Resources
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (Observer status)
  • International Seabed Authority (ISA) (Observer status)

The main project is sponsored by: The Metals Company, UK Seabed Resources, Aker BP, Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR), Norwegian forum for Marine Minerals (NMM) and Equinor.

GCE Ocean Technology is the project owner, while the handbook will be prepared by DNV.

GCE Ocean Technology is a Norwegian cluster supported and co-funded by Innovation Norway, The Research Council of Norway and Siva. The cluster comprises 140 partners and members from industry, universities, R&D institutions and public entities. Its objective is to strengthen innovation to accelerate the energy transition.

DNV is an independent assurance and risk management company, with about 12 000 employees in more than 100 different countries. The purpose is to safeguard life, property and the environment. DNV empowers their customers and stakeholders with facts and reliable insights so that critical decisions can be made with confidence.

For more information, please contact:

Jon Hellevang
Mobile +47 988 488 28
E-mail: jon.hellevang@gceocean.no

Tor Jensen
Mobile: + 47 415 42 421
E-mail: tor.jensen@dnv.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/be0443e2-8f9f-48de-87b4-f653ece0eda5

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8748821

BioMed X Launches New T Cell Immunology Discovery Platform

A new technology developed by BioMed X in collaboration with Janssen functionally identifies and validates T cell target antigens, making it a powerful tool for immunology discovery.

Featured Image for BioMed X Institute

Featured Image for BioMed X Institute

HEIDELBERG, Germany, Feb. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BioMed X announced today the launch of its new immunology discovery platform that will allow for the accurate and fast identification of target antigens of human T cell receptors (TCRs). The research team led by John Lindner, who has developed the new technology, is based at the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. The platform is expected to be deployed via a collaborative model with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide for preclinical research, vaccine development, and the development of new therapeutic concepts for treating autoimmune diseases and cancer.

The underlying technology emerged from a collaboration between BioMed X and Janssen Research & Development, LLC (Janssen). An international team of outstanding early-career researchers was recruited through the unique BioMed X crowdsourcing model. During a five-year research project at the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, the team developed a new platform technology for “Rapid Identification of Auto-Antigens in Autoimmune Diseases.” The project resulted in a patent application and several manuscripts soon to be published.

“In contrast to many of our competitors in the T cell space, our new platform is based on physiological molecular interactions between T cells and antigen-presenting cells. At the same time, we believe it will have wide applicability as a highly accurate, robust, and cost-efficient drug discovery and development tool,” explains Christian Tidona, Founder and Managing Director of the BioMed X Institute. “With this new technology, I believe that we can make a major contribution to developing new therapeutic concepts for the treatment of life-threatening diseases such as cancer and autoimmune diseases,” adds Tidona.

The BioMed X Institute has now established a new independent immunology discovery unit offering services and partnering opportunities in the fields of TCR discovery and characterization, identification and mapping of TCR target epitopes, evaluation and safety profiling of TCR and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies, as well as discovery and validation of engineered TCR therapeutic assets. Interested parties are invited to directly contact BioMed X to discuss a potential partnership.

About BioMed X

BioMed X is an independent research institute located on the campus of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, with a worldwide network of partner locations. Together with our partners, we identify big biomedical research challenges and provide creative solutions by combining global crowdsourcing with local incubation of the world’s brightest early-career research talents. Each of the highly diverse research teams at BioMed X has access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and is continuously guided by experienced mentors from academia and industry. At BioMed X, we combine the best of two worlds – academia and industry – and enable breakthrough innovation by making biomedical research more efficient, more agile, and more fun.

Contact Information:
Flavia-Bianca Cristian
Recruiting & Communications Manager BioMed X
fbc@bio.mx
00491727540707

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T-cell receptors (red) bind specifically to peptide-HLA complexes (blue/gray) on the surface of antigen-presenting cells, resulting in T-cell activation.

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Thailand Woos Foreign Film Production To Promote Growth, Cultural Soft Power

BANGKOK, Thailand is promoting its film industry as a shooting location for foreign films, in an effort to boost the economy and improve the kingdom’s image, through cultural soft power, a government spokesman said, yesterday.

Thailand’s popularity as a filming destination has grown over the years, due to its diverse locations and skilled production crews, which will help the country become known for its beauty, said Anucha Burapachaisri, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister and government spokesman.

Encouragement of foreign film productions was another cost-effective measure, as it would generate income for businesses near film locations throughout the country, Anucha said.

Last year, 348 movies were filmed in Thailand, generating a record 6.4 billion baht (about 188 million U.S. dollars) in revenue, according to data from the Thailand Film Office (TFO).

That was compared with a revenue from foreign film production of 4.66 billion baht (about 137 million dollars) in 2021, and 1.75 billion baht (about 51 million dollars) in 2020, the TFO website showed.

Last week, the Thai government approved a plan, revising tax incentives and criteria to woo foreign film production, in order to compete with other countries that offer more appealing incentives.

After the adjustment, the cash rebate scheme was increased to 20 percent for every 100 million baht (about three million dollars) spent, on the film shoot, with an additional 10 percent cash rebate, offered to productions that hire Thai staff to promote Thai culture, and shoot in second-tier tourism provinces. The cash rebate cap was raised to 150 million baht (about 4.4 million dollars)

Source: NAM News Network

Statement: Rising to the challenges of 2023 for women and girls

My thanks and congratulations to H.E. Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ukraine for assuming the Presidency for 2023. I would like also to acknowledge again Ambassador Abdul Muhith of Bangladesh who so ably led our work last year. Thank you, Mr Ambassador. I also welcome our new Vice Presidents: H.E. Ms. Leonor Zalabata Torres, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Colombia; H.E. Mr. Maurizio Massari, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Italy; H.E. Mr. Suriya Chindawongse, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand; as well as Ms. Nelly Banaken Elel, First Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cameroon. We look forward to your tenure.

Let us pause for a moment of collective condolences for the tens of thousands of lives lost and the many more injured in the earthquakes in southern Türkiye and northern Syria. UN Women is contributing to the response with and through the UN System, including through dedicated gender expertise.

Everywhere, crises continue to exact their highest toll on women and girls. In fact, 2023 looks set to be one of the most challenging since UN Women’s establishment. COVID and its longer-term impacts are not behind us. The food and energy crisis fueled by the war in Ukraine continues to impact those furthest left behind the most and threaten global security and sustainable development. Climate change, and in particular climate-driven disasters, still demand a gender lens in adapting and mitigating impacts.

Nowhere is the impact of crises on women more acute than in Afghanistan. As you know, just last month, the Deputy Secretary-General and I were on a joint mission to Afghanistan. We went to show our solidarity with Afghan women and girls whom we met in Kabul and Herat, and to see for ourselves what it means to be a woman and a girl in a situation where every right we understand to be inherent to gender equality is questioned. We also met with Afghan women, before we travelled, in Ankara and in Islamabad. We heard their voices, and we brought their asks to the de facto authorities.

At a time when their voices are increasingly being silenced, we will continue to raise them in every platform we can—and to use our convening privilege to safeguard space for Afghan women’s voices to be heard. We have demonstrated this commitment-in-action through the establishment of the Afghan Women’s Advisory Group, paving the way for Afghan women across the country to shape the UN’s humanitarian response plans.

We also sought, as is our responsibility, to build the commitment and alignment of regional players, neighbouring countries, and stakeholders to reversing the various edicts and bans that have done so much harm to the women and girls of Afghanistan since August 2021. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States play a crucial role in leading this alignment, and I am made hopeful by their own recent statements in support of Afghan women, and our joint work ahead, including an upcoming conference on women‘s rights in OIC Member States. In this way we presented a unified voice to the de facto authorities in Kabul and Kandahar in a powerful call for change.

I was also able to spend time with UN Women’s inspiring team in Kabul and in Herat. They are the ones that have made a reality of our promise to stay in Afghanistan and deliver. We should all be as proud of them as we are appreciative.

We are not naïve. I left our many meetings in Kabul, Kandahar and Herat under no illusions. As UN Women’s recent Afghanistan Gender Alert, ‘Out of jobs, into poverty’, showed us, recent actions such as the ban on women working in aspects of humanitarian assistance have been crushing. They threaten millions of lives as well as livelihoods.

I fear for the people I met as winter progresses. That is why we continue to work, as my colleague the Emergency Relief Coordinator Mr. Martin Griffiths has done and our friends in UNAMA do every day—to engage, to pressure, to persuade and to pursue progress, however gradual, because there is no alternative. Equally, we continue to pay salaries to our female partners. We will not replace women with men—we cannot do that.

I remain committed to ensuring that everything we do, in every aspect of our mandate, has a close and explicit link to results for women and girls on the ground, what we call internally a “pivot to the field”.

UN Women must be ready to make its contribution in the normative, coordination and operational spheres in every context and must step up its capacity and commitment to do so. This is why we have invested increasing resources and attention in Ukraine, from strengthening our office through surge capacity that has supported the efforts of the broader system, including through evidence and data to inform the humanitarian response. We are bringing our proven LEAP programme model, with its emphasis on practical measures for women’s empowerment and resilience, to yet another situation where it is very much needed. My visit to Moldova last year contributed to sharpen our efforts to support Ukrainian refugees, and those displaced internally.

Our contribution matters no less in our cooperation across very different contexts, such as in Tanzania. During my recent mission there, I saw first-hand the results of our joint programme with IFAD, FAO and the WFP that supports rural women and girls to drive positive change for their communities through climate-smart agriculture, enabling women to secure income for their families and break cycles of intergenerational poverty. This work reflects a core principle of our Strategic Plan, to deliver greater results at scale through the influence of others.

I am proud to say that we have increasingly stepped up our delivery of results through Joint Programmes across the UN System, with 31 per cent of our 2021 expenditure being achieved via Joint Programmes, up from 13 per cent in 2018.

In Tanzania I saw young women leading on critical challenges such as HIV and AIDS, reminding us again of their crucial role as the face of the future—and the present—across the continent and beyond.

I was equally inspired to see how the Government has leveraged Generation Equality at the national level. I look forward to working with the Government of Tanzania under the leadership of President Samia Suluhu Hassan to co-host a Midpoint Moment for Generation Equality that highlights accountability for results, generates new additional commitments particularly in areas that have seen less attention, and re-energizes us across the world in our efforts.

The struggle for gender equality is a reality for women everywhere. SDG 5 is off track. That means the 2030 Agenda is off track since the SDGs cannot be achieved without gender equality.

You will have seen our estimate that equality on the current trajectory is 300 years away. Our collective work here in this Board is a rejection of that, a refusal to accept the betrayal of generation after generation of girls who are asked to accept that they have been born into an unequal world because of our failures.

Last November, the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign highlighted yet another example. It focused global attention on the price paid by women human rights activists for standing up against violations of human rights. Members of this Executive Board who recently visited Ecuador heard directly of the scourge of femicide, as documented in our global report on the subject.

At this session we will look in depth at UN Women’s operational response in Asia and the Pacific, paying particular attention to other issues, such as the profound gender-related implications of the climate crisis as well as non-traditional security risks such as cyber security and violent extremism. The challenges we face are both old and new. They evolve and we must evolve with them too.

We look forward to the Commission on the Status of Women at its 67th session (CSW67) next month and its priority theme “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”. Digitalization is among the major shifts that are rapidly transforming society, allowing for unprecedented advances to improve social, economic and political outcomes for women and girls.

However, it is also giving rise to profound new challenges that may perpetuate and deepen existing patterns of gender inequalities. CSW67 is an opportunity to collectively chart a path to ensuring that women and girls enjoy the fullest share of the dividends of our digital present and future. As always, UN Women will be there to support Member States in the pursuit of the most powerful and progressive agreed conclusions as a normative framework that can influence the UN Global Digital Compact and will transform the lives of women and girls on the ground.

I have said before that UN Women recognizes its obligation to achieve the greatest possible impact with the resources you entrust to us. Our mandate demands the most effective governance, operational readiness, financial and human resources management and more.

You are aware of the priority I place on this, and the way in which I believe transparency to be at the heart of accountability, and accountability to be at the heart of performance. I continue to take steps to focus our resources, both human and financial, where they are most needed.

The UN Secretary-General, in his statement on the priorities of the organization for 2023 stressed that gender equality is central. He reiterated that he has commissioned an independent review of the UN system’s capacity to deliver on gender equality across all pillars of the organization. UN Women has contributed to this review through interviews and has welcomed the efforts made by the independent review team. The Review Report is now with the Secretary-General. We look forward to a strengthened UN that recognizes the uniqueness of UN Women‘s triple mandate and that continues to place women and girls at its very heart.

The agenda for this session includes attention to audit matters. I am pleased that we have received our eleventh consecutive “clean” audit opinion from the Board of Auditors on the financial statements. We are a young entity with limited resources, which has grown extremely quickly. Such financial clean bills of health should not be taken for granted. We certainly do not do so.

We have also provided updates on the implementation of the three specific decisions mandated for reporting at this session.

These are first, a report on the indicators and metric framework that will provide UN Women with information on progress achieved on addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Sexual Harassment. This is in addition to the required annual certification on these matters and analytical update on work to address the underlying causes.

Second, an update on our upgraded ethics compliance structure and the Ethics Office established upon the request of this Executive Board. This brings us into line with our sister entities. There will now be annual reporting to the Board under a recurring standalone item for decision at the annual sessions, starting at the Annual Session.

In addition, as you know, we are working closely with the Bureau of the Executive Board, and the entire Executive Board membership, as well as horizontally with the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS and UNICEF, on setting up an independent assessment in 2023 of UN Women’s Executive Board governance and oversight function. We look forward to hearing from the Executive Board on how Member States wish to proceed. I know that this is being followed up by the Presidents of the Executive Boards and all the Bureaus to ensure the effectiveness of oversight and governance functions. We are fully committed to this exercise.

In addition, the Deputy Secretary-General in her capacity as Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group has written to the Presidents of the governing bodies of the Sustainable Development Group members, introducing a new proposed “checklist” accountability tool to assess the implementation of the repositioning of the United Nations development system. I look forward to engaging with you, Mr. President, and the entire Bureau, to discuss how UN Women’s report to the Board aligns with that checklist.

These are all opportunities to strengthen our organization further. This will be a theme for 2023 as we advance the priorities I have shared with you before: increased transparency, strengthened coordination and an increased focus on our programme countries.

The challenges of 2022 asked more of us, but together we rose to them. I know we will do the same this year. We start 2023 as a stronger organization than ever before. I believe we will end it stronger too thanks to our shared energy, renewed resilience, continued efforts and the wisdom of our Board.

I thank you.

Source: UN Women

Cabinet approves tourist fee of 150-300 baht for all foreign tourists

The Thai cabinet has approved the collection of a landing tax, ranging from 150-300 baht, to be collected from all foreign tourists visiting Thailand, tentatively from June 1st, as proposed by the National Tourism Policy Committee.

The landing tax for foreign tourists arriving by land and sea will be 150 baht per head and 300 baht for arrivals by air. The tax is, however, not applied to those who hold diplomatic passports, work permits or special work permits for specific professions as stipulated by the Labour Ministry, children under two-years-old and transit passengers.

The cabinet also instructed the Immigration Bureau to streamline its regulations and conditions regarding immigration documents and relevant immigration laws, under which receipts for tourism fee payments can be used by the tourists when applying for re-entry permits.

Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn explained that the landing tax will be used for domestic tourism development and for insurance coverage for tourists while they are in Thailand.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

Politicians urged to commit to fighting graft

Thailand’s leading graft-fighters have appealed to politicians and political parties contesting the next general election to demonstrate a clear commitment to dealing with corruption, which they said has become more visible and widespread.

They also urged members of the public to be more mindful of what they described as a scourge “that is eating away at society”.

“Politicians have the primary responsibility in taking the lead in the fight against corruption,” said Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, secretary general of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

He said the problems could be more effectively tackled if politicians did not turn a blind eye to them or become part of them.

Niwatchai was speaking on Monday at a forum held to mark the 12th anniversary of the founding of Isranews Agency, a news organisation known for its investigative reporting that exposes corruption and abuses of power by state agencies and officials.

Auditor General Prajak Boonyang told the same panel that members of the public and government officials should take a more active role as whistle-blowers in exposing suspected wrongdoing. “Ordinary citizens shouldn’t think that corruption is not their problem. Corruption affects everybody in the society,” he said.

Prajak said people now have easier access to data because of digitalization. “Even if they are junior officials, if they come across irregularities in their organisation, don’t hesitate to become whistle-blowers,” he said.

He cited the recent arrest of the head of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, who was caught red-handed receiving bribes in his office. He said the arrest was made a result of a tip-off by officials in the department.

Vichien Phongsathorn, chairman of the Anti-corruption Organisation of Thailand, said fighting corruption needs a concerted effort by all sectors of society. Those in the private sector, he said, play a crucial role in reducing corruption, by not only caring about personal gain.

He also called on political parties to make fighting corruption a significant part of their election manifestos.

“We want to see them demonstrate their commitment to fighting this menace,” he said.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service