Wing plans to launch a pilot scheme in Helsinki in spring 2019, delivering online shopping ©X Development LLC
Wing plans to launch a pilot scheme in Helsinki in spring 2019, delivering online shopping ©X Development LLC

From vegan meat to drone delivery: a world of innovation

Where supply chains make a difference

3D printed vegan meat substitutes developed by Israeli start-up Jet Eat could be on the market next year, helping to cut meat consumption and food waste. The technology uses multi-layered printing of plant-based formulations.

Geothermal energy is being harnessed in Hveravellir as a renewable resource that’s  not affected by unpredictable weather conditions. Farmers are using hot springs to provide power to their greenhouses, allowing them to produce 500 tonnes of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers each year. 

Helsinki residents could soon avail themselves of drone delivery for online shopping. The city will be the first in Europe to test Wing’s service. Owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent, the aircraft have been trialled in Australia, making 55,000 journeys, delivering products such as coffee and medicine. 

Return rates for online orders range from 25% to 40% so ordering custom-fit clothing may provide the solution for customers and retailers. Fashion retailer Start Today has launched the Zozosuit, a skin-tight suit embedded with markers that provide body measurements so shoppers can order the perfect fit. 

There’s an ambitious plan in Chengdu to launch an artificial moon to replace streetlights. According to the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co, the moon could be launched in 2020.  

South Africa
One day homes could be built with bio-bricks grown from human urine. That’s the thinking of scientists at the University of Cape Town, who have created these eco-friendly bricks, using a method that is similar to the way seashells are formed.

E-nose technology can already identify chemical compounds through sensors. Now engineers at Brown University have created a device that sniffs. The Trufflebot sucks up odours and can measure changes in temperature and pressure – to better identify a smell.

The digestive system of a microscopic marine worm may hold the key to sustainably converting wood into biofuel. Scientists at the University of York have discovered that tiny creatures called gribbles are able to break down the lignin bonds in wood, leaving sugar polymers that can be fermented into liquid biomass.

Crunching the numbers

Gender parity table

The percentage of consumers across the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy who believe fashion firms should be required by law to respect the human rights of those making their clothes.

The amount of investment forecast to be made on industrial infrastructure in the UK over the next decade, according to the government’s National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline.  

The number of women who are at risk of losing their jobs due to automation such as AI and machine learning. 9% of men are also at risk, says new research on the future of work from the International Monetary Fund. 

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