A boat powered by renewable energy, motion sickness pills and a computer virus feature in our latest round up of the procurement sector.
The amount which Alexander Lebedev, chairman of Russia’s National Reserve Bank, estimates is fraudulently transferred from the third world to the first world. In a letter to the FT, Lebedev suggests that only a fraction of the money corruptly invested in London property is channeled via offshore companies or secretive trusts, “in full view, of the authorities and the legions of estate agents, bankers, lawyers and accountants who are only too happy to exist them.”
The emissions from Energy Observer, a boat powered by solar panels, wind turbines, and a hydrogen fuel cell system, which set sail this spring from St Malo in Brittany on a six-year-trip around the world. Designed to showcase the potential of renewable technology, the boat will, skipper Victorien Erussard says, be able to “produce hydrogen in a decarbonized manner through electrolysis of the sea water.”
The time it typically takes to get a novel food or drink approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The same process takes only 12-18 months elsewhere, according to Dominique Speeler, president of the Federation of European Specialty Food Ingredients, who warns that delays and lack of transparency “may lead some companies to conclude they don’t have a business case to develop in Europe and go somewhere else.”
The number of Saudi government agencies and private institutions reported to be affected by the Shamoon computer virus. Among the victims is at least one major petrochemical company. Shamoon has struck before, destroying the systems of the state-run oil company Aramco in 2012. The outbreak may be linked to a group called Greenbug, which has attacked targets across the Middle East using emails with malicious attachments.
The minimum increase in healthcare costs that is driven by technology, according to Austin Frakt a New York Times report. The usual culprit for soaring costs is said to be demographics but studies show that technology, while improving on previous solutions, invariably costs more. The ageing population, Frakt notes, may have less impact on cost than we assume: “a majority of Americans over age 85 have no limitations to their daily activities because of health, which suggests that age is a poor marker of health and its associated costs.”
The number of plastic bottles the average British household uses a year, of which only 270 are recycled. In a bid to reduce the amount of plastic waste, the British government is studying trials in Scotland in which consumers pay 10p or 20p extra when buying a bottle which would be refunded when they return the bottle.
One in three
The proportion of internet users who told an Ericsson survey they would want motion sickness pills to use virtual reality and augmented reality. One in five of us get travel sick in cars and buses and early adopters of VR and AR have reported needing to find their 'VR legs' just as sailors have to find their sea legs.