Industry Insights

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Europe launches initiative to fund bio-based industries

22 July, 2014

The EU and Bio-Based Industries Consortium recently announced a €3.7-billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in a far-ranging effort to grow bio-based industries, an emerging sector of Europe’s bio-economy. More than 70 European companies in the biotech, chemical, energy, agro-food and pulp and paper sectors are part of the initiative, which will initially focus mainly on bio-based products and fuels sourced locally and “Made in Europe”.


Apple and IBM joining forces on business software

20 July, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Virginia M. Rometty, IBM’s Chief Executive Officer, have announced a new partnership to focus on expanding the use of advanced mobile and data analysis technology in the workplace. The deal could strengthen Apple’s sales in the corporate sector, both in the US and internationally, while IBM, buoyed by the popularity of Apple’s mobile devices, will be poised to bolster its position in business software.


Can holacracy work? Zappos CEO thinks so.

17 July, 2014

Online retailer Zappos, owned by Amazon, has committed itself to restructuring around “holacracy”, a democratic form of management in which the traditional hierarchy is replaced by overlapping, self-organising teams, called “circles”. CEO Tony Hsieh is leading the initiative and will trade in his title to become the “ratifier of the holacracy constitution” and “lead link” in the overarching “company-wide circle”. Like any management theory, holacracy has detractors as well as devotees.


The plan to lift India from decade-low GDP growth

15 July, 2014

Acknowledging that the global downturn has created a difficult environment for economic growth, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government presented a new budget, promising to lift economic growth by 7% to 8% within three years. Increasing investment, improving infrastructure and jump-starting India’s manufacturing sector are among the primary goals, along with limiting the budget deficit to 4.1% of gross domestic product.


Google channelling start-up funds into Europe

13 July, 2014

Google Ventures, the investment arm of Google, is establishing a London branch to fund start-ups in Europe. The firm provides seed, venture, and growth stage funding to technology companies, and has previously focused on Silicon Valley firms. The new fund, launching with $100 million, signals the growing importance of Europe’s tech sector on the global stage. “We believe Europe’s start-up scene has enormous potential”, said Google Ventures head Bill Maris.


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Per Z Haeggström
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