body heat energy
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Body heat: The latest source of renewable energy?

Body heat: The latest source of renewable energy?

 

The COP27 in Egypt is well underway bringing with it an important reminder of the growing necessity to reduce CO2 emissions to help tackle climate change. Renewable Energy isn’t a new topic; however, the energy crisis seems to have pushed people and businesses to think of more innovative ways to foster clean energy, move away from fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions. One music venue in Glasgow, SWG3, has recently switched on a system that creates renewable energy from the body heat of people on its dancefloor. Using body heat as an energy source isn’t a new concept but this is the first time it has been implemented to power a building using solely clean energy. More…

crab shell
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Renewable battery from crustacean shells

Renewable battery from crustacean shells

 

As the world transitions towards deploying green energy solutions and electric vehicles, batteries are becoming a vital storage tool, necessary to facilitate the energy transition. However, the chemicals used in conventional batteries such as lithium-ion can take hundreds or thousands of years to break down and are often corrosive and flammable. Consumer gadget batteries have been known to catch fire on aircrafts or caused fires in waste and recycling sites. Moving away from fossil fuels isn’t enough, the batteries used for green technology also need to be eco-friendly. To solve this problem, a team of researchers from the University of Maryland’s Center for Materials Innovation, led by Liangbing Hu, have developed a renewable zinc battery that uses an electrolyte extracted from crustacean shells. More…

biometric technology
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Biometric technology: A passwordless future?

Biometric technology: A passwordless future?

Biometric technology has come a long way in recent years. We are using facial and fingerprint recognition more and more in our everyday lives and although technically they can be duped, they are still more secure than traditional security measure like passwords. Biometrics allow accounts to be intrinsically linked to an individual, rather than co-opted by hackers who can guess passwords, making them a promising technology for a world that is increasingly online. With this in mind, could passwords be a thing of the past? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of biometric technology? More…

air pollution
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Innovations helping to tackle air pollution

Innovations helping to tackle air pollution

 

In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly designated the 7th of September as the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies. The aim is to stress the importance of and urgent need to raise public awareness and to promote and facilitate actions to improve air quality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 99% of the world’s population is now breathing polluted air, 7 million people die each year due to air pollution and it is one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally. To tackle this, innovators have been developing technologies to help improve the air we breathe. More…

AI art
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AI art and IP protection

AI art and IP protection 

A global debate around AI and IP ownership has been on-going since the late 2010s. The main issues surround the question of whether AI can legally own IP if AI is not considered to be a legal person. There has been a divide in opinion between national courts, mainly regarding patent ownership, with some ruling in favour of AI and others strongly opposing. Let’s take a closer look at the current landscape of AI ownership of IP and how this is applied more specifically to AI art.  More…

plant-based food
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Top plant-based food innovations

Top plant-based food innovations

 

With the rise of veganism and evidence that meat and animal products significantly contribute to CO2 emissions, consumers are demanding more and more plant-based products. Plant-based food innovations have exploded in recent years, diversifying the range of products already available, improving their quality and providing consumers with more choice. In this infographic we explore some of the top plant-based innovations already available to consumers and those that are still under development. You can view the relevant patents mentioned in PatBase by clicking here. More…

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How can AI help improve accessibility to healthcare?

How can AI help improve accessibility to healthcare?

Innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in healthcare has grown exponentially in recent years. Around 80% of doctors believe that AI in healthcare is useful and it is already being used in exam rooms by triaging hospital and emergency department traffic, analysing patient risk scores and identifying potential new therapies by simulating chemistry with computers. Even though there have been tremendous advancements in healthcare and AI, challenges around accessibility and affordability remain. With this in mind, how can AI help improve accessibility to healthcare? More…

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Can patents help save the environment?

Can patents help save the environment?

 

Ever since 1421 when the very first patent was recorded in Florence, patents and their protected inventions have helped shape the modern world we live in today. Patents protect inventions, granting their owners exclusive rights over them for a period of time and allowing them to reap financial rewards. They have supported technological and economical advancements, as well as helping to solve problems through innovation. More…

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Green hydrogen: the future of energy?

Green hydrogen: the future of energy?

 

Modern society relies heavily on electricity and requires an increasing number of watts to function. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted in their 2019 report that global energy demand will increase between 25% and 30% by 2040. Considering how reliant we are on oil and coal, this would increase CO2 emissions thus exacerbating climate change. With this in mind, innovators are turning their attention to more sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions such as green hydrogen. The new German Ambassador to the UK, Miguel Berger, who was previously the State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, stated at the Hydrogen for Life 2022 conference that it is crucial we speed up the efficiency of renewable energy, including hydrogen in order to move away from fossil fuels. He also spoke about the potential for Germany and the UK to work together in this area to develop and implement new, innovative solutions more quickly. Let’s take a closer look at what green hydrogen is and the different areas of innovation. More…

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European Inventor Award 2022 winners: Recognising their contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

European Inventor Award 2022 winners: Recognising their contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 

 

The way we live is constantly changed and influenced by inventors and their new inventions. These developments shape the course of history and the future of society. With this in mind, the annual European Inventor Award launched in 2006 by the European Patent office (EPO) aims to celebrate the best and most innovative technological breakthroughs. This year’s winners come from a range of industries, from waste management to medical technology and energy storage. Let’s take a closer look at the award-winning innovations chosen for their contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

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