Yuval Noah Harari:What explains the rise of humans?
Seventy thousand years ago, our human ancestors were insignificant animals, just minding their own business in a corner of Africa with all the other animals. But now, few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we've spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself). How did we get from there to here? Historian Yuval Noah Harari suggests a surprising reason for the rise of humanity. In his book "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind," Yuval Noah Harari asks: "What made homo sapiens the most successful species on the planet?"
Study In the Works
Statistics Canada to examine the health of Kitchener\Waterloo residents
Some residents in the Kitchener\Waterloo area will soon take part in an important survey
Ottawa Approximately 560 people will be randomly selected to participate in the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), a national survey conducted by Statistics Canada. In Kitchener\Waterloo, the survey will begin on August 4, 2015.
OpenText Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Results
Announces up to $200 Million Share Buyback and Update on IRS Tax Matters
WATERLOO - Open Text Corporation announced on July 29, 2015 its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. OpenText is helping the world's leading brands digitize their business, both on- and off-premise, and our strategy is showing bright-line success supported by our strong fourth quarter performance. We ended fiscal year 2015 with total revenues of $1.9 billion, up 14% year-over-year, non-GAAP operating margin of 31% and operating cash flows of $523 million," said OpenText CEO Mark J. Barrenechea. "With a more directly aligned sales leadership team in place, our sales organization performed extremely well in Q4, closing 26 deals over $1 million (11 cloud and 15 license)."
Laurier researcher receives federal funding for innovative development of nanoscale composite materials
WATERLOO Laurier researcher Vladimir Kitaev is contributing to the synthesis and exploration of a new generation of materials that enable sensors to be smaller, smarter and more sensitive. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has awarded Kitaev $87,500 as part of the John R. Evans Leaders Fund for his project to further explore and construct advanced materials, based on nanoscale building blocks. Kitaev will also study functional properties of these materials. “This support will allow my team to explore advanced applications in optical sensors and further expand my work in the areas of catalysis, optics and environmental remediation,” said Kitaev, a professor in Laurier’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
MapleSim used to speed up development of high-fidelity robotic manipulator models
Waterloo - All across the world, industrial robots perform tasks that range from palletizing boxes in a warehouse, to transporting hoppers of ingredients across a food preparation factory, to precision welding on a vehicle assembly line. The successful completion of these tasks relies on the accurate control of the robotic manipulators to provide the required dexterity. With over 250,000 robots installed worldwide, engineers at ABB’s Robotics business unit understand the challenges of designing and controlling robotic manipulators. Their design process includes rigorous testing with the aid of simulation models which they had been deriving using non user-friendly tools. The tedious nature of this process left them searching for a better solution.
Chart of the Week
The market is getting bad breadth.
Market “breadth” refers to the number of stocks participating in a bull or bear market. Professional investors use it to measure a market’s health. You can see in the chart above the number of stocks hitting new highs has been dropping while the number hitting new lows is rising. On Tuesday, 27 stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) hit one-year highs. But 164 stocks hit one-year lows. In a healthy market, more stocks set new highs than new lows.
OpenText and SAP to Accelerate B2B Managed Services In the Cloud
WATERLOO/ SUNNYVALE - OpenText and SAP SE announced July 29, 2015 they will team up with OpenText to provide B2B managed services capabilities to multi-national businesses. "OpenText is pleased to expand its partnership with SAP to help companies simplify the increasing complexities of trading partners and B2B management," said Mark J. Barrenechea, president and CEO of OpenText. "We can address the timely and complex integrations that many customers have with their trading partners around the world. SAP, together with Ariba, an SAP company, and OpenText will provide customers a solution that enables them to improve time to revenue, reduce costs and helps to advance the digital transformation that today's leaders are undertaking."
City adopts new organizational structure to maximize resources and efficiency
Cambridge - With the intent to maximize existing resources and increase efficiencies, the City of Cambridge has completed an organizational review of its management structure. The new organizational structure, as endorsed by City council, and presented to staff on July 26, 2015, reduces the number of city departments to four service delivery-focused departments: office of the chief financial officer, corporate services, development and infrastructure, and community services reporting to the office of the city manager.
Developing specialized magnetic resonance imaging systems receives CFI funding
London - Most hospitals house a centrally located, multi-use, full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner used to diagnose various ailments from knee injuries, to cancer, to traumatic brain injury. While effective, they’re neither mobile, nor specialized. Enter researchers like Western University’s Blaine Chronik, who is working with industry partners to develop customized MRI systems optimized for specific applications like stroke. The team’s initial focus is on developing a portable, head-only scanner customized for clinical neuroimaging.
University of Waterloo community ice arena receives infrastructure funding
Waterloo - The University of Waterloo community ice arena, Columbia Icefield, is set for modernization thanks to a cash injection of almost $600,000 from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. Peter Braid, MP for Kitchener and Waterloo, announced new funding to improve the ice rink’s systems and spectator facilities at an event at the arena on July 29, 2015. The University is also providing funds for the $1.7 million enhancement to the arena’s infrastructure.
Encapsulation Clinical Trial Site Expands Into Canada
JDRF-Funded Researcher, Dr. James Shapiro Will Be the Lead Investigator at the Canadian Site
TORONTO - ViaCyte, Inc. announced the opening of a second site in its Phase 1/2 trial called STEP ONE, or Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of VC-01T Combination Product in Type One Diabetes (T1D), at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta funded in part by the JDRF Canadian Clinical Trial Network (CCTN). The VC-01T product candidate, developed by ViaCyte, utilizes PEC-01T pancreatic progenitor cells and the proprietary Encaptra® drug delivery system which is designed to protect the transplanted cells from a patient's immune system.
Waterloo research examines effects of drugs and climate change on generations of fish
Waterloo - Fish and other aquatic species have the ability to pass down from one generation to the next the effects of environmental contaminants, and a study about their exposure to anti-depressant drugs found in our waterways is among the projects receiving funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), announced July 29, 2015.
Cooperative Capital Markets Regulator Chair Named
Queens Park - The Council of Ministers announced important developments toward the implementation of the Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System at its inaugural meeting today in Victoria, B.C. William A. Black was named as the first chair of the expert board of directors of the Capital Markets Regulatory Authority (the Authority). Black was selected as the chair by the Council of Ministers, on the recommendation of an independent nominating committee.
EPA Report to Congress: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is Accelerating Great Lakes Cleanup and Protection
Chicago - During its first five years, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative implemented more than 2500 projects to improve water quality, clean up contaminated shoreline, protect and restore native habitat and species and prevent and control invasive species in the Great Lakes. That work, which began in 2010, is summarized in a new Report to Congress and the President.
Market optimism fuels surge in venture capital activity for first half of 2015, amount of private equity invested drops sharply
Life sciences drives growth in VC, overall IPO and M&A activity expected to remain unchanged for remainder of year
TORONTO - Canada's private capital community believes current economic conditions are favourable for investment, and yet venture capital and private equity activity are trending in different directions. According to the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA)'s 2015 half year (H1) market activity reports released July 29, 2015, venture capital was up significantly in terms of both deal activity and disbursement levels. 2015 H1 saw 244 venture capital completed deals, capturing $939 million up 21 per cent and 23 per cent respectively over the same period last year.
Stocco named new GRCA communications manager
Cambridge - Lisa Stocco, an experienced communications professional with more than 15 years in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, becomes the Manager of Communications for the Grand River Conservation Authority on Aug. 4. She joins the GRCA from the Halton Catholic District School Board where she has worked since 2003. She served in several posts, most recently as Manager of Strategic Communications. Prior to joining the school board, she was the Assistant Manager of Public and Media Relations at the former Intesa Bank Canada.
CPA Canada publication outlines changing corporate reporting landscape
TORONTO - A new publication from Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) discusses the evolving corporate reporting landscape, especially as it relates to addressing sustainability issues.
U15 celebrates the first round of Canada First Research Excellence Fund awards
Waterloo - The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities warmly welcomed the federal government’s announcement of the first round of Canada First Research Excellence Fund awards. Several institutions will receive support from this pioneering fund to pursue exceptional, world-class research excellence.
CFI Support Helps Carleton Researcher Examine Social Movements and Digital Media
Ottawa - Merlyna Lim, assistant professor in Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication in the Faculty of Public Affairs and Canada Research Chair in Digital Media & Global Network Society, has been awarded more than $40,000 as part of the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. “Merlyna Lim is a world-class, dedicated researcher whose work is of global importance. CFI’s support will help Lim develop new research tools to analyze and visualize the interactions between social media data and contemporary protest movements around the world,” said Sandra Crocker, Acting Vice-President (Research and International).
Velocity Fund awards $25K prize to counterfeit prevention company
Waterloo - A young company of three Nanotechnology Engineering students from the University of Waterloo is one step closer to its mission of eradicating counterfeit products after winning $25,000 at the Velocity Fund Finals last Thursday.
Improved High-Speed Internet Coming to Over 11,000 Households in Southwestern Ontario
MP Bev Shipley announces major investment that will bring fast, reliable Internet services to 11,000 homes in southwestern Ontario
STRATHROY - Everyday tasks that were once done in person, such as shopping, communicating, learning and banking, are now done online. To help Canadian communities, businesses and families have better access to these and many other online opportunities, Bev Shipley, Member of Parliament for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, today announced that the Harper Government will provide TekSavvy and Execulink Telecom with a total of $3.15 million to connect over 11,000 homes in southwestern Ontario to faster Internet services. This investment will benefit 30 communities in southwestern Ontario.
Canadian Payments Association (CPA) Announces New Board of Directors and Governance Model to Better Serve Canada's Payments and Financial Systems
OTTAWA - On July 23, 2015 The Canadian Payments Association (CPA) announced the election of a new Board of Directors pursuant to legislation adopted by Parliament last December. The new board will be chaired by Eileen Mercier, who will be supported by a carefully recruited team of accomplished Canadian and international payments, public policy, business and technology experts. The new board will help lead the CPA as it implements its strategy to modernize Canada's core national payments infrastructure as part of its overall vision to be the centre of excellence for payments in Canada.
Space Research Supporting Canadian Farmers
Support for research to help farmers better understand crop yields
Guelph - Winnipeg MP Lawrence Toet (Elmwood-Transcona) announced funding projects at five Canadian universities to analyze and compile measurements collected by NASA's Soil and Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite. "We are very excited to receive this funding for the development of applications and improvement of satellite-derived soil moisture products from the SMAP mission over Canada. There are a number of applications of this research of interest to Canadians, including weather and climate forecasting, drought monitoring and flood preparedness. Grants from the Canadian Space Agency to universities are of great importance for this research. The research funding will be used to fund graduate training and the field experiments necessary to develop these applications. We are eager to begin our work," said Associate Professor Aaron Berg, University of Guelph.
Thrown Into the Deep End
Real-World Experience: Survey Finds Professionals Felt Unprepared for Work after University
TORONTO - University students may be heading back to school soon, but they won't find everything they need to know for their jobs in their textbooks. In an recent survey, more than half (60 per cent) of accounting and finance professionals said they felt only somewhat prepared for their first job after graduation; another 15 per cent indicated they were not at all prepared.
Asking for Forgiveness, Not Permission
The Importance of Judgment and Responsibility
When you hear the phrase “ask for forgiveness, not permission,” what do you think? Do you think, “I can do anything I want and if something goes wrong or if I get caught, I’ll just say I’m sorry?” Wrong! Actions have consequences.
Youth are more entrepreneurial than adults
Older entrepreneurs are more likely to be running a mature business and employ more than one person
London, UK - It’s official. Youth have more get up and go than adults. According to a new report, ‘Future Potential a GEM perspective on youth entrepreneurship 2015’ released last month by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), youth, as a group, show significantly higher levels of entrepreneurial intention than adults. Across five world regions, youth are 1.6 times more likely to want to start a business than adults.
Western researchers receive more than $23.5 million in grants from CIHR
London - Four Western University researchers received grants totalling $9.9 million over seven years from the inaugural Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Foundation Grant. Each is studying factors which may lead to improved health outcomes for people living with osteoarthritis, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
CIHR Support helps Carleton Researchers Study Obesity, Parkinson’s and more
Ottawa - Four Carleton University researchers in the Faculty of Science, all members of the Canadian Health Adaptations, Innovations, and Mobilization (CHAIM) Centre, are receiving support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research for groundbreaking projects on health issues ranging from antibiotic resistance and obesity to Parkinson’s disease and endometriosis.