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Visit Cambodia and help to educate children

Cambodia has a chronic lack of an educated professional workforce to provide the teachers, trained nurses, accountants, engineers, doctors and administrators needed to build an economically and socially healthier and stronger country. Opportunity Cambodia is helping to change this situation At the end of 2018 their first group of high school students passed the National Exam and became eligible to apply to university. This is an impressive achievement for young people who come from the poorest families, where parents are illiterate and have little hope for the future. You can donate to help, connect them with a school or volunteer. Volunteers need to have tertiary education or training, energy,  imagination,  adaptability, commitment AND be over the age of 18, want to stay at least one month and be happy to live during the week in a rural village https://opportunitycambodia.org.au/get-involved/

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New ways to reduce plastic waste in supermarkets

Since the national ban on single-use plastic bags from most supermarkets, new ways to be environmentally friendly when grocery shopping has since been introduced. Although most supermarkets have banned the plastic bags at the registers, most places are still using single-use bags in other areas of the store. Lidl is a supermarket chain that has reduced this problem by introducing inexpensive reusable bags that you can buy for your fruit and vegetables. With the new reusable bags made with cotton and drawstring openings, the company is hoping to reduce plastic waste. https://www.plantbasednews.org/news/lid-reusable-bags

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Helping with bill payments

What happens when you combine modern day lay-buy payments, ethics, and a strong customer focus? Deferit. Deferit pays bills. For anyone struggling to make ends meet, this sees lights kept on, but also potentially receiving early payment discounts. It does this for a flat $5 fee up to a balance of $500, allowing the customer to then pay down the balance over time. At first glance I wondered if there was a market for this: would customers sign up. Talking to one of the founders had the answer: they’ve already had tens of thousands of customers sign up, all in less than a year.  www.deferit.com.au

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A plastic film made out of left over shellfish shells

CuanTec is extracting a protein called chitin from the shells of langoustines, and transforming it through fermentation into a natural biopolymer known as chitosan. This is used to make a clear food wrapper that can be later composted at home and has natural antimicrobial properties. The startup is currently at research stage but looking to finalise a round of financing. While this is not the first biodegradable wrapper produced from shellfish waste, other processes created materials that were unappealing to customers. https://www.springwise.com/innovation/food/biodegradable-packaging-cuantec-shellfish-waste

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New cyber security research could protect data, even when attackers break in

A UC researcher in the US, recently named in MIT’s Top 35 Innovators under 35, found a breakthrough in cyber security mechanisms, to enable our insatiable appetite for data to be better protected than traditional perimeter techniques. This is a huge field and rightly so. – we need better mechanisms to help protect data and data custodians, and by doing so we enable greater & wider data sharing and collaboration. Raluca Ada Popa’s recent research showed that her encryption methods work with a range of applications and provide a level of protection that firewalls cannot: even if attackers break in, they have no way to decipher the data. A recent use case sees this new approach applicable to hospitals, to help share and aggregate patient records. It can accelerate innovation if considered during the ideation/ design phase! https://www.technologyreview.com/lists/innovators-under-35/2019/visionary/raluca-ada-popa/ research: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334534372_Helen_Maliciously_Secure_Coopetitive_Learning_for_Linear_Models  

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Creatively Connecting & Empowering Women

A collaborative community development project by Creative Tracks Art Consultancy, & RISE Ventures Pormpuraaw, Queensland. The project seeks to creatively connect and empower Indigenous women by mentoring them through business and creative activities. Their work covers jewellery making, textiles, weaving, painting… all materials and stories are derived from the environment they live in. They recently exhibited at the prestigious Cairns Art Fair with much success. @rirranthsew

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Science fiction writers to help improve public safety

French defence authorities are aiming to improve public safety by challenging science fiction writers to dream up life-threatening plots for their army to solve. Writers have been briefed to create stories with challenging threats. It will then be up to the army and France’s other defence forces to devise counter moves to neutralise the threats, save lives and secure premises. Among the global risks most likely to dominate civil defence agendas in the near future are climate change, cyberattacks and natural disasters. www.neweconomy.media/2019/08/12/french-imagining-counter-terrorism-responses/

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World-first metal bending innovation

The FormFlow Bend is a game-changer for the construction industry. It has architects rethinking design and developers reimagining what’s possible. It delivers smooth transitions between corrugated sheet sections at a range of angles. The process can produce sharp bends perpendicular to the corrugations. No need for capping, flashing or complex corner design – just an interlocking join that’s much cleaner and distinctive. FormFlow’s ‘no gaps’ wall cladding and roofing solution can improve overall energy efficiencies and reduce a building’s environmental impact. It enables corrugated sheeting to be used as a structural (stressed) skin, reducing the need for additional internal framing while greatly improving assembly efficiency and overall appearance. The result is a stronger and ultra-functional building envelope that morphs the utilitarian aesthetic of corrugated iron into a stylish architectural statement. A simple idea transformed into a truly elegant solution. https://formflow.net.au/

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Window Film that Captures and Releases Solar Energy

A research team at Sweden’s Chalmers University has developed a window film capable of absorbing solar energy during the day and releasing the energy as heat into building interiors at night. A few years ago, the same research team introduced the Molecular Solar Thermal (MOST) system, in which solar energy is stored in a liquid medium, then later released as heat. Now, the technology has been applied to a clear film that could be applied to the inside of windows in buildings. https://newatlas.com/most-solar-window-film/

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