Swift Navigation Raises $50 Million Series C Round to Accelerate Consumer Adoption of Automotive Safety and Precise Navigation Applications Across the Globe

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Swift Navigation, a San Francisco–based tech firm redefining GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and precise positioning technology for autonomous vehicles, automotive, mobile and mass–market applications, today announced that it has raised a $50 million Series C round of financing led by existing investors Forest Baskett and Greg Papadopoulos of New Enterprise Associates (NEA), existing investor Eclipse Ventures and new investors, including EPIQ Capital Group and KDDI Open Innovation Fund. To date, the company has raised a total of $97.6 million in funding.

Since its Series B round of financing, Swift has delivered a higher performance precise positioning service and expanded its global coverage to meet the needs of an on–demand economy and higher levels of autonomy. Swift's customers across the globe include automotive OEMs, last–mile delivery providers, mobile providers and those building rail, industrial, micromobility and IoT platforms for mass–market applications. Swift plans to use its latest round of funding to scale customer deployments and continue its worldwide expansion.

Swift offers a comprehensive GNSS platform, consisting of the receiver–agnostic Starling software positioning engine that easily integrates with the automotive sensor suite and pulls centimeter–accurate location corrections from Skylark""Swift's wide area, cloud–based GNSS precise positioning service that delivers real–time, secure and highly–available location data across the contiguous U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia and a growing number of countries worldwide""to deliver absolute positioning at the continental scale required by today's safety–critical autonomous applications.

The benefits of Swift's precise positioning solution for its varying customer applications abound. Swift's platform enables automotive OEMs to easily integrate precise positioning and high–confidence location features into their latest vehicles. Swift's precision GNSS solutions improve last–mile operations, allowing fleet managers to optimize delivery routes, minimize fuel and operational costs and crowd–source information to reduce delays. Swift's highly accurate positioning technology is easily integrated into leading mobile devices and platforms, enhancing location–driven mobile applications. Swift Navigation's cloud–based architecture allows mobile devices and vehicles to achieve lane–level location accuracy without geographic restrictions and with the utmost privacy and security.

"In the past few years, Swift Navigation has expanded across the globe, offering an ever–expanding service that is scalable to service millions of users," said Greg Papadopoulos, PhD, Venture Partner at NEA. "NEA is delighted to lead this Series C round of financing, which will allow Swift to accelerate customer adoption in automotive safety and autonomy applications."

"We are grateful to have an amazing investor base behind us who support our mission of enabling more efficiency and integrity in navigating the world. It is with their support that we were able to scale our customers' autonomous and navigation applications globally," added Timothy Harris, Co–Founder and CEO of Swift Navigation. "Thank you to NEA, Eclipse, EPIQ and KDDI for sharing our vision of the importance of precision navigation in moving people, packages and vehicles more safely around the globe."

To learn more about how to easily integrate Swift's solutions into your application, visit swiftnav.com or contact sales@swiftnav.com.

ABOUT SWIFT NAVIGATION

Swift Navigation provides precise positioning solutions for automotive, autonomous vehicle, mobile and mass–market applications. What began as the GNSS industry's first low–cost, high–accuracy, real–time kinematic (RTK) receiver has evolved into a Swift Navigation ecosystem of positioning solutions for autonomous applications. From the continental GNSS precise positioning service delivered from the cloud by Skylark, the hardware–independent, integrated software solution that is the Starling positioning engine, to the centimeter–level accurate Piksi Multi and ruggedized Duro and Duro Inertial RTK receivers, Swift Navigation is enabling a future of autonomous vehicles to navigate and understand the world. Learn more online at swiftnav.com, follow Swift on Twitter @Swiftnav

Press Contact:
Swift Navigation
press@swiftnav.com


Swift Navigation Raises $50 Million Series C Round to Accelerate Consumer Adoption of Automotive Safety and Precise Navigation Applications Across the Globe

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Swift Navigation, a San Francisco–based tech firm redefining GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and precise positioning technology for autonomous vehicles, automotive, mobile and mass–market applications, today announced that it has raised a $50 million Series C round of financing led by existing investors Forest Baskett and Greg Papadopoulos of New Enterprise Associates (NEA), existing investor Eclipse Ventures and new investors, including EPIQ Capital Group and KDDI Open Innovation Fund. To date, the company has raised a total of $97.6 million in funding.

Since its Series B round of financing, Swift has delivered a higher performance precise positioning service and expanded its global coverage to meet the needs of an on–demand economy and higher levels of autonomy. Swift's customers across the globe include automotive OEMs, last–mile delivery providers, mobile providers and those building rail, industrial, micromobility and IoT platforms for mass–market applications. Swift plans to use its latest round of funding to scale customer deployments and continue its worldwide expansion.

Swift offers a comprehensive GNSS platform, consisting of the receiver–agnostic Starling software positioning engine that easily integrates with the automotive sensor suite and pulls centimeter–accurate location corrections from Skylark""Swift's wide area, cloud–based GNSS precise positioning service that delivers real–time, secure and highly–available location data across the contiguous U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia and a growing number of countries worldwide""to deliver absolute positioning at the continental scale required by today's safety–critical autonomous applications.

The benefits of Swift's precise positioning solution for its varying customer applications abound. Swift's platform enables automotive OEMs to easily integrate precise positioning and high–confidence location features into their latest vehicles. Swift's precision GNSS solutions improve last–mile operations, allowing fleet managers to optimize delivery routes, minimize fuel and operational costs and crowd–source information to reduce delays. Swift's highly accurate positioning technology is easily integrated into leading mobile devices and platforms, enhancing location–driven mobile applications. Swift Navigation's cloud–based architecture allows mobile devices and vehicles to achieve lane–level location accuracy without geographic restrictions and with the utmost privacy and security.

"In the past few years, Swift Navigation has expanded across the globe, offering an ever–expanding service that is scalable to service millions of users," said Greg Papadopoulos, PhD, Venture Partner at NEA. "NEA is delighted to lead this Series C round of financing, which will allow Swift to accelerate customer adoption in automotive safety and autonomy applications."

"We are grateful to have an amazing investor base behind us who support our mission of enabling more efficiency and integrity in navigating the world. It is with their support that we were able to scale our customers' autonomous and navigation applications globally," added Timothy Harris, Co–Founder and CEO of Swift Navigation. "Thank you to NEA, Eclipse, EPIQ and KDDI for sharing our vision of the importance of precision navigation in moving people, packages and vehicles more safely around the globe."

To learn more about how to easily integrate Swift's solutions into your application, visit swiftnav.com or contact sales@swiftnav.com.

ABOUT SWIFT NAVIGATION

Swift Navigation provides precise positioning solutions for automotive, autonomous vehicle, mobile and mass–market applications. What began as the GNSS industry's first low–cost, high–accuracy, real–time kinematic (RTK) receiver has evolved into a Swift Navigation ecosystem of positioning solutions for autonomous applications. From the continental GNSS precise positioning service delivered from the cloud by Skylark, the hardware–independent, integrated software solution that is the Starling positioning engine, to the centimeter–level accurate Piksi Multi and ruggedized Duro and Duro Inertial RTK receivers, Swift Navigation is enabling a future of autonomous vehicles to navigate and understand the world. Learn more online at swiftnav.com, follow Swift on Twitter @Swiftnav

Press Contact:
Swift Navigation
press@swiftnav.com


Swift Navigation Raises $50 Million Series C Round to Accelerate Consumer Adoption of Automotive Safety and Precise Navigation Applications Across the Globe

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Swift Navigation, a San Francisco–based tech firm redefining GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and precise positioning technology for autonomous vehicles, automotive, mobile and mass–market applications, today announced that it has raised a $50 million Series C round of financing led by existing investors Forest Baskett and Greg Papadopoulos of New Enterprise Associates (NEA), existing investor Eclipse Ventures and new investors, including EPIQ Capital Group and KDDI Open Innovation Fund. To date, the company has raised a total of $97.6 million in funding.

Since its Series B round of financing, Swift has delivered a higher performance precise positioning service and expanded its global coverage to meet the needs of an on–demand economy and higher levels of autonomy. Swift's customers across the globe include automotive OEMs, last–mile delivery providers, mobile providers and those building rail, industrial, micromobility and IoT platforms for mass–market applications. Swift plans to use its latest round of funding to scale customer deployments and continue its worldwide expansion.

Swift offers a comprehensive GNSS platform, consisting of the receiver–agnostic Starling software positioning engine that easily integrates with the automotive sensor suite and pulls centimeter–accurate location corrections from Skylark""Swift's wide area, cloud–based GNSS precise positioning service that delivers real–time, secure and highly–available location data across the contiguous U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia and a growing number of countries worldwide""to deliver absolute positioning at the continental scale required by today's safety–critical autonomous applications.

The benefits of Swift's precise positioning solution for its varying customer applications abound. Swift's platform enables automotive OEMs to easily integrate precise positioning and high–confidence location features into their latest vehicles. Swift's precision GNSS solutions improve last–mile operations, allowing fleet managers to optimize delivery routes, minimize fuel and operational costs and crowd–source information to reduce delays. Swift's highly accurate positioning technology is easily integrated into leading mobile devices and platforms, enhancing location–driven mobile applications. Swift Navigation's cloud–based architecture allows mobile devices and vehicles to achieve lane–level location accuracy without geographic restrictions and with the utmost privacy and security.

"In the past few years, Swift Navigation has expanded across the globe, offering an ever–expanding service that is scalable to service millions of users," said Greg Papadopoulos, PhD, Venture Partner at NEA. "NEA is delighted to lead this Series C round of financing, which will allow Swift to accelerate customer adoption in automotive safety and autonomy applications."

"We are grateful to have an amazing investor base behind us who support our mission of enabling more efficiency and integrity in navigating the world. It is with their support that we were able to scale our customers' autonomous and navigation applications globally," added Timothy Harris, Co–Founder and CEO of Swift Navigation. "Thank you to NEA, Eclipse, EPIQ and KDDI for sharing our vision of the importance of precision navigation in moving people, packages and vehicles more safely around the globe."

To learn more about how to easily integrate Swift's solutions into your application, visit swiftnav.com or contact sales@swiftnav.com.

ABOUT SWIFT NAVIGATION

Swift Navigation provides precise positioning solutions for automotive, autonomous vehicle, mobile and mass–market applications. What began as the GNSS industry's first low–cost, high–accuracy, real–time kinematic (RTK) receiver has evolved into a Swift Navigation ecosystem of positioning solutions for autonomous applications. From the continental GNSS precise positioning service delivered from the cloud by Skylark, the hardware–independent, integrated software solution that is the Starling positioning engine, to the centimeter–level accurate Piksi Multi and ruggedized Duro and Duro Inertial RTK receivers, Swift Navigation is enabling a future of autonomous vehicles to navigate and understand the world. Learn more online at swiftnav.com, follow Swift on Twitter @Swiftnav

Press Contact:
Swift Navigation
press@swiftnav.com


Swift Navigation Raises $50 Million Series C Round to Accelerate Consumer Adoption of Automotive Safety and Precise Navigation Applications Across the Globe

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Swift Navigation, a San Francisco–based tech firm redefining GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and precise positioning technology for autonomous vehicles, automotive, mobile and mass–market applications, today announced that it has raised a $50 million Series C round of financing led by existing investors Forest Baskett and Greg Papadopoulos of New Enterprise Associates (NEA), existing investor Eclipse Ventures and new investors, including EPIQ Capital Group and KDDI Open Innovation Fund. To date, the company has raised a total of $97.6 million in funding.

Since its Series B round of financing, Swift has delivered a higher performance precise positioning service and expanded its global coverage to meet the needs of an on–demand economy and higher levels of autonomy. Swift's customers across the globe include automotive OEMs, last–mile delivery providers, mobile providers and those building rail, industrial, micromobility and IoT platforms for mass–market applications. Swift plans to use its latest round of funding to scale customer deployments and continue its worldwide expansion.

Swift offers a comprehensive GNSS platform, consisting of the receiver–agnostic Starling software positioning engine that easily integrates with the automotive sensor suite and pulls centimeter–accurate location corrections from Skylark""Swift's wide area, cloud–based GNSS precise positioning service that delivers real–time, secure and highly–available location data across the contiguous U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia and a growing number of countries worldwide""to deliver absolute positioning at the continental scale required by today's safety–critical autonomous applications.

The benefits of Swift's precise positioning solution for its varying customer applications abound. Swift's platform enables automotive OEMs to easily integrate precise positioning and high–confidence location features into their latest vehicles. Swift's precision GNSS solutions improve last–mile operations, allowing fleet managers to optimize delivery routes, minimize fuel and operational costs and crowd–source information to reduce delays. Swift's highly accurate positioning technology is easily integrated into leading mobile devices and platforms, enhancing location–driven mobile applications. Swift Navigation's cloud–based architecture allows mobile devices and vehicles to achieve lane–level location accuracy without geographic restrictions and with the utmost privacy and security.

"In the past few years, Swift Navigation has expanded across the globe, offering an ever–expanding service that is scalable to service millions of users," said Greg Papadopoulos, PhD, Venture Partner at NEA. "NEA is delighted to lead this Series C round of financing, which will allow Swift to accelerate customer adoption in automotive safety and autonomy applications."

"We are grateful to have an amazing investor base behind us who support our mission of enabling more efficiency and integrity in navigating the world. It is with their support that we were able to scale our customers' autonomous and navigation applications globally," added Timothy Harris, Co–Founder and CEO of Swift Navigation. "Thank you to NEA, Eclipse, EPIQ and KDDI for sharing our vision of the importance of precision navigation in moving people, packages and vehicles more safely around the globe."

To learn more about how to easily integrate Swift's solutions into your application, visit swiftnav.com or contact sales@swiftnav.com.

ABOUT SWIFT NAVIGATION

Swift Navigation provides precise positioning solutions for automotive, autonomous vehicle, mobile and mass–market applications. What began as the GNSS industry's first low–cost, high–accuracy, real–time kinematic (RTK) receiver has evolved into a Swift Navigation ecosystem of positioning solutions for autonomous applications. From the continental GNSS precise positioning service delivered from the cloud by Skylark, the hardware–independent, integrated software solution that is the Starling positioning engine, to the centimeter–level accurate Piksi Multi and ruggedized Duro and Duro Inertial RTK receivers, Swift Navigation is enabling a future of autonomous vehicles to navigate and understand the world. Learn more online at swiftnav.com, follow Swift on Twitter @Swiftnav

Press Contact:
Swift Navigation
press@swiftnav.com


Swift Navigation Raises $50 Million Series C Round to Accelerate Consumer Adoption of Automotive Safety and Precise Navigation Applications Across the Globe

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Swift Navigation, a San Francisco–based tech firm redefining GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and precise positioning technology for autonomous vehicles, automotive, mobile and mass–market applications, today announced that it has raised a $50 million Series C round of financing led by existing investors Forest Baskett and Greg Papadopoulos of New Enterprise Associates (NEA), existing investor Eclipse Ventures and new investors, including EPIQ Capital Group and KDDI Open Innovation Fund. To date, the company has raised a total of $97.6 million in funding.

Since its Series B round of financing, Swift has delivered a higher performance precise positioning service and expanded its global coverage to meet the needs of an on–demand economy and higher levels of autonomy. Swift's customers across the globe include automotive OEMs, last–mile delivery providers, mobile providers and those building rail, industrial, micromobility and IoT platforms for mass–market applications. Swift plans to use its latest round of funding to scale customer deployments and continue its worldwide expansion.

Swift offers a comprehensive GNSS platform, consisting of the receiver–agnostic Starling software positioning engine that easily integrates with the automotive sensor suite and pulls centimeter–accurate location corrections from Skylark""Swift's wide area, cloud–based GNSS precise positioning service that delivers real–time, secure and highly–available location data across the contiguous U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia and a growing number of countries worldwide""to deliver absolute positioning at the continental scale required by today's safety–critical autonomous applications.

The benefits of Swift's precise positioning solution for its varying customer applications abound. Swift's platform enables automotive OEMs to easily integrate precise positioning and high–confidence location features into their latest vehicles. Swift's precision GNSS solutions improve last–mile operations, allowing fleet managers to optimize delivery routes, minimize fuel and operational costs and crowd–source information to reduce delays. Swift's highly accurate positioning technology is easily integrated into leading mobile devices and platforms, enhancing location–driven mobile applications. Swift Navigation's cloud–based architecture allows mobile devices and vehicles to achieve lane–level location accuracy without geographic restrictions and with the utmost privacy and security.

"In the past few years, Swift Navigation has expanded across the globe, offering an ever–expanding service that is scalable to service millions of users," said Greg Papadopoulos, PhD, Venture Partner at NEA. "NEA is delighted to lead this Series C round of financing, which will allow Swift to accelerate customer adoption in automotive safety and autonomy applications."

"We are grateful to have an amazing investor base behind us who support our mission of enabling more efficiency and integrity in navigating the world. It is with their support that we were able to scale our customers' autonomous and navigation applications globally," added Timothy Harris, Co–Founder and CEO of Swift Navigation. "Thank you to NEA, Eclipse, EPIQ and KDDI for sharing our vision of the importance of precision navigation in moving people, packages and vehicles more safely around the globe."

To learn more about how to easily integrate Swift's solutions into your application, visit swiftnav.com or contact sales@swiftnav.com.

ABOUT SWIFT NAVIGATION

Swift Navigation provides precise positioning solutions for automotive, autonomous vehicle, mobile and mass–market applications. What began as the GNSS industry's first low–cost, high–accuracy, real–time kinematic (RTK) receiver has evolved into a Swift Navigation ecosystem of positioning solutions for autonomous applications. From the continental GNSS precise positioning service delivered from the cloud by Skylark, the hardware–independent, integrated software solution that is the Starling positioning engine, to the centimeter–level accurate Piksi Multi and ruggedized Duro and Duro Inertial RTK receivers, Swift Navigation is enabling a future of autonomous vehicles to navigate and understand the world. Learn more online at swiftnav.com, follow Swift on Twitter @Swiftnav

Press Contact:
Swift Navigation
press@swiftnav.com


IFG Ends Successful IP Infringement Case in South Africa

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Feb. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — INTERNATIONAL FRUIT GENETICS LLC (IFG) After several years of sometimes acrimonious lawsuits, IFG has finally come to the end of infringement proceedings in which it sought to protect its proprietary grape varietals in the Western Cape, South Africa.

During 2010, IFG concluded a suite of licensing, planting, and marketing agreements with a table grape grower in Paarl, South Africa, as well as other associated farming entities. In terms of the agreements, the grower was licensed to plant, grow and market several IFG grape varieties in South Africa, which was done successfully over several years. However, during an inspection, IFG determined that this grower had unlawfully propagated some of the varietals beyond license limits and was growing and propagating an IFG varietal before protection for the variety was granted in South Africa. Upon further investigation, IFG determined that the grower had stolen a slip of the varietal from one of the IFG founder's vineyards in California while visiting and had transported it to South Africa, where it was grafted, propagated, and commercially grown.

Due to the growers' unlawful conduct, IFG canceled all of the agreements it had with the licensee and asked that the grower to cease all use of IFG's proprietary plant material and destroy all IFG proprietary plant material by cutting off all vines below the graft union. Unfortunately, the grower refused to do so, forcing IFG to take more drastic measures, including the freezing of bank accounts and contempt of court proceedings for failure to comply with the court's orders.

Ultimately, when it became clear to the grower that IFG was taking the necessary steps required to protect their intellectual property, the grower agreed and complied by cutting the vines below the graft union on all IFG varietals.

This case marks a stunning success for IFG and for all owners of plant breeders' rights, which are an extremely valuable form of intellectual property. Respect of these rights allows breeders globally to make the continued investments, ensuring that the table grape industry has a bright and vibrant future.

"It was a long road, and we are glad to come to the end of it, but we have no regrets," said Andy Higgins, CEO of IFG. "Our intellectual property rights are the heart of our business, and we need to protect them. We will not hesitate to take similar action in other parts of the world should there be a need to do so."

For more information, visit www.ifg.world

Media Contact:

Olivia Riley
Bastion Elevate
949–522–0549
olivia@bastionelevate.com


Forgotten Conflicts 2021: When Will the Crisis in the Central African Republic End?

The crisis in the Central African Republic is a neglected one, receiving little attention despite the humanitarian consequences it has triggered since the outbreak of civil war around 2013. More than half of the country’s 4.9 million inhabitants live in desperate need,

Amidst post-election violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), more than 200,000 people have fled for their own safety, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said in January 2021. Conflict and violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) continue to be all too frequent across the country. Since 2007, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has worked to curb the consequences of these clashes. Credit: UNHCR/Ghislaine Nentobo

By Bruce Biber
BANGUI, Central African Republic, Feb 9 2021 – Last October, an ICRC medical team helped a woman deliver a baby boy in the bush on their way to a health center we support in Grévaï, a small town in the north-central region of CAR. On her way to the market, by foot, the woman went into labour and only by chance did not have to go through it alone, surviving along with her baby.

That same year, my colleagues at the main hospital in Nana-Grébizi prefecture surrounding the town of Kaga-Bandoro helped a young couple deliver triplets – a moment of joy but also one that made the father cry, concerned about how to feed his family of now seven children. Our team at the hospital’s nutritional unit, where we help treat malnourished children, already knew they would see the three baby boys again before long.

Our doctor there also told me about premature babies who had to be revived several times during their first days before their health eventually stabilised.

These stories are just a glimpse into what people here face every day when it comes to accessing basic goods and services, such as food and health care. These things cannot be taken for granted. The local health workers at the Kaga-Bandoro hospital and the nearby health centers in Grévaï and Ouandago are doing the best they can with the limited resources they have.

But the needs remain enormous and working conditions remain difficult due to insecurity, making it hard to recruit and retain personnel, allowing impunity and criminality to reign and hampering development of proper infrastructure.

The crisis in CAR is a neglected one, receiving little attention despite the humanitarian consequences it has triggered since the outbreak of civil war around 2013. More than half of the country’s 4.9 million inhabitants live in desperate need, making it one of the worst, but most poorly known, humanitarian crises in the world. Sporadic violence is pervasive.

Security conditions are volatile. Armed groups maintain a presence throughout the country, and acts of criminality, such as armed burglaries, are reportedly widespread. Communal tensions – related to resource competition between farming and pastural communities, for instance – give rise to violence.

It has been two years since the signature of the latest peace agreement in February 2019 between the government and 14 armed groups. These groups control some 70 percent of the country. And as CAR struggles with post-electoral violence, conflict, insecurity, and criminality, the compounding impact of climate change and COVID-19 are making a bad situation even worse.

For weeks now, the country has been experiencing a new period of violence between a coalition of six armed groups who have launched an offensive to disrupt the presidential elections and take the capital Bangui. Before this latest violent outbreak, one in four Central Africans had been forced to flee their homes – living on the streets, struggling for survival in the bush, or sheltering in displacement and refugee camps.

Some of them had started returning home, but this violent outbreak has made that impossible, forcing even more people to flee. Many people have had to abandon everything and start over several times in the last few years. Over years of crisis, many of our Central African colleagues at the ICRC have also been displaced, lost their homes and loved ones, and carry memories that will never fade. I truly hope they don’t have to go through that again.

The widespread violence in CAR continues to have a serious impact on people’s lives. Citizens’ homes and livelihoods, such as crops and livestock, have been looted or destroyed. Access to safe drinking water is difficult in many places due to insecurity or lack of proper water infrastructure. A mother I met lost her baby because of unsafe drinking water – another loss that could have been prevented. Not least, sexual violence related to this insecurity is underreported, affecting mostly women and girls who work in the fields, go fishing, search for firewood, or fetch water for their families.

Violence in general is frequent, leaving generations with physical and mental scars. In Nana-Grébizi, our mental health team works with displaced children who have experienced violence as well as with survivors of sexual violence. They try to help them learn to live with their trauma that is almost impossible to forget.

CAR also remains one of the most dangerous countries for humanitarians, making it difficult to access certain areas and communities, due to widespread instability, crime, and the range of armed groups. The more actors, the more difficult it is to build structured dialogue and to obtain reliable security guarantees.

During the rainy season, some areas are also unreachable by road for months, and transport infrastructure remains underdeveloped in many places. During the ongoing clashes last year, the ICRC’s office in Bouar, in the Nana-Mambéré prefecture in western CAR, was raided, forcing us to drastically reduce our activities in the region until security in the town could be restored. Such attacks only punish the local communities, depriving them of desperately needed help.

In the wake of the peace agreement, violence briefly declined in the country. However, since September 2019, this trend has reversed, with recent clashes only making it worse. For sustainable results, authorities and their partners should address insecurity and impunity in the long run.

Insecurity is a scourge that prevents Central Africans from helping themselves and moving forward with their lives. It hampers the ability of the ICRC and other organisations to assist in these efforts.

To curb the worst of the violence, and in support to the Central African authorities, the ICRC continues to engage with the Central African armed and security forces, armed groups, and international forces to raise awareness of their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law.

The ICRC is also stepping up its support of the Kaga-Bandoro hospital and nearby health centers in Nana-Grébizi, alongside partners from CAR’s Ministry of Health and the World Bank. This complementarity between political, humanitarian, and development actors is key for the country to move towards peace, prosperity, and dignity. The people of CAR have paid the price of this crisis for too long.

This article is part of the “Forgotten Conflicts” series by the International Committee of the Red Cross in partnership with AIIA, highlighting the serious and often overlooked humanitarian consequences of armed conflicts and other situations of violence.

This article is published under a Creative Commons License and may be republished with attribution.

 


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The West vs the Global South: You Have the Numbers. We Have the Money

When Palestine made history as Chair of the Group of 77 in 2019. The current chair is the Republic of Guinea. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias

By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 9 2021 – When the 134-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries, was trying to strike a hard bargain in its negotiations with Western nations years ago, one of its envoys famously declared: “You have the numbers. We have the money.”

But that implicit threat– signifying the power of the purse– did not deter the G77 from playing a key role in helping shape the UN’s socio-economic agenda, including sustainable development, environmental protection, universal health care, South-South cooperation, eradication of extreme poverty and hunger—all of them culminating largely in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 and targeted for a 2030 deadline.

The People’s Republic of China, the world’s second largest economy after the US, has remained an integral part– and a strong supporter– of the G77, going back to the historic 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.

At that summit meeting – which marked a battle between the West and the global South over funding to promote development while protecting the environment — a G77 delegate told his colleagues in a closed-door gathering: ”We have to confront them with an iron fist cloaked in a velvet glove.”

The G77’s strength in numbers—with over two-thirds of the UN’s 193-member states —provides it with an unparalleled political clout ranking ahead of the Non-Aligned Movement (with 120 members), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (57), the Asian Group (55), the African Group (54), the Latin American and Caribbean Group (33) the European Union (27) and the Eastern European Group (23).

https://www.un.org/dgacm/en/content/regional-groups

While the G77 focused on achieving sustainable development, NAM pursued the hard-core politics of the global South, including human rights, neo-colonialism, international security, military conflicts and UN peacekeeping.

Speaking from Beijing, Dr Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to China, told IPS that while many countries in the Western camp have tended to dismiss the G77 and China as irrelevant to contemporary economic/political developments, the Group has provided the platform for developing countries to make a profound input to contemporary global economic policy formulation.

In its heyday, he pointed out, the G77 and China contributed significantly to the development of the New International Economic Order (NIEO) and the Law of the Sea regulatory framework.

“Today, the Law of the Sea Convention is considered to be the Constitution of the oceans and seas,” said Dr Kohona, a one-time Chief of the UN Treaty Section and a former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations.

More recently, he noted, its influence on the Rio Process, the conventions on Climate Change, Biological Diversity, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been seminal.

He said the G77’s influence on global policy development in these major areas of importance to humanity remain undiminished and cannot be underestimated.

“These global rules are now impacting on policy formulation in the Bretton Woods institutions as well”, he added.

The role played by individual intellectual giants from the developing world in highlighting the G77 and China needs to be acknowledged, he argued.

“Today China has assumed a lead role in addressing the challenge of climate change affecting the very survival of humanity,” he declared.

Mourad Ahmia, Executive Secretary of the G77, told IPS the integral role played by the Group in economic diplomacy and projecting the development interests of the global South is a testimony to its continued relevance in the ongoing global development dialogue.

When it was established on Jun. 15, 1964, the signing nations of the well-known “Joint Declaration of Seventy-Seven Countries” formed the largest intergovernmental organisation of developing countries in the United Nations to articulate and promote their collective interests and common development agenda.

Since the First Ministerial meeting of the G-77 held in Algeria in October 1967, and the adoption of the “Charter of Algiers”, he pointed out, the Group of 77 laid down the institutional mechanisms and structures that have contributed to shaping the international development agenda and changing the landscape of the global South.

Over the years, he said, the Group has gained an increasing role in the determination and conduct of international relations through global negotiations on major North-South and development issues.

The G-77 adheres to the principle that nations, big and small, deserve an equal voice in world affairs… Today the Group remains linked by common geography and shared history of struggle for liberation, freedom and South-South solidarity, said Ahmia.

The Group has a presence worldwide at U.N. centres in New York, Geneva, Nairobi, Paris, Rome, Vienna, and Washington D.C., and is actively involved in ongoing negotiations on a wide range of global issues including climate change, poverty eradication, migration, trade, and the law of the sea.

The G-77 remains the only viable and operational mechanism in multilateral economic diplomacy within the U.N system. The growing membership is proof of its enduring strength.

http://www.g77.org/doc/

Chakravarthi Raghavan, the former Chief Editor of the Geneva-based SUNS, told IPS since its founding in 1964, the G77 came into being, along with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), as an organ of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and brought about several changes for the better in the international economic system.

With UNCTAD came the scope for “alternate view” to “liberal/neoliberal economics and Generalized System of Preferences (GSP schemes) – – “True, they are voluntary, not mandatory.”

The principle of non-reciprocity, and Special & Differential treatment in trade relations with developed countries (initially non-binding, Part IV of GATT-1947, but contractual for developing countries after 1994 Marrakesh Agreement for WTO) that the US now is trying to eliminate as part of its proposals for “WTO Reform”, said Raghavan a. former Editor-in-Chief of Press Trust of India,

The Jamaica accord (following the collapse of international money and finance system with (former US President Richard) Nixon’s repudiation of dollar-gold convertibility at $35 an ounce) – and Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

The G77 also created the concept of “development” as against the original IMF Bretton Woods concept of “Reconstruction and Development” for war-ravaged economies of Europe, said Raghavan, winner of the 1997 G77/UN Development Programme (UNDP) Award.

In the immediate post-war order, the major Industrialized countries decided on policy (with US holding a veto on most decisions) that others were forced to accept. Now there is at least an attempt at dialogue (from G7 to G20).

Initially, said Raghavan, the G77 concerned itself only with economic issues; the much earlier NAM dealt with political and security issues.

But gradually, individual G77 members, brought their political and security issues and alliances with Great Powers, to influence the G77 decision-making. This has resulted in weakening the G77 positions and influence in international economic matters, declared Raghavan.

The writer is a former editor of the Journal of the Group of 77

  

Intellectual Property Cause of Death, Genocide

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury
KUALA LUMPUR and SYDNEY, Feb 9 2021 – Refusal to temporarily suspend several World Trade Organization (WTO) intellectual property (IP) provisions to enable much faster and broader progress in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic should be grounds for International Criminal Court prosecution for genocide.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Making life-saving vaccines, medicines and equipment available, freely or affordably, has been crucial for containing the spread of many infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, polio and smallpox.

Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine, insisted that it remain patent free. Asked who owned the patent 65 years ago, he replied, “The people I would say. There is no patent. You might as well ask, could you patent the sun?”

Intellectual property induced scarcity
However, cross-border enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) is relatively recent. The 1994 WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) greatly strengthened and extended IP transnationally. IPRs have effectively denied access to patented formulas and processes except to the highest bidders.

Recognising the extent of the pandemic threat, vaccine developers expect to be very profitable, thanks to national and transnational IP laws. Thus, IP has distorted research priorities and discouraged cooperation and knowledge sharing, so essential to progress.

As COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to rise alarmingly, rich countries are falling out among themselves, fighting for access to vaccine supplies, as IP profits take precedence over lives and livelihoods.

Vaccine nationalism’ involves cut-throat contests responding to scarcity due to limited output. Facing vaccine wars, multilateral arrangements, such as Covax, have not adequately addressed current challenges.

Vaccine nationalism has also meant that among the rich, the powerful – Trump’s US – came first. Consequently, most developing countries and most of their people will have to wait longer than necessary for vaccines, while the powerful and better off secure prior access, regardless of need or urgency.

Lethal combination
This lethal combination of IP and vaccine warfare is responsible for more avoidable losses of both lives and livelihoods. Developing nations, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, have been left far behind, even in most programmes for COVID-19 prevention, containment, treatment and vaccination.

Anis Chowdhury

The deadly duo are unnecessarily delaying the end of the pandemic, causing avoidable infections, deaths and related setbacks. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General (DG) Tedros warns “the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure…the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries”.

He advises that “the international community cannot allow a handful of companies to dictate the terms or the timeframe for ending the pandemic”; “vaccine nationalism combined with a restrictive approach to vaccine production is in fact more likely to prolong the pandemic … tantamount to medical malpractice on a global scale”.

While over 39 million vaccine doses had been given in 49 richer countries, only 25 doses had reached one poor country! At current rates, more than 85 poor countries will not have significant access before the end of 2023! In 70 lower income countries, only one in ten will be vaccinated.

Of the 7.2 billion confirmed sales of COVID-19 vaccine doses, 4.2 billion have gone to the wealthiest nations. With only 16% of the world’s population, high income countries have secured 60% of available doses. Meanwhile, the African Union has only procured 670 million for the continent’s 1.3 billion people.

Public health exception
Following strong advocacy led by South African President Mandela, a 2001 WTO Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health affirmed countries’ right to protect public health by enabling access to medicines, even without a health emergency.

Although TRIPS now allows such government public health efforts, developing countries remain constrained by compulsory licensing’s complex rules, procedures and conditions. Threats and inducements by transnational corporations and their governments limit its use.

Hence, use of compulsory licensing by developing countries has been largely limited to several more independent middle-income countries and HIV/AIDS medicines.

TRIPS waiver
The TRIPS waiver proposal to the WTO – led by South Africa and India – seeks temporary suspension of several TRIPS provisions to greatly scale up production of and access to COVID-19 vaccines, medicines and equipment to contain the contagion.

The Trump administration, the European Union (EU) and their allies have so far blocked the waiver proposal, although its measures are allowed by their own national laws. Some rich countries even increased such provisions with the pandemic.

South African TRIPS negotiator Mustaqeem Da Gama has debunked the waiver opponents’ claim that even if “approved tomorrow, there are no companies in the developing world that can produce any number of products relevant to COVID-19, including mRNA vaccines”.

In fact, the Serum Institute of India is acknowledged as the only facility in the world with the mass vaccine production capacity to rapidly greatly scale up output. Furthermore, 72 of the 154 vaccines ‘pre-qualified’ by the WHO are already being manufactured in developing countries.

Such production in developing countries is subject to very restrictive IP regulations and licensing agreements with stringent conditions. Hence, existing capacity in India, China, Brazil, Cuba, Thailand, Senegal and Indonesia, among others, remains underutilised, primarily due to such legal barriers.

IP main barrier
Despite growing support for the waiver, the proposal was rejected by the TRIPS Council on 4th February. The EU insists that IP will “ensure the publication and dissemination of research results, when otherwise they will remain secret”.

But everyone knows the IP system discourages, rather than encourages cooperation and sharing, both essential for accelerating progress. Although IP requires sharing research results, no vaccine developer has done so yet. Nonetheless, waiver opponents insist the system is working well.

Rich countries opposing the waiver have quietly, even secretly bought up vaccines. Even as the EU has lost vaccine wars despite furthering pharmaceutical company interests, it has claimed the moral high ground as a major Covax donor. The recent EU export authorisation scheme, restricting exports, is bound to trigger retaliatory restrictions by others.

Incredibly, rich countries opposed to the TRIPS waiver proposal, particularly the EU, now want WTO members to instead accept its trade and health initiative for further trade liberalisation and removal of export restrictions –to address a problem of its own making!

Biden can still lead
The Biden administration has shown renewed commitment to multilateralism by rejoining the WHO, but still needs to offer leadership beyond funding the ineffective Covax scheme and lifting Trump’s embargo on exports of vaccines, vital medicines and equipment.

One ‘people’s vaccine’ proposal involves sharing research results in return for public financing. This can affordably, quickly and greatly scale up generic production, enabling ‘vaccines for all’ in the world at little additional cost.

As rich country governments have already spent to accelerate vaccine development, they can make this happen. As vaccine developers do not expect to profit much from the poor, this will benefit many at little added expense.

Depriving and delaying vaccines for those with less means has to be seen for what it is. Such avoidable behaviour is, frankly, nothing less than genocidal, for causing many people to die needlessly for IP profit.

At the forthcoming 23 February TRIPS Council meeting, US President Biden can secure consensus support for the waiver proposal, thus providing the Rooseveltian leadership internationally that he seems to be emulating in the US.

 


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Nyxoah receives FDA approval for full-body 1.5T and 3T MRI compatibility for the Genio® system to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

PRESS RELEASE

Nyxoah receives FDA approval for full–body 1.5T and 3T MRI compatibility for the Genio system to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Mont–Saint–Guibert, Belgium "" 9th February 2021 "" Nyxoah SA (Euronext: NYXH) ("Nyxoah" or the "Company"), a health–technology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions and services to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), today announces that the Company has received approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) conditional labeling for the Genio neurostimulation–based OSA therapy, currently being evaluated in the DREAM pivotal IDE study.

This revised labeling ensures that patients who receive the Genio system and those already implanted can now undergo full–body 1.5T and 3T MRI diagnostic scans within approved parameters, and access the benefits of Genio unique bilateral stimulation therapy.

The DREAM (Dual–sided Hypoglossal neRvE stimulAtion for the treatMent of Obstructive Sleep Apnea) study is an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) trial designed to support the marketing authorization of the Genio system in the United States. This is a multicenter study being conducted worldwide including sites in the United States, Germany, Belgium and Australia.

Olivier Taelman, Chief Executive Officer of Nyxoah, commented: "The approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), received only a week after similar CE mark approval in Europe, confirms again the unique and unparalleled design of our technology. With the prevalence of MRI scans in the United States being one of the highest in the world, we are delighted that Nyxoah will be able to fulfil the currently unmet need for full–body 1.5T and 3T MR conditional labeling. Such an extensive labeling is unique to Nyxoah in the field of neurostimulation–based OSA therapies. Currently other therapies cannot fully address this need due to limitations to 1.5T MRI scans and body areas exclusion. As a company, Nyxoah always puts the patient first and seeks to ensure minimal disruption of their daily life and optimal Quality of Life (QOL)."

Prof. B. Tucker Woodson, MD, added: "As the Principal Investigator for the DREAM pivotal IDE study, I'm really pleased with the FDA approval for full–body 1.5T and 3T MRI compatibility for the Genio system. MRI scans are often the preferred diagnostic imaging modality for comorbidities affecting OSA patients. This extensive MRI labeling will be a major benefit for all OSA patients who currently receive the Genio therapy in the United States as part of the DREAM IDE clinical trial, ensuring that they can undergo MRI scans in full safety."

– ENDS –

For further information, please contact:

Nyxoah
Milena Venkova, Corporate Communications Manager
milena.venkova@nyxoah.com
+32 490 11 93 57

About Nyxoah

Nyxoah is a healthtech company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions and services to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Nyxoah's lead solution is the Genio system, a CE–validated, patient–centered, next generation hypoglossal neurostimulation therapy for OSA, the world's most common sleep disordered breathing condition that is associated with increased mortality risk1 and comorbidities including cardiovascular diseases, depression and stroke.
Following the successful completion of the BLAST OSA study in patients with moderate to severe OSA, the Genio system received its European CE Mark in 2019. The Company is currently conducting the BETTER SLEEP study in Australia and New Zealand for therapy indication expansion, the DREAM IDE pivotal study for FDA approval and a post–marketing EliSA study in Europe to confirm the long–term safety and efficacy of the Genio system.
For more information, please visit www.nyxoah.com.

Caution "" CE marked since 2019. Investigational device in the United States. Limited by U.S. federal law to investigational use in the United States.


1 Young T. et al: Sleep Disordered Breathing and Mortality: Eighteen–Year Follow–up of the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort, Sleep. 2008 Aug 1; 31(8): 1071""1078.

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