Citeline and Norstella Unite to Offer Life Sciences Clients a Full Suite of Commercial and Clinical Solutions

Yardley, PA, June 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Norstella, an organization that helps life sciences companies navigate the complexities of the drug life cycle, and Citeline (formerly Pharma Intelligence)""a leading provider of specialist intelligence, data and software for clinical trials, drug development and regulatory compliance""have announced an agreement to merge the companies.

By uniting Norstella, which is comprised of four prominent pharmaceutical solutions providers""Evaluate, MMIT, Panalgo and The Dedham Group""with Citeline, the combined company will be well positioned to help life sciences companies reach patients faster by providing clients with the intelligence and answers they need from early clinical development through to commercialization. This move reflects the shared goal of becoming an end–to–end solution provider, helping patients access life–saving therapies.

As life sciences companies drive innovation toward more specialized therapeutics across all disease areas including oncology and rare disease, and patient populations become more targeted, they need to make critical decisions about how to bring the right drugs to market, how to construct clinical trials leveraging the latest innovations in real–world data and data science""and with end points that consider future payer reimbursement decisions""and, ultimately, how to reach patients in need.

"Accelerating innovation and ensuring that every patient gets the therapy that they need is our North Star," said Norstella CEO Mike Gallup. "By bringing clinical and commercial intelligence together""along with real–world data""the combined company will be well positioned to deliver on its mission."

Together, Norstella and Citeline will play a critical role in helping pharmaceutical manufacturers plan for and overcome barriers to access, not just during clinical trials but at every stage in the drug development life cycle. Citeline's solutions, including its portfolio of clinical trial products, provide insights that improve the speed and efficiency of clinical trials and reduce risk. Now, the Citeline solutions""along with MMIT's PAR data and other complementary Norstella data assets""can be powered by Panalgo's Instant Health Data Analytics platform to provide transformative answers that will improve workflow and decision–making and, ultimately, help products get to market and to patients quicker than ever before.

"At Citeline, our mission is to accelerate the connection of treatments to patients and patients to treatments. Ultimately, this marriage of commercial and clinical capabilities will advance the mission and enable the pharmaceutical C–suite to manage portfolio strategy like never before," said Ramsey Hashem, CEO, and Jay Nadler, Executive Chair, of Citeline. "This includes deciding which drug to bring to market, what new indications to pursue for a drug and how to target patients for clinical trials more quickly and with reduced cost. And now, this includes understanding how to design clinical trials that yield the types of data that payers need to make appropriate reimbursement and formulary decisions."

"It's about making a difference in the lives of patients," said Gallup. "This move will help us make our vision of a more innovative, accessible healthcare marketplace a reality."

The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2022 subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

###

About Norstella
At Norstella, our mission is simple: to help patients gain access to life–saving therapies. Norstella consists of several prominent organizations""Evaluate, MMIT, Panalgo and The Dedham Group""that have united to offer a full range of pharmaceutical consultancy services and solutions. As one organization, Norstella provides life sciences clients with the right tools and expertise to navigate complexities at each step of the drug development life cycle, from pipeline to patient. For more information, visit Norstella and follow on LinkedIn.

About Citeline
Citeline (formerly Pharma Intelligence) powers a full suite of complementary business intelligence offerings to meet the evolving needs of health science professionals to accelerate the connection of treatments to patients and patients to treatments. These patient–focused solutions and services deliver and analyze data used to drive clinical, commercial, and regulatory related–decisions and create real–world opportunities for growth.

Our global teams of analysts, journalists and consultants keep their fingers on the pulse of the pharmaceutical, biomedical and medtech industries, covering it all with expert insights: key diseases, clinical trials, drug R&D and approvals, market forecasts and more. For more information on one of the world's most trusted health science partners, visit Citeline.


Citeline and Norstella Unite to Offer Life Sciences Clients a Full Suite of Commercial and Clinical Solutions

Yardley, PA, June 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Norstella, an organization that helps life sciences companies navigate the complexities of the drug life cycle, and Citeline (formerly Pharma Intelligence)""a leading provider of specialist intelligence, data and software for clinical trials, drug development and regulatory compliance""have announced an agreement to merge the companies.

By uniting Norstella, which is comprised of four prominent pharmaceutical solutions providers""Evaluate, MMIT, Panalgo and The Dedham Group""with Citeline, the combined company will be well positioned to help life sciences companies reach patients faster by providing clients with the intelligence and answers they need from early clinical development through to commercialization. This move reflects the shared goal of becoming an end–to–end solution provider, helping patients access life–saving therapies.

As life sciences companies drive innovation toward more specialized therapeutics across all disease areas including oncology and rare disease, and patient populations become more targeted, they need to make critical decisions about how to bring the right drugs to market, how to construct clinical trials leveraging the latest innovations in real–world data and data science""and with end points that consider future payer reimbursement decisions""and, ultimately, how to reach patients in need.

"Accelerating innovation and ensuring that every patient gets the therapy that they need is our North Star," said Norstella CEO Mike Gallup. "By bringing clinical and commercial intelligence together""along with real–world data""the combined company will be well positioned to deliver on its mission."

Together, Norstella and Citeline will play a critical role in helping pharmaceutical manufacturers plan for and overcome barriers to access, not just during clinical trials but at every stage in the drug development life cycle. Citeline's solutions, including its portfolio of clinical trial products, provide insights that improve the speed and efficiency of clinical trials and reduce risk. Now, the Citeline solutions""along with MMIT's PAR data and other complementary Norstella data assets""can be powered by Panalgo's Instant Health Data Analytics platform to provide transformative answers that will improve workflow and decision–making and, ultimately, help products get to market and to patients quicker than ever before.

"At Citeline, our mission is to accelerate the connection of treatments to patients and patients to treatments. Ultimately, this marriage of commercial and clinical capabilities will advance the mission and enable the pharmaceutical C–suite to manage portfolio strategy like never before," said Ramsey Hashem, CEO, and Jay Nadler, Executive Chair, of Citeline. "This includes deciding which drug to bring to market, what new indications to pursue for a drug and how to target patients for clinical trials more quickly and with reduced cost. And now, this includes understanding how to design clinical trials that yield the types of data that payers need to make appropriate reimbursement and formulary decisions."

"It's about making a difference in the lives of patients," said Gallup. "This move will help us make our vision of a more innovative, accessible healthcare marketplace a reality."

The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2022 subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

###

About Norstella
At Norstella, our mission is simple: to help patients gain access to life–saving therapies. Norstella consists of several prominent organizations""Evaluate, MMIT, Panalgo and The Dedham Group""that have united to offer a full range of pharmaceutical consultancy services and solutions. As one organization, Norstella provides life sciences clients with the right tools and expertise to navigate complexities at each step of the drug development life cycle, from pipeline to patient. For more information, visit Norstella and follow on LinkedIn.

About Citeline
Citeline (formerly Pharma Intelligence) powers a full suite of complementary business intelligence offerings to meet the evolving needs of health science professionals to accelerate the connection of treatments to patients and patients to treatments. These patient–focused solutions and services deliver and analyze data used to drive clinical, commercial, and regulatory related–decisions and create real–world opportunities for growth.

Our global teams of analysts, journalists and consultants keep their fingers on the pulse of the pharmaceutical, biomedical and medtech industries, covering it all with expert insights: key diseases, clinical trials, drug R&D and approvals, market forecasts and more. For more information on one of the world's most trusted health science partners, visit Citeline.


Digital Training in Pakistani Villages Yields Bumper Participation

Uzma of Ahmedpur Lama village, Punjab province, using her mobile phone at home. Credit: Irfan Ulhaq/IPS

Uzma of Ahmedpur Lama village, Punjab province, using her mobile phone at home. Credit: Irfan Ulhaq/IPS

By Irfan Ulhaq
RAHIM YAR KHAN, Punjab, Pakistan, Jun 28 2022 – Farmer Abdul Waheed, 32, has been using his cell phone for everything but work for the past seven years. But after a recent training session he has installed six farming apps and says the move has paid off.

“I mostly use one mobile application to sell and purchase cattle, which has enhanced my earnings,” says Waheed, from Ahmedpur Lamma village in eastern Punjab province. “I am also using another app that provides me with information about the weather forecast, soil health, equipment and most important, the use of bio-pesticides. This has helped me to cut costs by 10 percent as conventional pesticides are more expensive because they are imported,” he adds in a recent interview.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the use of online tools accelerated in every domain in Pakistan — from finances to health, education and services. This transition is also creating opportunities for digitalization of agriculture

Pakistan is considered an agricultural country. As per the 2017 census, 64 percent of the population is rural and 36 percent urban. Agriculture, centred in Punjab and Sindh provinces, contributes 19 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 38 percent of workers. Today, 90 percent of farmers (7.4 million) are categorized as ‘smallholder’ as they own less than five hectares of land.

And now agriculture can be seen through a different landscape — a digital one. During the Covid-19 pandemic the use of online tools accelerated in every domain in Pakistan — from finances to health, education and services. This transition is also creating opportunities for digitalization of agriculture.

Against this backdrop, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched its 1,000 Digital Villages Initiative (DVI) in Pakistan. To date it is taking the shape of a pilot project in Punjab and Sindh.

In late May and early June, FAO Pakistan did a baseline assessment of 22 villages in seven districts of the provinces, which included 54 local women and 100 men. About two weeks later it trained more than 1,000 farmers and villagers on six different digital applications related to agriculture, water conservation and online markets for buying and selling agricultural products.

IPS visited four villages in Rahim Yar Khan, a district in Punjab, to meet men and women who attended virtual and in-person training sessions organized by FAO Pakistan in collaboration with local non-profit organisations Food & Agriculture Centre for Excellence (FACE) and Rural Education and Economic Development Society.

 

Farmers from Ahmedpur Lama village, Punjab province, during an online training session. Credit: Irfan Ulhaq/IPS

Farmers from Ahmedpur Lama village, Punjab province, during an online training session. Credit: Irfan Ulhaq/IPS

 

Men and women interviewed said they had been unaware about how digital technology could help them in their work. Many were eager to show the applications they have installed and started using on their phones. Most are related to services for farmers — timely information about weather and market rates, crop health, soil fertility, water usage and accessing markets. Women were accessing information about sewing, stitching and embroidery, health and hygiene.

“I managed to increase my household income by more than 20 percent by selling stitched garments online and my traveling expenses to meet customers and buy materials dropped by more than 25 percent because I started using one social media app,” says Uzma, 32, who has used a cell phone for six years but was unaware of the apps, which are now key components in her business.

Besides using popular social media apps to market her clothes and receive orders, Uzma, from Ahmedpur Lama village, says she buys her raw materials online. With her newfound digital literacy, she is also using her bank’s mobile app to make payments and helping her children with their studies, especially science and maths.

FAO Pakistan’s Project Lead for DVI, Muhammad Khan, said the response from trainees has been better than expected. “We are surprised to see the level of interest shown by the villagers when they were trained. To scale up implementation of DVI in minimum time, FAO Pakistan has decided to integrate it as a component in existing and future projects.”

Most villagers trained say that they are also now regularly using popular social apps. That access opened the door to a new livelihood for Muhammad Sajid, 33. “I learned mobile repairing skills by watching different tutorial videos and this helped me to open my mobile repairing shop in my village,” he says. Using his online skills to help fellow villagers buy and sell agricultural products and livestock is his next goal, he adds.

 

Abdul Waheed of Ahmedpur Lama village, Punjab province on his farm. Credit: Irfan Ulhaq/IPS

 

All the farmers who IPS spoke with said that mobile phone connectivity boosted their operations. “With an agriculture app I learned the differences among many fertilizers, which ones are best for my crops, and how to apply them. Now I am getting the maximum yield from my crops,” says Muhammad Haseeb, 29.

Shahid Hussain says that after attending a meeting about digital tools for farmers in his village he converted his manual pesticide spraying machine into an automatic one, saving valuable time. Using one app, he learned more about fodder for his cattle and changed their feeding practices. “My livestock now produces more milk than before,” he adds.

Given results to date, FAO’s Khan predicts that in the next five years most villages in Pakistan will be connected to a digital ecosystem with farmers and their neighbours managing their work, and other aspects of life, using digital applications and technologies.

A global initiative inspired by FAO’s Director-General, Mr QU Dongyu, the DVI is being piloted in the Asia-Pacific region. The villages in Pakistan are among many being showcased and sharing their advancements with other villages and areas in Asia and the Pacific as well as other regions of the world.

Bangladesh Flood Victims Cry for Relief

Relief workers bring supplies to stranded communities following devastating floods in Bangladesh. Credit: Rafiqul Islam/IPS

Relief workers bring supplies to stranded communities following devastating floods in Bangladesh. Credit: Rafiqul Islam/IPS

By Rafiqul Islam
DHAKA, Jun 28 2022 – After losing everything in the recent devastating flood that swept the northeastern districts in Bangladesh, pregnant mother Joynaba Akter, her three children and her husband took refuge in a shelter centre at Gowainghat in Sylhet.

“As the flood damaged all our belongings, my husband took us to Dasgaon Naogaon School shelter centre to escape,” Joynaba said. “I was in the final stages of my pregnancy, and that is why I had no alternative to going to the shelter centre amid this disaster. I was scared, and my husband took me here by boat.”

Joynaba gave birth to a baby girl at the centre last Friday, and she was happy to welcome the new family member, but she did not know how they would survive.

After giving birth to her child, she has been feeling ill but hasn’t any money for treatment, resulting in her newborn child not getting enough breast milk.

When the flooding stopped in the Gowainghat area, she returned to her homestead but found nothing remained as the flood washed away all their belongings.

“My husband had an auto-rickshaw. The flood washed it away too,” Joynaba said.

They built a makeshift shelter with tin sheets and installed a temporary cooking stove at their homestead. But they don’t have enough grain to cook.

“We have only four kilograms of rice and 250 grams of pulses, and one kilogram of potato that we got as relief at the cyclone centre. Once those are finished, we all have to be starving,” she said.

Seventy-year-old farmer, Suruj Ali’s house, was also flooded, and he, with his family members, took shelter at a building which is under construction located nearby his village. He also shifted his domestic cattle.

Eight days after they took shelter, Suruj Ali returned home on Friday. While the floodwater has receded from his house, the homestead’s yard is still under water.

“In front of my eyes, the flood washed away all the rice stored, and cattle feeds (like straw). I could do nothing. I was only able to save my cattle,” said Suruj Ali, a resident of Kaskalika Balaura village at Sylhet Sadar upazila.

The floodwaters have made him destitute, he said. All the rice stored in the house, utensils and even his mattress were washed away.

“I know a dark time (crisis) is waiting for my family and me. We are yet to get any aid,” Suruj Ali said.

Reports from the region say 2,500 millimetres of rainfall in the upstream Assam and Meghalaya of India over three days in the middle of June this year, resulting in floods in Bangladesh’s northeastern region. Many blame climate change for the floods affecting several million across the country.

In Netrakona district, over 554000 families have been affected by the floods in 10 upazilas (administrative regions). Some families have already returned home from shelters as floodwater recedes. But there are still about 112000 people in 353 shelters.

Mozammel Haque, chairman of Pogla Union Parishad (UP), Netrakona, said the official relief provided by the government was inadequate, while over half a million families were affected in the upazila.

The flood situation is improving in Sunamganj and Sylhet, but many homesteads are still under water.

“The water is still waist level in my home, so there was no way to return. All the goods in the house were destroyed,” said Idris Ali, who is staying at the Ikarachai Primary School shelter centre in Sunamganj.

Boats Rushing In Relief

Although the flood has started improving in the northeastern region, many families stuck in the remote haor (wetland) areas are still experiencing a food and drinking water crisis.

“In the remote bordering area in Sunamganj, many were calling for relief. We were taking boats with relief goods for them, but that was not adequate,” said AR Tareq, a volunteer group member involved in relief distribution in Sunamganj.

Bashir Miah, a resident of Darampasha in Sumamganj, said those on the main road received assistance, but few volunteers want to go to remote areas, which is why they are not accessing the relief.

Rajesh Chandro Ghosh, the coordinator of Low Cost Tour Bangladesh, another volunteer group that distributed relief in Sylhet, said: “We have distributed some relief goods under a private arrangement and saw how hopeless the flood victims’ situation is. They need more relief, particularly for those who are living in remote areas.”

But Sylhet Deputy Commissioner Mujibur Rahman told reporters there was no relief crisis.

“Flood situation is getting back normal in Sunamganj gradually. And we are carrying out relief distribution programme too,” Sunamganj Deputy Commissioner Jahangir Alam said.

However, Nurul Haque, convener of Jagannathpur Upazila Citizens Forum, said the pace of relief distribution was slow despite the government allocations, while a lack of coordination meant many were not receiving help.

The government has already allocated over Taka 7.11 crore (about 765 000 US dollars) as humanitarian assistance for the flood victims in 14 flood-hit districts, said Md Selim Hossain, Deputy Chief Information Officer at Disaster Management and Relief Ministry.

Besides, he said 5,820 metric tonnes of rice, 1.23 food packets and baby food. Cattle feed was also allocated across the country.

Waterborne Diseases on the Rise

Bangladesh’s death toll from the flood was estimated at least 84, according to the Health Emergency and Control Room of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Most died in floods from May 17 to June 26 in Sylhet, Mymensingh and Rangpur divisions. The most casualties occurred in the Sylhet division, with 52 deaths, while 28 people died in Mymensingh and four in Rangpur.

Diarrhoea outbreak has been reported in these flood-hit districts. Around 6,000 people have been diagnosed with waterborne diseases across the country, according to the DGHS data.

IPS UN Bureau Report

 


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NATO Summit Set to Further Militarise Europe, Expand in Africa?

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Credit: NATO.

By Baher Kamal
MADRID, Jun 28 2022 – The three-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-NATO Summit in Madrid (28,29, 30 June 2022) is expected to agree to considerably increase Europe’s military power, heavily weaponise Russia’s border, and further expand its presence in Africa, according to a diplomatic source.

Taking advantage of the ongoing Russian “Special [military] Operation” in Ukraine, the NATO leaders are also expected to agree on multiplying by up to five-fold its troops and military potential in Europa, including nuclear weapons, long-range missiles, cyber-attacks and the robotisation of arms, the source told IPS on condition of anonymity.

According to this information, the NATO Summit would plan to especially strengthen the presence of troops and weapons in East Europe and also in South Europe, i.e the Alliance’s Mediterranean countries.

Plans to massively increase the number of forces “at high readiness

“Nato has announced plans to massively increase the number of its forces at high readiness to over 300,000 troops,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said as quoted by the BBC.

“The bloc’s rapid reaction force currently has 40,000 troops at its disposal, with many of those based along the alliance’s eastern flank.

 

Middle East and Africa

Furthermore, it is also expected that NATO Summit agrees on further expanding the Alliance military deployment to the Middle East and Africa, with a special focus on its Northern region, allegdging that this aims at preventing and combating terrorism.

According to the source, NATO clearly intends to “neutralise” Russia as a rival, so that it can focus its strategy towards what the leaders for now agree to call the “Chinese challenge.”

Three of NATO’s member states: the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, not only possess “nukes” -which are considered weapons of mass destruction” and the “most destructive arms ever created,” but they also continue to modernise their nuclear arsenals with the most advanced technologies.


Nuclear stockpiles

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 13 June 2022 launched the findings of its Yearbook 2022: of the total inventory of an estimated 12.705 warheads at the start of 2022, about 9.440 were in military stockpiles “for potential use.”

Of those, an estimated 3.732 warheads were deployed with missiles and aircrafts, and around 2000—nearly all of which belonged to Russia or the USA—were kept in a state of “high operational alert,” according to SIPRI’s 2022 Yearbook Global nuclear arsenals are expected to grow as states continue to modernise.


The robotisation of weapons

Of special concern is the fact that the growing use of state-of-the-art technologies in operating weapons, including nuclear arms, involves further dangers to the possibility of “human miscalculation.”

“Cyber attacks could manipulate the information decision-makers get to launch nuclear weapons, and interfere with the operation of nuclear weapons themselves,” warns the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

According to this 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate’s report Squandered: 2021 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending, the increased application of advanced machine learning in defence systems can speed up warfare – giving decision-makers even less time to consider whether or not to launch nuclear weapons.

Countries may be eager to apply new artificial intelligence technologies before they understand the full implications of these technologies, adds ICAN.

“It is impossible to eliminate the risk of core nuclear weapons systems being hacked or compromised without eliminating nuclear weapons.”

 

Multiplying military spending amidst crisis

According to NATO critics, who marched in thousands in Madrid streets, the ‘feared’ results of the NATO Summit will bring only heavy negative consequences for European citizens.

In fact, both the gas and oil prices, as well as those of commodities and basic food, have marked a sharp rise in European countries, leading to record-high inflation averaging nearly 9% in most of the ‘old continent.’

The expected militarisation of European national budgets will further undermine the already decreasing spending on public health, public education, social services, and unemployment, which were already impacted by the COVID-19 pandemia, according to the critics.


NATO expected plans… in diplomatic words

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg set out his priorities for the Madrid Summit during a speech on 22 June 2022. Speaking at an event organised by Politico, Stoltenberg said: “We will take decisions to strengthen our Alliance, and keep it agile in this more dangerous world.”

The Secretary-General explained that NATO would strengthen its defences, agree a new Strategic Concept, and strengthen its support to Ukraine and other partners at risk.

Stoltenberg said that in Madrid, Allies would recommit to the pledge made in 2014 to spend at least 2% of GDP on defence.

He highlighted the progress that had been made with greater burden-sharing across the whole Alliance: “We must continue to invest more. And invest more together in NATO.” Read NATO Secretary General’s full remarks


Peace, security and safety

In spite of the expected military plans, both NATO sources and those of the European Commission as well as of the national governments of the Alliance member countries, have been emphasising that the sole aim is to strengthen their “defence, peace, security and safety” of their citizens.

Hitachi Energy and Petrofac to collaborate in growing offshore wind market

Zurich, Switzerland, June 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy a market and technology leader in transmission, distribution and grid automation solutions, and Petrofac, a leading international service provider to the energy industry, have entered into a collaboration to provide grid integration and associated infrastructure to support the rapidly growing offshore wind market.

This collaboration builds on the complementary core technologies and expertise of both companies in offshore wind to support the decarbonization of power systems and deliver clean energy. It covers high–voltage direct current (HVDC), as well as high–voltage alternating current (HVAC) solutions.

Hitachi Energy's HVDC Light and modular HVAC grid technologies and solutions and Petrofac's world–class engineering, procurement, construction and installation capabilities for offshore platforms and offshore and onshore civil works, will bring considerable benefits to the efficient implementation of offshore wind projects and help accelerate the energy transition.

"We are delighted to collaborate with Petrofac to help meet the growing need for large–scale offshore wind generation and deliver clean renewable electricity to consumers. As leaders in our respective fields, this collaboration will create added value for our customers and help accelerate the energy transition," said Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy's Grid Integration business. "Our HVDC and HVAC solutions are key enablers of the transition to a global energy system that is more sustainable, flexible and secure."

"Offshore wind plays a crucial role in the transition to clean, affordable energy and we've been successfully delivering major projects in the sector for more than a decade now," said Elie Lahoud, Chief Operating Officer, Engineering & Construction of Petrofac. "Hitachi Energy is well known for its long track record in providing innovative technologies and solutions across the power grid value chain. We look forward to bringing our industry–leading experience and deep domain knowledge together, to benefit our customers and power millions more homes using renewable energy."

Recent Hitachi Energy HVDC offshore wind projects include Dogger Bank, the world's largest offshore wind farm off the UK coast, and four of the DolWin and BorWin HVDC hubs that connect multiple wind farms in the North Sea to the German power grid.

Hitachi Energy is also a global leading supplier of grid connection solutions for the AC offshore wind farms industry.

Editor's notes

Offshore wind is undergoing unprecedented growth globally. In 2021, a record 15.7 gigawatts (GW) of capacity were added, compared to around 5.2 GW per year in 2020 and 2019, according to World Forum Offshore Wind.1

Hitachi Energy pioneered HVDC almost 70 years ago and has delivered more than half of the world's HVDC projects and more than 70 percent of the world's voltage source converter (HVDC Light) installations. HVDC Light is the technology of choice for transferring power over long distances from offshore wind farms to the mainland grid. Its defining features include uniquely compact converter stations (which is extremely important in space–critical applications like offshore wind platforms), exceptionally low electrical losses of less than 1 percent, and black–start capability to restore power after a grid outage.

  1. https://wfo–global.org/wp–content/uploads/2022/02/WFO_Global–Offshore–Wind–Report–2021.pdf

– End –

About Hitachi Energy Ltd.

Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We serve customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, we pioneer technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon–neutral future. We are advancing the world's energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure whilst balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ around 38,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of approximately $10 billion USD.

https://www.hitachienergy.com

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About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society with data and technology. We will solve customers' and society's challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products, under the business structure of Digital Systems & Services, Green Energy & Mobility, Connective Industries and Automotive Systems. Driven by green, digital, and innovation, we aim for growth through collaboration with our customers. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2021 (ended March 31, 2022) totaled 10,264.6 billion yen ($84,136 million USD), with 853 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 370,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at https://www.hitachi.com.


Sharing Minds Can Change the World

Elena Seungeun Lee, Cheongshim International Academy, Seoul, South Korea Founder of “We Learn to Share”, introducing my YouTube channel and several screenshots from my videos sharing knowledge about AP Statistics, AP world history, and philosophy. Credit: Elena Seungeun Lee/IPS

Elena Seungeun Lee, Cheongshim International Academy, Seoul, South Korea
Founder of “We Learn to Share”, introducing my YouTube channel and several screenshots from my videos sharing knowledge about AP Statistics, AP world history, and philosophy. Credit: Elena Seungeun Lee/IPS

By Elena Seungeun Lee and Julie Hyunsung Lee
Seoul, Bangkok , Jun 28 2022 – Parasite, a Korean black comedy film directed by Bong Joon-ho, shows the story of a poor family who infiltrated the household of an affluent family by getting employment by pretending to be highly qualified persons.

Their lifestyles, everything from household work to the children’s educational opportunities, are in sharp contrast. For example, a highly paid tutor educates the wealthy family’s children, Ki-Woo and Ki-Jung.

This movie shows the unspoken and uncomfortable truth: There IS a social class divided by the level of education and wealth.

Someone from a wealthy and upper-class family will continue to be more successful than those from poor family backgrounds. Inheritance of parents’ socioeconomic status by their children seems to be rising and persistent in today’s world.

Surprisingly, Parasite is much more than a mere film – it’s a reality.

It took a 17-year-old girl living in Daechi-dong in Gangnam-gu, an area notorious for ‘education fever’ in Seoul, South Korea, to recognize the rampant inequality in my society.

The housing prices near so-called ‘elite academies’ skyrocketed, and places in the most prestigious universities in Korea were taken by students from Daechi-dong. This area is the mecca for private educational academies or hagwon. Apart from highly reputable schools, the site also has the city’s best infrastructure, cultural amenities, and vibrant real estate.

This is what many Koreans encounter and experience every day. But they stay mute about this social phenomenon. Parents and students are busy fighting a war in which they are stepping all over their friends and ultimately dreaming of winning admission to a prestigious university.

This story is from South Korea, a relatively developed country. Indeed, people are lost in the labyrinth society has created in which so many people are pushed to be like Ki-Woo and Ki-Jung in the movie, Parasite.

Education today fails to fulfill its initial purpose: To educate all individuals on the basic knowledge necessary for life and to serve the role of a great equalizer.

In a society with equal opportunity, every student shall be at least given a chance to change their social status. Discriminating or restricting students’ right to education is like taking away their opportunity for empowerment and development. Something needs to be done.

This is why I made my YouTube channel “We Learn to Share”. My overarching goal was to bridge the inequalities in the education sector by providing students with educational videos without time, place, and border constraints.

Introducing myself as ‘Elena’, I shared my knowledge of Spanish and Korean languages and cultures, hoping to bridge the education gap.

I never thought that I could play a role in fighting educational inequality – which seemed like an undefeatable Goliath. But no matter how challenging it is, I continue to trust my gut and never lose courage.

Passion, courage, and perseverance. These are the credos I use to get motivated to connect myself to and sympathize with students on the other side. But I can’t do this alone.

From 2022, I’ve decided to recruit teenagers worldwide who are eager to dedicate their time and effort to solving rampant educational inequalities.

Julie Hyunsung Lee on “We Learn to Share”, a YouTube channel dedicated to providing students free access to educational content and lessons to attempt to decrease educational inequalities worldwide. Credit: Julie Hyunsung Lee/IPS

Julie Hyunsung Lee on “We Learn to Share”, a YouTube channel dedicated to providing students free access to educational content and lessons to attempt to decrease educational inequalities worldwide. Credit: Julie Hyunsung Lee/IPS

So, it changed from “Elena learns to share” to “We learn to share”. Recruiting students from four different countries and 13 different schools – including the co-author of this article Julie Hyunsung Lee, We Learn to Share is now making and sharing videos of a myriad of subjects.

Our subscribers are from more than ten countries, leave comments, and send us emails thanking us and appreciating our videos.

There is something you can do as well!

The fourth of the 17 sustainable development goals set by the UN is quality education, to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

To achieve this goal, I would like to call upon the youth to join us to bridge the educational gap. In today’s society, the youth is crucial for deriving change because we have passion, courage, and perseverance.

Think about it! The youth educate the youth!

We share our knowledge with the youth around the world. And by doing so, we take this matter into our hands and bridge the educational gap ourselves. Through this effort, we may be able to bring a collective action from which we hope to influence government policies regarding equality in education.

I want all the youth to be aware of this social phenomenon and believe that they can make a difference.

On my YouTube channel, we love what we do and how we can contribute to resolving educational inequalities in our society. I believe in the power of youth to bridge the academic gap and provide equal opportunities to learn for all.

Would you like to join us and share your funds of knowledge with the world?

Please find the YouTube channel here https://www.youtube.com/c/WeLearntoShare and you can contact the authors here (welearntoshare1@gmail.com) or fill out the application form on our website (https://www.welearntoshare.com/en/contact-8)

Elena Seungeun Lee (team leader) and Julie Hyunsung Lee are high school learners living in Asia. They participated in a joint APDA, and IPS training on developing opinion content. Hanna Yoon led the course and edited the opinion content.

IPS UN Bureau Report

 


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Jobs Will Not Empower Young Women Until We Address Sexual Harassment

A poster displayed in an office in Dhaka, Bangladesh asks people to “smash the silence and put an end to harassment.” Credit: BRAC Institute of Governance and Development

By Marjoke Oosterom
BRIGHTON, UK, Jun 28 2022 – What does empowerment for young women look like? For many, the answer would include jobs. But the belief that jobs bring empowerment through income, greater autonomy, and bargaining power within the family fail to recognise that these potential gains for young women are undermined by widespread sexual harassment.

Our new research on workplace sexual harassment, with women in Uganda and Bangladesh, reveals that young women lack both protection and security at work and have little power themselves to challenge the sexual harassment they experience.

After interviews and group discussions with over 100 young female factory and domestic workers, their experiences of sexual harassment – and the extent of it – became clear, as well as the factors that constrain them from reporting it to authorities.

Workplace sexual harassment is widespread

All the young women we spoke to had experienced sexual harassment at work. Verbal abuse, comments and ‘bad looks’ were most common and almost accepted as part of everyday life at work. Inappropriate touching and groping also frequently occurred.

Young and unmarried women from poor backgrounds are particularly at risk. Due to their isolated working conditions, domestic workers are even more likely to be exposed to the most severe forms of sexual harassment, including assault and rape. We also found that they were more vulnerable due to starker class differences and their limited education.

This research from the Institute of Development Studies and our research partners shows that most young women find the best possible strategy is to change their own behaviour to avoid physical forms of sexual harassment from happening. The tactics range from avoiding lone working to wearing baggy clothes to avoid attracting attention.

One Bangladeshi factory worker said she avoided the parts of the factory floor where fans might flutter her dress and reveal her skin. Domestic workers in Uganda preferred to do chores outside the house if a male employer was home alone.

Gender norms

During our research we collaborated with linguists to analyse how language and gender norms influence the young women’s voice and agency in response to workplace sexual harassment. We found that existing social and gender norms are normalising the sexually aggressive behaviours from male co-workers, supervisors and managers and often leads to the young women being blamed for attracting attention from other men.

Gender norms also influence women’s voice and agency. Social norms around purity and honour in Bangladesh, for instance, restricted women’s freedom to speak about their bodies and attention they get from men.

In Uganda, norms concerning marriage prevented domestic workers from taking action as they were afraid to ‘disturb’ the marriage of their employers. Language is essential for voicing and challenging sexual harassment, but we found that social and gender norms prevent young women from articulating the transgressive and inappropriate behaviour by men.

Many women hide detail, deliberately use euphemisms, and even lack the vocabulary to explain what happened to them, ultimately limiting opportunities for reporting and for any redress.

Reporting

Given these major barriers to speaking out about sexual harassment, it is not surprising that few young women take further action or report incidents. Most young women we spoke to will tell someone about an incident but mainly for moral support rather than to take action against the perpetrator.

Women felt that the police and authorities are unwilling to respond.

Local authorities are often men who often dismiss their cases, blame the women, or telling them to be ‘forgiving’. Young women and their families also distrust the police. Anticipating the need to pay the police informal fees and bribes to file a case, most women will just not report cases to them.

Hence, young women who have the courage to take further action mainly needed to rely on family members to settle matters informally with employers. Even when reporting to employers, sexual harassment is more usually ‘resolved’ informally, with perpetrators hardly facing any consequences.

This means that any strategy for tackling sexual harassment in the world of work must not only target employers but also government authorities like the police.

Glaring oversight in youth employment interventions

These findings ultimately challenge the existing idea that formal jobs will offer ‘decent work’ and empower young women. Food processing factories (where many of the women we interviewed worked) can drive economic growth and promote job creation for large numbers of unskilled workers.

Yet, while the factories are formal, most jobs are informal and precarious: workers lack contracts and security, earn little and are paid infrequently.

In Uganda, measures by factory employers to tackle sexual harassment were found to be entirely dysfunctional and did not adequately protect or support women.

In both Uganda and Bangladesh, the indirect protection offered to women from working in groups was what protected them to some extent, not policies.

For many international aid donors and governments promoting ‘decent jobs for youth’ is a key development priority. But their focus is firmly on skills, decent wages and job security with workplace sexual harassment often left overlooked.

Even where youth employment interventions target businesses and employers directly, opportunities for improving workplace policies and safeguarding are missed.

What we need now are laws, mechanisms and a change in culture and attitudes to reduce workplace sexual harassment of women. This includes offering support to firms to design and implement sexual harassment policies and safe complaint mechanisms, encouraging female leadership, and women workers committees and female representation in the workplace at all levels.

This is particularly important in sectors likely to generate jobs.

Employment can generate empowerment for women but while widespread sexual harassment exists, this opportunity for empowerment is being undermined in many countries.

We urgently need governments, employers, and communities to provide the supportive environment that young female workers need, and we must shift the focus from the quantity of jobs to the quality and safety of jobs.

IPS UN Bureau

 


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Excerpt:

The writer is Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, UK

Climate Hypocrisy Ensures Global Warming

By Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram
SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 28 2022 – Rich country governments claim the high moral ground on climate action. But many deny their far greater responsibility for both historic and contemporary greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, once acknowledged by the Kyoto Protocol.

Climate injustice
Worse, responsibility has not been matched by commensurate efforts, especially by the largest rich economies in the G7, which dominates the G20. Its continued control of international economic resources and policymaking blocks progress on climate justice.

Anis Chowdhury

“That is the greatest injustice of climate change: that those who bear the least responsibility for climate change are the ones who will suffer the most”, says Mary Robinson, former Eire President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

On a per capita basis, the US and close allies – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Australia and Canada – produce more than a hundred times the planet-warming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of some African countries.

The African population produced about 1.1 metric tonnes of carbon (dioxide equivalent) emissions per person in 2019, under a quarter of the 4.7 tonnes global average. The US emitted 16.1 tonnes – nearly four times the global average.

GHG emissions accumulate over time and trap heat, warming the planet. The US has emitted over a quarter of all GHG emissions since the 1750s, while Europe accounts for 33%. By contrast, Africa, South America and India contributed about 3% each, while China contributed 12.7%.

Wealth inequalities worsen climate injustice. The world’s richest 5% were responsible for 37% of GHG emissions growth during 1990-2015, while the bottom half of the world’s population accounted for 7%!

Poor regions and people take the brunt of global warming. The tropical zone is much more vulnerable to rapid climate change. Most of these countries and communities bear little responsibility for the GHG emissions worsening global warming, but also have the least means to cope and protect themselves.

Thus, climate justice demands wealthy nations – most responsible for cumulative and current GHG emissions – not only reduce the harm they cause, but also help those with less means to cope.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Rich hypocrisy
Wealthy countries have done little to keep their 2009 promises to provide US$100 billion annually to help developing countries. Most climate finance has been earmarked for mitigation. But this ignores their needs and priorities, as developing countries need help to adapt to climate change and to cope with losses and damages due to global warming.

The OECD club of rich countries has been criticized for exaggerating climate finance, but acknowledges, “Australia, Japan and the United States consider financing for high-efficiency coal plants as a form of climate finance.”

It reports climate finance of US$79.6bn in 2019, but these figures are hotly contested. However, ‘commercial credit’ is typically not concessional. But when it is, it implies official subsidies for “bankable”, “for profit” projects.

Many also doubt much of this funding is truly additional, and not just diverted (‘repurposed’) from other ends. Private finance also rarely goes where it is most needed while increasing debt burdens for borrowers.

Leading from behind
At the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow in November 2021, US President Joe Biden described climate change as “an existential threat to human existence” and pledged to cut US emissions by up to 51% by 2030.

Biden had claimed his ‘Build Back Better’ (BBB) package of proposed social and climate spending would be a cornerstone of restoring international trust in the US commitment to stem global warming.

At the G7 Summit in June 2021, Biden announced his vision of a “Build Back Better World” (B3W) would define the G7 alternative to China’s multitrillion USD Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

All this was premised on US ability to lead from the front, with momentum growing once BBB became law. But his legislative package has stalled. Unable to attract the needed votes in the Senate, BBB is ‘dead in the water’.

Putting on a brave face, US Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer promises to bring the legislation to a vote early next year. But with their party’s declining political fortunes, likely ‘horse-trading’ to pass the bill will almost certainly further undermine Biden’s promises.

Meanwhile, breaking his 2020 campaign promise, Biden approved nearly 900 more permits to drill on public land in 2021, more than President Trump in 2017. While exhorting others to cut fossil fuel reliance, his administration is now urging US companies and allies to produce more, invoking Ukraine war sanctions.

Aid laggard
At COP26, Biden promised to help developing nations reduce carbon emissions, pledging to double US climate change aid. But even this is still well short of its proportionate share of the grossly inadequate US$100bn yearly rich nations had pledged in 2009 in concessional climate finance for developing countries.

Considering its national income and cumulative emissions, the US should provide at least US$43–50bn in climate finance annually. Others insist the US owes the developing world much more, considering their needs and damages due to US emissions, e.g., suggesting US$800bn over the decade to 2030.

In 2017-18, the US delivered US$10bn to the pledged US$100bn annual climate finance – less than Japan’s US$27bn, Germany’s US$20bn and France’s US$15bn, despite the US economy being larger than all three combined.

President Obama pledged US$3bn to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) – the UN’s flagship climate finance initiative – but delivered only US$1bn. Trump totally repudiated this modest pledge.

At the April 2021 Earth Day leaders’ summit, Biden vowed to nearly double Obama’s pledge to US$5.7bn, with US$1.5bn for adaptation. But even this amount is far short of what the US should contribute, given its means and total emissions.

After the European Commission president highlighted this in September 2021, Biden vowed to again double the US contribution to US$11.4bn yearly by 2024, boasting this would “make the US a leader in international climate finance”.

At COP26, the US cited this increased GCF promise to block developing countries’ call for a share of revenue from voluntary bilateral carbon trading. The US has also opposed developing countries’ call for a funding facility to help vulnerable nations cope with loss and damage due to global warming.

Worse, the US Congress has approved only US$1bn for international climate finance for 2022 – only US$387m more than in the Trump era. At that rate, it would take until 2050 to get to US$11.4bn. Unsurprisingly, Biden made only passing mention of climate and energy in his last State of the Union address.

IPS UN Bureau

 


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