Waste disposal: using garbage as a valuable resource

2017/03/22

The average person generates 1,9 kg of waste per day, which multiplied by the world population is 13,6 billion kg per day. What could be done to process solid waste and use garbage as a valuable resource? In order to answer this question, we used Mergeflow to find out more about innovative waste management solutions. Continue Reading

Superfoods: are they really super?

2017/03/14

The food industry wants to persuade us that eating some foods can slow down the ageing process, lift depression, boost our physical ability, and even our intelligence. “Superfood” is the marketing term used to describe these foods that promise almost magical healing powers. But are these claims too good to be true? Pushed by our sense of curiosity, we searched via Merfeflow to find out the most recently discussed superfoods. Continue Reading

Medical devices for $0.01: A glimmer of hope for developing countries

2017/03/09

Many places in the world, especially developing countries, don’t have access to early medical diagnostics. They are often affected by diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV. In addition, illiteracy is wide-spread in these areas (which makes it hard to train people on sophisticated medical equipment, even if the high cost of this equipment were not an issue). Given these extreme challenges, what could be done in order to improve medical care and diagnostics? Continue Reading

Space: a medical research environment

2017/03/07

Elon Musk is planning to send two people to the moon next year. This has made headlines; but what’s going on in space right now in terms of research?

Via Mergeflow we discovered that there are several organizations from around the world that conduct research on diseases in space. Continue Reading

Flywheel energy storage: only in museums?

2017/03/02

What comes to your mind when you think of flywheels? I assume you probably think of rollercoasters or something you have seen in a museum. Believe it or not, with Mergeflow we found companies and energy projects that develop and use flywheels for energy storage. Flywheel energy storage can help overcome limitations of intermittent energy supplies, such as Solar PV or Wind Turbines, that do not produce electricity 24/7.

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Are banks investing in startups outside fintech?

2017/02/27

Probably nobody would be surprised if they saw a bank investing in fintech startups. After all, fintech should be their home turf. We wanted to know if banks also invest in startups outside fintech.

Using Mergeflow, we looked at more than 500 venture investment rounds from January to February 2017. We checked whether banks participated in any of these investment rounds. With two exceptions, the results were a bit sobering. Continue Reading

Fake news: is there a technological solution?

2017/02/22

 

Fake news are on the world agenda. Some people say that there are more news about fake news than actual fake news. We did some reasearch on the matter to try to figure out if anyone has developed a tool to fight disinformation. Fortunately, we discovered that many academics and technologists are thinking up solutions to the problem. Continue Reading

Edge computing: the next computing lanscape transformation?

2017/02/17

Peter Levine, a partner at a16z, recently claimed that edge computing will replace cloud computing (check it out).  He argues that this is because the Internet of Things will greatly increase demands for real-time computing, which is hard or impossible to do with centralized cloud computing. For example, if an autonomous car “sees” a stop sign, it will not have time to wait for some centralized cloud server to respond – by the time this response comes, the car will already have overrun the stop sign.
Using data obtained via Mergeflow, we tested if we can see evidence supporting Levine’s claims that edge computing is on the rise. If Levine is right, we should see indications such as investments (e.g. VC or research funding); increases in scientific publications, patents, or news; and important players (e.g. companies) becoming involved with edge computing.

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Market segments, sizes, and growth rates from texts

2016/09/22

Imagine you want to find out information about a certain market; its size, relevant players, and its projected growth rate (measured as CAGR for instance).  If you have ever done this manually, you probably know that this involves a lot of manual work (searching, data cleansing, plotting, etc.).  All of this of course eats into the time you have available for evaluating the information, and for drawing actionable conclusions. Continue Reading