France will implement a nationwide facial recognition ID program
France will become the first European country to use facial recognition to give its citizens a secure digital ID.
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France and Germany to support the tech start-ups
France and Germany want to build an European Union-wide initiative to fund innovation and research in tech start-up projects across the bloc so that EU can compete more effectively against the tech companies of the United States and China, according to Reuters.
Berlin and Paris called for the European Innovation Council to fund “ambitious” technology start-ups in a paper presented to European Union leaders at the Balkan summit last week.
“A joint effort is also needed to further improve the venture capital environment and regulations to allow successful market transfer of breakthrough innovations, as well as the foundation and growth of disruptive deep technology companies in Europe,” the paper said, according to Reuters.
France and Germany are pushing for reforms in various sectors before a summit of EU leaders in June. At the same time, they say the aim is to create a network to bring breakthrough innovations in science to the marketplace and to open up the network to other interested EU countries.
France and Germany want national initiatives to be complemented by EU ones, which can have more added value for the establishment and the growth of tech start-ups, the paper said. The two countries want their project to focus on tech leaders in academia as well as entrepreneurs and to provide funding for high-risk tech projects.
According to pymnts.com, France has already promised to spend 1.5 billion euros ($1.75 billion) on artificial intelligence by 2022.
There are also companies committing to help the EU grow in the technology sector. Last year, for example, Samsung’s venture capital arm announced it will use a $150 million global funding round to invest in early-stage startups in Europe for investment or acquisition, focusing on tech companies working on artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, augmented reality and virtual reality.- pymnts.com
European advertising business confidence rises rapidly in the first quarter of 2018, led by the UK
The business confidence in the ad industry increased 12 points from +1 in January 2018 to +13 in April 2018. It is the highest level of confidence measured over the past year, close to the previous peak of +16 points reported at the end of 2016. The information is generated by the latest European Advertising Business Climate Index, issued by the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA).
The European-wide confidence index could rise further over the next quarter, as the expectation of advertising demand increases from +8 points (Q1/2018) to +21 (Q2/2018) and the expectation of selling prices grows from +7 (Q1/2018) to +9 (Q2/2018).
To a considerable extent, the growth is driven by the UK, which has the largest share of the advertising market in Europe. The confidence index for the UK has risen an impressive 75,4 points from -26,2 (Q1/2018) to +49,2 (Q2/2018). It has gone from having the second lowest score measured across all the countries in the last quarter to now having the highest. The expectation of advertising demand in the UK also rises 80,8 points from -11,9 to +68,9, between Q1 and Q2/2018.
Among other positive confidence gainers are the big advertising markets in France and Italy, increasing respectively from +1 to +4 and -28 to -18 over the last quarter. Whereas Italy’s confidence index used to be the lowest of all the European countries, the bottom rank is now occupied by Greece with -35 points. It has had the biggest decline of all the countries over the previous quarter (25 points).
Despite the earlier poor expectations, the evolution of demand taken as a whole in the beginning of 2018 has increased from +1 to +16 and the evolution of employment has risen from +8 to +11 between Q4/2017 and Q1/2018.
The expectation of employment remains stable at +10 points for the next quarter with the exception of Mediterranean Europe, where the situation is expected to deteriorate (from +6 to -9). Expectations of prices in Mediterranean Europe are also the lowest of all the European regions but, on the other hand, they are expected to rise more than in other areas (from -3 to +4).
Two countries that have most improved their overall business confidence over the last quarter are the UK (from -26,2 to +49,2) and Estonia (from -4 to +8). The biggest falls in confidence are experienced in Greece (from -10 to -35) and Denmark (from +33 to +18).
The 3D printed houses are here and ready to conquer the market
Building a house is a process that is not only time-consuming, but also expensive. However, this could soon change. More and more manufacturers are exploring the world of construction 3D printing, also known as house 3D printing. According to Aniwaa, house 3D printers use paste extrusion to build houses – a similar technology to the one that FFF 3D printers use. “Paste-type material, such as concrete or mud, is pushed through the house 3D printer’s nozzle in layers. 3D printing in the construction industry helps save time, effort and material. However, construction 3D printers are not yet capable of creating a fully functional house. Indeed, only the frame and walls of the house are built– other elements, such as electricity or indoor plumbing, need to be manually installed,” explains Aniwaa on its website.
ICON has developed a method for printing a single-story 650-square-foot house out of cement in only 12 to 24 hours, a fraction of the time it takes for new construction. If all goes according to plan, a community made up of about 100 homes will be constructed for residents in El Salvador next year. The company has partnered with New Story, a nonprofit that is vested in international housing solutions. “We have been building homes for communities in Haiti, El Salvador, and Bolivia,” Alexandria Lafci, co-founder of New Story, told The Verge.
Using the Vulcan printer, ICON can print an entire home for USD 10,000 and plans to bring costs down to USD 4,000 per house. “It’s much cheaper than the typical American home,” Jason Ballard, one of ICON’s three founders, also said to The Verge. It’s capable of printing a home that’s 800 square feet, a significantly bigger structure than properties pushed by the tiny home movement, which top out at about 400 square feet.
Moreover, France’s first 3D-printed house will be unveiled in the city of Nantes in April. The first tenants of the groundbreaking public housing property are scheduled to move in by June. Researchers at the University of Nantes are responsible for the project, which was built using a robot 3D printer, known as ‘BatiPrint3D,’ in just 18 days before its hollow walls were filled with cement. The robot uses a special polymer material that should insulate the 95-square-meter (1000-square-foot), five-room house for a century.