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space tourism

Space Tourism Acts Like a Backbone to Commercial Spaceflight

The Growth of the Space Tourism Market

The nascent space tourism sector has demonstrated significant momentum in recent years and appears poised for further expansion. What was previously relegated to the realm of science fiction is increasingly becoming attainable, as industry players work to make space travel accessible to non-astronauts. The global space tourism market – valued at US$869 million in 2022 – is projected to reach US$3.9 billion by 2032 which is corresponding to a promising CAGR of 16.2% over the next decade.

Categories of Space Tourism

Space tourism is a new frontier for adventure and discovery, offering a unique opportunity to experience the wonders of outer space and see the Earth from a different perspective. It is a rapidly growing industry that is driven by several private companies with different visions and strategies for offering space tourism services to their customers. Space tourism is not only a lucrative business – but also a noble endeavour- that can inspire and benefit humanity in many ways.

There are three broad categories of space tourism offerings – orbital, suborbital and lunar. Orbital involves reaching and remaining in Earth’s orbit– typically aboard the ISS or a private station. Suborbital encompasses ascents to approximately 100km in altitude to experience brief periods of microgravity and terrestrial panoramas. Lunar tourism covers trips to and potentially extended stays on the Moon. Based on current trajectories it is safe to assume that the addressable market appears sizable. Continued capital injections and technological progress bode well for progressively democratizing access to space in the years ahead. This evolving landscape warrants ongoing assessment of commercial opportunities.

Source: BT Research

Pioneering Companies Driving the Boom

Several pioneering companies have helped drive the new space tourism boom. For example – SpaceX which is founded by Elon Musk in 2002 – has successfully launched numerous resupply missions and astronauts to the International Space Station. Their next goal is to take private citizens on brief trips beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Virgin Galactic which is founded by Richard Branson in 2004– has also made strides with their SpaceShipTwo spaceplane. After years of development and testing, they began commercial service in 2022. Blue Origin which was started by Jeff Bezos in 2000– launched their first crewed flight of the New Shepard rocket in 2021. These companies are attracting interest and investment from various sources, such as customers, investors, media, regulators and partners.

New entrants have attracted substantial private funding, with Virgin Galactic securing over US$1.5 billion and Blue Origin receiving strategic investments from Amazon’s founder. The growth of the space tourism industry was spurred in the 2000s, when high net worth individuals paid millions to visit the International Space Station via Russian rockets. Since then– dedicated firms have emerged to develop proprietary spacecraft and launch infrastructure, with the objective of delivering experiences to a more inclusive customer profile in a safer and a more affordable manner.

Creating Positive Impact Through Innovation

They are also creating a positive impact on this industry and society by advancing technology, creating jobs, inspiring education, promoting research and fostering cooperation. These leading companies are working to make space tourism accessible to more people through reduced costs and innovative technologies. SpaceX’s reusable rockets have helped drive down launch expenses while Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are developing spacecraft specifically designed for space tourism missions. Their test flights and commercial operations are generating significant interest among would-be space travellers and investors alike. As the industry matures its more likely that many people from diverse backgrounds may have opportunities to experience the wonders of space.

While the industry evolves into its new era, we may see space travel transition from an extraordinary feat to an attainable experience for more adventurous travellers. The potential for growth in the decades to come remains vast if safety, affordability and reliability continue to improve. The dawn of the space tourism age is an exciting time that could fundamentally transform how humans engage with and experience the wonders of space.

china illness healthcare

Healthcare System in China Faces Severe Conditions

Hospitals in parts of China have reported an increase in children being admitted with respiratory illnesses in recent weeks, which severely depletes the healthcare of the entire region. Cities like Beijing have seen a spike in cases of pneumonia, flu, RSV and common colds. The surge has strained some hospital resources and raised concerns over whether a new virus may be circulating.

Hospitals Strained by Respiratory Cases

These conditions have been closely monitored as well as maintained an eye on the public health situation unfolding in China. Reports of hospitals overflowing with patients suffering from respiratory illnesses are deeply concerning and underscore vulnerabilities within China’s healthcare system that require urgent reform.

However – Chinese health authorities maintain the rise is due to seasonal factors rather than a new pathogen. They say hospitals have been able to handle the influx and that no new diseases have been detected based on tests conducted. On November 27th, a World Health Organization (WHO) official also said the surge was not higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Increase in Specific Respiratory Infections

According to the World Health Organization – China has seen an increase in the number of children infected with mycoplasma pneumoniae – a bacteria that causes mild infections of the respiratory system – as well as paediatric healthcare cases of RSV, adenovirus, influenza and COVID-19 since May. (WHO).

The spike in respiratory illnesses comes after China lifted most of its strict zero-Covid restrictions earlier this year. This has led to a resurgence of diseases like flu that had previously been well suppressed. At the same time– measures to prevent Covid like mask-wearing have declined, allowing other viruses to spread more easily.

Challenges in Healthcare System

China has made tremendous strides in recent decades expanding access to care. However, challenges remain around resource allocation and capacity management. The surge of respiratory cases, likely exacerbated by ongoing air pollution issues in many regions, is pushing the system to a breaking point. Overcrowded facilities and staff shortages risk compromising care quality and infection control. This crisis highlights the need for a more resilient– preventative-focused approach.

At a basic level – there are simply too few doctors, nurses, beds and equipment relative to the population in many areas. China ranks 93rd in the world for physicians per capita according to WHO data. Resource gaps are most acute in rural communities and smaller cities. Insufficient primary care infrastructure also encourages high rates of hospital visits that could potentially be managed elsewhere.

Hospitals Overwhelmed

According to a Beijing Children’s Hospital administrator, the current average of more than 7,000 daily patients “far exceeds the hospital’s capability.” According to a local state-run outlet, the main paediatric hospital in nearby Tianjin set a record on Saturday, receiving more than 13,000 youngsters at its outpatient and emergency departments.

Some experts suggest ending pandemic controls may have weakened the population’s immunity to seasonal illnesses. Children in particular have had less exposure as they were sheltered during the past few years. This could make them more susceptible amid low vaccination rates for diseases like flu.

WHO Monitoring Situation

International observers continue to monitor the healthcare situation closely. The WHO has requested more comprehensive data from China to assess the risk. Any unusual clusters could be a sign of a new pathogen emerging. Both SARS and Covid-19 began as unexplained outbreaks of pneumonia.

While Chinese authorities say hospitals can cope, anecdotal reports claim some have been overwhelmed. Health officials have asked the public to take milder pediatric cases to clinics instead. They are also encouraging vaccinations, testing, prompt treatment and the use of masks indoors and in crowded spaces.

Seasonal Viruses but Transparency Needed

For now – Chinese authorities maintain the illnesses seen are typical seasonal viruses. However, transparency will be important to reassure the global community. With travel and economic ties– any future outbreak would likely spread rapidly without robust information sharing from the country where it originated.

Financing mechanisms in healthcare also require overhaul. China’s mix of public insurance, private options and out-of-pocket payments leaves many vulnerable to catastrophic costs. High deductibles and co-pays deter seeking timely treatment, while uneven coverage across regions and between urban vs. rural residents must be addressed. An integrated, universal system with stronger primary elements could help shift the focus from costly crisis management.

Opportunity for Healthcare Reform

The current crisis demands immediate relief efforts while creating opportunity to re-envision China’s healthcare system for the future. A more resilient, data-driven, community-oriented model focused on wellness over sickness holds potential to benefit all of China’s 1.4 billion citizens.

Data and technology – in reference with the healthcare segment – offers promises if leveraged properly. Telehealth platforms expanding access to basic screening and advice could alleviate overburdened hospitals. Meanwhile – electronic health records and predictive analytics may help officials better allocate staff and supplies based on changing disease patterns. Coordinated information systems are also needed to facilitate rapid, evidence-based responses during outbreaks.

Balanced Policy Approach Needed

Policymakers must find a balanced approach accounting for socioeconomic realities. Simply building more hospitals and increasing doctor counts will not suffice without accompanying reforms. Integrating public healthcare surveillance with medical care delivery represents a prudent long-term strategy. Investing in primary prevention through environmental protection, lifestyle promotion and vaccination programs could help curb illnesses upstream.

alternative feedstocks

Feedstocks – An Alternative Solution for a Greener Future

India has experienced rapid economic growth and development in recent decades, improving living standards for hundreds of millions. However, this progress has also contributed to elevated pollution levels in many urban and industrial areas. As a responsible global stakeholder committed to sustainability, India is now seeking balanced, long-term solutions to enhance environmental protection while maintaining economic momentum. Feedstocks is one option that helps in this issue.

The Challenge of Pollution

Rising vehicle and factory emissions have led to unhealthy air quality in many Indian cities. The World Health Organization classifies 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities as Indian, with Delhi topping lists as the most polluted capital globally. Pollution disproportionately impacts vulnerable groups and poses growing public health risks. It also incurs economic costs as high as 8.5% of India’s GDP according to some studies. While regulations and enforcement have strengthened, bolder action is needed to curb pollution at its sources.

Evaluating Alternative Feedstock Options

A variety of alternative feedstocks show promise in reducing emissions from transportation, power generation and industry:

Biofuels: Biodiesel and ethanol produced from crops like jatropha and sugarcane can replace diesel and gasoline usage. With proper cultivation practices, biofuels offer carbon savings versus fossil fuels. Challenges include potential food vs fuel conflicts and high production costs currently.

Municipal Solid Waste: India’s cities generate over 62 million tonnes of waste annually. Harnessing this underutilized resource for energy presents a win-win. Technologies gasify waste to generate syngas for power or convert it into refuse-derived fuel for cement kilns and boilers. This diverts waste from landfills while generating renewable energy.

Biogas: Capturing methane from organic waste at landfills, sewage treatment plants and livestock farms yields a valuable fuel. Over 6,000 biogas plants already operate in India, but greater scale-up could displace LPG and natural gas. Biogas also improves sanitation and public health.

Algal Biofuels: Microalgae grown in wastewater or saline environments can produce biodiesel or jet fuel. As they do not require arable land, algal fuels avoid food security concerns. While high production costs remain a barrier, research continues apace to optimize algal strains and cultivation methods.

Each option carries benefits as well as economic and technical challenges. A balanced portfolio leveraging multiple feedstocks tailored to local conditions may optimize outcomes.

To realize feedstock potential at an ambitious yet practical scale, the following multi-pronged approach is recommended:

Policy Push: Strong policy signals like biofuel blending mandates, carbon pricing and waste management reforms can drive long-term investor confidence and private sector participation.

Innovation Funding: Increased R&D funding via public-private partnerships can help optimize feedstock yields, lower costs and commercialize technologies. India’s innovation ecosystem is well-positioned to solve technical challenges.

Skills Development: Training programs in areas like biogas plant operation, algal cultivation and waste processing create green jobs and build domestic capacity.

Finance Mobilization: Risk-sharing mechanisms and results-based financing can help commercial banks participate. Green bonds and climate funds also represent untapped resources.

City-Level Action: Ambitious municipal waste-to-energy and biogas projects deliver local air quality wins and demonstrate solutions. Replicating successes drives broader change.

Cross-Sector Synergies: Pairing feedstock production with wastewater treatment, for example, or using biogas in transport maximizes co-benefits from sustainable waste management.

With the right enabling conditions, alternative feedstocks can make meaningful contributions to India’s energy and environmental goals in the coming decades. A long-term yet urgent focus on scaling innovative solutions offers a pathway to cleaner skies while powering sustainable economic growth. With careful planning and coordination of efforts across sectors, the opportunities far outweigh the challenges. Feedstock sale and export can also assist other countries in providing a greener future for their residents. This in turn can help India to increase its revenue. There is no shortage of feedstocks nor there will be any in the near future. While this seems harmful and bad for the environment, it can prove to be a boon rather than a bane.

Opportunities & Industry Transformation

Scaling alternative feedstock production and use stands to significantly impact India’s energy sector in the coming decades. As feedstock options gradually replace portions of fossil fuel consumption, new markets and opportunities will emerge for energy companies. Oil and gas producers may pivot to invest in advanced biofuels and renewable natural gas generated from waste. Utilities could integrate more distributed biogas and biomass resources into power generation portfolios. The chemicals industry may tap alternative feedstock sources for plastics, fertilizers and other products. At the same time, feedstock supply chains will require infrastructure build-out, from cultivation and logistics networks to processing hubs and fueling stations. This translates to local jobs and economic activity across rural and urban areas. With a supportive policy environment and targeted investments, India’s energy industry is well-positioned to transition core competencies towards more sustainable feedstock-based business models, driving the low-carbon transformation while maintaining energy security and employment. A managed shift towards diverse, domestic feedstock sources presents long-term strategic advantages for India to strengthen energy self-reliance through green growth.

India is well-positioned to pioneer alternative feedstock models that set a positive example for other developing economies to follow. Realizing this potential requires commitment, investment and cross-sector collaboration – but presents immense social and economic returns. A greener future is within reach through sustainable, community-level solutions and global cooperation on climate action. With vision and execution, India can light the way.

digital rail

Rail Sector Transformed by Changes & Opportunities

The Digital Revolution in the Global Rail Industry

The global rail industry is on the cusp of transformation as digitization revolutionizes operations. Advanced technologies like AI, IoT, cloud and data analytics are enabling unprecedented levels of connectivity, automation and insight across tracking, signaling, rolling stock and more.

For original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)– this shift presents both opportunities and challenges. By 2030– the digital rail market is projected to grow from $20 billion to over $50 billion as more systems are upgraded or replaced. Success will depend on OEMs’ ability to deliver solutions tailored for a data-driven environment.

For example – AI-powered computer vision is being used for real-time track inspection to detect flaws or issues. IoT sensors on trains and tracks also enable remote monitoring of performance metrics. This data is then analyzed in the cloud to gain insights for enhancing efficiency, reliability and reducing delays as outlined in other references. Digital ticketing solutions using mobile apps are enhancing the customer experience by allowing passengers to easily plan, purchase and validate their travel on the go.

Innovative Technologies Reshaping Rail Operations

Rather than standalone products, rail entities now demand integrated digital platforms supporting functions like predictive maintenance, optimized scheduling and real-time performance monitoring. Adopting a consultative approach will be key. OEMs must work closely with operators to understand evolving needs as new service models emerge.

A consultancy mindset focusing on tangible business outcomes rather than just technology deployment will differentiate providers. Comprehensive advisory spanning technical roadmaps, change management and skills development helps customers maximize ROI from investments.

Partnering also grows in importance. No single company possesses all resources required to deliver complex, system-level digital transformation. Strategic alliances combining complementary expertise across hardware, software, analytics and professional services strengthen OEM solutions and bid competitiveness.

The Shift Towards Integrated Digital Platforms and Consultative Approaches

Collaborations additionally open new revenue streams through joint go-to-market models. As infrastructure modernizes, lifecycles will compress. OEMs must enhance agility to quickly design, test and deploy innovations leveraging technologies like 5G, edge computing and advanced materials.

Nimble product development and flexible manufacturing processes responsive to dynamic needs will give early movers an edge. By guiding rail entities on their digital journeys – insightful OEMs can establish themselves as long-term trusted advisors – cementing valuable partnerships for decades to come.

Those who envision innovation with the big picture in mind will find opportunity amid industry change. The digital transformation of rail is revolutionizing the sector through innovative technologies that are improving operations, customer experience, and sustainability. As referenced in the Mobility Innovators article, rail companies are leveraging technologies like– AI, IoT, cloud and data analytics to modernize infrastructure, rolling stock, and services. This allows for improved asset utilization, predictive maintenance and optimization of schedules and routes.

The Role of Innovation and Digital Transformation in Rail’s Future

Other intelligence reports suggests that digital technologies are further helping rail operators transition to new business models and revenue streams. Mobility as a Service platforms integrate rail with other modes of public and private transportation for seamless door-to-door journeys. This multimodal approach is making rail a more attractive option for daily commutes and helping meet sustainability goals.

Over time– these digital innovations have the potential to radically change how rail infrastructure is planned, built and maintained to deliver even better performance. The transformation already underway is revolutionizing rail operations to keep people and goods moving sustainably into the future.

dairy inflation

Dairy Industry Faces Unprecedented Inflation

Rising costs currently present unique challenges necessitating strategic adaptations across dairy supply chains. As an advisory firm– we have analyzed macroeconomic factors driving inflation and their implications for producers, processors and other stakeholders.

Input Cost Pressures Feed, fuel and material expenses increased substantially in 2022. Our research found dairy farms saw a 15-20% rise in input costs on average. Processors also incurred higher transportation, packaging and labor outlays.

Supply chain disruptions and high fuel costs are also squeezing transportation networks, exacerbating inflationary pressures. Our data indicates over-the-road freight rates for dairy shippers rose 20-30% in 2022. Processors report delivery delays as driver shortages persist industry-wide. To mitigate impacts, cooperatives are negotiating improved compensation packages to attract and retain qualified drivers long-term.

Evolving Consumer Demands

Rising grocery bills are altering purchase behaviors. Data shows a 10-15% decline in fluid milk sales as buyers trade to private labels or consume less. A few well-known brands saw only minor volume reductions.

Looking ahead, most economists forecast inflation will gradually moderate through 2023 but remain elevated above pre-pandemic levels. The dairy sector must therefore plan for a “new normal” of higher input costs. Producers would benefit from multi-year supply contracts locking in stable feed prices to the extent possible. For processors and retailers– long-term fixed-rate agreements on utilities and other recurring expenses provide greater budget predictability.

Strategic Considerations

Financial resilience grows increasingly vital as interest rates rise in tandem with inflation. All entities must stress test financial plans under various inflation scenarios to identify vulnerabilities. Where debt levels are high, refinancing options should be evaluated to potentially lower borrowing costs. Maintaining sizable cash reserves and lines of credit allows flexibility to withstand unforeseen economic shocks.

To navigate current headwinds, we recommend the following actions:

  • For producers– focus on cost-cutting through efficiencies, input hedging and price negotiations. Consider diversifying revenue streams.
  • Processors should pursue measured price increases balanced with promotional support to maintain sales volumes. Portfolio optimization can better serve value-conscious customers.
  • All entities should stress test financial plans under inflation scenarios and bolster cash reserves to ensure flexibility in adapting strategies going forward.

By proactively implementing strategic recommendations, dairy industry stakeholders can effectively manage rising costs, evolving demand trends and financial risks to withstand near-term inflationary pressures. We hope these insights provide a useful framework for navigating today’s turbulent operating environment.

By implementing strategic recommendations tailored to their unique circumstances, dairy industry stakeholders can effectively manage rising costs, demand volatility and financial risks amid ongoing inflationary headwinds. Proactive adaptation is key to navigating the challenging operating environment successfully in both the near and long-term.

Sustainability Drives Transformation in the Pulp and Paper Sector


The pulp and paper industry has traditionally relied on natural resources like trees for its raw materials. However, growing concerns around sustainability and environmental protection are prompting companies in the sector to transform their business models and operations. By adopting sustainable practices, pulp and paper firms can create long-term value for their business while also addressing social and environmental challenges.

There is increasing pressure from stakeholders– like customers, investors and regulators on pulp and paper companies to reduce their environmental footprint and become more sustainable. Some of the key trends observed in the industry include:

  1. Transition to Renewable and Recycled Raw Materials: Many firms are shifting away from virgin wood fibers and increasing the use of recycled fibers and agricultural residues as raw materials. For example– International Paper has set a target of sourcing 50% of fiber needs from recycled or alternative sources by 2030.
  2. Efforts to Reduce Water and Energy Consumption: Water and energy are heavily used in pulp and paper manufacturing. Companies are investing in technologies and processes to optimize resource usage and reduce consumption. Georgia-Pacific aims to cut water usage by 15% and energy usage by 25% by 2025 from a 2015 baseline.
  3. Adoption of Circular Economy Practices: Circular business models that promote reuse, recycling and recovery are gaining prominence. Companies are designing products with an end-of-life plan in mind and developing take-back programs to increase recycling rates. Smurfit Kappa recycles corrugated boxes into new boxes and paper products.
  4. Commitment to Carbon Neutrality: With climate change a growing concern, pulp and paper firms are pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across their value chain and achieve carbon neutrality by a target year. Domtar has pledged to cut emissions by 50% and become carbon neutral by 2050.

Sustainability as a Business Opportunity

By proactively addressing sustainability, pulp and paper companies can gain significant business benefits and competitive advantage:

  1. Access to Renewable Raw Materials: Transitioning to renewable and recycled fibers helps secure a sustainable long-term supply of raw materials amidst rising costs and regulations around virgin wood sourcing.
  2. Improved Brand Image and Reputation: Sustainability leadership enhances brand reputation with customers who are increasingly conscious of a company’s environmental and social impact.
  3. Premium Pricing and New Market Opportunities: Sustainable products command a price premium and open opportunities in fast growing market segments like recycled paper products.
  4. Investor Appeal and Access to Green Financing: Sustainability performance is a key criteria for ESG investors. It helps attract investment from green funds and access sustainable financing options.
  5. Operational Efficiencies and Cost Savings: Resource optimization initiatives reduce costs associated with energy, water and waste disposal while improving productivity.
  6. Risk Mitigation: Issues like deforestation, water scarcity and carbon taxes pose regulatory and supply chain risks. Sustainability addresses these emerging risks proactively.
  7. Talent Attraction: Younger employees prefer working with environmentally responsible companies. Sustainability becomes a talent acquisition strategy.

Recommendations for the Industry

  1. Establish an Ambitious Sustainability Vision and Strategy: Set bold long-term goals around carbon neutrality, circularity and resource efficiency to future-proof operations.
  2. Invest in Green Technologies and Innovation: Prioritize R&D in areas like biorefining, renewable energy, and digital solutions to optimize processes.
  3. Engage Supply Chain Partners: Collaborate with suppliers, customers and recyclers to develop sustainable supply chains and closed loop systems.
  4. Pursue Mergers and Acquisitions: Strategic M&A can help access new technologies, skills and markets to accelerate the sustainability agenda.
  5. Enhance Transparency and Reporting: Robust ESG reporting and verification builds trust with stakeholders on sustainability performance and progress.
  6. Develop Sustainable Products and Services: Innovation in sustainable products and services will drive future growth in a low-carbon circular economy.
  7. Upskill Workforce for the Future: Reskilling programs prepare employees for emerging sustainability-focused job roles.

Key Notes

The pulp and paper industry is at a transformational stage where sustainability presents both risks as well as opportunities for value creation. Proactive sustainability strategies will help companies in the sector thrive in the future by addressing resource constraints, stakeholder expectations and market dynamics in a low-carbon circular economy.

sustainable space

Space Agenda- Balancing Growth and Sustainability

Space activity is growing very rapidly, and many more countries and companies want to be part of it. But there is even more potential. New technologies have made space more accessible– and this has led to new uses for space and ways it can help solve big global problems. Countries and industries have worked together in some areas, but the fast growth could cause problems as the international cooperation and rules may not keep up. Global politics are complicated too. If we want space to help as much as possible, countries will need to think about how to keep it a place where everyone works together.

Current State of Space

The space industry is experiencing unprecedented growth since Sputnik, with billions in private investment fuelling new startups in rocketry and satellites. SpaceX has significantly reduced launch costs to low Earth orbit through reusable rockets, lowering prices to $1,200 per pound of payload. This has enabled more satellite constellations like OneWeb’s planned fleet of 650 satellites and SpaceX’s Starlink network of over 2,000 satellites launched so far. Amazon plans to spend $10 billion on their Project Kuiper constellation of 3,200 satellites.

The increase in satellites is a concern as space debris grows, including defunct satellites and rocket stages. This debris could trigger a chain reaction of collisions called the Kessler Syndrome, eventually making some orbits difficult to use. Launches also raise sustainability issues through greenhouse gas emissions– though effects on the atmosphere are still unknown.

However, more satellites also enable cheaper environmental and human rights monitoring. Commercial imagery has revealed war crimes in Ukraine. Tensions grew from a near collision between Starlink satellites and China’s space station, highlighting the need for better communication as outer space resource extraction begins.

Key Developments and Challenges

  • Major space companies have pledged to advance diversity by annually reporting workforce diversity data and partnering with universities to increase underrepresented groups in technical fields.
  • The UN banned mercury as a satellite propellant by 2025 due to human health risks from mercury reentering the atmosphere. A whistleblower had revealed a mercury thruster was being developed in 2018. The ban occurred before any reached orbit.
  • Astroscale received ESA funding for a 2024 demo mission to remove a OneWeb satellite from orbit, testing debris removal. They plan to launch a commercial de-orbit service for satellite operators.

Ensuring a Sustainable Future

  1. By the aerospace companies:
    • Durable designs
    • Coordinated Operation
    • Sustainable Disposal
    • Continuous Assessment
  2. By the international agencies:
    • Space surveillance and tracking
    • Regulation and standards
    • International cooperation
consumer trust food tech

Consumer Trust and Rethinking Food Innovation

The food industry is experiencing rapid technological advancement. As a consumer increasingly seeks convenience and customization, food tech startups are rising to meet these evolving demands. However, some innovations risk compromising the very qualities that make food enjoyable – taste, texture and tradition. As with any disruption, both opportunities and challenges exist. This report examines the current landscape and provides perspective on how the industry can maximize benefits while mitigating potential drawbacks. According to recent surveys, more than 60% of consumers now see science and technology as tools that can be used to address problems like environmental degradation and promote better health through enhanced agricultural and industrial practices.

Rising Demand for Personalized Nutrition and Digital Solutions

Demand for personalized nutrition and digital solutions is fueling interest in food tech. Apps that track diets and deliver customized meal plans are gaining popularity. Younger consumers in particular expect the same level of customization and convenience from food brands as from other retailers. Technologies like 3D food printing hold appeal as novel ways to reimagine the dining experience. Methods like precision fermentation, cellular agriculture, and controlled-environment farming have the potential to produce food in a more secure and sustainable manner.

Exploring Novel Technologies in Food Tech

While open to new ideas, consumers still prioritize flavor over functionality. Research shows taste is the primary driver of food choices. No matter how advanced the technology, food that doesn’t taste good will struggle to gain widespread acceptance.

Flavor Trumps Functionality in Consumer Choices

Instead of simply stating that a product uses cutting-edge methods, brands need to justify and detail how the technology has been utilized to achieve sustainability objectives, improve nutrition, or accomplish other goals that align with consumer values pertaining to taste, health, and the environment. Terms like “food tech” and “lab-grown” risk undermining an industry built on tradition, artisanal processes and emotional connections to food. Brands must consider how innovations are positioned to avoid seeming overly industrial or processed.

Challenges in Branding

The path forward requires balancing consumer interests in both technology and taste. Brands can leverage food tech to enhance rather than replace core product attributes valued by customers. Urban shrimp farming is one startup that steers clear of creation claims and concentrates on sustainable solutions for problems like contaminants and freshness within established seafood categories. Partnerships between food tech startups and established brands offer opportunities to scale new solutions while maintaining standards of quality and taste. Tradition need not impede progress when both are respected.

Navigating the Path Forward with Food Tech

With care and moderation, food technology can extend variety, accessibility and sustainability – all priorities that complement, not compete with, taste. The future of food is experiential as much as operational. As industries change, trust must be retained through transparency regarding applications and goals, even as availability to new food technologies increases.


The food industry is being pushed and pulled by conflicting trends of innovation and tradition. Success will depend on recognizing consumers want food tech that enhances rather than replaces engaging qualities of food. With nuanced integration of the new and old, opportunities abound for brands that satisfy evolving appetites without compromising what makes food enjoyable.

sustainable space

The Space Industry- Poised for Sustainable Growth

The pre-eminent race for space first began in the 20th century between the USA and USSR which was an extension of the cold war between those countries. Both wanted to project their superiority onto the world and conquering space was a means to do so. The evolution of human civilization was just a pretext for the same.

For reference, NASA’s budget peaked in 1965 at almost $60 billion during the race against the Soviet Union. The race was expensive, with the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects costing $25 billion at the time and more than $110 billion when adjusted for inflation. While the estimated budget for ISRO in 2023 is $1.6 Billion. The difference is just jaw-dropping.

After the Cold War the interest in space in the public domain waned as the world started focusing on other concerns. But the interest now has resurfaced, and the pioneers are no longer the government space agencies, rather it’s the private sector carrying the helm and the motivation behind the sector’s uprising is economic and social prosperity.

Space-Based Companies

The following table lists the leading space-based companies:

But it’s not just the big companies who are leading the way, there have been numerous start-ups around the world that are making their presence felt.

Space-Based Innovations

However a popular misconception exists within people that when we talk about space-based companies, it’s related to rocket launch and satellites. But these companies often develop application that utilise the existing network of satellites to develop solutions for various sectors. These application ranges from Energy and Mining to Finance. Multiple aspects within the domain of this industry mingle with each other to formulate a strategy of cohesive growth.

After knowing about the possibilities that the space-based industry holds, containing the excitement and hype is not possible. Even in India the momentum behind space-based activities is huge, with the success of Chandrayaan-3’s Moon landing, it is pertinent to acknowledge that many homegrown spacetech startups have emerged as silent knights.

Just until a few years ago, the amount of space missions were insignificant, and the private sector was effectively non-existent but 2022 witnessed the historic first private rocket launch by Skyroot and multiple other satellite launches, grabbing eyeballs the world over.

This has been made possible by the government’s push and support for the private sector in spacetech. In July, the GST Council set the launchpad for spacetech startups with a 0% GST regime. During the 50th meeting of the Council, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted that the initiative was aimed at fostering emerging startups in the rapidly growing spacetech sector.

Another report by IN-SPACE-e, an autonomous body under the Department of Space, suggests that India’s space sector has the potential to grow from $8.4 billion currently to $44 billion in the next decade.

Potential for Growth

According to a study published by IBEF in December 2022, India accounted for 2.1% of the global space economy in 2020, with a market share of $9.6 Bn, comprising 0.4% of the country’s total GDP. However, India’s space economy has the potential to grow significantly in the coming years. Plenty evidence suggest that India’s space economy could potentially touch $100 billion by 2040.

AI Regulation: An Unequivocal Urgency

The pace with which AI has visibly demonstrated its capability is nothing but surreal. No matter the industry that you work in, AI is bound to be part of your work conversation. Subsequently, it has also spilled over to our dining tables. But with the wonders that generative AI has brought to us, it is equally capable of disasters. This is not solely because of the inherent capabilities of the technology itself, since in the past there have been numerous innovations that had comparable capability to affect human life.

However, the adverse ability of the past technologies was largely controlled because state institutions were more or less capable of gauging the significance of its impact on society and thus formulating frameworks to mitigate its risk. But with AI’s extraordinary rapid growth and expansive domain, formulating a regulatory framework presents a huge challenge.

Unprecedented Executive Order

Recognizing this urgency, we witnessed US President Joe Biden sign an executive order (EO or the Order) on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advance a coordinated, federal governmentwide approach toward the safe and responsible development of AI. In the past there have been executive orders that addressed some aspects of technology, such as IT management, cybersecurity, and critical infrastructure, but they have never focused on a specific technology like AI.

In a similar manner the first AI safety summit was hosted by the UK in Bletchley – the place which was basecamp for second world war codebreakers – Those attending included the US vice-president, Kamala Harris, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, award-winning computer scientists, executives at all the leading AI companies – and Elon Musk.

Bletchley Summit for AI Regulation

The summit recognised multiple risk, emphasizing particular safety risks arising at the ‘frontier’ of AI, understood as being those highly capable general-purpose AI models, including foundation models, that could perform a wide variety of tasks – as well as relevant specific narrow AI that could exhibit capabilities that cause harm – which match or exceed the capabilities present in today’s most advanced models.

The Bletchley Declaration

As per the Bletchley Declaration, the agenda for addressing frontier AI risk will focus on:

  • Identifying AI safety risks of shared concern, building a shared scientific and evidence-based understanding of these risks, and sustaining that understanding as capabilities continue to increase, in the context of a wider global approach to understanding the impact of AI in our societies.
  • Building respective risk-based policies across our countries (participating countries) to ensure safety in light of such risks, collaborating as appropriate while recognizing our approaches may differ based on national circumstances and applicable legal frameworks. This includes alongside increased transparency by private actors developing frontier AI capabilities, appropriate evaluation metrics, tools for safety testing, and developing relevant public sector capability and scientific research.

The government agencies have set a lofty goal, and they have a history of being unreliable and inefficient. On the other hand, the prompt action is remarkable and motivating. Therefore, stakeholders need to make sure that efforts are focused in the right directions and benefit the general population without obstructing the advancement of technology.

israel palestine

Global Conundrum- The Israel-Palestine War

The recent Israel-Palestine conflict has raised stern in the global economy as it had major implications, particularly geopolitical tensions. The current war tensions coming in line with that of the Russia-Ukraine crisis played a vital role in reminding investors about the intricacy of global interdependencies.

Understanding the potential ramifications of such events, this perspective tries to delve into both the immediate and long-term effects globally faced by various countries.

Oil Price Fluctuations

Middle East accounts for major oil production, more than any other region in the world. Countries in the ME Region possess 39% of the world’s oil reserves (roughly a third of the world’s oil production) leading to a speculative price hike and oil supply disruption.

Global oil prices have increased since the fighting began. Brent Crude, a global benchmark, rose 4.2% to $88.15 a barrel and could sour to a record high of $150 if the war escalates further.

Outlook on Safe Haven Assets

The rising geopolitical risk witnessed a surge in hedging conservative assets like gold, and the dollar, potentially boosting the demand for US Treasuries.

The international turmoil resulted in the strengthening of the bond yield prices as the US interest rates tend to remain on the higher side for a much longer period than expected.

“It seems Wall Street has a new geopolitical risk after Israel declared war with Hamas,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda in New York, although he said the immediate impact for financial markets appeared to be limited to safe-haven flows.

Equity Market Sentiments

The international equity market has been in turmoil in the past couple of months, where major global indices saw significant tailwinds in prices.

The Israel-Hamas war has spooked equity markets all over with investors shifting towards safe-haven assets. Investors remain cautious and watchful of the global events with risk-off sentiment grappling the market.

Additionally, as crude oil prices surge, the threat of high inflation grasps the global economy again. The United States, India, China, and other major economies are big importers of oil and can see high import inflation if the oil prices remain elevated.

However, in terms of broader moves, analysts think markets have already digested the implications of the conflict. It can seem jarring that markets are recovering just as freshly, as the Russian-Ukraine conflict only had a muted effect on the US and other global economies.

air india kidzania

Aviation Education Partnership for the Future

India’s national carrier Air India has partnered with global edutainment brand KidZania to launch an innovative aviation-focused learning program. Through this collaborative initiative, the organizations aim to cultivate interest in aerospace careers among young Indians and elevate aviation education nationwide.

KidZania’s Values

The program will debut at KidZania Delhi, allowing children to experience hands-on activities simulating airport operations and pilot training. Miniature aircraft, control towers and other interactive exhibits will bring the world of commercial flying to life. Kids will learn fundamental principles of aerodynamics, air traffic management and more while role-playing various aviation jobs.

Air India will also host field trips for school groups, giving students a behind-the-scenes look at aircraft maintenance facilities. Experts will give presentations on engineering disciplines crucial to the industry. By exposing children to diverse pathways within aviation, the partners hope to spark passion that drives future talent pipelines.

Air India and its Importance

Commenting on the partnership, Air India Chairman and Managing Director Campbell Wilson said “We are delighted to join forces with KidZania to launch this innovative program. By making learning aviation fun and experiential, we aim to cultivate early interest that lasts through school and career choices. Our field will greatly benefit from inspiring more young Indians to consider jobs shaping the future of flight.”

KidZania India CEO Praveen Nijhara added “Our city is designed to spark curiosity through real-world simulations. Partnering with an iconic brand like Air India allows us to showcase the thrill and importance of aviation while nurturing skills like problem-solving. We look forward to welcoming many future pilots, engineers and more through this one-of-a-kind educational experience.”

The program underscores both organizations’ commitment to inspiring the next generation. By bringing industry and education together, they hope to open minds and elevate India’s standing in global aerospace through a thriving talent pipeline for decades to come.

Aviation Education Takes Flight

By introducing young children to concepts like aircraft parts, air traffic control etc through interactive exhibits and role-play simulations, the partners hope to:

  • Spark curiosity and fascination for aviation from a young age. Experiential learning helps capture kids’ imagination and can influence their future career choices.
  • Nurture STEM skills implicitly as students explore principles of physics and mechanics involved in flight. This hands-on approach makes learning seamless and enjoyable.
  • Open their minds to diverse pathways within the industry beyond just pilots. Exposing children to roles like engineers, airport staff etc can help address gender imbalances.
  • Identify potential talent early and guide their learning trajectory with access to internships, tours and mentorship from industry professionals. This helps optimize skill development over time.
  • Strengthen the talent pipeline for Air India and broader Indian aviation by inspiring more local youth to consider these careers. A skilled domestic workforce is crucial as the sector expands.

By sowing seeds of interest at a formative age and maintaining long-term engagement, the partners hope this program will bear fruit for years in shaping the future of Indian aviation through the students it is able to reach and guide today.

The partners expect the program’s impact will be felt for years to come through the students it inspires today. By sowing early seeds of passion, the initiative supports India’s aviation rise while cultivating the sector’s future workforce. Its innovative approach uniting industry, education and communities holds potential for replication across other fields.

placement delay main

IT Graduates Panic Over Delayed Hiring by Recruiters

As per a survey report approximately 1.1 million students enrolled in CS engineering courses across the country in 2021, and the number has only grown in the past years. The IT industry hires most of these fresh engineering graduates and a fraction of them get a decent placement package. Barring the exceptions from the IITs and a few private institutes, a NIRF report by the Ministry of Education, the average package for an engineering graduate was Rs 4.57 lakh pa.

Harsh Reality

But even this has been in jeopardy with the recent stagnation in hiring by major recruiters in the country. For Q1 2023, the six leading IT services in India – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, HCLTech, Wipro, LTIMindtree, and L&T Technology – witnessed a drastic employee contraction of 18,000 worse than negative 9,000 in the June quarter of 2021 during the pandemic.

According to data from TeamLease, the Indian IT sector will hire 40% fewer freshers as compared to FY23, when they onboard only 2,50,000 engineers. The placement season for the IT industry begins generally in August – September month, but this year they weren’t present on the campuses.

Placements are usually over by November but now it may extend to Q1 2024 due to repeated delays by the major firm.

A Shift in Priorities

An additional trend being seen in the industry according to a report by Business Standard is that the major recruiters are avoiding hiring from private institutes in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities which have the most engineering students in the country. The standards of the companies have increased in terms of skills and are being pickier in choosing candidates, and interestingly tech startups are the ones which are filling the void left by big companies. But for obvious reasons, they do not pay as well as the big companies.

Tech Startups to the Rescue

The reason for this hiring stagnation and changes in trends is probably because of the reduced or stagnant revenue growth for the IT companies. In 2022, the US accounted for 62% of India’s total IT software and services exports. This itself is enough for us to realize one of the important reasons behind the delayed hiring by IT companies. With inflation still being a major crisis in the US and discretionary spending on the low, Indian IT companies are facing slow growth because of macro headwinds and tech spending being pulled by clients.

A Glimpse of Hope

Leaving aside the short-term despair being faced by the upcoming graduates, we can expect the situation to normalize by Q1 2024 when the activity for the IT industry picks up pace. With Gen-AI and artificial general intelligence being on the rise, the current phase is the perfect opportunity for IT companies to undergo re-structuring and re-training of their employees to build their capacity and most of them have already announced their plans to do so.

cannabis main

Cannabis For Pain Management

Medical marijuana uses components of the marijuana plant to treat various medical conditions and diseases. While the actual product (cannabis) is similar to recreational marijuana, it is used for healthcare purposes rather than enjoyment.

The marijuana plant contains over 100 chemicals called cannabinoids that all have different physiological effects. The two primary cannabinoids that are utilized medically are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is known for producing the euphoric high associated with smoking or consuming marijuana, but it also underlies some of marijuana’s applications in medicine.

The Green Potential

Cannabis compounds have been increasingly linked to various effects, such as appetite stimulation, relaxation promotion, and even the induction of euphoria. These effects, among others, are primarily facilitated by the endocannabinoid system, a cell-signalling network present in our bodies. It is noteworthy that cannabinoids, chemical compounds found in cannabis plants, as well as naturally produced within our own bodies, exert their influence on this intricate system.

The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in regulating fundamental processes like hunger, sleep, mood, and body temperature. Recent findings have also indicated that dysfunctions in this system could contribute to conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, thus suggesting potential avenues for novel treatments. With more than 100 cannabinoids identified in marijuana, a significant portion of their properties still remains to be comprehended. Notably, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most widely recognized cannabinoids.

Cannabis compounds have been increasingly linked to various effects, such as appetite stimulation, relaxation promotion, and even the induction of euphoria. These effects, among others, are primarily facilitated by the endocannabinoid system, a cell-signalling network present in our bodies. It is noteworthy that cannabinoids, chemical compounds found in cannabis plants, as well as naturally produced within our own bodies, exert their influence on this intricate system.

Cannabis in care

Cannabis is a plant that contains many compounds called cannabinoids, which can have various effects on the body and brain. Some of the most studied cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can have both medical benefits and risks. Here is a list of some diseases where cannabis is used for its treatment, along with the cause and a short description of how cannabis can help. Studies report that medical cannabis has possible benefit for several conditions including:

  1. Alzheimer’s disease
  2. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  4. Cancer
  5. Crohn’s disease
  6. Epilepsy and seizures
  7. Glaucoma
  8. Multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms
  9. Severe and chronic pain Severe nausea

Herbal Relief

Source: gminsights

The compounds in medical weed – called cannabinoids – act a lot like chemicals our own bodies produce that control things like appetite, memory, movement, and pain. Some studies show these cannabinoids could potentially:

  1. Reduce anxiety and stress.
  2. Take down inflammation and ease aches and pains.
  3. Stop nausea and puking from chemo.
  4. Kill cancer cells and maybe slow tumours from growing, though they need more research on that.
  5. Loosen up tight muscles for folks with multiple sclerosis.
  6. Spark appetites and help cancer or AIDS patients gain weight back by interacting with the body’s natural hunger centres.

Intake options

Medicinal cannabis involves the utilization of cannabis and its cannabinoids for the purpose of treating illnesses or alleviating symptoms. The primary active cannabinoids found in cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, resulting in beneficial    effects.

THC is the psychoactive element responsible for the intoxicating effects commonly associated with marijuana usage, while CBD does not induce any psychoactive sensations.

Medicinal cannabis typically comes in two main forms: marijuana and hemp-based products. Marijuana is recognized for its high THC content, whereas hemp-based products contain less than 0.3% THC.

There are various methods of consuming medicinal cannabis, including:

  1. Oils
  2. Edibles
  3. Tinctures
  4. Lotions
  5. Inhalation methods, such as vaping or smoking.

Choosing the proper cannabis consumption method depends on your preferences, medical needs, and lifestyle.

angel investing article

Angel Investors – Shaping India’s Startup Journey

The venture capital industry has been in turmoil for the past couple of years, having an adverse effect on newly launched startups as they enter into the funding years. Notably, we forecast an overall positive outlook for the venture capital (VC) industry as the funding has been southward bound in the country, domestic angel investors have played a crucial role at this juncture by coming forward and acting as drivers for the growing startup funding ecosystem.

During 2023, the country’s top 10 angel investors have induced funding into the startup ecosystem and have made as many as 101 investments in Indian Startups, according to data by Venture Intelligence. This number is significantly lower than last year’s 207 investments made by Indian angel investors.

In the early week of Oct’2023, investors and entrepreneurs splurged the startup ecosystem by launching their own investment funds. Below, we have provided a detailed description of these highlighted funds, shedding light on their unique attributes and investment strategies.

VSS Investment Funds

  • Launched by Vijay Shekar Sharma (Founder & CEO, Paytm)
  • Total Fund Size: Rs. 30Cr.
  • Industry Overview: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Electric Vehicle (EV)- related startups, incubated in India.

WTF Funds

  • Launched by Nikhil Kamath (Founder & CEO, Zerodha)
  • Total Fund Size: Rs. 80L
  • Industry Overview: An initiative to invest in startups launched by budding entrepreneurs under the age of 22 years.

Additionally, Industry pioneers and investors such as Rohit Bansal (Co-founder, Snapdeal) and Nithin Kamath (Founder & CEO, Zerodha) also have a future outlook to infuse their investments into the startup ecosystem through the investment entities owned by them.

Source: Venture Intelligence

Zerodha-owned investment arm Rainmatter Capital has allocated a fresh capital of Rs 1,000 crore in a unique structure that has no exit mandates to investors in order to benefit founders. Set up in 2016, Rainmatter has partnered with over 80 startups and has invested close to Rs 400 crore, the investments focus on sectors like health, education, and climate change.

Whereas, Titan Capital (Rohit Bansal’s Investment Arm) screens more than 4,000 inbound proposals from investors every year, making Bansal one of the most active angel investors in the Indian Startup World. Considering the bets taken by him through his investment firm, Bansal has invested in 17 startups, with his portfolio companies including Ola, Pepper, Urban Company, Mamaearth, and Credgenics.

In conclusion, India’s Startup story for the foreseeable future looks promising, we believe that rising funding opportunities from domestic angel investors and VC firms and the country’s growing young entrepreneurial generation will lead India’s economy to compete with the world’s strongest economies.

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