Anti-equilibrium Archive

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Manufacturing activity falls further – EY ITEM Club comments

  • The manufacturing downturn deepened in July, with the sector’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) heading further into contractionary territory. And with the impact of higher interest rates on household and corporate budgets growing, the EY ITEM Club doesn’t expect a significant uptick in manufacturing activity this year.
  • The S&P Global/CIPS survey also pointed to another fall in input cost inflation in the goods sector, adding to other leading indicators showing growing evidence of disinflation. But given the Bank of England’s focus on inflation in the services sector, this probably won’t have much bearing on its next interest rate decision later this week.

Martin Beck, Chief Economic Advisor to the EY ITEM Club, says: “July’s final S&P Global/CIPS manufacturing survey reported another decline in activity, with the PMI falling to 45.3 from 46.5 in June. The index was dragged down by a significant decline in production, with survey respondents suggesting that mounting uncertainty from rising interest rates had led to a softening in demand both at home and from abroad.

“But the fall in the PMI balance looks to have been exaggerated by some overstocked firms choosing to cut purchases amid improving supply chains, leading to a further fall in supplier delivery times. The PMI is also prone to being affected by sentiment, so the weight of recent bad news about rising mortgage rates may have depressed the outlook of survey respondents and dragged on the PMI.

“Beyond the survey’s disappointing set of backward-looking balances, its forward-looking indicators didn’t offer much positivity either. Respondents reported a large fall in new business, suggesting that manufacturing output is likely to remain weak in the near-term. Goods producers are likely to struggle over the rest of this year as rising borrowing costs and still-high inflation continue to squeeze household and corporate budgets.

“One area where the survey did offer some brighter news was on costs. Input cost inflation fell outright for the third consecutive month as pressures on transport and energy prices eased. But manufacturers appear to be attempting to rebuild margins rather than pass lower costs onto consumers, with factory gate charges remaining flat. Falling cost pressures should be welcomed by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), but the committee is unlikely to place much weight on the results of today’s survey. Instead, the MPC’s attention is likely to be focused on the much bigger services sector, where inflation has come down recently, but remains uncomfortably high. Therefore, the EY ITEM Club still expects the MPC to raise Bank Rate by 25bps later this week.”

More: EY

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Gary Miles, CEO of Gentrack, tells delegates at Future of Utilities that the world needs to learn lessons from Australia’s “energy as a service” model

Utilities can’t afford to wait to transform, the benefits significantly outweigh the risks

IT transformation will be critical to deliver the energy transition. Gary Miles, CEO of Gentrack, tells delegates at Future of Utilities that the world needs to learn lessons from Australia’s “energy as a service” model.

Transitioning to a low carbon world involves huge upstream and midstream investment in solar, wind turbines and grid infrastructure to cleanly and reliably deliver electrons to people and businesses. But, as Gary Miles, CEO of Gentrack, made clear in his keynote presentation at the recent Future of Utilities Energy Transition conference, the IT systems which underpin the workings of the modern retailers and gen-tailers must transform to adapt to the decentralisation and decarbonisation challenges ahead.

Get this right and there’s huge upside, both for the utility provider and the customer. “Amazing customer experience, digital first engagement, lower debt, more than 99.5% accurate billing and reduced cost to serve, with automation helping to deliver 30-40% lower cost-to-serve,” said Miles

Miles is a newcomer to the energy industry, having spent most of his career in the telecoms industry. “Telecoms had the largest impact on GDP in the world over the last 30 years, delivering information and education to billions of people,” said Miles. “It’s been an amazing vehicle of progress for the world.”

“The energy industry today is more dynamic than the telecoms space. The pace of change is accelerating and the existential need to modernize is more profound.”

By comparison, few people would consider utility providers to be hubs of innovation. Yet this would, said Miles, be a misconception. “From time-of-use tariffing to virtual power plants there is an innovation highway ahead of energy suppliers and the industry today is more dynamic than the telecoms space was,” he said. “The pace of change is accelerating, and the complexity is enormous, but so are the opportunities.”

To illustrate his point, Miles highlighted the success stories from Australia, which, having been hard hit by blackouts, is now powering ahead with renewable and decentralised energy. The Australian Energy Market Operator and Energy Networks predict that generation from decentralised sources will be up to around 45% by 2040 – indeed, the country is already the number one in the world for solar PV per capita. This isn’t just about being blessed with good weather – after all, the country is also rich in oil, gas and coal – but about policy and investment.

Energy decentralisation graph

Government policy has accelerated the uptake of solar and battery systems, which in turn is leading to innovations in customer propositions.

Energy as a service

“One of the more recent innovations we’re seeing, powered by technology, is leveraging flexible behind-the-meter load from Solar and EVs,” Miles says, highlighting the work of Gentrack client Energy Australia. They offer householders installations of solar PV and battery systems with zero up-front cost, and at the end of seven years they own the system. The solar option is highly popular, and the battery roll out is also growing fast; around 140,000 homes already have batteries, with the number installed expected to rise to 800,000 by 2025.

Most importantly, for the consumer this is a super simple and very affordable proposition.”

“Consumers pay a flat energy rate for seven years on an ‘energy as a service’ model,” Miles explained. “Energy Australia leverages their ability to aggregate this flexible load and bid it into the grid as a virtual power plant, so they can take advantage of wholesale revenue streams. Most importantly, for the consumer this is a super simple and very affordable proposition.”

“Your systems need to deliver a simple customer experience in the face of extreme complexity”

This is key, and it’s why the IT side is just as important as the panels and batteries. To work, the hugely complex, multi-faceted and vastly expensive energy transition must be presented to the end-user as simple, reliable and good value for money. “Your systems need to deliver a simple customer experience in the face of extreme complexity,” said Miles.

While telcos responded to the cyclical waves of innovation that would routinely hit every eight years or so by renewing and reinventing their IT infrastructure, Miles believes that the systems powering much of the energy industry are stagnant and act as a brake, rather than an accelerant, on progress.

“The IT systems of many retailers are old and broken,” he told delegates. “The systems are 20-30 years old and they’re leaking and creaking. The shift to upgrade and transform has happened in leading markets with huge success as retailers move off of these antiquated systems. The rest of the world is due to follow as it sees that such transformations are both achievable and able to deliver significant results.”

Existing legacy systems are, quite simply, not fit for purpose if the energy transition is to be achievable to any meaningful timescale.

“Today, leading utilities are telling us that their legacy systems are like cement in their businesses,” he said. “Those platforms are literally weighing their organisations down and stopping them from moving forwards.”

“Leading utilities are telling us that their legacy systems are like cement in their business.”

Investing for a smarter, greener future

The good news is that this overdue investment is now being made. Miles cited statistics from a leading industry analyst that suggest that all of the utilities companies will upgrade their systems in this decade and the first 20% will choose a replacement system by 2026.

And this comes with a kicker in the tail. “If you don’t do it, you will fall further and further behind,” he said, stressing this wasn’t just an energy company issue; water companies need to make this investment too.

These investments in IT are part of the enabling technologies for the energy transition. Because clean energy isn’t just about turbines and solar; as demonstrated by Energy Australia, it’s about building a grid that can deal with intermittency and distributed generation, flexing and adapting and hedging to changing inputs and outputs, offering dynamic pricing and giving more power to consumers – who are becoming generators in their own right.

Get this right and there’s huge upside, both for the utility provider and the customer. “Amazing customer experience, digital first engagement, lower debt, more than 99.5% accurate billing and reduced cost to serve, with automation helping to deliver 30-40% lower cost-to-serve,” said Miles.

What’s more, this kind of digital transformation can be done relatively quickly, using low-code, no-code technologies. “It means you can be launching innovative propositions and new services in days rather than months,” he said.

The energy transition is going to require constant innovation and systems will need to be able to flex, whether it’s in response to new technologies, customer behaviours or market conditions. Future optionality can come from being part of an open ecosystem, enabling companies to partner with specialists and leverage existing capabilities. This is a new way of thinking and working for many in the utilities sector but it’s going to be essential to deliver perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing humanity: the transition to a low/no carbon future.

“The world needs to look at places like Victoria in Australia, and make that leap,” stressed Miles. “The time to do this was yesterday.”

As delegates at the conference would no doubt agree, the next best time is now.

More: MarketForceLive

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Arne Vatnøy: The idea behind Norwegian Offshore Wind is that we are industry driven

Norwegian Offshore Wind Cluster –  to maximize opportunities for the Norwegian OWI
 Marek Grzybowski (5) questions to Arne Vatnøy, Communication Manager,  Norwegian Offshore Wind
An exclusive interview to Baltic Journalist Maritime Club  of the Baltic Sea & Space Cluster  (BSSC)

The dynamic between the small startups, SMEs and the large international companies is core of collaboration in the Norwegian Offshore Wind cluster. The organization has several meeting places where are organized B2Bs between the cluster members, and they are also represented in our working groups for different markets and supply chain issues.

The idea behind Norwegian Offshore Wind is that the Norwegian Offshore Wind is industry driven. All the working groups are led be a representative from Cluster  member companies. With the position that Norway has as pioneers withing the floating offshore wind industry, it is natural that the Norway is the host country of the global flagship event for floating wind.

Marek Grzybowski: The Norwegian government’s target is 30 GW by 2040. Multiconsult’s mapping shows much greater potential for the construction of new offshore wind farms along the entire coast. Norwegian Offshore Wind, together with developers Equinor, Source Galileo, Hafslund and Deep Wind Offshore, commissioned the preparation of the report. Is it possible to build 338 GW of offshore wind energy in Norway?

Arne Vatnøy, Norwegian Offshore Wind: This report shows that there are large areas we need to examine further in the process of finding new areas for offshore wind development. The industry supports the government´s ambitious goal of 30 GW by 2040, and we will contribute constructively with input in the process of finding the best suited areas. We see that there is a large potential, especially within floating offshore wind, and the industry will continue to provide new insight that will bring the development forward.

Marek Grzybowski: The report places particular emphasis on cooperation with other maritime industries. What are the industries? How will industries related to the blue economy work together?

Arne Vatnøy, Norwegian Offshore Wind: In Norway, we have a good dialogue with the fishing organizations, and this is vital to succeed with further offshore wind development. When we are going to find new areas for offshore wind we need insight and knowledge that secure coexistence. We work together with different interest groups in the government´s coexistence group, and we are also facilitating debates, discussions, seminars and meeting places with all the industries related to the blue economy. At this year´s Floating Wind Days, coexistence is of course high on the agenda.

Marek Grzybowski: Norwegian Offshore Wind achieved ARENA Pro Cluster status through Norwegian Innovation Clusters in 2021. Norwegian Offshore Wind Cluster members range from small start-ups to international companies. What is the cooperation of these companies in the Cluster? How does the cluster achieve the synergy effect?

Arne Vatnøy, Norwegian Offshore Wind: The dynamic between the small startups, SMEs and the large international companies is core of collaboration in our organization. We have several meeting places where we organize B2Bs between our members, and they are also represented in our working groups for different markets and supply chain issues. All the consortia applying for the Norwegain offshore wind parks are represented in our cluster, and they are working together to influence policy makers and authorities in our Developers Forum.

Marek Grzybowski: There are 17 working groups in the Norwegian Offshore Wind cluster. There is also a steering committee in the cluster. Why was this structure created? What is the role of these Cluster structures in the development of innovation and business?

Arne Vatnøy, Norwegian Offshore Wind: The idea behind Norwegian Offshore Wind is that we are industry driven. All the working groups are led be a representative from our member companies. The steering committee is also put together to represent the diversity in this industry. Their role is to help create the strategy for the cluster and make sure that it is the opinions of the industry that drive our work forward.

Marek Grzybowski: Floating Wind Days 2023 will be held in Haugesund on May 24-25th. What is the mission and main purpose and role of this event? Who will the speakers be?  

Arne Vatnøy, Norwegian Offshore Wind: With the position that Norway has as pioneers withing the floating offshore wind industry, it is natural that we are the host country of the global flagship event for floating wind. We have more than hundred speakers, see the full list and program at www.floatingwinddays.com. This year´s festival is opened by the Prime Minister of Norway.

Marek Grzybowski: Thank you for your answers

 

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Athens Institute for Education and Research Newsletter No. 20, April 2023

atiner12800-white

Athens Institute for Education and Research
Newsletter No. 20, April 2023  

 
  • From 1 to 4 May ATINER successfully organized its Annual academic meetings (Sociology, Business Law & Economics, Ethics, Health & Medical Sciences, Nursing and Pharmaceutical conferences) in 9 Chalkokonidli str., Athens, Greece.
  • On Monday 1 May 2023, 18:00-20:30, a Round-Table Discussion on “The Post Pandemic World: Learning from Country Experiences was organized as part of the conferences. More information can be found at: https://www.atiner.gr/events/1May2023.pdf
  • On Monday 8 May 2023, 14:00-15:00, ATINER is organizing a Round-Table Discussion on “ Challenges for Mass Media and Communication: How to Cover Wars, Pandemics and Sports”. More information can be found at: https://www.atiner.gr/events/8May2023.pdf
  • On Tuesday 9 May 2023, 12:30-14:30, ATINER is organizing a Round-Table Discussion on “The Turkish Elections of 2023: National and International Facets”. More information can be found at: https://www.atiner.gr/events/9May2023.pdf
  • On Monday 15 May 2023, 18:00-20:00, ATINER is organizing a Round-Table Discussion on “ Teaching and Researching in the Post Pandemic World: Learning from Country Experiences”. More information can be found at: https://www.atiner.gr/events/15May2023.pdf

Publications Uploaded This Month


Events with a May Deadline 

26-29 June 2023

Abstract Deadline: 16 May 2023

 

 

3-6 July 2023

  • 21st Annual International Conference on Finance
    Academic Member Responsible for the Conference:
    Dr. Peter Koveos, Head, Finance Unit, ATINER & Professor of Finance, Syracuse University, USA.
  • 21st Annual International Conference on Accounting
    Academic Members Responsible for the Conference:
    Dr. Nicholas Marudas, Head, Accounting Unit, ATINER & Associate Professor, Mercer University, USA.
    Dr. Peter Koveos, Head, Finance Unit, ATINER & Professor of Finance, Syracuse University, USA.
  • 16th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics
    Academic Member Responsible for the Conference:
    Dr. Valia Spiliotopoulos, Head, Languages & Linguistics Unit, ATINER & Instructor, Department of Language and Literacy Education, The University of British Columbia, Canada.
  • 13th Annual International Conference on Architecture
    Academic Members Responsible for the Conference:
    Dr. Nicholas N. Patricios, Vice President of Strategic Planning & Analysis, ATINER, Dean Emeritus & Professor, School of Architecture, University of Miami, USA.
    Dr. Clara Germana Gonçalves, Head, Architecture Unit, ATINER & Researcher, CITAD (Centro de Investigação em Território, Arquitectura e Design), Lusíada University and Invited Assistant Professor, Lisbon School of Architecture, University of Lisbon, Portugal.
  • 7th Annual International Symposium on “Higher Education in a Global World”
    Academic Members Responsible for the Conference:
    Dr. Nick Linardopoulos, Head, Education Unit, ATINER & Associate Teaching Professor & Public Speaking Course Coordinator, Rutgers University, USA.
    Dr. John Spiridakis, Co-Editor, 
    Athens Journal of Education & Interim Chair and Professor, St. John University, USA.

Abstract Deadline: 23 May 2023

 

10-13 July 2023

Abstract Deadline: 30 May 2023

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Sidsel Norvik, Director, Nor-Shipping: Nor-Shipping it is a world leading arena of the maritime innovations and business

Marek Grzybowski (5) questions to Sidsel Norvik, Director, Nor-Shipping, An exclusive interview to Baltic Journalist Maritime Club  of the Baltic Sea & Space Cluster  (BSSC)

The aftermaths of COVID and the attack on Ukraine has created huge waves of uncertainty and instability all over the world and anyone operating internationally is affected by geopolitical upheavals and the years ahead will focus on zero emissions and climate neutrality. The maritime business is indeed very complex, dynamic and fast evolving, which in turn makes an arena like Nor-Shipping very important. Nor-Shipping is a world leading arena, where cutting edge Norwegian and international companies showcase the innovations that deliver competitive advantage for their customers. Nor-Shipping’s partnership with WISTA is a key contributor in our effort to raise awareness of the challenges and the many great opportunities for women in shipping. Ocean Campus is an important part of the Nor-Shipping. It  is a dedicated island of exhibition booths showcasing some of the world’s leading maritime universities and colleges. Leading Ocean Campus Partner is the World Maritime University (WMU).

Marek Grzybowski: Maritime business today is shipping, ports and logistics, oil and gas production, offshore wind farms, fish and seafood production, it is sea tourism and exploration, it is science and education, it is a large area of ​​creating innovation, it is a specific community of people, business and people who love the oceans, they are partners in business, science and environmental protection. Can you briefly characterize the Nor-Shipping event?

Sidsel Norvik, Director, Nor-Shipping: Nor-Shipping is a world leading arena, where cutting edge Norwegian and international companies showcase the innovations that deliver competitive advantage for their customers. It is the place where the maritime, tech, finance and wider business segments cross paths to learn from one another, forge partnerships, and access new economic value creation.

The 22,000 m2 exhibition space is the beating heart of the week’s activity. This is where delegates and visitors can experience the products, services and companies that will help drive a new age of ocean industry development. Spiced with a lot of topical conferences and a dynamic after work festival, Nor-Shipping provide an invaluable combination of insight, business opportunities and social networking.

Marek Grzybowski: The maritime business is extremely complex, currently developing in close connection with IT, AI, space technologies, VR and IoT. What is the concept of presenting the business sector, science and companies just entering the maritime business in exhibition halls?

Sidsel Norvik, Director, Nor-Shipping: The maritime business is indeed very complex, dynamic and fast evolving, which in turn makes an arena like Nor-Shipping very important. Just by walking the isles, you get to experience the latest innovation and technology from a wide range of maritime segments and countries – all in one place.

You can also attend the Blue Talks, Technical seminars and the Offshore Aquaculture conference for free and you can upgrade your ticket with a small fee to join the 2nd Maritime Hydrogen Conference, the 1st Offshore Wind Conference, the 4th Int. Ship Autonomy and Sustainability Summit and a lot more. The program is vast and easily available to plan your participation.

Marek Grzybowski: Nor-Shipping is an opportunity to present the latest achievements in science and technology. However, the context in which the maritime economy functions cannot be avoided. Russia’s attack on Ukraine clearly affected the conditions for the functioning of the maritime economy. Nor-Shipping has confirmed that Joseph E. Stiglitz, the renowned Nobel laureate in Economics and former Chief Economist at the World Bank, will be a keynote speaker at this year’s Ocean Leadership Conference, taking place in Lillestrøm, Norway, 6 June. The war on land caused significant changes in the operation of maritime business. Do you expect this topic to come up during the 2023 Nor-Shipping Ocean Leadership Conference?

Sidsel Norvik, Director, Nor-Shipping: The aftermaths of COVID and the attack on Ukraine has created huge waves of uncertainty and instability all over the world and anyone operating internationally is affected by geopolitical upheavals and the years ahead will focus on zero emissions and climate neutrality. All in all a challenging landscape to navigate in. This year’s Ocean Leadership Conference will bring together high-profile international leaders, from the ocean industries and beyond, to ask how we can move forward towards collective goals, and individual business ambitions.

Together we will assess if partnerships between maritime players, energy suppliers, financial institutions, authorities and other central stakeholders holds the key to unlocking the energy transition and decarbonisation of shipping. The future will not be defined by individual companies, or isolated breakthroughs, but rather by how we move together for a profitable tomorrow.

Marek Grzybowski: The role of women in the maritime business is growing. WISTA Norway is a partner of Nor-Shipping. WISTA Norway launched ‘40 by 30’ Pledge to allow the maritime company to show that the company actively commit to promoting diversity in the maritime industry. Do you anticipate special businesswoman activity during meetings in 2023?

Sidsel Norvik, Director, Nor-Shipping: To improve conditions for women in shipping and increase number of women across the maritime industry is important. Nor-Shipping’s partnership with WISTA is a key contributor in our effort to raise awareness of the challenges and the many great opportunities for women in shipping.

Nor-Shipping has of course also signed the “40 by 30” pledge and urge others to follow. WISTA Norway is 35 years this year and will celebrate with a Leadership Award ceremony. They will also present “10 women to watch” together with YoungShip and execute their “Waves of change” program, which will be a series of topical session at the Blue Talk stage in Hall E.

Marek Grzybowski: Nor-Shipping launches Ocean Campus in partnership with World Maritime University. This is a new initiative. What is the mission of this event? What other events important for the maritime business will accompany Nor-Shipping 2023?

Sidsel Norvik, Director, Nor-Shipping: Ocean Campus is a dedicated island of exhibition booths showcasing some of the world’s leading maritime universities and colleges. Leading Ocean Campus Partner is the World Maritime University (WMU) and other Campus members include the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), BI Norwegian Business School, UiT The University of the Arctic (UArctic), MLA College, Oslo MET, Alba Graduate Business School and SINTEF Ocean.

These universities and colleges represent a solid geographical spread and a wide range of maritime industry competency. Together they will form an Ocean Campus Committee of industry experts to tailor an exciting program for the main Ocean Campus day on Friday 9 June. The mission is to demonstrate how academia is adjusting to the maritime transition and what maritime career opportunities are in store for the next generation. We will stream this event to allow students and next generation shipping employees to get access from wherever they might be.

Marek Grzybowski: Thank you for your answers