Japanese snacks manufacturer to open factory in Wales

October 31, 2014

Japan’s largest manufacturer of savoury snacksCalbee Inc, will open a factory in North Wales, creating 100 jobs over 5 years.

Wales’ Economy Minister Edwina Hart and Chairman and CEO of Calbee, Akira Matsumoto, made the announcement in Japan today, following a meeting to finalise the deal.

The expansion into Wales marks the company’s first investment in Europe. Calbee (UK) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Calbee Inc., and was established in February this year. The new site, located on Deeside Industrial Park will produce savoury snacks  for the UK and European markets. 

Mr Matsumoto, CEO of Calbee commented: “We are very excited to establish our first European factory in Wales.

“We are making a long-term commitment to grow our business from this important base in Deeside.”

Ms Hart said: “I am delighted to announce this important new inward investment for Wales.”

“Calbee is the latest in a long line of highly prestigious Japanese companies that have invested in Wales and I welcome their decision to establish their first European plant in Wales.”

The Calbee UK factory will initially produce its well-known pea-based snacks (“Snapea Crisps”) in a range of flavours. In addition to the manufacturing of the snacks, distribution and some R&D activities will also take place on site.

Production is set to commence in the first half of 2015.

The UK savoury snack market estimated to be worth around £3bn, and is the largest in Europe.

Source: Wales OnlineBBC

————————————————————————————

TJC offers an extensive global network of professional & experienced multilingual translators, proof-readers and interpreters. We also have academic researchers, specialists and speakers, who are all native speakers of over 100 languages. Our expert translators and interpreters are based all over the globe and can assist you with projects of all kinds.

For translation and interpreting services in Japanese, please visit our sister site, The Japanese Connection.

Members of: ATCITIProz

See our LinkedIn profile or visit us on Twitter


Italy to run on 0.6% biofuel by 2018

October 16, 2014

From 2018, 0.6% of petrol and diesel used in Italy will be made up of advanced biofuels, the BBC reports. This is set to increase to 1% by 2022.

The Italian government is the first in Europe to take a stand on biofuels. The ministerial decree is in line with the European Parliament target for 2.5% of energy used within the transportation sector to consist of advanced biofuels (made of seaweed and waste) by 2020.

The European Council then downgraded this to a non-binding target of 0.5% advanced biofuels by 2020.
The measures are part of the EU energy directive, which requires renewable energy sources to provide 10% of transportation fuel by 2020.

The use of fuels made from crops has been a source of controversy within the EU for some years. Many claim the growing of crops used for first generation biofuel production, including sugar, cereals and oilseed, take up land space needed to grow food. In addition, there are worries surrounding the volume of carbon emissions generated by biofuels. Despite this, a number of new second generation biofuels plants have recently opened.

The biofuel industry has also been lobbying hard to promote the use of biofuels within the EU.
A commercial scale advanced biofuels plant was opened in Crescentino near Turin, in Italy last year. The plant produces approximately 75 million litres of biofuel from waste and energy crops, grown on marginal land.

Plans to open three further plants in the south of the country are also in motion.

Chris Malins from the the International Council on Clean Transportation commented on the Italian decree: “This is quite an exciting time, things are finally starting to happen,”

“This shows Italy taking a real leadership role in Europe. It will be an example and a signal to other countries that are interested in this.”

Sources: BBC; The Green Optimistic

————————————————

TJC offers an extensive global network of professional & experienced multilingual translators, proof-readers and interpreters. We also have academic researchers, specialists and speakers, who are all native speakers of over 100 languages. Our expert translators and interpreters are based all over the globe and can assist you with projects of all kinds.

For translation and interpreting services in Japanese, please visit our sister site, The Japanese Connection.

Members of: ATCITIProz

See our LinkedIn profile or visit us on Twitter


Nissan launches electric cars in China

September 12, 2014

Nissan Motor Co. has launched an electric car known as the Venucia on to the Chinese market. In doing so, it becomes the first Japanese automobile company to sell such an eco-friendly car in China – the largest vehicle market in the world.

Nissan collaborated with Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Co. to develop the Venucia e30.

‘With Nissan Global’s advanced technology, sales experience and know-how of electric vehicle, the Venucia e30 has been locally developed through our careful studies about market situations and consumer needs in China‘ said Jun Seki, President of Dongfeng Motor Co.

The Venucia is closely based on the Leaf electric car launched in Japan in 2010, and functions in a similar manner, despite having undergone some styling alterations. The Venucia can be fully charged in 4 hours via a household socket and is thought to be 7 times more economical than petrol models in the country. After a full-charge, the car can travel up to 175km. 

Nissan will manufacture the vehicle at a factory in Guangzhou and hopes to sell 50,000 of the models in 2018. By this time, the company also aims to have taken a 20% share of the Chinese market for electric vehicles.

The Venucia will retail at around 267,800 yuan, or around ¥4.7 million (GBP 27,000), for the cheapest model, and will be eligible for the Chinese government’s tax exemption for electric cars –  introduced to help reduce air pollution in the country.

‘I am looking forward to seeing the Venucia e30 lead China’s electric-vehicle market into the future and also to more development of new energy vehicles and the wide adoption of electric vehicles in China.’ said Seki.

Sources: The Japan Times; EV Fleet World

————————————————

TJC offers an extensive global network of professional & experienced multilingual translators, proof-readers and interpreters. We also have academic researchers, specialists and speakers, who are all native speakers of over 100 languages. Our expert translators and interpreters are based all over the globe and can assist you with projects of all kinds.

For translation and interpreting services in Japanese, please visit our sister site, The Japanese Connection.

Members of: ATCITIProz

See our LinkedIn profile or visit us on Twitter


Languages dying out faster than biodiversity

September 7, 2014

A new study by the University of Cambridge has found that economic growth and prosperity is causing some languages to die out.

The study, published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B., found that the more successful a country was economically, the more rapidly its languages were being lost.

Economically well-developed regions such as north-western North America and northern Australia were identified as hotspots for language loss, along with countries currently experiencing rapid economic growth, including areas of the tropics and the Himalayas.

The study found that aboriginal languages in Australia are now disappearing from the northern territories. In North America, languages such as Upper Tanana, a language spoken by indigenous Athabaskan people in eastern Alaska, were also at risk of extinction. It was found to have only 24 active speakers in 2009, and was no longer being acquired by children.In Europe too, numbers of speakers of minority languages such as Ume Sami in Scandinavia or Auvergnat in France are rapidly declining.

Lead author, Dr Tatsuya Amano claimed that around 25% of the world’s languages are under threat.

The study however could only glean details about the rate of decline or growth for 9%, or 649, of the 6909 languages surveyed.

Applying criteria used to identify endangered species (including small population size, small geographical habitat range and population change) to huge language datasets the researchers found that levels of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita correlated most with the loss of language diversity.

“As economies develop, one language often comes to dominate a nation’s political and educational spheres.

“People are forced to adopt the dominant language or risk being left out in the cold – economically and politically,” said Dr Amano of the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge.

He emphasised that in the interests of the conservation of human cultural diversity, efforts need to be made to protect these at-risk languages, particularly those found in the tropics and the Himalayas. “These countries are experiencing rapid economic growth, so in the near future these languages will face risk of extinction,” he said.

The work undertaken to protect Welsh in the UK was given as a good example for a successful strategy for language preservation.

Daniel Kaufman, executive director of the Endangered Language Alliance commented on the research: “Environmental factors have been overshadowed by social, political and economic factors.

“We are now seeing a pattern of linguistic diversity that was originally shaped by the environment give way to a pattern that is being shaped by policy and economic realities.

“The environmental pattern at this point is largely historical residue. That is, we will no longer see areas of a particular environmental type attract or spawn language diversity. The economic aspect, however, cannot be overemphasized, as there are places within the language diversity ‘hotspots’ where whole villages are being emptied out due to out-migration.

“Because much of this migration is recent and undocumented, accurate numbers are unfortunately not readily available for statistical analysis.”

Source: BBC News; International Business Times

————————————————

TJC offers an extensive global network of professional & experienced multilingual translators, proof-readers and interpreters. We also have academic researchers, specialists and speakers, who are all native speakers of over 100 languages. Our expert translators and interpreters are based all over the globe and can assist you with projects of all kinds.

For translation and interpreting services in Japanese, please visit our sister site, The Japanese Connection.

Members of: ATCITIProz

See our LinkedIn profile or visit us on Twitter

 

 


Google tests delivery drones

August 29, 2014

Google’s secret research department, Google X, has built and tested autonomous aerial drones as part of a long term plan to offer speedy deliveries to remote areas and disaster zones, the company revealed.

The project, entitled Project Wing, has been running for two years but was not revealed by the company until now.  According to Google, the self-flying machines could be used after earthquakes, floods, or extreme weather events, to take small items such as medicines or batteries to people in areas that conventional vehicles cannot reach.

The idea was originally conceived as a way to deliver defibrillator kits to people suspected to be having heart attacks quicker than an ambulance would reach them.

The prototype drones have been tested successfully in Queensland, Australia – and were set up to deliver packages to remote farms in the area. Australia‘s progressive rules regarding the use of drones, which are laxer than those of other countries, led to Google’s decision to test the machines down under.

Unlike some military controlled drones which are often controlled remotely by a pilot on the ground, Project Wing’s vehicles are programmed with a destination and are then able to fly there automatically.

The protoypes have a wingspan of approximately 1.5m (4.9ft) and four electrically-driven propellers. They weigh approximately 8.5kg (18.7lb) and around 10kg with a package attached.

The drones can take off or land without a runway, and can hold their position hovering in one spot. They can also fly quickly and efficiently, allowing them to cover large distances.

“Even just a few of these, being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation,” explained Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots – Google X’s name for big-thinking projects.

The company said the machines may be used in the future to deliver items bought online to consumers. This follows online retailer Amazon’s announcement of a similar drone delivery service last year.

Source: BBC News

—————————————————————-

TJC offers an extensive global network of professional & experienced multilingual translators, proof-readers and interpreters. We also have academic researchers, specialists and speakers, who are all native speakers of over 100 languages. Our expert translators and interpreters are based all over the globe and can assist you with projects of all kinds.

For translation and interpreting services in Japanese, please visit our sister site, The Japanese Connection.

Members of: ATCITIProz

See our LinkedIn profile or visit us on Twitter


US engineers build self-folding origami robot

August 15, 2014

A group of engineers from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have succeeded in creating a self-assembling robot.

The robot’s assembly process relies upon origami, a traditional Japanese paper-folding craft.

Made from a composite sheet of paper, polystyrene and a circuit board, the machine can fold itself up from a flat sheet into a four-legged beetle-like form, and crawl away autonomously. The design also includes two motors, two batteries and a microcontroller. Hinges were programmed to fold at specific angles. Each hinge contained embedded circuits that produce heat on command from the microcontroller. The heat triggers the composite to self-fold in a series of steps.

When the hinges cool after about four minutes, the polystyrene hardens – making the robot stiff – and the microcontroller then signals the robot to crawl away at a speed of about one-tenth of a mile per hour.

“We were originally inspired by making robots as quickly and cheaply as possible,” says Sam Felton, doctoral student at Harvard and lead author of the paper described in Science. “The long-term plan is printable manufacturing; the short-term plan is building robots that can go into places where people can’t go.”

The robot is controlled by a timer which means that 10 seconds after the battery is inserted it will begin assembly.

Felton came upon the final design after testing around 40 prototypes. He fabricated the sheet using a solid ink printer, a laser machine, and his hands. Assembly took around 2 hours.

As the pre-stretched polystyrene hardens after assembly, the robot cannot yet unfold itself and return to a flat sheet form.

‘There is a great deal that we can improve based on this foundational step,’ said Felton. He plans to experiment with different kinds of shape memory polymers, including those that are stronger and require less heat to activate.

The potential applications of this type of machine are wide-ranging, stretching beyond the cheap manufacturing of robots.

‘Imagine a ream of dozens of robotic satellites sandwiched together so that they could be sent up to space and then assemble themselves remotely once they get there – they could take images, collect data, and more,’  said Felton.

Source: The Engineer; Bloomberg Businessweek 

—————————————————————-

TJC offers an extensive global network of professional & experienced multilingual translators, proof-readers and interpreters. We also have academic researchers, specialists and speakers, who are all native speakers of over 100 languages. Our expert translators and interpreters are based all over the globe and can assist you with projects of all kinds.

For translation and interpreting services in Japanese, please visit our sister site, The Japanese Connection.

Members of: ATCITIProz

See our LinkedIn profile or visit us on Twitter


Scientists map wheat genome

July 17, 2014

Bread is a staple food for one third of the world’s population, and accounts for a huge 20 per cent of the world’s calorie intake.

In terms of science however, wheat has been rather overlooked. Until now that is.

Since 2011, scientists and members of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, have worked to find out what exactly the humble grain is made of. On Tuesday, they published the first draft genome sequence of “common” or “bread wheat”: an accomplishment which they believe could help farmers meet the ever-increasing demand for a high-quality crop – something which is particularly important in the context of climate change and an ever-growing population.

The research, published in the journal Science on Tuesday, reveals the result of what has been nearly 3 years work and around USD 68 million. The team of scientists, including researchers from Germany, the United States, the Czech Republic, and Canada has so far succeeded in deciphering the blueprint for nearly all the genes of bread wheat and roughly 60 percent of the whole genome.

The unusual size and form of the genome made the sequencing especially difficult for the team, the article said. Indeed, that of wheat contains a staggering 100,000 or so genes, 5 times more than the human genome, which contains roughly 20,000.

The largely repetitive nature of the wheat genome also made its untangling more difficult.

The advantages of the project are manifold. “Wheat improvement is crucial to ensure food security and the development of sustainable agriculture in a context of climate change and growing population,” said Frederic Choulet, plant genomicist at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), and one of the lead researchers on the project.

The new draft genome is also expected to significantly decrease the time it will take to identify and isolate genes of interest to plant breeders, such as those which express resistance to heat, stress, insects, or disease.

The consortium plans to finish the full genome within three years. “We have a clear path forward for completing high quality sequences of all bread wheat chromosomes,” said Kellye Eversole, the consortium’s executive director.

Source: The Japan Times; National Geographic

—————————————————————-

TJC offers an extensive global network of professional & experienced multilingual translators, proof-readers and interpreters. We also have academic researchers, specialists and speakers, who are all native speakers of over 100 languages. Our expert translators and interpreters are based all over the globe and can assist you with projects of all kinds.

For translation and interpreting services in Japanese, please visit our sister site, The Japanese Connection.

Members of: ATCITIProz

See our LinkedIn profile or visit us on Twitter

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,715 other followers

%d bloggers like this: