Welcome to Tech Talk With Vertical Motion, where we recap the biggest tech news, events, and headlines to keep you in the know.
Top 5 Finalists Selected in the Angels for Climate Solutions Program
The competition at the Angels for Climate Solutions program got that much tighter on Wednesday, February 23rd following the announcement of this year’s top five climate tech finalists. Angels for Climate Solutions is an education and training program powered by the Vancouver Economic Commission in partnership with Innovate BC, Spring, Foresight Canada, and Volition among other supporters. The program supports the growth and development of “angel investors looking to make early-stage investments into climate technologies” and “climate-focused startups looking to fundraise.”
- Bin Breeze
- Circular Rubber Technologies Inc.
- SkyAcres Agrotechnologies Inc.
- Solaires Enterprise Inc.
- Solar Earth
The final pitch is set for April 2022 following a 10-week intensive training program for both startups and investors.
The core of the JET tokamak machine in Culham, England. Photo: Christopher Roux
UK Scientists Prove a Near Limitless Clean Power Source Is Possible
There is no single solution to today’s climate crisis. However, United Kingdom (UK) scientists believe that nuclear fusion may greatly assist the fight against climate change.
On Wednesday, February 9th scientists in Culham, England announced that they “more than doubled the previous record for generating and sustaining nuclear fusion.” The JET tokamak machine shown above is said to have generated “a record-breaking 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy over five seconds” during an experiment conducted at the end of last year.
In comparison to nuclear fission (a more common process used today), nuclear fusion combines two or more atoms releasing massive amounts of energy in the form of heat. This acts as a much cleaner and safer alternative to nuclear fission which produces extremely hazardous radioactive waste. For this reason, many believe nuclear fusion may be an attractive alternative to fossil fuels as the world pushes for net zero emissions by 2050.
That being said, Tony Roulstone, Lecturer and Course Director of Nuclear Energy at the University of Cambridge says that while the results are impressive, “much longer fusion burn” is required to make it a viable solution.
OKGN Angel Summit Announces The Top 6 Finalists
The OKGN Angel Summit is well underway as the top six finalists were announced on Wednesday, February 23rd. The OKGN Angel Summit hosted by Accelerate Okanagan, “is designed to bridge the gap between companies looking for growth capital and investors looking for investable companies.” Back now for its fourth year, the OKGN Angel Summit hosts 32 participating investors committed to investing $150,000 in the winning startup. This year’s top six finalists include:
The final pitch will take place on Wednesday, March 16th following a “10-week program where accredited investors and startup entrepreneurs are trained in the capital-raising process.”
Record-Breaking Rogue Wave Recorded By MarineLabs Data Systems off the Coast of Vancouver Island
On Tuesday, February 8th, researchers announced the recording of a 17.6 meter (57.7 ft) rogue wave off the coast of Vancouver Island near Ucluelet, B.C. The four-story-high record-breaking wave is being called “once-in-a-millennium” wave activity. As Newswire reports, rogue waves are “waves with a height more than double that of other waves occurring around them. Also known as freak or killer waves, their tendency to occur unexpectedly and with huge force makes them especially dangerous.”
Dr. Johannes Gemmrich, Research Scientist at the University of Victoria, says proportionally speaking “the Ucluelet wave is likely the most extreme rogue wave ever recorded.” The record-setting wave was captured by British Columbia organization MarineLabs Data Systems Inc. through their CoastAware™ platform. This platform “provides data from a network of 26 sensor buoys strategically placed on coastlines and in oceans around North America.” Their goal is to improve “safety and decision-making for marine operations and coastal communities through widespread measurement of the world’s coastlines.” MarineLabs is projected to more than double its existing fleet reaching close to 70 buoys by the end of 2022.
NASA's Perseverance Celebrates First Year on Mars
NASA’s Perseverance rover has racked up a series of accomplishments since touching down on Mars on February 18, 2021, including:
- Capturing the first rock core sample from another planet (currently carrying six)
- Serving as the base station for Ingenuity, the first helicopter in space
- Testing MOXIE (Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment), the first prototype oxygen generator on Mars
- Setting the record for the longest distance travelled in a single day at 320 meters (1,050 feet)
As NASA explains “the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.” The rover is expected to operate on Mars until 2034 where it will remain for a future mission (in planning) to retrieve and return the rover back to Earth.
This is your communications officer on the bridge at Vertical Motion saying Godspeed and see you next month!
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Written By Tyler Mikitka, communications officer on the bridge at Vertical Motion.