Author Archives : Mark Stinson


Biotech Startups get a new home with NYU Langone and BioLabs Launch Center in Manhattan

  NYU Langone Medical Center today announced its plan to launch a large-scale biotech “incubator” in Manhattan, which will begin hosting companies at the end of 2017. Named “BioLabs@NYULangone” and located at 180 Varick Street, the new center is designed to house up to 35 startup companies seeking to turn laboratory discoveries into profitable businesses in 50,000 square feet of fully equipped lab and office space. NYU Langone’s operations partner for the project is BioLabs, a leader in the management of shared laboratory centers nationwide. “The new center builds on the outstanding track record at NYU Langone in launching biomedical […]


Medical Care Means Mental Health, Too

“Patients with depression, anxiety and more also often have chronic physical illnesses, and failing to integrate psychological treatment is costly,” writes Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a vice provost of the University of Pennsylvania and the chairman of its Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, in the Wall Street Journal. His new book is “Prescription for the Future,” just published by PublicAffairs. He has spoken at Advocate Health Care and is a venture partner at a firm that invests in Quartet.   American society has historically segregated mental-health conditions from other health concerns. Doctors and laypeople alike often dismissed such […]


DIY Tractor Repair Runs Afoul of Copyright Law

The iconic image of the American farmer is one who works the land, milks cows and is self-reliant enough to fix the tractor. But like a lot of mechanical items, tractors are increasingly run by computer software. Now, farmers are hitting up against an obscure provision of copyright law that makes it illegal to repair machinery run by software. Dave Alford considers himself a small farmer — he’s got 1,000 acres in San Luis Obispo along the central coast of California. “You spend so much of your time in agriculture fixing things,” Alford says. “It’s more economically beneficial to me […]


Future of Farming: IoT, Agricultural Sensors, & Farming Drones

Smart agriculture and precision farming could just be the precursors to even greater use of technology in the farming world. BI Intelligence predicts that IoT device installations in the agriculture world will increase from 30 million in 2015 to 75 million in 2020, for a compound annual growth rate of 20%. The US currently leads the world in IoT smart agriculture, as it produces 7,340 kgs of cereal (e.g. wheat, rice, maize, barley, etc.) per hectare (2.5 acres) of farmland, compared to the global average of 3,851 kgs of cereal per hectare. This efficiency should only improve in the coming decades […]


Agrimetrics: Putting the UK at Heart of the Big Data Revolution in Agriculture

In the next 20 years, the global food system will face challenges that are unprecedented in the history of agriculture – along with unprecedented opportunity to nations and organizations best equipped to meet them. This month’s Budget announcement of £12 million funding for the Centre of Agricultural Informatics and Metrics of Sustainability, now called Agrimetrics, is another milestone for the Agri-Tech Industrial Strategy – enabling our food to be produced more efficiently and sustainably while creating jobs and growing the UK economy. Agrimetrics was proposed by a consortium of leading industry and academic partners, led by Rothamsted Research, the University of Reading, Scotland’s Rural […]


FBI warning to Farmers on use of technology: pay attention to security, or suffer the same fate as industries like healthcare.

In an FBI industry note dated March 31, the Bureau said increased adoption of “precision farming” technology threatens to expose the agriculture sector to hacking and data theft. “Historically, farming has lacked awareness of how their data should be protected from cyber exploitation,” the FBI said. That’s a dangerous precedent as farmers invest in connected and data-intensive equipment and services. Possible risks include hacktivists who destroy data to protest use of GMOs or pesticides. Farm-level data may also be vulnerable to ransomware and data destruction, the FBI said. Agriculture is also rife with pre-Internet era technologies that were developed and deployed without much thought to security. As […]


What is the cybersecurity threat in agriculture? And is it lurking behind every corn stalk?

“The trust in the food chain starts in the dirt and ends on the table,” says Dale Meyerrose, retired Air Force major general and the first chief information officer for the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). At the recent PrecisionAg Vision Conference he said, “Whenever you use technology to create value, it presents an opportunity for an evil-doer to exploit it. Most compromises and data losses are created by the user’s own behavior. The idea that there are cyber criminals out there who are highly trained and skilled is more myth than fact. Most cybersecurity breaches are done with a phishing email or from […]


AR’s Potential in the Supply chain

While the consumer-facing side of augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR) is gaining exposure through companies like Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung, and HTC Vive, some businesses are looking to the technology to revolutionize supply-chain issues. This is because it could enable supply-chain managers to more easily visualize complex logistical problems. Dr. Matthias Winkenbach at MIT offers two examples of how the technology could be used: It could make traffic simulations and data indexes more digestible. A supply-chain manager could interact with 3D renderings of traffic simulations to inspect everything from items being shipped, to customer addresses, to real-time weather conditions. It could make […]


Internet of Things Inc. launches program with North American universities to drive new products

Internet of Things Inc., a Toronto-based IoT software and solutions provider, is capitalizing on leading-edge R&D and commercially available technology to accelerate its product development cycle. “We are very excited about working with leading universities to buildout our next-generation IoT technologies and products,” said IoT Inc.’s CEO Michael Frank. “We believe these partnerships will accelerate our growth strategy in both China and North America. We have had conversations with institutions in Ontario, Alberta, British Colombia, California and Pennsylvania.” As part of this initiative, IoT Inc. will look at acquiring products or services near commercialization which the universities’ commercialization offices have […]


Connected farms reap rewards

An agricultural solution with a machine learning component, irrigNET, was piloted two years ago to help a sugar factory grow sugar beets. IrrigNet sensors measure the water content in soil, and then combines that data with the models of the crops and local weather forecast to take the guesswork out of crop irrigation. With it, managers can also remotely monitor field conditions and use predictive data analytics tools to optimize water use for increase crop yield, while also reducing soil erosion. On top of the 30% increase brought by irrigation, irrigNET cites additional yield increases and reductions in water use […]