South Africa opens nanomaterial facility

first_img7 December 2015A state-of-the-art facility to produce nano-structured materials for industrial testing was opened at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria on 3 December.The Nanomaterials Industrial Development Facility was opened by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in partnership with the council. The new establishment will benefit the plastics and cosmetics industries, among others, to develop new nanotechnologies and processes. Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said it would provide the capabilities for the industrial-scale production of nano-structured materials.“All the facilities supported under the Industry Innovation Programme, including the Nano-materials Industrial Development Facility, have the potential to play a role in the development of high-technology small, medium and micro enterprises,” she said. “This facility could enable such enterprises to take advantage of the rapidly growing international market in nano-structured materials and nano-composites.”Some of the activities of the nanomaterials centre at the @CSIR @dstgovza #ncnsm pic.twitter.com/B9QVWlLKMx— Veronica Mohapeloa (@MaVeroza) December 3, 2015About nanomaterialsNanomaterials are chemical substances or materials that are manufactured and used at a very small scale – they can be scaled down to 10 000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.They are developed to display new characteristics, such as increased strength, chemical reactivity or conductivity, compared to the same material without the nanoscale feature.How the centre will helpThe newly launched centre will assist to increase overall industry competitiveness.The plastics industry is one sector that will reap rewards from the facility. “The addition of nanomaterials in the manufacturing of plastics can significantly enhance the mechanical properties of plastics,” said the CSIR. “Plastics can, for example, be made stronger, lighter and more fire and ultraviolet resistant.”Min Pandor gets an explanation of how this machine works with nanoclays at the Nanomaterial centre @csir @dstgovza pic.twitter.com/UyiuxQM3ZI— Veronica Mohapeloa (@MaVeroza) December 3, 2015“Addressing the technological development of the plastics industry will enable the industry to keep up with international trends, both in the level of advanced materials used, and in the machines and processes used to produce plastic components and systems,” it added./p>The CSIR performed research to stimulate and improve the competitiveness of industry and thereby contribute to the economy of the country, explained the council’s chief executive officer, Dr Sibusiso Sibisi.“We need to think differently,” he said. “We need to explore new ways and mechanisms to enter areas of activities such as the beneficiation of our natural resources to create jobs, manufacture high-end components and export them.”The facility houses infrastructure processing and testing and it will play a crucial role in developing skills and transferring technologies to industry.Rising fieldThe international market in nano-structured materials and nanocomposites was growing rapidly, said the CSIR. Nanoclay composites are expected to increase from a 2011 volume of 24 million to 74 million metric tonnes and a global value of $3-billion by 2016.In South Africa, the total plastic consumption is in the order of 1.3 million metric tonnes or R35-billion a year, and accounts for an estimated 3.2% of the manufacturing sector.Source: CSIRlast_img read more

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Premium beef jerky is a hot seller for growing business

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Katie Levesque has always really enjoyed beef jerky, but as a college student at the Ohio State University Lima Branch she did not always have the funds to purchase her favorite snack. To address this situation, she started making her own.“I found this article about how I could make jerky at home in the oven,” she said. “I had to support my jerky habit. It is hard to find good jerky and it’s expensive. I solved those problems by making my own.”During college, Levesque participated in a fundraiser that got her jerky a bit more notoriety.“Everyone else brought in cookies and cakes and I brought in beef jerky,” Levesque said.The beef jerky was a hit at the fundraiser and soon she was taking orders. She began selling her jerky.“I was a full time college student and I would spend all of my extra money on jerky supplies,” she said. “That would provide me income when I was studying the rest of the quarter.”Her jerky sales really took off from there.“I asked a couple of store owners if they would sell it for me and they said, ‘Yes.’ It went well, so I made more. Then I started renting out part of a kitchen in a pizza shop. That allowed me to make it in a commercial kitchen. Then I thought I was doing it right, but I still wasn’t. When you are 19, you take action and ask questions later. I had 50 stores in Lima selling my beef jerky and people were still calling me. I dropped out of school. That is when the Ohio Department of Agriculture showed up at the pizza shop. They shut me down,” Levesque said. “My customers still wanted my product, but I had to do it legally. Then I did two things: I found a co-packer and started a business plan. I found a local smokehouse. They had to take my recipe and make it and they would get me the end product. I didn’t have control of it, though, not really. The quality was not there. It didn’t meet my needs. It was a great learning experience, but it was the beginning of the end for that cycle. I went back to school to finish my engineering degree. That paved the way for all the years that followed. I worked in heavy manufacturing for the next several years and I learned so many things. I focused on marketing and customer service in those roles as well.”She enjoyed her work, but she also still really enjoyed beef jerky. Her career had taken her to the Columbus area and allowed her to save up some money.“I found out about the rental kitchens in Columbus, which opened the door again to allow me to do a market test. I did a test run at the North Market,” she said. “There are always bumps in the road, but I realized that the dream was still there. I jumped back in with all the enthusiasm. That is what I wanted to do, but there were definitely hurtles. I had to find a commercial space. I had to learn to navigate all the rules and regulations from the USDA.”After re-discovering the potential market for her premium jerky products produced in the proper manner, she decided to jump back into full time beef jerky and snack food production. She bought the necessary equipment and rented space in a Hilliard facility on the west side of Columbus. She now employs four people.“In December two years ago I bought all of the big equipment and we came here,” Levesque said. “I literally just bought commercial versions of the same equipment I used in college. We have not automated anything. Even our cooking equipment is just a larger version of what we had. I did it the same way now as I did it in college. The only magic, if there is any, is that I still make it the old home style way. Some people change the process and that changes the product. The magic is that we didn’t change anything. We use electric dehydrators. We use a standard manual meat slicer. We slice the meat, marinate for the different flavors, dehydrate then pack it in vacuum sealer.”While the recipes and methods are the same, the procedures have changed dramatically.“We get inspected every day. We have tons of paperwork and procedures to follow. Getting everything approved and remaining in compliance always keeps us on our toes. A lot of people don’t realize this when they are getting into the industry,” she said. “Being an engineer, I have a procedure for everything. When I talk to people about the Department of Agriculture and the regulations, you have to remember that they help us do what is right for food safety. I impart the seriousness of food safety on my staff. We could make a lot of people sick and we have to take that responsibility seriously. This is not a joke. We have fun, but food safety is not funny. The rules are there for a reason.”Katie’s Premium Jerky and Snacks now offers more than 40 different products (including traditional beef jerky, dried pineapple, and wild game in numerous flavors) and co-packs for several other businesses.“Beef is definitely the biggest seller but the other ones are growing. The dried pineapple is getting popular. We do bison, elk and venison. We are working on alligator,” Levesque said. “Sourcing our meat is tricky. We can’t use meat unless it is from a federal plant. We try to use local meats when possible. We get bison from Grassroots Bison in Covington and they get me elk from an Illinois farm. We mostly buy wholesale beef but we are working on local grass fed. We use all eye round for our jerky. There are a lot of other cuts you can use, but it is a quality thing for us.”Consistency is important with procedures and production.“We start production around 5:30 or 6 in the morning. We go for 12-hour days. The reality of day-to-day equipment failures is a challenge. When you have an unexpected shut down, you have to have back ups for everything. From a manufacturing standpoint we stay as steady as possible. Our product is shelf stable and has a long shelf life. We have the ability to stay pretty consistent because of our product. Our ebbs and flows are customer demand. Our lowest demand is in January and it climbs after that,” she said. “In January, people are not buying gifts, they are not outside hiking, touristy places have all died down, and everything drops off. As people get out and about more, they eat more jerky. They want high protein snacks to stay in shape. We start preparing for growing demand about a month ahead. The demand is a very steady climb from January though December — jerky is a great gift.”With solid production procedures in place, Levesque is now working to improve the marketing efforts of her business.“Ohio Proud helps tremendously. Their support and the time they have spent giving me ideas has been great. The number one thing they have done has been getting me into markets,” Levesque said. “Our beef jerky is sold all over the U.S. in different specialty stores and we ship off the website and through Amazon. We’re in places like Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati — that is a fun store to be a part of. That might be my top retailer. We are having a great response from health supplement store Supzilla. Specialty jerky stores are also good sales for us. We are in Kroger stores as well in the Cincinnati area.”Her favorite way of marketing her products, though, is face to face.“The best way to have an impact is to sell directly to your customers. There are so many farmers markets and festivals around here so there are chances to direct market. I also go to Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana and Louisiana to home shows, spicy food shows, health shows, gluten free shows, outdoor shows, and fairs. With people working for me now I can get out and travel for longer periods of time. I think a balance of the travel and the production are both important. I am probably gone at trade shows 30% of the time. I also work on new product development, purchasing, customer service, marketing, the website, emails, and literature.”Katie’s Premium Jerky and Snacks has won over 60 awards around the nation and internationally for her premium jerky made in central Ohio.Now by the book, Katie’s Premium Jerky and Snacks has succeeded far beyond the reaches of her former college beef jerky business. Her products have won over 60 awards in competitions around the country and internationally and she continues to move forward in expanding the business.“My favorite quote is, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’ I remind myself of that all the time,” she said. “You just handle one challenge at a time and move forward.”last_img read more

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Jason Kenney offered help to meet with kids from gaystraight groups

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta conservative leadership candidate Jason Kenney is being offered help to set up a meeting with students who are in gay-straight alliances at school.The offer comes after Kenney said this week he wasn’t invited, and then was too busy, to attend Calgary Pride activities — even after singer k.d. lang said she’d give him free concert tickets if he’d sit down and discuss LGBTQ rights with her.Kris Wells with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies in Edmonton and Barbara Silva of the group Support our Students say they can make a meeting happen between Kenney and students.“If he genuinely wants to meet with LGBTQ youth and learn from them and not politicize them, we’ll do our best to make that happen,” said Wells, who works with students setting up gay-straight alliances in schools.The social networks are meant to foster understanding, to help gay kids feel less isolated and to reduce bullying and harassment.Silva’s group advocates for education equality and emphasizes the importance of the alliances.“We would bend over backwards to make that dialogue happen in a safe environment,” she said Thursday.“There’s something very concerning about somebody who wants to lead a province who doesn’t want to meet with its most marginalized members.”A spokesman for Kenney declined comment.Kenney, a Conservative cabinet minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper, is one of four candidates running for the leadership of Alberta’s new United Conservative Party. It was formed last month when the Progressive Conservative party and the Opposition Wildrose merged.Kenney said shortly after winning the PC leadership last spring that parents should be notified if their children join a gay-straight alliance as long as it doesn’t put a child in harm’s way.Kenney has not offered suggestions on how teachers could determine ahead of time whether parents would react positively or not.Wells and Silva said if parents were automatically brought into the picture, students would lose control of a critical decision on an emotionally charged issue. The alliances would no longer provide safe spaces and would wither and die.“It’s a roundabout way of killing the program,” said Silva. “Kids are not going to join something if they think they’re going to be outed.”The Progressive Conservative party under then-premier Jim Prentice passed a bill in 2015 mandating gay-straight alliances if students wished to set them up. There had been public outcry over earlier legislation that allowed schools to effectively segregate gay youth by allowing the alliances only off school grounds.Gordon Dirks, education minister at the time, said hearing face to face from gay youth helped him champion the revised legislation.“Some of those moments were very moving moments as you heard students telling their stories of being bullied, discriminated against, feeling suicidal, even attempting (it),” Dirks said at the time.“When that happens and you have those kinds of intimate, frank conversations with students, it goes from your head to your heart.”This week, organizers of Calgary Pride rejected a bid by the United Conservative Party to join other political parties and march in the Sept. 3 Pride parade, because the party did not have a policy clearly articulating support for the gay community.That changed late Wednesday night. The new party’s interim board passed a resolution affirming support for LGBTQ rights and promising to promote and embrace LGBTQ in the party.Interim leader Nathan Cooper and three candidates in the leadership race have said they plan to attend the event anyway as spectators. Calgary Pride did not return a request for comment.last_img read more

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Cabreras Millions And Baseballs Billions

I was surprised by my colleague Neil Paine’s analysis of Miguel Cabrera’s record-breaking new contract extension. I thought the Detroit Tigers would come out looking much worse.According to Neil’s estimate, which used projections from Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA system, Cabrera’s market value for the next 10 years is roughly $275 million. That’s not as much as the $292 million that the Tigers will be paying him, but the difference is modest.Neil’s valuation assumed that teams are willing to pay about $6.5 million per additional win in the free-agent market, based on research from Dave Cameron and Lewie Pollis. These estimates come from comparing the salaries given to free agents against their expected on-field production. (Neil further assumed that the market price of a win will increase by 5 percent per year.)In other words, Cabrera isn’t that vastly overpaid as compared to recent free agents. If Mike Napoli is making $16 million per year, then Cabrera’s $29 million per year doesn’t look so bad.But Cabrera’s market value is not the same as Cabrera’s economic value to the Tigers. It could be that free agents as a group are vastly overpaid, relative to the revenue they bring to their teams.In the 2006 book “Baseball Between the Numbers,” I estimated the marginal value of a win to a baseball team, based on how responsive different categories of revenue (such as ticket sales and TV deals) are to a team’s quality. I estimated that an additional game won added only about $1.2 million to a team’s bottom line, after subtracting revenue-sharing payments. (This assumes that the value of a win is constant from team to team, which it isn’t, but we’ll leave that aside for now.)That estimate is now eight years old. Total gross revenue accruing to the 30 Major League Baseball clubs has increased since then; it was $7.1 billion in 2013, according to Forbes, as compared to $4.7 billion in 2005.If the marginal economic value of a win has increased proportionately, a win would now be worth about $1.8 million. That’s still far less than the $6.5 million that teams are willing to pay for a win. Are baseball owners being irrational?Perhaps, but their motivation to own a baseball team may not be based solely in profits and losses. They may just be having fun. (I can think of a lot of worse ways to splurge.)And they may know that if they choose to sell their teams, they can do so — probably at a significant profit. The market value of an MLB franchise has increased by more than 600 percent since 1990, according to valuations from Financial World and Forbes magazine (see Rodney Fort’s website for the data). By comparison, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose by about 450 percent between March 27, 1990, and March 27, 2014. (Framed in terms of compound annual growth rates, baseball teams have increased in value by 8.5 percent per year since 1990, as compared with 7.3 percent for the stock market.)Not only have baseball franchises outperformed the stock market, but the patterns in their growth rates have been quite different. The stock market rose dramatically in the 1990s, but has teetered back and forth since then. By contrast, the rise in MLB franchise values has been much steadier.What accounts for this?Here’s a theory. The average baseball franchise is now worth $817 million, according to Forbes. Loosely speaking, you need to be a billionaire to afford one. And there are a lot more billionaires than there used to be.Forbes estimates that there are 492 billionaires in the United States, as compared to 99 in 1990. The increase in the number of billionaires, like the increase in baseball franchise values, has been relatively steady. (The number of American billionaires fell after the financial crisis of 2007-09 but has risen to a new high since then.)In a sense, the Tigers may be betting less on Cabrera’s performance and more on economic and regulatory conditions. If the number of billionaires continues to rise, Tigers owner Mike Ilitch (worth $3.6 billion) should find plenty of buyers should he sell the team down the line. Cabrera’s presence might make the Tigers a more attractive purchase — or if not, the liability might be modest as compared with the Tigers’ resale price. But if the rise of the billionaire reverses, Cabrera’s contract might come to look like the peak of a bubble. read more

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Recycling business provides employment for innercity residents

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKingston, Jamaica, December 28, 2016 – Residents of some low-income communities in the Corporate Area are benefiting from the ingenuity of Scheed Cole, whose recycling business employs more than 20 of them in transforming waste material into sculptures and other products.  The company, 360 Recycle Manufacturing, which is located on Rousseau Road in Kingston, provides jobs for residents of Arnett Gardens, Maxfield Avenue, Lyndhurst Road and Spanish Town Road.Mr. Cole, a former inner-city teacher, who hails from Olympic Way in St. Andrew West Central, believes in the holistic transformation of those communities and has decided to train and employ persons residing in them.   “I wanted it [the business] to target people of low-income zones. Persons from the communities are given an opportunity first, to be employed by me. Our aim is to create 360 Recycle Manufacturing centres in low-income areas, because it’s a form of renewed employment we want on a national level,” he tells JIS News.Mr. Cole’s company uses ground glass, metal, styrofoam lunch boxes, and pieces of paper and cardboard mixed with cement to create the sculptures for property decorations.  He also creates other structures, including pots for plants, benches and tables, and playground equipment, such as tunnels and rock-climbing mountains.   The raw materials are also used to create building blocks, which he hopes will be used in the construction of houses. Samples of the blocks have been submitted to the Bureau of Standards Jamaica for testing, he notes.Mr. Cole wants to use the building blocks to create affordable housing for residents living in low-income communities across the island.   “If we can help these areas to develop economically and reduce poverty, then we will have more productive communities and citizens,” he says.  Mr. Cole, who plans to employ at least 100 more inner-city residents, says he is now focused on establishing public and private partnerships to help with the mechanization of some processes.  He tells JIS News that the main one is to process the raw materials into finished products much faster, in order to meet the demand.  Discussions have begun with manufacturing company Wisynco, Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation, supermarkets and hardware stores.Meanwhile, Ian McKay, who is employed in sales by Mr. Cole, says since he met him at St. Mary’s College more than two years ago, he has enjoyed working with him in the recycling and manufacturing business.   He tells JIS News that the business has great potential for further growth, and he expects Mr. Cole to provide the leadership that is required.Data recorded in the United States show that the recycling industry continues to be an enormous economic driver. It is reported that in 2014, the recycling industry employed 1.1 million people and generated more than US$236 billion in gross annual revenue.In other parts of the world, entrepreneurs are utilizing recycled material to generate income. In Kenya, Africa, one entrepreneur uses plastic waste collected from dump sites to manufacture fence posts.last_img read more

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Girls Rugby kicks off the Spring season

first_img Posted: April 5, 2019 April 5, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, Girls Rugby kicks off the Spring season Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Girls Rugby recently kicked off the Spring season and it is not too late to get signed up, according to the non-profit.The organization said they are dedicated to empowering girls to reach their potential through rugby and Girls Rugby provides access for girls to learn vital skills and core values such as leadership, empowerment, achievement, respect and sportsmanship all while enjoying the experience of playing all-girls, non-contact rugby.Teams based throughout San Diego – visit girlsrugbyinc.com/California to learn more or email [email protected] KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

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