€60 million for innovators awarded under EIT Crisis Response Initiative

30 June 2020, Budapest, Hungary – Almost 1 500 innovators from 44 countries applied for the EIT’s € 60 million Crisis Response Initiative. The funds have now been unlocked by the EIT Governing Board to ensure critical support swiftly reaches entrepreneurs. This will allow high-impact start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs to benefit from additional funding under the ‘Venture Support Instrument’; and will enable the launch of new innovation projects tackling COVID-19 related challenges as part of the ‘Pandemic Response Projects. By deploying a rapid response mechanism, all EIT Crisis Response activities will be completed by the end of 2020 to help Europe recover.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, responsible for the EIT said: ‘This action of the EIT is part of the EU’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis, including substantial support to innovation. I am glad to see the efficient mobilisation of all EU instruments that we have at our disposal. Thanks to the EIT’s funding, hundreds of innovators and companies will be given the opportunity to participate in the collective effort to overcome this crisis and rebuild our economy sustainably.’

Under the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, each EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community launched Calls for Proposals for ventures and for innovation projects. Close to 1 500 proposals were received from 44 countries (including all 27 EU Member States as well as the Israel, Northern Macedonia, Norway, United Kingdom, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey).

Dirk Jan van den Berg, Chair of the EIT Governing Board, added: ‘This is the EIT in action: agile mobilisation of Europe’s largest innovation community to deliver innovative solutions and a boost to Europe’s economy. With the EIT’s rapid response and additional € 60 million funding, our Knowledge and Innovation Communities will now ensure high-impact ventures and ground-breaking projects help accelerate Europe’s recovery. The submission of almost 1 500 proposals highlights the depth of talent of innovators and the need for crisis recovery support in Europe and beyond.’

The quality and relevance of the EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities’ Calls for Proposals under the EIT Crisis Response Initiative were evaluated. Based on this, the EIT Governing Board decided to allocate the following grants: 

EIT Climate-KIC: EUR 8.40 million

EIT Digital: EUR 7.65 million 

EIT Food: EUR 10.25 million

EIT Health: EUR 9.85 million

EIT InnoEnergy: EUR 7.40 million

EIT Raw Materials: EUR 9.80 million

EIT Manufacturing: EUR 3.30 million

EIT Urban Mobility: EUR 3.35 million

 Following the EIT Governing Board decision, each EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community will now finalise its selection processes based on the available budget. It is foreseen that 60% of the EIT Crisis Response funds will be awarded to highly innovative start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs as part of the ‘Venture Support Instrument’, and 40% to innovation projects under the ‘Pandemic Response Projects’. More details on the selected ventures and innovation projects to be financed will be announced in the coming weeks.

BACKGROUND: EIT- MAKING INNOVATION HAPPEN!

What is the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)?

The EIT strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs across Europe. The EIT is an EU body and an integral part of Horizon2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The Institute supports the development of dynamic pan-European partnerships – EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities – among leading companies, research labs and universities.

What is the EIT Crisis Response Initiative?

The EUR 60 million EIT initiative launched in May 2020 consists of two main tracks of activities to be implemented by the EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities across Europe:

  • Venture Support Instrument: Start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs have been enormously impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Additional EIT support (financing, technical assistance and network) will help highly innovative ventures weather the crisis and accelerate their growth.
  • Pandemic Response Projects: More than ever, innovations and new solutions are needed to tackle the current crisis and prevent its resurgence. The EIT ecosystem is agile and will mobilise innovators to address the COVID-19 crisis, both in terms of the immediate health concerns and the wider response needed.

Learn more about the EIT Crisis Response Initiative in this factsheet.

EIT powers innovative solutions to global challenges

The EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities work to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy (EIT Climate-KIC), drive Europe’s digital transformation (EIT Digital), lead the global revolution in food innovation and production (EIT Food), give EU citizens greater opportunities to lead a healthy life (EIT Health), achieve a sustainable energy future for Europe (EIT InnoEnergy), strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s manufacturing industry (EIT Manufacturing), develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe (EIT RawMaterials), and solve the mobility challenges of our cities (EIT Urban Mobility).

Together with their leading partners in Europe, they offer a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities. This includes education courses that combine technical and entrepreneurial skills, business creation and acceleration services and innovation driven research projects.

EIT Facts & Figures

  • Proposed budget of EUR 3 billion between 2021 and 2027 under the EU’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Framework Programme 
  • Europe’s largest innovation network: 2 000+ partners from top business, research and education organisations across Europe in 60+ innovation hubs across Europe
  • Europe’s tried, tested and proven innovation engine: powered more than 2 000 start-ups and scale-ups, created more than 900 new products and services. To date, EIT-supported ventures have raised more than EUR 1.5 billion in external capital. More than 2 200 students have graduated from EIT labelled master and doctoral programmes.
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More information: EIT in a nutshell Infographic

Discover EIT Community innovators: EIT Community COVID-19 solutions

Bitcoin halving highlights crypto is part of mainstream finance: deVere CEO

Bitcoin’s historic halving event on Monday underscores that the “long-term future of cryptocurrencies is secure”, says the CEO and founder of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The comments from deVere Group’s Nigel Green come as the world’s supply of Bitcoin was forever slashed on Monday. The highly anticipated halving event, occurring only every four years, means that less and less Bitcoin – which is limited to 21 million units – will now been mined.

Monday’s was only the third ever halving. In 2012, the number of new Bitcoins issued every 10 minutes fell from 50 to 25. In 2016, it went down from 25 to 12.5. Now, in the 2020 halving, it will drop from 12.5 to 6.25.

The halving happened on block 630,000.

Nigel Green says: “The historic Bitcoin halving event has demonstrated in two ways that digital assets’ long-term future is secure.

“First, the price had been rising steadily ahead of the highly anticipated event – almost three-fold in the last three months – and then dropped back just before and after it took place.

“This shows that there has been increasing retail demand for Bitcoin as investors see and understand the growing influence and huge opportunities of digital currencies in an increasingly tech-driven world.

“With this in mind, large cryptocurrency investors, known as ‘whales’, accumulate crypto at much lower prices then start a sell-off to capitalise on this sustained growing demand.”

He continues: “Second, history teaches us that after this post-halving drop in price, there is a subsequent bull run. 

“Previous Bitcoin halving events have prompted impressive price climbs. The 2016 halving triggered a 300% jump in the value of Bitcoin. 

“There is no reason to believe this time the market will not respond with a longer-term upward trajectory.

“Indeed, the rally which is likely on its way could potentially be even more dramatic because there is more mass awareness than ever before of the long-term use of and need for digital currencies.”

The deVere CEO adds that in these unusual times, central banks have increased monetary supply and this will further drive prices of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

“Traditional currencies are devalued and inflation fears rise on the back of the mass printing of money, the likes of which we have recently seen in the U.S., where the nation’s central bank has added trillions of dollars to the money supply,” he says.

“Such measures will inevitably encourage even more investors to consider decentralised, non-sovereign digital currencies.”

Mr Green concludes: “Looking ahead beyond the halving event, cryptocurrencies are increasingly becoming regarded as the future of money due to the real-world issues they address and growing mass adoption.”

Bitcoin’s coming of age? May’s historic halving taking place in a new era

The Bitcoin price will hit ‘at least $10,000’ even before the four-yearly ‘halving’ event taking place in two weeks, predicts the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations. 

The prediction from the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, Nigel Green, comes as the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency suddenly soared by more than $1,500 on Thursday, moving it to its highest value since February.  It peaked at $9,400.

It comes ahead of May’s highly anticipated halving event. Occurring every four years, halving means that less and less Bitcoin – which is limited to 21 million units – will be mined.

In 2012, the number of new Bitcoins issued every 10 minutes fell from 50 to 25. In 2016, it went down from 25 to 12.5. Now, in the 2020 halving, it will drop from 12.5 to 6.25.

Mr Green says: “We see the cryptocurrency market already significantly picking up pace ahead of the historic event in May.  

“Investors are now increasing their exposure to Bitcoin as the halving – only the third in its 11-year history – will push up prices sharply due to the dramatically lower supply combined with a steady demand and increasing awareness of digital currencies.”

Previous Bitcoin halving events have prompted impressive price climbs. The 2016 halving triggered a 300 per cent jump in the value of Bitcoin.  

But the 2020 one could be even more remarkable, believes the deVere CEO.

He notes: “May’s event could herald Bitcoin’s coming of age. 

“It will, of course, drive prices higher – but, in my opinion, the jump could be even more impactful due to these unprecedented times.

“The digitalisation of our lives is accelerating at a faster pace than ever before. We’re in an exciting new era driven by technology.

“This new world needs new ways of doing things to fit the new normal.  Clearly, one of those things which is needed now more than ever, as the world becomes ever-more digitalised and globalised, is digital and global currency, such as Bitcoin.

“This will not have gone unnoticed by investors who are increasingly piling into cryptocurrencies.”

Mr Green continues: “Also, these unusual times have forced central banks to increase monetary supply. By printing never-seen-before amounts of money, traditional currencies are devalued and inflation fears rise.

“This will also drive investors towards decentralised, non-sovereign digital currencies.”

Mr Green concludes: “The excitement of the forthcoming rare halving event, together with the new era we’re in, will drive the price of Bitcoin exponentially and sustainably.

“I believe we can expect it to hit at least $10,000 before the May event itself.  

“Beyond that, we could see an explosion in the price of Bitcoin due to real-world issues it addresses and increasing adoption.”

How can cloud-based analytics help banks drive digital transformation?

By Paul Jones, Head of Technology, SAS UK & Ireland

Fintechs are turning up the heat in retail and corporate banking. As smaller, more agile providers have entered the banking market, customers are getting used to a higher level of service – a personalised, digital experience that guides them to make quicker, smarter decisions about their finances. For traditional banks to compete, they need to transform the way they operate. On the retail banking side, that means digitising customer-facing services. No queuing in branches, no paperwork. And when customers apply for a credit card or loan, they get a decision in seconds.

Meanwhile, on the corporate side, the aim of transformation is often to enable an everything as a service (XaaS) strategy, building smart packaged offerings such as treasury as a service or risk management as a service, which the bank can both consume in-house and provide to enterprise clients.

Data-driven digital transformation

To foster this type of digital business transformation, banks need to redesign both internal and customer-facing processes to embed data-driven decision making. By integrating intelligent automation and decisioning capabilities into their operations, banks can eliminate paperwork and manual processing. This will greatly improve service levels to customers while keeping the cost-to-serve to a minimum.

The creation of these data-driven services depends on the ability to design, build, test and deploy processes that embed predictive models using both well-established statistical methods and new artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) techniques. The development life cycle for these models is inherently experimental. It’s vital to try different approaches, test the results, and iterate on the candidates that offer the greatest potential. To remain relevant in the digital age, organisations must deliver such experiments with agility and speed.

The obstacle of legacy infrastructure

The problem is that banks’ traditional IT architectures – built around legacy on-premises systems – are a uniquely bad environment for developing these models. Due to the experimental nature of the models, it’s very difficult to forecast what type of infrastructure banks will need for upcoming projects. For example, different machine learning algorithms run best on hardware that has been optimised for that category of model building. If you invest in a cluster of servers with a particular configuration of memory and processors, it may only be suitable for a small subset of the work you actually need to do. And every time you need to change your approach, you’ll face high fixed costs and a long lead time to get the right infrastructure in place.

Instead, you need an IT architecture that allows you to set up experiments quickly and manage them flexibly. When an idea doesn’t work out, you should have the ability to fail fast and cut your losses. And when an idea succeeds, you need to get it into production rapidly and roll it out for enterprise-scale deployment.

The promise of cloud-based analytics

The cloud is the perfect environment for these exploratory projects. It gives you the freedom to spin up almost any type of infrastructure within minutes, and either scale it or shut it down instantly depending on the results.

Cloud environments also free you from dependencies on departmental silos and the quirks of your internal network. They give you a green-field site where cross-functional teams can collaborate freely, enabling you to build models that combine domain knowledge from different areas of the bank and create opportunities for XaaS offerings that would never have been possible in the past.

Regulatory hurdles

While most of the major public cloud providers now offer a range of analytics-specific infrastructure services, they come at a price. Once your data and models live in a particular proprietary cloud repository, they can be difficult to get out again. You’re locked into their infrastructure for the foreseeable future.

Besides the commercial implications, this lock-in poses a major regulatory problem for banks. According to the latest consultation paper on outsourcing and third-party risk management from the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), regulators expect banks to be able to port any outsourced services over to another provider or bring them back in house without any risk to business continuity.

The right tool for the job

I’ve had conversations about moving to the cloud with CIOs at banks of various sizes, and this issue of portability has been a recurring theme. They are looking for analytics solutions that work with any vendor and run on any cloud platform – or move between platforms – without significant disruption. In fact, since many banking use cases involve analysing data that is too sensitive to store outside the internal network, one of the most-requested offerings is a hybrid cloud/on-premises solution. Banks could then perform experimental projects with anonymised data in the cloud and then bring the successful models back into their own data centre for deployment in production.

Finally, while there’s a lot of buzz around AI/ML techniques, it’s important to recognise that they are not always the best option. Traditional statistical methods can be equally powerful, cost less to maintain, and can be easier to explain and audit – an increasingly important capability, as a recent legal case in the Netherlands demonstrates. My advice is always that banks should look for a single platform that gives equal support to both statistical and AI/ML modelling techniques and provides easy-to-use visualisations that make models easier to interpret. This allows your data scientists to pick the best tool for the job. And makes it easier for you to ensure the safe and responsible use of your data.

We’re working with a number of leading banks to power their digital transformation initiatives and build towards the XaaS future in the cloud. Find out more about what’s possible with cloud computing.

The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG to lead the development of sustainable transportation by forming joint venture for large-scale production of fuel cells

Sharing the Green Deal vision of sustainable transport and a carbon neutral Europe by 2050, two leading companies in the commercial vehicle industry, Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group, have signed a preliminary non-binding agreement to establish a new joint venture. The intention is to develop, produce and commercialize fuel cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications and other use cases. Daimler will consolidate all its current fuel cell activities in the joint venture. The Volvo Group will acquire 50% in the joint venture for the sum of approximately EUR 0.6 billion on a cash and debt free basis. 

“Transport and logistics keep the world moving, and the need for transport will continue to grow. Truly CO2-neutral transport can be accomplished through electric drive trains with energy coming either from batteries or by converting hydrogen on board into electricity. For trucks to cope with heavy loads and long distances, fuel cells are one important answer and a technology where Daimler has built up significant expertise through its Mercedes-Benz fuel cell unit over the last two decades. This joint initiative with the Volvo Group is a milestone in bringing fuel cell powered trucks and buses onto our roads,” says Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.

“Electrification of road transport is a key element in delivering the so called Green Deal, a carbon neutral Europe and ultimately a carbon neutral world. Using hydrogen as a carrier of green electricity to power electric trucks in long-haul operations is one important part of the puzzle, and a complement to battery electric vehicles and renewable fuels. Combining the Volvo Group and Daimler’s experience in this area to accelerate the rate of development is good both for our customers and for society as a whole. By forming this joint venture, we are clearly showing that we believe in hydrogen fuel cells for commercial vehicles. But for this vision to become reality, other companies and institutions also need to support and contribute to this development, not least in order to establish the fuel infrastructure needed,” says Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group President and CEO. 

The Volvo Group and Daimler Truck AG will be 50/50 partners in the joint venture, which will operate as an independent and autonomous entity, with Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group continuing to be competitors in all other areas of business. Joining forces will decrease development costs for both companies and accelerate the market introduction of fuel cell systems in products used for heavy-duty transport and demanding long-haul applications. In the context of the current economic downturn cooperation has become even more necessary in order to meet the Green Deal objectives within a feasible time-frame.

The common goal is for both companies to offer heavy-duty vehicles with fuel cells for demanding long-haul applications in series production in the second half of the decade. In addition, other automotive and non-automotive use cases are also part of the new joint venture’s scope. 

To enable the joint venture, Daimler Trucks is bringing together all group-wide fuel cell activities in a new Daimler Truck fuel cell unit. Part of this bundling of activities is the allocation of the operations of “Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH”, which has longstanding experience in the development of fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems for various vehicle applications, to Daimler Truck AG. 

The joint venture will include the operations in Nabern/Germany (currently headquarters of the Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH) with production facilities in Germany and Canada.

The signed preliminary agreement is non-binding. A final agreement is expected by Q3 and closing before year-end 2020. All potential transactions are subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities.

Facts: Fuel cells and hydrogen as fuel
•  A hydrogen fuel cell converts the chemical energy of the fuel, in this case hydrogen, and oxygen (in the air) into electricity. The electricity powers the electrical motors that propel an electrical vehicle. 
•  There are two main ways to produce the hydrogen needed. So-called green hydrogen can be produced locally at the gas station, using electricity to convert water into hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is expected to be produced from natural gas, utilizing carbon capture technology to create a carbon neutral fuel.

2020-04-21

For further information, please contact:
Claes Eliasson, Volvo Group Media Relations, +46 31 323 72 29
Florian Martens, Daimler Trucks & Buses Media Relations +49 160 8687552

How Has The Outbreak Of COVID-19 Impacted the Horse Racing Industry?

There aren’t many sports that have been hit harder by the outbreak of COVID-19 than horse racing. Some of the biggest events on the racing calendar have already been lost, while some remain hanging by the thinnest of tightropes.

How Has The Outbreak Of COVID-19 Impacted the Horse Racing Industry?

Racing continues to take place in Australia, the USA and various parts of Europe, but not all countries have been as fortunate. The lucrative industry has been hit as most of businesses have, even though online gambling seems to be on the rise due to the self-quarantine inflicted to millions of people.

 However, which events on the horse racing calendar have been lost, which ones have face criticism, and which have been re-arranged for a later date?

Kentucky Derby

Few would argue against the Kentucky Derby being the biggest race of the year, and it is huge for the American industry. That is highlighted by the amount of money that is gambled on the race day, with the 2019 event eclipsing records. The 14-race card saw over $227.5 million gambled, while the Kentucky Derby itself saw around $150 million worth of bets. The Kentucky Derby is the most attended event on the US racing calendar, and that meant that cancelling the event altogether wasn’t an option.

Instead, for the first time this year, the Kentucky Derby will be taking place as the final event of the Triple Crown as opposed to the first. The event was cancelled in March, as it was revealed that it would instead take place on the 5th September. Nonetheless, you can still place your bets on the Kentucky Derby through Twinspires.com.

This marks the first time since 1945 that the event has been suspended. The Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes are still slated to go ahead on their original dates.

The Grand National

The most lucrative betting day in the United Kingdom didn’t go ahead as planned for the first time since the Second World War. The decision to cancel the event meant that the betting industry in the UK lost half a billion pounds, while Tiger Roll missed his opportunity at making history by becoming the first horse to win three successive Grand Nationals.

The horse racing industry did still put a show on for racing fans however on Grand National day on the 4th April, as a virtual race was broadcast, with all proceeds going towards the NHS. The event raised £2.6 million for the service, while the virtual race was won by Potters Corner.

Cheltenham Festival

Just a few weeks before the Aintree Festival, there was the Cheltenham Festival, which is the most prestigious jumps festival of the year. That event went ahead as planned, but organisers have already drawn criticism for their decision to do so.  There were reported symptoms shown by some that attended; including Andrew Parker Bowles.

However, the Jockey Club reiterated that they accurately followed all the guidelines that were put in place by the British government at the time. The Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday 13th March was the final noteworthy sporting event to take place in the UK as the Premier League announced that it would be suspending fixtures on the same day.

Royal Ascot

The biggest flat festival of the season in the UK is still planning to go ahead as planned, but this year it will take place behind closed doors. The event is famous for those attending to get dressed up smart, while Queen Elizabeth has been known to visit most days. The festival is due to begin on the 16th June, but the announcement that it would be taking place behind closed doors was made on the 7th April.

The organisers admitted that they were pressing ahead with the event, but no spectators would be able to attend. However, the statement released also admits that there is still a chance that the event may not take place at all. The organisers will have to follow the guidelines by the British government and the BHA, who have currently suspended all racing in Britain until the end of April.

Online Gambling Industry rising as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic

We are living in unprecedented times with a global pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands and countries all over the world ordering their citizens to self-quarantine. 

With the suspension of all but the most critical industries business owners and governments alike are preparing for the arrival of a global recession – one which is feared to be far more devastating than the Great Depression and the 2009 Global Financial Crisis.

Given that COVID-19 spreads via water droplets expelled from an infected person,social distancing measures have been implemented in order to help break the chain of infection with many governments enforcing a strict curfew.

Online Gambling Industry rising as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic

Now with the United States becoming the epicenter of the pandemic, entire industries including casinos have been left in a lurch. According to a report by the American Gaming Association (AGA), the industry is slated to lose an estimated $21.3 billion in direct spending from consumers alone. 

Here, we take a look at how we can expect the outbreak of COVID-19 to change the face of online gambling.

1. A Massive Increase in Customers

In early-April, Nevada’s Clark county reported more than 1000 COVID-19 cases and almost 30 deaths which prompted Governor Sisolak to order a shutdown of all casinos in the state despite severe pushback from various stakeholders including the Mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman (I). 

With almost all casinos in the United States shutdown, punters all over the country have turned to online gambling for all of their gaming needs. This has resulted in a windfall for online casinos everywhere with a nearly 50% increase in revenue with punters avoiding land-based casinos in favour of online ones.

Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown no signs of letting up and with a vaccine far off, the remainder of 2020 and 2021 is set to be a good year for the online gambling industry. 

As the global economy grinds to a halt and uncertainty reigns supreme, many have begun to ask the question – will things ever be the same again? According to many experts, the answer is a resounding no. 

The highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus and the variety of health complications means that social distancing measures will have to be practiced for the foreseeable future or until a vaccine is developed – which is highly unlikely.

Until a solution is found, it is highly likely that online casino betting will be able to enjoy an unprecedented increase in customers.

2. The Entry of New Competitors

While some may point out that casinos in Macau – the world’s largest gambling hub were able to resume operations after just 15 days, the stark reality is that things are far from normal. Casino floors are relatively empty and foot traffic remains low with many punters staying away from crowded areas.

Given the relatively low-barriers for entry and a market filled with investors hungry for opportunity, it is only a matter of time before new competitors begin appearing on scene. This can potentially be a problem for current online casinos who may want to consider diversifying their range of games offered.

With sports betting also affected by the lockdown, punters have begun turning towards online casinos and slot games for their gambling needs which may in turn encourage bookmakers to open up their own online casinos in order to capitalize on shifting market demands.

3. Stricter Compliance

Casinos and other gambling outlets have always been closely monitored and regulated by government bodies given the nature of the business. Now with the economy taking a turn for the worst and with jobs at stake, people are likely to be more anxious and stressed which in turn leads to compulsive gambling and other risky behavior.

This has forced governments everywhere to introduce more stringent regulations with regards to gambling, these measures have included restricting advertising, minimizing payouts and even banning gambling outright in some areas.

Given the current state of affairs and the increased levels of vigilance, online casinos and gaming sites may begin imposing limits on bet sizes and practice more thorough screening of punters. 

4. Potential cash flow issues

Whilst the online casino business is and has always been a solid one, it is not entirely recession-proof. As businesses all over the world shut down or scale back on their operations, employees and business owners everywhere face the very real prospect of losing a significant portion of their incomes.

This in turn overlaps onto the online betting industry as punters begin to suffer from problems related to cash flow. Initially, the effects may not be tangible as we are yet to feel the true impact of a pending global recession.

Only when businesses begin to shut down and unemployment numbers rise 6 to 8 months down the line, will we begin to see a drop in revenue and takings. Consequently, operators should seriously consider putting aside cash reserves for the lean months ahead in order to stay afloat.

As the old proverb goes, “All Good Things Must Come to an End”, so will the windfall from the sudden influx of new punters. The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything that humanity has seen in over a century and even the most resistant of industries will not be safe.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Managed IT Services

The way different companies used to do business has been changed dramatically in the last few years. Now, there are the latest and modern solutions for companies and businesses in order to enhance their productivity and grow their businesses.

Managed services for businesses have genuinely revolutionized the start-up culture. There are different kinds of service providers for your business all around the globe. It means you don’t have to a separate department for everything. Instead, you can just get managed services. For example, Managed IT services for small and mid-sized organizations are easily available, and you can easily take benefits from it.

Woman Holding Laptop Beside Glass Wall

Here are some of the reasons that make managed IT services a must-have for your business:

 Efficient and Reliable IT Operations

When it comes to IT operations, you need to have an efficient and reliable team to take care of the important things. It is only possible when you have a team full of experts to perform on-demand IT support. Therefore, if you get managed IT services, you’ll know that you have a collaborative partner to make things easy for your business. Hence, you’ll be able to focus on matters other than IT support.

Enhanced Compliance and Security

IT management services make sure that they provide ultimate compliance and security to your business. If you have an in house IT team, then if things go south and there is a security breach, your system will be compromised. So, you’ll have to spend a good deal of money to make sure that you have unbreakable security. But, if you get managed services, then they will take care of all the security details for your business.

Proactive Maintenance Approach

When it comes to IT support, it means that you’ll be needing regular maintenance. This maintenance can be extremely time consuming, and if not done on time, it can affect your business operations. Therefore, make sure that you have the right approach for maintenance. It is important because, if delayed, it can cause serious damage to standard operations and workflow of your business.

A Cost-Effective Solution

If you are a small or medium-sized business, then obviously, finance is difficult for you to manage. You can’t afford to build a complete in-house tech support team. It requires a lot of infrastructure and resources. Therefore, getting the services of a company is a cheap and wise option for small and medium-sized businesses. Now, even the big companies around the globe are choosing such companies because of all the benefits they have to offer.

Enables the Internal Staff to Be More Productive

Lastly, the most important thing for any business is the high productivity of the staff. When you have managed services from another company, it’ll definitely easily burden off your own employees. Hence, they will have more time and resources to focus on other important business operations. It’ll be the ultimate help for your business’s growth because his growth highly depends on the productivity of your employees.

How do the professional cryptocurrency miners make a profit

Mining has become a very lucrative business. Due to the rising demand for cryptocurrency, thousands of people are trying to earn their living by mining it. In the past, mining Bitcoin was extensively popular. But things are getting much better. People are mining different types of crypto to compete with giant mining companies. Though you could have once made a decent amount of money as a solo miner, nowadays it has become way more difficult.

Does that mean, we the individual miners have no place? Well, it’s a bit of a tricky question as the answer is related to the actions of miners. If a person knows the ins and outs of the mining business, it can be a life-changing profession. Let’s learn some of the key steps which miners are using to make big profit from this market.

Return over investment

The professional miners have a clear knowledge of ROI which is often known as a return over investment. You don’t want to spend a huge amount of money setting up a personal mining rig without knowing the ROI. You have to consider mining as a business and only then will you be able to come up with a unique idea that will tell you how much money might get from per month. Once you know your monthly income from mining, it’s just basic math to find out how long it will take to cover the investment. In the past, the mining process was much easier but things are extremely difficult now. Unless you have a super-powerful mining rig, you should not expect to get a full return from your investment within a short time. So, consider the ROI factor whiling mining cryptocurrencies.

Selection of the digital asset

Selecting a digital asset is the most complicated task. It’s more like knowing what cryptocurrency to buy. Those who think Bitcoin mining is the only way to make money have a lot to learn about the crypto mining industry. People are mining Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, etc. which is relatively easy. So, how do you find the best digital asset to mine?  Pro miners use the real-time market data from bigX and they find the cryptocurrencies which are most likely to go in up the near future. So, it’s obvious you can’t make a big profit by mining one specific set of the asset. Try to diversify your mining rigs so that it increases your win rate. It might be tough for new miners but they must educate themselves to become pros.

The cost associated with mining

Setting up the mining rig is not the only cost by which you can make a decent profit from this market. You have to know about the associated cost in mining. In most cases, electricity consumption becomes the killers. But the professional miners use alternative solar power to mitigate the mining cost. Setting up a solar power hub for the mining rigs might be a very expensive process. Unless you are going to commit to this business in the long run, you should not entertain this idea. At times, you will also have technical faults in the mining rigs. To fix these problems, you have to spend a good amount of money. Include those costs in your mining business and find out how much money you can make from this industry. This data will help you to scale the business.

Conclusion

Mining can be a very profitable business for those who know the perfect way to run a rig. It requires constant supervision and adjustments to the strategy so that you can efficiently mine cryptocurrencies. Though new miners might not understand the importance of focusing on the minor details, it plays a crucial role in the ROI factor. So, follow the tips of this article very carefully.

Managed IT specialist expands to larger premises following glut of major contract wins

Nottinghamshire-based managed IT services specialist Octavian IT has celebrated winning a plethora of major projects by expanding into larger premises.

Managed IT specialist expands to larger premises following glut of major contract wins
Managed IT specialist expands to larger premises following glut of major contract wins

The Cyber Essentials-accredited company saw its annual recurring revenue increase by £78,000 over the last 3 months after snagging six prestigious contracts, several of which are with companies operating in the security industry. 70 per cent of the Octavian IT’s revenue now comes from highly-regulated, security-based industries.

The firm, which also recently added three new recruits to its team, has now moved to more extensive offices in Bingham as its rapid expansion continues.

One new contract valued at more than £142,000 over 2 years will see Octavian install IT and phone systems and provide ongoing 24/7 IT support and maintenance cover for a major London-based security services provider. The London firm has recently built a bespoke 7 figure ARC (alarm receiving centre) in the Midlands to service UK and international CCTV and physical security monitoring contracts.

Octavian IT also recently completed a major project which involved moving the longstanding accountancy practice to a new cloud-based centralised server system in Microsoft Azure, installing a cloud-based phone system and facilitating and managing IT systems at the firm’s new office in Twyning.

In addition, the cyber security specialist has set up IT systems for a high-end US footwear brand’s new site in London and will now provide full IT support to a London and Midlands-based logistics group.

The new contracts add to Octavian IT’s already-burgeoning client base, which includes four fully-contracted US companies, two of which operate in the medical industry.

Octavian IT Managing Director Ben Solomon said: “The past three months have been an exciting time for Octavian IT. We have added three new members of staff tour growing team, increased our revenue significantly and won six major contracts.

“We are continuing to make inroads into the security sector, and recently became Cyber Essentials accredited, which demonstrates our commitment to our own internal cyber security standards and protection of our clients systems. We’re pushing now for the next phase which is Cyber Essentials Plus, followed by the ISO standards.

“The speed and scale of our expansion made it necessary to take larger premises, which we have now done. We’re now looking forward to a busy and prosperous year ahead.”


Octavian IT is part of the award-winning multi-service provider Octavian Group.