Short items, March 2012

NESTA to become charity  

The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts in the UK is to be abolished as a non-departmental public body and instead it will become a private sector charity and charitable trust. The transition is estimated to take place in April of this year. 

EU on track with energy targets  

Member states who intend to achieve the target of 20% energy from renewable sources by 2020 are on track, according to a report published by the JRC. In fact, over half the countries are planning to exceed their own targets and will be able to provide surpluses for others. 

UK H2 mobility 

A new project has been launched by the Department for Business and Skills to develop an action plan for the commercial roll out of hydrogen powered vehicles in 2014/15. UKH2Mobility is intended to support the creation of hydrogen infrastructure in the country as well as identifying how to make the UK a global player in hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacture. 

US going nuclear again 

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the construction of the first new nuclear power plant in the US in three decades using a new streamlined approval system. The license is for two new 1100MW facilities at Southern Co’s site near Waynesboro, Georgia. The company has already begun site preparation and says one reactor is expected to be in operation by 2016, with the other coming on-line a year later.  

Go figure


The amount you could win if you invent a Star Trek-like ’tricorder’ that can capture ’key health metrics’ and diagnose a set of 15 diseases. The challenge is the latest from the X Prize Foundation.