Shanghai Knights 2018 included 11 Nordic start-ups

Shanghai Knights 2018 included 11 Nordic start-ups

Danske Bank together partner nHack kicked off the China Knights II with an event at Wework – a co-working space in the heart of Shanghai.

At China Knights II demo day 11 Nordic start-ups (leading technology companies coming out of the Nordic region) pitched in front of Asian business angels and venture capitalists, and representatives from some of the largest IT Tech companies in China, including JDcom, Alibaba, and Tencent.

The start-ups had five minutes of air time each, with pitches spanning everything from Norwegian seafood delicacies over drones for ship inspection to golfing augmentation equipment. Danske Bank reported that it was a “truly inspiring event, also for Danske Bank, resulting in several new contacts being made”.

China Knights is a free tech and VC festival in Shanghai. China Knights II was held during 13-15 June, in cooperation with CES Asia, the world’s largest consumer electronics show. The festival included one-on-one VIP meetings, lunches and dinner parties.

nHack is a venture firm bridging Nordic companies to Asia. nHack invest in Nordic businesses and help them access Asian markets. They work closely with Danske Bank, Innovation Norway, Innovation Center Denmark, NTNU University, Investinor, Wikborg Rein, Flex and China Equity.

They are a cross border investor, bridging Nordic businesses to China and Asia. nHack both invest in Nordic companies, but can also be the China joint venture partner. They are also an impact investor, looking for sustainable solutions and female founders. They are sector neutral as a firm, but have some areas they look more closely at than others; like ocean and maritime sectors, health and med-tech, consumer upgrade plays and education tech and software as a Service.

Sources: Danske Bank Corporations and Institutions, nHack

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Development on fighting the plastic waste

Development on fighting the plastic waste

No one could have failed to notice the alarming situation regarding, in particular, plastic litter in the oceans and that many initiatives are now being announced and legislation strengthened. This is paired with an increasing flow of alarming stories how wildlife connected to seas are suffering.

As stated by the European Commission (EC), across the world, plastics make up 85% of marine litter. And plastics are even reaching people’s lungs and dinner tables, with micro-plastics in the air, water and food having an unknown impact on their health.

All circumstances combined in 2018 the topic has gained momentum tremendously. The World Environment Day in June put the spotlight on the topic even further.

A World Ocean Summit took place in March and a Global Ocean Institute was launched at conference in Sweden in May, while governments in Southeast Asia are beginning to wake up to the fact that polluting the oceans on the scale they are doing is a very important threat to the well-being of both animals and people, and a big threat to business sectors such as tourism. Left un-addressed for decades the situation for the oceans is now alarming, if not yet at rock bottom. The countries seem to realise that action, not just words, are needed, while plastic consumption just keeps on increasing.

In this context it is striking to see that only now the EU has announced (28 May) new rules from the EC to reduce marine litter. On the other hand it is interesting to note that the EC also highlights that there is business incentive on doing this: “Tackling the plastics problem is a must and it can bring new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and job creation”

The 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe’s beaches and seas (constituting 70% of all marine litter items), as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear will be targeted.

“Where alternatives are readily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market. For products without straight-forward alternatives, the focus is on limiting their use through a national reduction in consumption; design and labelling requirements and waste management/clean-up obligations for producers. Together, the new rules will put Europe ahead of the curve on an issue with global implications,” states the EC.

“This Commission promised to be big on the big issues and leave the rest to Member States. Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food. Today’s proposals will reduce single use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures. We will ban some of these items, and substitute them with cleaner alternatives so people can still use their favourite products,” stated First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development.

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, added that single use plastics are not a smart economic or environmental choice. He described the new EU proposals as an opportunity that will help business and consumers to move towards sustainable alternatives. Europe can lead the way, creating products that the world will demand for decades to come, and extracting more economic value from our precious and limited resources.

Companies will be given a competitive edge: having one set of rules for the whole EU market will create a springboard for European companies to develop economies of scale and be more competitive in the booming global marketplace for sustainable products. By setting up re-use systems (such as deposit refund schemes), companies can ensure a stable supply of high quality material. In other cases, the incentive to look for more sustainable solutions can give companies the technological lead over global competitors.

Having already addressed the plastic bags issue the EU now turns the attention to other plastic products and fishing gear.

The ban will apply to plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and sticks for balloons which will all have to be made exclusively from more sustainable materials instead. Single-use drinks containers made with plastic will only be allowed on the market if their caps and lids remain attached.

Consumption reduction targets: Member States will have to reduce the use of plastic food containers and drinks cups. They can do so by setting national reduction targets, making alternative products available at the point of sale, or ensuring that single-use plastic products cannot be provided free of charge;

Obligations for producers: Producers will help cover the costs of waste management and clean-up, as well as awareness raising measures for food containers, packets and wrappers (such as for crisps and sweets), drinks containers and cups, tobacco products with filters (such as cigarette butts), wet wipes, balloons, and lightweight plastic bags. The industry will also be given incentives to develop less polluting alternatives for these products.

Member States will be obliged to raise consumers’ awareness about the negative impact of littering of single-use plastics and fishing gear as well as about the available re-use systems and waste management options for all these products.

The Commission’s proposals will now go to the European Parliament and Council for adoption. The Commission urges the other institutions to treat this as a priority file, and to deliver tangible results for Europeans before the elections in May 2019.

To mark the World Environment Day on 5 June, the EC also launched an EU-wide awareness-raising campaign to put the spotlight on consumer choice and highlight individual people’s role in combatting plastic pollution and marine litter.

Elsewhere, the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (Global Ocean Institute) was officially inaugurated on 8 May 2018, during WMU Global Ocean Conference held in Sweden. The new Institute will act as an independent focal point for ocean related dialogue and capacity-building. The outcomes of the conference inform the priorities for the new institute, as well as strategies to ensure active engagement by stakeholders with the new Institute.

Established in partnership with The Nippon Foundation and with generous support from the Governments of Canada, Norway, Sweden and the City of Malmö, the Institute will complement the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) current and future engagement in the broader sphere of ocean governance.

It is founded on the vision to bring to life a convergence platform where policy makers, the scientific community, regulators, industry actors, academics, and representatives of civil society can meet to discuss how best to manage and use ocean spaces and their resources for the sustainable development of present and future generations.

Its impact-oriented research will work across the sectoral divides in ocean affairs, engage in forward-looking dialogue among representatives of governments, ocean industries, research communities, civil society and other academic institutions, and produce policy and regulatory advice on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and beyond.

In 2018, the World Maritime University (WMU) will celebrate 35 years of excellence in education, research and capacity building.

Sweden has also recently appointed an Ambassador for the Ocean, Helen Ågren. “I have been working on different aspects of sustainable development since I attended the Rio Conference as a youth representative in 1992. I really look forward to working together with ocean champions around the world. I will draw on my experience from research, sustainable production and consumption, greening the economy and climate change mitigation and adaptation, as these are important pieces of the puzzle with regard to saving the ocean,” she said upon her appointed.

“It is clear that we humans have severely mismanaged one of our global commons – the ocean. We have failed our children and future generations. However, guilt is not the best driving force for change. Fascination and marvel at the beauty and rich diversity of life in the ocean, as shown to us in the BBC television series Blue Planet II, is a far more powerful driving force. To reverse the current negative trends in ocean health, I believe that we must celebrate progress and highlight good examples, innovations and the devoted people making it possible.”

On 7–9 March 2018, Ambassador Ågren attended the World Ocean Summit in Cancún, Mexico, to share experiences on national ocean policies. “Policy coordination, exemplified by the Swedish maritime strategy for people, jobs and the environment, is key to sustainable development,” she said.

Some encouraging news and initiatives from around the world highlighted in Cancún included the development of a new type of insurance to protect coral reefs, new large marine protected areas established by countries including Mexico, Chile and the Seychelles, and innovations by energetic young entrepreneurs to reduce by-catch and single use plastics.

Together with Fiji, Sweden co-chaired the first ever global conference on the ocean at United Nations Headquarters in New York in June 2017. Called the Ocean Conference, it was a global manifestation placing the ocean at the centre of the sustainable development agenda and resulted in a Call for Action and more than 1 400 voluntary commitments. These commitments are concrete actions to increase knowledge and reduce the pressure on the ocean.

Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Isabella Lövin, and UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, subsequently launched ‘Friends of Ocean Action’. This multistakeholder partnership will help mobilise the energy, innovation and resources from science, technology, business, non-governmental groups and international organisations from all regions of the world to bring about change for the ocean. Cooperation with Fiji is continuing in the Ocean Pathway partnership, which highlights the key link between the ocean and climate change.

In May the Swedish Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong launched the position paper: ‘Plastic waste – a call for action’, raising plastic waste as an issue that needs urgent action in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Government was called upon to refine its policies in this area, and to intensify its work with concerned stakeholders and society as a whole.

Elsewhere, Indonesia and the World Bank have, with Danish support, published a new report with important recommendations on how to combat the issue of marine plastic debris in the country. Government cooperation between Indonesia and Denmark will focus on national policies and regulations for reduction and treatment of solid waste.

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Blockchain in Transport Alliance starts Asia growth

Blockchain in Transport Alliance starts Asia growth

Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) newly opened its Asia office in Singapore, operated by the Dane Soeren Duvier and Jana Lee. With many global supply chain members its primary intent to grow members in the Asian market has already gained results, with BiTA announcing NR Capital as new member in the Alliance.

Jana Lee and Soeren Duvier, Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) in Singapore

NR Capital is an alternative trade finance partner. Its CEO & CIO Tom James commented: “NR Capital as an innovative Alternative Trade Finance provider is committed to the Digitization of all elements of the Global Physical Commodity supply chain and as part of this initiative we are pleased to be part of such a strong global alliance like BiTA.”

BiTA describes itself as a “fast growing, and successful global alliance of companies across the transport and supply chain aiming to improve trade processes through the application of blockchain technology”. Members include some of the biggest names in the transport and logistics sector, including DHL, FedEx, Koch, SAP and JD.com.

“NR Capital represents the future of trade finance and is a leader in adaption of new processes and technologies including blockchain and we are proud to have them as a member” said Soeren Duvier, managing director of BiTA in Asia, expression appreciation for the trade finance company seeing the value the alliance brings to the supply chain.

NR Captial is made up of a team of very experienced professionals from the Commodity Investment & Trading, Risk Management, Maritime, Legal and I.T. profession. It was established for the specific purpose of building out the infrastructure, business model, and investment strategy for a new trade finance solution to better support the physical commodity trading and supply chain community.

Founded in August of 2017, BiTA promotes the development and adoption of blockchain applications in the trucking, transportation and logistics industries, including establishing industry-wide standards.

For example shippers, tech start-ups and incumbents, insurance companies, law firms, and other industry participants who have an interest in integrating blockchain technology into their organizations can join the alliance.

The goal is for members to participate, discuss, create, and adopt industry standards that would act as the bedrock for developing blockchain applications. This will be accomplished through workgroups staffed by members who work in various disciplines such as smart contracts, freight payments, freight forwarding, insurance, banking, asset management, transparency and numerous other ideas continuously under development.

Soeren has an extensive career in container shipping with Maersk and with ICAP, Sumitomo and Nordea in the oil and energy trading industries.

He stated:”It is a fantastic opportunity to join this forward looking organization to develop blockchain across transport and supply chain industry at this exciting juncture.”

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Saint Hans celebrations this weekend

Saint Hans celebrations this weekend

The 23rd of July marks the annual Saint Hans celebrations throughout Scandinavia, and of course it’s celebrated in the community in SE Asia as well. We have collected some of the events to give you an overview. 

From an outsider’s perspective, the Saint Hans celebration may be one of the strangest things that Scandinavians do.

The coming weekend will be filled with Saint Hans celebrations all through SE Asia. Many organisations, churches and embassies will be hosting some kind of related events, commemorating the birth of John the Baptist, who was born six months before Jesus Christ.

We have made a small overview of some of the events, but there may still be many out there that we have missed, so we will encourage you to search in your local community as well.

Thailand: 

The Norwegian Sjømannskirken in Pattaya will be hosting this years celebration for only 350 baht (children under 10 attend for free). There will be sodas, water, coffee and open grills.

Hong Kong: 

The Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce will, as is tradition, join hands with the Danish Seamen’s Church for the yearly midsummer junk by going on a cruise from Kowloon Beer. Seats are limited, but can be booked here.

China: 

SwedCham China is the host of this years Midsummer, or the Swedish Young Professionals to be more precise. There will be barbecue, live music and the practical stuff about the event can be found here.

Singapore:

The Danish Seamen’s Church in Singapore is this year’s host of the Danish Sankt Hans Aften this year with the traditional bon-fire and Midsummersangen.

 

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Pandora inaugurated yet another Thai production facility: Triple A

Pandora inaugurated yet another Thai production facility: Triple A

On 15 June 2018 the Danish global company Pandora celebrated the grand opening of its new innovative crafting facility ‘Triple A’ in Gemopolis, Bangkok, Thailand as part of its long-term growth strategy to become ‘the branded manufacturer that delivers the most personal jewellery experience’ in 2022.

Pandora is one of the world’s largest fine jewellery brands and the largest manufacturer and exporter of jewellery in Thailand operating under Pandora Production Co. Ltd company.

The new crafting facility is installed with the most advanced technology ever for jewellery production and sets new standards in the global jewellery industry in terms of scale, speed and lead time. The facility enables the Danish brand to introduce new ways of jewellery crafting and incorporates the most advanced technology ever with its hand-finished craftsmanship.

“We’re very proud to celebrate the official opening of this state-of-the-art crafting facility. The facility combined with our new crafting facilities in Lamphun will play an important role in Pandora’s future plans of strengthening our capabilities and make it more agile. The investment underlines our long-term and strong partnership with Thailand and the Thai people,” said CEO Anders Colding Friis.

The jewellery company wants to be able to continue to meeting consumers’ demand for beautiful jewellery at affordable prices and to be agile and able to reduce lead time in an environmentally-friendly way. Triple A is an important milestone for Pandora to this end with its Lean manufacturing and Flow Line (Cellular Manufacturing) concept which is totally a new approach in jewellery crafting. Operators with different skills are seated together to perform a smooth process flow while improving productivity and quality by real-time monitoring and scheduling.

“With more than 117 million pieces of jewellery shipped out of Thailand last year, Pandora is the largest jewellery company by numbers of jewellery produced. Thanks to its innovative design, the Triple A facility is prepared to facilitate an even more complex production setup, enabling Pandora to pursue its strategy to expand its product range and at the same time improve speed and lead time, meaning the time from design to a new piece of jewellery is in the shop.” says SVP Manufacturing Thailand Mr. Nils Helander.

Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the Office of the Board of Investment pointed out that the Danish brand is among the top European jewellery manufacturers that have invested in Thailand in many previous years. “The investment made by Pandora has tremendously benefitted Thai jewellery industry as it raises the industry to achieve international standards and creates employment to over 13,000 Thai craftspeople who will subsequently gain new skills, knowledge and technology which is in line with the policy of the Thai government that aims to drive the country forward with innovation, investment in value creation and human resources development as well as builds worldwide reputation for Thailand and Thai jewellery craftspeople which is consistent with the vision of the Thai government to make Thailand the World’s Jewellery Hub.”

The brand’s jewellery is sold in more than 100 countries on six continents through more than 7,700 points of sale, including more than 2,400 concept stores.

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Danish FM to visit China

Danish FM to visit China

Foreign Minister of Denmark, Anders Samuelsen, will be visiting China on the 20th to 22nd of June.

Anders Samuelsen previously met with Chinese minister Wang-Yi in 2017.

He has been invited by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The visit was announced by the Foreign Ministry of China’s spokesperson Geng Shuang. He said the following about the plans for Anders Samuelsen’s visit, according the official China.Un:

During this visit, Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee will meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him, during which they will exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest. Besides Beijing, Minister Samuelsen will travel to Shanghai.

Denmark is one of the first western countries to establish diplomatic ties with China. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the China-Denmark comprehensive strategic partnership. We believe that Minister of Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen’s visit to China will help step up political mutual trust, expand our practical cooperation across the board and elevate China-Denmark relations to a new level.

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Aller Media lancerer Hyggespil.dk

Aller Media fortsætter med at styrke sit digitale udbud og slår nu dørene op for et nyt, sjovt og hyggeligt online spilunivers, Hyggespil.dk.  

I 95 år har Aller Media tilbudt forskellige rekreative spil, eksempelvis krydsord og Sudoku, og den nye platform,Hyggespil.dk, skal løfte oplevelsen yderligere og give brugerne helt nye muligheder.

Naturligt digitalt skridt

Aller Media er med end 2,6 mio. månedlige læsere i Danmark en af de førende udgiver af magasiner og ugeblade, men mediehuset har i dag også en stærk digital profil med flere digitale universer, som f.eks. Vi Unge, Main, femina, appen Pling (med adgang til over 100 magasiner og ugeblade) og det helt nye madunivers spisbedre.dk.

Lanceringen af Hyggespil.dk er således endnu et oplagt element i virksomhedens strategi og digitale transformation:

– Vi er optagede af, at vi skal have det indhold og være på de platforme, som vores kunder efterspørger. Derfor er det også helt naturligt, vi sætter strøm til vores spil, og jeg er sikker på, det vil blive rigtig godt modtaget af vores brugere, siger udviklingsdirektør Andreas Hansen og uddyber:

– Vores opgave er jo at tilbyde det, kunderne ønsker. Det gælder hele vores produktpalet. Om det er ugeblade, magasiner, Dansktop Prisen, Femina Kvindeløb eller spil, så er det vores fornemmeste opgave at bidrage til de små stunder, der skaber hygge, værdi og glæde for vores læsere og brugere.

Navnet på spiluniverset er selvfølgelig valgt nøje. Aller Media har en klar ambition om, at det skal være Danmarks hyggeligste platform for rekreative spil som krydsord, Sudoku og casinospil, der allerede er efterspurgte hos kunderne.

– For os er fokus på at lave et sjovt, hyggeligt og dansk univers med en rigtig god oplevelse for vores brugere, med udgangspunkt i de spil, vores kernekunder allerede i dag efterspørger. Det er dér, vi er rigtig stærke, og det passer til vores brand, lyder det fra Andreas Hansen.

Erfaren leverandør

For at få den bedste og mest driftssikre løsning har Aller valgt den meget anerkendte leverandør Aspire Global, der er børsnoteret i Sverige, som partner til at understøtte platformen.

– Samarbejdet med Aspire betyder, at vi får en leverandør, der kan understøtte den bedste tekniske løsning, og som gør, at vi fortsat kan udvikle vores tilbud i takt med nye digitale muligheder og ikke mindst vores kunders ønsker, siger Andreas Hansen, der venter sig meget af samarbejdet.

Det nye univers er gået i luften på www.hyggespil.dk.

Kontaktinformation

Magnus Hviid
Kommunikationschef, Aller Media A/S
magnus.hviid@aller.com
+45 28 72 63 85