FBI/NSA InfraGard on Cyber Security

FBI-Seal

Elements Group attends the FBI/NSA Infragard session on cyber security hosted at the Cargill auditorium in Hopkins Minnesota.  Speakers representing the FBI, NSA and local security firms presented on many topics including:
– Artificial Intelligence
– Machine Learning
– Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)
– Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN)
– Bias and Variance
– Cloud Computing
– 5G
– Cyber Crime

Nation state threats included a briefing on:
– China
– Russia
– Iran
– North Korea

The examples provided on current day threats and impacts directly to Minnesota based companies was very informative.   The sessions also provided an overview of a number of cutting edge technologies and their implications to cyber security.

Learn more about InfraGard

See more pictures of the event in the gallery

 

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Global Water Leaders Summit

screenshot 1Elements Group attended the 2018 Global Water Leaders Summit in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  The two day event brought in representatives from around the world to collaborate and share technology advancements, global initiatives, and to develop partnerships.
Milwaukee, like many cities, has felt the strain of economic pressures on its industries and communities.  It began to explore what it needed to do to reposition itself as a leader in the water industry.   A large section of the downtown area was targeted for revitalization and branding to the water district.   A walking tour of Milwaukee’s Riverwalk System was now a mixture of modernized historic buildings and new construction complete with greenways.  Along the path where public displays of water technology.
The Global Water Center is the headquarters for the initiative and is a 8 story building in the heart of the water district.  A new school of fresh water science is also a new addition.   We toured the water center seeing companies, start-ups, and universities all residing within.   The center is complete with many labs where cutting edge projects are underway, as well as, partnerships and sponsor ships that surround them.
Zurn industries has a new building close to the water center and we toured their customer experience center.  From the roof top of the build we where able to look around in all directions to see the breadth of the revitalization project.
The summit itself was hosted at the near by Harley Davidson event center.  Noted speakers and topics included:
  1. Chairman & CEO of Badger Meter Rich Meeusen
  2. Guest of Honor WI Lieutenant Governor – Rebecca Kleefisch
  3. Video   Senator Ron Johnson
  4. Video Senator Tammy Baldwin
  5. Mayor Tom Barrett
  6. Student Awards
  7. Water Environment Federation
  8. Big Oil & Water
  9. Adoption of the Alliance for Water Stewardship Standards
At the event center was a large array of technology companies and start-ups showcase their wares and connecting with representatives globally.
We also got to tour the Harley Davidson Museum in the off hours of the conference.
While most North American cluster development initiatives trail far behind other global examples.  This summit shown light on a positive begin to such ambitions and can be studied as a template for how other cities could begin such a journey.
See more images from the event in the gallery.

Robotics, Automation and AI – Investing

ACG LogoThe investment opportunities for growth in AI, Robotics and Automation will be greater than that of the internet companies like Facebook, Google or Amazon.  This was the position of William Studebaker, President, Chief Investment Officer, and Managing Partner at ROBO Global, LLC.   He was a featured speaker at the ACG event hosted at the Windows over Minnesota on the 50th floor of the IDS building in downtown Minneapolis.

Continue reading “Robotics, Automation and AI – Investing”

Expo2027 – Minnesota Tries Again

Logo-square-MN-2027

Minnesota was one of three finalists bidding to host a World Expo in 2023 losing out to Buenos Aires. Had Minnesota’s bid prevailed, Expo 2023 would have been the first World Expo approved by the Bureau International Exhibitions (BIE) to be held in North America in 37 years.   The Minnesotan team collaborated with many other cities that are also bidding for various years in the bidding process.  By partnering with several USA cities they where about to work with both the Obama and Trump administrations to get the Federal government to rejoin the BIE and make US cities eligible for host the event once again.  The overall theme of Health will remain our focus and “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.”   Our mission, “Wellness and Well Being for All,” reflects our close ties to the UN’s 2030 Campaign for Sustainable Development’s Goal #3 –  Good Health and Well Being for All at All Ages.  We will follow the progress of this initiative over the coming years in hopes that Minnesota will win the bidding process for 2027.
Images of events and press releases will be added to the gallery as they develop.

IoT and Smart Water

IMG_4570Minnesota DEED Trade Office hosted a Smart Water Round Table event at the Uponor corporation on May 10th, 2018.   Featured were a host of IoT companies showcasing their work in smart water solutions.   The audience and speakers who attended came from as far away as Europe and South America.   This event came on the heels of the Minnesota IoT Fuse conference.   The solutions they covered spanned a vast array of topics including:  precision agriculture, water treatment, smart cities,  transportation, city infrastructure optimization, etc.    The companies also represented specializations in hardware & sensors,  data aggregation and analytics, and business model development.

Continue reading “IoT and Smart Water”

2018 Globalization Trends

240_F_6103632_ib328fMRJVHjrJSvj2VORJI21LaeKU1sIn this blog we will take a look at some top trends in globalization that are facing national and corporate strategies.  Globalization had massive momentum before the 2008 economic recession.  While many economies have recovered and are growing there are new forces today that are creating challenges to continued global integration.

Strategic Considerations:

  • The rise of nationalistic goals and causes has created more international tension and is slowing collaboration for united efforts towards shared opportunities and global challenges.
  • Many existing agreements like UK Union (Brexit), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFDA) are falling apart without a new solution to advance the relationships.
  • Companies are increasing learning of the difficulties to understand localization of new markets, partnerships and navigating foreign policies.  Size alone may not be enough to successful globalize vs. regional relationship and relevance.
  • Population growth in BRIC to ICASA is creating new billion+ people markets and equal number of ecological challenges.  These areas of opportunity will be disrupted by their own sustainability crisis.  Compounding this trends is that the shift to urbanization is no where near complete in these countries and yet their cities and infrastructures are already beyond capacity.
  • Development of the middle class is a global concern for both developed and developing nations.  Economic growth without opportunity for an aspiring middle class has proven to be unsustainable long term.
  • Growing populations have a near term crisis of improving education to make the emerging workforce relevant, as well as, the need to develop new services for their aging populations.
  • Corporate involvement in Social causes and infrastructure will increase in terms of time, investment and focus in all regions.  Stability, prosperity and livability are key to corporate survivability.
  • The competition for natural resources will become ever more at the forefront of all strategies.  Both in securing and security the resources a nation has, but to also secure the relationships and collaborations needed to exchange resources with others.  This also drive innovation in shifting to new forms of sustainability to reduce critical dependencies on current resources.  This will continue to create new opportunities or disruptions for companies that either can or cannot respond to the demand.
  • Last century was dominated by the growth of global vertical players.   Today the rise of horizontal players and integrators will generate new forms of partnerships and disruptions for the classic business models that will reform business ecosystems.
  • The disruptive power of new digital currencies could unseat may traditional financial business models.   It does offer potentially a long term promise of a more integrated and audible world of finance, there is still the shorter term maturation and security issues that economies will have endure if they begin down that path.
  • While trade and migration are under strain,  the rise of data exchange continues to expand exponentially.   This is creating new opportunities to understand the worlds big data insights to make better decisions and investments.
  • The dark side or dark web continues to rise along with the growth of data exchange.  Global investment in securing digital transactions and traceability will be required to maintain stability of markets and economies.

Sources:  Harvard, McKinsey, Inc

 

 

2018 Top Technology Trends

240_F_6103632_ib328fMRJVHjrJSvj2VORJI21LaeKU1sAs Technology continues its rapid innovation the leading trends all suggest massive opportunities for nations and companies that can harness the potential of the new capabilities.  While most of the trends listed are sure to progress rapidly, there is a cautionary tale underneath each for the impacts to society that will be incurred.  It will take time to understand each one and it may not be able to be undone once certain abilities are unleashed and entrenched into global business and governments that have control.

Top Tech Trends:

  • Artificial Intelligence:
    • Artificial Intelligence will drive a new level of deep learning and ability to approach new levels of big data analysis.
    • New graphic data and forms of linguistics research will also enhance the transfer of knowledge.
    • Algorithms for dealign with noise to signal ratio or pattern anomaly recognition will be a competitive advantage.
    • Machine vision spanning facial recognition, security or any detailed oriented visual task will transform how we can approach new sources of information.
    • Increased pattern and trend recognition will drive profiling and personalization of services.
    • Decision support systems will gain a new level of insight and sophistication driving a more data driven decision approach.
    • AI chip design and manufacturing will expand but like CPUs only the best will survive long term.
  • Human to Machine Interface
    • Multi-model interaction include touch, audio, visual and facial recognition will evovle.
    • Ethics based interfaces will grow as AI develops
    • Natural language processing will increase in accuracy and should surpass the quality of touch interaction within the next 5 years.
  • Quantum Computing
    • The ability to process entire new sets of problem spaces beyond the traditional computer architectures
    • The ability and speed in which variable scenarios can be processed expands exponentially
    • The predictability of random events can be better modeled.
  • Internet of Things
    • A world of sensors and new data sources exists that can provide new insights about systems and society.
    • The security for such a world of data represents a monumental challenge.
    • The network and bandwidth demands for an IoT world may not be able to keep pace with the volume of data generated.
  • Digital Currenies
    • Standardization on platforms and protocols will lead the experimentation.
    • The definition, depth and authorization around digital identies.
    • Demonstrable security and indemnification of transactions
    • The ability to have cross national law and regulation is instrumental in its long term viability.
    • Oversight and monitoring protocols for regulatory bodies.

Source: MIT, Alizila, Berkely