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Belfrics Group launches a blockchain skill-drive initiative in association with DIT

Vlad Poptamas

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Belfrics Group, one of the largest international blockchain conglomerates of the world, in association with Dar Es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), one of the leading technology and engineering institutes in Tanzania and the East African region, today announced a joint initiative to develop a pool of talented and skilled technology professionals for blockchain as a domain. Belfrics Academy SDN BHD, the research, international training and skill development vertical of Belfrics Group of Companies, would lead the efforts to address the knowledge-gap and the rapidly growing requirements Blockchain Talents in the industry.

On this momentous association, Mr. Praveenkumar Vijayakumar, Founder and CEO — Belfrics Group of Companies said“We all know that the Internet is filled with the so many online courses on Blockchain technology. But the sad reality is that, the quality of talent and knowledge that is out there, is not even close to what the industry needs. There is still a humungous knowledge-gap, and a huge void in terms of the quality and quantity of blockchain talent in the market. This is not only an Africa problem; this is a world problem! And we are happy to have associated with an esteemed institute like DIT which is synonymous with technology as an industry.”

DIT, being one of the leaders in the space of capacity building for the latest technologies in the industry, keenly believes blockchain to be the next big wave in the digital transformation of the world, and especially, Africa. Similarly, Belfrics Group of companies has been one of the leading conglomerates spearheading the blockchain movement across the globe. With its presence in Asia Africa Middle East and South America regions, Belfrics is one of the few global companies to have worked with government bodies, financial regulators, and conglomerates for a blockchain-ready infrastructure.

We are pleased to see educational leaders like DIT come forward and being open to the need of the industry. I would say, that this is the right time, between being proactive or before being reactive to the industry demands. Employment and development is Key, and for that we must understand where the future is. DIT is doing just that. In fact, we’re pleasantly surprised to see the level of awareness and requests from other prestigious institutes from the East African Region for blockchain skill development. Since we are one of the major blockchain talent hirers ourselves, we are very much aware of the quality and quantity of the talent available currently. Such collaborations are required to address the current gap,” says E C Uday Senan, Global Strategist — Belfrics Academy.

Blockchain technology is among the emerging technologies that will soon revolutionize the internet and the ICT industry. Due to its inherent features, such as distributed system with no single point of failure, usage of cryptograph for data protection, and fast data transfer and sharing of digital assets, Blockchain has huge potential and a number of applications, particularly in developing countries. To leverage the potentials of this technology, it is critically important we create awareness of the technology as well as build the capacity of our students, staff and the general public. This is exact what DIT will do in collaboration with Belfrics. This will enable DIT to become the hub of blockchain technology, the hub where capacity building of our people as well as experimentation and eventually development of the blockchain systems for improving government service delivery will take place,” says Dr Joseph W. Matiko, the Director of ICT Centre at Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology.

“DIT is positioned to support the industrial economy by creating skilled workforce for the nation. Therefore, collaboration between DIT and Belfrics is important for capacity building of our students and staff and creating the digital skilled workforce in the country. We are really pleased to establish this collaboration because it is in line with our strategies of teaching factory concept and engagement of the industry in teaching and learning activities,” says Prof Preksedis M. Ndomba, Principal of the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology.

“We are excited to partner with Dar es salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) on the launch of Blockchain Trainings for Corporates, DIT Students and Staff Members and the Tanzania Community at large. Blockchain Technology ensures digital skills are accessible to Tanzanians particularly youth and supports with securing meaningful opportunities where they can apply their talents, ideas and expertise to advance the Country’s economic, Industrialization and social development,” said Aziz ChonyaDirector, Belfrics Tanzania.

The collaboration between DIT and Belfrics comes in at a very crucial stage, with Africa being closely eyed as the next talent-hub by the world. With blockchain strongly anticipated to be the driver for the next stream of technological innovations, African countries “stand to benefit from this shift more than other nations because most of Africa has a Greenfield in banking, finance, health and other legacy infrastructure. Africa has a unique opportunity to leapfrog in many areas and develop new infrastructure and use cases to power the future” according to an article on medium.

Belfrics Academy, the international research and skill-development vertical of Belfrics, is dedicated to customized blockchain training for Universities, Colleges and training institutes, and capacity building for Government bodies, Regulators and Private Organizations. Belfrics Academy also mentors and nurtures Blockchain talents by setting up Innovation-hubs within the University campuses to drive and mentor more blockchain talent and ideas.

Belfrics is one among the very few companies who have developed and built their own blockchain, ‘Belrium’, which is now live and deployed, and which is being seriously considered as the technology carrier by many government bodies and conglomerates for solutions from identity data harmonization, to supply chain infrastructure, to smart governance infrastructure to healthcare infrastructure, around the globe.

DIT and Belfrics Academy, through this collaboration, aim at nurturing as much talent as possible in the academic year of 2019, as the demand is rapidly increasing, thus resulting in employment of young Africans in this technology space.

For more information about Dar Es Salaam Institute of Technology, please visit https://www.dit.ac.tz and http://belfricsacademy.com for more information about Belfrics Academy.

Artificial Intelligence

Personalized Learning Paths Offer Roadmaps to Dream Jobs

Vlad Poptamas

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When moving into a new career or field, determining how your strengths transfer and what additional skills you need to learn can be challenging; Forbes SmartAdvisor bridges this gap.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8716951-forbes-smartadvisor-personalized-learning-paths-offer-roadmaps-to-dream-jobs/

By utilizing three information points—users’ personality, their current skills, and the skills necessary for the aspirational role they selected—Forbes SmartAdvisor creates a customized learning path. This Learning Path is personalized just for you. It identifies which self-paced course from Learn@Forbes’ library of over 700 courses, specializations, and Learning Pathways in marketing, human resources, leadership, finance and accounting, entrepreneurship, sales, communications, customer service, and project management make sense for the career you’re aspiring to.

How It Works
Forbes SmartAdvisor, which is free, and takes just three minutes to complete. First, you will complete a brief personality assessment. Second, you select the aspirational role you want, and third, you upload your resume (which is optional).

Using Holland’s Occupational Model and Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence model, in moments, you will receive your personalized and unbiased results. Insights on your learning style(s), working style(s), attributes, and skills are provided in your custom report, as is a learning pathway that maps the Learn@Forbes courses that will teach you the additional skills you need to get the job you want. Each course on your personalized learning path is self-paced. And, you can take as many as you would like at a time.

Next Steps
Forbes SmartAdvisor users can save their results for future reference. Those who would like to start their personalized learning path can do so with a free 14-day trial. Learn@Forbes subscriptions start at $12.50 per month. For additional information, visit learn.forbes.com.

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Artificial Intelligence

MRA Group Develops Lab Spaces to Keep Up with Cell and Gene Therapy Demand in Philadelphia Region

Vlad Poptamas

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In response to the growing cell and gene therapy demand in the Philadelphia region, MRA Group (MRA) is pressing onward to deliver by year end, two specialized multi-tenant life science lab buildings: a 65,000+/-SF lab building in the city of Philadelphia and a 72,000+/-SF lab building at Spring House Innovation Park, just outside the city.

“Through this pandemic, we continue to see strong demand from growing in-market life science prospects and out-of-market entrants looking for high-quality lab space,” said Phil Butler, Vice President of MRA Group. “Prospective tenants value speed-to-market, and given the regional demand, we believe pushing forward is the right thing to do.”

While construction slowed due to COVID-19 mandated shutdowns, MRA remains on track to welcome tenants this year to newly developed, state-of-the-art, customizable, hard-to-come-by lab space in the region. Now that Philadelphia is a nationally recognized biomedical cluster, or a Big4Bio region, prospective life science companies attracted to the area have encountered a shortage of available lab space; a concern MRA Group is working to correct.

“A recent study found 98% of commercial lab space is occupied,” said Sam Woods Thomas, Director of Life Sciences and Biotechnology for the City of Philadelphia. “We are excited by and proud of MRA Group’s efforts to broaden our Life Sciences real estate pipeline. Philadelphia scientists and academic institutions are pioneers in innovation, but they need more space to continue,” Thomas shared. “MRA Group’s development efforts are essential pieces to this sector’s continued growth in our city and region.”

Spring House Innovation Park’s new 72,000+/-SF rentable lab building is within the BioLaunch611+ Keystone Innovation Zone and sits on the sprawling, 133-acre, Lower Gwynedd, Montgomery County campus owned and developed by MRA Group.

“When we acquired Spring House Innovation Park in 2017, we sought to create a suburban life science destination,” said Mike Wojewodka, Senior Vice President of MRA Group. “To date, we have approximately 150,000 square feet leased to nearly two dozen tenants, of which nearly half are in the life science industry.  We’ve recently welcomed AnPac Bio, a leading international biotechnology company, while later this summer a gene therapy company, Exegenesis Bio, will be joining our roster which includes Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing. Based on current leasing activity, we anticipate the 72,000+/-SF lab building being fully leased and occupied by the end of the year, which is why MRA remains focused and bullish on developing these much needed lab spaces for our region.” Companies interested in Spring House Innovation Park, visit  www.springhouseinnovationpark.net.

Additionally, MRA Group, on behalf of a local university, is developing a 65,000+/-SF scientifically advanced, multi-tenant wet and dry lab and office building in Philadelphia.

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Artificial Intelligence

Auto Theft Recoveries Soar During COVID-19 Lockdown

Vlad Poptamas

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LoJack®, a brand of CalAmp (Nasdaq: CAMP) and a leader in stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) and innovative automotive services, today announced auto theft recoveries in the U.S. jumped 15 percent in April 2020 over April 2019 and continued to grow in May, outpacing last year’s number at this time by 11 percent. The report indicates an increase in auto theft recoveries, and highlights changes from the same period last year to date, demonstrating that while auto theft is on the rise during the COVID-19 lockdown, consumers must stay vigilant and protect their vehicles.

While essential workers travel to and from work and others have sheltered in place, auto thieves continue to operate during a global pandemic according to LoJack’s U.S. Recoveries Trends report. The report found that the U.S. — during the rising spread of COVID-19 — saw a big increase in stolen vehicle recovery across the country in April 2020 compared with April 2019. In May, the following states saw a significant increase in auto theft recoveries:

  • California increased 35 percent
  • Colorado increased 20 percent
  • Washington State increased 25 percent

With the Fourth of July holiday approaching, LoJack and CalAmp urge drivers to take these simple precautions:

  • Try to park your car in well-lit areas or within range of security cameras
  • Don’t leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle
  • Double check to make sure your vehicle is locked
  • Don’t leave windows or sunroofs cracked and don’t leave your car running unattended
  • Be mindful of where you leave your keys or key fob; don’t leave a spare key in the vehicle

“It’s clear that auto thieves have been hard at work during the pandemic,” said Justin Schmid, senior vice president, general manager of LoJack Global. “The cost of losing a vehicle to theft during a time like this where many people have lost their jobs and income builds on already elevated stress levels and an experience that no one wants to face. It’s important to LoJack and CalAmp that we share the facts and equip Americans with solutions that protect their families and bring peace of mind during an already chaotic time.”

Stories across the U.S., including a nurse in Boston who had her car stolen in April from her driveway while between shifts at the local hospital, remind us that no one is immune. With COVID-19 continuing to impact communities, auto theft should be the least of one’s worries, including frontline workers. Between their telematics-based connected car app SureDrive™ and the traditional LoJack® System technology, LoJack offers a variety of solutions to protect vehicles and provide additional support for drivers, with features including:

  • Stolen Vehicle Location Assist: Provides trained U.S.-based agents to coordinate directly with law enforcement to help track and locate a stolen vehicle.
  • CrashBoxx: Sends instant crash alerts to loved ones with trained U.S.-based agents available to help provide timely assistance and facilitate emergency response
  • Tripwire Early Warning: Enables proactive monitoring and alerts consumers of unexpected car movement, such as when towed or stolen.
  • Virtual Boundaries: Allows consumers to set easily configurable boundaries that send notifications when loved ones arrive at their destination.
  • Destination Search: Displays integrated and searchable landmarks such as emergency rooms, gas stations, car washes, or other key destinations.
  • Where’s My Car: Delivers real-time location of your vehicle, whether driving or parked.
  • Speed Alerts: Enables parents to set a speed threshold and receive alerts if a teen driver or other loved one goes faster than they should

The LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System consistently delivers a 90% plus recovery rate on cars, trucks, and SUVs, and over $1 billion worth of LoJack-equipped vehicles have been recovered in the U.S. alone*.

“We are committed to supporting families with innovative solutions that protect their vehicles and loved ones, consistent with the proven LoJack brand promise of safety and security for the road ahead,” said Schmid.

*LoJack® unit activation is contingent upon the vehicle being located within LoJack’s SVRU coverage area that spans counties across 29 states throughout the U.S. and the District of Columbia. You may find LoJack’s coverage areas at www.lojack.com/coverage or by calling 1-800-4-LoJack. Used car values are best estimates derived from NADA Guide web services values and clean retail value from NADAGuides.com for the make, model and year of the vehicle in the month it was recovered.

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