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U.S. Knowledge-Intensive Services Industries Employ 18 Million and Pay High Wages

October 21, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Knowledge-Intensive Services Industries Employ 18 Million and Pay High Wages
Source: National Science Foundation

The commercial knowledge and technology-intensive (KTI) industries play a big role in the U.S. economy. The larger component of KTI industries—the knowledge-intensive (KI) services industries—employed 18 million workers and produced 22% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012. The smaller component—the high technology (HT) manufacturing industries—employed 2 million workers and produced 2% of GDP in 2012. Although smaller than KI services industries, HT manufacturing industries have a greater concentration of workers in S&E occupations and perform a larger proportion of U.S. research and development. Both KI services industries and HT manufacturing industries pay substantially higher wages than the private-sector average.

Three KI services industries (business, finance, and information) and six HT manufacturing industries (aircraft; communications; computers and office machinery; pharmaceuticals; semiconductors; and testing, measuring, and control instruments) classified by the Organisation for Economic and Cooperation and Development are discussed in this report.[2] (Note: Because various data sources used in this report classify industries differently, different numbers may be reported for KI and HT industries.)

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Pollution from drug manufacturing: review and perspectives

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Pollution from drug manufacturing: review and perspectives
Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

As long ago as the sixteenth century, Paracelsus recognized that ‘the dose makes the poison’. Indeed, environmental concentrations of pharmaceuticals excreted by humans are limited, most importantly because a defined dose is given to just a fraction of the population. By contrast, recent studies have identified direct emission from drug manufacturing as a source of much higher environmental discharges that, in some cases, greatly exceed toxic threshold concentrations. Because production is concentrated in specific locations, the risks are not linked to usage patterns. Furthermore, as the drugs are not consumed, metabolism in the human body does not reduce concentrations. The environmental risks associated with manufacturing therefore comprise a different, wider set of pharmaceuticals compared with those associated with risks from excretion. Although pollution from manufacturing is less widespread, discharges that promote the development of drug-resistant microorganisms can still have global consequences. Risk management also differs between production and excretion in terms of accountability, incentive creation, legal opportunities, substitution possibilities and costs. Herein, I review studies about industrial emissions of pharmaceuticals and the effects associated with exposure to such effluents. I contrast environmental pollution due to manufacturing with that due to excretion in terms of their risks and management and highlight some recent initiatives.

See also:
+ Detection and drivers of exposure and effects of pharmaceuticals in higher vertebrates
+ Risks of hormonally active pharmaceuticals to amphibians: a growing concern regarding progestagens
+ Putting pharmaceuticals into the wider context of challenges to fish populations in rivers

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation releases its first-ever, multi-year examination of reported industrial pollution in North America

October 6, 2014 Comments off

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation releases its first-ever, multi-year examination of reported industrial pollution in North America
Source: Commission for Environmental Cooperation

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has released a comprehensive report on the changing face of industrial pollution in North America, covering the years 2005 through 2010. This is the first time an edition of the CEC’s Taking Stock series, which gathers data from pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTRs) in Canada, Mexico and the United States, has analyzed North American pollutant information over an extended timeframe.

This volume of Taking Stock documents pollutant releases and transfers reported over the six-year period by approximately 35,000 industrial facilities across the region. Key findings include:

  • Total reported amounts of pollutants increased by 14 percent (from over 4.83 billion kilograms in 2005 to more than 5.53 billion kilograms in 2010), driven by releases to land (108-percent increase) and off-site disposal (42-percent increase). These increases reflect the introduction of Canada’s more comprehensive reporting requirements on tailings and waste rock, as well as on total reduced sulfur (TRS), resulting in more complete reporting by the metal ore mining and oil and gas extraction sectors in Canada.
  • Most other types of releases and transfers declined over this period—including releases to air from electric utilities, mainly in the United States, which declined by 36 percent. Changes in regulations for fossil fuel–based power plants, along with facility closures, were the drivers of these decreases.
  • There was also a 38-percent decrease in releases to air of substances in four categories that have significant potential to cause harm to human health or the environment: known or suspected carcinogens, developmental or reproductive toxicants, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) substances, and metals.

CMS.gov — Open Payments

October 3, 2014 Comments off

CMS.gov — Open Payments
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Sometimes, doctors and hospitals have financial relationships with health care manufacturing companies. These relationships can include money for research activities, gifts, speaking fees, meals, or travel. The Social Security Act requires CMS to collect information from applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) in order to report information about their financial relationships with physicians and hospitals. Open Payments is the federally run program that collects the information about these financial relationships and makes it available to you.

See also: Physician Payment Sunshine Act: A Primer (American Action Forum)

Industrial Internet of Things Offers Significant Opportunity for Growth of Digital Services, Says Accenture Report

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Industrial Internet of Things Offers Significant Opportunity for Growth of Digital Services, Says Accenture Report
Source: Accenture

The Industrial Internet of Things represents a tremendous opportunity for innovative companies looking to unlock new revenue sources by packaging their products with new digital services, says Accenture (NYSE: ACN) in its new report, “Driving Unconventional Growth through the Industrial Internet of Things.”

Combining sensor-driven computing, industrial analytics and intelligent machine applications into a single universe of connected intelligent industrial products, processes and services, the Industrial Internet of Things generates data essential for developing corporate operational efficiency strategies. However, the Accenture report finds that the Industrial Internet of Things also provides a rich opportunity to drive revenue growth through new, innovative and augmented services for a rapidly expanding marketplace.

The potential payoff is enormous. Third party sources predict that global investment in the Industrial Internet of Things is predicted to reach $500 billion by 2020: a 2,400 percent increase from the $20 billion spent in 2012. Companies that introduce automation and more flexible production techniques to manufacturing can boost productivity by as much as 30 percent, and predictive maintenance of assets can save companies up to 12 percent over scheduled repairs, can reduce overall maintenance costs by up to 30 percent and can eliminate breakdowns by 70 percent.

Deloitte Review — Issue 15

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Deloitte Review — Issue 15
Source: Deloitte

Is the romance gone? An extensive new study suggests that Gen Y takes a more pragmatic view of car ownership. Deloitte Review issue 15 also explores analytics and predicting behavior; new players in the intellectual property arena; the economics of additive manufacturing, and the persistent problem of labor abuse in supply chains.

Automotive Value Creators Report 2014: A Comeback in the Making

August 28, 2014 Comments off

Automotive Value Creators Report 2014: A Comeback in the Making
Source: Boston Consulting Group

A Comeback in the Making is the first in a series of annual reports from The Boston Consulting Group on value creation in the automotive industry. The report analyzes the industry’s two largest sectors, original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and makers of automotive components that are sold either to OEMs or to end users in the aftermarket.

These two businesses are very different, with distinct dynamics, financial characteristics, typical growth rates, capital requirements, and profit margins. Nevertheless, the sectors are inextricably linked and often have in common the same challenges; a pressing one for both sectors has been finding their footing in a global economy that was rocked to its foundation in 2008. Our analysis of total shareholder return (TSR) over the past three, five, and ten years suggests that the long-awaited recovery for both OEMs and component makers is finally starting to gain traction—across countries and regions and in all subsectors.

In fact, few economic sectors have mounted a more impressive comeback from the ravages of the financial crisis than those in the automotive industry. Both OEMs and component makers delivered five-year median annual returns that were well in excess of the median return for the 26 industries tracked by BCG. OEMs produced a median annual TSR of 29 percent from 2009 through 2013, while component makers posted a median annual TSR of 33 percent. The median annual return for all industries was 21 percent. The automotive industry’s recent performance represents a striking recovery from the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, when the big three U.S. automakers alone posted nearly $75 billion in losses and unit sales plunged worldwide.

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