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| SLOVAKIAN AIRCAR DEVELOPER SIGNS A MANUFACTURING DEAL WITH CHINESE COMPANY

AirCar © Klein Vision

Klein Vision, a Slovakian company, has announced that it sold its flying vehicles’ production and sales authorization for the Chinese market to Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology, a firm situated in Cangzhou, North China’s Hebei province.

“We are pleased to announce the sale of the license for our certified flying car technology to the esteemed Chinese company,” stated Stefan Klein, Chairman of the board of Klein Vision to China Daily. “This partnership represents a significant step in our mission to expand global access to revolutionary mobility solutions and drive progress in the industry,” noted Anton Zajac, co-founder of Klein Vision.

The car, built for ground and air use, can transform from a vehicle to an aircraft within 3 minutes, with a flight speed of up to 300 kilometers per hour and a flight distance of over 1,000 kilometers.

AirCar has been conceived as a shape, evocating dynamic and attractive form predominantly built from an advanced composite material. In the car mode, the object generates downforce using spoiler and elevator pitch whereas in the aircraft mode the entire surface generates lift. Lift body concept includes future development for the spacious interior and for the variety of models: three and four seaters, twin-engine, and amphibious version

The deal, finalized for an undisclosed amount, marks a strategic move in the advancement of innovative mobility solutions

The car was issued the official Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority 2022 after it completed 70 hours of rigorous flight testing, which was compliant with European Aviation Safety Agency norms.

AirCar does not take off and land vertically, it needs a runway.

| EUROJUST HELPS TACKLE MASSIVE FRAUD OF EUR 645 MILLION WITH MEDICINAL CANNABIS PLANTS ACROSS EUROPE

Cannabis plants © Wikicommons

Eurojust has assisted national authorities across Europe in tackling a massive fraud involving fake investments in cannabis plants for medicinal use. Two linked criminal organisations that advertised the scheme online and laundered the profits, which are estimated to be approximately EUR 645 million, have been dismantled. In a coordinated action, nine suspects have been arrested. Eurojust supported authorities in Germany, Spain and France in setting up a joint investigation team (JIT) into the fraud.

In Germany, France and Spain alone, over 4 500 victims have lodged formal complaints against the fraudsters, who set up a crowd-funding programme to raise a minimum of EUR 50 per investor for the development of medicinal cannabis plants. In reality, no cannabis plants were ever bought, although the organisers of the scheme pretended to work with legitimate and licensed enterprises that would cultivate them. The fraud ran from at least January 2020 to July 2022.

The entire scheme had the character of a pyramid or ‘Ponzi fraud’ and promised extremely high returns on investment. Investigations in Germany and Spain, later followed by counterparts in other countries across Europe, showed that investors had been only partially paid.

Most of the invested money was used to pay affiliates, keep the scheme running and expand the fraud through extensive online campaigns. For this purpose and to launder the proceeds, a web of international enterprises was used. The scheme itself appears to have been run by a Russian criminal network, with an affiliated German-based crime group.

Victims in Germany and Spain claim to have lost at least EUR 51.5 million, but the total investment is estimated to be close to EUR 645 million. In total, around 550 000 participants worldwide were registered as online investors, most of them European citizens. Around 186 000 participants transferred funds, either via cryptocurrencies or bank transfers.

Since 2022, Eurojust has been extensively supporting the national authorities, including assisting the German, Spanish and French authorities in setting up and funding the JIT. This led to a successful Joint Action Day coordinated at Eurojust.

At the request of the German and Spanish authorities, in recent days operational actions against the criminal networks were also carried out in Estonia, Latvia, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic. The French authorities made a decisive contribution to the analysis of crypto flows during the investigations and took part in searches in Germany and Spain on the action day.

Europol supported this massive cross-border investigation from the outset, taking the lead in operational coordination and providing tailored analytical support. Furthermore, Europol shared results of the financial investigations as well as other intelligence with the involved countries. On the action day, Europol deployed officers with mobile offices to various locations worldwide.

During the action days, over thirty places were also searched and for several millions of Euros in crypto assets and bank accounts were frozen. Also real estate properties, luxury vehicles, artwork, cash and various luxury items were seized, as well as large numbers of electronic devices and documents.

| CHIPS JU CONCLUDES THE SELECTION OF FOUR NEW PILOT LINES TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN EUROPE

© Agilent

Chips Joint Undertaking (Chips JU) announces the successful evaluation of the submitted innovative semiconductor pilot line proposals and has started negotiations with four consortia, aiming at signing the relevant agreements later this year. The step promises to catalyse innovation in the region and reinforce Europe’s technological leadership on the global stage.

The Public Authorities Board of the Chips Joint Undertaking has selected the Hosting Consortia that – provided that negotiations will be successful – will implement each of the four pilot lines, and will receive grants for the set-up, integration and process development, and for operational activities. The pilot lines will be funded jointly by the EU, from the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe Programme, the Member States and private contributions.

Kari Leino, Chair of the Chips JU Public Authorities Board, emphasises: “The selection of these pilot lines marks a pivotal moment for Europe’s semiconductor industry, showcasing the collective commitment of European states to drive technological innovation.”

These calls relate to the operational objectives of the “Chips for Europe Initiative,” the first pillar of the European Chips Act. This Initiative aims to enhance technological capacity building and foster innovation in cutting-edge chip technology on a substantial scale. The Chips JU plays a pivotal role in facilitating a significant part of this investment, ensuring its success and impact across the region.

Welcoming the awarding of the new pilot lines, Jari Kinaret, the Executive Director of the Chips Joint Undertaking, remarked: “This decision represents a significant milestone for Europe’s semiconductor industry, and we look forward to the realisation of these pilot lines. Through collaboration and innovation, we aim to drive progress and excellence in Europe.”

The pilot lines will accelerate process development, test and experimentation, and validation of design concepts. Their implementation is expected to bridge the gap from lab to fab and will be available to a wide range of users, including academia, industry and research institutions.

Following this announcement, the next steps include negotiations with the consortia to finalise the Hosting Agreements, Joint Procurement Agreements and the related Grant Agreements, marking the beginning of a new era for the European semiconductor ecosystem.

About Chips Joint Undertaking

Chips Joint Undertaking supports research, development, innovation, and capacity building in the European semiconductor ecosystem. Launched by the European Union Council Regulation No 2021/1085 and amended in September 2023 via Council Regulation 2023/1782, it contributes to reinforce the competitiveness and resilience of the semiconductor technological and industrial base, engaging a significant EU, national/regional and private industry funding of nearly €11 billion. The Chips JU is funded by the European Union, Chips JU Participating States and the Private Members. 

| EU COUNCIL ADOPTS €1 BILLION MACRO-FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO EGYPT

PRYAMIDS OF GIZA,AND SPHINX IN EGYPT © EDM

The EU will provide €1 billion of urgent short-term macro-financial assistance to Egypt to help stabilise its economy.

The aid is meant to address the deteriorating macro-fiscal situation and financing needs of the country over the recent months, notably after the outbreak of the Gaza war, the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and the repercussions of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

The €1 billion of short term assistance is part of a package of two proposals to provide macro-financial assistance to Egypt. The second part of the operation, still to be adopted, would provide € 4 billion over the period 2024-2027.

The overall macro-financial assistance accompanies a revamped support programme concluded with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), of up to € 8 billion, which will be made available provided several conditions are met.

The macro-financial assistance will be provided in the form of loans made available in one instalment. A precondition for granting the assistance is that Egypt continues to make concrete and credible steps towards respecting effective democratic mechanisms (including a multi-party parliamentary system) and the rule of law and guaranteeing respect for human rights.

Next steps

The decision will enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

Background

On 15 March 2024, the Commission proposed a macro-financial assistance operation to Egypt for an overall amount of € 5 billion in loans, following the request of Egypt on 12 March 2024.

The proposed macro-financial assistance would provide € 1 billion in the short-term and € 4 billion over the period 2024-2027. The differentiated approach aims to make it possible to disburse the first part of the aid before the end of 2024, to respond to Egypt’s urgent financing needs.

In accordance with the Financial Regulation, the loans would be provisioned in the EU budget at a rate of 9 % (€ 90 million)  under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe (NDICI – Global Europe).

| ESA AWARDS THREE CONTRACTS FOR SATELLITE NAVIGATION MISSIONS

ESA-S. CORVAJA

Genesis, one of ESA’s FutureNAV missions, will provide an improved reference frame for navigation and Earth science applications © ESA

The European Space Agency has awarded three contracts worth a quarter of a billion dollars to develop a pair of navigation missions, including one to test the feasibility of a low Earth orbit satellite constellation.

ESA announced the award of the contracts for its FutureNAV program March 19, with a combined value of 233.4 million euros ($253 million). The contracts cover two missions, called Genesis and LEO-PNT.

“With Genesis and LEO-PNT we are responding to rapidly growing needs for more resilient and precise navigation and ensuring Europe leads global satellite navigation,” Javier Benedicto, ESA’s director of navigation, said in a statement about the contracts.

One contract, valued at 76.6 million euros, went to a consortium led by OHB Italia to develop Genesis. That spacecraft will carry a suite of instruments to improve the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF), which provides a coordinate system for use in navigation systems and in Earth science. That system is based on the center of mass of the Earth, including oceans and atmosphere.

Genesis will refine the ITRF with several geodetic instruments, like laser ranging and very-long-baseline interferometry, with a goal of providing an accuracy of one millimeter. Genesis is scheduled to launch in 2028.

Two other contracts, each valued at 78.4 million euros. were awarded for LEO-PNT, an effort to demonstrate the viability of LEO constellation to provide positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) services. One contract went to GMV Aerospace and Defence, partnered with OHB System, while the other went to Thales Alenia Space.

The goal of LEO-PNT is to deploy a set of small satellites in LEO to test how such spacecraft could augment Galileo and other navigation systems operating in higher orbits. There is growing interest in LEO navigation satellite systems that could produce stronger signals that could improve service in urban areas and be more resistant to jamming. LEO-PNT will also test the use of 5G and 6G communications protocols that could combine navigation with applications like Internet of Things services.

ESA did not disclose how many satellites will be deployed for LEO-PNT, although Thales said in a separate statement it plans to launch five spacecraft as part of an “end-to-end solution” funded by the contract. ESA said the first LEO-PNT satellite is expected to launch by late 2025 with the entire system in orbit in 2027.

| PREVENTING CORRUPTION IN FRANCE : GRECO CONCLUDES THAT FRANCE IS NOT IN SUFFICIENT COMPLIANCE WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS

Hotel de Matignon © Wikicommons

The Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body (GRECO) has just published a report evaluating the measures taken by the French authorities to implement the recommendations from 2019 on preventing corruption and promoting integrity in central government (top executive functions) and law enforcement agencies.  GRECO concludes that France is not in sufficient compliance with the recommendations.

With regard to top executive functions, more than half of the recommendations have been partly implemented and some positive developments have taken place.

The Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) and the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life (HATVP) have strengthened their co-operation regarding persons holding top executive functions (PTEFs).

A self-assessment questionnaire on conflicts of interest was handed out to members of Government when they first took office in July 2023.  HATVP’s prior vetting of the appointments of members of ministers’ private offices and staff of the President of the Republic from the private sector has been effective but should be extended to all advisers.  While there are registers of withdrawals for members of ministers’ private offices and offices of the Presidency, these are not made public.

The preparation of the next national anti-corruption plan (2024-2027) is under way and will include a focus on preventing breaches of probity in the public sphere, particularly affecting PTEFs.

However, a number of recommendations have still not been implemented and require stronger action, in particular to increase the transparency of PTEFs’ contacts with lobbyists.  The declarations of assets and interests of the presidential candidate who has been elected should be subject to scrutiny.

Lastly, the composition of the Court of Justice of the Republic has not changed, and sufficient consideration has not been given to the issue of reporting to the Executive of information in cases concerning PTEFs.

As regards law enforcement agencies, GRECO welcomes the adoption of an updated version of the commentaries on two articles of the code of ethics of the National Police and the National Gendarmerie.

Other positive developments have been noted, such as the explicit inclusion of lack of integrity in the National Police’s risk catalogue and the National Gendarmerie’s implementation of a professional conduct action plan in 2022.  The whistleblower protection system has also been strengthened.

On the other hand, there is still no global strategy focusing on the prevention of corruption risks within law enforcement agencies, no security checks whose frequency would depend on risk exposure and, within the National Police, no specific rotation system in the sectors identified as most vulnerable to corruption risks.

In the light of the foregoing, GRECO concludes that France has satisfactorily implemented or dealt with in a satisfactory manner two of the 18 recommendations set out in the 2019 Evaluation Report.  Of the 16 remaining recommendations, 10 recommendations have been partly implemented and six recommendations have not been implemented. France is therefore asked to provide a report on the progress in implementing the outstanding recommendations by 31 March 2025.

The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) is a Council of Europe body that aims to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring their compliance with anti-corruption standards. It helps states to identify deficiencies in national anti-corruption policies, prompting the necessary legislative, institutional and practical reforms.

| NORWAY PLANS TO TRANSFER F-16 FIGHTER JETS TO UKRAINE

Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon fighters from the 331st Squadron of the 132nd Air Wing of the Norwegian Air Force © Ministry of Defense of Norway

Norway is preparing to deliver 22 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as part of an air coalition. However, it is noted that not all of these fighter jets were fully operational.
Some of them can be used as a donor of spare parts for the repair and maintenance of other Norwegian F-16s that will be transferred to the Ukrainian Air Force.
In addition to the aircraft themselves, Ukraine can also receive jet engines for fighter jets, auxiliary materials, training equipment, spare parts, and other equipment from Norway.

Twelve F-16s that Norway planned to sell to the American company Draken International under an agreement signed in November 2021, could be airworthy.

It is not yet known when Ukraine may receive the Norwegian F-16s, but it is assumed that this would not happen before the NATO summit in Washington in July.

In early April, the Ukrainian Air Force announced that several groups of Ukrainian pilots had advanced their F-16 training in allied countries.

Previously, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis approved the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets at a training center in Romania.

The Pentagon has outlined “red lines” regarding the use of Ukrainian F-16s during the Russian-Ukrainian war. Western countries see the use of these aircraft only within the sovereign territory of Ukraine.

| AMMUNITION SEIZED BY THE US TRANSFERRED TO UKRAINE

Thousands of Machine Guns and Sniper Rifles and Over 500,000 Rounds of Ammunition Seized En Route from Iran to Yemen Transferred to Ukrainian Armed Forces

The United States has transferred over 5,000 AK-47s, machine guns, sniper rifles, and RPG-7s, and over 500,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition to the Ukrainian armed forces. These armaments were seized by U.S. Central Command and partner naval forces from four flagless vessels in the Arabian Sea enroute from Iran to Yemen, where sanctioned groups including Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) directly support the Houthi movement. The Department of Justice then filed a civil forfeiture action against the seized munitions, resulting in a Dec. 1, 2023, order by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia transferring title to the United States.

“With this weapons transfer, the United States government is both disrupting Iran’s destabilizing efforts and supporting Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s brutal, unprovoked invasion,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will continue to use our legal authorities, including forfeiture, to support the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.”

“As we see Russia and Iran engaging in conduct to undermine global security, the Department of Justice is taking deadly weapons out of the hands of terrorists and putting them into the hands of Ukrainians defending their homeland,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew G. Olsen.  “We will continue to use the full reach of our authorities to disrupt the Iranian government’s efforts to undermine stability and to support the Ukrainian people’s stance against tyranny.”

According to court documents in the civil forfeiture action, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command seized the weapons from four interdictions of stateless dhow vessels: two from 2021 and two from 2023. These interdictions led to the discovery and seizure of four large caches of conventional weapons, including long arms and anti-tank missiles, and related munitions – all of which were determined to be primarily of either Iranian, Chinese, or Russian origin.

This action followed the US government’s successful March 2023 forfeiture action against over one million rounds of ammunition en route from Iran to Yemen, which were also transferred to the Ukrainian armed forces. These forfeiture actions addressed the illicit trafficking of advanced conventional weapons systems and components by sanctioned Iranian entities that directly support military action by the Houthi movement in Yemen and the Iranian regime’s campaign of terrorist activities throughout the region. The forfeiture complaints alleged sophisticated schemes by the IRGC to clandestinely ship weapons to entities that pose grave threats to U.S. national security.

| SIEMENS HEALTHINEERS HAS DEVELOPED AN AUTOMATED, SELF-DRIVING C-ARM SYSTEM FOR INTRAOPERATIVE IMAGING IN SURGERY

© Siemens Healthineers

Siemens Healthineers has developed an automated, self-driving C-arm system for intraoperative imaging in surgery. Ciartic Move is equipped with holonomic, omnidirectional wheels that allow precise movements even in the smallest of spaces and allow easy and accurate positioning. Using a remote control, the system can be moved to previously stored positions with the touch of a button. This relieves the burden on technologists, who previously had to set these manually. In addition, the automated process saves valuable time as the automatic adjustments are more precise and thus can reduce imaging times2. Ciartic Move enables around 50 percent time savings in intraoperative imaging during spine surgery, pelvic surgery and distal radius surgery by allowing the default positions and settings to be saved and recalled during the procedure.

“In conversations with our customers, the urgent need for a fully automated C-arm system to reduce the burden on surgical staff in the field of trauma surgery became apparent again and again. We have been developing this system over the past ten years and are very pleased to be able to introduce Ciartic Move,” said Carsten Bertram, head of Advanced Therapies at Siemens Healthineers. “The automation of intraoperative imaging, complete remote control and ease of use ensure fast and accurate workflows.”

Ciartic Move focuses on several challenges facing healthcare systems. Due to the drastic shortage of medical staff worldwide, it is not uncommon for medical interventions to have to be postponed. This leads to inefficiencies in the clinical process and is associated with longer and unplanned waiting times for patients. In surgery, minimally invasive procedures have also established themselves as the method of choice as far as possible, as they are gentler on patients. However, this increases the demands on clinical staff. Surgical teams tend to be tightly scheduled, with several of these image-guided procedures routinely performed per day. In addition, the work in the operating room is physically demanding. During procedures, the C-arm, which can weigh up to half a ton, must be repositioned repeatedly to give the surgical staff the exact anatomical views they need in real time. With conventional mobile C-arms, this repetitive manual positioning can be time-consuming and prone to error. Controlling and moving the device within the operating room (OR) and between rooms also requires a great deal of physical effort.

Ciartic Move returns to previously stored positions and settings at the touch of a button at any time during the procedure. Up to 12 process-specific 2D or 3D C-arm positions can be stored – along with the associated image parameters. The system also has an active sensing technology that offers collision protection for greater safety. Touch-sense handles on the back and detector allow for effortless, motor-assisted movements during the procedure and make it easier to steer the system within the OR as well as moving it to another room. In addition, a single person can operate the system remotely, even from the sterile area1. This makes it possible for appropriately trained surgeons or surgical teams to continue working even when personnel with special expertise in intraoperative imaging are not available.

“If surgical staff are absent at short notice, there is always the risk that procedures will have to be postponed,” said Dr Mario Perl, director of the department of Trauma Surgery and Orthopedics, Uniklinikum Erlangen, Germany. “Thanks to Ciartic Move we can relieve our staff and enable them to focus on patient-centered activities. The automatic return to the previously defined position that we used before allows us to save time and radiation.”

| U.S. AND UK ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP ON SCIENCE OF AI SAFETY

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo © United States Department of Commerce

The U.S. and UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will see them work together to develop tests for the most advanced AI models.

Signed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and UK Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, the partnership will see both countries working to align their scientific approaches and working closely to accelerate and rapidly iterate robust suites of evaluations for AI models, systems, and agents.

The U.S. and UK AI Safety Institutes have laid out plans to build a common approach to AI safety testing and to share their capabilities to ensure these risks can be tackled effectively. They intend to perform at least one joint testing exercise on a publicly accessible model. They also intend to tap into a collective pool of expertise by exploring personnel exchanges between the Institutes.

The partnership will take effect immediately and is intended to allow both organizations to work seamlessly with one another. AI continues to develop rapidly, and both governments recognise the need to act now to ensure a shared approach to AI safety which can keep pace with the technology’s emerging risks. As the countries strengthen their partnership on AI safety, they have also committed to develop similar partnerships with other countries to promote AI safety across the globe.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – Rt Hon Michelle Donelan © Gov.UK

“Because of our collaboration, our Institutes will gain a better understanding of AI systems, conduct more robust evaluations, and issue more rigorous guidance,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “By working together, we are furthering the long-lasting special relationship between the U.S. and UK and laying the groundwork to ensure that we’re keeping AI safe both now and in the future.”

“This agreement represents a landmark moment, as the UK and the United States deepen our enduring special relationship to address the defining technology challenge of our generation,” said UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan. “We have always been clear that ensuring the safe development of AI is a shared global issue. Only by working together can we address the technology’s risks head on and harness its enormous potential to help us all live easier and healthier lives. The work of our two nations in driving forward AI safety will strengthen the foundations we laid at Bletchley Park in November, and I have no doubt that our shared expertise will continue to pave the way for countries tapping into AI’s enormous benefits safely and responsibly.”

The U.S. and UK have always been clear that ensuring the safe development of AI is a shared global issue. Reflecting the importance of ongoing international collaboration, the partnership will also see both countries sharing vital information about the capabilities and risks associated with AI models and systems, as well as fundamental technical research on AI safety and security. This will work to underpin a common approach to AI safety testing, allowing researchers on both sides of the Atlantic—and around the world—to coalesce around a common scientific foundation.

| SMARTPHONE MAKER XIAOMI STARTS SELLING ITS OWN EV

The Xiaomi SU7 © Xiaomi

The Xiaomi SU7 is a battery electric full-size sedan It is the first Xiaomi vehicle, and is manufactured under contract by BAIC Off-road in Beijing. The car was formally launched on 28 March 2024 in Beijing, with Xiaomi starting to take orders for the car on that day.

Production of the SU7 started in December 2023. The standard version of costs CNY 215,900 yuan (US$30,408).

The SU7 uses many international suppliers for its parts, including Bosch, Brembo, Continental, ThyssenKrupp, ZF Friedrichshafen, Benteler, Schaeffler Group and Nexteer Automotive and supports Apple’s Car Play to interact with the iPad.

The SU7 Max uses a 101 kWh NMC battery produced by CATL and branded as Qilin mounted in a cell-to-pack format. The base, rear-wheel drive SU7 uses a smaller 73.6 kW LFP battery. Xiaomi also plans to release versions with 132 kWh and 150 kWh batteries. According to Xiaomi, the base SU7 is able to accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 5.3 seconds, while the SU7 Max goes from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 2.78 seconds. Speed is limited to 210 km/h (130 mph) for the base model, and 265 km/h (165 mph) for the SU7 Max.

Xiaomi founder Lei Jun disclosed that over 40,000 orders had been locked out of the 100,000 pre-orders received for the SU7.

| A € 25.000 grant to encourage R&D and development of sustainable yachting

S.A.S. Prince Albert II of Monaco with (upper left), Mike Horn (upper right), Bernard d’Alessandri (left) and Olivier Wenden

It was as part of Monaco Ocean Week that the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Yacht Club de Monaco officially announced a new prize for the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (https://energyboatchallenge.com/) that marks a new milestone in their partnership and was attended by Mike Horn and Bertrand Piccard, the event’s sponsor

Under the aegis of the collective Monaco, Capital of Advanced Yachting approach and organised by YCM, this event brings maritime industry pioneers together with visionary engineers around a common goal: to promote alternative propulsion and sustainability in the yachting sector. On the programme, a unique convergence of boats already on or about to enter the market and innovative prototypes. “Every year, students surpass themselves. They are an amazing source of ideas. It is fascinating to see their potential and we are happy to put them in contact with industry players who are a great support for these young engineers,” says YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, an active Monaco Energy Boat Challenge partner, is adding another dimension to the partnership in launching the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Sustainable Yachting Technology Award. The contest is open to universities anywhere in the world and on 6th July will reward the best technological solution that is applicable to yachting in terms of energy efficiency and/or carbon reduction. “We are pleased to initiate this prize to help finance the development of a university’s department with a grant of €25,000. We hope to encourage the winner to go further with its applied research and who knows maybe help those prototypes progress towards a more industrial solution,” explains Olivier Wenden, Vice-President of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Once the grant has been awarded, the winner will be able to present progress on their project at the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge for three years starting in 2025.

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