Approximately one year ago at the 31st annual NATO Summit in Brussels, Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General, delivered plans to establish the Defence Innovation Accelerator of the North Atlantic (DIANA). In the present day, NATO’s foreign ministers will approve DIANA’s charter during their April 6-7 meeting in Brussels. The accelerator will be a new NATO body, and will bring civilians and military organizations together to develop solutions to real world problems, such as how to work in GPS-free environments.
Russia has experienced a recent “brain drain” following its invasion of Ukraine. Several IT specialists who left the country as war broke out recounted that they were interrogated by Russia’s FSB, a government organization known for its assassinations of Russians who oppose Putin’s regime. What is left for Russia’s technology sector? Other nations, like North Korea and Iran, prove that it is still possible to develop new technologies within closed borders, but that those technologies cannot be exported to other nations. It is unclear whether Russia will follow a similar fate. To stimulate growth in the technology sector, the Russian income tax will be reduced from 3% to 0% and IT workers under the age of 27 will receive deferments from military service.
Taiwan is a democracy of 24 million people. It is also a global leader in the creation of semiconductor chips. These chips are used in a wide range of technologies, such as smartphones and washing machines. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there has been growing concern about China increasing its military force against Taiwan. If that happens, the United States and the European Union would be affected. Partly because of this, the U.S. Senate just passed a $52 billion plan to invest in the domestic production of semiconductors.
Tesla has long planned to collect data from its vehicles in order to develop its automated driving technology. In order to achieve that goal, Tesla potentially needs 1 million on-the-road vehicles that use sensor technologies. That goal is hindered by the cost of expensive sensors, such as lidar. Toyota’s “Woven Planet” unit is following Tesla’s lead in trying to use lower cost and scalable sensors. Woven Planet’s sensors are 90% cheaper than the sensors it used before and are easy to install.
Silicon Valley has long been known as a center for technological growth. Enter Austin, a city that has grown over the past few years and has established its own reputation as a tech hub. Two reasons for the city’s growth: (1) Texas’ state and local governments are focused on “pro-business” policies; and (2) the lack of state income tax offers a nice incentive for employees who earn comparable salaries in other states. Despite the city’s growing importance, critics argue that Austin’s infrastructure is not ready to handle the city’s growing population.