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Lenzing teams up with Recyc Leather and GANNI to unveil new footwear materials

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LENZING, Austria, Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Lenzing Group, a leading global producer of wood-based specialty fibers, has partnered with leather alternative expert Recyc Leather to introduce Pélinova®, an innovative material that fuses TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers and recycled leather fibers for high-end fashion applications. Joining forces with Danish advanced contemporary brand GANNI, this dynamic trio is set to bring this next-generation material to the market as an alternative to genuine leather materials, starting with GANNI’s Slouchy Boots launching early this year.

Pélinova®: a hybrid alternative combining TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers and recycled leather fibers

Recyc Leather’s next-generation material, Pélinova®, is created through a unique, transparent process which involves collecting pre-consumer recycled leather and then hydro-jetting the leather fibers into the TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers, a standout material within the TENCEL™ brand portfolio that is produced from a resource-saving, closed-loop production process[1]. TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are also unfavorable to odor-causing bacteria. The combined efforts between Lenzing and Recyc Leather result in a material which is supple, flexible, and durable, with a low environmental impact utilizing 70% less water than traditional methods and reducing CO2 emissions.

“Since our establishment in 2017, we have recycled 100 tons of leather from landfill, earning recognition from European authorities and positive responses from brands”, said Olivier Grammont, Co-founder of Recyc Leather. “Our partnership with Lenzing and GANNI demonstrates Pélinova®’s potential as a truly sustainable alternative to traditional leather, inspiring us to continue to broaden the application of Pélinova® in shaping the future of the leather industry.”

“The pioneering partnership between TENCEL™ and like-minded companies like Recyc Leather and GANNI is a catalyst to unlocking the power of planet-conscious fabric innovation,” said Florian Heubrandner, Executive Vice President Global Textiles Business, Lenzing AG. “With the use of responsibly produced[2] TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers in Pélinova®, we are not only creating a unique alternative for leather applications in footwear that brings long-lasting comfort, but also demonstrating the versatility of fiber applications. We are confident that the new collection will stand out within the industry and catch the eye of consumers.”

Riding on this exciting breakthrough in footwear, Recyc Leather is also exploring the possibility of expanding the fabric application to other leather goods spanning home textiles, furniture, automobile interiors and the luxury segment.

Elevating the GANNI partnership

GANNI is a B Corp certified company, on a journey to become the most responsible version of itself. They believe it’s a moral obligation to do better every day. GANNI is committed to minimizing social and environmental impact within its business operation with a goal to reach 50% absolute carbon reduction by 2027, with materials and innovation among its key pillars in reaching this target.

“By the end of 2023, we achieved the ambitious goal of phasing out all virgin leather from upcoming collections – making this year our first without producing any virgin leather across both ready-to-wear and accessories collections,” said Lauren Bartley, Chief Sustainability Officer at GANNI. “However, the work doesn’t stop here. Collaborating and experimenting with partners like TENCEL™ and Recyc Leather on new fabric innovations to develop alternatives to materials as we know them today, is crucial to reaching ambitious carbon reduction goals like GANNI’s. GANNI has partnered with Lenzing for years gone by, using various of their materials in GANNI fabrications. Lenzing continues to be among the perfect partner when it comes to finding preferred materials which have a proven lower environmental impact.”

In addition to footwear, GANNI sees the application of Recyc Leather’s Pélinova® with TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers in the accessories category. GANNI, Recyc Leather, and Lenzing have future developments in the pipeline to get even closer to being able to scale the use of the material.

During Première Vision Paris (PV Paris, February 6–8), Lenzing will be joined by Recyc Leather and GANNI at a panel discussion to share their collaborative experiences as a prime example of how companies can unite to create high-end fashion using responsibly produced recycled materials. For more interactive participation, visit the TENCEL™ brand at Booth 6D67 and Recyc Leather at Booth 6HUB11.

Images download from here.

[1] Savings consider solvent recovery.

[2] The responsible production of TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal fibers uses at least 50% less water and emits at least 50% less CO2 compared to generic lyocell and modal fibers, according to Higg MSI, thereby saving precious resources for future generations. ^Results based on LCA standards (ISO 14040/44) and available via Higg MSI (Version 3.7).

 

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Validation Cloud Secures $5.8 Million in Inaugural Funding to Propel Web3 Infrastructure

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ZUG, Switzerland, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant stride towards revolutionizing Web3 infrastructure, Validation Cloud has proudly announced the successful closure of its first external investment round, amassing $5.8 million. Spearheaded by San Francisco-based Cadenza Ventures, this funding round exceeded expectations with contributions from an impressive roster of international investors, including Blockchain Founders Fund, Bloccelerate, Blockwall, Side Door Ventures, Metamatic, GS Futures, and AP Capital.

Alex Nwaka, Co-Founder of Validation Cloud, expressed enthusiasm about the funding, “This investment marks a pivotal moment for Validation Cloud as we aim to address the urgent demand for scalable and compliant Web3 infrastructure. We’re honored to collaborate with our investors who are instrumental in propelling the global adoption of our platform among cutting-edge networks, developers, and asset managers.”

Validation Cloud is at the forefront of Web3 technology, having developed an innovative system architecture that paves the way for significant advancements in the sector. Known as the “Cloudflare of Web3,” the company offers a robust, scalable, and intelligent platform providing Staking, Node API, and Data services, drawing inspiration from Cloudflare’s transformative impact on Web2 infrastructure.

Founded by veterans in the Proof-of-Stake domain, Validation Cloud boasts a team of highly experienced professionals from renowned organizations such as Uber, Workday, Deloitte, Citadel, Morgan Stanley, Binance, Crypto.com, Figure, R3, and more, emphasizing a talent-first approach with a worldwide workforce.

Kumar Dandapani, Managing Partner at Cadenza Ventures, highlighted the strategic vision behind their investment, “At Cadenza, we do not invest in just any company; we invest in the future of transformative technologies. Validation Cloud’s pioneering role in Proof-of-Stake and their relentless pursuit of next-generation Web3 infrastructure have set them apart as leaders in the Web3 space.”

Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund, shared his thoughts on the investment, “We believe in the transformative power of Web3 and its ability to redefine how businesses operate. Investing in Validation Cloud aligns perfectly with our vision of supporting innovative platforms that are ready to lead the next wave of digital transformation.”

Validation Cloud has earned a reputation for its close partnerships with networks from their nascent stages, supporting a wide array of ecosystems from established ones like Chainlink, Hedera, and Stellar to emerging networks such as Aptos, Eigenlayer, and Berachain. Their platform lays the groundwork for the enterprise adoption of networks, positioning Validation Cloud as a key player in the Web3 infrastructure landscape.

For further details on Validation Cloud and its offerings, please visit www.validationcloud.io.

Please contact: Kelly Clark, Director of Communications | [email protected] 

Funding Announcement for Validation Cloud by Alex Nwaka

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Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people

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The Swedish fintech, which was criticized for its handling of a dramatic staff reduction in 2022, is touting new efficiencies powered by OpenAI.

Klarna is bullish on bots.

One month after taking its OpenAI-powered virtual assistant global, the Swedish buy-now, pay-later company has released new data touting its ability to handle customer communications, make shoppers happier, and even drive better financial results.

The app-based AI chatbot already handles two-thirds of all customer service chats, the company said Tuesday—some 2.3 million conversations so far—with the virtual assistant earning customer satisfaction ratings at the same level as human agents. Klarna, which is expected to go public this year and will need all the hype it can get at a time when investors have been generally frosty toward IPOs, estimates that the chatbot could help improve its profits by $40 million in 2024.

Announcing a partnership with OpenAI early last year, Klarna said it was one of the first companies to integrate the firm’s groundbreaking ChatGPT technology into a plug-in for shopping. The natural-language interface initially helped customers choose items and make other shopping-related decisions based on personalized queries, a feature Klarna described as “smooth shopping.”

The company has continued to build out its AI offerings since then. Its app-based assistants are now available to customers worldwide and handle a variety of tasks including refunds, cancellations, and even disputes.

Klarna boasted in its announcement on Tuesday that the AI assistant “is doing the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents.”

That statement may raise eyebrows for anyone who remembers the middle of 2022, when the company laid off roughly the same number of employees, then about 10% of its staff. At the time, CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski cited economic uncertainty, inflation, and the likelihood of a recession as reasons for the cuts. He was criticized for his handling of the staff reduction after he shared a public spreadsheet on LinkedIn that contained the names of many of the laid-off workers.

Fast Company asked Klarna how the company arrived at its calculation for its AI assistant’s human-equivalent productivity. The company said the number of equivalent jobs the AI could perform wasn’t related to the layoffs. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company’s customer service is supported by four to five large third-parties that collectively have over 650,000 employees, and that it offers customers the option to speak with human agents if that’s what they prefer.

“This is in no way connected to the workforce reductions in May 2022, and making that conclusion would be incorrect,” the statement read. “We chose to share the figure of 700 to indicate the more long-term consequences of AI technology, where we believe it is important to be transparent in order to create an understanding in society. We think [it’s] important to proactively address these issues and encourage a thoughtful discussion around how society can meet and navigate this transformation.”

Companies have used chatbots for years to handle low-level customer queries and other interactions, although these tools are expected to become more versatile in the wake of advancements in artificial intellegence.

Source: Fast Company

The post Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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KAPSARC Launches Saudi Arabia’s First School of Public Policy

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  • Inspired by His Royal Highness, the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud’s passion for education, human capital development and innovation, the KAPSARC School of Public Policy (KSPP) was founded as the first institution in Saudi Arabia dedicated to graduate studies and executive education in public policy.
  • Through its academic offerings, KSPP empowers individuals to tackle pressing public policy challenges and embrace the promising opportunities shaping the future.
  • KSPP’s facilities will run on 100% renewable energy, setting a precedent as one of the first net-zero facilities in the Saudi educational sector.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has been granted an establishment license for its School of Public Policy (KSPP) after the recent approval by the Council of Ministers, and which was announced during the Human Capability Initiative (HCI) on February 28, 2024, conducted under the patronage of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and the Chairman of the Human Capability Development Program Committee, one of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Realization Programs.

Aiming to set new standards in policy studies, the school offers a two-year master’s degree and executive education programs designed to enable and empower future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and globally to address the most pressing domestic and international public policy challenges in the public, non-profit and private sectors.

This significant achievement was announced by His Royal Highness, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, the Minister of Energy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of KAPSARC: “The vision for KAPSARC School of Public Policy is to develop the knowledge and skills that the new generation needs to shape public policy both locally and globally. Our mission is to empower and equip future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and internationally to make informed socio-economic decisions.”

In a statement on the sidelines of the school’s launch, Fahad Alajlan, President of KAPSARC, stressed the Center’s mission to impact public policy on national, regional, and global levels. “Our new School of Public Policy will equip future leaders with the right skills to create data-driven and evidence-based public policy in line with Vision 2030 goals.”

Dr. Ghadah Alarifi, Founding Dean of KSPP, stated that, “Public policy serves as the foundation of societal progress. At KSPP, we aim to be a catalyst for collaboration, building a robust ecosystem that bridges academia, industry, and government in the public policy arena.”

By leveraging KAPSARC’s network, KSPP provides a platform for global engagement and career growth opportunities, offering practical application and flexible courses tailored to empower policymakers in different tracks including energy policy.

The school is committed to achieving high sustainability standards in the Saudi educational sector, including the goal of running on 100% renewable energy. This dedication ensures that KSPP meets its annual energy needs through on-site renewable resources, eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

For more information about KSPP, visit https://www.kapsarc.org/about-the-school/.

Follow KSPP on social media:

  • X: @KAPSARC_SPP
  • LinkedIn: @ KAPSARC School of Public Policy

About KAPSARC:

KAPSARC is a leading think tank dedicated to advancing knowledge on energy, environment, and regional economic issues. Accredited observer of UNFCCC, KAPSARC actively contributes to global climate action. The mission of KAPSARC is to advance Saudi Arabia’s energy sector and inform global policies through evidence-based advice and applied research. For more information about the center please visit: https://www.kapsarc.org/

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