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Vermont Law School Study on Electric Grid Resiliency Finds Urgent Need for Cost Recovery of Cybersecurity Investments

Vlad Poptamas

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Research Commissioned by Protect Our Power Provides Pathway to Address Complex National Security Challenge

Cost recovery for electric sector cybersecurity investments and development of resilience metrics to gauge the industry’s progress are two of several recommendations unveiled today by Vermont Law School researchers who briefed the Critical Infrastructure Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) on the findings of a six-month study of electric grid security.

The study, conducted for Protect Our Power by the law school’s Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE), recommends that state utility commissions exercise their authority to increase the flow of confidential information regarding vulnerabilities and best practices. It also identifies the diversity of regulatory approaches to cybersecurity regulation by utility commissions across the country as a concern that warrants attention and improvement.

“Addressing anticipatory threats such as cyberattacks is a challenge that we are not fully meeting,” said Mark James, assistant professor of energy law and a senior research fellow, who led the institute’s research team. “As interconnections between and within distribution systems increase, the vulnerability of the electric grid also increases. Continuous communication between utilities and their regulatory commissions is the first step to improving the depth, quality and consistency of efforts to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities.”

Richard Mroz, former president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the former chairman of NARUC’s Critical Infrastructure Committee, said the study offers valuable insights into a complex problem that is rife with confusion and cost challenges.

“As a former state regulator, I know how difficult it can be to balance the needs for new investments to protect critical infrastructure against the potential cost to ratepayers,” said Mroz, who serves as Protect Our Power’s senior advisor for state and government relations. “That challenge is made even more difficult because protecting against cyberattacks is a new necessity, and the utility industry and regulators don’t necessarily have the legal tools required to evaluate and support such investments.”

Mroz said he believes this new research will help regulators evaluate whether they need new or additional polices to support investments to protect against an ever-growing variety of cyberattacks on the electric grid.

Protect Our Power, a national not-for-profit organization formed to advocate for greater electric grid security, commissioned the study in June 2018. The goal is to help identify a pathway, or model approach, for state electric utility commissions and the utilities they regulate to use in facilitating timely grid upgrades, including identifying an appropriate financial structure for equitably sharing the costs of such upgrades.

The IEE team conducted its research by: reviewing utility commission dockets and orders; analyzing state statutes and regulations; evaluating cybersecurity policies; and, interviewing representatives of investor-owned utilities, national trade organizations, public utility commissions, information security officers and others.

The study comes follows the recent Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, in which National Director of Intelligence Dan Coats warned that “Russia has the ability to execute cyberattacks in the United States that generate localized, temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructure—such as disrupting an electrical distribution network for at least a few hours—similar to those demonstrated in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016. Moscow is mapping our critical infrastructure with the long-term goal of being able to cause substantial damage.”

Today’s briefing to NARUC on the study’s key findings occurred on the opening day of the NARUC Winter Policy Summit. The study will be finalized over the next several weeks and is expected to be released officially in early March, James said.

Protect Our Power is an independent, not-for-profit organization with 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) status. It has a highly experienced board of director, staff and advisory panel from across relevant government, industry and private sectors. Its mission is to build consensus among government and industry to strengthen our electric grid against all potential attacks.

Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is home to the nation’s largest and deepest environmental law program. VLS offers a juris doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; four master’s degrees and four post-JD degrees.

SOURCE Protect Our Power

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Beauty and Cosmetics

Alma Celebrates Its Platinum Anniversary – 20 Years of Global Leadership

Betty Tűndik

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Logo Source: almalasers.com - edited by Picante.today
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Alma, one of the top five global leaders of energy-based medical and aesthetic solutions, today announced global launch of its 20th anniversary celebrations, kicked-off in Milan, one of the world’s beauty capitals, during WCD tradeshow

From its early days, Alma has been at the forefront of medical and aesthetics technologies, carrying the torch of revolution in various arenas around the world, determined to become a market leader. Today, Alma is a world-leading provider of energy-based solutions for the surgical, medical aesthetics and beauty markets, delivering cutting-edge technologies to its partners and customers in over 80 countries.

Alma’s 20th anniversary events and activities will span around the world throughout 2019, celebrating our journey guided by our key values:

  • Wellbeing of body and soul, a positive celebration of life
  • Knowledge – harness the industry’s brightest minds to lead our endless engagement with science, technology, manufacturing and much more
  • People First – people are our power and passion
  • Daring – being first and doing things differently, constantly challenging ourselves and embracing change in this dynamic world we live in
  • Modern Life – crafting our work around the way people live today, seeking for authentic, inherent realities, identifying trends alongside timeless truths, welcoming the world’s diverse beauty with open arms

“We are delighted to announce our 20th anniversary and invite all of you to join our global celebration. With 20 years of successful and impactful operation behind us, we are excited and committed towards the future – for you, for life,” said Lior Dayan, Alma’s CEO.

 

 

SOURCE: Alma Lasers

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Computer Electronics

Learn more about Quantum Technology and Quantum Mechanics with Dr. André Xuereb at TCE2019 Prague

Zoltán Tűndik

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Decades of research, laboratory curiosities, and world-changing effect notes are starting to be implemented worldwide and the age of quantum is here.

Whenever we are talking about the atomic clock (which already 69 years old) or supercomputers, everything in the natural world can be described by quantum mechanics.

Although, the theory was born a century ago, what is notable about the effort now is that the challenges are no longer scientific but have become matters of engineering. A new industry is born and the future definitely looks exciting as the quantum industry covers far more than just quantum computing. Quantum technology harnesses the strange behavior of tiny particles for a whole range of applications, including navigation tools, enhanced imaging technology, and extremely precise timing devices.

Quantum techniques can also be used to improve the efficiency and capacity of communication channels on a global scale and the method used is Photonics.

The method is focused on the use of light particles, photons, to transmit or carry information. This has been proved to be a less resource-intensive process, since photons are more accessible than other sources of energy, and fiber cables weigh around 40 times less than cables currently used for telephone lines and broadband internet.

During the inaugural PICANTE Tech Conference Europe, we are bringing together industry leaders, scientist and will discuss (among other topics) the investment opportunities in Quantum Technology and Nanotech.

The panel discussion which is titled “Discussions and Investment Opportunities in Quantum Technology and Nanotech” will be joined by Dr. André Xuereb, Professor of Atomic and Quantum Physics at the University of Malta.

About Dr. André Xuereb

André Xuereb is physicist from Malta. He read for an undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics at the University of Malta, a Ph.D. in theoretical physics at the University of Southampton in the UK, and a master degree in entrepreneurship at the University of Malta. He is a professor of atomic and quantum physics at the University of Malta, is Science Policy Officer of the Malta Chamber of Scientists, represents Malta on several European research networks, and was recently elected as the first Maltese member of the Global Young Academy. André has an active career in science, having established and leading the quantum research group at the University of Malta, and co-owns an educational software startup.

PICANTE Tech Conference Europe is designed to bring both people and knowledge together and provides the excellent ecosystem of networking and learning opportunities without interruptions with emphasis on comfort and communication. After learning from genuine world-class experts and wayseers, meeting achievers shaping the B2B ecosystem, all attendees will get the chance to grab a drink and relax while networking at the evening social gathering.

REGISTER HERE or BROWSE THE AGENDA/PROGRAM!

Seats are limited (Super Early Bird Rate – valid through 30th of June)

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Awards

Elekta Wins 2019 ‘Medical Device Engineering Breakthrough’ Award From MedTech Breakthrough

Betty Tűndik

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Logo Source: medtechbreakthrough.com - edited by Picante.today
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Annual awards program recognizes outstanding health and medical technology products and companies

Elekta (EKTA-B.ST), today announced that MedTech Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies and solutions in the global health and medical technology market, has presented the “Medical Device Engineering Breakthrough” award in the 2019 MedTech Breakthrough Awards program to Elekta for its Elekta Unity MR-linac.

Elekta Unity combines two technologies: a state-of-the-art 1.5T MRI scanner and a best-in-class 7 MV linear accelerator, driven by breakthrough real-time adaptive radiotherapy software. It provides the ability to reshape the dose based on daily changes in shape, size and position of the tumor and surrounding healthy anatomy, as visualized with MRI, and then enables accurate dose delivery with real-time visualization of the tumor.

“We reserve our Medical Device Engineering Breakthrough award for recognizing transformative technology and Elekta Unity is a shining example of groundbreaking medical technology deserving of this designation,” said James Johnson, managing director, MedTech Breakthrough. “In addition to Elekta Unity displaying breakthrough engineering that combines precision radiation therapy and high-field MR imaging, Elekta Unity addresses one of the most critical healthcare issues in the world with a focus on providing the next generation of cancer care.”

The mission of the MedTech Breakthrough Awards is to honor excellence and recognize the innovation, hard work and success in a range of health and medical technology categories, including Robotics, Clinical Administration, Telehealth, Patient Engagement, Electronic Health Records, mHealth, Medical Devices, Medical Data and many more. This year’s program attracted more than 3,500 nominations from over 15 different countries throughout the world.

“It’s an honor for Elekta to win this prestigious award,” said Richard Hausmann, Elekta’s President and CEO. “The Unity system’s breakthrough technology demonstrates our leadership in precision radiation medicine and commitment to the needs of the patient and cancer care team delivering treatment.”

Robert Woolston, Managing Director at DCA Design International, Elekta’s design partner for the MR-linac system, commented, “Congratulations to all involved in the development of Elekta Unity. We are delighted to see this system winning award after award and most importantly to see it improving cancer patients’ radiotherapy experience and outcomes, as it ushers in a transformation in precision and personalized cancer treatment.”

Through Elekta Unity’s integrated and responsive software, tumors and surrounding tissue can be precisely located, their movement tracked, and treatment adapted in real time based on live information. This allows treatment plans to be adapted while the patient is on the table in response to changes in tumor position, shape, biology and the relationship to sensitive organs over time.

 

 

SOURCE: Elekta

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