Best of the week — the five most popular stories among readers, April 8 – 12, 2024

What were the five biggest stories of the week? Here’s what visitors to this site were reading.

5) Sentient Vision to fall to foreign control in Shield AI takeover

Optical detection and video imagery company Sentient Vision Systems is to fall into overseas control with a takeover by California-based Shield AI.

Sentient previously collaborated with Shield to develop a ViDAR-enabled wide area motion imagery (WAMI) solution called ‘Sentient Observer’, which will fly this year.

ViDAR is Sentient’s AI system, which uses an Electro-Optic or Infrared (EO/IR) sensor to detect and classify targets in the imagery stream that would be invisible to a human operator or to a conventional radar.

4) ARENA awards $59.1 million to hydrogen, steel-related R&D projects

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $59.1 million in funding supporting 21 R&D and commercialisation projects involving renewable hydrogen and low emission iron and steel.

According to a statement from the federal government’s ARENA on Wednesday, the funding supports research teams “from some of Australia’s top universities, research organisations, startups and companies.”

The agency said that an initial $25 million in grant funding was provided for the two funding rounds – Renewable Hydrogen and Iron & Steel – though the allocation was bumped up to $59.1 million “due to the quality of applications” received.

3) Albanese flags government intervention to back industry

The federal government has flagged greater government intervention to nurture industry with a proposed enabling Future Made in Australia Act to set the scene for a more activist industry policy future.

According to a speech to be delivered today to Queensland Press Club and leaked to media outlets, the Act is a response to the US’s interventionist Inflation Reduction Act and similar industry-boosting policies in other nations.

Albanese will say, according to reports: “This is not old-fashioned protectionism or isolationism, it is the new competition.

2) Fortescue opens Gladstone electrolyser facility

Mining and green technology manufacturer Fortescue has officially opened its electrolyser manufacturing facility in Gladstone, Queensland – one of the first globally to house an automated assembly line.

The 15,000sqm advanced manufacturing facility, constructed in just over two years, will have capacity to produce over 2GW of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser stacks annually.

Fortescue Executive Chair and Founder Dr Andrew Forrest said the company was proud to be a first mover.

1) Ansell expands with Kimberly-Clark acquisition

Glove and protective clothing manufacturer Ansell is to expand globally with the purchase of Kimberly-Clark’s Personal Protective Equipment business (KCPPE) for $420.5 million (US$640 million) in cash.

KCPPE designs and markets hand, body and eye protection products under the Kimtech and KleenGuard brands to customers scientific and industrial markets – its presence in scientific markets complements Ansell’s medical and industrial focus.

Ansell Managing Director and CEO Neil Salmon said: “For many years, we have assessed a combination with KCPPE as one of our most attractive acquisition opportunities and I’m delighted that we have now reached agreement with K-C that the optimal path forward for this business is under Ansell ownership.

Picture: credit KCPPE


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