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From encryption to IoT, this region’s startups are forging new frontiers with space technology

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Estonia has been an ESA member country since 2015, allowing startups to compete in national space projects and public tenders.

Image: ESA BIC Estonia

EnduroSat, a Bulgarian deep-tech startup that builds and operates nanosatellites, has been in the business for more than five years. At the end of June 2021, its technology finally reached space. 

Launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare flight, EnduroSat succeeded in getting the first of nine upcoming shared missions in orbit – a nanosatellite called the SPARTAN. The missions aim to showcase software solutions that will provide the company’s customers with easy access to space data, while also representing the next-gen space technologies. 

SPARTAN’s mission is a joint effort with Kuwait, which also launched its first-ever space mission on June 30. According to EnduroSat’s founder and CEO, Raycho Raychev, up until a few years ago it was unimaginable to even think of putting other nations in orbit for a fraction of the current market cost.

“We are thrilled to see the innovations and the incredible work, that our partners and customers will do in orbit, thanks to SPARTAN. We believe that EnduroSat`s Shared Satellite Service is a paradigm shift that eliminates the entire complexity of getting sensors to orbit,” Raychev tells ZDNet.

SEE: An IT pro’s guide to robotic process automation (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

EnduroSat’s recent success is also a testimony of the growth that companies from Central and Eastern European countries have achieved recently. The Bulgarian startup has experienced annual growth of 300%, making it one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe. 

Its beginnings were humble and met with skepticism from investors. Now, the company employs more than 80 engineers, developers, and scientists. 

Many startups across the CEE region are looking to replicate similar success, with the help of the European Space Agency (ESA). For this purpose, the agency has established several business incubation centers (BIC) in member countries. 

The ESA BIC Estonia is among the most active ones, having more than 20 space-tech startups that have already shown early-stage growth. Estonia has been an ESA member country since 2015, which has made it possible for Estonian startups to compete in numerous national space projects and public tenders. 

According to Kadri Arrak from the Tartu Science Park Foundation, investing in a country’s human capital is by far the most important aspect when it comes to the success of these companies in the space industry.

“Attracting the brightest minds can make or break a community, a country. ESA BIC Estonia has been lucky enough to attract six foreign founders and created 88 new smart jobs in the region,” Arrak tells ZDNet.

Possibilities such as those that ESA BIC Estonia provides are helping to create, develop and scale these startups, he adds.

SKUDO, a space startup that offers cybersecurity solutions, is one of the many companies that have started their journey to the stars at the ESA BIC Estonia. The company’s founder, Stefano Alberico, recalls SKUDO’s beginnings and its cooperation with the ESA BIC, which started in May 2020.

“We designed an encryption solution entirely contained within a single FPGA chip, which allows protecting any data communication (e.g. satellite, drones, IoT, etc). Having a working technology, we needed access to the market and contacts with customers,” Alberico tells ZDNet. 

“The contract with ESA helped to provide an important customer validation. The ESA BIC helps to provide a stimulating supporting ecosystem, funding, networking and all-around support.” 

According to Alberico, when it comes to the developments of the space industry in CEE countries, the main challenge is the limited budget that is available for the space sector. That’s why companies are looking for international partners and projects. 

Estonia is pushing hard to become a leader in cybersecurity, making security monitoring technologies a particularly active area for the country’s startups.

“However recently it has been moving also to the space segment with innovating technologies, such as digital communication, CubeSat modules, etc. SKUDO is negotiating for a new large contract where, in partnership with CGI-Estonia, we are going to bring and test our technology in space on an orbiting satellite, where we will provide an end-to-end encrypted data link (ground-satellite) based on our FPGA chip technology,” Alberico tells ZDNet.

Small instrumentation for space application, such as cameras and spectrometer instruments, is another area that offers a lot of potential for CEE countries.

“I have seen many developments in Estonia and neighbor countries as well that start with university CubeSats and then go into commercial applications with hardware components and using Earth observation data to provide useful info for clients,” Rauno Gordon, the founder of another Estonian space startup called SpaceWave, tells ZDNet. 

SEE: NASA is using data science to fill its data science skills gap

Gordon’s company is working on developing fast and secure communication for nanosatellites. It has also started under the wings of the ESA BIC Estonia. 

“Our company is making space hardware, so we needed some funding to start product design. That was the initial need, but the input from mentors, ESA experts in that area, and help from legal professionals was more needed than we initially thought. This helped us to set up the company and direct our product development to a more relevant direction,” Gordon explains.

As for the future of the space industry in the region, Gordon says that it is the most innovative companies that will create the most value for investment.

“In the short- and mid-term, the space sector can provide the most value in novel information, in services that rely on Earth observation data or provide novel connectivity solutions – like IoT or for autonomous systems.

“Longer-term space-sector values are fantastic SciFi scenarios, where all new technologies will play a part. The value which is created is global, which means strong export potential.”

Innovation

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Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/from-encryption-to-iot-this-regions-startups-are-forging-new-frontiers-with-space-technology/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

Cyber Security

10 posiciones laborales de alta demanda a partir de la pandemia

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10 posiciones laborales de alta demanda a partir de la pandemia

Randstad, líder global en servicios de Recursos Humanos, dio a conocer las 10 posiciones con mayor crecimiento a partir de la demanda laboral impulsada por la pandemia. Entre ellas se destacan: profesionales de marketing digital, perfiles de logística en eCommerce, expertos en usabilidad, desarrolladores, maquetadores web, especialistas en analítica de datos, project managers, expertos en ciberseguridad, representantes de atención al cliente y especialistas en higiene y seguridad laboral.

La crisis sanitaria ha revolucionado la manera en la que trabajamos y ha impactado en la dinámica del mercado laboral en todo el mundo. Muchos cambios y rutinas adquiridas durante los períodos más críticos de la cuarentena y el aislamiento han llegado para quedarse, tanto en lo que refiere a formatos y modelos de trabajo, como a nuevos patrones de consumo. Esta nueva realidad impulsa a su vez una mayor demanda de perfiles laborales asociados a los procesos de transformación digital y desarrollo de nuevos canales de comercialización y atención al cliente que las empresas han puesto en marcha a partir de una mayor incorporación de tecnología en sus procesos de negocio.

Sobre esta coyuntura, Andrea Ávila, CEO de Randstad para Argentina y Uruguay, afirmó: “Del mismo modo que la llegada de la pandemia ha identificado los trabajos considerados esenciales y los posibles de llevar a un formato de home office, la demanda laboral también ha cambiado en parte su configuración, con posiciones que desaparecieron y otras que tuvieron una demanda extraordinaria. Desde ya, todos los perfiles asociados a las diferentes ramas de la tecnología, que ya venían con un descalce creciente entre la oferta y la demanda mucho antes de la crisis sanitaria, pero también los vinculados al crecimiento del comercio electrónico y los canales de atención no presencial”.

Estas son las 10 posiciones identificadas por el equipo de especialistas en reclutamiento y gestión del talento de Randstad que más han crecido en el mercado local como producto de la demanda laboral asociada a la pandemia:

Marketing Digital: A partir de la llegada del coronavirus, la mayoría de las organizaciones ampliaron su pisada en el mundo online y muchas debieron hacer sus primeros pasos en el entorno digital. Los perfiles en marketing digital -en todos sus niveles de seniority- se convirtieron en el talento clave para la planificación, coordinación y ejecución de las estrategias digitales de emprendedores, comerciantes y compañías de todos los tamaños y sectores, demandando profesionales para cubrir puestos como responsables de marketing online, community managers, especialistas en posicionamiento de marca, analistas SEO y SEM y redactores de contenido, entre otros.

Logística en eCommerce: Con la imposibilidad de realizar compras presenciales que impuso el confinamiento, los comercios tradicionales se vieron obligados a adaptar su negocio a un formato virtual, con el enorme potencial de desarrollo que esto supuso. Así, desde PyMEs y emprendedores hasta grandes empresas, demandan día a día personal especializado en clasificación y armado de pedidos, así como profesionales de logística para la gestión de centros de almacenamiento y distribución de productos, con el objetivo de potenciar sus canales de comercio electrónico.

Experto en Experiencia/Interfase de Usuario (UX/UI): Con el traspaso de la experiencia de compra y consumo del mundo offline al entorno virtual, el mercado cada vez ofrece más opciones de productos y servicios que compiten por la atención de clientes y usuarios, motivo por el cual el experto en UX/UI se ha convertido en uno de los puestos más requeridos de los últimos meses. Se trata de una figura clave para conectar al usuario con un producto y lograr su satisfacción, tanto con el producto o servicio adquirido como con el proceso y experiencia de compra.

Desarrollador front-end y back-end: En un mundo que se ha volcado casi en su totalidad al formato digital, los desarrolladores de aplicaciones son altamente solicitados, tanto los especializados en “front-end” como en “back-end”. Los primeros tienen la responsabilidad de desarrollar la parte del software que interactúa directamente con los usuarios, mientras que los segundos con los sistemas que procesan la información.

Programador/maquetador web: Si bien es una disciplina que lleva muchos años en el mercado con alta demanda, se trata de una posición que ha tenido un nuevo pico dado que en la actualidad la presencia online ha dejado de ser opcional. Diseñadores, maquetadores web y especialistas en gestión de contenido (CMS) son algunas de las posiciones que sostienen la presencia online de las empresas y sus canales institucionales y comerciales en el mundo virtual.

Data Science/Ingeniero de datos: Mayor digitalización significa una mayor posibilidad de capturar datos transaccionales que pueden ser procesados para mejorar la toma decisiones de negocio. Con la analítica de datos las empresas buscan ser más competitivas y ágiles, encontrar tendencias en los conjuntos de datos y desarrollar algoritmos para ayudar a que la información sin procesar sea útil para impulsar el negocio. Se trata de perfiles con formación en matemáticas, estadística o programación que se han especializado en esta nueva disciplina que ha tenido un crecimiento exponencial en los últimos dos años.

Project Manager: La necesidad de adaptar los procesos y herramientas que sostienen la productividad de las empresas en el entorno extremadamente difícil que forzó la pandemia fue determinante para impulsar una mayor demanda de profesionales para la gestión de proyectos. Se trata de perfiles analíticos que tienen la responsabilidad de coordinar el trabajo de los equipos de proyecto para cumplir los objetivos y hoy, en un contexto cambiante y con liderazgos remotos, llevar adelante esta posición es todo un desafío.

Experto en ciberseguridad: La digitalización de los puestos de trabajo, el home office masivo y la migración a canales virtuales han expuesto a las organizaciones y a sus sistemas como nunca antes. Con la toma de estado público de resonantes casos de hackeos, secuestros y robos de información y otros incidentes de seguridad, la demanda laboral de perfiles especializados en seguridad de la información se ha multiplicado en todo el mundo. Se trata de profesionales con una altísima especialización técnica que tienen la responsabilidad de proteger tanto la infraestructura como los datos de las organizaciones, así como hacer frente y dar respuesta a los incidentes en un contexto de mayor exposición por la digitalización y el avance de la ciberdelincuencia.

Representante de atención al cliente: Un mucho menor peso de la presencialidad en los procesos de contacto de las empresas con sus públicos disparó la demanda de todos los roles asociados a la atención al cliente por la criticidad y complejidad que la virtualidad ha sumado a la tarea de satisfacción y fidelización de clientes y usuarios. Se trata de perfiles en los que se valoran particularmente las habilidades blandas como la capacidad de escucha, la empatía y la orientación hacia la resolución de problemas.

Especialista en higiene y seguridad laboral: El avance de la pandemia y la necesidad de mantener la productividad en los ámbitos de trabajo en las empresas esenciales en los primeros meses del confinamiento, y luego en la gran mayoría de los sectores e industrias, puso en prioridad la necesidad de velar por la salud de los trabajadores. Acompañando este proceso que incorpora la salud y el bienestar de los colaboradores entre las responsabilidades primarias de las organizaciones, la demanda de profesionales con formación y experiencia en la elaboración de protocolos de salud y seguridad ocupacional creció  de manera exponencial durante el último año y medio.

“Las restricciones que impuso la pandemia impulsaron la búsqueda de nuevas formas de organización del trabajo para el sostenimiento de la productividad de las empresas, y con esas nuevas formas surgen también nuevas demandas laborales, que tienen que ver tanto con conocimientos y saberes técnicos, como con habilidades socioemocionales sobre las que hay que tomar nota para formar a los jóvenes para los trabajos del futuro”, agregó Andrea Ávila.

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Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/10-posiciones-laborales-de-alta-demanda-a-partir-de-la-pandemia/

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HRTech

Managing a safe return to office life

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As UK organisations brace themselves for a return to office life, it’s in the interests of HR professionals to ensure that the physical return of people is safely and thoughtfully managed. But what needs to be considered? Here, John Nicklin, Managing Director of Juggl Desks, a desk management solution to support a safe return to the office, gives his insights.

What does Freedom Day mean for HR?

19 July 2021 has been coined ‘Freedom Day’, but employees are hardly throwing off their masks and rushing back into the office. The past 16 months has impacted everyone in different ways and with COVID cases on the increase, many employees are understandably cautious of a return to the office with some being particularly fearful of mixing with colleagues once again. This has a big impact on HR professionals who have to carefully navigate a path between Government guidelines and the health and wellbeing of their people.

First and foremost, HR needs to understand employees’ expectations and needs regarding a return to the workplace. It’s important for HR and line managers to speak to staff on a one-to-one basis and gauge how they feel about heading back into the office, what would make them feel safe and any reservations they might have about returning. Vulnerable employees and those with extra needs require special attention and consideration so they are confident that their wellbeing is being prioritised.

Flexibility is key

A move towards a permanent hybrid/flexible model of working must be carefully considered in support of staff health and wellbeing. With many employees having worked at home and/or flexibly for over a year, they won’t be understanding if employers resort back to a strict 9-5 office-based model, and it’s likely people will simply leave. Hybrid and flexible working is now becoming expected, far beyond a ‘perk’ of the job and employers must respond to this. With almost half (46 per-cent) of employees saying they don’t have flexible working arrangements in their current role (CIPD research), it appears that many employers are still playing ‘catch-up’.

Be office ready

It’s all too easy to overlook the practicalities of creating a COVID-safe workplace. You’ll likely find that employees will expect there to be social distancing measures on their return as well as hand sanitiser stations and masks when moving around the office, and you’ll need to work with the facilities/operations manager to reconfigure the desks and meeting rooms to allow for social distancing (with fewer desks likely). But how will fewer desks work if you have the same number of employees, and how will you ensure there aren’t too many people in the office at any one time? It’s important to carefully consider and coordinate the movement of people in and out of the office so people feel safe and once in the office, have somewhere to sit with the right facilities to hand.

Desk booking technology 

There’s never been a better time to start using desk management software. Once a ‘nice to have’ to help with the booking of desks and meeting rooms, it’s now key for managing office occupancy, ensuring everyone attending the office has a safe place to sit, and for reducing employee anxiety. After all, if anxious employees turn-up to the office on their first day back and the office is overcrowded with nowhere for them to sit, how likely is it that they will return? HR will then have to manage the inevitable fallout.

It’s not necessary to pay a fortune for an over-complicated desk management solution with all the ‘bells and whistles’, it just needs to be simple to administer and easy for employees to book desks, car parking spaces (if required) and the necessary facilities. Some solutions are even free right now and are very quick and simple to set-up.

By ensuring employees can easily book desks in advance of them attending the office, employee health and wellbeing is supported. From the employer’s point of view, they have an overview of exactly who is in each office at any one time, ensuring overcrowding doesn’t take place while supporting track and trace. Such insights also allow the employer to understand whether the office is configured correctly for the number of people in the office, informing future workplace layouts and ways of working.

A final word

As employees trickle back into the office, it’s vital that HR facilitates a safe and stress-free return. Considering employees’ concerns and anxieties combined with the practicalities of a physical return, will help to ensure a smooth transition and ensure staff feel cared for and considered at every stage.

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Source: http://hrnews.co.uk/managing-a-safe-return-to-office-life/

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CARS24 gets Mrinal Sinha as its new CHRO

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CARS24, an e-commerce platform for pre-owned vehicles, has appointed Mrinal Sinha as its chief human resources officer. He will be based out of Gurgaon. In this newly created role, Sinha will focus on human resources strategy, leadership and cultural development, diversity, equity and inclusion, underscoring the Company’s overarching commitment to being a leader and employer of choice in India.

Prior to this, Sinha was the SVP-HR at Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, heading business partnering, talent management and employee relations. This XLRI pass out has spent most of his career in the banking and financial services sector, working with some big brands, including ICICI and Max Life Insurance.

Sinha brings with him close to two decades of experience in HR and organisational leadership. In the early stages of his career, Sinha started off as an assistant manager – HR, with Polaris Software Lab. In 2004, he moved to ICICI as zonal head – recruitment and he spent the longest stint of his career at ICICI working in various positions in the HR function at overseas locations as well. Following multiple promotions at ICICI, he ended up spending more than 11 years with the Company. He served his last position at ICICI as the zonal head for the North region and was responsible for handling over 18,000 employees across businesses.

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Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/people/movement/cars24-gets-mrinal-sinha-as-its-new-chro/

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Work perks: How Covid changed benefit strategies

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Marcus Beaver, UKI Country Leader at Alight Solutions

The pandemic has changed everyday working lives for millions. We are no longer fixed to desks five days a week and have learned that we can work from almost any location.

As a response, the benefits that employers have been offering employees to keep them sweet have changed dramatically. There’s been a huge shift from office-centric benefits such as subsidised meals, complimentary drinks, company cars, discounted travel, and in-house creches to flexible hours, utility contributions, technologies such as apps for encouraging healthy lifestyles, and childcare. The ways that employers are looking to retain and attract talent has turned on its head as they pivot to what’s now more important for employees.

Flexibility benefits

The pandemic highlighted the need for employee wellbeing strategies. Our recent research shows that two-fifths of employees rank flexibility as one of the most important benefits and three-fifths (60%) would not consider a job that provided less flexibility than they have today.

For employers, their strategy to best support employees has to be to offer flexibility. Compressed hours or split days are becoming more common. Then there forms of benefit that can support working from home such as utility contributions, technology budgets (for laptops etc) and local business club memberships (where local businesses can share ideas and work together).

No more false promises!

Before the pandemic, wellbeing was often talked about a lot, but rarely delivered on. This did not go unnoticed by employees and has become a cause of irritation as they seek more transparency and flexibility from the organisations and businesses they work for.

As we come out of lockdowns, businesses are increasingly realising that they are nothing without their people: employee wellbeing must be taken seriously. Employers have had to be more empathetic and previously strict policies of how, where, and when people work should no longer apply. Employees have proved they can work efficiently, and they can be trusted to deliver. It will be a tough argument if any organisations want to revert back to the pre-pandemic ways. But first and foremost, if you are not an empathetic employer, heed this warning: many are, and your talent will undoubtedly seek them out.

Mental health is now an open discussion and organisations are also reviewing the health benefits they offer employees. Currently, many private health options do not offer more than surface level introductions to counselling services. These need to be expanded to cover the need for extensive support from PTSD support to psychodynamic counselling, a form of counselling that enables a better understanding of the way we relate to people, to the world, and to ourselves.

Technology is a benefit

Staff need access to technology, digital tools and the software typically used in the workplace. For example, giving employees access to a website or mobile app so they can make best of the benefits on offer, as well as access payslips or other HR matters themselves is better than them relying on others. However, these tools must be easy to access and to use. 

Earned Wage Access has become an increasingly popular conversation for companies, and it allows employees to access wages earned at the end of each shift, rather than in a formal weekly or monthly payday. Alongside this, Paycards, a prepaid card that an employer can use to pay their employees as an alternative to direct deposit or paper checks are becoming more and more popular. The latter is a good option for bosses who employ those earning a lower wage (who might not have a bank account and would otherwise find it hard to secure employment).

Wellbeing benefits for retention

Across all demographics, people are looking for an employer who recognises an employee as an individual, and not a cog in a money-making wheel. Companies that have adapted their businesses to remote and flexible working retained staff throughout the crisis and continued to motivate and inspire their workforce. The payoff we will begin to see from this is increased employee loyalty and for these companies to become a more desirable place to work for top talent entering the job market.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: http://hrnews.co.uk/work-perks-how-covid-changed-benefit-strategies/

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