Music Tech Fest Scandinavia to be held in Umeå

STOCKHOLM, May 25(Greenpost)– Music Tech Fest (MTF) is a three day long festival of music ideas. It began in London in 2012 and has since toured Berlin, Boston, London, Wellington and Paris. Now it has come to Umeå and Sliperiet at Umeå University, Sweden. The mission is to create new music formats and invent new musical instruments, software and experiences through experimentation and play – exploring technology, voice and movement, according to news reaching here from Umeå, northern Sweden.

Sliperiet invited Music Tech Fest founder Michela Magas and director Andrew Dubber to Umeå in 2014 and asked them to bring the festival to the city to host a Music Tech Fest for the whole of Scandinavia. As a result of that visit, they decided to move their home-base and global festival headquarters from Britain to the newly opened innovation centre at Umeå University and Umeå Arts Campus.

“We were so impressed with the culture, intellectual energy and lifestyle here. This is where we want to live,” says Michela Magas.

“MTF is an interactive meeting place for artists, performers, researchers, entrepreneurs, academia and the music industry. The festival has brought together partners like Warner Music, SoundCloud, BBC, Sonos, Spotify, Shazam, among many others,” says Marlene Johansson, director of Sliperiet who co-hosts the festival.

She also points out that the festival means a lot to establishing Sliperiet as it attracts international bloggers, hackers, artists, media and industry seeking to interact and co-create with talents and businesses in the Nordic region. The vision is to produce an annual Music Tech Fest Scandinavia in Umeå.

“Sweden is the world’s largest music exporter per capita. Umeå is at the forefront of music, design, art and innovation. It’s a buzzing city and a fantastic weekend destination surrounded by some of the most breathtaking nature you’ll ever encounter – it also just happens to have the fastest broadband connection in the Western world. Umeå is the ideal platform for MTF Scandinavia,” says Andrew Dubber.

The festival is open to the public and is free of charge.

Music Tech Fest Scandinavia is:

• An interactive music experience where the line between stage and audience is blurred.
• A weekend-long workshop where people can invent and explore new ways of creating music.
• A collaborative co-creative space for the future of music.
• A playful and groundbreaking experiential milieu.
• An international meeting place for musicians, hackers, artists, makers, music industry professionals, creative people, technology startups, music lovers and geeks of all kinds.

The program includes:

• Back-to-back performances and live demonstrations of music tech throughout the weekend on the main outdoor stage
• 24-hour hackathon competition in music technology and instrument invention
• Volvo Kids Hackathon – where children learn to build and perform with creative technologies
• Toontrack Trackathon competition for music producers
• Jam Camp where anyone can pick up and instrument and play
• Innovations in music and technology
• Presentations, demonstrations and hands-on exploration
• Academic symposium

Music Tech Fest is being held in collaboration with Sliperiet and Umeå Arts Campus.

Toxic pesticide globally banned after unprecedented vote at UN meeting on chemicals

STOCKHOLM, May 25(Greenpost)– Delegates from more than 90 countries took the unprecedented step of voting for a global ban on pentachlorophenol – a proven toxic pesticide and contaminant found in wildlife and human biomonitoring studies worldwide, according to news reaching here from Swetzerland.

The historic vote came at the combined meetings of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions – which usually make decisions by consensus – after India repeatedly blocked action.

 

During the meeting, India surprisingly rejected the findings of the Stockholm Convention’s own scientific expert committee in which they participated. Switzerland triggered the voting procedure – the first in the history of the convention. Ninety-four countries voted in favor of global prohibition of pentachlorophenol; two opposed; and eight countries abstained.

 

“We commend the global community for this important decision which will help ensure that the Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic and the traditional foods on which they depend are protected against toxic pentachlorophenol,” said Pamela Miller of Alaska Community Action on Toxics.

The delegates of the Stockholm Convention also supported international bans on two other industrial chemicals that harm the global environment and human health: chlorinated naphthalenes and hexachlorobutadiene.

 

Delegates at the Rotterdam Convention failed to list two deadly substances, chrysotile asbestos and a paraquat formulation, despite the fact that exporters would simply have been required to notify and get permission from importing countries. Belarus, Cuba, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Russia all opposed listing chrysotile asbestos. Guatemala, India, Indonesia, and Paraguay blocked listing of the paraquat formulation.

 

“All the candidate substances meet the Convention criteria according to the treaty’s own expert committee,” said Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN Sr. Policy Advisor. “That means that a small handful of opposing countries and their powerful industry representatives undermined the treaty with a political decision that disrespects governments’ right to know what substances are entering their borders. They simply put their own economic and trade interests before the health and well-being of the global environment and its inhabitants.”

 

 

 

 

The Basel Convention considered e-waste guidelines that would exempt equipment destined for repair from the treaty’s hazardous waste trade control procedures, a measure that would open the door to unscrupulous traders claiming all broken equipment as “repairable.” The

Convention President pushed a decision to adopt this exemption after the meeting lost interpretation due to the late night hour. Latin American countries protested the procedure and conduct of the meeting.

 

“Developing countries struggling with e-waste would benefit from good Basel ewaste guidelines,” said Tadesse Amera, Pesticide Action Nexus, Ethiopia. “But they do not want

loopholes that allow dumping under the excuse of repair. We needed stronger measures, not a weakened treaty.

 

The EU pushed dangerous clean-up standards of 1000 ppm for three toxic flame retardant chemicals widely used in building insulation, upholstery and electronics (HBCD, PentaBDE, and OctaBDE). In contrast, the waste clean-up limit for PCBs and other substances already listed in the treaty is 50 ppm – 20 times lower than the EU proposal. For the first time, delegates settled on two options for HBCD (100 ppm or 1000 ppm) and two options for PentaBDE and OctaBDE (50 ppm or 1000 ppm). Although the EU pushed a weak standard that undermines the Stockholm Convention, China and Iran pushed for the more protective standards (50 ppm and 100 ppm) that are more consistent with the serious threats posed by POPs.

 

China, Georgia start feasibility study on FTA

China, Georgia start feasibility study on FTA

BEIJING, Mar. 11 (Xinhua) — China and Georgia have agreed to set up a joint working group to study the feasibility of a free trade agreement (FTA), according to China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Wednesday.
In addition to a joint statement on the FTA signed Tuesday by the two countries’ commerce and economy departments in Beijing, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on strengthening cooperation for the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative was signed.
Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said the move was of “strategic importance” for economic and investment cooperation between China and the Eurasian area.
Trade between China and Georgia totaled 960 million U.S. dollars in 2014. China is Georgia’s third largest trading partner.
The Silk Road Economic Belt initiative was proposed by China in 2013. It will be established along the ancient Silk Road trade route, stretching northwest from China’s coastal area through Central Asia, the Middle East and on to Europe.  Enditem

China to encourage mass entrepreneurship, innovation

Stockholm, May. 18(Greenpost) — China’s State Council has issued opinions to instruct the public on entrepreneurship and innovation, according to an announcement on Wednesday.
Mass entrepreneurship and innovation are important for implementing a new growth strategy as China enters a “new normal” phase of slower growth.
China needs to develop “twin engines” of popular entrepreneurship and mass innovation paired with increased supplies of public goods and services to drive development, Premier Li Keqiang said in the government work report at the National People’s Congress annual session this year.
The State Council vowed to provide a better environment for popular entrepreneurship and mass innovation by lowering barriers, strengthening public services and encouraging college students, scientists and engineers in starting new businesses.
China will pilot equity-based online crowd funding and encourage banking and financial institutions to provide loans as financing channels to support small businesses, said the announcement.  Source Xinhua

Sweden-China Bridge 瑞中桥