• Alumni

Activity Feed

Unfortunately, I’m not sure there is much the NHS can do other than continue to highlight the sense of urgency required to getting an appropriate Euratom-type treaty in place, most likely with the EU itself. Even were the NHS to have a strong voice, it has very little capacity to mount a campaign due to undermanning and underfunding. And until the current political quagmire around the divorce bill, the Irish border, and EU citizens in the UK (and UK citizens in the EU) are settled, it seems everything else is on hold and the UK government won’t have the capacity to listen to their messages either.

I particularly like your suggestion that the promise of investment for the Dutch or Belgian reactors may help convince the EU to maintain a supply of radioisotopes. It may be the case that such solutions are the best available option to persuade the EU to allow the UK access to the market in the short term, as it seems unlikely the UK will be able to establish long term agreements with the EU in time for March 2019, especially considering the lack of progress to date.

On December 1, 2017, Luke commented on Monsanto: Our climate change Messiah? :

I am not well versed in this topic, but the answer to your first question seems clear to me: yes, GMOs have a crucial role in ensuring a suitable food supply while the planet continues to heat up. As you state in your article, crop yields struggle to cope in high temperatures so as we continue to experience global warming, the situation will get worse. I’m no evolutionary biologist but I’d hazard a guess that the earth is warming up quicker than the crops we need for food can evolve. If you believe this, then should we want to continue to eat crops such as corn, we must ‘help’ with the evolutionary process. We must use GMO.
Whether Monsanto is the right actor to lead the debate on the benefits of GMO is unclear to me. It makes sense considering their scale and technical expertise in this field, however, as you point out, they don’t seem particularly interested in widespread public education at this stage, even when it could be argued it would be significantly to their advantage to do so.

I think it seems inevitable that humans will become less and less important in logistics, and that warehouse robots and driverless trucks will eventually replace the vast majority of humans roles. That, however, does not mean AR and the suggestions you make will not provide impressive efficiencies before the robots take over! It is all about timing. The AR technology you describe is already available and in the next few years will likely be widely used. In warehousing, I think robots will come very soon after it is widespread and so the AR benefits will be shortlived; we can already see that Amazon are already working hard to robotise their picking processes. But I think we could be a further 5-10 years before we have the legislation and technology to truly consider driverless truck deliveries (ignoring delivery-by-drone for the moment). This suggests the AR technology you mention for delivery will likely remain relevant for longer than that for warehouse operations, before being replaced by other advanced technologies.

On November 30, 2017, Luke commented on CitizenM: The digitalized hotel supply chain :

To be able to answer your first posed question, it would be great to see what the prefabricated hotel modules look like: are they ‘flatpacked’ and assembled onsite, or fully constructed and simply placed in position at the location? Either way, having only one facility to produce the modules may be limiting their speed of growth.

Firstly, there is the potential issue you raise of geography. I wonder if the efficiencies in speed of construction would be lost to the cost of transporting prefabricated hotels around the world / Europe from Poland? It could be more efficient to have another factory serving another market than create in Eastern Europe and ship there.

Secondly, if CitizenM have truly ambitious growth plans, the rate at which hotels can be built could be limited by the throughput rate of the factory / production of the modules. This is unlikely to be a serious issue at this stage as one would assume scaling the workforce may be a more likely bottleneck, however it could be of concern. If the current utilisation is close to 100%, then there could be an argument for another factory. Of course the flipside of this is that were there more factories, would the company be able to keep up with the pace of hotel modules being produced or would the factories be under utilised?

On November 30, 2017, Luke commented on Maersk’s Shipping Lane in the Fight Against Global Warming :

You raise some interesting questions around the role of corporations vice international governing bodies on who should be pushing for more stringent environmental policies. My first reaction would be to say it does not matter, but on deeper reflection, I realise it is maybe not so simple. The suggestions that Maersk has made and has implemented appear to be objectively better for the environment with no obvious negative side effects or incentives for corporations, however it is important to ensure all suggestions by corporations are adequately examined to ensure no inadvertent (or even deliberate) ill incentives. I don’t think there is an ethical issue with corporations such as Maersk lobbying for environmental policies as long as there is healthy debate around what is being suggested. I’m sure there are benefits in marketing from such policies, but I don’t see there being a way that they can develop more of a competitive advantage than others with such policies and therefore the overall winner is the environment which must surely be a good thing.

On November 30, 2017, Luke commented on The impact of Brexit on Kerry Group :

Brexit could certainly create some problems for Kerry if trade agreements are not favourable, but there may be some opportunities. If no relevant trade agreements are reached between the UK and the EU, World Trade Organisation tariffs come into play at ~36% for dairy produce. Kerry may be able to offer dairy to the rest of EU for cheaper than it would be able to from the UK and therefore increase it’s top line to help with investments required with the possible loss of the UK landbridge, which may go some way to preventing a need to increase prices. However, such tariffs would likely be short lived as all sides have an impetus to come to a more favourable agreement. Therefore Kerry would have to move fast if they wished to take advantage of it. This leads me to my next point to answer your second open question: Kerry should work on contingency plans to move manufacturing to mainland Europe. I do not recommend capital investments at this stage, but you are right to suggest it should be considered and teed up ready to go should the UK’s future trading in dairy products look bleak with post-Brexit Europe. Planning – in detail – will enable a speedy reaction to take advantage of the aforementioned opportunities. One consideration to have though, would be the impact on the Kerry brand if some of the manufacturing is moved out of Ireland considering their very Irish image…