Lighting design on Zagreb bridge awarded in New York
The impressive lighting installation on The Green Bridge in Zagreb populary called Hendrix, designed by Dean Skira, has won a Special Citation in New York at the IES Illumination Awards. The lighting design on the 300 metre-long bridge is locally famous ever since graffiti featuring the legendary rock guitarist Hendrix first appeared on the bridge in 1995. “It is a great pleasure to receive such an important prize in an international competition with projects that have reputable teams and global investors behind,” said Dean Skira. The creative lighting makeover sees the bridge transformed with a spectacular LED light show that is triggered by trains passing over it. When a train passes over it is detected by a sensor and the white light fades to black causing the bridge to seemingly disappear. Then, as the first coach behind the train crosses the bridge, coloured red lights come on in sync with the speed of the train crossing the bridge. As the train disappears the white light returns. The award ceremony will be held in Boston on 9 August when the 45th anniversary of the IES lighting awards will be celebrated.
Croatian chain Mlinar opens its biggest bakery in Pakistan
Croatia’s oldest and largest bakery chain has opened its first and biggest outlet in Pakistan. The 300m2 bakery and cafe, which is on five floors, opened in the Pakistan city of Lahore. The bakery and cafe in Pakistan’s second largest city is operated by Mlinar’s franchise partner in Pakistan and is the largest Mlinar Cafe in the world. Mlinar has over 230 bakeries around the world with the bakeries set out exactly the same as their Croatia bakeries with the same products. Mlinar has rapidly expanded franchises internationally over the last two years, with bakeries opening in Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Slovenia, Dubai, Ireland, Slovakia, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Saudi Arabia. There are plans to open 22 more Mlinar bakeries in Pakistan over the next five years, Mlinar said. Mlinar is the first food company in Croatia which has exported to Pakistan.
UK attracts £2.3bn in tech investments and 1,600 new jobs
Technology firms are to invest more than £2bn in the UK, creating 1,600 new jobs, Theresa May hosted a tech roundtable event where three firms announced private investment into the UK economy. The prime minister also announced several government-funded initiatives to help British start-ups and attract foreign talent. One initiative is a visa scheme to attract more foreign entrepreneurs. The UK government is launching a £2.5bn programme to help UK companies grow and expand overseas, and it hopes to attract a further £5bn in private investment for the scheme. It is also starting two “tech hubs” in Brazil and South Africa, to build innovative partnerships and develop skills, capability and business networks in these markets. The private sector tech investment that was announced including £1.9bn over the next five years by US cloud computing firm Salesforce. It will open its second British data centre in 2019. The UAE’s state-owned sovereign wealth fund Mubadala is launching a £300m European investment fund, that will be based in the UK. And Japanese IT services firm NTT Data will be investing £41m to open a new office and an innovation centre that will create up to 200 jobs over the next three years.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is going after Europe
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is making an aggressive play for European markets like France, Italy and Spain. The expansion comes ahead of the company’s highly anticipated IPO, which is expected to raise billions of dollars this summer. Xiaomi is best known for selling cheap, high performance smartphones. Xiaomi is currently the fourth largest smartphone company in Europe, behind Samsung (SSNLF), Apple (AAPL) and Chinese rival Huawei, according to research firms IDC and Canalys. It’s competing strongly in Spain, Greece and Russia. According to Canalys, Xiaomi sold 2.4 million phones in Europe last quarter, far fewer than Samsung’s 15.2 million, Apple’s 10.2 million and Huawei’s 7.4 million. “It doesn’t seem like a huge amount at the moment, but the rate they’re expanding is impressive, considering it’s been less than a year” since Xiaomi entered the European market, said Ben Stanton, a Canalys analyst based in the United Kingdom. Maintaining that growth rate, especially in countries like France and the United Kingdom, will depend a great deal on Xiaomi’s relationships with wireless carriers.