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iMinds opens up promising opportunities for future internet entrepreneurs

Last week at the ECFI Munich 2014, the European Commission kickstarted its FIWARE Acceleration Program, along with iMinds and 15 other accelerators. iMinds is the coordinator of CreatifiFI, an open call for projects focused on innovative Future Internet solutions for the creative industries and the cultural sector.

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Battle of Talents 2014

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Battle of Talents (BoT) – organised by  Venture Spirit – is THE student business plan competition. Teams from different Flemish universities, university colleges and business schools will compete each other for the coveted tittle “Flanders’ most promising entrepreneur”. Of course there are great prizes to be earned, such as the Electrabel Energy-prize; a direct ticket for the Telenet Idealabs valued at €25 000; and lots of tablets, IPhones, newspaper subscriptions,…

Last year two students from VUB won the competition, in 2013 two students from Leuven took fist place and in 2012 two students from AUGent were declared victorious. Will you win this year? Registration for the competition is free via www.battleoftalents.be.

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TED of the Month: Joi Ito – Want te innovate? Become a “now-ist”

“Remember before the internet?” asks Joi Ito. “Remember when people used to try to predict the future?” In this engaging talk, the head of the MIT Media Lab skips the future predictions and instead shares a new approach to creating in the moment: building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission or for proof that you have the right idea. This kind of bottom-up innovation is seen in the most fascinating, futuristic projects emerging today, and it starts, he says, with being open and alert to what’s going on around you right now. Don’t be a futurist, he suggests: be a now-ist.

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Keeping the gut barrier intact – The thin line between cell survival and cell death

VIB - LogoResearchers at VIB and Ghent University have unraveled the crucial role of a protein (RIPK1) in keeping the gut epithelium intact. The epithelium of the gut plays a critical role in the human body as it allows absorption of nutrients and functions as a barrier to protect our body from intestinal bacteria.

Keeping of this epithelium intact therefore requires tight control, which is ensured by a subtle balance between cell renewal, cell survival and cell death. RIPK1 is a protein that fulfills a dual role as regulator of cell death and cell survival. In many pathological conditions, the pro-death function of RIPK1 is predominant.

Nozomi Takahashi and Peter Vandenabeele (VIB/UGent) found that , under normal conditions, RIPK1 is essential to protect gut epithelial cells from excessive cell death, and thereby ensures the barrier function of this organ from bacterial infiltration. Targeting RIPK1’s functions may therefore open new doors for the therapeutic control of diseases that are characterized by gut inflammation and local barrier loss, such as Crohn’s disease.

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