From the Editor

This issue of brite Innovation Review brings together a range of compelling innovations and some examines of their applications and impacts. Plastic pollution is a global environmental challenge, with vast amounts of plastic waste accumulating in landfills, water bodies, and natural ecosystems. While reducing plastic consumption and improving waste management practices are crucial, microbes offer a promising avenue for tackling the existing plastic waste.

One solution that attracted our attention is the use of microbes in accelerating the degradation of plastic. Certain species of bacteria and fungi have been found to possess the ability to break down and degrade various types of plastic. These plastic-degrading microbes produce enzymes, which can break down the chemical bonds in plastics, turning them into smaller molecules that can be utilised by the microorganisms as a source of carbon and energy.

Self-healing materials are a fascinating area of research and innovation that has the potential to reshape the structure of various objects and materials. These materials possess the ability to autonomously repair damage or regain their original shape after being subjected to mechanical stress or other forms of damage. Self-healing materials are influencing the structure of things. For example, extended lifespan by mitigating or repairing objects, improved durability by preventing scratches and dents, and, enhanced safety by providing corrosion resistance and preventing structural failures are only a small sample of some of the benefits.

Generative AI, referring to artificial intelligence systems that can generate new content such as text, images, and music, has the potential to play a role in the field of education. While it is not a substitute for those conventional learning methods, generative AI can occupy a new seat of learning in several ways such as in content creation where visual representation or interactive elements are important, personalised learning tailored to learners’ specific needs, language learning and translation, intelligent tutoring and creativity exploration.

Large Language Models, such as OpenAI's GPT-3, have garnered special attention by different industry sectors due to their capability to understand advanced natural language, and generate creative outputs in a more versatile and adaptable way. Large language models can be integrated into customer service platforms, content creation tools, recommendation engines, and many more target application, providing new opportunities for automation, personalisation, and improved user experiences.

We examine the question of whether bias can be completely irradicated in AI-based systems. Bias can creep into an AI based system through various stages of development, including data collection, pre-processing, algorithm design, and deployment.

The proliferation of AI-driven technologies in the consumer space has indeed created an environment where the spread of “false” information and misinformation can be facilitated. While AI itself is not inherently responsible for the creation of false information, it can amplify and accelerate its dissemination.

Adaptive Zero Trust, an approach to cybersecurity that focuses on continuous monitoring and strict access controls, can be effective in mitigating AI-generated cyber-attacks. However, it is important to understand that no security measure can provide an absolute protection against all types of attacks, including those facilitated by AI!

The convergence of 5G and satellite technologies holds great potential for enhancing connectivity and enabling new services such as extended coverage, broadband connectivity, IoT and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications, disaster recovery and emergency service amongst many others.

Dynamic sourcing is reshaping supply chain networks by introducing flexibility, agility, and responsiveness to changing market conditions. Traditionally, supply chains were often built around fixed, long-term supplier relationships and centralized production. However, dynamic sourcing introduces a more demand-driven adaptive approach that allows for geographical diversification to minimise risks associated with localised disruptions.

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a powerful imaging technique that has revolutionised our ability to visualise and understand the structure of biological macromolecules at near-atomic resolution. We will examine how Cryo-electron microscopy has transformed our ability to examine the invisible world of biomolecules.

High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems are expected to see a continuous increase in computing power, driven by advancements in processor technology, parallel computing architectures, and the integration of specialised accelerators like GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). HPC and AI systems are converging, with HPC systems being used to accelerate AI model training and inference. This trend is expected to continue, as AI applications increasingly require large-scale computing power for tasks like deep learning, natural language processing, and data analytics. HPC systems become more accessible and user-friendly, their adoption will likely expand across industries, enabling new discoveries, advancements, and innovation.

Enjoy reading these articles and we look forward to receiving and sharing your stories.

This issue of brite Innovation Review brings another compendium of cutting-edge innovations and explores their potential and impact. The concept of "Smart Dust" refers to the idea of miniature devices, often much smaller than a grain of sand, that can collect and transmit data. As technology continues to advance, the potential uses for these tiny devices are becoming increasingly vast. From monitoring air quality to tracking wildlife, the implications of "Smart Dust" are far-reaching. On the other hand, Quantum dots, a type of nanocrystal, have revolutionised the field of bioimaging, enabling scientists to visualise biological processes at the molecular level with unprecedented clarity. In this issue of brite, we will delve into the current state of research surrounding these two exciting topics, examining the potential benefits and challenges they present.

In recent years, advancements in aerospace technology have led to the development of hypersonic systems and electric aircraft designs. These innovations are shaping the future of air travel and revolutionising the aerospace industry. Electric aircraft designs promise to reduce emissions and operating costs. And, hypersonic systems have evolved significantly from entertainment to weapons in recent years. Initially, they were developed for space travel and scientific exploration. However, with advances in technology, they have become more sophisticated and are now used in military applications such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). These systems are capable of flying at extremely high speeds, making them difficult to detect and intercept, which makes them highly valued as weapons.

The advent of Industry 5.0 is poised to fundamentally transform the manufacturing landscape. With its emphasis on automation, digitisation, and interconnectivity, Industry 5.0 is set to revolutionise the way goods are produced and delivered. From supply chain management to product design, every aspect of manufacturing will be impacted by the advancements of Industry 5.0. In this brite Innovation Review, we will explore the exciting possibilities and challenges presented by this new era of manufacturing. From the integration of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, to the shifting of traditional manufacturing paradigms, we will examine the impact of Industry 5.0 on the future of manufacturing and its implications for businesses, workers, and society as a whole.

Edge AI has the potential to reduce the costs of data processing and management. By performing data processing and analysis at the edge of the network, close to the source of the data, Edge AI can reduce the amount of data that needs to be transmitted over the network, which can reduce bandwidth costs. Additionally, by processing data locally, Edge AI can reduce the need for expensive and time-consuming data transfers to central data centres, which can reduce overall data processing costs. Furthermore, Edge AI can also reduce costs associated with power consumption and cooling, as it requires less computational resources than traditional cloud-based solutions.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a promising technology for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the impacts of climate change. However, as with any new technology, it is important to understand and address the potential risks associated with its implementation. From leakage and long-term storage to economic and regulatory considerations, there are a number of factors that must be considered when evaluating the viability of CCS as a solution to reducing carbon emissions. In this issue of brite, we will delve into the challenges and risks associated with CCS, exploring the science, technology, and policy considerations that must be addressed in order to ensure the safe and effective implementation of this critical component of a low-carbon future.

The development of quantum computing has raised many concerns about the potential threats it poses to the security of critical infrastructure. While quantum computers have the potential to solve complex problems at a faster pace than traditional computers, they could also be used to crack cryptographic codes and algorithms that protect sensitive information. In light of these concerns, the question of whether critical infrastructure should be protected from experimental quantum computers has become a topic of discussion in both academic and policy circles. In this issue of brite, we will examine the current state of quantum computing and its potential impact on critical infrastructure, and explore the arguments for and against protecting critical infrastructure from experimental quantum computers.

The physics concept of exponentially coupling certain systems to quantum vacuum can lead to a source of energy is attracting further attention. A false vacuum is a state of space where the energy density is temporarily higher than the true ground state. The interaction between a false vacuum and the quantum vacuum, also known as the "vacuum fluctuation" is thought to be a source of energy. Is this a speculative idea or can it really generate energy in a practical sense?

The world of passwordless authentication is heading towards a future where digital identity is secure, convenient, and accessible to everyone. The use of passwords has become increasingly problematic as cyber threats continue to evolve and hackers become more sophisticated. Passwordless authentication methods, such as biometrics, device-based authentication, and single sign-on, are becoming increasingly popular as a solution to these security challenges. More light will be shed on this area of persistent pain.

As the world economies are trying to emerge from lethargy that the Covid-19 Pandemic has inflected, innovation has the potential to reshape the principles of economics by disrupting traditional economic models that change the supply and demand dynamics of a market. Demand-sensing economics or intelligent economics is about optimising the dynamics of supply and demand in real-time and responding to changes in the market in an efficient and optimised manner. Are economies ready to shift towards the promise of continuous demand-sensing?

We will hear from our partners the City of Glasgow College about how their relentless focus on innovation helped them achieve the highest possible ranking from the European Foundation of Quality Management, putting CoGC in some esteemed company. Be inspired!

Enjoy reading these articles and we look forward to receiving your stories.

Professor Sa’ad Sam Medhat


Chief Executive of Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange

Visiting Professor of Innovation and Digital Transformation, University of Westminster