Tuesday, December 06, 2016
With the small-cap sector on fire, management teams of emerging growth companies are making the rounds in money centers around the U.S., hoping for a warm reception. Leadership of the medical device developer Milestone Scientific (MLSS: Nasdaq) has joined the crowd, telling a story of turnaround and reinvigorated market penetration.
Friday, December 02, 2016
Metal detectors have built up quite a track record. We find them all sorts of places. Hobbyists use metal detectors to find hidden treasures. The promise of finding fortunes in the ground put metal detectors in the hand of prospectors. Technically they do not ‘detect’ metal at all. The devices we see being used on the beach to find loose change actually signal the presence of metal through the completion of an electrical circuit only made possible in the presence of metal.
The devices also guard the doors of public buildings and arm security officers in airports around the world, becoming the de facto weapon detection system worldwide. The political and social environment around the world today leaves us highly dependent upon these devices.
Yet metal detection technology has changed little over the decades. The first metal detector was invented in 1881 by Alexander Graham Bell. The president of the United States, James Garfield, had been shot and the bullet could not be located. The crude metal detection device was an attempt to find the elusive bullet. Bell’s invention was unsuccessful and Garfield died of blood poisoning and infection eleven weeks after being shot of blood. That set back did not stop the military from using similar devices to find bullets in the wounded during World War I and later for mine detection during World War II.
Military use eventually led widespread adoption for commercial security systems. Metal detectors are about to get the first big challenge in decades.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had their starting point in military exercises, carrying surveillance cameras and even bombs to sensitive sites. Drones as we have come to call them have also zoomed across the horizons of adventuresome consumers, who see sport and entertainment possibilities. However, drones offer time and cost savings, quality and accuracy in data gathering and safety to a host of scientists, engineers and infrastructure operators.
According to industry research firm Markets and Markets, the unmanned aerial market is estimated to be $13.2 billion in the current year and has the potential to reach $28.3 billion by 2022. A good share of the 13.5% compound annual growth is expected to be driven by new demand for agricultural and environmental applications. Indeed, Price Waterhouse Coopers estimates the addressable market for drones in the agriculture market alone could reach $32.2 billion by 2025. The PWC market size estimate seems to eclipse Markets and Markets figures. At least Markets and Markets agrees that agriculture is the dominant growth driver for UAVs, with an estimated 30% compound annual growth estimate for the this sector through 2022.
Friday, November 25, 2016
The November 8th post “Trident Winds Floats a Plan for Morro Bay” described plans for one of the first wind energy projects off the western shores of the U.S. Trident has perfected new technologies for a floating platform that makes possible the location of wind turbines in areas where ocean depths prohibit conventional wind turbines towers anchored to the sea floor. Investors interested in wind energy technology do not have to wait for Trident to prove out to get a stake in ‘floating offshore’ wind energy.
Based in Europe, SBM Offshore (SBMO: AEX) is a leader in the market for Floating Production Storage and Offloading platforms (FPSO). The company is part of a consortium of electric utility and technical firms to win a contract from the French government to build and operate a pilot floating wind farm. SBM Offshore will supply its proprietary floating system. Three Siemens 8-megawatt turbines will be installed on the platforms. The project is one of four being supported by French government programs, which have identified floating wind turbines as key to renewable energy production for France given the great ocean depths around the country.