Increasing opportunities for graduates, boosting investment in UK women entrepreneurs, the next big things in tech, Polestar goes public and more! It can only be the G&H news round up for June 2022. Read on for the best of the month as we see it!
Polestar goes public!
Polestar has gone public following a merger with special purpose acquisition company Gores Guggenheim Inc, raising $890 million in the process.
It began trading on the Nasdaq in New York on June 24, and the US listing marks a significant milestone for a brand that launched in 2017, combining start-up agility with access to established OEM manufacturing expertise and capacity from Volvo Cars and Geely.
Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s CEO, said, "This is a hugely proud moment for the entire team at Polestar. We will now open a new chapter in our story that can be summarized in one word – growth. By 2025 we aim to be selling 290,000 cars per year, 10 times as many as we sold in 2021. We already have a real and successful business; this listing gives us the funds and platform to help deliver our ambitious future plans and drive industry-leading sustainability goals forward."
McMurtry Spéirling wins Goodwood
The McMurtry Spéirling single-seater electric fan car has catapulted itself into the spotlight by breaking the hill climb record at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
UK-based McMurtry Automotive won the event on its competition debut. Driven by former Formula One driver Max Chilton, the tiny EV completed the 1.16-mile (1.86-kilometer) course in a blistering 39.08 seconds, beating fierce competition in Sunday Shootout in front of 150,000 spectators.
The Spéirling broke both the previous official shootout record of 41.6 seconds, set by Nick Heidfeld in 1999 in the McLaren MP4/13 F1, and the unofficial outright record of 39.3 seconds set by Romai Dumas in 2019 in the all-electric Volkswagen ID.R. The McMurtry Spéirling is the first fan car to compete in officially sanctioned motorsport since the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix.
Manufacturing & Technology
Nanoscale sensors measure elusive water levels in leaves
A breakthrough technology developed by Cornell University could open the door for breeding more drought-resistant crops. Researchers there have used nanoscale sensors and fibre optics to measure water status just inside a leaf's surface, where water in plants is most actively managed.
The engineering feat provides a minimally invasive research tool that will greatly advance the understanding of basic plant biology, and could eventually be adapted for use as an agronomic tool for measuring water status in crops in real time. A senior author in the associated study, Abraham Stroock, said "One of the goals is to have tools that allow internal biology to be expressed out into the world in a way that can be captured and digitized."
22 ideas about to change our world (?)
Remember Tomorrow’s World? For those of a certain age, there’s fun to be had in remembering the “next big thing” to be featured on the show, and how realistic or otherwise were predictions of their success. (We fondly recall the Sinclair C5). This BBC article discusses some of the future tech that is – or could be – about to change our world, from brain-reading robots to 3D printed bones and clothes that can hear.
Read it here: hsciencefocus.com
Executives & Leaders
Report shows progress in boosting investment in UK’s women entrepreneurs.
A new report published on 28 June 2022 reveals the strength of investment in the UK’s women entrepreneurs by lenders and investors signed up to the Investing in Women Code, a world-leading commitment to improve access to finance for women-led businesses.
The Investing in Women Code is an initiative recommended by the government-commissioned Rose Review, led by NatWest CEO Alison Rose, into how best to boost female entrepreneurship. The code sets out commitments to support the advancement of women entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom by improving their access to the tools, resources and finance they need to achieve their goals. Signatories to the code include Angel investment groups, venture and growth investors and several High Street banks.
The report findings include:
In 2021, 34% of venture capital deals made by code signatories were in companies with at least one female founder, compared to an industry average of 24%;
In 2021, the average amount of Angel (early-stage) investment being sought by all-female teams (£791k) was very similar to all-male teams (£823k). This is a significant and encouraging change from 2020, when all-female teams requested less than 50% of the amounts requested by male-only teams.
Grad salaries soar as employers jostle for talent
When it comes to the job market, the class of 2022 has reasons for optimism. Job opportunities for graduates have grown strongly year-on-year and pay rates on offer are rising, according to new research from Adzuna. May 2022 saw 14,690 graduate job vacancies advertised across the UK, +59% higher than 9,265 this time last year, as employers tap up new graduates to plug gaps in their workforces.
In a bid to attract talent, pay rates are also rising. Advertised salaries on offer for graduate openings have climbed to £26,076 in May 2022, up 7% year-on-year from £24,389. It marks a six year high in advertised salaries for graduates. Furthermore, in the most competitive sectors, pay rates have hit new heights, with salaries of up to £70,000 on offer.