Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont DMV has announced that DMV Express, Vermont’s online vehicle registration service, recently surpassed a total of 2 million online registration renewals since its launch in 2005. With nearly 700,000 vehicle registration renewals processed annually through the Vermont DMV over all channels, over 30 percent are now processed through the convenient online service. Online 72-hour truck permitting at https://secure.vermont.gov/DMV/irp/(link is external) Motorcycle course registrations (https://secure.vermont.gov/DMV/VREP/(link is external)).These services were built for the DMV at no cost to Vermont taxpayers through a unique self-funded model with VIC.About Vermont Information ConsortiumLocated in Montpelier and staffed by Vermonters, Vermont Information Consortium (http://www.Vermont.gov(link is external)) is the official digital government partner for the state of Vermont. Managed through a unique public-private partnership, the Montpelier company has built and maintains over 160 interactive government services and websites on behalf of the state and is a wholly owned subsidiary of digital government firm NIC (NASDAQ: EGOV).Source: MONTPELIER, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE(link is external))–The Vermont DMV 12.23.2016 Launched in 2005 by the state’s digital government partner, Vermont Information Consortium (VIC), the service allows Vermont vehicle owners to enjoy the convenience of doing business with the Vermont DMV from the comfort of their homes and businesses. Accessible online 24/7 at https://secure.vermont.gov/dmv/express(link is external), via IVR (phone) and card swiper kiosks, DMV Express processes motor vehicle renewals at any time, day or night. With about 100,000 users in its first year, the service has grown steadily ever since, with nearly 250,000 transactions expected in 2016. The service has also securely processed over $130 million in registration payments since 2005.Additional online Web services provided by the Vermont DMV and VIC include:License reinstatements at https://secure.vermont.gov/DMV/reinstatement/(link is external)
Singapore-based IGSS GaN (IGaN), an internationally-recognized technology developer and commercialization expert in gallium nitride-on-silicon/silicon carbide (GaN-on-Si/SiC), continues its expansion following demonstrated successes in pilot lines of customers. The company is setting up a combined commercial and Global Joint Lab for 4-8” metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) GaN Epi Centre in Singapore. Additionally, IGaN’s recent onboarding of a renowned toolmaker reaffirms the company’s efforts in establishing an innovative GaN ecosystem that supports global demand for an energy-efficient, sustainable and mobile future.Operationalization of the GaN Epi Centre is envisioned for mid-2021, with IGaN, its holding company IGSS Ventures (IGSSV) and select partners investing around US $73 Million to expand GaN epi production capacity and mass production 8″ GaN fabrication technologies.The Epi Centre capitalizes on demands in new applications and next-generation technologies like power and renewable energy, 5G, wireless communication, and data centres –which require high switching frequencies, efficient energy management and the ability to perform under high power densities. Poised to accelerate “green goals” across Asia-Pacific, from China to Singapore-Malaysia to India, GaN technology is increasingly sought after by industry players looking to address public and private sector efforts in decarbonizing digitalization, energy distribution and mobility.Creating new industry synergies, the Epi Centre brings together customers, universities, research institutes (RIs)and tool vendors to collaborate in the future development of GaN technologies as the quality of epi wafers are critical to GaN device manufacturing, says Raj Kumar, IGaN’s chief executive officer and founder of IGSSV.Raj says “What the industry lacks today is a concerted effort to enhance the overall GaN ecosystem to lower cost barriers so that technology adoption can happen at the pace the market is moving. We projected more than nine years ago that at 8” wafer dimensions, GaN-on-Si capabilities becomes a competitive and powerful solution to create the right balance between superior performances and cost competitiveness. A commercial center and Joint Lab hosting several top specialist brands and leading vendors is a timely market response to creating strategic partnerships that fast-track innovation, growth, and customer value. Capitalizing on the recognizable Singapore-brand, second to none IPs standards, its known semiconductor infrastructure and IGaN’s in-house expertise, I truly believe we can set standards, create benchmarks and lead the global movement in GaN adoption,” he stressed.The company credits its roots in proprietary GaN-on-Si growth recipe as the result of hundreds of millions of dollars of research by various RIs and University groups in Singapore over 14 years. IGaN itself subsequently spent six years perfecting the technology and going beyond its original licensing capabilities-securing multiple partnerships focused on strengthening the company’s capacity to supply 8” GaN-on-Si epiwafers.Raj further stated that today, in Singapore’s existing semiconductor environment, strengths and industry framework forms an instrumental base to develop an ecosystem for niche technologies. Case in point for us is IGaN’s collaboration with Nanyang Technological University. Established to develop a GaN manufacturing technology that can be adopted by existing silicon wafer fabs to produce high-volume and low-cost GaN products, such partnerships and our global customer base has paved the way for the eventual realization of our Epi Centre vision, next year. They are certain that Singapore is at the cusp of becoming a global commercialization player in GaN.This Epi Centre facility project represents another critical milestone for IGSS Ventures group, IGaN’s holding company. The group’s other subsidiary CompoundTek Pte. Ltd, has successfully launched a multi-million-dollar dedicated Silicon Photonics (SiPh) Testing Centre of Excellence early this year, billed as Southeast Asia’s first-of-its-kind facility. The testing center focuses on production and engineering test services accessible to commercial industry players.Ambitions for the Epi Centre is indicative of the growing excitement in the industry as GaN technology sits at the intersection of power-efficient electronics, AI, 5G and IoT, charging systems/powertrain management, green energy and smart city demands. Spurring a wave of progress across several high-growth and mission-critical sectors such as consumer appliances, environmental monitoring, healthcare and automotive, GaN has unleashed unprecedented capabilities and new opportunities beyond the limits of existing technologies.According to Transparency Market Research, the global GaN semiconductor devices market is expected to reach a valuation of ~US $4 Billion by the end of 2027. Of the key end-use industries utilizing GaN semiconductors, the aerospace and defense sector dominates, accounting for a share of over 42% of the global market in 2015 alone.IGaN offers a ‘one-stop solution’ approach for GaN-on-Si epiwafers and GaN fab on 200mm platform with its automotive-qualified foundry partner, to provide solutions suited for power, radio frequency (RF), sensor products and sustainable energy management applications.
CARCASSONNE, France, (Reuters) – Denmark’s Magnus Cort Nielsen claimed victory on the Tour de France when he prevailed in a three-man sprint at the end of a long breakaway in the 15th stage yesterday. The Astana rider was the overwhelming favourite as a sprint specialist in the finale and he duly delivered, comfortably beating Spain’s Ion Izagirre and Dutchman Bauke Mollema, who were second and third, respectively.It is Cort Nielsen’s third grand tour win after he won two stages in the Vuelta a Espana in 2016, and Astana’s second in this year’s Tour after Omar Fraile won Saturday’s 14th stage.“Everything went very well … it’s the best victory of my career,” said Cort Nielsen. “I was feeling good in the finale and felt confident. I did exactly what I wanted to do in terms of strategy.”Briton Geraint Thomas retained the overall lead after a 181.5-km hilly ride from Millau through the vineyards of Minervois, Corbieres and Cabardes in Southwestern France.He leads Team Sky team mate and defending champion Chris Froome by 1:39 and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin by 1:50 before today’s rest day as the race heads to the Pyrenees. A 29-man breakaway took shape early on, and after they had built an advantage of more than 10 minutes to make sure the win would be decided between them, the fireworks started. Tour debutants Fabien Grellier and Julien Bernard, the son of Jean-Francois, third overall in the 1987 race, attacked with 70 kilometres left.But Poland’s Rafal Majka, who has three Tour stage wins to his name, jumped away from the group and chased the duo down, whizzing past them to reach the top of the Pic de Nore, a 12.3-km climb at an average gradient of 6.3 percent, in first position.He had a 30-second lead, but with a flat, crosswind-exposed stretch leading to the line, his chances were slim and he was caught by a group of seven chasers. France’s Lilian Calmejane, in his home region, had no team mate in the group unlike Cort Nielsen, Mollema and Izagirre. He was isolated when things heated up and had to concede defeat, breaking down in tears after crossing the line in seventh place, 34 seconds off the pace.The peloton crossed the line 13:11 behind.France’s Romain Bardet, fifth overall, attacked in the descent from the Pic de Nore and went off the road, in a desperate attempt to unsettle his rivals. “That was crazy,” said Thomas.
The following guest editorial is written by Robert Escandon, a former Wellington High School teacher and lived 2/3 of his life in Great Britain. by Robert Escandon, special to Sumner Newscow — I’ve have lived one third of my working life in our great nation and two thirds in Britain. This is (and continues to be) a privilege.Reading about another country is very good! Visiting on vacation is even better.Robert EscandonBut there is no substitute for living your life, for many years, in both. Only when you live, work and become a community member of a society, do you really gain a deep understanding of the culture. I am indeed privileged to have been able to do so. I offer some observations.There are more similarities than differences, between the U.S. and Britain. However, there are just a few departures which are notable. One specific example concerns healthcare: Britain has a nationalized healthcare system and not an Insurance-based model.We are all familiar with the American insurance-based health insurance system but the nation appears confused about how insurance providers, employers (and citizens themselves) can survive the ever-increasing costs. If you have a good job with an organization that funds insurance payments then you are probably pleased with the system. If you are outside that arena, then the cost of healthcare for yourself or your family can be a frightening prospect. In many instances, choices will come down to food and clothes versus health coverage.So how does the British system work?Every employee has around 5 percent of their salary deducted at source. Their employer matches this to the tune of about 12 percent. This money goes into the National Insurance pot to pay for State Pension at retirement and to pay for all Healthcare. This means that Healthcare is free at the point of delivery.Maybe, this is best shown by personal example: Fifteen years ago (when living in England) I visited my local doctor with symptoms that were concerning. My doctor suspected cancer and wrote a letter to the Urologist at our local hospital.After the expected battery of CT scans and blood-work, I was diagnosed with a very large, malignant tumor on my right kidney. Within one week, I was operated for its removal. There followed home visits, recuperation and the standard check-ups every three, then six, months.I had only to worry about my health and recovery. At no time would I be receiving a bill from ANY of the medical services that had attended me. The National Healthcare is a service to which everybody pays a flat tax — it is not a business!There are private hospitals for those who want to pay, but those individuals will still have to contribute to the National Health system. The provision of Healthcare for all, regardless of wealth (or lack of wealth) is considered a government priority for its citizens. Any government that even attempted to remove it would immediately be voted out of office.So, does the U.S. insurance-based model provide better healthcare than the British nationalized version??? This is perhaps the fundamental question to ask! I decided to research two issues in making a comparison.———The first was the expected lifespan. This has to be the bottom-line for any society. Does the existing health provision, within the country, lead to a longer life? The apparent answer is no, as the current average lifespan for a U.S. citizen is 79.68 years compared with 80.54 years for a citizen of Britain. Essentially, there is no statistical difference.The second was what is the financial burden (to a country) for looking after the health of its citizens? Here we have a big mismatch in the costs. The U.S. spends 16.4 percent of its GDP for health provision. Britain spends 8.5 percent of its GDP and life expectancy is the same for both nations.Beyond numerical figures, maybe we should think about what a caring society really is. Should we even allow ourselves to have a tiered system of healthcare which is fine for the better-off citizens who can afford insurance premiums and co-pays and deductibles and Rx costs etc. — BUT presents a frightening prospect for those lower on the financial ladder?Should a single mom working hard to keep food on the table, have to ignore her childâ€™s crooked teeth because she cannot afford braces? Her neighborâ€™s child has no such concerns because her family happens to be reasonably well-off and can pay for dental orthodontic work. One child may grow up looking attractive while the other may not.And then there is the problem with so-called Job-Lock where an employee cannot move jobs due to constraints of health insurance or is afraid to be an entrepreneur for fear of being without health cover.And what about Obamacare? Like it or not, this was a genuine and sincere effort to address the fact that so many citizens were not covered by health insurance. Now it is becoming clear that the insurance providers are putting up the rates (between 20 and 80 percent depending on the State) because it is not profitable for them to support.This should come as no surprise —- I would maintain that any health care system operated in a profit-or-loss environment would suffer a similar fate.It is often forgotten that a significant percentage of our population does already enjoy a form of nationalized system of healthcare which is free at the point of delivery —- for themselves and their families, for life. These are members of our armed forces, both serving and retired.How many of our service men and women would opt out of their socialized healthcare, to buy private health insurance on the open market, if given the choice? I guess the answer would be none.Much of what we all expect from life is due to social indoctrination. In considering the case for the provision of healthcare, Americans have been conditioned to think of the word health as synonymous with the word insurance.This need not be so, especially when we consider the U.S. is almost alone in the developed world in not providing nationalized, non-profit health care for its citizens. The most important possession in life is our health: surely our health should not be subject to a profit and loss business model.Robert Escandon Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter.