Exosquelette-armure TALOS : le projet progresse

VMF 214 - le blog

talos1

Dans ce blog, on aime bien également suivre le devenir des innovations qui ont déjà fait l’objet d’un article. En l’occurrence, un petit coup de projecteur sur TALOS. Si vous vous en souvenez (voir cet article), TALOS – pour Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit – est une armure individuelle développée pour les besoins des forces spéciales américaines (US SOCOM). Elle consiste en une panoplie technologique très impressionnante censée rentrer en service en 2018, en vue d’assurer une protection balistique optimale aux fantassins.

talos5

En particulier, TALOS possède une armure liquide intégrée, activée par champ électrique (rappel : il s’agit d’un matériau magnétorhéologique à base de nanoparticules, capable de changer son état de liquide à solide en quelques millisecondes, lorsqu’un champ magnétique ou électrique est appliqué). Lors de la conférence 2016 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), l’US SOCOM est revenu sur le projet pour en donner les avancées actuelles.

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Au-delà…

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Enjeux de l’analyse de l’information stratégique

Chercher, collecter et stocker de l’information n’est plus un enjeu à part entière. Les différents moteurs de recherche, les outils de veille ou les bases de données et le « Big Data » permettent d’avoir trop d’information quant aux évolutions d’un pays, d’un industrie ou d’un pays. Il ne s’agit donc plus de trouver ou d’avoir de l’information mais de l’exploiter avec les bonnes méthodes et outils, en permanence, dans toutes les langues, afin de fournir aux responsables des hypothèses afin de prendre des décisions. L’autre caractéristique de l’environnement informationnel est qu’il est décloisonné ou « trans-disciplinaire »: facteurs économiques, politiques, sécuritaires ou militaires influent sur l’activités des entreprises ou des administrations.

L’Université de Strasbourg, dans le cadre de la formation continue, proposer de créer une formation pour appréhender ces enjeux: l’objectif est de former des analystes stratégiques aux contextes internationaux, aux méthodes d’analyses existantes et à la gestion de l’analyse dans un contexte opérationnel. Les domaines couverts seront les questions/enjeux des domaines suivants : criminalité organisée, opérations militaires, globalisation économique, négociations diplomatiques. L’enseignement comprendra des présentations théoriques, des modules spécialisés par domaine, des mises en pratiques des méthodes. Il s’agit d’une formation complémentaire de celles en intelligence économique ou de celles spécialisées dans les métiers du renseignement.

La spécificité est concentrer dans une formation unique l’ensemble des outils et méthodes existants permettant d’analyser l’information stratégique de plusieurs domaines d’applications : l’économie, l’investigation judiciaire, le contexte géopolitique et sécuritaire. La démarche d’analyse de l’information est commune malgré les différences de ces domaines. Il s’agit d’enseigner une méthode systémique d’emploi des méthodes d’analyse existantes. Cela permet de proposer des analystes aux administrations dédiées à ces questions (Ministère des Finances, de la Défense, de l’Intérieur, des Affaires Etrangères ou de la Justice) mais également aux entreprises confrontées à la gestion de ces questions dans leurs activités à l’international.

Pour toute information: Diplôme d’université Méthodes d’analyse de l’information stratégique

Return of Iranian Ports in the Post Sanction Era

Return of Iranian Ports in the Post Sanction Era

Iranian economy in a glance

     Islamic Republic of Iran is an outstanding figure in terms of geo-economics and geo-politics. As the largest nation in Middle East and Central Asia, Iran is an economic power in terms of international trade, industry and agriculture, energy and natural resources, science and technology, tourism and logistics. In spite of all unprecedented global pressures in the past three decades, Iran is the land of resources and opportunities. Among the great features of Iranian economy, we can point to:

  •  80 million population with progressive improvement of human development ( HDI reported to be 0.749 in 2014)[1]
  • highly developed human capitals in form of young educated workforce.
  • second global place in terms of natural gas reservoirs (34,020 billion Cubic meters) and third in terms of production (1.626 trillion cubic meters in 2013)[2,3]
  • Fourth global place in terms of proven oil reservoir (157,530 million barrels) and fifth in terms of production (3.4 million barrels per day of petroleum and other liquids in 2014) [2,4]
  • 7 percent share of mineral reserves in the world (Aluminum, Copper, Zinc, Magnesium, Chrome, Lead, Sulfur, talc, Gypsum, Phosphates , cement, silica, Gold, Uranium, Titanium, Gem Stones, and many more)[5,6]
  • Significant industrial production in more than 40 industries including metals and alloys, automotive, petrochemicals, petroleum refinery, defense, Chemicals, Food and drinks, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare, construction, transport, tourism, retail, Shipbuilding, Power, telecommunication, electronics, and so on.
  • Great agricultural production (classified among the top 40 countries in 12 categories out of 13 categories of agricultural products) with an estimate of 3 billion USD agricultural production in 2015.[7,8]
  • Foreign trade including 32,495 million USD non-oil exports, 53,652 million USD Petroleum exports and 51,560 million USD imports[4,9]

      Many of mentioned figures, though still significant in stature, reflect the induced contraction in Iranian economy within the duration of globally-enforced economic sanctions. Indeed, the real capacities and capabilities of Iranian economy are far beyond this projection. This is the main reason for the rush of global economic players to Iranian markets in the advent of post-sanctions era. As appreciated by specialists and researchers, opening of Iran’s mega-market to foreign investment can provide new investment opportunities with estimated value of 600-800 billion USD within the next decade [10, 11, and 12].

     It is a fact that Iran’s role in global economy cannot be overlooked: the world needs Iran as much as Iran needs the world. The time has come for the world to deal with Iran as a global player and regional partner that is willing to contribute to peace, stability and development. In this paper we review the status of Iranian ports sector and the benefits that it can offer to world trade. We will focus more on container ports that are capable of serving various supply chains.

 Iran: the potential crossroad of trade

   Iran is geographically located in the intersection of Middle East, and Central and South Asia. It borders 16 countries by land, water and sea[1]. In this sense, Iran is the second state in terms of number of neighbor countries. Iran has 890 kilometers of coastline in her north that covers the entire southern bottom of Caspian Sea, and 4900 Kilometers of coastline in her south that covers the entire northern expanse of the Oman Sea and Persian Gulf. Oman Sea is connected to the Indian Ocean, the most strategic ocean in the world. Associated with a total 2.5 billion population in her littoral states, Indian Ocean provides access to emerging and booming economies of new millennium and their markets.

 Exhibit 1 – Map of some proposed International North-South Transport Corridor passing Iranian Territory

   Accordingly Indian Ocean has evolved into the greatest maritime highway for transport of energy and trade that attracts half of container ships, two third of oil tankers, and one third of bulk carriers of the world. The linkage of Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman to Indian Ocean provides the connection of Central Asia and Middle East to the global maritime transport network.

     Indeed all of the northern, western and eastern neighbors of Iran can be accounted as her potential hinterlands: Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, NaKhjavan, and Kazakhstan are landlocked and do not have access to open seas. There are also landlocked states that are not direct neighbors of Iran, but border her neighbor states: these include Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

      In spite of access to open seas, states like Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria not only have serious issues in terms of availability of port facilities and infrastructure, but also face serious national security issues. As the most politically stable and logistically capable country in the region, Iran is the best choice to serve the trade to these states.
Iran is also the best route for transit of trade flows from South Asia (and Far East) to states like Georgia, Turkey, westbound Russia, Ukraine, and even further to the EU states. The potential transit capability is usually recognized as proposed Transport Corridor concepts. Iran is also incorporated in several other proposed corridors (as shown in exhibit1), including North-South Corridor (INSTC), Europe-Caucasus-Asia Corridor (TRACECA), and Silk Road Corridor. In 2014, the total GDP and population of the 17 hinterland states of Iranian ports in Eurasia and Central Asia have been 3,600 billion USD and 547 million people respectively.

    In the south, Iran borders with six countries of (Persian) Gulf Council, and Iraq by sea. These are emerging markets and Iran not only has good ties with them but also has substantial trades with UAE, and Iraq . The Persian Gulf Council states are mostly oil-driven economies with total GDP of 1,650 billion USD and aggregate population of 50 million people (excluding Iraq).

 Iranian Ports: the natural choice

      Shanghai International Shipping Institute has forecasted that within the coming ten years, the demand for container ports in Persian Gulf will grow (by a 65.44% increase) to 49.4 million TEU. According to this report, we can estimate that the transshipment /gateway traffic ratio will rise from 77.36% in 2015 to 80.55% in 2025. This is in disagreement with the natural tendency of shipping and supply chains towards increase of gateway traffic in ports. Indeed, aside from some few instances, ports are normally driven by gateway traffic all around the world, and a/m ratio is usually near 43% (accounting 30% share for transshipment in total port traffic). This natural tendency has been extravagantly breached in Persian Gulf. Instead of directing the supply chains to gateway ports to minimize the cost, time, and unwanted externalities (including the pollution, and natural resources depletion) in delivery of goods to customers in the markets, the industry has switched into transshipment of goods from remote ports on the west side of Hormuz Strait at extra-heavy costs.

     For better understanding, let’s consider two scenarios: in the first scenario, a shipping line sends a 12,000 TEU ship to Jebel Ali in her Middle East Service, and a big part of cargo is transshipped to Bandar Abbas by two smaller 4,500 TEU Ships[2]. In the second scenario, the shipping line sends the 12,000 TEU ship directly to Bandar Abbas. By comparing of costs and externalities of these scenarios, we find that scenario no.1 will require and entail consumption of 1134.2 tons of more fuel, emission of 3534.3 tons of CO2, several days of delay in delivery of goods to customers, thousands of dollars of additional cost per delivery of each container, and hundreds of thousands of dollars for deployment of ships per voyage[3]. This is absolute diseconomy in management of supply chains. These costs and externalities could be pragmatically avoided if the 12,000 TEU vessel was sent directly to Bandar Abbas according to scenario no.2. Unfortunately what has been put into practice for decades is scenario one.

Presently, the Iranian ports sector is capable of channeling one-third of the prevailing gateway container demand in Persian Gulf region. Among the 22 container ports in Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman, Iran has 6 globally renowned ports namely Chabahar, Shahid Rajaee Port, Bushehr Port, Assaluyeh Port, Imam Khomeini Port, and Khoramshahr[4]. These ports are connected to a network of about 85893 Kms of roads, 10407 Kms of railways, 60 airports, and supported by great transport fleets[5] that can channel and distribute the cargo to inbound and peripheral outbound markets [17, and 18]. Moreover on the northern borders, Iran has three major ports that cover the entire southern coastline of Caspian Sea: these are Anzali, Amirabad, and Noshahr. These ports can act as forelands for other Caspian Sea ports (i.e. Baku, Astrakhan, Aktau, Turkmenbashi, etc.). Table 2 indicates the capabilities of Iranian Ports and Maritime Sector within March 2009 and March 2015.

 

Exhibit 2 – MSC Beatice, 13,800 TEU ULCV,  berthed in Shahid Rajaee Port Complex

     Many of Iranian ports are involved in development and capacity extension plans: Shahid Rajaee Port is meant to extend her capacity to 8 million TEU and 150 million tons in few years. Chabahar port has absorbed foreign investment to serve the Southern Asia- Central Asia trade in very near future. Bushehr Port is developing a 600 thousand TEU container terminal in Negin Island, and there are similar developments in BIK, Khoramshahr, Anzali, Amirabad, and Noshahr. Moreover, many infrastructure development projects are getting completed to enhance the connectivity in Iranian transport network: these consist of 11,584 kilometers of roads, 586 kilometers of freeways, and 4,371 Kilometers of railways. Many of these projects are meant to serve as parts of transport corridors that cross Iran, including Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railways, Arak-Kermanshah-Khosravi railways, Anzali-Rasht-Ramsar Freeway, Tabriz-Bazargan Freeway, Astara-Rezvanshahr highway, and many more[22].

      The Iranian territory includes Strait of Hormuz. The strait not only accounts for passage of 35 percent of oil traded by sea, but also facilitates the crossing of around 85,500 vessels per year. This provides best opportunities for development of maritime business clusters in Iranian territory. The cluster may include such businesses as bunkering, maritime insurance, ship repair, salvage, ship chandlery, and many more businesses. The best instance of such businesses is bunkering: according to vicinity to maritime routes, economic supply of oil products, and availability of infrastructure and equipment, Iran is among the best choices to build a stable bunkering market.

     Iran has been working actively to enhance her trade and business environment. Many of Iranian ports have been transformed into free zones and special economic zones. Several exemptions, discounts, and facilitations are in place to support the transit from Iranian land. Iranian state is an influential member of many economic blocs such as Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), GECF and OPEC. Iran is also invited to join Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and bidding to join WTO as well.

     In a nutshell, Iran is moving speedily to gain her merited position as a global participant in economy, international trade, and logistics in the post-sanction era. This can be a turning point in the history of Middle East. Expanded from the heart of the Heartland to the edge of the Rim-lands, Iran is the natural choice of ports and terminals in Middle East. This preference is strongly substantiated by political stability, industrial development, human development, size of accessible markets, transport facilitation, and opportunities for cooperation and investment. The time has come for the world and Iran to recognize the interests of one and another and organize their joint efforts to consolidate them.

 Endnotes

 [1] ) Iran has 6,000 kilometers of land (and river) borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Nakhjavan, Turkey and Iraq. The sea borders include 657 kilometers with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia in Caspian Sea, and 2043 kilometers of sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

[2] )Vessel sizes are selected due to the expected cascading effects in near future.

[3] ) Fuel consumption rates and Carbon dioxide emissions are taken from M.Sisson, and I.M. Vincent Andersen[19, and 20].

[4] ) Other southern Iranian ports are Qeshm, Bandar Lengeh, Kish, Assaluyeh, Kharg, Mahshahr, Abadan, Lavan, Gonaveh. There are some other promising and/or developing ports in terms of container throughput like Souza port and Jask port. In addition, there are around 100 small and local ports in Iranian coastlines.

[5] )The Iranian national maritime fleet includes a total capacity of 106429 TEU container, 1338946 million gross tonnage in bulk, and 404225 gross tonnage in general cargo in IRISL. The hauliers fleet consists of 423,000 lorries and trucks. The national railways fleet consists of 444 locomotives and more than 22000 railcars in operations.

References:

Note : This technical paper has been published on Port Technology International in September 2015, and it is available from this link from PTI’s website (bit.ly/1QYNev0). The author specially thanks Messrs. J.A.A. Khan, and R.Joy from Port Technology International.

SME / SMI : mitigate the legal risk internationally

SME and SMI can be exposed to various criminal risks in their international operations: funds’ extorsion, corruption’s request, money laundering, hostile takeover.

I’ll speak at « International Competitive/Market Intelligence Conference 2016: 19-22 April »

International Competitive/Market Intelligence Conference 2016:

Shaping the Future Through Competitive and Market Intelligence

It’s my pleasure to invite you to Europe’s leading competitive and
market intelligence conference!
The motto of this year’s conference is: “Shaping the future
through market and compe­titive intel­ligence”. We were plea­santly
surprised by a huge influx of high-quality sub­missions for our call
for spea­kers. Insight­ful, inno­vative, state-of-the-art. It was diffi­cult
to select only a few. See our agenda for an over­view and a compre­hensive description of all ses­sions! Are you ready to
check out the latest vendor of­ferings? Expect inno­vative software
and services provi­ding superior value for your organi­sation.

What’s in it for you?

“Connect” stands for various possi­bili­ties to
connect with your peers and share ex­perien­ces. Breaks, social events, our wall of fame, a job
board, and the networking sessions are all designed to enhance the networ­king oppor­tuni­ties.
Last year we intro­duced the “Uncon­fe­rence” ses­sion – a simple yet compel­ling format:
Par­tici­pants decide on special topics they want
to discuss in small for informal groups.

“Learn” is all about our sessions. Knowledge
sharing
is the name of the game. Corporate practi­tioners will share their experi­ence in
state-of-the-art case studies. Pas­sionate
CI/MI experts will challenge your mind­sets
with ins­piring impulse speeches and ex­perienced
CI prac­titio­ners will pro­vide in-depth
under­standing of key CI methods and tech­niques.
Finally our scientific track offers a unique
per­spec­tive in academic research.

“Grow” your knowledge, grow your network and
finally develop your career! As Amir Fleishmann,
one of last year’s par­tici­pants, stated: “ICI’s
International Compe­ti­tive Intel­ligence Confe­rence
is truly the center of com­peti­tive and market
intel­ligence in Europe”.

Rainer Michaeli

Director
Institute for Competitive Intelligence

The often overlooked link between drug profits and terror

The often overlooked link between drug profits and terror
The use of illegal drugs in funding terrorism needs greater consideration, writes Robert Rotberg.

BREAKING NEWS: Qatar energy minister says oil output freeze agreed with Saudi, Russia, Venezuela | The National

BREAKING NEWS: Qatar energy minister says oil output freeze agreed with Saudi, Russia, Venezuela | The National
Futures had climbed as much as 4 per cent in London, rising for a third day, ahead of the meeting in Doha.

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