It is Nobel Prize week. As a Swedish citizen I am – like almost every Swede – very proud of the Nobel Prize institution. 

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, and/or scientific advances.

The will of the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes in 1895. 

The prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine were first awarded in 1901, 115 years ago. 

The related Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was established by Sweden’s central bank in 1968. 

Medals made before 1980 were struck in 23 carat gold, and later from 18 carat green gold plated with a 24 carat gold coating. 

Between 1901 and 2015, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 573 times to 900 people and organizations. With some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once, this makes a total of 870 individuals (822 men and 48 women)[2] and 23 organizations.

The prize ceremonies take place annually in Stockholm, Sweden (with the exception of the peace prize, which is held in Oslo, Norway). Each recipient, or laureate, receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money that has been decided by the Nobel Foundation. (As of 2012, each prize was worth SEK8 million or about US$1.2 million, €0.93 million, or £0.6 million.) The Nobel Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in the fields of literature, medicine, physics, chemistry, peace, and economics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences; the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; the Swedish Academy grants the Nobel Prize in Literature; and the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded not by a Swedish organisation but by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

The prize is not awarded posthumously; however, if a person is awarded a prize and dies before receiving it, the prize may still be presented. Though the average number of laureates per prize increased substantially during the 20th century, a prize may not be shared among more than three people.

We are very proud of this Swedish prize, likely the most famous and prestigious award in the world.

Ten intelligent robots have started to work as customs officers at three ports in the cities of Zhuhai and Zhongshan, southern China’s Guangdong Province on Saturday, according to the local customs office.

My friend Yegor Belkov has posted this news on socil media and I think it is a verybijteresting example on innovation in the field of Customs.

They are the first batch of intelligent robots, to be used by Chinese customs at the ports of Gongbei, Hengqin and Zhongshan. The robots, named Xiao Hai, have state-of-the-art perception technology and are able to listen, speak, learn, see and walk.

Based on a specialized customs database, the robots can answer questions in 28 languages and dialects, including Cantonese, Mandarin, English and Japanese.

There are some particular problems they cannot solve, and customs officials said they will link the robots to their customer service hotline in the future.

With face recognition technology, the robots can detect suspicious people and raise an alarm, according to Zhao Min, director of Gongbei customs.

Here is an article about the from China Daily: Robot Customs Officers

Cities are economic and political powerhouses. The GDP of the state of New York is larger than that of Spain or South Korea. In Latin America, São Paulo state alone is richer than Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia combined. Guangdong in China is wealthier than Russia or Mexico.

More than a deliberate choice, paradiplomacy is becoming an inevitable move.

Cities and states manage their own diplomatic networks. Critics assume that only regions that flirt with sovereignty are induced, by the nature of their internal struggles, to establish representations abroad. It’s true that Quebec, Catalonia and Scotland boast the widest and better-resourced diplomatic networks.

However, an increasing number of local governments have also seen the need to open representations in foreign countries to protect and advance their specific interests. For Canadian provinces, US states or German länder, this is a common foreign policy instrument.

Cities and states are also members of international organizations. There are approximately 125 multilateral arrangements of subnational governments.

These arrangements are growing at a rate that far exceeds the establishment of conventional national-state international organizations.

This is a very interering development that will bring a new paradigm and dimension to international cooperation creating  new opportunities. 

Read the interesting article here: WEF: Article
Source: World Economic Forum