In collaboration with researchers from Yale’s Economic Growth Center, the Indian state of Gujarat has launched the world’s first emissions trading system for particulate pollution — soot, smoke, dust, and other solid and liquid particles that are hazardous to human health. The new system could provide a model for the rest of India and the world as a means of reducing air pollution and facilitating economic growth, the researchers said. It is a market-based system where the government sets a cap on emissions of particulate matter and allows industries to buy and sell permits in order to stay below the cap, similar to the policy that successfully reduced acid rain in the United States in the 1990s. The emissions trading system is being piloted in the city of Surat. “With this program, we are kicking off a new era of cleaner production, while lowering industry compliance costs and rewarding plants that cut pollution in low-cost ways,” says Rajiv Kumar Gupta IAS, chair of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board. “We believe using this market-based system will prove that rapid economic growth, ease of doing business, and breathing clean air can all be achieved at the same time.”

America's First Private Moon Lander to be Made in India

The first U.S. lunar lander in the 21st century will be designed in India, the result of NASA’s new willingness to outsource production of its space vehicles. NASA says it will spend more than $250 million hiring private companies to transport scientific missions to the moon. These privately-operated missions, part of the U.S. space agency’s broader rush back to the moon, are designed to gather data about the lunar surface and pilot technologies for landing robotic explorers, Quartz reports. The design and construction of its lander will be performed by TeamIndus, an Indian company. The Indian Space Research Organization is separately planning to launch its first moon lander, Chandrayaan-2, in July 2019. TeamIndus was created in 2010 to take part in the Google Lunar XPrize, a $30 million contest that could be won by sending a robot to the moon. The contest was canceled when it became clear none of the participants would make its deadline.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Planning $7M Investment

KriGen Pharmaceuticals, LLC, announced its intention to invest $7 million for a new pharmaceutical manufacturing project in Harnett County, North Carolina, that is expected to bring more than 100 new jobs to the area over the next several years. The India-based company will renovate an existing facility at 800 Edwards Brothers Drive, Lillington, where it will manufacture medical IV bags and liquid injectables. Lillington Mayor Pro Tem Rupert Langdon said the announcement was a product of multiple agencies working together to achieve results that are beneficial to everyone. “I like to refer to Lillington as a small town with big progressive plans,” said Langdon. “KriGen Pharmaceuticals is helping us fulfill one of those plans by bringing in an exciting new industry with well-paying jobs.” As part of the incentive agreements, KriGen has committed to creating 117 full-time jobs at the manufacturing facility over a five-year period with an average annual wage of $47,479. Dhruv Patel, CFO for KriGen Pharmaceuticals, extended his appreciation to the town, county and state officials for giving the company the opportunity to establish its North American operations in Lillington. “It is my hope that our commerce here will bring a significant impact to the lives of its residents, stakeholders and businesses alike,” said Patel.

Tech Entrepreneur Tej Kohli Pours $100M into AI, ML Ventures

Tej Kohli, a London-based tech entrepreneur, has invested another $100 million into Rewired, a robotics-focused venture studio with a humanitarian bent. Rewired is pioneering investment into artificial intelligence and machine learning ventures that will power the new economy, transform businesses, revolutionize global healthcare and even improve and extend human life. “Conventional wisdom is too cautious. I predict that the global AI sector will be worth $150 trillion by 2025. My forecast is based on a five-part analysis,” Kohli said. He added that the Internet will get to $150 trillion in value. “I am not saying that $150 trillion is based on a complete adoption of AI across everything. I believe $150 trillion is where you get to when keeping our basic human norms and values intact. It is using AI to make our lives more efficient without radically changing our lives to the full extent that AI is capable of. I estimate this value to be three to four times the Internet.” Kohli is a distinguished alumnus of IIT Kanpur. He first rose to success building innovative white label technology and e-commerce solutions for companies during the dot com boom.

TPG Sixth Street Partners, Glendale Energy Ventures Form $500M Partnership

TPG Sixth Street Partners, a global finance and investment business with over $30 billion in assets under management, and Glendale Energy Ventures LLC, a private energy company headquartered in Houston, announced a new oil and gas investment partnership with an initial $500 million in capital commitments. The new partnership will use its flexible capital mandate to directly invest in the development and acquisition of upstream oil and gas assets across the United States. “We are pleased to be partnering with Glendale’s experienced team of oil and gas industry veterans in order to provide operators with the expertise, certainty and stable capital required to meet their short and long-term strategic needs,” said Matt Dillard, partner at TPG Sixth Street. Glendale is led by co-founders Brent Grundberg and Vignesh Proddaturi. Proddaturi added, “We look forward to building upon our existing relationships, forming new collaborations with top-tier producers and being the partner of choice for non-operated capital budgets and OBO divestitures.” The partnership has already deployed funds with the completion of $55 million in acquisitions of non-operated interests in drilling pads located in Oklahoma’s premier STACK play.

By GIOVANNI ALBANESE Jr., India-West Staff Reporter

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