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Metamaterial Technologies Inc. partners with Airbus to co-develop and Commercialize metaAIR

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) and its optical filters division, Lamda Guard, announced that it has entered into a new agreement with leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus to validate, certify, and commercialize its laser protection product metaAIR, for aviation. In 2014, MTI signed its first agreement with Airbus to test and tailor metaAIR, which is a flexible metamaterial optical filter, engineered to protect vision against harmful laser beams aimed at aircraft.

Laser strikes on commercial aircraft are rising globally and laser pointers are increasing in power and decreasing in price. Lasers can distract pilots during critical phases of flight and can cause temporary visual impairment. In 2015, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the number of reported laser incidents nearly doubled to 7,703 in commercial aviation. In 2015, there were 1,439 laser incidents reported to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK and there were almost 600 reported by Transport Canada.

“We know from facts and conversations with clients that cockpit illuminations are real, immediate and increasing in frequency, and metaAIR will benefit our customers,” said Pascal Andrei, Vice President, Chief Product Security Officer at Airbus. “We also see an increasing number of possible applications for metaAIR, beyond the commercial aircraft division.”

MTI is a great example of Airbus “start-up 2 partner” program led by Elsa Keita from Airbus Corporate Innovation. This program aims at building mutually beneficial partnerships with disruptive innovators and Airbus has been working in a successful and collaborative approach with MTI to accelerate their laser protection solution for the benefit of its customers.

“Our objective is to place Canada and its citizens on innovation’s leading edge. The presence of Airbus here today demonstrates that highly skilled Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs, like those at MTI, are creating innovative solutions to global problems,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canadian Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Airbus as we move to commercialize metaAIR. Together we will be able to make a positive impact on the aviation industry around the world,” said Maurice Guitton, MTI Board Chairman.

“Today marks another milestone in our strategic partnership with Airbus. We are given the opportunity to propel our platform technology and learn from some of the top aerospace engineers while understanding the rigours of developing a product for the aerospace industry,” said George Palikaras, MTI Founder and CEO. “metaAIR will provide vision protection to pilots in the aviation industry and can offer solutions in other industries including the military, transportation and glass manufacturers.”

MTI has also developed a partnership with Covestro, one of the world’s leading companies for high-tech polymers. Covestro supplies a custom Bayfol HX photopolymer film for the manufacturing of metaAIR.

“MTI is at the cutting edge of optical applications. They have developed a unique optical filter that is different from anything currently available on the market, and we have been working with them for the last two years to provide a speciality photopolymer material film and support the required volume,” said Thomas Facke, responsible for marketing and business development of photopolymer films at Covestro. “Safety is very important to our company, and we are excited to be a part of this solution.”

Southern Illinois state workers pray for resolution to budget crisis

VIENNA A group of state workers is planning a prayer rally Saturday as the state budget impasse drags on. My Brother s Keeper is hosting the event at 10 a.m. at the Vienna City Park, not far from Shawnee Correctional Center and Vienna Correctional Center. By the end of the week, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is expected to announce the results of a first-ever statewide strike authorization vote as talks with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration have been at a standstill for more than a year.

An affirmative vote would not mean a strike is imminent, but would give the bargaining committee the ability to call for one if AFSCME leaders deem it necessary, said union spokesman Anders Lindall. But an affirmative majority would undoubtedly intensify the feud with Rauner. Marsha Griffin, who organized the faith-based rally in Vienna did not mention the strike authorization vote, but said the event was meant to show support for Corrections employees in dangerous jobs.

Griffin, who ran for state representative in 2016, said she organized the upcoming activity because I wanted to provide workers throughout our state a time to gather in solidarity and provide them with a day of hope as we gather to pray for our state, Southern Illinois workers and a resolution to the budget crisis.

It is vital that the budget impasse is ended, so we can attract industry and experience job creation, Griffin said. AFSCME was among Griffin’s biggest organizational supporters in her Illinois General Assembly campaign. A strike authorization vote could lead to chaos at some of the largest facilities in Southern Illinois that provide critical services for vulnerable people,including Choate Mental Health and Development Center and the Illinois Veterans Home of Anna, Chester Mental Health and the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. State employees who help people sign up for food benefits and Medicaid also could walk off the job, if a strike were to be called.

The law prohibits correctional officers and lieutenants at state prisons, boot camps and juvenile justice facilities from striking, and instead would lead to binding arbitration as it relates to those specific job classifications. But prisons also could be affected by a walkout, as non-security support services personnel are not prohibited from striking.

Lindall said all union workers at mental health facilities would have the legal ability to walk off the job in the event of a strike, even though people in these facilities have been court ordered for treatment following involvement with the criminal justice system or through the civil commitment process because it has been determined they could be a danger to themselves or others.

The administration would have the right to hire temporary workers willing to cross a picket line. Dennis Murashko, the governor s general counsel, said Rauner could fill spots by mobilizing the Illinois National Guard. However, the governor’s office has not released any specific plan as to how it might respond to a strike. Catherine Kelly, a Rauner spokeswoman, said, We continue to hope AFSCME chooses not to strike over the administration s contract that includes a 40-hour workweek, merit pay and the use of volunteers, and therefore remain committed on working with the union to implement the terms of the contract that is similar to contracts ratified by 20 other unions. One of the main issues in the dispute is the employee cost of health care. The governor declared an impasse a year ago, and was upheld by the Illinois Labor Relations Board. The impasse declaration is the subject of a pending legal battle.

AFSCME strike authorization voting concluded this past weekend. The statewide tally will take place in an undisclosed location with results expected by the end of the week.

Don’t miss another special section.

Chattanooga utilities warn customers to be wary of imposters attempting scams

Chattanooga utilities are warning their customers not to be fooled by imposters claiming to be collecting water, gas or water bills over the telephone or via email or those who try to gain access to your home without proper identification.

“We ask our customers to remain vigilant against utility imposters who use scare tactics and fraudulent attempts to solicit immediate payments with cash or debit cards,” said EPB Chief Information and Security Officer David Johnson. “EPB does not demand payments with reloadable debit cards to prevent immediate service disconnections, and we never use online pop-up messaging to solicit payments or to verify customer information.”

Tennessee American Water, Chattanooga Gas and EPB officials on Tuesday urged consumers to be wary of utility worker imposters who try to scam customers either in person at their home or business or by phone. During a news conference Tuesday to warn customers of scams in the area, officials said legitimate utility workers with Chattanooga Gas, EPB and Tennessee American Water always will wear a uniform with the company logo, present a photo ID badge and drive work vehicles that prominently display the company’s name when coming to a private residence or business to perform work.

“Each utility involved in this effort wants each customer to be armed with the facts so they know how to respond if faced with a scam,” said Larry Buie, Chattanooga Gas regional director. Field employees with Tennessee American Water, Chattanooga Gas and EPB who are working at a home or business would not ask that a payment be made through them. Instead, they would direct customers to the appropriate payment phone number or authorized in-person payment locations.

“We want our customers to recognize the difference between a legitimate utility worker and an impersonator so they can protect themselves,” said Tennessee American Water President Valoria Armstrong.

Customers also should be aware that some scammers are able to change the number on caller ID to appear as a legitimate phone call. Customers with any doubts of the legitimacy of a worker at their property or from a phone call should contact the appropriate utility as well as local law enforcement.

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