Welcome to R&D Market Pulse, a weekly report on the top spenders in research and development.
I’m R&D Magazine Editor Laura Panjwani
Microsoft Works to Close Rural Broadband Gap
Microsoft has announced an initiative to eliminate the rural broadband gap within the next five years.
Today, 23.4 million Americans in rural communities lack broadband internet access. To combat this problem Microsoft is taking a strategic approach that combines private sector capital investments in new technologies and affordable public sector support.
They plan to utilize a technology model that uses a combination of the TV white spaces spectrum, fixed wireless, and satellite coverage can reduce the initial capital and operating costs by roughly 80 percent compared to the cost of using fiber cables alone; and by approximately 50 percent compared to the cost of current fixed wireless technology.
They have already partnered with Agile Networks to bring broadband internet access to rural areas in Ohio, Tribal Digital Village and Numbers4Health to expand internet access and solutions for rural and underserved communities in California and Skylark Wireless to expand internet access in rural West Virginia
Pfizer Invests Millions in New MI Plant
Pfizer is investing $465 million to build one of the most technically advanced sterile injectable pharmaceutical production facilities.
Known as Modular Aseptic Processing (MAP), the new, multi-story, 400,000-square-foot production facility will also support the area’s economy by creating an estimated 450 new jobs over the next several years. This expands Pfizer’s presence in Portage, located in Kalamazoo County, where the company now employs more than 2,200 people at one of its largest plants.
In a statement Ian Read Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Pfizer said:
“This investment is part of our overall plan announced in January to invest approximately $5 billion in U.S.-based capital projects as a result of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. During the next six years, we expect to invest approximately $1.1 billion in Kalamazoo County – which is in addition to the $1 billion we have invested in the site over the past decade
Every day, we strive to enhance our ability to bring medicines to the patients who need them, and the new facility we are building in Michigan will help us continue to deliver therapies that significantly improve people’s lives.”
Amazon Launches Whole Foods Grocery Pickup
Amazon and Whole Foods Market announced the launch of grocery pickup beginning in Sacramento and Virginia Beach, with more cities to come throughout 2018. Prime members can now shop Whole Foods Market’s selection of fresh and organic produce, bakery, dairy, meat and seafood, floral and everyday staples and pick up their order without leaving their car.
To use grocery pickup, Prime members place their order via the Prime Now app and choose the pickup option at checkout. Customers can choose free pickup in one hour on orders of $35, or in 30 minutes for $4.99. After arriving at the Whole Foods Market store, customers park in a reserved pickup spot and a Prime Now shopper will place groceries into their car within minutes.
In a statement: Stephenie Landry, Worldwide Vice President of Prime Now, AmazonFresh and Amazon Restaurants.
“Pickup from Whole Foods Market is a perfect option for customers who want to grab healthy and organic groceries at their convenience, all without leaving their car.”
Check out rdmag.com for More
R&D Magazine follows the top 25 spenders in R&D as part of its R&D Market Pulse Index. The full list of companies as well as expert stock market insight from R&D Magazine’s contributing editor Tim Studt is available each Monday on rdmag.com on the Market Pulse page.
I’m Laura Panjwani and thank you for watching R&D Market Pulse. Join us next week for more R&D business news.