Global COVID-19 Monument Design Competition Winner Announced

Casey Schachner

COVID-19 Monument Design Contest winner Prof Casey Schachner

CHICAGO, Nov. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The COVID-19 Monument Commission announces the winner of their global design contest for the COVID-19 Monument of Honor, Remembrance, and Resilience, scheduled to unveil spring 2025 in Chicago, Illinois. Casey Schachner, Assistant Professor of Art in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University, has won the $20,000 prize. Her sculpture concept features the dandelion flower as a metaphor for the worldwide pandemic experience. Visually, she references the starburst dandelion’s aesthetic affinity to the official CDC renderings of the COVID-19 virus. Metaphysically, her vision embodies beauty through ashes, rebirth, hope, and resilience—seminal emotions which the Commission set out to promulgate.

Professor Schachner earned her BFA in Sculpture from Baylor University and her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Montana. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally, ranging from temporary site-specific installations to permanent public artworks. In 2011, she served as an Artist in Residence at the University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art in Cortona, Italy and in 2012 as an Artist in Residence at the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center in Vermont. She was the 2017 Emerging Artist for Blackfoot Pathways, an International Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Montana. In 2018, she received a People’s Choice award at the Public Art Exhibition on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. In 2022, Schachner was one of three recipients of the Georgia Sea Grant for Artists, Writers, and Scholars program. She currently lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband and 3-year-old daughter, who was born during the first year of the pandemic. Schachner shared the surreal experience of receiving her first ultrasound during her pregnancy in the backseat of her car. These events contributed to her visceral and personal reactions navigating the pandemic in the early lockdown days and resonated in her desire to create a design for the Hektoen COVID-19 Monument competition.

The competition ran from April to September of this year and was open to everyone throughout the world over the age of 18. A robust social media campaign encouraged the global citizenry to participate, as according to Commission Chair Dr. Sally Metzler, “The pandemic affected us all; it was 100% inclusive. Every citizen, nation, race, & religion experienced the pandemic. Whether at best, lockdown, or at worst, loss of life or loss of a loved-one, COVID-19 left no one unscathed.”

The Illinois Medical District (IMD) ( a special-use urban zoning area of 560 acres in Chicago, has generously donated the land for the monument, which will incorporate a park that will harmonize with the nature theme of the dandelion monument. The site will welcome all to reflect on the pandemic as a collective and individual experience. Incorporated into the park will be tributes to frontline workers of all facets and to those who lost their lives in the pandemic’s scourge.

Embracing over two hundred variegated species, dandelions grow throughout the world, thus the familiarity of the flower, concomitant with the folklore of blowing on a dandelion to fulfill a wish, engender the appeal of Schachner’s design. The omnipresence of the dandelion embodies universality and inclusion. Ms. Allyson Hanson, the CEO and Executive Director of the IMD, cited her enthusiasm for Schachner’s design visually and for the revered medicinal qualities of the dandelion, as the IMD hosts four premiere hospitals in addition to over 40 healthcare and scientific research facilities.

Metzler emphasized the dual nature of the COVID-19 Monument, that of a physical and potent virtual presence. Funding for the monument is a grass-roots effort, and the volunteer-led Commission encourages everyone throughout the world to donate what they can, even $10 will make a difference, directly through the website: ( Corporate sponsorships will provide worldwide recognition at the monument site and on the website, which will offer in perpetuity a virtual platform for the global pandemic experience.

For those who perished, for those who lost a loved-one, for those who have recovered, and for those who courageously and selflessly served during the darkest and most uncertain days of the pandemic, the COVID-19 Monument will mark an event in history that must not be forgotten. Please visit the website to read more and donate today! (

Interested parties are encouraged to follow the monument on social media:

For more information:
Dr. Sally Metzler,

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

A video accompanying this announcement is available at

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Schneider Electric integrates Hailo Technologies processors for greater AI capabilities

  • Low-power consumption processors enable real-time, high-accuracy data analysis at the edge
  • Increases the intelligence and efficiency of industrial automation solutions

Rueil-Malmaison (France), November 16, 2023 Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today announced a technology collaboration with Hailo Technologies, a leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) chipmaker, to integrate Hailo’s advanced processors within Schneider Electric solutions.
AI offers significant benefits in enhancing the performance, efficiency and capabilities of industrial automation systems, allowing industries across all segments to better position themselves for the future.

By integrating the Hailo-8 AI processor within its industrial automation solutions, Schneider Electric will unlock new intelligence at the edge and drive innovation for its customers, with significant and immediate improvements across several common manufacturing tasks, including:

  • Pick and place: achieving object detection tasks six times faster than central processing units (CPUs)
  • Quality control: running classification processes 20 times faster than a CPU
  • Yield optimization: improving output and throughput, reducing waste by 15% on average

Hailo Technologies is leading the AI chip industry for edge devices, with technology enabling new compute possibilities for sectors like automotive, security, retail, and manufacturing. Its Hailo-8 processor is an efficient and compact AI processor with low power consumption, enabling real-time, high-accuracy data analysis at the edge.
“We are always looking to partner with companies that can help us deliver the most cutting-edge solution available on the market,” said Aurelien LeSant, Senior Vice President Innovation & Technology and Chief Technology Officer, Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric. “The Hailo collaboration reinforces our commitment to innovation and next-generation technology. It signifies an important step in delivering intelligent, energy-efficient solutions that will shape the future of industries.”
“We are proud to work with Schneider Electric, an industry pioneer that has recognized the transformative potential of integrating AI capabilities into its industrial automation solutions,” said Eyal Barnea, VP of Business Development at Hailo Technologies. “Our technology will empower its customers to create new powerful, cost-efficient, and smart AI-based solutions quickly and easily.”

Schneider Electric demonstrated the collaboration with Hailo Technologies at the Smart Production Solutions (SPS) event in Nuremberg, Germany, on November 14 – 16. At booth 540 in Hall 1, visitors saw how it delivers a solution that combines multi-carrier machine applications, robotics, and AI to pick a chip from a circuit board quickly and efficiently.

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About Schneider Electric

Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.

Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency.

We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.

We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.

About Hailo

Hailo, an AI-focused chipmaker, is developing specialized AI processors that enable data center-class performance on edge devices. Hailo’s processors are the product of a rethinking of traditional computer architecture, enabling smart devices to perform sophisticated deep learning tasks such as object detection and segmentation in real-time, with minimal power consumption, size, and cost. The processors are designed to fit into a multitude of smart machines and devices, impacting a variety of sectors including automotive, security, industry 4.0, and retail. For more information visit

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Floship Selected to Join HKSTP Elite Programme, Affirming Innovativeness & Growth Potential

HONG KONG, Nov. 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Floship, a leading global circular supply chain solutions provider, is delighted to announce its selection to join the prestigious Hong Kong Science and Technology Park’s (HKSTP) Elite Programme. This recognition further solidifies Floship’s position as a frontrunner in the supply chain software industry, with the potential to become the leading company worldwide.

Being named to the Elite Programme is a significant milestone for Floship, as it joins an exclusive portfolio of the most innovative companies in Hong Kong. This achievement follows a series of remarkable developments for the fast-growing tech company over the past year. These include a strategic commercial partnership with logistics giant FedEx, a groundbreaking collaboration with US-based tech firm Zonos, and the esteemed recognition of being named to The Leading 100 List.

Expressing his excitement, Joshua Tsui, CEO of Floship, stated, “Being selected to join the HKSTP Elite Programme is a tremendous privilege and adds to what has already been a momentous year in our growth. We’re thrilled to be among the most forward-thinking and innovative businesses in Hong Kong as a leading LogTech company. Floship’s vision is to create the most comprehensive integrated logistics software on the market, and receiving this support from the Elite Programme and HKSTP reinforces our aspiration to become the go-to software for supply chain management worldwide.”

The HKSTP Elite Programme is an exclusive 3-year milestone-based funding initiative that offers assistance to technology enterprises demonstrating strong growth potential to expand their business beyond Hong Kong, with the ultimate objective of becoming a unicorn. As an Elite Programme company, Floship will gain access to HKSTP’s world-class equipment, software and lab facilities, in addition to receiving expert guidance, support, and funding.

To showcase its innovative technology, Floship participated in the HKSTP Openhouse event, Hong Kong’s largest platform for technology and innovation, on 7 November. At this event, Floship had the chance to present its cutting-edge solutions to over 100 business leaders and investors. In addition, Floship will present its circular logistics solutions as part of HKSTP’s connective Digital Membership Program under the Mobility & Logistics Solutions Catalogue.

About Floship

Floship’s global circular supply chain ecosystem solutions cover all aspects of the global supply chain, ensuring minimal operation effort for e-commerce businesses, and allowing business owners to concentrate on driving growth with investment flexibility while gaining peace of mind. Learn more at or follow us on LinkedIn.

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Vietnamese President, Malaysian PM lauds strong progress of strategic partnership

Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong received Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in San Francisco on November 16 morning (local time) on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week 2023.

The two leaders expressed their delight at meeting each other again after the Malaysian PM’s official visit to Vietnam in July and applauded the great strides in their countries’ strategic partnership.

President Thuong affirmed that Vietnam treasures the multifaceted cooperation with Malaysia, a partner of leading importance of Vietnam in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

To continue strongly promoting bilateral cooperation, he asked the two sides to implement the outcomes of the Joint Committee’s seventh meeting while soon finalising the negotiations on and signing treaties and agreements to create a basis and framework for more intensive and extensive collaboration.

The State leader of Vietnam called for coordination to bolster trade and investment to raise b
ilateral trade to 18 billion USD in the time ahead, and on the Malaysian Government to assist Vietnamese enterprises to produce and export Halal products to Malaysia.

He thanked Malaysia and expressed his hope that the country will expand assistance in personnel training for Vietnam and boost locality-to-locality ties, including the coming establishment of the twin relationship between Hoi An city of Vietnam and Melaka city of Malaysia.

President Thuong suggested Malaysia create conditions for Vietnam to persuade the European Union to remove the ‘yellow card’ warning against Vietnam’s fisheries sector. He also asked both sides to maintain effective coordination in the repatriation of Vietnamese fishermen.

For his part, PM Ibrahim affirmed that Malaysia attaches special importance to the multifaceted relations with Vietnam.

He said he is impressed with Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements, stressing the wish to enhance cooperation in economy, trade, investment, and manpower training.

Both lea
ders stated that their countries will keep close coordination at regional and international forums such as the United Nations and APEC; strive to maintain the solidarity and centrality of ASEAN to help build an ASEAN Community of strong development, solidarity and resilience; and support Laos to fulfill its chairmanship of ASEAN in 2024.

About issues of shared concern, including the East Sea, they agreed to support the maintenance of the common viewpoint of guaranteeing peace and stability, seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and working towards a code of conduct (COC) in the waters that is substantive, effective, and in conformity with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

PM Ibrahim voiced his hope that President Thuong will pay a visit to Malaysia in the near future./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

President receives US special envoy for climate John Kerry in San Fransisco

President Vo Van Thuong received US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry in San Francisco on November 16 during his trip to the US to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and bilateral activities.

President Thuong hailed efforts by the two countries in realising the high-level agreements reached during the Vietnam visit by President Joe Biden, making the bilateral partnership more substantial and stable.

He welcomed the US to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam, especially in the fields that Kerry pays attention to such as climate change response and energy transition.

The Vietnamese State leader highly valued the efforts by President Biden and the special envoy in enhancing the awareness and actions to deal with climate change, affirming that Vietnam wants to foster collaboration with the US in this field in a way that suits Vietnam’s socio-economic conditions and meets the interest of people of the two countries.

Energy transition must ensure the principle of equality, he said, underlini
ng that Vietnam has continued to implement overall and drastic measures to promote green growth and climate change mitigation, including the approval of the National Power Development Planning for the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2050, which aims to switch from the use of fossil fuels to renewable and new energy towards the net-zero emission target by 2050.

President Thuong also noted his hope that the US side will continue to create more favourable conditions for the implementation of projects to support energy transition and optimise the renewable energy potential in Vietnam, contributing to ensuring long-term energy security.

For his part, Kerry affirmed that the US always values relations with Vietnam and supports the Southeast Asian country in playing an active and practical role in the region.

The US will continue to assist Vietnam in enhancing its capacity in climate change adaptation, pollution control and sustainable management of resources, while assisting the country in exploiting and using
existing resources in an environmentally friendly manner at a reasonable cost in order to reduce the dependence on imported fuels, he pledged.

The US will also support Vietnam in improving its management capacity in the field of environment, he added.

The US official hailed Vietnam’s prompt action in consulting international partners to finalise the Resource Mobilisation Plan (RMP) for the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in the next 3-5 years right after adopting the Political Declaration on establishing the JETP.

Kerry emphasised that the US is ready to conduct high-level cooperation with Vietnam to ensure that the 28th UN Climate Conference (COP28) will produce positive results.

He affirmed that as a longtime friend of Vietnam, he will continue to advocate support for resilience building for vulnerable communities in the Mekong Delta./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Conference boosts sharing of correctional administration experience

The 41st Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA 41) concluded in Hanoi on November 16 after five working days.

During the event, six sessions and five panel discussions were held so that participants worked out measures to improve the effectiveness of prison management and education.

They also participated in some fringe activities, including fact-finding trips to the Quang Ninh and Thanh Xuan prisons.

Highly valuing Vietnam’s organisation of the APCCA 41, Prof. Neil Morgan and Irene Morgan, rapporteurs at the APCCA, said the conference was a chance for countries to learn prison management and education experiences from one another.

Chair of the APCCA 41 Lt. Gen. Le Minh Hung said the international and regional economic, political, and security situations are still witnessing complex developments that affect prison management, requiring the APCCA to actively devise strategic cooperation measures so as to ensure effective prison management, correctional activities, and social r
eintegration for ex-inmates.

He noted that at the event, participants pledged to continue increasing cooperation, exchanges, experience sharing, and joint dialogues to further improve prison management and education to help offenders become good citizens and create a healthy social environment for the development of countries and territories in the region.

This year’s event brought together more than 200 delegates from 25 countries, three international organisations, and 18 diplomatic agencies. This was the second time the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security had hosted the rotating conference.

At the closing ceremony, Hung handed over the APCCA flag to Wang Kwok-Hing, head of the delegation of Hong Kong (China), which will host the 42nd APCCA in November 2024./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency