NEWS DIGEST 31.05.2021: UK Gov’t expands its art collection, new seeds rounds in the US

Good morning and happy UK Late May Bank Holiday Monday! While most of us get a day off work in the sunshine, here is your latest news digest brought to you by the HEM Businesses list on Twitter.

The VR Shop, a virtual reality games review site, covers the eventual release of Shootin’ Gallery VR, coming out on the leading Oculus Rift system. Players find themselves in an abandoned amusement park, where a very strange shootout is about to commence. Rated PG, the game has yet to hit the shelves, but you can watch an official trailer for Shootin’ Gallery along with the article to read – Shootin’ Gallery VR (Steam VR) (The VR Shop)

Government Art Collection collaborated with national networks in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland on the £230,000 acquisition project which was organised in response to the impact of the pandemic on the visual arts sector. Visual arts networks from across the UK were asked to nominate outstanding artists in their area to take part in the project which has supported 45 artists and resulted in over 90 works entering the Government Art Collection. Leslie Thompson, an artist based in Manchester and supported by charity Venture Arts supporting people with learning difficulties, is one artist whose work has now been acquired by the Government Art Collection. The Government Art Collection has an annual acquisitions budget and the Advisory Committee on the Government Art Collection meets three times a year to view potential acquisitions and agree which works enter the Collection. Works of art from the Government Art Collection are displayed in UK Government buildings in nearly every capital city, making it the most dispersed collection of British art in the world – Over 40 contemporary artists supported by Government Art Collection response to Covid-19 pandemic (GOV.UK)

The World Health Organization is holding its seventy-fourth World Health Assembly virtually from 24 May to 1 June 2021, with the central theme of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, future pandemics and creating a healthier, fairer and safer world. During the Assembly, a series of Strategic Briefings are being held virtually. During these sessions, WHA delegates, experts from WHO, partner agencies, and civil society will discuss current priorities and next solutions on these vital issues for global public health – Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly (World Health Organization)

Explicit academic fraud is, of course, the natural extension of the sort of mundane, day-to-day fraud that most academics in our community commit on a regular basis. People will apply additional scrutiny to deal with explicit forms of fraud like collusion rings, but in doing so will also develop a sensitivity to the more subtle forms of fraud that are already endemic to the community. The most notable thing about the collusion ring is not that it was more fraudulent than is typical, but that the fraud was more intentional. So this is a call to action: please commit more academic fraud. Form more collusion rings! Blackmail your reviewers, bribe your ACs! Fudge your results – or fabricate them entirely! Let’s make explicit academic fraud commonplace enough to cast doubt into the minds of every scientist reading an AI paper – Please Commit More Blatant Academic Fraud (Buckman’s Homepage)

Scientia Vascular, a Salt Lake City, UT-based commercial company offering a suite of interventional medical devices, raised $50M in growth equity financing. The company intends to use the funds to accelerate sales, marketing, and new product development in both its core neurovascular stroke market as well as adjacent markets in peripheral vascular and interventional oncology. Led by John Lippert, founder and CEO, Scientia is a pioneer in microfabrication technology and the company has used their core expertise to create a suite of commercially available and pipeline products for the treatment of neurovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease and interventional oncology. The company designs, develops and manufactures from its headquarters and ISO 13485 facility in Salt Lake City, Utah – Scientia Vascular Raises $50M in Growth Equity Funding (FINSMES)

MotoRefi, an Arlington, VA.-based auto fintech startup, raised $45m in Series B funding. The round was led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Growth Equity team joined by new investor IA Capital and return investors Moderne Ventures, Accomplice, Link Ventures, Motley Fool Ventures, and CMFG Ventures. In conjunction with the funding, Jade Mandel, Vice President on the growth equity team within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, will join MotoRefi’s Board. The company, has now raised more than $60m since its inception in 2016, intends to use the funds to invest in its platform and continue to expand the team. Led by Kevin Bennett, CEO, MotoRefi leverages partnerships with lenders, like credit unions and community banks to refinance auto loans bringing customers improved rate lower monthly payments – MotoRefi Raises $45M in Series B Funding (FINSMES)

Park Place Payments, a Los Angeles, CA-based female-founded fintech company, raised $1.5m in seed funding. The company intends to use the funds to expand the team and product offerings. Led by Founder and CEO Samantha Ettus, Park Place is a payment processor for businesses with a professional sales force and an in-house service team – Park Place Payments Closes $1.5M Seed Funding Round (FINSMES)

Summarised by SMMRY (some writeups by the HEMNA editor).

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