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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

Google Works to Fight Climate Change

To date, more than 9,000 cities have made commitments to comply with the Paris Agreement, but less than 20% have been able to complete, submit or monitor greenhouse gas inventories.

The process for building out a baseline emissions inventory can take hundreds of thousands of dollars and months or even years. To combat this, Google has announced a new online tool designed to make it easier for cities to access, and act upon, new climate-relevant datasets.

The tool, known as the Environmental Insights Explorer analyzes Google’s comprehensive global mapping data together with standard greenhouse gas emission factors, city-scale building and transportation carbon emissions data, and renewable energy potential, leading to more globally-consistent baselines from which to build policies, guide solutions, and measure progress.

With EIE, data sets that once required onsite measurements and many months to compile can now be assessed virtually, reducing cost and time investment that prevents cities from taking action.

IBM Harnesses AI to Aid Farmers

In agriculture, environmental analysis often requires expensive and time-consuming laboratory tests performed far away from the farm. Researchers at IBM are working to simplify this process, with a new technology that enables real-time, on-location, chemical analysis of soil or water samples, using AI.

Members of IBM’s Research group have created a protype technology known as AgroPad, a paper device about the size of a business card.

After a drop of water or soil sample is placed on the Agropad, a microfluidics chip inside the paper card performs on-the-spot a chemical analysis of the sample, providing results in less than 10 seconds. 

The results are shown on a set of circles on the back of the card where the color of each circle represents the amount of a particular chemical in the sample.

Using a smartphone, the farmer can take a single snapshot of the AgroPad by using a dedicated mobile app and immediately receives a chemical test result. 

Novartis Sells Parts of Sandoz

Novartis has agreed to sell selected portions of its Sandoz US portfolio, specifically the Sandoz US dermatology business and generic US oral solids portfolio, to Aurobindo Pharma USA Inc. The sale is for USD 0.9 billion of cash plus USD 0.1 billion of potential earn-outs. This transaction is part of the Sandoz strategy of focusing on complex generics, value-added medicines and biosimilars.

The Sandoz US portfolios to be sold to Aurobindo include approximately 300 products, as well as additional development projects. The sale includes the Sandoz US generic and branded dermatology businesses as well as its dermatology development center. As part of the transaction, Aurobindo will acquire the manufacturing facilities in Wilson, North Carolina, as well as Hicksville and Melville, New York.

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R&D Magazine follows the top 25 spenders in R&D as part of its R&D Market Pulse Index. 

To learn more about the R&D Market Pulse Index, view the full list of Top 25 companies, or read expert stock market insight from R&D Magazine contributing Editor Tim Studt, check out the Market Pulse page on

I’m Laura Panjwani and thank you for watching R&D Market Pulse. Join us next week for more R&D business news.