A Story of Survival on Peeples Street

YVETTE BLACKMAN | 100 views

Folks along Peeples Street in northern Richland County, South Carolina are accustomed to relentless rain. Crane Creek overflows its banks at times, spilling into low-lying rural areas and causing flooding that creeps up to windowsills. Yards fill with a soupy mess of mud and muck. But the people who live on this street on the edge of the Denny Terrace neighborhood are a hardy lot. Chores move indoors until the rains stop. Folks clean up. Life goes on. When it began raining in early fall, Denny Terrace residents weren’t alarmed. But South Carolina was pounded by weeks of punishing rain—8 to 12 inches during the first five days of October alone. The result was historic flooding. In some areas, it rained more than 25 inches in 30 days. In Denny Terrace during the early hours of October 3, 47-year-old Sonny M. fought the raging floodwaters and won. Sonny is deaf. This is his story.

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WA Local Government Association

WALGA is working for Local Government in Western Australia. As the peak industry body, WALGA advocates on behalf of 138 WA Local Governments and negotiates service agreements for the sector.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

How Does Government Operations Continuity Help Them Perform Better?

Article | July 16, 2022

One of the challenges the government faced during the COVID-19 pandemic was keeping operations running. Certain advanced economies and developing nations' business continuity plans gave them an edge over their underdeveloped counterparts. But because of the pandemic, the national economy had suffered the pangs of unemployment to fuel the malicious intents of cyber-attackers, thus, protecting government assets that carried important economic information became a national priority. National security and staying competitive with other economies worldwide are becoming increasingly crucial in elevating a country’s economy. Keeping all public-sector companies and federal agencies running efficiently is a foundational block for the economy. Companies in public administration, like the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as different ministries, public sector businesses, and more, need data protection from international cyber-threats. They use disruptive business strategies to make their operations more resilient. Now, that we know the importance of business continuity in the context of federal government and agencies, let us understand what risks does business continuity management mitigate. Business Continuity Management in Government Easily Mitigates: Individuals rely on the government during economic crises and disasters. A crisis or a disaster can be a huge risk to the economy, which can bubble up to an irreversible loss if not handled on a timely basis. Mitigating the risks of crises such as natural disasters, cyber security compromises, power and communication outages, terrorism, wars and military activities, global financial crises and more has become crucial. These crises can cause the loss of physical assets, human safety, and infrastructure that hamper government operations. This is why having a BCM plan in place is the need of the hour. The government must serve and meet the expectations of economic contributors. If there is a divergence or a timely action constraint, the government must maintain peace and harmony for the common good and economic well-being. Government Continuity to Support Individuals and Public Organizations: Resuming operations for public organizations and individuals quickly can be almost impossible without the intervention and support of the government. Government continuity is directly proportional to the level of trust, government reputation, and business resiliency. This is possible because the financial loss can be covered by insurance and financial help, as explained below. Insurance Policy Claims and Coverage: Making it easy to claim insurance during and after the crisis helps individuals and organizations reclaim their finances, thereby restoring essential functions first and full-fledged functions later. Providing reimbursement of expenses and coverage for losses for public organizations and financial assistance for the public sector remains one of the top priorities as far as resuming business operations is concerned post-disaster. Making sure that the insurance can cover the expenses and losses incurred due to the disaster is a part of the business impact analysis (BIA). Resiliency: Restoring public sector infrastructure in an operating condition, overcoming operational obstacles such as IT, power, and communication outages in a short span of time, and maintaining due vigilance to keep a check on national security builds business resiliency for the public sector. Reputation and Recovery Management: Reducing the turn-around time to fix and restore normal operations after a disaster provides operational resiliency through recovery management. This keeps a check on the best interests of the economic contributors and enhances their trust and the government’s reputation in the long run. Now that we understand the risks that a BCP can help mitigate and the role of government policies to support the economic contributors, let us understand how it improves the overall performance of a public organization. Business Continuity Management for Better Performing Public Organizations: The federal governments and public organizations have implemented an agile approach to bounce back from disasters, catastrophes, and crises using BCM. Because of this, the federal government is heavily invested into business continuity plans (BCPs) to improve how well their operations work and keep the economy and government stable. The factors impacting the performance of public organizations using a BCM are as below: Public organizations must know how BCM components influence performance in public sector organizations. They must be aware of BCM and the successful implementation of effective BCM. However, some governments that do not invest in a BCM have a much lower level of awareness due to a lack of human resources, finance, and management. They are allocating enough budget for disaster prevention, preparedness, management, and relief considering the government's initiatives. But not getting enough help from the government can make people unhappy, which can hurt the ruling party and lead to people protesting for their rights. Even though there is no direct financial benefit or gain from investing in a BCM, BCM testing helps to improve performance significantly. For governments to consider investing in the successful implementation of BCM and get funding for it, BCM professionals need to predict and evaluate the potential loss due to idle service time and its results. Each government entity must identify the likelihood of risks, define the best rescue objectives, and indicate the most cost-effective clarification and knowledge about BCM. Another challenge is using BCM in organizations that cut across several business groups or completing it with collective business-wide support. These situations show that old management responsibility and regulation are useful for making sure that all members of an organization prefer BCM actions. Recognizing the potential impacts of BCM on organizational performance is required in order to provide accurate value to the BCM powers, attract consideration, and, finally, obtain adequate assistance from senior management. In the journey to optimizing the performance of your public sector company using BCM, there are many hurdles that you need to overcome. Let us discuss them further. Challenges in Maintaining BCPs and Performance Growth in the Public Sector: Maintaining a business continuity plan as per the recommended guidelines is crucial to optimize its performance and efficacy. Your public sector organization's BCP will need to overcome some of the challenges to enable their performance growth as follows: Dedication of time from the top management of the public organizations, the ministry, and leaders towards deciding which functions are essential to maintain the BCP. Lack of complete understanding of all the business functions and their dependencies on other public sector organizations. Comparing the business functions on the level of criticality. Not implementing the BCM approach completely. Tweaking the BCM approach to show everything is taken care of Inaccurate assumptions are used to create a business continuity plan. Business Impact Analysis (BIA) - Determining how long a business process can be rendered inoperable without affecting performance. The Business Continuity Plan (BCP) takes care of aspects such as: Who will be affected by the business operations disruption? How and when will customers be notified? What issues are to be addressed in the first 48 hours? From the initial response to restoration, unique access roles and functions are assigned. Testing of BCP should be done regularly with the help of table-top exercises, walkthroughs, crisis communications, emergency enactments The importance of a BCP cannot be undermined as it minimizes the cost of business disruptions on the operations of public organizations. Let us discuss them in-depth. The Cost of Not Having a Crisis Plan like a BCP for All Sizes of Public Organizations: Although the costs involved during times of crisis may be difficult to calculate, there may be significant infrastructure and data recovery charges that can have a long-term impact on business revenue. Monetary loss, revenue loss due to idle time, reputation loss, productivity loss are some of the consequences that small, medium, and large enterprises have to go through. The major losses among them are as under: Loss of time and revenue for recovery and resuming operations. The company's brand image and reputation are at stake. Financial instability and loss Productivity loss Customer satisfaction is hampered. Some laws and regulations are violated during idle time. Distrust and loss of faith among investors Employee safety is at risk with the consequences of injury and death. Loss of infrastructure A business continuity plan has four strategies to boost business resilience. These include crisis and risk management; disaster recovery; incident response management; and business continuity planning. Acting quickly to mitigate the risks of loss as per incident response management during the event of distress is the first step. Crisis and risk management take care of the plan of action during the event of distress. The disaster recovery plan takes care of resuming the business operations to their normal condition after the disaster has subsided, whereas the business continuity plan takes care of all these aspects to minimize loss during distress as well as the time required to resume normal operations with the help of dedicated software. Conclusion: Performance optimization for public organizations is the number one priority for economic growth. A business continuity plan can directly boost performance as it encourages organizations to identify essential functions and maintain their operations during uncertain times. It helps save time, money, and safeguards people, processes, and technologies in the long run.

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How Can State and Local Agencies Better Collaborate on Cybersecurity?

Article | May 26, 2021

Some state governments, such as Massachusetts, have established formal plans to work with localities within their states on cybersecurity. However, as ransomware attacks proliferate across the country and strike big cities and small towns alike, state-level organizations say there needs to be greater IT security coordination between states and municipalities. Last month, the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers released a report, “Stronger Together: State and Local Cybersecurity Collaboration,” designed to showcase best practices for such collaboration.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Bill Offers $400M for State, Local Government Cybersecurity

Article | July 14, 2022

With state and local governments beset by a precipitous rise in cyberattacks, new federal legislation might provide some necessary cover where needed. The State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act would create a grant program worth $400 million to finance cybersecurity efforts in communities across the country, according to a release. Eligible communities would be able to apply for funds, provided through the Department of Homeland Security, which would be allocated to assist in areas like vulnerability scanning and testing, cyberworkforce development and intelligence sharing, according to the bill text.

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U.S. Air Force and Microsoft partner to empower airmen with modern IT

Article | February 11, 2020

The U.S. Air Force is breaking the glass as a leader in harnessing the power of cloud, rapidly rolling out modern services to enable airmen to advance the mission through more effective collaboration. As part of their digital transformation journey to achieve global access, persistence, and awareness for the 21st century, the U.S. Air Force is deploying targeted workloads that allow airmen to focus on their missions rather than spending time managing IT infrastructure.

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WA Local Government Association

WALGA is working for Local Government in Western Australia. As the peak industry body, WALGA advocates on behalf of 138 WA Local Governments and negotiates service agreements for the sector.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

IBM to Acquire Octo

IBM | December 08, 2022

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an agreement to acquire Octo, a U.S.-based IT modernization and digital transformation services provider exclusively serving the U.S. federal government, including defense, health, and civilian agencies. IBM's acquisition of Octo establishes one of the largest digital transformation partners to the federal government. Upon the close of the acquisition, Octo's approximately 1,500 employees will join IBM Consulting's U.S. public and federal market organization. Octo will be IBM's eighth acquisition of 2022. Since Arvind Krishna became CEO of IBM in April 2020, IBM has acquired more than 25 companies, bolstering its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Today's news builds on prior IBM Consulting acquisitions, including Dialexa, Neudesic, and Taos. Federal government agencies face significant challenges including technology skills shortages, rebuilding of U.S. domestic supply chains and more demand for citizen services. To address these complex challenges, agencies need an industry partner to help them navigate a scalable path to IT modernization with the power to leverage emerging technologies and applications, optimize costs and operational efficiencies, and improve security. The convergence of new hybrid cloud and AI technologies enables government to deliver rapid improvements and adapt to unprecedented challenges. The acquisition of Reston, Va.-based Octo will complement IBM's existing strengths in IT modernization and digital transformation, enhancing its ability to support federal agencies with a flexible, modern approach to digital transformation and growing IBM Consulting's public and federal market organization to 4,200 highly-skilled employees. With a proven track record of enabling rapid IT modernization and seamless citizen engagement, Octo also brings deep federal mission experience, as well as certifications in the technologies most used across the federal government. "Governments require agility and resiliency to meet the evolving needs of citizens directly and in real time," said John Granger, Senior Vice President of IBM Consulting. "The combination of Octo's highly qualified and respected team with IBM's consulting expertise, technical capabilities and strategic partner ecosystem will enable federal clients to transform faster and better serve citizens." Building on a shared commitment to co-creation, oLabs, Octo's 14,000 square foot innovation center with in-house computing capability, expands IBM's ability to work collaboratively with federal agencies to rapidly prototype emerging technology solutions – enabling greater impact for federal agencies and the people they serve. "Octo was founded on the belief that digital transformation could be delivered at scale to modernize the federal government's approach to today's most pressing challenges – from public healthcare to national security, to defense and intelligence," said Mehul Sanghani, Chief Executive Officer of Octo. "Today, we are excited to join forces with IBM to continue to deliver these digital transformation capabilities with greater reach and scale." IBM's acquisition of Octo from Arlington Capital Partners is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. About IBM IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. More than 4,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service. Visit www.ibm.com for more information.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Bernhard Capital Partners Forms Department of Energy-Focused Services Platform With Acquisitions of Boston Government Services and SE&C

Boston Government Services | December 07, 2022

Bernhard Capital Partners ("Bernhard Capital"), a services- and infrastructure-focused private equity management firm, today announced the establishment of a dedicated Department of Energy ("DOE") services platform through the recent acquisitions of Boston Government Services, LLC ("BGS"), an engineering, technology and security firm for government programs, national laboratories, national security facilities, nuclear operations and complex projects, and Sterling Engineering & Consulting Group, LLC ("SE&C"), a provider of executive, project management, business development and technical consulting services focused on the DOE complex. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. The platform will establish a leading national network of engineering and consulting firms with shared capabilities and an expanded client base, primarily consisting of organizations operating within the Department of Energy ("DOE") complex. Established in 2007 by Harry L. Boston, Ph.D., BGS is a nuclear engineering, safety, program management, technology and cyber security firm providing mission-driven solutions for a broad array of challenging and important programs for government and commercial clients. Bernhard Capital has an extensive track record building leading national platforms across numerous services- and infrastructure-related categories. Through these acquisitions, the firm intends to utilize its proprietary Blueprint investment approach to establish a vertically integrated offering, capable of executing critical projects in complex environments – from strategic planning and program management to the execution of engineering and technical activities. "The acquisitions of BGS and SE&C provide unique and valuable capabilities for our platform and will meaningfully expand our premier consulting and field service offerings around the DOE complex, As the DOE and broader commercial industries continue to invest ambitiously in clean energy, energy security, modernization and transitioning our energy grid and national infrastructure, the expertise of the BGS and SE&C teams will be invaluable to driving the long-term success of these essential national, regional and local projects. We look forward to working closely with Harry, Duane and their talented teams as we build an exceptional platform and execute on a shared vision to better support a diverse base of mission-critical government and commercial clients." -Chris Dillon, Managing Director at Bernhard Capital Partners. BGS and SE&C will continue to be led by their respective management teams, while benefiting from the advantages of the shared platform and Bernhard Capital's strategic partnership. Harry Boston will continue as President of BGS, and Duane Schmoker will continue as President of SE&C. The opportunity to join Bernhard Capital's DOE services platform and partner with the SE&C team provides additional resources and capacities for the BGS team to continue delivering the best engineering, technology, cybersecurity and program management solutions for our clients, from strategy and conception to implementation and execution, said Dr. Boston. The Bernhard Capital team's operational expertise and deep familiarity with the complexities of our business make them the right partner to position BGS for long-term growth, and we are well positioned to continue providing high-quality, efficient and committed services to our clients as part of this platform. Founded in 2014 by Duane Schmoker and headquartered in Richland, Washington, SE&C provides executive management and technical consulting services to organizations in the federal and commercial markets focused primarily on energy, environmental remediation and national security. Offering strategic planning, business development, proposal development, project management and technology-based solutions for some of the world's most challenging government and commercial environmental cleanup projects, SE&C focuses on providing innovative technical and business solutions for clients with a focus on the DOE and commercial markets. "We are excited to join BGS as part of Bernhard Capital's dedicated DOE services platform and are confident this partnership will benefit all SE&C stakeholders, Bernhard Capital's perspective and experienced team, alongside BGS's deep relationships and premier technical team, will allow us to enhance our technical and management capabilities and expand our presence around the DOE complex and other government-adjacent markets." -Mr. Schmoker, SE&C President. About Bernhard Capital Partners: Bernhard Capital Partners is a services and infrastructure-focused private equity management firm established in 2013. Bernhard Capital Partners has deployed capital in three funds across several strategies, has approximately $2.5 billion of gross assets under management and is ranked as one of Private Equity International's 300 largest private equity firms worldwide. Bernhard Capital Partners seeks to create sustainable value by leveraging its experience in acquiring, operating and growing services and infrastructure businesses. About BGS: Boston Government Services, LLC is an engineering, technology, and cybersecurity firm advancing our national security and competitiveness, and promoting a sustainable and healthy environmental future. BGS delivers mission-focused solutions by leveraging capabilities in engineering, operations, technology and cybersecurity to provide clients with solutions that enable efficient, secure, safe, robust, and sustainable mission performance. BGS is headquartered in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and has offices in multiple states. About SE&C: SE&C is a Richland, Washington-based provider of executive management and technical consulting services to organizations in the federal and commercial markets focused on energy, environmental remediation, national security and mining. The company has satellite offices in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. With more than 65 senior professionals providing clients with expertise ranging from strategic planning, business development, proposal development, project management and technology-based solutions, SE&C supports some of the world's most challenging government and commercial environmental cleanup projects.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

U.S. Department of Defense Awards $50 Million Contract to Kodiak Robotics for Autonomous U.S. Army Ground Reconnaissance Vehicles

Kodiak Robotics | December 07, 2022

Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a leading self-driving trucking company, today announced it has been awarded a $49.9 million, 24-month United States Department of Defense (DoD) agreement to help automate future U.S. Army ground vehicles led by the Army's Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) program. This effort will be in support of vehicles designed for reconnaissance, surveillance, and other high-risk missions. Through this award, which started in October 2022 and was awarded by DoD's Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) on behalf of the Army's RCV program office, Kodiak will leverage its commercial self-driving software to develop, test and deploy autonomous capabilities for driverless vehicles that further strengthen national security. Kodiak will develop autonomous vehicle technology for the Army to navigate complex terrain, diverse operational conditions and GPS-challenged environments, while also providing the Army the ability to remotely operate vehicles when necessary. Wartime is extraordinarily complex with high-risk challenges that often result in troops operating near or behind enemy lines. Deploying autonomous vehicles to perform such critical and dangerous tasks has the potential to significantly reduce the risk to troops, while giving them greater access to the information they need in the field. Additionally, the remote driving capabilities Kodiak will develop for the Army will increase the flexibility of these autonomous vehicles, while further reducing risk for soldiers. The project will also provide a technical pipeline that will enable the rapid development and deployment of new autonomous vehicle technologies as they become commercially available. "I started Kodiak because I believe autonomous technology can save lives, and helping the U.S. Army develop driverless vehicles for the most challenging operating environments fits perfectly with that goal, We are proud to have the opportunity to leverage our cutting-edge self-driving technology for defense applications, and believe our work with DIU and the U.S. Army will both help strengthen national security and hasten our path to commercial deployment. We owe a debt of gratitude to the servicemen and women who step into harm's way to keep us safe; keeping them safe in return is an honor we take seriously." -Don Burnette, founder and CEO, Kodiak Robotics. Kodiak Robotics was the only autonomous vehicle company initially selected for this award out of 33 submissions, thanks to its proven leadership in autonomous systems development and commercialization, as well as its intense focus on safety. In the first year of this effort, Kodiak will build upon its core competency by applying its robust autonomous software stack for Army specific use cases, including future Army vehicles. In year two, the company will implement its autonomous driving system on off-road vehicles capable of traversing complex terrain and operating remotely in unpredictable and austere conditions. DIU focuses exclusively on adopting and scaling technologies developed by commercial partners to help strengthen U.S. national security by solving critical field challenges faced by the U.S. military. DIU works to identify innovations in six key technology areas where the commercial sector is operating at the leading edge: artificial intelligence, autonomy, cyber, energy, human systems, and space. While Kodiak Robotics will continue to focus on its core business of building autonomous trucks for use in commercial applications, this project serves as an important extension that helps to propel its innovations forward. This project shows that Kodiak's core technology has multiple use cases, laying the groundwork for future expansion beyond long-haul trucking. About Kodiak Robotics, Inc: Kodiak Robotics, Inc. was founded in 2018 to develop autonomous technology that carries freight forward — so people, partners, and the planet thrive. The company is developing an industry-leading technology stack purpose-built specifically for long-haul trucks, making the freight industry safer and more efficient. Kodiak's unique modular hardware approach integrates sensors into a streamlined sensor-pod structure that optimizes for perception, scalability, and maintainability. The company delivers freight daily for its customers across the South, operating autonomously on the highway portions of the routes.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

IBM to Acquire Octo

IBM | December 08, 2022

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an agreement to acquire Octo, a U.S.-based IT modernization and digital transformation services provider exclusively serving the U.S. federal government, including defense, health, and civilian agencies. IBM's acquisition of Octo establishes one of the largest digital transformation partners to the federal government. Upon the close of the acquisition, Octo's approximately 1,500 employees will join IBM Consulting's U.S. public and federal market organization. Octo will be IBM's eighth acquisition of 2022. Since Arvind Krishna became CEO of IBM in April 2020, IBM has acquired more than 25 companies, bolstering its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Today's news builds on prior IBM Consulting acquisitions, including Dialexa, Neudesic, and Taos. Federal government agencies face significant challenges including technology skills shortages, rebuilding of U.S. domestic supply chains and more demand for citizen services. To address these complex challenges, agencies need an industry partner to help them navigate a scalable path to IT modernization with the power to leverage emerging technologies and applications, optimize costs and operational efficiencies, and improve security. The convergence of new hybrid cloud and AI technologies enables government to deliver rapid improvements and adapt to unprecedented challenges. The acquisition of Reston, Va.-based Octo will complement IBM's existing strengths in IT modernization and digital transformation, enhancing its ability to support federal agencies with a flexible, modern approach to digital transformation and growing IBM Consulting's public and federal market organization to 4,200 highly-skilled employees. With a proven track record of enabling rapid IT modernization and seamless citizen engagement, Octo also brings deep federal mission experience, as well as certifications in the technologies most used across the federal government. "Governments require agility and resiliency to meet the evolving needs of citizens directly and in real time," said John Granger, Senior Vice President of IBM Consulting. "The combination of Octo's highly qualified and respected team with IBM's consulting expertise, technical capabilities and strategic partner ecosystem will enable federal clients to transform faster and better serve citizens." Building on a shared commitment to co-creation, oLabs, Octo's 14,000 square foot innovation center with in-house computing capability, expands IBM's ability to work collaboratively with federal agencies to rapidly prototype emerging technology solutions – enabling greater impact for federal agencies and the people they serve. "Octo was founded on the belief that digital transformation could be delivered at scale to modernize the federal government's approach to today's most pressing challenges – from public healthcare to national security, to defense and intelligence," said Mehul Sanghani, Chief Executive Officer of Octo. "Today, we are excited to join forces with IBM to continue to deliver these digital transformation capabilities with greater reach and scale." IBM's acquisition of Octo from Arlington Capital Partners is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. About IBM IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. More than 4,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service. Visit www.ibm.com for more information.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Bernhard Capital Partners Forms Department of Energy-Focused Services Platform With Acquisitions of Boston Government Services and SE&C

Boston Government Services | December 07, 2022

Bernhard Capital Partners ("Bernhard Capital"), a services- and infrastructure-focused private equity management firm, today announced the establishment of a dedicated Department of Energy ("DOE") services platform through the recent acquisitions of Boston Government Services, LLC ("BGS"), an engineering, technology and security firm for government programs, national laboratories, national security facilities, nuclear operations and complex projects, and Sterling Engineering & Consulting Group, LLC ("SE&C"), a provider of executive, project management, business development and technical consulting services focused on the DOE complex. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. The platform will establish a leading national network of engineering and consulting firms with shared capabilities and an expanded client base, primarily consisting of organizations operating within the Department of Energy ("DOE") complex. Established in 2007 by Harry L. Boston, Ph.D., BGS is a nuclear engineering, safety, program management, technology and cyber security firm providing mission-driven solutions for a broad array of challenging and important programs for government and commercial clients. Bernhard Capital has an extensive track record building leading national platforms across numerous services- and infrastructure-related categories. Through these acquisitions, the firm intends to utilize its proprietary Blueprint investment approach to establish a vertically integrated offering, capable of executing critical projects in complex environments – from strategic planning and program management to the execution of engineering and technical activities. "The acquisitions of BGS and SE&C provide unique and valuable capabilities for our platform and will meaningfully expand our premier consulting and field service offerings around the DOE complex, As the DOE and broader commercial industries continue to invest ambitiously in clean energy, energy security, modernization and transitioning our energy grid and national infrastructure, the expertise of the BGS and SE&C teams will be invaluable to driving the long-term success of these essential national, regional and local projects. We look forward to working closely with Harry, Duane and their talented teams as we build an exceptional platform and execute on a shared vision to better support a diverse base of mission-critical government and commercial clients." -Chris Dillon, Managing Director at Bernhard Capital Partners. BGS and SE&C will continue to be led by their respective management teams, while benefiting from the advantages of the shared platform and Bernhard Capital's strategic partnership. Harry Boston will continue as President of BGS, and Duane Schmoker will continue as President of SE&C. The opportunity to join Bernhard Capital's DOE services platform and partner with the SE&C team provides additional resources and capacities for the BGS team to continue delivering the best engineering, technology, cybersecurity and program management solutions for our clients, from strategy and conception to implementation and execution, said Dr. Boston. The Bernhard Capital team's operational expertise and deep familiarity with the complexities of our business make them the right partner to position BGS for long-term growth, and we are well positioned to continue providing high-quality, efficient and committed services to our clients as part of this platform. Founded in 2014 by Duane Schmoker and headquartered in Richland, Washington, SE&C provides executive management and technical consulting services to organizations in the federal and commercial markets focused primarily on energy, environmental remediation and national security. Offering strategic planning, business development, proposal development, project management and technology-based solutions for some of the world's most challenging government and commercial environmental cleanup projects, SE&C focuses on providing innovative technical and business solutions for clients with a focus on the DOE and commercial markets. "We are excited to join BGS as part of Bernhard Capital's dedicated DOE services platform and are confident this partnership will benefit all SE&C stakeholders, Bernhard Capital's perspective and experienced team, alongside BGS's deep relationships and premier technical team, will allow us to enhance our technical and management capabilities and expand our presence around the DOE complex and other government-adjacent markets." -Mr. Schmoker, SE&C President. About Bernhard Capital Partners: Bernhard Capital Partners is a services and infrastructure-focused private equity management firm established in 2013. Bernhard Capital Partners has deployed capital in three funds across several strategies, has approximately $2.5 billion of gross assets under management and is ranked as one of Private Equity International's 300 largest private equity firms worldwide. Bernhard Capital Partners seeks to create sustainable value by leveraging its experience in acquiring, operating and growing services and infrastructure businesses. About BGS: Boston Government Services, LLC is an engineering, technology, and cybersecurity firm advancing our national security and competitiveness, and promoting a sustainable and healthy environmental future. BGS delivers mission-focused solutions by leveraging capabilities in engineering, operations, technology and cybersecurity to provide clients with solutions that enable efficient, secure, safe, robust, and sustainable mission performance. BGS is headquartered in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and has offices in multiple states. About SE&C: SE&C is a Richland, Washington-based provider of executive management and technical consulting services to organizations in the federal and commercial markets focused on energy, environmental remediation, national security and mining. The company has satellite offices in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. With more than 65 senior professionals providing clients with expertise ranging from strategic planning, business development, proposal development, project management and technology-based solutions, SE&C supports some of the world's most challenging government and commercial environmental cleanup projects.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

U.S. Department of Defense Awards $50 Million Contract to Kodiak Robotics for Autonomous U.S. Army Ground Reconnaissance Vehicles

Kodiak Robotics | December 07, 2022

Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a leading self-driving trucking company, today announced it has been awarded a $49.9 million, 24-month United States Department of Defense (DoD) agreement to help automate future U.S. Army ground vehicles led by the Army's Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) program. This effort will be in support of vehicles designed for reconnaissance, surveillance, and other high-risk missions. Through this award, which started in October 2022 and was awarded by DoD's Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) on behalf of the Army's RCV program office, Kodiak will leverage its commercial self-driving software to develop, test and deploy autonomous capabilities for driverless vehicles that further strengthen national security. Kodiak will develop autonomous vehicle technology for the Army to navigate complex terrain, diverse operational conditions and GPS-challenged environments, while also providing the Army the ability to remotely operate vehicles when necessary. Wartime is extraordinarily complex with high-risk challenges that often result in troops operating near or behind enemy lines. Deploying autonomous vehicles to perform such critical and dangerous tasks has the potential to significantly reduce the risk to troops, while giving them greater access to the information they need in the field. Additionally, the remote driving capabilities Kodiak will develop for the Army will increase the flexibility of these autonomous vehicles, while further reducing risk for soldiers. The project will also provide a technical pipeline that will enable the rapid development and deployment of new autonomous vehicle technologies as they become commercially available. "I started Kodiak because I believe autonomous technology can save lives, and helping the U.S. Army develop driverless vehicles for the most challenging operating environments fits perfectly with that goal, We are proud to have the opportunity to leverage our cutting-edge self-driving technology for defense applications, and believe our work with DIU and the U.S. Army will both help strengthen national security and hasten our path to commercial deployment. We owe a debt of gratitude to the servicemen and women who step into harm's way to keep us safe; keeping them safe in return is an honor we take seriously." -Don Burnette, founder and CEO, Kodiak Robotics. Kodiak Robotics was the only autonomous vehicle company initially selected for this award out of 33 submissions, thanks to its proven leadership in autonomous systems development and commercialization, as well as its intense focus on safety. In the first year of this effort, Kodiak will build upon its core competency by applying its robust autonomous software stack for Army specific use cases, including future Army vehicles. In year two, the company will implement its autonomous driving system on off-road vehicles capable of traversing complex terrain and operating remotely in unpredictable and austere conditions. DIU focuses exclusively on adopting and scaling technologies developed by commercial partners to help strengthen U.S. national security by solving critical field challenges faced by the U.S. military. DIU works to identify innovations in six key technology areas where the commercial sector is operating at the leading edge: artificial intelligence, autonomy, cyber, energy, human systems, and space. While Kodiak Robotics will continue to focus on its core business of building autonomous trucks for use in commercial applications, this project serves as an important extension that helps to propel its innovations forward. This project shows that Kodiak's core technology has multiple use cases, laying the groundwork for future expansion beyond long-haul trucking. About Kodiak Robotics, Inc: Kodiak Robotics, Inc. was founded in 2018 to develop autonomous technology that carries freight forward — so people, partners, and the planet thrive. The company is developing an industry-leading technology stack purpose-built specifically for long-haul trucks, making the freight industry safer and more efficient. Kodiak's unique modular hardware approach integrates sensors into a streamlined sensor-pod structure that optimizes for perception, scalability, and maintainability. The company delivers freight daily for its customers across the South, operating autonomously on the highway portions of the routes.

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