Measuring Progress in the Housing Market

Our latest housing scorecard examines housing recovery data, our programs’ performance, and areas for improvement. As we look back on June, we saw continued progress in our nation’s housing recovery. The latest data show growth among key indicators: sales of existing homes reached their highest pace in more than nine years, a sharp gain in homeowners’ equity, and a steady increase in home values

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Israel Economic Mission to the West Coast

The Government of Israel Economic Mission is private sector minded, operating within the public sector, across a variety of industries and scales. We function across borders and boundaries to bring the Western United States and Israel closer together through mutually beneficial business and trade. Start your conversation with the "Start-Up Nation" today and give us a call to see how we can help your business grow globally!

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Government Business

3 Ways Analyzing Patent Trends Pays

Article | March 11, 2022

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued its 10 millionth patent number in June 2018 and continues to go strong. In fact, according to a PatentlyO.com-published report, “We are about three-fourths of the way through fiscal year 2019 (ends September 30, 2019) and the USPTO is on-track to issue the most patents ever in a single year period,” with the author forecasting, “330,000 issued utility patents, which is up about five percent from the prior one-year high in 2017.” While these kinds of milestones have created much ado about patents that have changed the world, including a number of popular culture pieces, the unfortunate truth remains that a great number of organizations don’t really understand how powerfully advantageous a tool patents can be. As the pace of patent filings quicken—noting that it took fully 121 years to issue the first million patents but only three years to move from nine to ten million—businesses that understand how to analyze, identify and capitalize on various intellectual property (IP) trends can dramatically hasten and increase value creation, and valuation, within their companies. This is according to patent attorney and IP authority JiNan Glasgow George, a former USPTO patent examiner and engineer turned entrepreneur who launched the Magic Number Patent Forecast software —a comprehensive intelligence tool leveraging machine learning to uncover silent trends sweeping the business landscape, revealing who is filing patents, when and in what sectors. With this kind of AI-driven data, organizations can easily detect early-stage shifts and pinpoint other trends and marketplace insights to give companies a tremendous competitive edge. “Intellectual property is not just an idea, concept or invention, but rather a financial asset that can render tangible results,” JiNan notes. “Organizations need to shift their mentality away from patents being seen as merely a way to protect their own idea and, instead, regard them as a means to grow a business and create wealth through intellectual property-driven analytics and key business assets that drive revenue. This can include analyzing the competition through a uniquely telling lens, deciding which products to build next, identifying 'white space' industry opportunity and more.” After more than two decades managing legal matters pertaining to patents and trademarks, JiNan has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and innovation-based companies understand how to parlay patents into assets that give them an edge. Below are three of her key reasons why analyzing patent trends can pay off in a big way: 1. Enhanced Competitive Intelligence. Did you know that large banking institutions like Bank of America and payment card companies like Mastercard and Visa hold large amounts of patents in cryptocurrency? Or that a pharmaceutical company is the leading patent owner in the cannabis sector? Or that consumer sleep is among the newest IP-heavy categories, with Apple emerging as a primary player? Or that early stage companies such as Luminar may be outpacing automotive giants? “Because investment in patents always leads market activity, we can see investment trends before they’re visible in market activity,” JiNan explains. “Every sector contains strategic insights that can translate into mission critical assets. We also find evidence of investment that might seem contradictory—like a major bank investing heavily in its supposed competitor: cryptocurrrency. It’s data science that allows companies to predict the next waves of innovation within their particular industries and markets.” 2. Drastically Increased Valuation. IP isn’t just for tech and consumer product companies, as even service businesses can pursue IP protection through patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Unfortunately, many businesses are highly undervalued because the owner or executive has not created any IP or cultivated what they have. This is a grave error given that IP plays a huge role in an entity’s valuation. In fact, IP is the one thing that impacts the valuation multiple beyond the profitable business, itself. As such, using trend data to determine with greater accuracy how and where to allocate IP-related resources is key, as “getting it right” can be a significant boon to the bottom line. “Some start-up companies I’ve worked with have IP portfolios that are more efficient and valuable than large corporations in the same markets,” JiNan notes. “That gives them a high valuation—a vital factor also making these companies attractive targets for investors, mergers and acquisitions. Some companies invest a lot in patents that ultimately are not very valuable, while other companies file for inventions that yield significant returns. The profitable ones can produce impact that multiplies their IP investment—even early stage companies can have IP valuations that are $10 million, $50 million, even $100 million or more. A data-driven IP strategy that considers present inventions in market context can create a five times or more increase in valuation.” 3. Maximized First Mover Advantage. Prior to 2013, the first to invent was entitled to patent rights. The current system—established through the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act—is a “first-to-file” system, meaning that patent rights are given to the first person or entity to file an application whether or not they were the first inventor of the technology, product or service. With access to patent trends and other IP-driven data, companies can not only make smarter investments and develop better strategies to target emerging markets, but also aptly identify underserved or even entirely unexploited facets within those markets. “Patent data offers huge insight into who is investing in what kind of technology and where and how those funds and efforts are being allocated, long before commercial activity,” JiNan says. “Any company preparing to enter a new market will leave evidence of their intentions in areas that represent opportunity. If you are looking to capitalize on gaps in the market, it’s important to remember there’s no second place in patents—you need trend data to be continuously updated and analyzed. The companies and individuals who profit most from intellectual property are often not the ones who initially created it. ” According to JiNan, one of the most significant areas of opportunity loss for entrepreneurs and corporate executives is a lack of understanding of patent strategy and undervaluing the pursuit thereof. Because p atents are often the highest value intellectual property assets, she asserts that having an inside track on this kind of activity—and taking proactive measures to interpret and capitalize on that data—can be a real game-changer for an organization. Ways to gain that “inside track” as well as other ways to maximize patent ROI and profit from your IP endeavors will be explored at the annual Eclipse IP Conference this October in Cary/RTP, North Carolina. Founded in 2013, Eclipse brings together global thought leaders in IP to discuss best practices in patent investment, with this year’s theme being “Own Your Zone, Leveraging IP to Increase Marketshare.” These days, it’s not just about procuring the data. It’s what you strategically do with that data that really counts. The conference includes the likes of New Orleans Saints all-time yardage leading wide receiver Marques Colston, supply chain expert Irfan Khan, Eugene Gold (who grew his business by a staggering 4,400%) and bestselling author Randy Nelson. With patents among the most important and valuable assets a business can hold, said to serve as “the lifeblood of innovation,” when employed well they can proffer a remarkable return on investment—especially when facilitating market, category or process exclusivity. With JiNan’s insights above, it’s clear that deciphering and mapping early-stage patents and market data can be a powerfully effective means toward this end.

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Emerging Technology

Public facility corporations provide alternative source of project funding

Article | July 13, 2022

Taxpayers, citizens, and industry leaders may not be totally familiar with Public Facility Corporations (PFCs), but that should change, especially now since public funding for critical projects is at an all-time low. PFCs are becoming somewhat common in many regions of the country. If the legal entity (PFC) is not familiar, here’s a bit of background. A PFC is a nonprofit corporation created by a sponsoring governmental entity — a city, county, school district, housing authority, or special district. PFCs have broad powers over public facilities, including financing, acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, renovation and repair. A PFC, once created, has the authority to issue bonds on behalf of its sponsoring public entity and once the bonds are funded, the money can be used in numerous ways. This type of legal entity has gained attention because public officials with critical projects are being forced to seek alternative funding sources. In Texas, public facility corporations are allowed the broadest possible powers to finance or provide for the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of public facilities at the lowest possible borrowing cost. A sponsor — such as a municipality, county, school district or housing authority — may create one or more of nonprofit public facility corporations. Then, the PFC can issue bonds for the construction of public facilities or finance public facilities or even loan the proceeds of the revenue to other entities for specific purposes. A report that was released by The University of Texas School of Law found that a house bill approved during the 2015 legislative session “expands the authority of public facility corporations and allows the corporation to exercise any power that a nonprofit corporation might exercise and/or grant a leasehold or other possessory interest in a public facility owned by the PFC.” Here’s a bit more background of what is happening in Texas and there are numerous similar examples throughout the country. The El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) several years ago created the EPISD Public Facility Corporation to fund construction of central offices through non-voter approved bonds. The corporation issued more than $29 million in bonds. The plan called for the EPISD to repay the bonds with general fund dollars from the district's general fund. The 2019 Texas Legislative Session ended with a $4 million rider added to the state appropriations budget. The money was provided to the city of Port Aransas to build a $36 million apartment complex for affordable housing. Plans call for the 200-unit complex to be operated by the Port Aransas Public Facility Corporation. The corporation will work in partnership with a private company to develop and manage the property. An investment of approximately $14 million came from the private sector partner, and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs provided an additional $18 million in funding. Site work on the project began in July 2020. Many school districts have created public facility corporations for construction projects for schools, and many municipalities have also used PFCs. The revenue from these types of bonds is sometimes called lease-revenue bonds. They do not require voter approval. Public facility corporations do not have the authority to raise tax rates, but it is possible for a school board to approve a property tax increase to make payments on the bonds sold by a PFC. The city of Tioga, located in the Sherman/Dennison region of Texas, constructed a new high school with funding from a public facility corporation. A collaborative initiative was launched with a lease-purchase agreement which allowed the PFC to hold title to the land and facility until the investment was repaid. At that time, the agreement calls for everything to transfer back to the district. Because the current campus was reaching its maximum capacity, a new high school campus had been a priority for the district and this was the funding mechanism selected. The city of Fate in Rockwell County recently embarked on a public-private partnership to develop an affordable seniors housing community. The projected cost is approximately $30 million. To fund the project, the city created a PFC. Plans are for the city to handle the design, construction, and management of the project in collaboration with the PFC. City leaders will appoint board members to the funding corporation which will then operate the development as a nonprofit. The project is anticipated for completion in January 2022. There are similar types of alternative types of funding options in other parts of the U.S. In Utah, for instance, the Park City Board of Education approved a PFC which will allow the district to secure revenue for a number of master plan projects. The projects have a combined projected cost of $122 million. The school district had considered the funding option of general obligation bonds, which would require voter approval, but elected to create a Local Building Authority (LBA). This funding option will allow them to fund an expansion of a high school facility to accommodate ninth-graders and expand another campus to allow for eighth-grade students. Public officials, legislators, government contractors, and taxpayers all should have an interest in watching PFCs as well as other alternative funding sources. Until traditional public funding becomes more available for critical public projects, there will be a need for various types of funding solutions. Mary Scott Nabers is president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc., a business development company specializing in government contracting and procurement consulting throughout the U.S. Her recently released book, Inside the Infrastructure Revolution: A Roadmap for Building America, is a handbook for contractors, investors and the public at large seeking to explore how public-private partnerships or joint ventures can help finance their infrastructure projects.

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How local government scaled up for remote workers

Article | May 26, 2021

The biggest IT challenge local governments faced during the COVID-19 pandemic has been scaling existing infrastructure to accommodate many more workers than they had planned for, IT leaders said during a June 17 panel discussion. “Our remote access solution was originally scaled for a major snow day, not for 3,000 to 4,000 remote users,” Charles Gore, IT security manager for Loudoun County, Va., said during a webinar presented by CompTIA’s Public Technology Institute. “We were looking at 500 users remote. We had to spread the scoping across multiple technologies, which we had, but we needed to very quickly adjust to accommodate the new users.”

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GSA pilots AI for regulatory streamlining

Article | April 15, 2020

The General Services Administration plans to run an artificial-intelligence-based pilot program to help speed up how agencies procure innovative and commercial solutions. The pilot will use a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation to help GSA learn how to streamline the acquisition process, fast-track vendor selection timelines, simplify contract administration for innovative commercial items. FEDSIM is working with GSA’s Technology Transformation Service and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the sponsoring customer, to find a software-as-a-service solution that CMS regulatory staff can use to modernize regulatory workflows.

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Spotlight

Israel Economic Mission to the West Coast

The Government of Israel Economic Mission is private sector minded, operating within the public sector, across a variety of industries and scales. We function across borders and boundaries to bring the Western United States and Israel closer together through mutually beneficial business and trade. Start your conversation with the "Start-Up Nation" today and give us a call to see how we can help your business grow globally!

Related News

Emerging Technology

Thentia now working with AWS to drive innovation in the public sector

PR Newswire | January 20, 2024

Thentia, a leading innovator in regulatory technology, is pleased to announce that it is now working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to drive continued innovation in the public sector. Thentia is empowering regulators to seamlessly tap into the company's comprehensive regulatory assurance Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Thentia Cloud, powered by AWS, fortifying the landscape of regulatory oversight. "We are thrilled to be working with AWS as we persist in our commitment to deliver an enhanced experience for government agencies and regulatory entities globally." says Julian Cardarelli, CEO, Thentia. "By leveraging the power of AWS, we solidify our position as a clear leader and a versatile multi-cloud provider in our category, affirming our commitment to ongoing excellence." Cardarelli adds, "With our world-class, fully integrated regulatory assurance platform now accessible on AWS, we strengthen our commitment to empower the public sector with sophisticated tools for unparalleled efficiency in fulfilling their mandate of public protection." Other key benefits of Thentia's relationship with AWS include working with AWS engineers and architects to optimize Thentia Cloud's performance, security, compliance, and reliability. Partnering with AWS also helps ensure that Thentia Cloud remains at the forefront of the latest advances in cloud computing. Designed for regulators by regulators, Thentia Cloud digitizes, streamlines, and consolidates all essential regulatory functions within a single and secure cloud-based environment. The platform is designed to empower regulators with a comprehensive 360-degree view of all licensee activities, giving them a much more modern, streamlined, and efficient way to work and ultimately meet their regulatory obligation to safeguard the public. Trusted by millions of licensed professionals, businesses, and entities globally, Thentia has been recognized by regulators worldwide for its enhanced blend of technological innovation and regulatory proficiency. In addition to AWS, Thentia Cloud is available on other cloud providers including Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. About Thentia Thoughtfully built for regulators, by regulators, Thentia is driving regulatory transformation for hundreds of regulators and regulatory agencies worldwide with a platform that handles all key department functions including licensing, investigations, enforcement, fitness to practise, quality assurance, scope of practise, continuing education, board management, data analysis, and more. Thentia Cloud empowers regulators to transcend the constraints of legacy processes, custom-built solutions, and a web of disparate applications with a single unified 360-degree platform, setting new standards in efficiency and effectiveness. Thentia Cloud is available on all major cloud providers, including Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

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Government Business

Permuta Launches SaaS Version of DefenseReady on Microsoft Azure Government DoD Cloud

PR Newswire | January 19, 2024

Permuta, a leading HR modernization and talent management software platform for Federal organizational readiness and operational excellence, announced today the release of its first ever SaaS product for DefenseReady with AI and Machine Learning capabilities, called DefenseReady Cloud. The release comes after a decade of on-premise DefenseReady applications and two years after the release of a DoD ATO cloud-hosted IaaS option on IL5. "DefenseReady Cloud provides DoD and approved civilian organizations the low code/no code SaaS/AI solution that ingests existing data sources, regardless of location, to provide a single pane of glass that informs leaders to make readiness decisions which will help our forces be stronger, safer, and our country more competitive," said Sig Behrens, Permuta's CEO. "Our mission has always been to assist in putting the right people, in the right place, at the right time," said Behrens. "And now leadership can have the highest level of confidence on the DISA's approved Microsoft DoD tenant while saving operational costs." "Microsoft is committed to helping the DoD use innovative technologies to meet their critical mission needs and working with key partners like Permuta enables us to innovate and scale solutions for our national security leaders," says Wes Anderson, Vice President for Defense, Microsoft. "This collaboration with Permuta on the DefenseReady cloud will enable Department of Defense leaders to make fully informed operational and readiness decisions with speed." About Permuta Permuta Technologies Inc., is a privately owned software manufacturer which creates off-the-shelf software which has been tailored for military and civilian organizations. With deep experience in the government, Permuta understands the challenges agencies face to protect and meet mission-critical initiatives. As a trusted leader in delivering solutions built and designed for government, Permuta is committed to increasing effectiveness and readiness so agencies can confidently execute their mission. Their products, built on Microsoft technology are the only solutions in the market that cover all federal readiness management needs in one system, including force readiness, training, performance and asset management, medical readiness, mission planning and more.

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Government Finance

Springbrook Software Announces Record Number of Customers Moving to New Cirrus SaaS Based Government Financial ERP Platform in 2023

PR Newswire | January 09, 2024

Springbrook, the country's leading developer of cloud-based government software, closed 2023 with a record number of 68 municipalities selecting Cirrus, the company's flagship financial ERP. Cirrus is a fully integrated, Multi-Tenant, SaasS based platform designed from the ground up specifically for local government agencies. "Cirrus reflects what our customers need and have asked for. We address growing concerns with ransomware attacks by offering the highest level of cybersecurity available. We provide citizens and the next generation of personnel with a seamless, modern, interactive experience. And we know from the pandemic that a changing workforce needs anytime, anywhere browser-based access. Our growth reflects the trend of moving away from home brewed or dated technologies to solutions that are designed for today's challenges," says Robert Bonavito, CEO of Springbrook Software. Springbrook's Cirrus provides a full suite of integrated solutions including finance, payroll, utility billing, advanced budgeting, and human resources. Springbrook also offers the most advanced payment solution available, through Xpress Bill Pay, as well as Tableau, the number one visual analytics tool in use by government agencies. 2023 also marked the roll out of several new technologies including an AI driven ChatBot, Allocation Billing for water utilities with tiered billing structures, and efficient online and mobile Payroll Time Clocks and Time Sheets. About Springbrook Software: Springbrook Software is the country's leading cloud-based finance and administration software provider designing solutions specifically for small to medium sized local government agencies. Nearly 2800 cities, towns and districts from coast to coast use our suite of modern, high-performance solutions to manage their finances, payroll, utility billing and collect citizen payments. Springbrook is headquartered in Portland, Oregon with regional presence in over 40 states, and seven countries internationally.

Read More

Emerging Technology

Thentia now working with AWS to drive innovation in the public sector

PR Newswire | January 20, 2024

Thentia, a leading innovator in regulatory technology, is pleased to announce that it is now working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to drive continued innovation in the public sector. Thentia is empowering regulators to seamlessly tap into the company's comprehensive regulatory assurance Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Thentia Cloud, powered by AWS, fortifying the landscape of regulatory oversight. "We are thrilled to be working with AWS as we persist in our commitment to deliver an enhanced experience for government agencies and regulatory entities globally." says Julian Cardarelli, CEO, Thentia. "By leveraging the power of AWS, we solidify our position as a clear leader and a versatile multi-cloud provider in our category, affirming our commitment to ongoing excellence." Cardarelli adds, "With our world-class, fully integrated regulatory assurance platform now accessible on AWS, we strengthen our commitment to empower the public sector with sophisticated tools for unparalleled efficiency in fulfilling their mandate of public protection." Other key benefits of Thentia's relationship with AWS include working with AWS engineers and architects to optimize Thentia Cloud's performance, security, compliance, and reliability. Partnering with AWS also helps ensure that Thentia Cloud remains at the forefront of the latest advances in cloud computing. Designed for regulators by regulators, Thentia Cloud digitizes, streamlines, and consolidates all essential regulatory functions within a single and secure cloud-based environment. The platform is designed to empower regulators with a comprehensive 360-degree view of all licensee activities, giving them a much more modern, streamlined, and efficient way to work and ultimately meet their regulatory obligation to safeguard the public. Trusted by millions of licensed professionals, businesses, and entities globally, Thentia has been recognized by regulators worldwide for its enhanced blend of technological innovation and regulatory proficiency. In addition to AWS, Thentia Cloud is available on other cloud providers including Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. About Thentia Thoughtfully built for regulators, by regulators, Thentia is driving regulatory transformation for hundreds of regulators and regulatory agencies worldwide with a platform that handles all key department functions including licensing, investigations, enforcement, fitness to practise, quality assurance, scope of practise, continuing education, board management, data analysis, and more. Thentia Cloud empowers regulators to transcend the constraints of legacy processes, custom-built solutions, and a web of disparate applications with a single unified 360-degree platform, setting new standards in efficiency and effectiveness. Thentia Cloud is available on all major cloud providers, including Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Read More

Government Business

Permuta Launches SaaS Version of DefenseReady on Microsoft Azure Government DoD Cloud

PR Newswire | January 19, 2024

Permuta, a leading HR modernization and talent management software platform for Federal organizational readiness and operational excellence, announced today the release of its first ever SaaS product for DefenseReady with AI and Machine Learning capabilities, called DefenseReady Cloud. The release comes after a decade of on-premise DefenseReady applications and two years after the release of a DoD ATO cloud-hosted IaaS option on IL5. "DefenseReady Cloud provides DoD and approved civilian organizations the low code/no code SaaS/AI solution that ingests existing data sources, regardless of location, to provide a single pane of glass that informs leaders to make readiness decisions which will help our forces be stronger, safer, and our country more competitive," said Sig Behrens, Permuta's CEO. "Our mission has always been to assist in putting the right people, in the right place, at the right time," said Behrens. "And now leadership can have the highest level of confidence on the DISA's approved Microsoft DoD tenant while saving operational costs." "Microsoft is committed to helping the DoD use innovative technologies to meet their critical mission needs and working with key partners like Permuta enables us to innovate and scale solutions for our national security leaders," says Wes Anderson, Vice President for Defense, Microsoft. "This collaboration with Permuta on the DefenseReady cloud will enable Department of Defense leaders to make fully informed operational and readiness decisions with speed." About Permuta Permuta Technologies Inc., is a privately owned software manufacturer which creates off-the-shelf software which has been tailored for military and civilian organizations. With deep experience in the government, Permuta understands the challenges agencies face to protect and meet mission-critical initiatives. As a trusted leader in delivering solutions built and designed for government, Permuta is committed to increasing effectiveness and readiness so agencies can confidently execute their mission. Their products, built on Microsoft technology are the only solutions in the market that cover all federal readiness management needs in one system, including force readiness, training, performance and asset management, medical readiness, mission planning and more.

Read More

Government Finance

Springbrook Software Announces Record Number of Customers Moving to New Cirrus SaaS Based Government Financial ERP Platform in 2023

PR Newswire | January 09, 2024

Springbrook, the country's leading developer of cloud-based government software, closed 2023 with a record number of 68 municipalities selecting Cirrus, the company's flagship financial ERP. Cirrus is a fully integrated, Multi-Tenant, SaasS based platform designed from the ground up specifically for local government agencies. "Cirrus reflects what our customers need and have asked for. We address growing concerns with ransomware attacks by offering the highest level of cybersecurity available. We provide citizens and the next generation of personnel with a seamless, modern, interactive experience. And we know from the pandemic that a changing workforce needs anytime, anywhere browser-based access. Our growth reflects the trend of moving away from home brewed or dated technologies to solutions that are designed for today's challenges," says Robert Bonavito, CEO of Springbrook Software. Springbrook's Cirrus provides a full suite of integrated solutions including finance, payroll, utility billing, advanced budgeting, and human resources. Springbrook also offers the most advanced payment solution available, through Xpress Bill Pay, as well as Tableau, the number one visual analytics tool in use by government agencies. 2023 also marked the roll out of several new technologies including an AI driven ChatBot, Allocation Billing for water utilities with tiered billing structures, and efficient online and mobile Payroll Time Clocks and Time Sheets. About Springbrook Software: Springbrook Software is the country's leading cloud-based finance and administration software provider designing solutions specifically for small to medium sized local government agencies. Nearly 2800 cities, towns and districts from coast to coast use our suite of modern, high-performance solutions to manage their finances, payroll, utility billing and collect citizen payments. Springbrook is headquartered in Portland, Oregon with regional presence in over 40 states, and seven countries internationally.

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