Agriculture Adviser Defends Planned Research Office Moves From D.C.

Government Executive | March 27, 2019

The Agriculture Department on Wednesday provided its most detailed defense to date of its controversial plan to move two research offices from Washington to a still-unnamed site closer to farm country. Kristi Boswell, senior adviser to Secretary Sonny Purdue, told skeptical Democrats on a House appropriations subcommittee that the decision to move most of the 700 employees in the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture was “not made rashly.” Spending money to relocate will create long-term efficiencies in “mission functions” and put the career professionals “closer to the broad array of customers and stakeholders who live and work outside of D.C.,” said Boswell, an attorney formerly with the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Our team will hear ground-level ideas on upcoming issues and develop research needs,” she said of the plan that has drawn organized opposition from many farm research groups.

Spotlight

Offshore wind power is poised to deliver an essential contribution to a clean, robust, and diversified U.S. energy portfolio. Capturing and using this large and inexhaustible resource has the potential to mitigate climate change, improve the environment, increase energy security, and stimulate the U.S. economy. The United States is now deliberating an energy policy that will have a powerful impact on the nation’s energy and economic health for decades to come. This report provides a broad understanding of today’s wind industry and the offshore resource, as well as the associated technology challenges, economics, permitting procedures, and potential risks and benefits. An appreciation for all sides of these issues will help to build an informed national dialog and shape effective national policies.

Spotlight

Offshore wind power is poised to deliver an essential contribution to a clean, robust, and diversified U.S. energy portfolio. Capturing and using this large and inexhaustible resource has the potential to mitigate climate change, improve the environment, increase energy security, and stimulate the U.S. economy. The United States is now deliberating an energy policy that will have a powerful impact on the nation’s energy and economic health for decades to come. This report provides a broad understanding of today’s wind industry and the offshore resource, as well as the associated technology challenges, economics, permitting procedures, and potential risks and benefits. An appreciation for all sides of these issues will help to build an informed national dialog and shape effective national policies.

Related News

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Borough of Caldwell Joins Community of Local Buyers with the New Jersey Purchasing Group

Bidnet Direct | November 28, 2022

Today, the Borough of Caldwell announces it has joined the New Jersey Purchasing Group, a regional purchasing community by Bidnet Direct. Local government agencies throughout New Jersey utilize the purchasing group for bid and vendor management. The Borough of Caldwell invites all potential vendors to register online with the New Jersey Purchasing Group to access its upcoming solicitations by visiting http://www.bidnetdirect.com/new-jersey/caldwellnj. The Borough of Caldwell joins the New Jersey Purchasing Group and the community of over 50 participating local government agencies located throughout New Jersey. Along with a variety of bid and vendor management solutions, the Borough of Caldwell gains access to a bid library to help with bid creation, a shared pool of vendors, and association with like-minded purchasing professionals in the area. Vendors interested in doing business with the Borough of Caldwell are encouraged to register at http://www.bidnetdirect.com/new-jersey/caldwellnj. Benefits of joining the New Jersey Purchasing Group include: Centralized location for bids from approximately 54 participating agencies Bid alerts customized to the vendors’ products or services Reliable and timely delivery of notifications, addenda and documents The New Jersey Purchasing Group is one of Bidnet Direct’s regional purchasing groups throughout the country. It provides the Borough of Caldwell a bid and vendor management solution, document and addendum distribution, and tracking of all activity throughout the procurement process. About the Borough of Caldwell: Please visit the Borough of Caldwell’s website to explore the history and structure of the Borough. Our History - Caldwell, New Jersey About Bidnet Direct: Bidnet Direct, powered by mdf commerce, is a sourcing solution of regional purchasing groups available at no cost to local government agencies throughout the country. Bidnet Direct runs regional purchasing groups, including the New Jersey Purchasing Group, across all 50 states that are used by over 1,600 local governments.

Read More

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Convergint Acquires MVP Tech, Expanding Service Offerings in the Middle East

Convergint | September 13, 2022

Convergint, a global leader in service-based systems integration, today announced it has acquired MVP Tech, a leading UAE-based security and IT systems contractor serving private enterprises and government clients for the past two decades. The acquisition will add more than 200 colleagues to Convergint and expand the company’s presence to countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Middle East. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Dubai, MVP Tech has three offices across the United Arab Emirates and Iraq with near-future expansion plans into KSA. The company’s diverse and multinational colleagues are comprised of 80% technical individuals with a proven industry background, managing and delivering projects with one of the largest on-the-ground workforces in the market. MVP Tech’s mission is to deliver next-generation intelligence and interconnectivity across verticals such as critical infrastructure, hospitality, luxury retail and malls, and energy infrastructure. “MVP Tech’s strong, customer-focused culture and their expertise in emerging technologies provides an important competitive advantage and is well-aligned with our growth strategy, MVP will allow us to directly meet the needs of our global customers in this critical region. MVP’s robust technical capabilities and rapidly expanding artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data capabilities will complement and accelerate our investments in these key areas. We look forward to collaborating with MVP Tech’s colleagues and leadership, who will remain in place to deliver uninterrupted service excellence and the latest in technological innovation to their customers.” -Ken Lochiatto, CEO of Convergint. By joining forces with Convergint, we now have the opportunity to expand our engineering-driven philosophy and to further elevate our service capabilities, for both our local and multinational customers, said Charles Kiwan, CEO and owner, MVP Tech. Convergint’s culture and core Values and Beliefs are the perfect fit for MVP Tech. We greatly look forward to the new possibilities we can bring to our customers through Convergint’s resources. Convergint has a service-focused presence across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Oceania. The company continues to grow globally, with this acquisition following four others earlier this year that expanded Convergint’s capabilities across Canada, Australia, and the United States. About Convergint: Convergint is a $2.0 billion global, industry-leading systems integrator that designs, installs, and services electronic security, cybersecurity, fire and life safety, building automation, and audio-visual systems. Listed as the #1 systems integrator in SDM Magazine’s Top Systems Integrators Report for the past 5 years, Convergint leads with over 8,500 colleagues and more than 185 locations worldwide.

Read More

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.

Read More