Corporate America descends on Washington to fight Trump's China tariffs

New Balance Athletics Inc. has long advocated and benefited from tariffs, competing with Nike Inc. and other footwear companies while still making shoes in the US. Now, it’s among the critics of President Donald Trump’s duties testifying at a public hearing starting Monday. The Boston-based firm said while it supports Trump’s efforts to force China to address intellectual property theft in a trade deal, its U.S. factories are supported by a global supply chain connected to China and built over decades. Duties on soles and other components would hurt the business, as do China’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, the company said.

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Emerging Technology

Domino Data Lab Lends AI Expertise to Atlantic Council's Commission on Software-Defined Warfare

PR Newswire | January 23, 2024

Domino Data Lab, provider of the leading Enterprise AI platform trusted by over 20% of the Fortune 100, today announced it has joined the Atlantic Council's newly-formed Commission on Software-Defined Warfare, where Domino President of Public Sector Joel Meyer will represent the company to help ensure the U.S. and its allies can effectively leverage software, particularly AI platforms at scale, to enhance defense capabilities. Co-chaired by 27th U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, Former Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox, and President of Purdue University Mung Chiang, the Commission will develop a framework to enhance U.S. and allied forces through emergent digital capabilities. The commission will leverage insights from a prestigious and diverse group of subject matter experts, including former government officials, and industry leaders who will offer a wealth of valuable perspectives. The continued proliferation of advanced commercial technology, including infrastructure and tooling to support artificial intelligence, is transforming the battlefield and changing its dynamics in ways that could alter existing military balances of power. Meyer will work with the Commission to help recognize and recommend scalable, governable, and cost-effective AI approaches and solutions to ensure U.S. competitiveness amidst this paradigm shift. "To ensure the U.S. maintains its global leadership in today's technology-driven security environment, the DoD must modernize its approach to acquiring and leveraging digital capabilities," said Meyer. "I'm honored to assist the Atlantic Council's critical work to enable the DoD to leverage responsible AI-driven capabilities for data-driven decisions at the speed of battle, and support our long-term national security." This new commission is the latest of the Atlantic Council's efforts to recommend modern software practices the DoD can implement to optimize or improve defense capabilities. "Cutting-edge technology companies like Domino are crucial to closing the yawning gap in current capabilities for advancing national defense," said Stephen Rodriguez, commission director and senior advisor, at the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and its Forward Defense program. "The expertise that Joel Meyer brings from his prior senior national security and technology roles will help cement the Commission's ability to drive change that supports American and allied security." The Commission's work will culminate in a framework for the U.S. legislative and executive branches, defense prime contractors and tech start-ups, and U.S. allies and partners to holistically approach software capability development and integration with military hardware. Domino for Government: Secure & Governed Mission-Driven AI Domino's Enterprise AI and MLOps Platform helps government agencies integrate AI into their missions rapidly, safely, and cost-effectively. Domino makes it easy for federal agencies to build, deploy, and manage AI at scale, on a unified platform without risking their AI intellectual property. Agency data scientists, contractors, and collaborators can securely access on-demand compute infrastructure and their choice of commercial and open-source data, tools, models, and projects—across any on-prem, GovCloud, and hybrid/multi-cloud environments. With Domino, agencies can improve collaboration and governance while establishing AI standards and best practices that accelerate their missions. "The DoD needs to continue to accelerate the integration of artificial intelligence into its mission sets to more effectively deter, deny, and if necessary, defeat our nation's adversaries," said Brigadier General and Domino advisor Bobby Kinney. "Domino's open, API-driven architecture ensures flexibility and freedom for users while offering control and built-in governance for platform and security owners — a critical role in how the DoD and its allies and partners modernize in the scaling of much-needed AI tooling and infrastructure." About Domino Data Lab Domino Data Lab empowers the largest AI-driven enterprises to build and operate AI at scale. Domino's Enterprise AI platform unifies the flexibility AI teams want with the visibility and control the enterprise requires. Domino enables a repeatable and agile ML lifecycle for faster, responsible AI impact with lower costs. With Domino, global enterprises can develop better medicines, grow more productive crops, develop more competitive products, and more. Founded in 2013, Domino is backed by Sequoia Capital, Coatue Management, NVIDIA, Snowflake, and other leading investors.

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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.

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Emerging Technology

Mkango Subsidiary Maginito and CoTec Form HyProMag USA Joint Venture and Commence Process to Appoint EPCM Provider for the Feasibility Study

GlobeNewswire | January 04, 2024

CoTec Holdings Corp. and Mkango Resources Ltd. are pleased to announce that CoTec and Maginito Limited ("Maginito") have formed a 50/50 joint venture entity which will roll out HyProMag Limited’s (“HyProMag”) Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (“HPMS”) recycling technology into the United States. The newly formed joint venture company, HyProMag USA, LLC (“HyProMag USA” or the “Joint Venture”), plans to develop a low cost, low carbon, sustainable rare earth magnet recycling and production business underpinned by HPMS. HyProMag has sublicenced the HPMS technology to HyProMag USA. HyProMag is 100 per cent owned by Maginito, which is owned on a 79.4/20.6 per cent basis by Mkango and CoTec, and is commercialising rare earth magnet recycling in the UK, Germany and United States. Revenue from the Joint Venture is targeted for 2025/2026. HyProMag USA will initially focus on completing a bankable feasibility study (“Feasibility Study”) through a hub and spoke model using three HPMS vessels and one magnet manufacturing hub (together the “US Project”). The Joint Venture has recently initiated a “Request for Proposal” process from leading Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (“EPCM”) providers and has ordered three HPMS reactors to expedite the development of the US Project. Following completion of the Feasibility Study, CoTec and Mkango will make a joint decision as to whether the Joint Venture will proceed with the construction of the US Project. Julian Treger, CoTec CEO commented: “HyProMag is supported by the Minerals Security Partnership1 and we are looking forward to working with leading EPCM providers to design and build these facilities using HyProMag’s considerable experience from the plants being developed in the UK and in Germany. CoTec and Mkango are focused on delivery and will be exploring US Government funding and strategic partnerships for feed supply and rare earth element (“REE”) magnet offtake in the first half of 2024. “We look forward to working and collaborating with local, state and federal stakeholders targeting the completion of the feasibility study”. Will Dawes, Mkango CEO commented: “We see the United States as a core component of our growth strategy and look forward to progressing the US feasibility study over the course of the year, in parallel with further development of operations in the UK, Germany and other jurisdictions. HyProMag’s recycling technology has major competitive advantages versus other recycling technologies and is a key enabler for cost effective and energy efficient separation, recycling and production of rare earth magnets with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. We are receiving strong interest for recycled magnets from potential customers and for recycling solutions from original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), and automotive and recycling companies.” HPMS technology was developed at the University of Birmingham, underpinned by approximately US$100 million of research and development funding, and has major competitive advantages versus other rare earth magnet recycling technologies, which are largely focused on chemical processes but do not solve the challenges of liberating magnets from end-of-life scrap streams –HPMS provides the solution. Maginito Maginito is owned 79.4 per cent by Mkango and 20.6 per cent by CoTec. It is focused on developing green technology opportunities in the rare earths supply chain, encompassing neodymium (NdFeB) magnet recycling as well as innovative rare earth alloy, magnet, and separation technologies. Maginito holds a 100 per cent interest in HyProMag and a 90 per cent direct and indirect interest (assuming conversion of Maginito’s convertible loan) in HyProMag GmbH, focused on short loop rare earth magnet recycling in the UK and Germany, and a 100 per cent interest in Mkango Rare Earths UK Ltd (“Mkango UK”), a company focused on long loop rare earth magnet recycling in the UK via a chemical route. About Mkango Resources Ltd. Mkango's corporate strategy is to develop new sustainable sources of neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium to supply accelerating demand from electric vehicles, wind turbines and other clean technologies. In parallel with development of its mining assets, Mkango plans to become a market leader in the production of recycled rare earth magnets and alloys via its interest in Maginito. This integrated Mine, Refine, Recycle strategy differentiates Mkango from its peers, uniquely positioning the Company in the rare earths sector. Mkango is listed on the AIM and the TSX-V. Mkango is developing its flagship Songwe Hill rare earths project (“Songwe”) in Malawi with a Definitive Feasibility Study completed in July 2022 and an Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment approved by the Government of Malawi in January 2023. Discussions regarding the Mine Development Agreement (“MDA”) for Songwe Hill are ongoing with the Government of Malawi. In parallel, Mkango and Grupa Azoty PULAWY, Poland's leading chemical manufacturer have agreed to work together towards development of a rare earth separation plant at Pulawy in Poland (the Pulawy Separation Plant) to process the purified mixed rare earth carbonate produced at Songwe Hill. Mkango also has an extensive exploration portfolio in Malawi, including the Mchinji rutile exploration project, the Thambani uranium-tantalum-niobium-zircon project and Chimimbe nickel-cobalt project. About CoTec Holdings Corp. CoTec is a publicly traded investment issuer listed on the Toronto Venture Stock Exchange (“TSX- V”) and the OTCQB and trades under the symbol CTH and CTHCF respectively. CoTec is an environment, social, and governance (“ESG”)-focused company investing in innovative technologies that have the potential to fundamentally change the way metals and minerals can be extracted and processed for the purpose of applying those technologies to undervalued operating assets and recycling opportunities, as it transitions into a mid-tier mineral resource producer. CoTec is committed to supporting the transition to a lower carbon future for the extraction industry, a sector on the cusp of a green revolution as it embraces technology and innovation. It has made four investments to date and is actively pursuing operating opportunities where current technology investments could be deployed.

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