Oil prices ease on scant details of US-China trade deal

CNBC | October 14, 2019

Oil prices eased on Monday as scant details on the first phase of a trade deal between the United States and China undercut last week’s optimism over the thaw that helped to lift crude markets by 2%. Brent crude futures edged down by 25 cents to $60.26 a barrel by 0436 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures was at $54.45 a barrel, down 25 cents. Both contracts rose more than 3% last week, their first weekly gain in three. “There is an argument that the oil market trading during U.S. hours on Friday have already had a chance to price (in) the news on the trade dispute and the better outlook for global demand,” said CMC Markets chief strategist Michael McCarthy.

Spotlight

In June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted by a narrow margin in favor of leaving the European Union (EU). Then home secretary Theresa May became prime minister and took on the onerous task of putting together a divorce deal. Brexit was set in motion when the UK formally triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29, 2017, to leave the EU and begin negotiations with Brussels. On November 14, 2018, EU and UK negotiators reached a draft withdrawal agreement and outlined a draft political declaration on the future UK-EU relationship once the Brexit transition period ends. EU leaders endorsed that withdrawal agreement on November 25 but the UK Parliament rejected it in January 2019. Since then, the political situation surrounding the exit deal has been unclear and in flux.

Spotlight

In June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted by a narrow margin in favor of leaving the European Union (EU). Then home secretary Theresa May became prime minister and took on the onerous task of putting together a divorce deal. Brexit was set in motion when the UK formally triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29, 2017, to leave the EU and begin negotiations with Brussels. On November 14, 2018, EU and UK negotiators reached a draft withdrawal agreement and outlined a draft political declaration on the future UK-EU relationship once the Brexit transition period ends. EU leaders endorsed that withdrawal agreement on November 25 but the UK Parliament rejected it in January 2019. Since then, the political situation surrounding the exit deal has been unclear and in flux.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Nokia Picked for U.S. Federal 5G Cybersecurity Project

Nokia | January 15, 2021

Nokia today declared it has been selected as an innovation supplier and collaborator by the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) 5G Cybersecurity Project. Nokia will work with NCCoE and other key sellers, including individuals from government and industry to guarantee the progress from 4G to 5G organizations is secure. Nokia was selected by NCCoE to take an interest in the venture because of its worldwide accomplishment in 5G organizations – including equipment and programming, and portable organization security and 5G RAN skill – to help refine a reference plan and construct use cases on guidelines based arrangements. The 5G Cybersecurity Project will distinguish various 5G use cases and exhibit how the parts of the 5G engineering can give security capacities to relieve recognized dangers and meet industry areas' consistence necessities. The extent of this undertaking is to use the 5G normalized security highlights which are characterized in 3GPP principles to give upgraded cybersecurity abilities incorporated into network gear and end client gadgets. Kevin Stine, Chief of the Applied Cybersecurity Division at NIST, said: “5G will touch every aspect of our lives and security must be integrated up front rather than an add-on element of 5G networks. We’re looking forward to working with our project collaborators such as Nokia to show 5G’s advanced standards based security features as well an architecture that leverages foundational security capabilities available in cloud technologies.” Raghav Sahgal, President, Cloud and Network Services at Nokia, said: “Previous cellular technology generations have been industry-led whereas 5G development must evolve in collaboration with governments to ensure availability and access of secure trusted networks. The 5G Cybersecurity Project fills this role with a cross-section of government and industry collaborators on board. At Nokia, we embed security into every solution that we ship, and we are committed to enabling the secure shift to the cloud by working with government agencies and the industry to advance cybersecurity for 5G use cases that leverage both open and commercial components.” Nokia solutions that will be deployed for this project include industry-leading software, 5G RAN and core solutions, and IP-Backhaul, as well as innovations from Nokia Bell Labs. About Nokia We create the critical networks and technologies to bring together the world’s intelligence, across businesses, cities, supply chains and societies. With our commitment to innovation and technology leadership, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we deliver networks at the limits of science across mobile, infrastructure, cloud, and enabling technologies. About NIST NCCoE The NCCoE, a part of NIST, is a collaborative hub where industry organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions work together to address businesses’ most pressing cybersecurity issues. This public-private partnership enables creation of practical cybersecurity solutions for specific industries, as well as for broad, cross-sector technology challenges. Through consortia under CRADAs, including technology partners—from Fortune 50 market leaders to smaller companies specializing in information technology and operational technology security—the NCCoE applies standards and recommended practices to develop modular, easily adaptable example cybersecurity solutions by using commercially available technology. The NCCoE documents these example solutions in the NIST Special Publication 1800 series, which maps capabilities to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and details the steps needed for another entity to re-create the example solution.

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GOVERNMENT FINANCE

Terrestrial Energy Awarded US Government Grant for IMSR Development

Terrestrial Energy | November 26, 2021

Terrestrial Energy USA was awarded a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to support licensing and commercialization of its Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR), a Generation IV nuclear power plant. The largest of the DOE awards announced Nov. 18, the award supports modeling and simulation for the off-gas systems of the IMSR power plant, supporting the company’s regulatory program for U.S. NRC licensing. “Advanced reactors will completely change the way we engineer, build, and operate nuclear reactors,” said Dr. Kathryn Huff, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, in a press release announcing the awards. “These awards support technical and regulatory strides necessary for commercializing new carbon-free nuclear technologies poised to help our nation reach net-zero emissions by 2050.” Terrestrial Energy is developing its IMSR Generation IV small modular reactor (SMR) power plant for commercial deployment in the late 2020s and is engaged with regulators in the United States and Canada. The Generation IV molten salt technology used by the IMSR power plant delivers a 50 percent increase in the thermal efficiency of electric power generation compared to power plants that use conventional – water-moderated-water-cooled –reactor technology. This provides a step-change improvement in the economics of nuclear power generation while preserving nuclear energy’s carbon-free and resiliency advantages over other energy sources. “We value this grant and the Department of Energy’s support as we work to license and commercialize the IMSR nuclear power plant in the United States. It is encouraging that DOE sees the potential of Generation IV technologies and the IMSR. These grant programs support private companies as they work to deliver nuclear power technologies that can succeed in competitive global energy markets and deliver global net-zero goals. Technologies such as our IMSR Generation IV nuclear plants will produce reliable, cost-competitive heat and power without emissions, making them uniquely capable of competing with fossil fuels.” Terrestrial Energy USA CEO Simon Irish About Terrestrial Energy USA Terrestrial Energy USA, based in Charlotte, NC, is developing the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) for U.S. market deployment. The IMSR is a non-Light Water Reactor that uses Generation IV technology to generate electricity 50 percent more efficiently than conventional – water-moderated-water-cooled – nuclear reactor technology. The IMSR represents a step-change improvement in economics, versatility and functionality of nuclear power plants that is possible only with Generation IV technology. IMSR power plants will provide resilient, reliable, dispatchable, zero-carbon and cost-competitive electric power, as well as high-grade industrial heat for use in many industrial applications, such as chemical synthesis, hydrogen production and desalination, and in so doing extend the application of nuclear energy far beyond electric power markets. IMSR power plants have the potential to make important contributions to industrial competitiveness, energy security, and economic growth.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Ephesoft's Intelligent Document Processing Platform is Now FedRAMP Compliant

Ephesoft | November 16, 2021

Ephesoft Inc., a leader in intelligent document processing, automation and data enrichment solutions, today announced that its Ephesoft Transact platform is now available as a FedRAMP moderate compliant cloud service. Deployed on Project Hosts Private Cloud FedRAMP Authorized platform built on Microsoft Azure Government, Ephesoft Transact complied with all additional security controls and has a System Security Plan (SSP) in place to greatly accelerate the compliance verification and Authorization to Operate (ATO) process. "Automation and AI are major change drivers for government organizations and we are excited to be part of this journey. The availability of the Ephesoft Transact in a FedRAMP SaaS-compliant cloud paves the way for federal agencies to modernize critical processes, take advantage of the cloud and, ultimately, do more with less. Being FedRAMP compliant assures all federal agencies that Ephesoft Transact is fully vetted and highly secure, saving time and money on implementation." Kevin Harbauer, chief technology officer at Ephesoft Ephesoft Transact is already being used by many government organizations, including 14 federal agencies in multiple departments, to automate document-centric processes and drive operational efficiencies. Turning high volumes of documents of any type into structured, actionable data, the platform not only digitalizes previously laborious processes and eliminates manual data entry but also enables digital transformation downstream by making the data available to other workflows and systems. The U.S. Air Force, for example, currently uses Ephesoft Transact and its Web Scanner feature, which is Air Force Network Integration (AFNIC) certified, at over 100 scanning stations at Air Force bases worldwide to streamline travel voucher processing. Since the USAF began using Ephesoft Transact, they have accelerated their document processing setup by about 94% and have seen a throughput rate of 95%. Accelerated by the OMB and NARA's Memorandum M-19-21 mandate, government agencies put a concentrated effort into modernizing their operations through AI and automation technologies. As many processes primed for modernization are paper and digital document-based, Intelligent Document Processing is going to be an integral part in the agencies' technology stack. As a result of Ephesoft Transact's FedRAMP compliance, the ATO process is now much easier and accelerated so agencies can take advantage of its benefits faster. Ephesoft's Intelligent Document Processing platform is available to federal agencies on GSA MAS GS-35F-0858N. About Ephesoft Ephesoft's Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) platform and data enrichment solutions automate document-centric processes to maximize operational efficiency and human productivity for enterprises and the public sector. Using AI, patented machine learning and proprietary classification models, Ephesoft's customizable and scalable platform turns any document type into structured, actionable data to accelerate business processes and data-driven decisions. The platform's APIs and iPaaS connectors allow for fast integrations into other business systems for seamless end-to-end automation. Working with a vast partner ecosystem, Ephesoft has been deployed in the cloud and on-premises to customers around the globe saving costs, improving data accuracy and fueling their digital transformation journey towards hyperautomation. Ephesoft is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with regional offices throughout the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific. About FedRAMP The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. This approach uses a "do once, use many times" framework that saves an estimated 30-40% of government costs, as well as both time and staff required to conduct redundant agency security assessments. FedRAMP is the result of close collaboration with cybersecurity and cloud experts from the General Services Administration (GSA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DOD), National Security Agency (NSA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council and its working groups, as well as private industry.

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