Trump says he and Xi will sign China trade deal

Reuters | December 24, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have a signing ceremony to sign the first phase of the U.S.-China trade deal agreed to this month. “We will be having a signing ceremony, yes,” Trump told reporters. “We will ultimately, yes, when we get together. And we’ll be having a quicker signing because we want to get it done. The deal is done, it’s just being translated right now.” United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Dec. 13 that representatives from both countries would sign the Phase 1 trade deal agreement in the first week of January.

Spotlight

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L.) are one of the most recognizable and charismatic insects of North America. Ranging across Canada, Mexico, and the United States, monarchs are especially noted for the long-distance, seasonal migrations they undertake each year from overwintering areas in the coastal California and Oyamel fir (Abies religiosa) forests of central Mexico to their northernmost range in southern Canada.

Spotlight

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L.) are one of the most recognizable and charismatic insects of North America. Ranging across Canada, Mexico, and the United States, monarchs are especially noted for the long-distance, seasonal migrations they undertake each year from overwintering areas in the coastal California and Oyamel fir (Abies religiosa) forests of central Mexico to their northernmost range in southern Canada.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS,CYBERSECURITY

QinetiQ US to Acquire Avantus Federal

Avantus Federal | August 08, 2022

QinetiQ US, a wholly owned subsidiary of QinetiQ Group plc and a leading defense company providing mission-critical solutions in robotics and autonomous systems, sensing, protection systems, and next-generation autonomous vehicles announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Avantus Federal (Avantus) from NewSpring Holdings for an enterprise value of $590 million. The combination of QinetiQ US and Avantus will create a powerful growth platform to address the complex and large scale intelligence and defense challenges government customers face today. The closing of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by end of calendar year 2022. Avantus is a leading provider of mission-focused cyber, data analytics, and software development solutions to the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, Department of Homeland Security, and other law enforcement and civilian agencies. From supporting sensitive national security customers on some of the most complex data engineering, cyber, and analytics problems in the world, to providing key mission operational, intelligence, and cyber support to special operators, and helping accelerate new technologies into the warfighter’s hands, Avantus has a strong track record of achieving speed-to-mission-impact. “We have been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the Avantus employee base, leadership team, customer impact, and the sustained organic growth. We see great alignment in our culture and strategy, Avantus’ highly integrated business, core capabilities, and customer relationships complement QinetiQ’s distinctive offerings, allowing us to grow the services and solutions that benefit our combined global customers as their needs evolve at an accelerating pace.” -Steve Wadey, Group Chief Executive Officer for QinetiQ Group plc. Both Avantus and QinetiQ are best-in-class providers of technology services and support, cyber and intelligence solutions, and information services. With high-trust, established customer relationships within the most important and enduring mission areas, this acquisition enhances the go-to-market strategy for both companies. “We believe that the combination of QinetiQ US and Avantus will create a unique business in the US and globally with a powerful performance culture and scaled technical differentiation, This acquisition is a transformational platform that delivers on our growth strategy of building a disruptive mid-tier defense and intelligence company.” -Shawn N. Purvis, President and Chief Executive Officer of QinetiQ US. Our market is evolving rapidly and demanding more of our customers every day, and joining forces with QinetiQ US will deliver solutions at scale to meet the moment, said Andy Maner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avantus. With a shared culture of absolute customer focus and employee investment and a structure built for agility and speed, this opportunity to combine with QinetiQ US strengthens our defense presence and combined position across our intelligence and homeland, law enforcement, and civilian portfolio, and we are poised to continue our joint mission as an innovator unique to our market. The combination with Avantus will materially enhance QinetiQ US’s position in the largest defence and intelligence market in the world by creating a large full solutions US Defense contractor business well-positioned within high growth and durable market areas. Avantus brings a strong order backlog, and the acquisition creates a compelling platform for new scaling organic and inorganic growth for QinetiQ in the US. Guggenheim Securities, LLC served as exclusive financial adviser to Avantus and NewSpring Holdings, and Baker Tilly provided financial due diligence expertise. Blank Rome LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as counsel to Avantus. Citizens and Gleacher Shacklock served as joint lead financial advisers and Baker McKenzie served as counsel to QinetiQ. About QinetiQ US: QinetiQ US is a leading defense and security company in the United States providing mission-led innovation at pace. QinetiQ US is a provider of technologically advanced services and products to the US Department of Defense and national security agencies, positioned to deliver key aspects of the modernization required to address our customers’ pivot to counter near peer adversaries. QinetiQ’s engineering services span the DoD and Intel community providing subject matter expertise in the areas of communications, sensor integration and research and development, survivability and unmanned ground combat systems. QinetiQ US operates as the U.S. arm of QinetiQ Group plc (QQ.LSE), a global integrated defense and security company focused on innovation for defense, security and civil customers around the world. QinetiQ US employees are based predominantly in Virginia and Massachusetts and operate under a Special Security Agreement (SSA) with the U.S. Defense Counterintelligence & Security Agency (DCSA). QinetiQ US is creating new ways of protecting what matters most; testing technologies, systems, and processes to make sure they work as expected; and enabling customers to deploy new and enhanced-existing capabilities with the assurance they will deliver the outcomes required. About Avantus Federal: Avantus Federal is a mission-focused data, cyber, and space services and solutions company. As a mid-market powerhouse with an intentional blend of elite talent, infrastructure, and speed to impact, Avantus and its approximately 1,150 highly-cleared professionals lead with technical and domain expertise for its Defense, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Federal Civilian customers. Helping to solve some of the toughest national security problems and government missions, Avantus’ offerings enable services at scale, including cyber technologies and operations, data and software solutions, digital engineering and integration, intelligence analysis and operations, space domain capabilities, transformation and advisory services, and more. About NewSpring Holdings: NewSpring Holdings, NewSpring's dedicated holding company with a strategy focused on control buyouts and platform builds, brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and resources to take profitable, growing companies to the next level through acquisitions and proven organic methodologies. Founded in 1999, NewSpring partners with the innovators, makers, and operators of high-performing companies in dynamic industries to catalyze new growth and seize compelling opportunities. The Firm manages over $2.5 billion across five distinct strategies covering the spectrum from growth equity and control buyouts to mezzanine debt. Partnering with management teams to help develop their businesses into market leaders, NewSpring identifies opportunities and builds relationships using its network of industry leaders and influencers across a wide array of operational areas and industries.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Octo Wins Spot on BPA to Serve DoD Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC)

Octo | May 17, 2022

Octo, the premier MLOps and data management solutions provider for the Federal Government, announced it has been awarded a spot on the Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) Test and Evaluation (T&E) five-year, $249 million Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). The multi-award contract supports the JAIC’s T&E team which is responsible for developing DoD-wide artificial intelligence (AI) testing and evaluation processes, tools, and standards. Under the BPA, Octo will provide test technology and tools for a variety of AI applications and develop T&E capabilities to support the DoD’s full spectrum of emerging AI technologies to include machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL), and neural networks. Octo will also test and evaluate existing technologies in support of mission objectives. The JAIC focuses on broad enablement and implementation of AI capabilities within the DoD, supporting its defense customers by providing the infrastructure, tools, and technical expertise for users to successfully build and deploy mission-enabling AI projects. Octo’s CEO Mehul Sanghani said, “The JAIC’s T&E team is critical to the success of the organization and the DoD at every level. Octo could not be more excited to be among those chosen to advance the JAIC’s mission of bringing safe, effective AI into the hands of the women and men who protect our country. We are pleased our approach of focusing on Warfighters’ success in the field under any condition has earned Octo a reputation as a firm that delivers results.” Rob Albritton, Senior Director of Octo’s AI Center of Excellence said, “Our work within oLabs, Octo’s R&D innovation center, and our work with the Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) program have demonstrated our AI proficiencies but have only scratched the surface of what we’re capable of. We’re eager to collaborate with the experts at the JAIC to develop technology that far exceeds the expectations of our Warfighters and makes them even more effective than they are today.” Octo has a long history of supporting defense programs with the latest technologies, top industry talent, and dedication to helping maintain our warriors’ unparalleled capability. We are excited to expand our relationship with the defense community and put to good use the proven tools we’ve developed to bolster mission accomplishment.” Sam Stollar, General Manager of Octo’s Defense and Intelligence Business Unit About Octo Octo is a technology firm dedicated to solving the Federal Government’s most complex challenges, enabling agencies to jump the technology curve. We don’t just modernize. We create lasting change through best practices that help agencies implement and integrate at-scale next-generation technology and innovation. With a mission and service first mentality, we provide Agile, DevSecOps, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Cloud, Open Source, and Data Science solutions, collaborating to solve customers’ pressing problems. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Octo delivers proven technology vital to the intelligence community and health care, defense, national security, and civilian agencies that directly impact our nation.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Siemens Government Technologies Helps Corpus Christi Army Depot Achieve Its Energy Efficiency and Savings Goals

Siemens Government Technologies | May 27, 2022

Siemens Government Technologies (SGT), Inc., Siemens' federally focused U.S. affiliate, is extending crucial energy efficiency and resiliency work at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Texas. The new $17.1 million task order will achieve Army efficiency and resiliency goals for its premier rotary wing and repair facility thanks to a budget neutral task order given by the Army Corps of Engineers' Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville. Siemens has been assisting CCAD with energy efficiency and resiliency initiatives since 2015. Critical infrastructure enhancements have been scoped to return the largest energy savings at the lowest feasible cost to the government, which they credit to the close collaboration with Army project engineers. Siemens has been able to provide more than $93 million in energy conservation measures compensated for by the decrease in baseline utility costs over the contract duration by leveraging energy savings performance contracts — where energy efficiency initiatives are completely financed with minimal upfront investment. We’ve been fortunate to serve CCAD with essential smart infrastructure and energy-efficient systems that support their national security mission. By providing these critical upgrades that expand overall efficiency for smart energy management, the Army CCAD team can maintain its focus on their core mission of critical repair and refurbishment of rotary wing assets here at home and around the world.” John Ustica, Interim CEO of Siemens Government Technologies The present task order covers seven buildings with a total square footage of more than 1.5 million square feet. The project team, led by SGT, will replace existing stream traps, install point-of-use pressure washers to eliminate single pass steam, replace hot water boilers with high efficiency boilers, and replace hot water pumps with high efficiency variable volume pumps to reduce single pass steam. High-efficiency chillers will be installed in place of air-cooled chillers, and new local controls will enable remote monitoring and warning for more efficient operation. Existing interior and exterior fixtures will be replaced or retrofitted with LED technology as part of the lighting upgrades. The project team will enhance existing SCADA systems to monitor and manage existing furnaces and freezers, as well as implement a new SCADA system, to reduce overall parts scrap rate, labor, and cycle time.

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