UK government floats 10% weighting for social value in contracts

The British government reinforced its commitment to create more social value from £49bn worth of public sector contracting at Social Enterprise UK’s Social Value Leaders Summit on Monday. After earlier unveiling plans specifying areas where commissioners should look to create social value, Cabinet Office parliamentary secretary Oliver Dowden (pictured above) gave more detail in a speech to more than 100 business leaders at King’s College, London. Dowden was filling in for expected speaker David Lidington, Theresa May’s number two. The Minister for the Cabinet Office was called away to help with Brexit negotiations ahead of an expected vote on a deal in parliament on Tuesday.

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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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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, Government Finance

True Elements and Carahsoft Partner to Bring Water Intelligence Solutions to the Public Sector

PR Newswire | January 04, 2024

True Elements, the leader in Water Intelligence, and Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, today announced a partnership. Under the agreement, Carahsoft will serve as True Elements' Master Government Aggregator®, making the company's industry-leading Water Intelligence SaaS solutions and data sets available to the Public Sector through Carahsoft's reseller partners and NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V, National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA) and OMNIA Partners contracts. "The partnership with Carahsoft will provide Water Intelligence to Public Sector agencies, enabling them to better understand current water challenges and effectively prepare for a very different water future," said Kim Patrick Kobza, CEO of True Elements. "The key is to provide agencies with dynamic workflow solutions that are cost effective and easy to procure so they can succeed in assessing the present and forecasting the future. With Carahsoft as a partner, we can accomplish our mission to ensure all agencies have the best decision support available when responding to rapidly changing climate conditions." The Value of Water Intelligence Water Intelligence is a unique combination of state-of-the-art technology, scientific analysis and AI capabilities that continuously aggregates, synthesizes and transforms expansive amounts of complex water data into easily understandable, increasingly precise analyses and forecasts via scores and visualizations. These analyses and forecasts produce deep, clear insights that help decision-makers better understand water resources to make fully informed decisions about how to manage and optimize resources. Water Intelligence Helps Public Sector Leaders Ensure a Water-Resilient Future Changing weather patterns are creating climate crises across the globe. Ninety percent of those crises are experienced through water. True Elements' SaaS solutions and data sets quickly and easily provide Public Sector leaders with in-depth insights necessary for fully informed, confident decision-making to address water challenges at the local, regional and national levels. Insights into current water quality and quantity challenges (pollution, demographic considerations, etc.) as well as future disruptive events or long-term changes to water resources (drought, sea level rise, flood risk, etc.) help Government leaders make the strategic decisions necessary to ensure their organizations, assets, operations and communities can adapt and thrive in a climate with rapidly changing hydrologic cycles. True Elements' Water Intelligence platform easily, efficiently and cost-effectively delivers the understanding decision makers need with color coded scores and visualizations. "The Public Sector is currently facing water-related challenges that are expected to increase in number and severity if left unaddressed," said Harjeet Khalsa, Sales Director, Google ISV Ecosystem at Carahsoft. "Through collaboration with our reseller partners and the addition of True Elements' Water Intelligence solutions to our offerings, Government agencies are empowered to procure the resources necessary to proactively address existing water related challenges and work toward a water-resilient future." True Elements, integrated within Google Cloud Marketplace, is now available through Carahsoft and Google's partner ecosystem. This collaboration simplifies procurement for Government agencies, granting seamless access to their Water Intelligence solutions powered by Google's robust infrastructure, ensuring efficient decision-making tools for addressing water challenges. About True Elements True Elements provides the deep, clear Water Intelligence leaders need to clarify water complexity and make accurate, effective decisions to address their current and future water challenges. True Elements applies a sophisticated, scientific and AI lens to multiple layers of disparate watershed data, producing reliable analysis, forecasting, and holistic insights into watershed dynamics. True Elements' Water Intelligence platform delivers insights through a fast, easy, cost-effective process and provides color-coded scores and visualizations that ensure clear understanding and communication to drive action. About Carahsoft Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider, supporting Public Sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets. As the Master Government Aggregator for our vendor partners, we deliver solutions for Geospatial, Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source, Customer Experience and Engagement and more. Working with resellers, systems integrators and consultants, our sales and marketing teams provide industry leading IT products, services and training through hundreds of contract vehicles.

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