UK says it will not transition EU-Japan trade deal before March 29

Reuters | February 21, 2019

Britain will not be able to replicate the European Union’s trade deal with Japan before it leaves the bloc on March 29, the government said on Thursday in a document setting out its progress on transitioning existing agreements. Britain is seeking to roll over around 40 EU bilateral trade deals ahead of its exit from the bloc in 36 days. The government is yet to win parliament’s backing for its Brexit deal with Brussels, and if Britain leaves without a deal those bilateral agreements will cease to apply, likely disrupting trade.

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China seeks to become an international leader in space, or what it terms a “space power in all respects.” In this role, Beijing aspires to lead international space-related innovation and exploration and establish an advanced system of infrastructure to serve its space sector. China has suffered some setbacks on projects crucial for the progression of program milestones, such as its heavy-lift launch vehicle program, and still lags behind the United States in its human spaceflight and space station program.

Spotlight

China seeks to become an international leader in space, or what it terms a “space power in all respects.” In this role, Beijing aspires to lead international space-related innovation and exploration and establish an advanced system of infrastructure to serve its space sector. China has suffered some setbacks on projects crucial for the progression of program milestones, such as its heavy-lift launch vehicle program, and still lags behind the United States in its human spaceflight and space station program.

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Symplicity joins the UK Government's G-Cloud framework for its 13th iteration

Symplicity | November 21, 2022

Symplicity® Corporation the global leader of student employability, wellbeing and success, is proud to announce it has joined the UK Crown Commercial Services as a certified supplier on the Government's G-Cloud 13 procurement framework. This acceptance brings a powerful, and affordable, student support services platform to higher education institutions across the United Kingdom. The approval means that any higher education institution can now engage with Symplicity without the need for prolonged and extended procurement, bringing a wide range of functionality and services within easy reach. This includes support for employability, skills and graduate outcomes, wellbeing and disability support, a unified student experience and employer engagement, to name a few. Part of the Government's Digital Marketplace, the G-Cloud framework is designed to ensure the public sector has access to proven and cost-effective cloud software and services via an online platform. "Achieving G-Cloud 13 certification enables Symplicity to continue offering higher education institutions the tools to improve student engagement and outcomes, With this sought-after certification, Symplicity can support more institutions, staff and students with a holistic and whole university support structure." -Thomas Jepsen, President of International at Symplicity. About Crown Commercial Service (CCS): Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is an Executive Agency of the Cabinet Office, supporting the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. CCS supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2021/22, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits equal to £2.8 billion - supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers. About Symplicity: Symplicity® Corporation is a global leader in student employability and engagement software solutions to more than 2,500 colleges and universities across 37 countries. Symplicity's SaaS platform supports the full student Iife, including early talent recruiting, accessibility, wellbeing and behavioural intervention. These solutions empower higher education clients to enhance a student's ability to stay in school, graduate and secure a first job.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

IBM to Acquire Octo

IBM | December 08, 2022

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an agreement to acquire Octo, a U.S.-based IT modernization and digital transformation services provider exclusively serving the U.S. federal government, including defense, health, and civilian agencies. IBM's acquisition of Octo establishes one of the largest digital transformation partners to the federal government. Upon the close of the acquisition, Octo's approximately 1,500 employees will join IBM Consulting's U.S. public and federal market organization. Octo will be IBM's eighth acquisition of 2022. Since Arvind Krishna became CEO of IBM in April 2020, IBM has acquired more than 25 companies, bolstering its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Today's news builds on prior IBM Consulting acquisitions, including Dialexa, Neudesic, and Taos. Federal government agencies face significant challenges including technology skills shortages, rebuilding of U.S. domestic supply chains and more demand for citizen services. To address these complex challenges, agencies need an industry partner to help them navigate a scalable path to IT modernization with the power to leverage emerging technologies and applications, optimize costs and operational efficiencies, and improve security. The convergence of new hybrid cloud and AI technologies enables government to deliver rapid improvements and adapt to unprecedented challenges. The acquisition of Reston, Va.-based Octo will complement IBM's existing strengths in IT modernization and digital transformation, enhancing its ability to support federal agencies with a flexible, modern approach to digital transformation and growing IBM Consulting's public and federal market organization to 4,200 highly-skilled employees. With a proven track record of enabling rapid IT modernization and seamless citizen engagement, Octo also brings deep federal mission experience, as well as certifications in the technologies most used across the federal government. "Governments require agility and resiliency to meet the evolving needs of citizens directly and in real time," said John Granger, Senior Vice President of IBM Consulting. "The combination of Octo's highly qualified and respected team with IBM's consulting expertise, technical capabilities and strategic partner ecosystem will enable federal clients to transform faster and better serve citizens." Building on a shared commitment to co-creation, oLabs, Octo's 14,000 square foot innovation center with in-house computing capability, expands IBM's ability to work collaboratively with federal agencies to rapidly prototype emerging technology solutions – enabling greater impact for federal agencies and the people they serve. "Octo was founded on the belief that digital transformation could be delivered at scale to modernize the federal government's approach to today's most pressing challenges – from public healthcare to national security, to defense and intelligence," said Mehul Sanghani, Chief Executive Officer of Octo. "Today, we are excited to join forces with IBM to continue to deliver these digital transformation capabilities with greater reach and scale." IBM's acquisition of Octo from Arlington Capital Partners is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. About IBM IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. More than 4,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service. Visit www.ibm.com for more information.

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Healthy Together and Florida Department of Health Win at ATARC's GITEC Emerging Technology Awards

Healthy Together | December 14, 2022

On December 6th, the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC) awarded Healthy Together and the State of Florida's Department of Health (FDOH) with a Digital Experience Award at their 2022 GITEC Emerging Technology Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C. The annual ceremony recognizes government initiatives that have made significant contributions in the advancement and implementation of technology innovations. The Digital Experience Award spotlights government projects that promote exceptional citizen service experiences through the use of technology. ATARC nominates organizations that have radically improved the experience of government and pushed the boundaries to build customer-centric human connections in our digital world. "We are incredibly proud to have our partnership with FDOH recognized by ATARC. The Digital Experience Award is a powerful validation of the impact we were able to have and our mission to improve collective health and make government more efficient. We are excited to continue to innovate and modernize resident access to government services with our technology." -Jared Allgood, President of Healthy Together. While awardees typically come from federal agencies, FDOH was selected because of the widespread success of its roll-out of the Healthy Together mobile platform in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other 2022 winners include NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, ATF, GSA, the U.S. Army and the Marine Forces Cyber Command. About the Project: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Department of Health, Division of Disease Control engaged Healthy Together and its cloud-based SaaS Disease Management Platform to support case investigators, deliver timely test results to residents, and automate case investigation processes. With a population of over 21M residents, manual processes at labs and testing providers coupled with heavy demand for testing created significant delays in the time to deliver diagnostic results. Due to the rising number of cases, FDOH sought solutions to scale the response to resident and departmental needs. The Florida Department of Health partnered with Healthy Together to deploy a case management system and mobile application to deliver real-time test results to residents. Through the application, FDOH was able to successfully deliver over 30M diagnostic results to state residents. As part of the deployment, Healthy Together built and implemented a self-serve, digital case interview based on CDC guidelines and FDOH standards to assist in case investigation. Over 90% of self-serve case interviews were completed within 1 hour of receipt of a positive test result, a staggering 10x increase in speed to deliver services with more contacts elicited than traditional manual methods. Data captured by the digital case interviews was fed to its auto-scaling AWS hosted case management software that automated data analysis, decreased manual processes and reduced the need for additional hiring. Over the course of the partnership, more than 50% of Florida households utilized Healthy Together's services. Healthy Together has since partnered to help additional states, counties, and tribes to scale and automate other government processes such as Medicaid, SNAP and TANF eligibility, enrollment, & renewal, WIC program management, and behavioral health systems. About Healthy Together: Healthy Together is a health technology company that builds SaaS technology for government, education and enterprise. Their technology aids in areas such as disease surveillance, behavioral health management and benefit enrollment for programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and WIC. Healthy Together's mobile application has reached #1 in the App Store Health & Fitness category and has over 225k reviews on the App Store and Play Store with a 4.9/5 star rating.

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