Airline industry calls for swift action from federal government to provide relief

The Hill | March 19, 2020

Aviation industry groups are urging the federal government to quickly address the impact of the coronavirus on airlines, saying the current economic environment is not sustainable. Airlines for America (A4A) and others in the aviation industry wrote to the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and congressional leadership on Thursday requesting immediate action. “The breadth and immediacy of the need to act cannot be overstated. It is urgent and unprecedented,” the letter reads. The letter comes as the State Department issued a level four travel advisory to all countries on Thursday, instructing Americans not to travel internationally and calling for U.S. citizens abroad to return home.

Spotlight

On 12 July 2018, the UK Government published its long-promised White Paper – The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The UK Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, explained that the White Paper confirmed that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 ‘forging a new way in the world outside the Single Market, outside the Customs Union.’ The paper proposes a free trade agreement, supported by a ‘common rulebook’, aiming to achieve ‘frictionless trade’ between the UK and the EU which would obviate the need for the backstop solution to be used. They propose a ‘Facilitated Customs Arrangement’, in order to “remove the need for routine customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU”.


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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

US Government Gives Grants Worth $2.8B to Build Up EV Batteries Supply Chain

Microsmallcap | November 10, 2022

The United States is continuing to build its domestic EV battery supply chain. The Biden administration has awarded grants totaling $2.8 billion for developing electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facilities in the United States, as the country works to reduce its reliance on Asia. President Joe Biden has set a goal of electrifying half of all new vehicles sold by 2030. Demand for critical minerals critical for EV batteries is expected to skyrocket in the next decade due to increased EV sales, which Biden is calling "one of the most significant economic transitions since the Industrial Revolution." According to the US Department of Energy, the approved projects will eventually supply enough lithium to produce 2 million EVs, enough graphite to produce 1.2 million EVs, and enough nickel to produce 400,000 EVs per year. Albemarle (NYSE:ALB), Talon Metals (TSX:TLO) (OTCPK:TLOFF), and American Battery Technology Co (OTCQB:ABML) are among the companies that have received funding. Meanwhile, FE Battery Metals Corp. (CSE:FE) (OTCQB:FEMFD) and Sayona Mining Limited (OTCQB:SYAXF) are driving the electric future with their lithium mining projects. The drill program is based on the historical and 2021 Phase 1 exploration data as well as the company's surface trenching and sampling program results. Several historical drill hole collars were also located on the Property, which helped in the current program's location and orientation of drill holes. A B-20 drill rig is deployed for this work, which can drill up to a 1,000-meter-deep hole. To date a total of 42 drill holes with a cumulative core drilling of over 7,500 m has been completed on the Property. In October, FE Battery Metals announced the results of drill holes LC21-33 to 37 at Augustus. Among the highlights of the results was drill hole LC21-35 intersecting an 11.20-meter-wide zone with 0.91% lithium oxide (Li2O) at 146 meters, including a 5 meter zone with 1.03% Li2O at 146 meters and 3.2 meter with 1% Li2O at 154 meters. This drill hole also has a lower seven meters wide zone with 0.54% Li2O at 165 meters drilled depth and several other smaller intercepts with variable lithium grades. The company also recently announced a corporate restructuring to spin off assets related to its current exploration properties located in Quebec and Ontario into a wholly-owned subsidiary. According to the company, each FE Battery Metals shareholder will receive one common share of Spinco for every post-consolidation share held. Companies Are Advancing Critical Minerals Projects Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) subsidiary, Albemarle Lithium UK Limited, has completed the $200 million acquisition of Guangxi Tianyuan New Energy Materials. In September 2021, a definitive agreement was announced to acquire Tianyuan. Tianyuan's operations include a lithium conversion plant with a designed annual conversion capacity of up to 25,000 metric tonnes LCE and the ability to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide. Albermarle has received a nearly $150 million grant from the US Department of Energy. The grant funding is intended to cover a portion of the estimated cost of building a new commercial-scale lithium concentrator facility in the US at the company's Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Talon Metals (TSX:TLO) (OTC Pink:TLOFF) announced that it has updated its mineral resource estimate for its Tamarack Nickel project in Minnesota. The total indicated mineral resource is estimated to be 8.56 million tonnes grading 1.73% nickel plus by-products (2.34% NiEq) containing 148,000 tonnes of nickel. Compared to Talon's previous indicated mineral resource estimate (PEA #3), this represents a 98% increase in contained nickel in the indicated category. The total inferred resource estimate is now around 8.46 million tonnes grading 0.83% nickel plus by-products (1.19% NiEq) containing 70,000 tonnes of nickel, in addition to the total indicated mineral resource. Talon Metals' wholly-owned subsidiary, Talon Nickel (USA) LLC has been selected as a recipient of President Joe Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's first set of projects to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for EVs and the electrical grid, as well as materials and components currently imported from other countries. Sayona Mining Limited (OTC:SYAXF) has developed a transport solution for its North American Lithium (NAL) operation, with a contract to deliver NAL spodumene (lithium) concentrate to port awarded to a Québec rail operator. Solurail Logistique Inc., a Val d'Or company specializing in bulk transhipment and rail logistics, will be in charge of transporting lithium from the NAL operation in La Corne to the Port of Trois-Rivières for delivery to customers under the terms of the agreement. The C$43 million contract includes the rental of 110 rolling stock (railway vehicles), with the equipment ready for NAL's restart of production in the first quarter of 2023. Sayona Mining is targeting the further expansion of its Québec lithium resource with the launch of a pre–feasibility study for its emerging Moblan Lithium Project (Sayona 60%; SOQUEM 40%) in northern Québec. Continuing Sayona's focus on maximizing economic benefits for local stakeholders, InnovExplo will conduct the pre–feasibility study, targeting completion by May 2023. American Battery Technology Co (OTCQB:ABML) has completed its Phase 2 drill program, which included six additional sites in addition to the 16-holes sampled in Phase 1 drilling, completing the 22-hole plan at its 10,340-acre Tonopah Flats Lithium Project. American Battery Technology has been chosen as a recipient of competitive funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for expanding domestic manufacturing of battery-grade lithium hydroxide for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, focusing on domestic production. In collaboration with grant partners DuPont Water Solutions, the University of Nevada, Reno, and Argonne National Laboratory, American Battery Technology was awarded $57 million from the Department of Energy for this project to design, build, commission, and operate a first-of-its-kind commercial-scale facility. This facility will be used to demonstrate its novel process for producing battery cathode grade lithium hydroxide from unconventional Nevada-based lithium-bearing sedimentary resources.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Volta Collaboration Awarded ARPA-E Funding to Commercialize Next Generation Fast Charging Technology Aligned With Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Volta | November 24, 2022

Volta Inc. (NYSE: VLTA) (“Volta”), an industry-leading electric vehicle (EV) charging and media company, today announced that a project application it collaborated on with Imagen Energy, LLC (“Imagen”), a developer of compact high-power EV chargers, was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The project seeks to develop and commercialize the next generation of domestically manufactured DC Fast Charging (DCFC) technology in support of the federal government’s clean energy and climate priorities. The grant is part of the ARPA-E Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) program, which provides further funding to previous ARPA-E teams that have been determined to be feasible for widespread deployment and commercialization domestically. SCALEUP selectees demonstrate a viable path to commercial deployment and the ability to attract private sector investments. Through this project, Imagen and Volta seek to develop and commercialize chargers that are more flexible, more powerful, and more affordable by focusing on: Scalable Chargers: The project will utilize Imagen’s flexible, high-efficiency silicon carbide-based (SiC) power conversion platform to produce compact charging cabinets that enable affordable, easier-to-install, and highly reliable high-power fast chargers capable of charging multiple EVs simultaneously and being deployed in a market quickly. The flexible platform is expected to facilitate optional, convenient integration with energy storage and renewable energy, and supports vehicle-to-grid integration. BIL-compliance: Equipment is being engineered to deliver at least 150kW and be manufactured in the United States to comply with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s (BIL) requirements. The technology will also fulfill network connectivity requirements, including Plug and Charge capabilities and communication through the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) and Open Charge Point Interface protocol (OCPI), building upon Volta’s existing software implementation to allow flexible integration with roaming charging partners. Visibility & Access: Volta will leverage its patented, award-winning PredictEV infrastructure planning software to identify optimal sites for effective piloting and initial deployment based on local EV ownership, mobility trends, demographics, and income levels. With more than 3,000 stalls currently installed, many within disadvantaged communities, and numerous existing relationships with leading retail and commercial properties, Volta’s EV charging network will enable quick feedback loops during the testing phase. “Imagen relies on commercialization partners like Volta to accelerate the deployment of our high power density, silicon carbide-based power conversion platforms, The combination of Volta’s advanced PredictEV planning tool and the company’s existing charging network creates the ideal environment for quickly developing reliable, affordable, and efficient charging solutions that will support the rapid transition to electric mobility.” -Ezana Mekonnen, Chief Technology Officer at Imagen. While this is a modest initial government grant that does not replace the need for the capital we are currently raising, it is proof of Volta’s ability to align our business with the federal government’s priorities, said Vince Cubbage, Interim Chief Executive Officer at Volta. Volta’s collaboration with Imagen on this winning ARPA-E application demonstrates our commitment to supporting solutions that are compliant with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, ensuring implementation can be done in a capital-efficient manner. About Volta: Volta Inc. (NYSE: VLTA) is an industry-leading electric vehicle ("EV") charging and media company. Volta's unique network of charging stations powers vehicles and drives business growth while accelerating a clean energy future. Volta delivers value to site partners, brands, and consumers by installing charging stations that feature large-format digital advertising screens located steps away from the entrances of popular commercial locations. Retailers can attract and influence foot traffic, advertisers can precisely target audiences, and EV drivers can charge their vehicles seamlessly as they go about their daily routines. Volta's extensive network leverages its proprietary PredictEV® platform, which uses sophisticated behavioral science and machine learning technology to help commercial property owners, cities, and electric utilities plan EV infrastructure intelligently, efficiently, and equitably.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Draganfly Selected as Preferred Partner to DEF-C Ukraine Government Military Service Provider

Draganfly | November 18, 2022

Draganfly Inc. (NASDAQ: DPRO) (CSE: DPRO) (FSE: 3U8) (“Draganfly” or the “Company”), an award-winning, industry-leading drone solutions and systems developer, is pleased to announce DEF-C, a Ukrainian company involved in the civil and defense sectors, has selected Draganfly as an exclusive provider of drones and related services. DEF-C is a Ukrainian company of the Intecracy Group consortium, which has been involved in projects in the creation and use of unmanned aerial vehicles and solutions in the civil and defense sectors for the past decade, providing a broad range of products and services. Draganfly will provide comprehensive equipment and solutions for emergency response, security, defense, and infrastructure, in addition to mapping, support, and public services. Draganfly’s platforms can adapt to air and ground situations providing a range of solutions that solve integral issues. “DEF-C is a trusted provider to multiple Ukraine agencies. The integration of Draganfly’s solutions into our multiple civil and military projects has been well received, and we look forward to expanding this strategic partnership” -Yuri Syvytsky, Lead Director of DEF-C. The partnership between Draganfly and DEF-C will enable us to continue to provide equipment and solutions to the people of Ukraine, said Cameron Chell, President, and CEO of Draganfly. The selection of Draganfly by DEF-C is a testament to the strength of our technology and our team's ability to provide turnkey solutions that meet the specific needs of our customer base. About Draganfly: Draganfly Inc. (NASDAQ: DPRO; CSE: DPRO; FSE: 3U8) is the creator of quality, cutting-edge drone solutions, software, and AI systems that revolutionize the way organizations can do business and service their stakeholders. Recognized as being at the forefront of technology for over 20 years, Draganfly is an award-winning industry leader serving the public safety, public health, mining, agriculture, industrial inspections, security, mapping, and surveying markets. Draganfly is a company driven by passion, ingenuity, and the need to provide efficient solutions and first-class services to its customers around the world with the goal of saving time, money, and lives.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,CYBERSECURITY

stackArmor Supports MicroStrategy in Getting FedRAMP Authorization to Operate

stackArmor | December 22, 2022

stackArmor, Inc., a leading provider of Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP®), Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA), CMMC 2.0, and StateRAMP security & compliance acceleration solutions, announced today that it has advised MicroStrategy, in gaining FedRAMP authorization of the MicroStrategy Cloud for Government cloud service offering built on a high-performance cloud-native Kubernetes architecture. FedRAMP promotes the adoption of secure cloud services across the federal government by providing a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for commercial cloud products and services. For over 10 years, the experts at stackArmor have been guiding cloud service providers through the process of meeting government compliance standards, including FISMA, FedRAMP, and standards set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "We created the ThreatAlert® Security Accelerator solution to help our customers reduce the time and costs associated with achieving complex Government mandated requirements like FedRAMP authorizations, MicroStrategy's FedRAMP Marketplace listing is a testament to our continued focus in helping commercial ISVs and SaaS providers meet complex government security and compliance requirements." Gaurav 'GP' Pal, Chief Executive Officer, stackArmor. About stackArmor stackArmor delivers cloud security, compliance, and managed services solutions to commercial and government customers. Based in the Washington D.C. metro area, the company is a specialist in providing security acceleration solutions for meeting FedRAMP and other Government-centric security frameworks. Its ThreatAlert® Security Accelerator includes advisory, cybersecurity engineering, package documentation, and continuous monitoring solutions for customers in regulated markets such as government, the public sector, defense, space, aerospace, healthcare, and education.

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Spotlight

On 12 July 2018, the UK Government published its long-promised White Paper – The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The UK Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, explained that the White Paper confirmed that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 ‘forging a new way in the world outside the Single Market, outside the Customs Union.’ The paper proposes a free trade agreement, supported by a ‘common rulebook’, aiming to achieve ‘frictionless trade’ between the UK and the EU which would obviate the need for the backstop solution to be used. They propose a ‘Facilitated Customs Arrangement’, in order to “remove the need for routine customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU”.

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