Former Google exec Eric Schmidt: US government needs to lead on tech innovation

Google | February 27, 2020

The federal government needs to "get back in the game" if the US wants to maintain a technology lead over China. That's the message from former Google executive Eric Schmidt in an op-ed published Thursday in The New York Times. Schmidt, who was CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011 and later the executive chairman of parent company Alphabet, said Silicon Valley leaders have put too much faith in the private sector to ensure the US' global leadership in technology. "For the American model to win, the American model must lead," Schmidt wrote, adding that the US is now in a technology race with China that could have "profound ramifications for our economy and defense."

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Healthera receives funding from Government-backed Innovate UK to tackle critical challenges in the UK pharmacy sector

Healthera | December 02, 2022

Healthera, Cambridge-based digital health platform, today announces that it has been awarded funding from Innovate UK to develop the next generation of innovative patient-pharmacy healthcare platform. Following a rigorous process, and for the 3rd time since 2017, Healthera has been awarded funding from Innovate UK. Healthera has been offered an innovation loan of up to £500,000 to support its ongoing innovation in the community pharmacy and consumer medicine sector throughout the United Kingdom. Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, actively supports game-changing and commercially viable R&D projects that can significantly impact the UK economy. About the Project Utilising this new funding and with a strong leadership team with first hand experience in the industry, Healthera is addressing three critical opportunities to 'future-proof' UK pharmacies in this age of rapid digitalisation and growing consumer expectation: Enabling private treatments to be provided by local pharmacies digitally - ensuring safe and local clinical care for millions of patients with conditions like erectile dysfunction and hair loss. Improving medication adherence and access to repeat medication through a combination of smart algorithms, analytics tools, and targeted pharmacist support. Improving speed and accessibility of local delivery for medicines from the largest digital network of pharmacies in the UK. Healthera will leverage its network of over 1500 pharmacies, its current platform and infrastructure, and the clinical training of pharmacists on the platform to help more patients get access to private treatments for conditions that are often left untreated. This will allow local pharmacies to be a part of the rapidly growing sector that was previously only available to online doctors. Innovation from the project also aims to provide accessible delivery options for areas of the UK that do not currently have access to local medicine delivery – and continuing Healthera's original mission to improve adherence of medicines, reduce medicine wastage and spearhead the growth of pharmacy revenue – all this at a time when central funding and revenue channels are being limited for the community pharmacy. "This is an important step in our mission of becoming the go-to health hub for patients. As the market leaders for digitally transforming the pharmacy landscape, we're excited to receive support from Innovate UK to expedite this total innovation and truly future-proof the UK's vital community pharmacy industry." -Quintus Liu, CEO of Healthera. Andrew Bellingham, Director of Product and Strategy at Healthera commented, The pharmacy sector, which I've worked in for 20 years, is well-prepared to enhance their efficiencies, expand to more healthcare verticals, and reach more patients outside of their local vicinity through adopting digital technology. We've identified these opportunities and market gaps and are thrilled to be delivering the support that our invaluable community pharmacies deserve. "We're pleased to offer an innovation loan to Healthera to support the team on their mission to improve the delivery of healthcare through local pharmacies, a large market that is critical for the health of the nation and one that is now becoming ready to be further enhanced through digital innovation. The industry has huge potential for growth and it's important that an innovative platform like Healthera continues to push boundaries." -Scott O'Brien, Director of Innovation Finance at Innovate UK. About Healthera: Founded out of Cambridge University, Healthera operates a market leading healthcare platform that provides patients with medicines, healthcare services and products through the largest digital network of pharmacies in the UK, including over 1,500 pharmacies from large national chains and independent providers. About Innovate UK: Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by grant-in-aid from the UK government. Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK's world-class research base.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Kraken Qualified to Sell Directly to Government of Canada under Pathway to Commercialization Program

KRAKEN ROBOTICS | September 13, 2022

Kraken Robotics Inc. (TSX-V: PNG, OTCQB: KRKNF), Canada’s Ocean Company, is pleased to announce that after successful completion of an Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Testing Stream contract with the Royal Canadian Navy earlier this year, Kraken has been among the first Canadian companies qualified to sell its innovation directly to the Government of Canada without further competition. This qualification for Kraken’s OceanVision™ solution is under Canada’s new Pathway to Commercialization framework1 initiated by ISC. While this approval does not have a value in of itself, direct purchases can be up to $8 million per contract and are available to all government departments. “Over the past year, Kraken has had significant interest in its technologies and services from various Canadian Government departments and agencies. We are excited to be able to offer the OceanVision service via ISC’s new PTC program to be an avenue for these departments and agencies to avail of our needed and innovative solutions. Potential applications of the OceanVision service could include habitat mapping and monitoring of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), high resolution seabed mapping for augmenting Route Survey applications in Port and Harbour Security, or even shipwreck search and survey for marine archaeological requirements. We see significant potential for this service here in Canada.” -Karl Kenny, Kraken President and CEO. About Kraken’s OceanVision Service: Kraken’s OceanVision service provides off the shelf, turnkey ultra-high resolution Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) seabed imagery and bathymetry at an affordable price, delivering higher resolution, range, and area coverage rates (ACR). The increased range, resolution and associated higher ACR of SAS over traditional Side Scan Sonar and Multibeam Sonar systems significantly expands the capabilities of military, scientific, and commercial applications. Kraken’s OceanVision is capable of 2 cm x 2 cm Ultra High-Definition imaging at long ranges. Kraken’s OceanVision Service can provide significant benefits to government agencies, offering access to cutting edge technology “as needed”, without concern for equipment obsolescence, life cycle costs, or operator skill fade. As it relates specifically to the Government of Canada, Kraken’s OceanVision offers many advantages: Kraken’s technology greatly enhances image quality and significantly reduces the time of traditional seabed surveys due to its advanced world-leading technology. OceanVision assets can be deployed to assist in mapping areas of interest ahead of regular operations, with the image quality required to enable change detection and optimize revisit rates. This has the potential to provide the Government of Canada a competitive edge for detecting bottom objects in complex seabeds. The OceanVision service application can augment existing survey activities while simultaneously supporting nearshore hydrographic mapping and charting requirements on an annual basis with high-definition resolution, freeing up valuable Government assets for other mission critical functions. OceanVision provides online and offline data analysis capabilities, enabling users to leverage Kraken’s extensive experience in image processing, target detection, and bottom classification. ABOUT KRAKEN ROBOTICS INC: Kraken Robotics Inc. (TSX.V:PNG) (OTCQB: KRKNF) is a marine technology company dedicated to the production and sale of software-centric sensors, subsea batteries, and underwater robotic systems. The company is headquartered in Newfoundland with offices in Canada, U.S., Germany, Denmark, and Brazil. In July 2021, Kraken acquired PanGeo Subsea, a leading services company specializing in high-resolution 3D acoustic imaging solutions for the sub-seabed. PanGeo with offices in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Kraken. Kraken is ranked as a Top 100 marine technology company by Marine Technology Reporter.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

U.S. Government to Fund Expansion of IP Ecosystem for SkyWater’s 90 nm Rad-Hard Platform

SkyWater Technology | October 13, 2022

SkyWater Technology (NASDAQ: SKYT), the trusted technology realization partner, today announced the Department of Defense (DOD) is investing $12 million to expand the intellectual property (IP) ecosystem for the company’s 90 nm radiation-hardened (rad-hard) by process offering, as part of the previously announced $27 million investment. SkyWater has been making considerable and measurable progress with its RH90 technology roadmap to broaden onshore production capabilities for strategic rad-hard electronics. SkyWater previously announced partnerships with Trusted Semiconductor Solutions and CAES to develop the RH90 process design kit (PDK), and to support qualification for the rad-hard by process platform. Both partners will continue support on this platform by designing and validating critical IP building blocks. By having validated IP building blocks already inside a platform, it is faster and more efficient to design a chip. It also reduces the risk of having to redesign due to the use of unvalidated building blocks – redesigning takes much longer to get chips deployed in mission critical systems. SkyWater established an Early Access Program (EAP) providing customers with an opportunity to evaluate the increased circuit density and improved speed, power, and performance capabilities of this next generation technology. SkyWater has released its initial PDK and launched its first multi-project wafer (MPW) shuttles for RH90 as part of the EAP with support from Trusted Semiconductor Solutions, a proven expert in rad-hard microelectronics and advanced system-on-chip and system-in-package solutions for military, space and industrial markets. As part of the MPW shuttle run, customers had the opportunity to test and validate their own IP as well as evaluate the RH90 PDK, IP blocks and design features prior to technology qualification. Subsequently, SkyWater partnered with CAES to leverage their expertise in the design, testing, qualification and manufacturing of rad-hard high reliability integrated circuits and system-in-package solutions to enable ecosystem partners to collaborate on furthering U.S. national security missions. CAES will lead SkyWater through qualification; a very rigorous effort including radiation testing and reliability testing. Productization and qualification of SkyWater’s RH90 and the development of IP design libraries will enable CAES and ecosystem design and manufacturing partners to produce processors, security engines, memory, interface devices application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and other strategic applications for mil/aero and commercial markets. “Trusted Semiconductor Solutions and CAES are each invaluable ecosystem partners for the evolution of our rad-hard by process offering, Trusted Semi was instrumental in the development of the RH90 PDK and IP libraries which readied us to launch our MPW shuttle in a move toward customer engagement. CAES’ 90 nm process qualification expertise for the U.S. Government is unique in the industry and will help accelerate productization of our RH90 process to strengthen the Trusted supply chain and meet the demands of mission critical strategic products.” -Dr. Steven Kosier, CTO SkyWater. Next generation systems will need to operate in very complex, demanding radiation environments, and we are proud to partner with SkyWater on their development for aerospace and defense markets. CAES brings decades of radiation hardening expertise and combining our technical capabilities with SkyWater’s RH90 platform will provide the industry with solutions to meet the demands of the future, said Mike Kahn, CEO, CAES. “We are impressed with the strides SkyWater has made in a short time – from expediting its DOD-backed facility expansion to successfully completing the base prototype project, Working together, we were able to quickly create the PDK to set the stage for developing the RH90 offering and achieving important milestones.” -Allan Hurst Jr., president and CEO of Trusted Semiconductor Solutions. About SkyWater Technology: SkyWater (NASDAQ: SKYT) is a U.S.-owned semiconductor manufacturer and a DMEA-accredited Category 1A Trusted Foundry. SkyWater’s Technology as a ServiceSM model streamlines the path to production for customers with development services, volume production and heterogeneous integration solutions in its world-class U.S. facilities. This pioneering model enables innovators to co-create the next wave of technology with diverse categories including mixed-signal CMOS, ROICs, rad-hard ICs, power management, MEMS, superconducting ICs, photonics, carbon nanotubes and interposers. SkyWater serves growing markets including aerospace & defense, automotive, biomedical, cloud & computing, consumer, industrial and IoT.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

The next stage: APRU-Google-UN ESCAP AI for Social Good Project now working directly with government agencies

APRU | November 29, 2022

The AI for Social Good Project – Strengthening AI Capabilities and Governing Frameworks in Asia and the Pacific has recently passed the milestone of onboarding two key government agencies. The project is the latest collaboration between the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), UN ESCAP, and Google.org, which commenced in mid-2021 and will run until the end of 2023. Over the past year, meetings and workshops have been held with government agencies from Thailand and Bangladesh. The confirmed government partners to join the project are the Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO) of Thailand, in close collaboration with the National Electronics and Computer Center (NECTEC) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency and the Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO) under the King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, and the Bangladesh Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Programme. NXPO and a2i are affiliated with Thailand’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation and the ICT Division and Cabinet Division of Bangladesh, respectively. The AI for Social Good multi-stakeholder network was initially set up in 2019, among the first milestones being the creation of a platform that convenes leading experts from the region to explore opportunities and challenges for maximizing AI benefits for society. After these activities engaged a wide range of policy experts and practitioners, the three project partners decided that it was the right time to move on to the next stage of working directly with government agencies to apply the insights generated through the collaborative project to date. The aim has been to work with government partners in Asia and the Pacific to grow sound and transparent AI ecosystems that support sustainable development goals. “Recognizing that AI offers transformative solutions for achieving the SDGs, we are pleased to participate in the AI for Social Good Project to share experience and research insights to develop enabling AI policy frameworks.” -Dr. Kanchana Wanichkorn, NXPO’s Vice President. NXPO identified ‘Poverty Alleviation’ and ‘Medicine and Healthcare’ as two areas of need that are now tackled by two academic project teams. To alleviate poverty and inequality, the Thai government has developed data-driven decision-making systems to improve public access to state welfare programs. The project, under the academic leadership of the Australia National University (ANU) team, will focus on enhancing the human-centered design and public accessibility of these technologies to support successful implementation. In addition, research on AI for medical applications has increased exponentially in the past few years in Thailand. However, the progress in developing and applying AI from research to market in these areas is relatively slow. To support and accelerate the use of AI in medicine and healthcare, the expert team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) will focus their research and analysis on identifying crucial bottlenecks and gaps that impede the beneficial use of AI. While the two Bangladesh projects both focus on the need for ‘Continuing and Personalized Pregnancy Monitoring’ (to improve health outcomes during and after birth), they are exploring different aspects of this key focus area for the government of Bangladesh. Under the leadership of the team from NUS & KAIST, the first project investigates challenges in perceptions and reception of incorporating AI into continuous pregnancy monitoring systems. Under the leadership of the University of Hawai‘i Team, the second project circles in on technological issues of Bangladesh’s healthcare sector and their impacts on AI-based data analysis and decision-making processes. The academic integrity of both sets of country projects is overseen by Toni Erskine, Professor of International Politics and Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU. Erskine guides both the conception of the research questions in collaboration with the government partners and the delivery of the project outputs by providing support for the four academic teams in developing their projects. “It has been incredibly rewarding to lead a project that brings together such an impressive, multidisciplinary group of researchers with government agencies that are so passionate about finding solutions to crucial problems – ranging from poverty alleviation to maternal health care, the process of working closely with government agencies from the outset to discuss these problems and co-design research questions makes this project unique and genuinely collaborative. I’m very proud to be part of it.” -Toni Erskine, Professor of International Politics and Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU. The following steps for the ‘AI for Social Good Project: Strengthening AI Capabilities and Governing Frameworks in Asia and the Pacific’ project will be to review and discuss the first complete drafts of the research papers by the four academic teams at a workshop in January. The partner government agencies from Bangladesh and Thailand will attend the workshop. Workshops with both government teams will also follow the presentation of final papers in the second quarter of 2023. To mark the project's conclusion, a summit with all participants in the project will be held in mid-2023 at the Australia National University.

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Milton is a distinctive community embracing small-town life and heritage while preserving and enhancing our rural character. The City of Milton will provide opportunity and value in a responsive and responsible environment through active partnerships with the community and its stakeholders.

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