White House to Seek Comment on National 5G Security Strategy

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration | May 27, 2020

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has posted a request for public comment on how fifth-generation telecommunications networks should be implemented to support the White House’s strategy for securing the technology. “In accordance with the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, on behalf of the Executive Branch, is requesting comments to inform the development of an Implementation Plan for the National Strategy to Secure 5G,” reads the request NTIA posted Friday. President Trump issued the White House’s strategy on the same day he signed into law the legislation calling on him to do so. The public will have 21 days to comment on the strategy after the NTIA’s request is added to the Federal Register. NTIA telecommunications specialist Travis Hall told Nextgov that is likely to happen sometime this week.

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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

Cyara Awarded a Place on Crown Commercial Service’s G-Cloud 13

Cyara | November 14, 2022

Cyara, provider of the award-winning Automated Customer Experience (CX) Assurance Platform, today announced that it has been named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) G-Cloud 13 agreement. Launching on 9th November, G-Cloud 13 will provide the UK central government departments and all other public sector bodies with a range of cloud hosting and software services, together with associated support services. Replacing G-Cloud 12, G-Cloud 13 builds upon its predecessor’s framework, providing the public sector with access to multiple suppliers and cloud services with the latest cloud technologies and innovations—all with a quick and easy route to market. Cyara can be found in Lot 2, Cloud Software (SaaS), and offers the following products and services: Cyara Botium for Public Sector - Conversational AI/Chatbot Testing Cyara Cruncher for Public Sector - CX Performance Testing Cyara Velocity for Public Sector - CX Regression Testing Cyara Pulse for Public Sector - CX Monitoring Organisations procuring Cyara’s services through G-Cloud 13 will benefit from its support with migration for any cloud contact centre provider — including Amazon Connect and Genesys Cloud. In addition, Cyara offers automated testing, monitoring, and quality assurance across omni-channel CX technologies, including IVRs and chatbots, ensuring organisations can provide a consistently smooth customer experience, whilst reducing cost. “The UK public sector faces twin challenges: it needs to cope with growing demand for services while at the same time prepare for significant budget cuts, Cloud-based contact centres and chatbots help meet these challenges, but only if they work optimally – otherwise they can negatively impact the citizen experience and end up wasting taxpayers' money. By automating testing and monitoring, Cyara’s CX assurance solutions remove these risks, helping service providers innovate faster, boost efficiency and ensure a high-quality experience for all their users.” -Alok Kulkarni, CEO and Co-Founder at Cyara. About Cyara’s Automated CX Assurance Platform: The award-winning Cyara Automated CX Assurance Platform enables companies to deliver better CX with less effort, cost, and risk. Cyara supports the entire CX software development lifecycle, from design to functional and regression testing, load testing, chatbot testing and production monitoring, ensuring enterprises can build flawless customer journeys across voice and digital channels. About Cyara: Cyara is the world’s leading Automated Customer Experience (CX) Assurance platform, headquartered in Silicon Valley. Cyara’s cloud-based omnichannel assurance solutions for voice quality and chatbot testing accelerate the delivery of flawless customer journeys for enterprises while reducing the risk of customer-facing defects. Every day, major global brands trust the Cyara Platform to deliver customer smiles at scale. About Crown Commercial Service: Crown Commercial Service (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.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC (HMS) Awarded Contract by Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services to Conduct Surveys

Healthcare Management Solutions | November 30, 2022

The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) has awarded Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC (HMS) a contract to support its work by providing qualified surveyors to conduct long-term care facility recertification and complaint surveys. “We are honored to be selected by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services to conduct these surveys, All Missouri residents deserve quality long-term care. We appreciate this opportunity to help protect vulnerable populations across the state.” -Leah Heimbach, President of HMS. HMS will be conducting comprehensive reviews of everything from infection control and nursing services, medication dispensing, diet and exercise, patients’ rights, the physical environment and much more, including record reviews, resident interviews, kitchen inspections, and staff observation. This project is eighty-three percent (83%) funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Title XVIII Survey and Certification grant. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by CMS, HHS or the U.S. Government. About Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC: HMS protects vulnerable populations and veterans. We blend our unique healthcare and technology expertise to create bold, yet cost-effective solutions that federal and state agencies and our private-sector partners need to make sure your loved ones get the best possible care in nursing homes and other healthcare settings, no matter where in America they live.

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CYBERSECURITY

Challenges with Data Weaken Cybersecurity Posture for Government Agencies

Splunk | December 15, 2022

Public sector organizations are more likely to struggle with leveraging data to detect and prevent threats than their private sector counterparts (63% to 49%), ultimately affecting their cybersecurity readiness. That’s according to a survey commissioned by Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK), the data platform leader for security and observability. The survey found two-thirds (66%) of public sector agencies have difficulties leveraging data to mitigate and recover from cybersecurity incidents and half (52%) of the sector have issues leveraging data to inform cybersecurity decisions. This visibility challenge was also relatively high within the private sector, sharing a similar majority opinion (56% and 50%), showcasing consistency across industries. Another area of concern, both private and public sector respondents noted disparate data sets inhibit agility and real-time response to security events (84% private sector and 56% of public sector). These data challenges also directly impact partnerships between the public and private sectors and their ability to share intelligence. For example, nearly half of public sector organizations (44%) believe the shared intelligence available to them is lacking for their cybersecurity needs. However, both public and private sector organizations agree on three benefits of intelligence sharing: Improved agility (36% public & 44% private) Greater visibility (32% public & 34% private) Targeted preventative and proactive measures (29% public & 23% private) There is also alignment on what is most important to share [insights or information on]: Threat intelligence and actors (69% public and 63% private) Real-time information on security events (60% public and 69% private) Cybersecurity training materials and best practices (79% public and 68% private) Benchmarked data (36% public and 31% private) In light of this, the public and private sectors share similar cybersecurity priorities, including: Improving threat response/remediation (55% public and 53% private) Improving detection of emerging threats (49% public and 47% private) Improving user security awareness (46% public and 50% private) “At the core, security is a data problem and organizations are missing a foundational piece of their security strategy when they cannot leverage their data, All organizations — both private and public — have a responsibility to citizens and customers to enable cyber resiliency and that can be done by having clear visibility and understanding of data. These shared challenges and priorities should translate into better threat intelligence sharing and security practices across all sectors.” -Bill Rowan, VP Public Sector, Splunk. When looking ahead, both public and private sector organizations plan a wide-array of investments to address these cybersecurity priorities. The top investments include: Monitoring/alerting (60% public and 59% private) Threat intelligence (44% public and 46% private), and Security assessments (40% public and 45% private) However, it is important to note private sector respondents are more likely to be planning investments in security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR), centralized log management, and observability. About Splunk, Inc: Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) helps organizations around the world turn data into doing. Splunk technology is designed to investigate, monitor, analyze and act on data at any scale.

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