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Falkonry wins contract from US Air Force as part of the STRATFI program

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Falkonry Inc., the innovation leader in operational AI, today announced it has been awarded a strategic expansion contract by the Air Force innovation hub (AFWERX) as part of the Strategic Financing (STRATFI) program. This award, made to a select few startups, represents the strategic fit of Falkonry’s products and the Air Force’s core strategic pillar of rapid, effective decision making. It is also proof of the broadening of Falkonry’s operational AI adoption within the Department of Defense (DoD).

According to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Will Roper, who announced the STRATFI program earlier this year in March, STRATFI contracts represent a strategic investment in the future of the nation. “If we’re not working with the best innovators in the world, then we will lose the technology advantage that we have. Getting this right is not just innovation, it is imperative.”

As part of achieving this recognition, Falkonry had to demonstrate that its predictive operations and pattern detection capabilities were leading to real benefits within the Defense community. Endorsement from the Air Combat Command (ACC) based on work Falkonry has done with the Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC) was one key part of securing this honor.

“Falkonry’s machine learning approach to mining ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) has proven invaluable in carrying out our mission. We are pleased to continue our relationship and look forward to wider deployment,” said Laura Stuart, JWAC R&D Project Manager. Another important milestone was confirmation from the Program Executive Office (PEO) Digital asserting significant interest within the Air Force community.

With this award, Falkonry has expanded its footprint within the Air Force and a cohort of DoD organizations with similar operational mission challenges such as JWAC. Foremost among them is the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (AF DCGS), the Air Force’s primary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance collection, processing, exploitation analysis and dissemination system. According to Scott Mangrum, C2ISR Division Chief Engineer, “The AF DCGS program is eager to bring Falkonry’s operational AI technology into the weapon system to provide actionable insights into our critical mission data. We look forward to enhancing our mission effectiveness by leveraging their system.”

“Falkonry is building the core intelligence engine for critical operations in every industrial aspect of our society. We provide the same artificial intelligence to our defense customers such as USAF and JWAC as we provide to our commercial customers such as Ternium and Siemens,” said Dr. Nikunj Mehta, Founder and CEO of Falkonry. “Multi-purpose Industry 4.0 technology that benefits manufacturing, defense, and intelligence reduces risks and costs for all parties involved in innovation and its adoption.”

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Scholastic Expands And Adapts Resources To Support Students And Accelerate Learning Through Summer Reading

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Scholastic Expands And Adapts Resources To Support Students And Accelerate Learning Through Summer Reading

Many districts, from New York City to San Francisco, are announcing an expanded focus on summer learning including social-emotional support, online experiences, and holistic learning opportunities for all students. Research has long proven that in a typical year, summer reading strengthens skills and today’s school leaders are hoping to use this time as a springboard to further support students after a challenging and historic year. To ensure families, schools, libraries, and communities have the tools they need, whether that is through in-person programming, remote at-home learning, or a hybrid, Scholastic has expanded and adapted free resources and low-cost offerings for summer learning.

“This past school year, we worked together with our school partners to find new ways to send millions of books directly to the homes of children who were not in school, while expanding our online learning programs supporting remote, hybrid, and in person learning. As summer approaches, we are continuing to pioneer ways of bringing literacy and learning to school and homes, so children can experience the social emotional impact of good literature and stories, accelerate their learning, and build confidence for the next school year,” said Dick Robinson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Scholastic.

According to the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report, 99% of educators agree that for students to reach their highest academic potential, their social-emotional needs must be met, and nearly all educators (98%) agree that literacy is critical to students’ health and emotional wellness. To increase access to reading, help support students’ social-emotional needs, build skills and motivation, and encourage a community around literacy all summer long, the Scholastic Summer Reading website provides:

  • Free Resources for Academic and Social-Emotional Support:
    • Scholastic Summer Reading Program: From April 26–September 3 kids can participate in this free, safe, and fun online program through Scholastic Home Base where they will be encouraged to read, celebrate their achievements, and help increase access to books for their peers. By keeping Reading Streaks™, kids will unlock a donation of 100,000 books from Scholastic that will be distributed across the country to locations where access to books is needed most.
    • Yale Child Study Center + Scholastic Collaborative: To address social emotional learning, the Yale Child Study Center + Scholastic Collaborative provides a resiliency workbook for kids and a Family Help Desk staffed by experts in trauma, anxiety, early childhood, and reading development.
  • Offerings to Promote Book Choice and Build Home Libraries:
    • Summer Reading Virtual Book Fairs: From June 1–July 30, schools can host their own Summer Reading Book Fair to provide students with access to new books, favorite characters, and series through an exciting and immersive virtual experience. All orders are delivered to students’ doorsteps and shipping is free on book-only orders over $25. Schools receive 25% in rewards for each purchase and 2% throughout the rest of the year.
    • Special Summer Reading Book Club Flyers: Filled with a variety of new favorites and beloved classics, special Book Club collections will be offered in May and June for kindergarten–grade 2 and grades 3–6. Collections offer exclusive value pack deals including select $2 books, 10 title packs for $10, and three free books for every $50 purchased in a class order. Orders $25 or more are eligible for free shipping directly to students’ homes making it even easier for children to enjoy stories all summer long.
  • School-Wide And Community-Based Programs:
    • “Grab & Go” Book Packs: Each developmentally appropriate grade-level book pack includes engaging, culturally relevant, authentic texts—in English or Spanish—in addition to family engagement activities, tips, and support for independent reading at home. The customizable book packs can be delivered directly to schools or to single sites, and are packaged for easy distribution.
    • Research-based Print and Digital Resources: Instructional programs to support building essential reading skills and accelerate learning this summer include Scholastic LitCamp, a combination of innovative reading and writing lessons with an engaging and interactive summer camp approach; Scholastic Scholar Zone powered by Bell Xcel, an evidence-based summer learning program for ELA and Math that empowers schools to tailor to their needs; and, among other offerings, online reading programs like Scholastic F.I.R.S.T., W.O.R.D. and Literacy Pro.
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Martin UAV Unveils V-BAT 128, Featuring Increased Payload, Endurance for Defense and Private-Sector Application

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Martin UAV Unveils V-BAT 128, Featuring Increased Payload, Endurance for Defense and Private-Sector Application

Agile VTOL UAV is now available for military missions, public safety, energy and emergency response

PLANO, Texas, March 30, 2021 — Martin UAV, a leading advanced aviation technology manufacturer in the United States, today announced the public release of the latest unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the V-BAT 128, for defense and commercial use, including search and rescue, firefighting, logistic resupply, and energy and oil and gas operations.

Martin UAV previously demonstrated its upgraded version of the V-BAT featuring an increase in power, payloads and endurance at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE). Over the course of several weeks, the V-BAT 128 flew numerous missions, showcasing its VTOL capabilities and the versatility of its small footprint; one of the impressive features noted from those involved in the exercise is the aircraft’s ability to transition from take-off to a vertical hover and persistent stare capability while maintaining a sensor line of sight, in spite of difficult terrain.

“Martin UAV continues to push the boundaries of what is possible for unmanned aircraft systems,” said Heath Niemi, chief development officer. “We have listened to the customer and expanded the capabilities and agility of the V-BAT 128, delivering technology that serves a wider range of mission needs. We’re proud to make the V-BAT 128 available to the broader market and to provide more power and payload that can be transported in the bed of a pick-up truck, or, inside a Black Hawk.”

As the interest and adoption of UAV/UAS increases across commercial industries, the company stated a renewed commitment to support these verticals adapting to new technologies. Most recently, the company announced the addition of industry veteran Bill Irby as the Chief Operating Officer, who previously held leadership roles with Textron, L3 Harris and Northrop Grumman. Martin UAV strives to make UAVs more accessible and easier to implement, empowering organizations to streamline operational efficiencies, security and increase the safety measures for its staff.

The V-BAT 128 is designed to make transportation and rapid tactical deployment easier for both defense and commercial applications. It can be assembled by two personnel in less than 30 minutes. The aircraft’s duct fan propulsion design provides for top operational safety by eliminating exposed rotors, which are commonly found in propeller-driven VTOLs.

V-BAT 128 is ideal for takeoff and landing on both stationary and moving platforms, in areas with a footprint of less than 12-feet by 12-feet. The upgraded V-BAT provides significantly enhanced payload capacity of 25 pound and interchangeable payloads to meet mission-specific requirements. Increased endurance of up to 11 hours, and higher thrust were made possible by leveraging a more powerful engine, the Suter TOA 288 model. With a wingspan of 9.7 feet, the V-BAT 128 can reach over 90 knots reaching altitudes of 20,000 feet.

For more information on Martin UAV, its V-BAT and use across industries, visit: martinuav.com.

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Boston Scientific Announces Agreement To Acquire Lumenis LTD. Surgical Business From Baring Private Equity Asia

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Boston Scientific Announces Agreement To Acquire Lumenis LTD. Surgical Business From Baring Private Equity Asia

Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) to acquire the global surgical business of Lumenis LTD., a privately-held company that develops and commercializes energy-based medical solutions, for an upfront cash payment of $1.07 billion, subject to closing adjustments. BPEA will retain ownership of the Lumenis global aesthetics and ophthalmology businesses. With 2021 net sales anticipated to be approximately $200 million, the Lumenis surgical business includes premier laser systems, fibers and accessories used for urology and otolaryngology procedures. Foundational to its urology portfolio is the proprietary MOSES™ technology, which has demonstrated differentiated clinical outcomes and efficiency in the management of patients with kidney stones.

Worldwide, more than one in 10 adults develop kidney stones each year with up to 50 percent of patients having a repeat stone within five years of the first occurrence.[1],[2],[3],[4]  While some kidney stones may pass through the urinary tract naturally, complex or larger stones require intervention to remove them from the urinary tract. This can be done through surgery or less invasive procedures such as lithotripsy, which uses a small telescope-like device, a ureteroscope, to locate the stone and a laser to break it apart. Laser lithotripsy is a leading modality for minimally-invasive surgery of kidney and urinary stones, whether through flexible ureteroscopy or percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

“The MOSES laser technology, paired with our LithoVue™ Single-Use Digital Flexible Ureteroscope and comprehensive kidney stone management portfolio, will enable execution of our strategy for our stone franchise,” said Meghan Scanlon, senior vice president and president, Urology and Pelvic Health, Boston Scientific. “With double-digit compound annual growth from 2015 to 2019, we look forward to adding the innovative Lumenis laser portfolio, talented employees and surgical laser center of excellence to our organization. The acquisition will expand our global footprint throughout Europe and Asia and accelerate the delivery of our robust stone management offerings to more urologists – ultimately serving more patients worldwide – while also improving our top-line growth and margins.”

Boston Scientific has had a relationship with Lumenis for more than 20 years and currently sells the Lumenis urology laser portfolio in the U.S. and Japan through a distribution arrangement. Upon completion of the acquisition, Boston Scientific will sell these lasers and fibers – as well as the otolaryngology laser portfolio – to all geographies including high-growth regions like China.

“We take great pride in our heritage of innovation in surgical laser solutions which are helping millions of patients worldwide,” said Tzipi Ozer-Armon, chief executive officer, Lumenis. “Notably the proprietary, patent-protected MOSES technology has revolutionized urology laser procedures by improving the clinical efficacy and efficiency for kidney stones. We are confident that Boston Scientific, as a global leader in urology, and our long-time commercial partner, is the best organization to carry this legacy forward.”

The company expects to complete the transaction in the second half 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. The impact to adjusted earnings per share is expected to be immaterial in 2021, approximately two cents accretive in 2022 and increasingly accretive thereafter. On a GAAP basis, the transaction is expected to be dilutive in 2021 and less dilutive or increasingly accretive thereafter, as the case may be, due to amortization expense and acquisition-related net charges.

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