Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to Lead National AI Engineering Initiative

Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute | October 15, 2020

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University, with funding and guidance from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), will lead a national initiative to advance the discipline of artificial intelligence (AI) engineering for defense and national security. As the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) increasingly invest in AI, they have prioritized safe, ethical, and secure solutions. Current AI solutions, which are often speedily deployed and difficult to replicate, verify, and validate, could lead to a landscape far from the DoD's vision. With the sponsorship of ODNI, the SEI will establish and lead an AI Engineering Initiative that will guide the development of a multi-year research and development roadmap and develop capabilities based on partners' core competencies. ODNI and the SEI initiated this effort in response to a growing call for an engineering discipline for AI. An engineering discipline will provide the ability to thoughtfully develop, integrate, and evolve AI solutions with a focus on safety, security, robustness, reliability, resiliency, and ethics. Recent reports have highlighted the need for AI engineering, including the Defense Innovation Board's AI Principles report, which recommended an effort to "cultivate and grow the field of AI engineering." The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence specifically referenced this ODNI–SEI effort in its Second Quarter 2020 Recommendations, saying that this work will benefit the creation of an AI testing framework.

Spotlight

The construction workforce is evolving in many positive ways, especially as it actively embraces diversity and technology. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most male-dominated industries in the world. Out of the over 10 million construction workers in the US, a little less than one million are female. Even more unbalanced is when you look at the percentage of female construction laborers actually in the field; 1%. That’s right.


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ENGINEERING TECH, CONSTRUCTION

The Atlanta NECA chapter partners with StructShare to help electrical contractors effectively manage procurement and materials

StructShare | September 30, 2022

Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association (AECA) today announced a partnership with StructShare, the leading provider of purchasing and material management software. StructShare will grant special offers to members of the innovative chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA) in the Atlanta region, to enhance effectiveness and accelerate supply chain management and cost tracking. "We seek partnerships with those contractor-focused vendors who we can rely on to offer the best to our members, Our members will benefit greatly from this relationship, We provide our members access to resources that will help them thrive in their business." -Joey Shorter, Executive Director of the AECA. Over the past few years, AECA members have used StructShare to streamline the entire purchasing cycle, connecting the office, the field, the warehouse, and their suppliers on a centralized, mobile, and cloud-based platform. StructShare makes an antiquated and cumbersome process much easier for the field and office by digitizing field requisitions, approval flows, POs, RFQs, deliveries, and invoice reconciliation while integrating all data into the common ERP and project management systems. According to NECA research, processing a single PO costs electrical contractors $42. Taking into consideration the amount of POs generated, this adds up to an undebatable pain that must be solved. AECA member and StructShare customer, Cariboo Industrial Electric has immediately maximized efficiency by eliminating double entry and overhead as well as received inventory visibility, seamless cost tracking, and preventing errors across the entire workflow. StructShare, a powerful purposely-built solution, offers end-to-end procurement, materials, inventory, and costs management. The flexible system is used by subcontractors of all sizes from $1-million in revenue to some of the largest in the country. "After working with the AECA team and members for a long time, I am excited to officially establish the partnership and provide the members with a tailored solution to their needs." -Or Lakritz Co-Founder and CPO, StructShare. AECA has a reputation of providing members with outstanding benefits and services including safety classes, professional and leadership development, education and training, as well as networking events. StructShare contributes to these efforts with technology and procurement education. We are honored to be a part of AECA, states StructShare CEO and co-founder, Arik Davidi. We've enjoyed the work with our Atlanta-area customers and look forward to bringing the same success to others in the region. About Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association: AECA is the leading, professional trade association representing, promoting, and advancing the electrical contracting industry in Georgia since 1929. AECA leads the industry in the practical application of new and emerging technologies in the construction industry and the public it serves. About StructShare: StructShare is a construction software company based in Austin, Texas and Tel Aviv, Israel, building digital solutions for specialty contractors to maximize efficiency and reduce costs.

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CONSTRUCTION

Unanet Selected to The Top Construction Technology Firms™ List by Construction Executive

Unanet | October 10, 2022

Unanet, the leading provider of project-based ERP and CRM solutions for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) and government contractors (GovCons), has earned a place on Construction Executive's prestigious list of Top Construction Technology Firms™, further cementing Unanet's best-in-class standing in the AEC business. Unanet CRM by Cosential was recognized for its outstanding CRM capabilities purpose-built for the AEC industry. This award follows numerous other recognitions Unanet has earned for its innovative, customer-focused approach to ERP and CRM. Unanet AE also won a 2022 Gold Stevie® Award as part of the 20th Annual American Business Awards®. Additionally, Unanet AE consistently ranks among the highest in G2's independent software rankings for critical attributes such as: Fastest implementation Highest user adoption Most implementable Easiest setup Best customer support Best relationship Easiest to use, and, Best usability "Industry recognitions like being named among the Top Construction Technology Firms affirm what decision-makers at architecture, engineering and construction have been telling us: that Unanet is a viable, preferred alternative to the status quo, with solutions and support that empower them, from a vendor that won't try to force them into a CRM or ERP box, I'm proud of the Unanet team for continuing to push the innovation envelope on behalf of customers. The CRM by Cosential product offers frictionless user experience that drives user adoption by bringing CRM to users on the go and to their email." -Akshay Mahajan, General Manager of AEC for Unanet. Now in its 20th year of publication, Construction Executive is the leading trade magazine about the business of construction. In its September/October 2022 issue, CE published a comprehensive list of The Top Construction Technology Firms™. CE developed The Top Construction Technology Firms™ list by asking hundreds of firms that provide technology and software solutions for the construction industry to complete a nomination form. The information collected included: 1) the firm's product offerings specific to the AEC industry; 2) the user profile (type and size of firm for which each product is recommended); 3) how each product is sold (by seat, user, license and/or project, etc.); and 4) the number of active users within the past 12 months (by individual users and/or companies). There was no fee to participate and not every firm that completed the nomination form made this curated list. After carefully scrutinizing the data collected, CE developed its 2022 Top Construction Technology Firms list. For more information, contact surveys@magazinexperts.com. Note: Some technology firms that did not submit the nomination form by the deadline were included for the sake of completeness. About Unanet: Unanet is a leading provider of project-based ERP and CRM solutions purpose-built for Government Contractors, architecture, engineering, construction, and professional services. More than 3,700 project-driven organizations depend on Unanet to turn their information into actionable insights, drive better decision-making, and accelerate business growth. All backed by a people-centered team invested in the success of your projects, people, and financials.

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CONSTRUCTION

Mindtree Launches an Integrated Cloud-Based Solution to Accelerate Digital Transformation in the Construction Industry

Mindtree | September 22, 2022

Mindtree, a global technology services and digital transformation company, today announced the launch of Construction 360, a comprehensive, integrated cloud-based Salesforce solution designed to enable construction companies to streamline processes and increase productivity. Launched at Dreamforce 2022, Construction 360 combines Mindtree's extensive domain expertise, cloud capabilities, and NxT product suite with Salesforce's advanced Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and other technologies. It provides the needed digital infrastructure for construction companies to gain real-time end-to-end visibility across the construction value chain and adopt next-generation technologies, boosting efficiencies, streamlining costs, and accelerating time-to-market. The solution enables construction companies to maximize performance and predictability across project lifecycle through superior management of bids, clients, suppliers, and projects, enhanced resource mobilization, and improved asset operations, thus making their operations and projects more sustainable. By using sophisticated Internet of Things, building information modeling, augmented reality/virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, the solution aids data-driven decision-making, automation of key tasks, and better forecasting. With Construction 360, construction companies can improve bid cycle time from tender to execution, win ratio through past tender analytics and efficient quoting, and workforce and inventory utilization through better planning. They can also reduce supplier risks and onboarding time with greater milestone visibility, while better anticipating service needs for safety and inspection tracking. "It is imperative for the construction industry to catch up on digital transformation and make a concerted effort to grow in value by augmenting production rates, Construction 360 is designed to help construction firms rise above disparate, obsolete, and siloed assets and practices by availing of a single system of record, engagement, and action to address the cost and time repercussions of inefficient project management and governance." -Antonio Sciuto, SVP Global Business Development Officer of Salesforce. We are excited to leverage Mindtree industry expertise and Salesforce technology to help construction companies worldwide increase their productivity and address the labor skill shortage, said Tyler Prince, EVP and Worldwide Alliances Leader at Salesforce. "Construction is one of the industry sectors where digital technologies have the most potential to drive innovation and productivity, Construction 360 fulfils the need for a unified and comprehensive digital platform that can enable construction companies to make a material difference to their competitiveness by first identifying operational changes that have the potential to improve their engineering and field productivity, and then defining and executing on the most effective digital roadmaps to realize those changes across the value chain." -Venu Lambu, Executive Director and President, Global Markets, Mindtree. About Mindtree: Mindtree [NSE: MINDTREE] is a global technology consulting and services company that enables enterprises across industries to drive superior competitive advantage, customer experiences and business outcomes by harnessing digital and cloud technologies. A digital transformation partner to approximately 275 of the world's most pioneering enterprises, Mindtree brings extensive domain, technology and consulting expertise to help reimagine business models, accelerate innovation and maximize growth. As a socially and environmentally responsible business, Mindtree is focused on growth as well as sustainability in building long-term stakeholder value. Powered by more than 37,400 talented and entrepreneurial professionals across 24 countries, Mindtree — a Larsen & Toubro Group company — is consistently recognized among the best places to work.

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CONSTRUCTION

Kojo Raises $39 Million Series C to Accelerate Modernizing the Construction Industry

Kojo | September 17, 2022

the construction industry's leading materials management platform – today announced the completion of its $39 million Series C funding round led by Battery Ventures with participation from new investors Schneider Electric, RXR, and Bienville Capital. Existing investors including 8VC, Suffolk Construction, Human Capital, AME, and BoxGroup also participated in the round. Additionally, Kojo shared that Michael Brown, general partner at Battery Ventures, joined its board of directors. "Our mission is to make it faster, easier, and more sustainable to build the world around us. Supply chain disruptions and inflation have made it incredibly challenging to keep projects on-time and on-budget. With this new round of funding, we're excited to continue building best-in-class products that help contractors all over the U.S. save money, increase their productivity, and become more resilient." -Maria Rioumine, CEO and Founder of Kojo. The $800 billion a year commercial construction industry is facing more volatility than ever with soaring construction costs, material and labor shortages, and supply chain constraints. Too many contractors today lack control and visibility over their supply chains, and critical projects are slowed down by error-prone and manual materials ordering processes. Kojo's software brings field, office, warehouse, and vendor teams onto a single platform, making it easy for contractors to manage their materials needs from project takeoff to closeout. To date, Kojo has powered the construction of nearly 10,000 projects, including hospitals, schools, and multi-family housing projects, across 46 states. Despite the recent economic slowdown, Kojo has grown annual recurring revenue 3.5x year over year and expanded to serve all major construction trades. In the last 18 months, Kojo has seen a 12x increase in users and saved customers more than $19 million on their materials orders. Alongside the new round of funding, Kojo is launching new products to further streamline payments and project spend management. Contractors will be able to reconcile their invoices and pay for materials directly on Kojo's platform, allowing them to accurately track project spend. With new distributor integrations, contractors will also be able to directly see distributor pricing and inventory to make the best buying decisions. "At Battery, we're focused on investing in entrepreneurs building industry-transforming companies, The construction industry has been underserved by technology for far too long, and that's led to huge challenges over the past few years. We're thrilled to be partnering with Kojo to change that and bring much needed software and financial services to commercial trade contractors." -Michael Brown, general partner at Battery Ventures. About Kojo: Kojo, the construction industry's leading materials management platform, enables trade and self-perform general contractors to take control of their margins by consolidating the procurement process onto one, all-inclusive digital platform. By connecting the field, office, warehouse, accounting teams, and vendors, contractors gain visibility into real-time materials spending and usage, streamline workflows, and increase labor productivity. Contractors have access to a network of thousands of vendors to source the best prices and availability, find cost savings and reduce material waste. Kojo is trusted by hundreds of contractors and utilized by thousands of construction professionals across the country every day.

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Spotlight

The construction workforce is evolving in many positive ways, especially as it actively embraces diversity and technology. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most male-dominated industries in the world. Out of the over 10 million construction workers in the US, a little less than one million are female. Even more unbalanced is when you look at the percentage of female construction laborers actually in the field; 1%. That’s right.

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