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Vital Voices 10th Annual “Voices of Solidarity” Awards Honors Four Remarkable Male Allies in the Fight for Women’s Rights

Legendary Skateboarder Tony Hawk, Rep. Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Human Rights Activist Fallu Sowe, and Social Justice Artist Omaid Sharifi were honored by Philanthropist & Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg and Vital Voices President & CEO Alyse Nelson for their work in advancing gender equality.

New York, N.Y., Dec. 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — To mark the 75th Anniversary of International Human Rights Day, this week Vital Voices Global Partnership proudly honored male allies who have shown remarkable courage and commitment to advocating for women’s rights.

Philanthropist and Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg and Vital Voices Co-founder, President & CEO Alyse Nelson hosted the 10th Annual Voices of Solidarity Awards on Monday evening at the historic IAC building in New York City – just one day after the 75th Annual Human Rights Day. They honored Legendary Skateboarder Tony Hawk, U.S. Representative Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Artist & Activist Omaid Sharifi, and Human Rights Activist Fallu Sowe.

Tony Hawk was recognized for championing girls in sports, particularly through his foundationSkatepark Projectand working with Skateistan in Afghanistan

Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California’s 34th District was honored for championing equality for caregivers in U.S. national policies and for leading by example in creating the first-ever U.S. Congressional Dads’ Caucus.
Omaid Sharifi, a pioneering artist and activist, was honored for his worldwide efforts to call attention to the oppression of Middle Eastern women and girls through his group, ArtLords, a global grassroots movement founded in Afghanistan to promote peace, women’s rights, and social transformation through street art.
Fallu Sowe, a fearless human rights activist from The Gambia, was recognized for his work in providing critical care services to survivors of gender-based violence.

“For the last decade, it’s been hugely encouraging to count more and more remarkable men as partners in this work. Men’s voices are absolutely critical if we want to accelerate the pace of change — and prove that nothing is impossible,” said Vital Voices Co-founder, President & CEO, Alyse Nelson.

“This year’s honorees are incredible examples of solidarity in action. Each in their own way, they’ve decided to join the fight for gender equality — a fight that women have been leading for decades, especially the women leaders of Vital Voices,” said Founder and Co-Chairwoman, DVF and Vital Voices Board Member, Diane Von Furstenberg.

Presenting the awards to this year’s honorees were President & CEO of Equimundo Dr. Gary Barker, Ph.D.Zainab Husseini of Afghanistan’s Skateistan, Vital Voices Board Chair Kate James, and Tunisian Human Rights Activist, Entrepreneur & Vital Voices Board Member Amira Yahyaoui.
Photo highlights of the event can be found here.
For more information about the event, contact:

About Vital Voices Global Partnership
Now celebrating 26 years, Vital Voices Global Partnership has directly invested in more than 20,000 women leaders across 185 countries and territories since its inception in 1997. Driven by the universal truth that women are the key to progress in their communities and nations cannot move forward without women in leadership positions, Vital Voices has provided early support for leaders who went on to become Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, U.S. Youth Poet Laureates, prime ministers, award-winning innovators, pioneering human rights defenders and breakthrough social entrepreneurs, including Amanda Gorman and Malala Yousafzai. To advance and expand this work, in 2022 Vital Voices opened the doors to the world’s first global embassy for women, the Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership. It is a first-of-its-kind space that allows for convening, innovation, planning, and action—all in the pursuit of serving women leaders who are taking on the world’s greatest challenges.

Find Vital Voices Online:
Twitter: @vitalvoices
Instagram: @vitalvoices
LinkedIn: Vital Voices Global Partnership


Vital Voices

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Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources Announces Details of Third Edition of Future Minerals Forum

HE Khalid Al-Mudaifer at FMF Press Conference

HE Khalid Al-Mudaifer at FMF Press Conference

His Excellency Khalid Al-Mudaifer, Vice-Minister for Mining Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources at the Future Minerals Forum press conference

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — At a press conference today, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) announced details of the third edition of the Future Minerals Forum (FMF), to be held in Riyadh 9th-11th January at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center.

Speaking at the conference, H.E. the Vice Minister for Mining Affairs, Khalid Al-Mudaifer, looked forward to further achievements delivered by the Ministerial Roundtable and FMF 2024. In previous editions, both platforms have seen participation from ministers and a leading group of international speakers to address issues and turn talk into action.

The Vice Minister discussed the unique role of the FMF in hosting the only Ministerial Roundtable of its kind in the industry. He said: “We have succeeded in making this meeting a strategic and influential platform led by governments, providing a voice for many countries and official organizations.”

Over 70 countries will be represented by government ministers and high-ranking officials at the Ministerial Roundtable on January 9. For the first time, a Geological Survey Leaders meeting will be held concurrently with the Roundtable, allowing institutions to discuss key mineral issues in the Super Region.

Following the Roundtable, 250 key speakers will participate in 75 sessions over the two-day Forum. Some 90% of them are CEOs of some of the largest companies in the sector.

“We created the FMF to support delivery of the energy transition and create responsible, resilient minerals value chains in the Super Region of Africa, Western and Central Asia. Last week we attended COP and delivered a simple message: without minerals there cannot be an energy transition,” Al-Mudaifer added.

The conference noted the Kingdom’s leadership in supplying the world with energy, and its current substantial role in supporting the development of resilient value chains to deliver clean energy solutions. The Kingdom has the potential to become an international hub for the production and processing of green minerals. This is supported by the Manara Minerals Company, which invests in mining assets globally to help achieve flexibility in global supply chains and accelerate the pace of the energy transition.

For a full list of speakers and more information about FMF 2024 please visit

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Media Contact:
Omar Shereen
M: +966 50 663 0489

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BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions (ECMS) signs agreement to acquire Arc Metal AB in Sweden

  • Acquisition adds smelting capability to serve spent automotive catalyst customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • Complements ECMS recycling operations and global precious metal services

  • Broadens range of materials that can be processed by ECMS

  • Closing of transaction expected in early first quarter 2024

ISELIN, N.J., Dec. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions (ECMS) has signed an agreement to purchase the assets of Arc Metal AB in Hofors, Sweden. The company currently conducts toll smelting and processing of spent automotive catalyst, among other services, and will further complement ECMS’s existing global precious metal recycling operations in Cinderford, UK, Seneca and Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Caldwell, Texas, USA. The closing of the transaction is expected early in the first quarter of 2024.

“This investment will allow us to grow our recycling business in Europe and bring in best-in-class pyro-metallurgical technology providing flexibility to process high carbon containing materials, like Silicon Carbide found in spent automotive catalyst materials as well as access to new markets,” said Tim Ingle, Senior Vice President, Precious Metal Services and Recycling, ECMS. “We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues who bring vast experience in smelting and processing of spent automotive catalysts.”

The additional smelting capacity at the Sweden site will also increase utilization of the new refinery capacity in Seneca, South Carolina. Recycled catalysts go through a smelting process and are then refined to produce the high purity precious metal needed to make new catalysts and other end use products, supporting a circular economy. Recycled platinum group metals can also lower carbon emissions by up to 97 percent, in comparison to refining mined or primary materials1.

“The asset purchase will enable ECMS to meet increased customer demand for spent automotive catalyst recycling and position ECMS more competitively in the region,” said Dirk Bremm, President and CEO, ECMS. “The acquisition also aligns with our sustainability efforts and those of our customers since catalyst recycling as a secondary supply is a significant source of precious metals, preserving our critical resources.”

To learn more about BASF’s recycling business, visit

1 Source: Sphera Solutions GmbH (2022): GaBi Database Edition 2022, SP37

About BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions
Leveraging its deep expertise as a global leader in catalysis and precious metals, BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions (ECMS) serves customers in many industries including automotive, aerospace, indoor air quality, semiconductors, and hydrogen economy, and provides full loop services with its precious metals trading and recycling offering. With a focus on circular solutions and sustainability, ECMS is committed to helping our customers create a cleaner, more sustainable world. Protecting the elements of life is our purpose and this inspires us to ever-new solutions. ECMS operates globally in 15 countries with over 4,500 employees and 20 production sites.

Media Relations contact:
Betsy Arnone
Phone: +1 973-519-9808

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Duck Creek Technologies Appoints Barbara Bufkin and Diane Fanelli to Board of Directors

Accomplished executives bring decades of insurance and technology expertise to new board roles

Barbara Bufkin

Board Member / Senior Advisor

BOSTON, Dec. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Duck Creek Technologies, the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of property and casualty (P&C) and general insurance, has announced the appointments of Barbara Bufkin and Diane Fanelli to the company’s board of directors. Bufkin joins Duck Creek’s board with an extensive background in global (re)insurance, distribution, underwriting, and technology, advising companies in originating and fostering strategic partnerships. Fanelli is a global customer-centric operations leader known for her expertise in guiding global enterprise software teams and company growth.

“Barbara and Diane are each accomplished and recognized experts in their respective fields, and they will add incredible value to guide Duck Creek’s long-term mission and business strategy,” says Mike Jackowski, CEO of Duck Creek Technologies. “Barbara’s and Diane’s areas of expertise are highly complementary and a perfect fit to enhance our customer success initiatives, advance our partner ecosystem to benefit our insurer customers and their policyholders, and enable our global growth aspirations. It is an honor to have their talents on our board of directors.”

Bufkin is a C-suite executive leader with vast experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry, with roles encompassing operational and strategic responsibilities, business and product development, underwriting, claims, risk management, and corporate governance. Most recently, she served as a senior advisor to Amwins and was a founding member of the Amwins Group Diversity & Inclusion Council. Bufkin has also held executive leadership roles at Argo Group, Assurant, Hamilton USA, Guy Carpenter, Sedgewick Payne (acquired by Guy Carpenter), and Swiss Re. Bufkin advocates for the value of the insurance industry as a career of choice in her role on the Board of Trustees of Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) and is past president and chair of the governance committee formed during her tenure. Bufkin is a 2012 recipient of the Association of Professional Insurance Women’s (APIW) Woman of the Year award and was inducted into the Insurance Business America Hall of Fame in 2019. Her philanthropic work includes the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Council of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF).

Diane Fanelli

Board Member / Chief Operating Officer

Fanelli currently serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at iCIMS, where she leads the company’s professional services, award-winning customer success, technical support, revenue operations, go-to-market enablement, and customer training teams. In 2019 Fanelli was recognized with a CRN Channel Chief award and the CRN Women of the Channel award in 2018 and 2017 for her success in driving innovation, growth, and revenue through channel partners and customers. Prior global enterprise software executive leadership experience includes COO roles at Citrix and SAP. She has previously served as an executive sponsor of diversity and inclusion programs, including the Veterans to Work initiative at SAP. She is an active supporter of STEM initiatives to inspire today’s youth to focus on the digital careers of tomorrow.

Bufkin and Fanelli’s roles were sourced through the external board program operated by Vista Equity Partners, a global investment firm focused on enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses and a majority investor in Duck Creek. Launched in 2017, the board program leverages Vista’s ecosystem and additional resources to identify, train, and appoint qualified board candidates for its portfolio companies. The program works to create a diverse pipeline of qualified board candidates through programs and partnerships that advance diversity for all boards and drive impact for the corporate world at large.

About Duck Creek Technologies

Duck Creek Technologies is the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of the property and casualty (P&C) and general insurance industry. We are the platform upon which modern insurance systems are built, enabling the industry to capitalize on the power of the cloud to run agile, intelligent, and evergreen operations. Authenticity, purpose, and transparency are core to Duck Creek, and we believe insurance should be there for individuals and businesses when, where, and how they need it most. Our market-leading solutions are available on a standalone basis or as a full suite, and all are available via Duck Creek OnDemand. Visit to learn more. Follow Duck Creek on our social channels for the latest information – LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contacts

Carley Bunch

Drake Manning

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OPEN Health and Nested Knowledge announce strategic research collaboration to leverage AI technologies for evidence synthesis

London, Dec. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — London, UK – December 11, 2023OPEN Health, a preeminent global provider of consulting, HEOR and market access, patient engagement, and scientific and creative communications services, is excited to announce a strategic collaboration with Nested Knowledge, a leading provider of AI-based SaaS platform solutions for systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Together, we aim to enhance the speed, efficiency, and depth of evidence synthesis, ultimately aiding biopharmaceutical researchers in making crucial healthcare decisions and bringing products to market quicker.

“This collaboration underscores OPEN Health’s unwavering commitment to leveraging innovative solutions and AI technologies for superior client delivery,” said Richard Jones, President of OPEN Health Evidence & Access. “We are excited to formalize our collaboration with Nested Knowledge and collectively bring market-leading evidence synthesis solutions to our clients.”

Systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses facilitate the methodical evaluation of all pertinent research on a specific topic and are fundamental components of comprehensive outcomes assessments, often in preparation for health technology assessment (HTA) and reimbursement submissions. Boosting the speed and increasing the transparency at which they’re conducted will hasten the translation of research into actionable insights and approved healthcare interventions. Nested Knowledge’s AI-driven platform will be applied within OPEN Health’s strategic market access and evidence synthesis teams, dramatically speeding up research analysis and the derivation of insights. By combining Nested Knowledge’s technological prowess with OPEN Health’s scientific and analytical expertise, the partnership aims to elevate the standards, speed, and precision of healthcare evidence analysis.

“Uniting technology with expertise is core to the mission of Nested Knowledge, as well as to overcoming key barriers in conventional evidence synthesis processes,” according to Kevin Kallmes, CEO and founder of Nested Knowledge. “OPEN Health’s leading evidence synthesis capabilities and approach to AI augmentation in the context of expert oversight makes them a perfect partner for scaling up more rapid, interactive, and technologically integrated solutions.”

About OPEN Health

OPEN Health unites deep scientific knowledge with wide-ranging specialist expertise to unlock possibilities that improve health outcomes and patient well-being. Working in partnership with our clients, we embrace our different perspectives and strengths to deliver fresh thinking and solutions that make a difference. OPEN Health is a flexible global organization that solves complex healthcare challenges across consulting, HEOR and market access, scientific communications, patient engagement, and creative omnichannel communications. For more information on OPEN Health, visit

About Nested Knowledge

Nested Knowledge is a living evidence platform that houses, auto-extracts, and analyzes published clinical literature for conducting systematic literature reviews. As a result, each review produces evidence as interactive, web-based visuals. The platform emphasizes updateability, traceability, and visual interactivity—revolutionizing the way evidence is understood without depending on scattered, non-updatable, incomplete PDF outputs. For more information, visit

Press contact:

OPEN Health

Candice Subero,

Nested Knowledge

Keith Kallmes,


Candice Subero
OPEN Health

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The Future of Luxury Real Estate Is Going Global! eXp Luxury Launches in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom

The Future of Luxury Real Estate Is Going Global! eXp Luxury Launches in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom

eXp Realty, “the most agent-centric real estate brokerage on the planet™” and a core subsidiary of eXp World Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPI), proudly announces the continued expansion of its luxury real estate program, eXp Luxury, into the dynamic international markets of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

BELLINGHAM, Wash., Dec. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — eXp Realty, “the most agent-centric real estate brokerage on the planet™” and a core subsidiary of eXp World Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPI), proudly announces the continued expansion of its luxury real estate program, eXp Luxury, into the dynamic international markets of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Having built an impressive 1,100 members and counting across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico over the last fifteen months, eXp Luxury continues its exponential growth trajectory. The program made its debut in the United States in October 2022, followed by a launch in Canada in September 2023 and most recently, it extended its reach to Puerto Rico, further expanding its presence.

The remarkable success and high demand for eXp Luxury have paved the way for this launch into new international territories, providing eXp Realty Luxury agents unrivaled access to extraordinary investment opportunities. With memberships that provide the ability to showcase remarkable listing campaigns through exclusive partnerships, elevate brand aesthetics through a bespoke design center, and foster growth through robust learning events and vibrant networking opportunities, agents can truly thrive in luxury real estate.

“eXp Luxury represents our dedication to empowering elite real estate professionals with unparalleled tools and resources to enhance production and strengthen their individual brands while elevating their customer service offerings,” says Michael Valdes, Chief Growth Officer at eXp Realty. “This strategic international expansion marks a pivotal moment, showcasing eXp Realty’s unwavering commitment to not only revolutionizing the global real estate landscape but setting a new benchmark for excellence in luxury real estate.”

For more about the eXp Luxury program, visit

About eXp World Holdings, Inc.

eXp World Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPI) is the holding company for eXp Realty®, Virbela® and SUCCESS® Enterprises.

eXp Realty is the largest independent real estate company in the world with more than 89,000 agents in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, India, Mexico, Portugal, France, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Italy, Hong Kong, Colombia, Spain, Israel, Panama, Germany, Dominican Republic, Greece, New Zealand, Chile, Poland and Dubai and continues to scale internationally. As a publicly traded company, eXp World Holdings provides real estate professionals the unique opportunity to earn equity awards for production goals and contributions to overall company growth. eXp World Holdings and its businesses offer a full suite of brokerage and real estate tech solutions, including its innovative residential and commercial brokerage model, professional services, collaborative tools and personal development. The cloud-based brokerage is powered by Virbela, an immersive 3D platform that is deeply social and collaborative, enabling agents to be more connected and productive. SUCCESS® Enterprises, anchored by SUCCESS® magazine and its related media properties, was established in 1897 and is a leading personal and professional development brand and publication.

For more information, visit

Safe Harbor Statement

The statements contained herein may include statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to revise or update them. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed in forward-looking statements include changes in business or other market conditions; the difficulty of keeping expense growth at modest levels while increasing revenues; and other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including but not limited to the most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Media Relations Contact:

eXp World Holdings, Inc.

Investor Relations Contact:

Denise Garcia

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VAST Data Closes Series E Funding Round, Nearly Triples Valuation to $9.1 Billion

Global Momentum and Demand for VAST Data Establishes Company as the Market Leader for Deep Learning and AI Infrastructure

NO-HEADQUARTERS | NEW YORK, Dec. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VAST Data, the AI data platform company, announced today that it has secured $118 million in Series E funding, led by Fidelity Management & Research Company and accompanied by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), BOND Capital and Drive Capital.

The funding will advance VAST Data’s mission to deliver a new category of infrastructure that puts data at the center of how systems think, react, and discover. This breakthrough will empower organizations to effectively address their most pressing data challenges, enabling unprecedented advancements in technology, economics, social dynamics, and scientific research.

The VAST Data Platform unifies storage, database, and containerized compute engine services into a single, scalable software platform architected from the ground up to power AI and GPU-accelerated tools in modern data centers and clouds. The platform uniquely enables organizations to understand all data, both structured and unstructured as it exists in the natural world, to generate superior insights and unlock new value.

“A new AI data stack is required,” said Renen Hallak, CEO and Co-Founder of VAST Data. “To be truly impactful in this era of AI and deep learning, you not only want to have a lot of data, but also high quality data that is correctly organized and available at the right place, at the right time. The VAST Data Platform delivers AI infrastructure that opens the door to automated discovery that can solve some of humanity’s most complex challenges.”

“We believe that VAST Data is a pioneer in the AI GPU space,” said Scott Sandell, Chairman, CEO and CIO at NEA. “With deep learning at the center of the massive AI movement we are experiencing, interest and investment in VAST Data has escalated, and we are thrilled to partner with the VAST Data team as they drive influence and innovation in the global AI technology sector.”

The funding follows a pivotal 2023 calendar year, marked by:

  • Impressive Business Momentum: At the end of FY’Q3, VAST Data surpassed $1 billion in cumulative software bookings. The company achieved 3.3x year-over-year (YoY) growth and maintained positive cash flow for the last 12 quarters with a gross margin of nearly 90%.
  • Organizations Across All Industries Trust VAST Data: VAST Data has amassed a growing customer roster of global enterprises including Booking Holdings, Inc., U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Energy, Verizon, Boston Children’s Hospital, Pixar, and Zoom, among others, signaling strong market validation.
  • Reimagining AI Cloud Infrastructure: Through innovative customer partnerships with companies like CoreWeaveLambda and Core42 (formerly G42 Cloud), VAST Data is delivering the infrastructure that is purpose built for next-generation AI clouds.
  • Deepened Commitment to Partners: Since its founding, VAST Data has worked closely with partners to break down technology tradeoffs and barriers while improving the overall customer experience. In May 2023, VAST Data furthered this mission with the VAST Data Platform achieving NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD certification, making large scale AI deployments simpler, faster, more reliable and easier to manage. In April 2023, VAST Data entered into a strategic partnership with HPE, helping enterprise customers manage unstructured data with high performance at scale to deliver superior time to data insight.
  • Global Expansion: Now with more than 700 employees worldwide VAST Data is actively broadening its business footprint, penetrating new regions in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe.

Supporting Quotes

The VAST Data Platform’s capacity to process large quantities of data at unparalleled scale and speed signifies a transformative shift in industry operations, underscoring the pivotal role of deep learning AI in shaping future advancements. This sentiment was shared by customers and partners across the industry, including:

“Data is every company’s most valuable asset,” said Manuvir Das, vice president of Enterprise Computing at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA and Vast Data are collaborating to enable enterprises to harness their data using accelerated computing and cloud-based AI solutions to tackle their biggest challenges.”

“Some of the most data-intensive and computationally advanced customers on the planet trust CoreWeave, NVIDIA and VAST to deliver the most secure and scalable solutions on top of the industry’s fastest and most flexible AI infrastructure,” said Michael Intrator, CEO and co-founder of CoreWeave. “We’re honored to partner with VAST to provide purpose-built accelerated computing solutions that solve the complex AI and data challenges that enterprises face now and into the future.”

“Data is the only competitive advantage in AI and therefore infrastructure that can simplify and scale data access is crucial for any organization training AI models,” said Sanjeev Mohan, Principal, SanjMo. “With a modern data platform fine-tuned for the performance and scale AI requires, VAST Data is well-positioned to capture a massive opportunity.”

Additional Resources:

About VAST Data:
VAST Data is the data platform company built for the AI era. As the new standard for enterprise AI infrastructure, organizations trust the VAST Data Platform to serve their most data-intensive computing needs. VAST Data empowers enterprises to unlock the full potential of their data by providing AI infrastructure that is simple, scalable, and architected from the ground up to power deep learning and GPU-accelerated data centers and clouds. Launched in 2019, VAST Data is the fastest growing data infrastructure company in history. For more information, please visit and follow VAST Data on X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

Austin Weedfall

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International science organizations sign agreement to provide hardware for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment

Ten international funding agencies will contribute to the construction of the gigantic particle detectors a mile underground for the Fermilab-hosted Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

Batavia, Illinois, Dec. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment — also known as DUNE — is an international mega science experiment that will use enormous particle detectors to study the behavior of neutrinos, which might indicate why we live in a matter-dominated universe.

The DUNE collaboration, representing scientists from dozens of countries around the world, will contribute to the construction of detectors at two sites in the United States: one at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the host lab for DUNE, 40 miles west of Chicago, and the other at the Sanford Underground Research Laboratory (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota.

On Nov. 17, representatives of funding agencies from five countries signed a memorandum of understanding, affirming their commitment to contribute to the construction of components for DUNE. Director Lia Merminga signed on behalf of Fermilab.

“DUNE will help answer some of the biggest questions in the universe and has the potential to transform the field of neutrino physics. We are proud to host DUNE in the U.S. with major contributions from the project’s international partners who offer their unique expertise,” said Regina Rameika, DOE associate director for the Office of High Energy Physics. “Having the commitment from our international partners to contribute these vital components is an essential aspect of DUNE.”

With their signatures, University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil, Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3), France, Istituto Nazionale Di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Italy, University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council/United Kingdom Research and Innovation (STFC/UKRI), United Kingdom, committed to contributing hardware to the two DUNE Far Detectors in South Dakota.

The Canadian Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund and the Ontario Research Fund in Canada in addition to CERN in Switzerland also signed the memorandum of understanding remotely and will contribute to the DUNE Near Detector in Batavia, Illinois.

Signatures from agencies in the Czech Republic and Spain have been coordinated and will be finalized in the future.

In the memorandum of understanding for Far Detector 1, the United Kingdom and CERN agreed to contribute to anode plane assemblies; Brazil, the Czech Republic, Italy and Spain will contribute to the photon detection system; CERN will contribute to the high-voltage system; Canada, CERN and the U.K. will contribute to the data acquisition system; and Spain will contribute to the calibration and cryogenics instrumentation.

In the memorandum of understanding for Far Detector 2, CERN and France agreed to contribute to top drift electronics; Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Italy and Spain will contribute to the photon detection system; France and CERN will contribute to the high-voltage system; Canada, CERN and the U.K. will contribute to the data acquisition system; Spain will contribute to the calibration and cryogenics instrumentation; and CERN and France will contribute to the charge readout planes.

Scientists and engineers from more than 35 countries are partnering with Fermilab to design, build and analyze data from DUNE, which will be installed in the new Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility. Construction of LBNF has begun, and the excavation of the large caverns in Lead, South Dakota for the DUNE Far Detectors is more than 85% complete.

The DUNE collaboration comprises more than 1,400 scientists and engineers from over 200 research institutions. Notably, CERN’s commitment to LBNF and DUNE represents its first investment in infrastructure for a physics experiment outside of Europe. Several countries — France, India, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom — also are making significant contributions to the Proton Improvement Plan II project, which includes the construction of the 215-meter-long superconducting particle accelerator at Fermilab that will power DUNE.

DUNE will be the world’s most comprehensive experiment to study neutrinos: tiny, lightweight particles that permeate the universe but rarely interact with anything. DUNE will seek to determine whether neutrinos could be the reason the universe is made of matter; look for neutrinos emitted from exploding stars to learn more about the formation of neutron stars and black holes; and watch for a rare subatomic phenomenon that could elucidate the unification of nature’s forces.

To pursue these science goals, DUNE will study neutrino oscillation, a phenomenon in which a neutrino’s property, called flavor, changes as it travels. DUNE will probe this oscillation by shooting a beam of neutrinos 1,300 kilometers straight through the earth, from Fermilab’s accelerator complex in Illinois, through the Near Detector to the Far Detectors located a mile underground at SURF in South Dakota.

The science of DUNE is a global endeavor, and the partnership with funding agencies, scientists and engineers from around the world makes it the first truly international mega science experiment to be hosted on U.S. soil. Additionally, hundreds of students from all corners of the earth will start their careers in science, engineering and computing on this project.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit


Tracy Marc

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8990708

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Zoom delivers AI-powered customer experiences at an unmatched value for companies of every size

New innovative product offerings include robust omnichannel and advanced AI solutions

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) announced enhancements across its AI-powered customer experience (CX) suite and new pricing plans that are expected to be available in the coming weeks.

“Zoom Contact Center has seen incredible momentum since its launch last year, reaching more than 700 customers and expanding to businesses of all sizes, from mid-market companies to global enterprises,” said Vi Chau, head of product, Zoom Phone and Contact Center at Zoom. “We have strategically invested in areas like advanced AI, workforce management, and omnichannel expansion to help build meaningful customer experiences. These new plans provide exceptional value at all levels, including enterprise-grade features at the base tier that other companies charge extra for.”

To support its growing customer base and its various business needs, Zoom Contact Center will be available in new tiered plans that each include voice, video, chat, and Short Message Service (SMS) channels, real-time transcription, remote control, Agent Computer-Telephony Integration (CTI), surveys, and AI Companion capabilities including summarization.

Additional features, including inbound email and social channel support, and outbound dialers are supported in mid-tier plans. Zoom AI Expert Assist and Workforce Engagement Management will be included in top-tier plans, and available as an add-on to any package. These new plans offer exceptional customer value and flexibility to meet the needs of small-to-large contact center departments.

New packages provide flexibility and value

Zoom’s new packages provide enterprise-grade feature sets designed to serve the needs of its customers, no matter their size. All product offerings are available to mix and match as named or concurrent licenses.


  • The Essentials package starts at just $69 per month and includes Zoom AI Companion, remote control, privacy and security features, and support for the most critical channels: omnichannel voice, chat, SMS, and video, as well as many other core capabilities.


  • In addition to the features offered in the Essentials package, the Premium package provides support for email, social channels, and outbound dialer, starting at $99 per month.


  • Elite customers have access to all the features from the Premium package, plus Zoom AI Expert Assist, Quality Management, and Workforce Management, starting at $149 per month.

Additionally, customers with Essentials and Premium packages have the option to purchase features such as Zoom AI Expert Assist and Workforce Engagement Management as add-ons to their package.

Enhanced features expand solution use cases

Zoom’s newest innovations in customer experience focus on helping businesses engage and collaborate better with customers, employees, and more.

  • Zoom AI Expert Assist enables AI-powered personalized support for customers, improved productivity for agents, and better intelligence for supervisors. AI Expert Assist intelligently retrieves and suggests the best responses from a curated set of knowledge bases, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and other systems of record. Additional functionality expected in early 2024 includes recommended next best action, complete with personalized steps, and an intelligent view of agents and activity for supervisors and contact center leaders.
  • Expanded communication channels, including email and Meta’s Messenger, allow agents to interact with customers where they prefer to communicate. The ability to chat in WhatsApp is expected in early 2024.
  • Remote control allows IT departments to help employees and customers solve problems more quickly with the ability for customers to grant help desk agents permission to control their desktops remotely.
  • Outbound dialing empowers sales-oriented agents to enhance customer interaction quality before placing calls and automatically dial numbers on a contact list as soon as an agent becomes available through Zoom’s progressive dialer capabilities. Outbound progressive dialing is currently available in beta and is expected to be generally available in the coming weeks. Outbound preview dialing is expected in early 2024.
  • Additional privacy and security with built-in post-redaction of certain personal data in voice and video recordings, as well as voice, video, and messaging transcripts. In addition, bring your own encryption keys to protect certain data stored at rest within the Zoom Cloud infrastructure is coming in 2024.
  • Third-party application integrations enhance the agent experience and reduce the need to toggle between programs, providing real-time access to customer information, including CRM, support, and payments from within the Zoom client expected to be generally available in early 2024.

These new plans will be available in the coming weeks.

About Zoom
Zoom is an all-in-one intelligent collaboration platform that makes connecting easier, more immersive, and more dynamic for businesses and individuals. Zoom technology puts people at the center, enabling meaningful connections, facilitating modern collaboration, and driving human innovation through solutions like team chat, phone, meetings, omnichannel cloud contact center, smart recordings, whiteboard, and more, in one offering. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Get more info at

Zoom Public Relations
Lacretia Nichols

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International Directional Services and Veracio Announce Strategic Partnership to Advance Drilling and Downhole Technologies in North America

WATSONVILLE, Calif. and SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — International Directional Services (IDS), a Granite Company (NYSE:GVA) and Veracio, a leading mining technology company, today announce a partnership to offer Veracio’s complete suite of driller-operated tooling to IDS’ clients.

Veracio is making significant steps toward leveraging advanced geological technologies to enhance the mining lifecycle. While IDS and Veracio have an existing relationship, the announcement of this partnership acknowledges the vision both companies share for transforming how the drilling workflow can be enhanced with better data. By combining IDS’s expertise in directional drilling and Veracio’s geological data collection, the partnership will empower IDS and Granite clients to reduce unnecessary drilling costs, mitigate operational errors, minimize waste, and foster sustainable mining practices.

“Our collaboration further strengthens Veracio’s position in the US market and reinforces our commitment to advancing the mining industry by offering cutting-edge solutions,” states Veracio’s Chief Executive Officer, JT Clark. “Together with IDS, we are committed to redefining industry standards, empowering precision and integrity with every survey, and delivering unparalleled solutions for the mining industry.”

“We are excited to embark on this strategic partnership with Veracio. By combining our data collection expertise with Veracio’s cutting-edge instrument technology, we aim to redefine how drill hole data is utilized in our industry,” said Jason Smith, IDS General Manager. “This collaboration represents a significant step forward for IDS and our commitment to delivering excellence to our clients.”

Key Objectives of the Partnership:

  • Enhanced Drill Hole Data Analysis: Deploy cutting-edge technology to enhance the accuracy and quality of drill hole data analysis, providing valuable insights for mining projects.
  • Increased Productivity: Leveraging Veracio’s growing fleet of technologies, including TruGyro, and TruSub technology ensures that drilling is precise and efficient leading to better resource definition, safety and lower risks of operational errors, at lower cost.
  • Client Support and Satisfaction: The partnership aims to elevate the level of support and satisfaction for IDS’s clients by delivering data-driven insights and innovative solutions.

The announcement is headlined by the most compact and integrated continuous north-seeking gyro tool in drilling, Veracio’s TruGyro, a north-seeking gyro tool built to deliver precision data at depth in some of the toughest of environments. IDS also currently serves as the distributor for Veracio’s TruShot, a precise magnetic survey tool specially designed for driller deployment. Known for its durability, precision, and user-friendly features, TruShot enables drillers to confidently capture high-quality 3D hole path data. In addition to TruShot, IDS also distributes core orientation tooling on behalf of Veracio. As Veracio introduces new products to the market, IDS aims to expand its customer offerings to provide a comprehensive range of cutting-edge solutions.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at –

About Veracio
Veracio offers mining clients a range of solutions that improve, automate, and digitally transform their orebody sciences in exploration, resource definition and production. Championing a modern approach through a diverse product portfolio Veracio fuses science and technology together with digital accessibility by using advanced scanning, sensing with strong data governance and the deployment of AI to accelerate real-time decision making and significantly improve efficiency, profitability, and sustainability across the value chain. For more information about Veracio, please visit

About Granite
Granite is America’s Infrastructure Company™. Incorporated since 1922, Granite (NYSE: GVA) is one of the largest diversified construction and construction materials companies in the United States as well as a full-suite civil construction provider. Granite’s Code of Conduct and strong Core Values guide the Company and its employees to uphold the highest ethical standards. Granite is an industry leader in safety and an award-winning firm in quality and sustainability. For more information, visit the Granite website,, and connect with Granite on LinkedIn, X, Facebook, and Instagram.

Media Contacts

Kamran Shaikh
PRA Communications
Cell: +1-778-846-5406
Erin Kuhlman – 831-768-4111
Wenjun Xu – 831-761-7861

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“GigaFarm” capable of replacing 1% of UAE food imports set for construction in Dubai Food Tech Valley

ReFarm and IGS announced the partnership from their demonstration facility in Dubai
Back row (L-R): HE Eng. Mohammed Mousa Alameeri (Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE), HE Mohammed Saeed Al Nuaimi (Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE), The Rt Hon Lord Benyon (Minister of State for Climate, Environment and Energy, UK), HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi (Minister of State for Foreign Trade, UAE), Saeed Al Marri (Chairman, SSK Enterprises). Front row (L-R): David Farquhar (CEO, IGS), Andrew Lloyd (COO, IGS), Oliver Christof (CEO, CGI)

Back row (L-R): HE Eng. Mohammed Mousa Alameeri (Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE), HE Mohammed Saeed Al Nuaimi (Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE), The Rt Hon Lord Benyon (Minister of State for Climate, Environment and Energy, UK), HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi (Minister of State for Foreign Trade, UAE), Saeed Al Marri (Chairman, SSK Enterprises)Front row (L-R): David Farquhar (CEO, IGS), Andrew Lloyd (COO, IGS), Oliver Christof (CEO, CGI)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Food Tech Valley has signed an agreement at COP28 with ReFarmTM to start construction on a 900,000 sq. ft. game-changing “GigaFarm”. The innovative waste-to-value farm will be capable of recycling more than 50,000 tonnes of food waste and growing two billion plants each year.

ReFarmTM was established in the UAE by SSK Enterprise and Christof Global Impact (CGI) as a group of companies with focus on projects with circularity and clean technologies. The brand chose vertical farming technology developed by infrastructure supplier Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) and is set to start construction in mid-2024 at Dubai’s Food Tech Valley, a master development launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and being led by major Dubai property developer, Wasl. ReFarmTM has engaged its lead bank to arrange support from UK Export Finance within the UK Government’s Department for Business & Trade.

In a global first, six complementary technologies will be collocated on the Dubai Food Tech Valley site as part of a closed-loop circular waste-to-value system, establishing a self-contained ecosystem designed to maximise resource efficiency and prevent any waste going to landfill.

Capable of growing more than three million kilos of produce annually, the site will support the UAE’s move towards decarbonising food production, replacing 1% of the country’s fresh produce imports. Construction is due to begin in mid-2024, with the site expected to be fully operational by 2026.

HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said: “The United Arab Emirates’ economic growth strategy has placed a strong emphasis on diversification and sustainability, which includes developing new knowledge and capabilities in high-impact industries.

“Rethinking our food production systems is a clear priority, and the decision of ReFarm to launch a facility in Dubai’s Food Tech Valley is a significant step forwards for the development of a technologically advanced, low-carbon agricultural sector.”

Oliver Christof, CEO at Christof Global Impact (CGI), commented: “What has been achieved over the past 36 months in the UAE is a gamechanger for the sustainable food industry. A key factor for success is the open mindset by the UAE leadership and a strong focus on circularity, which allowed us to bring together various groups, including a broad variety of local stakeholders.”

Press contact details:

Carla Furneaux


Steven Flanagan

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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Global Law Firm Nixon Peabody Goes Live with Anaqua’s Comprehensive Suite of IP Management Software and Services

BOSTON, Dec. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Anaqua, the leading provider of innovation and intellectual property (IP) management technology today announced that global law firm Nixon Peabody has gone live on Anaqua’s PATTSY WAVE® platform, as part of a series of measures to further enhance the efficiency of the firm’s growing IP practice.

Anchored in PATTSY WAVE’s state-of-the-art SaaS docketing software, Nixon Peabody is using several of Anaqua’s integrated solutions to manage clients’ IP, including Anaqua’s connectivity solution, Echo, for NetDocuments integration; patent search and analytics via AcclaimIP™; AI-enhanced autonomous time capture using WiseTime®; Rowan Patents for patent drafting; and Anaqua Services for patent and trademark renewals.

With more than 700 attorneys collaborating across offices in the U.S. and major European and Asian commercial centers, Nixon Peabody is one of the world’s largest law firms. The firm has a prominent and expanding intellectual property practice.

About Anaqua

Anaqua, Inc. is a premium provider of integrated intellectual property (IP) management technology solutions and services for corporations and law firms. Its IP management software solutions, AQX and PATTSY WAVE, both offer best practice workflows with big data analytics and tech-enabled services to create an intelligent environment designed to inform IP strategy, enable IP decision-making, and streamline IP operations, tailored to each segment’s need. Today, nearly half of the top 100 U.S. patent filers and global brands, as well as a growing number of law firms worldwide use Anaqua’s solutions. Over one million IP executives, attorneys, paralegals, administrators, and innovators use the platform for their IP management needs. The company’s global operations are headquartered in Boston, with offices across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia. For additional information, please visit, or on Anaqua’s LinkedIn.

About Nixon Peabody LLP

Nixon Peabody LLP is recognized as a Global 100 law firm – one of the largest in the world. With more than 700 attorneys collaborating across major practice areas across the U.S. and in European and Asian commercial centers, the firm’s size, diversity, and advanced technological resources enable it to offer comprehensive legal services to individuals and organizations of all sizes in local, state, national, and international matters. Nixon Peabody’s clients range from Fortune 50 corporations to global banking and finance institutions, name-brand retailers, emerging entrepreneurs, and world-class research institutions.

Company Contact:
Nancy Hegarty
VP, Marketing

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