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Decentralized command: On Wednesday, Indiana blockchain startup SIMBA Chain announced that it has received a $1.5 million Phase II contract from the U.S. Office of Navy Research (under the Small Business Innovation Research program to stimulate federal R&D projectswith commercial potential). SIMBA Chain has been tasked to design and build a blockchain-based demand sensing solution for the Defense Logistics Agency, which provides combat support and supply chain management for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Demand sensing is a forecasting technology used across industry verticals, but which in the U.S. …

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On Monday, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), which invests (and seeks to attract private investment) in complex and innovative infrastructure in the public interest on behalf of the Canadian Parliament, announced the first financial closing of a project under an ambitious, infrastructure-driven Growth Plan announced earlier this fall.

The target of CIB’s first major investment isn’t a bridge, highway or pipeline project, but, instead, a pioneering agriculture initiative (the Alberta Irrigation Initiative), for which CIB will partner with the provincial government of Alberta and eight irrigation districts.

CIB will invest C$407.5 million in the project, Alberta’s government will contribute another…

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This week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) circulated a report finding that while global “contact-intensive sectors” with a large proportion of female workers — including services, hospitality, retail and tourism — ground to a standstill early on in the covid-19 pandemic, an analysis of real-time job listings data across 22 advanced economies shows women continuing to drop out of the workforce at “an alarming rate.”

While it may not be surprising to confirm women’s higher rate attribution from jobs requiring in-person contact (a global trend that IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and her colleagues explored earlier this year), this latest…

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This week, the National Spectrum Consortium — a group of nearly 400 U.S. companies and academic institutions working with government to solve pressing national issues regarding 5G, 5G-based technologies, and spectrum access — announced that it has received a five-year, $2.5 billion Spectrum Forward Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Per an official announcement from NSC, the goal of the Spectrum Forward OTA is to facilitate partnership between the U.S. technology and industrial base and the U.S. Government, to development technologies across a range of advanced technologies that rely on electromagnetic spectrum. …

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Covid-19 has had devastating economic impacts on brick-and-mortar retail property, in-person conventions and other destination events, movie theater traffic, and live-action productions. So why is the alternative investment market for vintage comic books and related memorabilia — which rely on all of those channels for buyer interest and market values — more popular than ever?

In November, for example, a copy of the 1939 Detective Comics #27, one of seven unrestored copies known in existence, featuring the first appearance of Batman, sold at auction in London through Heritage Auctions for $1.5 million. This was the highest price ever paid for…

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On Wednesday, Los Alamos startup UbiQD (Ubiquitous Quantum Dots), a leading developer of the advanced material known as quantum dots for light control in agriculture and energy, announced that it has closed a $7 million venture capital funding round. The round was co-led by “frontier technology” venture capital firm Scout Ventures and global investment network Keiretsu Forum (one of the most active VC’s in the U.S. market), with participation from multiple other funds, including Plug and Play Ventures, Santa Fe, New Mexico private equity firm Sun Mountain Capital, Salt Lake City’s Epic Ventures, and cannabis-focused VC firm Arcview Collective Fund.

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A new report from UBS Asset Management’s London-based Real Estate and Private Markets team is upbeat on the 2021 outlook for listed infrastructure companies. In a report released on Monday, UBS noted that overall revenue estimates for listed infrastructure have declined by only six percent in 2020, with all sectors — even the beleaguered airport and oil subgroups — expected to show some improvement in 2021. This will come from policy tailwinds in the U.S. and Europe, and the positive economic effects of widespread vaccine rollouts.

In his campaign, U.S. President Elect Joe Biden unveiled a $2 trillion climate plan…

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Geospatial technology — tech-enabled earth mapping and aerial tracking analytics — has long been part of global intelligence operations, and is increasingly being used in industries from defense to transportation logistics, agriculture, and health care delivery. You might be surprised to learn that more and more of this technology is being developed in St. Louis, which is already seeing keen interest from tech accelerators and incubators — with venture capital funds likely soon on the hotfoot.

Where it’s at

Historically known as the “Gateway City” (to the American West), St. Louis may in fact be the Gateway to Industry 4.0

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Iceland is open for business and actively seeking investment participation in its listed and private markets, as it seeks to integrate a decade-plus of recovery from the Global Financial Crisis and a rising profile in energy and technology R&D into a broader investment landscape.

Speaking at the opening of a virtual trade and investment expo produced by Promote Iceland and the Icelandic Consulate in New York, Foreign Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson touted the decades-long close partnership between Iceland and the U.S. — Iceland’s single-largest trading partner — as a foundation for continued, warm economic ties.

He noted that the U.S…

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When this year’s covid-related social and economic disruptions put a halt to venture capital roadshows — the whirl of travel, meetings, pitch decks, handshaking and networking that are critical to startups seeking investors— one Israeli investment firm knew exactly what to do. They disrupted the venture capital roadshow itself.

The resulting platform, InvestiNation — a brainchild of Israeli-American real estate and technology investment firm Besadno Group‘s Founder and Chairman Eli Gross — has emerged this year as a kind of “virtual roadshow” for Israeli startups in proptech (commercial real estate technology), contech (construction technology), agtech (agriculture technology), and other emerging…

Investable Universe

A news site about the exciting world of real and alternative assets. Follow us on Twitter at @InvestableU. More stories at www.investableuniverse.com.

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