Skip to main content

You are here

Igniting Innovation 2020 Conference and Awards

2020-09-03 08:00:00 2021-09-02 12:00:00 America/New_York Igniting Innovation 2020 Conference and Awards See more details at: VIRTUAL, , ,
Venue Address: 

On Demand Fees: 
Government and academia – free
IAC members - $50
Nonmembers - $50

Diamond Terabyte Sponsor
Megabyte Sponsor

Event Details


Congratulations to this year's award winners and Top  8 Finalists!


2020 Igniting Innovation Award Overall Winner

USA Staffing Onboarding – Office of Personnel Management

Dynamite Award Winners

  • Impacter – greatest magnitude of innovation results and benefits.

Advana Defense Analytics Platform - Department of Defense
U.S. Census Modernization Project - Adobe and the U.S. Census Bureau

  • Game Changer:  disruptive innovations that create significant new or different solutions or deliver a major breakthrough on a longstanding problem
    Opioid360 - Deloitte and Google
    StrongMind Virtual Reality Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Therapy - Veterans Health Administration and ERPi
  • Transformer: uses existing technology to transform or extend existing capabilities resulting in new or broadened applicability and uses.
    GrantSolutions Recipient Insight - Department of Health and Human Services
    USA Staffing Onboarding - Office of Personnel Management
  • Incubator: Innovation not yet in production with the greatest potential.
    Counterfeit Drug Detector - Precise Software Solution Inc.
    The Robotics Academy - Florida International University

    Top Eight Finalists Selected by Attendees Were:

    Advana Defense Analytics Platform - Department of Defense

    Applying Artificial Intelligence to Find Potholes and Vacant Properties - Google

    Counterfeit Drug Detector - Precise Software Solution Inc.

    FLOW3: Enterprise Prosthetic Limb Workflow Management System - Dept. of Veterans Affairs

    Machine Learning and AI Enabled Flood Forecasting Prototype- University of Louisiana at Lafayette and CGI

    SERIO Mobile for IMF Mail and Baggage Inspections - Leidos and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    StrongMind Virtual Reality Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Therapy - Veterans Health Administration and ERPi

    USA Staffing Onboarding - Office of Personnel Management

    Igniting Innovation 2020 Conference and Awards.

    Conference Theme: Innovation Through Networks: The Power of Partnerships

    Igniting Innovation is your best chance to see the newest innovations in the public sector and the only innovation event that includes: 

  • 40 exhibits of competitively selected, cutting-edge innovations from across the country
  • Attendance by innovation leaders from government, industry, and academia
  • Keynotes, panels, and talks by senior government officials, thought leaders, and experienced innovators
  • Top finalists and overall award winner selected by attendees
  • Onsite and post-event coverage by multiple media outlets



Agenda - By Date

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

8:00 am to 8:45 am
Networking Lounge
8:45 am to 9:00 am
Opening Announcement
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Exhibit Hall
Top 40 Innovation Exhibits
9:45 am to 10:00 am
10:00 am to 11:00 am

Bob Burns, Executive Director, Office of Innovation and Collaboration, Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security

Moderated by Francis Rose, host, Government Matters TV

Tapping into different organizations with diverse capabilities, perspectives, and ideas, and incentivizing their participation, is an important challenge in driving innovation. This keynote will address what it takes to build, manage and leverage a diverse network of partners from government, industry, academia, the research community, and start up accelerators and incubators. This includes identifying partners’ capabilities, incentivizing innovation and investment, aligning partners and contracts to encourage collaboration, working with startup accelerators and their private sector sponsors, and adopting innovations. The keynote will highlight real experiences building partner programs, developing relationships and contracts, increasing collaboration between agencies and partners, and measuring success.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

8:00 am to 8:45 am
Networking Lounge
8:45 am to 9:00 am
Opening Announcement
9:00 am to 10:00 am
Leveraging Partnerships in the Innovation Ecosystem Panel

Rick Gordon, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, NS8 Inc.

Kristen Hajduk, Director of Operations, National Security Innovation Network, Department of Defense

Geoff Orazem, CEO, Eastern Foundry

G. Alexander Crowther, Ph.D., Visiting Research Professor, Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, International Capacity Building Program Lead at [email protected], Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs

Moderated by Jason Miller, Executive Editor, Federal News Network

The innovation ecosystem includes a complex combination of government, industry, academia, research organizations, and start up accelerators and incubators each providing unique perspectives and value propositions. This panel will provide insights from experienced professionals from those different perspectives on how to tap into the potential of that ecosystem including challenges, opportunities, results, and lessons learned.

9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Exhibit Hall
Top 40 Innovation Exhibits
10:00 am to 10:15 am
10:15 am to 11:15 am
AI Innovations: Accelerating Results Through Federal and Private Sector Partnerships Panel

Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere / Deputy NOAA Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Cheryl Ingstad, Director, AI and Technology Office, U.S. Department of Energy

Chakib Chraibi, Ph.D., Acting Associate Director, Lead Data Scientist, National Technical Information Service

Moderated by Francis Rose, host, Government Matters TV

Data-driven innovations provide unprecedented opportunities to address mission-critical challenges and to transform government operations. This session will cut through the hype and focus on the art of the possible. How can agencies leverage data as a strategic asset, through capabilities such as AI, to achieve mission outcomes? How are federal agencies partnering with the private sector to accelerate time to market and value? The session will cover actual use cases by innovators and practitioners who are delivering data-driven mission outcome at their organizations- today.

11:15 am to 12:00 pm
Awards Ceremony


“Advana” Defense Analytics Platform – Department of Defense

A modern data platform that pulls data from hundreds of business systems to make data discoverable, understandable, and usable for advanced analytics aligned to the National Defense Strategy. From finance and contracts to logistics and readiness, this system drives informed decision making across the organization through common data models, natural language discovery, and self-service analytics.

Application Value Mining and Translation - SAIC

A holistic approach to modernizing legacy applications that can empower federal IT modernization efforts by accelerating, standardizing, and simplifying the transition of information technology architecture from legacy source code development platforms, such as ColdFusion, into Java operating in RedHat OpenShift, an industry-leading Kubernetes platform. 

Applying Artificial Intelligence to Find Potholes and Vacant Properties - Google

Detecting potholes and abandoned properties by applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in analyzing video footage of roads and residential properties - as well as predicting areas where neighborhood decay was most likely to occur.

Budget Line of Business (Budget LoB) Apportionment Manager – Department of Education

Enables agencies to interface with the OMB Apportionment System, while maintaining their internal controls and workflow capabilities. Based on new technology that allows more flexibility, newer and more modern features, reduced development time, and customization for agency specific business rules, while ensuring the main codebase stays the same.

Census Data Lake (CDL) for 2020 – Accenture Federal Services and U.S. Census Bureau

Imagine the challenge: to count and capture data on every person living in the United States in 2020, gathering information that has to be securely collected, stored, analyzed, and applied to tell the story of what’s new, what’s changed, and what matters most since the last time more than 300 million Americans were surveyed. To accomplish one of the most daunting data retrieval efforts across the federal workspace, the 2020 Decennial Census required a unique and highly scalable solution. That solution is the Census Data Lake. It’s the central data repository and beating heart of a program built to streamline a complex collection of data and demographic metrics involving 52 systems that support 24 operations. CDL enables the collection, aggregation and analysis of massive and diverse data quantities, including clear text data, XML, JSON, audio and video files – all while centrally securing and governing these assets. The platform breaks down traditional access barriers, facilitating real-time capabilities across all areas of the data collection life cycle and serving as an essential archive of critical local, regional and national information. By leveraging a robust data and analytics capability to support quality assurance, the journey leads to the intersection of high tech and lowered cost, with a far more effective use of taxpayer dollars to ensure an accurate Census count, providing the final tabulation count to be released to the President that will set the nation’s course and determine federal funding allocation for the next decade.

Cloud One – Isobar US

State-of-the-art cloud computing platforms, technologies, approaches, and solutions provides highly scalable, user-centric cloud hosting environment capable of supporting thousands of DoD systems across multiple cloud environments with a small management overhead footprint.

Counterfeit Drug Detector – Precise Software Solution Inc.

Counterfeit drug detection solution uses multiple wavelength lights and all-spectrum high definition camera, unique hardware design, and embedded Google Tensorflow Process Unit (TPU) with built-in machine learning to analyze drug pictures locally delivering near real-time results and offline counterfeit drug detection removing network connectivity dependence and providing a viable solution in remote areas without network access.

Darktrace Cyber AI Platform - Darktrace

Automates every stage of cyber defense with innovative AI that functions like the human immune system to detect threats no matter where or how they emerge, fight back in seconds without human guidance, and investigate cyber incidents at speed and scale. At a time when increasingly sophisticated cyber-threats move at machine speed, the Darktrace Cyber AI Platform acts as an AI brain for the organization, and helps thousands of businesses around the world defend from the new era of cyber-attacks.

Deep Learning for Airport Screening of Accessible Property - IBM

First-of-a-kind 3D deep learning vision-based framework to detect threat objects in computerized tomography (CT) scans of carry-on luggage. Novel AI algorithms embedded within CT scanner enable the ability to zoom in and see objects from all angles, looking “inside” of bags, instead of just through them from one or two views. Open interface standards allow for plug and play deployment without the need to disrupt software or hardware components of the checkpoint scanner.

“DORA” (Determination of Responsibility Assistant) – U.S. Army

Robotic Process Automation (“bot”) software solution that automates the determination of contractor responsibility process required of Federal acquisition professionals. Leveraging the Internal Revenue Service’s initial work, the Army adapted this concept to build their own unique bot to serve the Army, Dept. of Defense (DoD) and make it available to all federal agencies. The Army executes around 250,000 contracting actions annually, totaling $105 billion dollars in fiscal year 2019, with a workforce of 8,000 contracting personnel requiring 750,000 responsibility determination checks annually. DORA delivers a massive impact by saving up to 13 days of Procurement Administrative Lead Time (PALT) to each contracting professional and saving $29.3M taxpayer dollars annually.

FLOW3: Enterprise Prosthetic Limb Workflow Management System – Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provides prosthetic limb care for ~14,000 veterans with limb loss annually. FLOW3 streamlines prosthetic limb processing by integrating disparate processes/systems and automating manual processes to provide greater transparency into the prosthetic limb acquisition workflow.  Before the implementation of FLOW3, VA could not assess the time from prescription to limb delivery.  FLOW3 also standardizes the purchase request and coding process for Prosthetic limb acquisition and enhances follow-up for clinical care. By 2021, the FLOW3 System will impact 95,000 veterans; 174 prosthetic clinics; and 1,740 clinicians with a time savings of less than 20 days for VHA prosthetic limb workflow management.

Gabriel the Robocall Blocker – Birdsong Partners Inc.

Americans receive 1,700 spam robocalls per second at a cost of over $22 billion annually to the economy. Current mobile call filtering apps are ineffective at stopping robocalls and associated spams. Gabriel leverages new Decentralized Ledger Technology (DLT) and gamification with blockchain encryption, swarm intelligence, Natural Language Processing, a recurrent neural network, real time adaptive classification, abnormal detection and clustering algorithms to detect and block robocalls. Gabriel is 5G ready and designed to scale to 30 million concurrent users. Gabriel represents a revolutionary leap in our ability to detect disinformation, and block them before scams can metastasize and claim new victims.

GrantSolutions Recipient Insight – Dept. of Health and Human Services

Intelligent risk management tool that automates key aspects of assessing the risk posed by applicants for, and recipients of, Federal grants and cooperative agreements. The tool combines robust, publicly available data with artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to assist in capturing relevant information from public databases. It learns from the information it gathers to predict outcomes, detect patterns and flag potential issues for over 750,000 organizations. Grantors have never before had all the key information related to recipient risks available with a single click or basic analysis done for them so they can focus on key issues highlighted in the data.

Housing and Lead Index (HaLI) and the Deteriorated Paint Index (DPI) – HUD and GSA

The Housing and Lead Index (HaLI) is an innovative tool that transforms how HUD selects recipients of grants for remediation of residential lead paint hazards, better supporting the decision-making process for both grant applicants assembling grant proposals and for HUD’s grant review process to ensure selection of programs optimally targeted to reach households with children most at-risk for lead poisoning. The HaLI tool provides new insights on risk via advanced analytics, and packages those insights into a visual platform for easy consumption by grant applicants and HUD staff reviewers. By serving both audiences, the HaLI tool increases the potential value of grant submissions through smarter program design and also ensures that higher-impact grant submissions are selected for receipt of grant funds.

Inbound Authentication - Neustar

Enables federal agencies to identify and authenticate inbound callers before an agent or interactive voice response (IVR) system answers the call. Instead of greeting callers with knowledge-based authentication questions, agency contact centers can begin providing service 30-90 seconds sooner. Accelerating the caller identification and authentication process, without sacrificing security, improves citizen experience, increases operational efficiency, and supports several complementary Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goals.

Infosys Health Insights Platform – Infosys Public Services

Next-gen AI platform that enables HHS agencies to turn their data into actions. The Infosys Health Insights Platform analyzes all healthcare data, irrespective of formats and types, and delivers actionable recommendations to all the stakeholders in the care continuum, enabling them to proactively act on their data; i.e., define and deliver the right interventions to the right patient at the right time to improve outcomes. While HHS agencies have unprecedented access to data sets from the Health Data Initiative, they are able to analyze only a fraction of it. The Infosys Health Insights Platform uses advanced data science tools and technologies like automated machine learning and cloud computing to address agencies’ data related challenges, enabling them to quickly navigate from data to insights to recommended next best actions.

Linking Overlapping Research – National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health

National Science Foundation (NSF) leverage advanced technologies to solve a persistent challenge in the grant-making community - linking duplicative and overlapping research across grant-making science-research organizations using machine learning, data science, and Distributed Ledger Technology (aka blockchain) infrastructure to build a “Grants Community Blockchain” (GCB). The GCB was piloted on a set of research portfolios to successfully build the fingerprint (the key “block” in the “ledger”) and prove that comparing fingerprints reveals overlapping research proposals. In doing so, we “liberated” the proposal data while at the same time protecting proposal contents including intellectual property of merit and sensitive information. We now have tools that can help alert program offices when overlaps occur, helping them connect and make the right decision before the grant is issued.

Loan Review Tool – FI Consulting and Small Business Administration

In FY2019 the Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed over 51,000 small business loans for over $23.5 billion dollars. In order to safeguard taxpayer dollars and monitor the riskiness of SBA’s loan portfolio and its participating lenders, the Loan Review Tool (LRT) is designed to streamline the loan review function by automating key elements of the review process, allowing reviewers to spend more time on higher value analysis. The LRT effectively translates language identified in SOPs, Forms, and Regulations into business rules that guide a reviewer through the review process leading to consistent, accurate, and auditable results, similar to the way many U.S. taxpayers use a software tool to help them file their taxes. LRT empowers the SBA to use lower-skilled, less expensive resources to produce greater, more accurate, and more consistent loan review results. This innovation will ultimately save SBA money and strengthen and expand the agency’s in-house capability to monitor risk.

Machine Learning and AI-Enabled Flood Forecasting Prototype - University of Louisiana at Lafayette and CGI

Flood forecasting and warning system that integrates continuously collected environmental observations from space-based systems, ground radar, field sensors, and social media with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics to deliver easily interpreted, useful information for applications such as emergency evacuations, road closures, and access mapping for areas that have been devastated by natural disasters.

Noblis Pieces of Eight (Po8) Orchestrated Autonomy Concept - Noblis

A working demonstration of how autonomous vehicles could safely operate in a future where humans are not in the vehicles. It enables nearby autonomous vehicles to share situational awareness regarding obstacles and threats projected over time and collectively plan motion paths and other actions that avoid collision or other conflicts. It uses blockchain technology to enable the vehicles to establish trust (and predictability) in the actions other vehicles will take. This coordination permits high-speed motion and coordinated actions. A collective map generated from vehicle sensors and shared between vehicles provides situational awareness to the autonomous vehicles. This dynamic map explicitly considers the past reliability and the earned trust of the individual vehicles.

NTIS Federal-Private Sector Partnership for Data Driven Innovation – National Technical Information Service

The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) partnered with the private sector to deliver unprecedented expertise to address federal data challenges at market speed and agility. The unique NTIS Joint Venture Authority provides Federal agencies with a capacity to scale data driven innovation through the private sector. This authority operates outside the FAR to promote conversation between the Federal government and the private sector about the problem (not the solution) enabling agencies to begin work through agile development within ninety days of the problem definition. The NTIS operating model relies on ideation around problem definition that is inclusive, diverse, and engages stakeholders in managing the course of business transformation. "Contracting" for innovation to apply artificial Intelligence, machine learning and other data science capabilities is a challenge for the Federal government. The NTIS operating model based on a partnership, not a contracting process, enables a frictionless business model for innovation by accelerating problem definition, rapidly accessing private sector data science ingenuity, and significantly reducing time to delivery of results through agile development and stakeholder management.

CX Search - Octo

CX Search transforms existing intelligence search and discovery capabilities by combining sophisticated geospatial indexing with natural language processing - a technology used to aid computers in understanding human spoken language and turning that language into executable commands. The objective was to make data searchable, discoverable, retrievable, and shareable by allowing the user to employ natural language as the primary mechanism for entering search queries. Built on top of Octo’s open source Alliance product, CX Search breathes new life into legacy systems, makes data easily searchable, and is available at a fraction of the cost of proprietary systems.

Opioid 360™ - Deloitte and Google

Opioid360™, a joint solution developed by Deloitte and Google, is a predictive population health analytics capability comprised of social determinants of health data, predictive models, and medical-expert Insight Advisors designed to deliver actionable insights into populations at elevated risk of opioid use disorder, barriers to treatment, and optimal interventions. Opioid360™ enables predictive and machine learning analytic capabilities for the policymakers and caseworkers who are on the frontlines of tackling the Opioid Epidemic. Opioid360™ uses a powerful ecosystem of datasets and predictive health-risk models, all stored in Google Cloud Platform, to identify high-risk populations and pinpoint optimal interventions for those populations. Government and commercial healthcare and human services organizations focused on prevention and treatment for those with opioid use disorder, as well as law enforcement organizations focused on disrupting illegal distribution channels, can benefit from Opioid360™.

Pacer – The MITRE Corporation

Pacer is a free mobile application that enables more informed decision making by business aviation pilots that can reduce delays for the entire flying public. Pilots use Pacer to understand how busy an airport is predicted to be at their planned time of departure providing a greater awareness of the potential for delay. If their schedule is flexible, pilots can adjust their plans to depart during less busy periods, reducing delay for them and potentially other flights. Pacer also allows a pilot to submit updated departure plan information to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This enables FAA traffic managers and other pilots to have a more accurate picture of airport departure demand. Planning is more informed and traffic management initiatives can be applied only when truly needed.

Real-time Application for Tracking and Mapping (RAFT-MAP) - A-TEK / Mackson Consulting LLC

The RAFT-MAP application provides real-time water pollution level calculations from rivers, canals, estuaries, and coastal areas. It displays data as a color-coded visual representation of pollution concentrations. Ruggedized laptops display the ESRI maps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) nautical charts with the integrated Global Positioning System (GPS). It collects data from scientific instruments such as fluorometers and optionally conductivity, temperature, pressure, depth, and other various data measurements. RAFT-MAP is typically used on a boat while connected to the previously described scientific instruments, which in some cases are towed in the water. RAFT-MAP has recently expanded its capability to conduct sanitary surveys to locate and assess all actual and potential pollution sources located in a contributing catchment to determine the level of impact to the shellfish or produce growing areas.

Robotics Process Automation (RPA) Center of Excellence (CoE) Accelerator - KPMG

The RPA CoE tool standardizes and enhances the RPA use case identification and prioritization process to support and maximize Federal client's RPA investment. The tool is enabled through the SalesForce platform as a custom built application utilizing functionality native to SalesForce as well as custom scoring methodologies evoking KPMG’s proven Integrated Value Management (IVM) methodology. The IVM methodology lays out the cycle of program demand, business case for investment, delivery, and measurement of outcome. A standardized intake form is created to devise questions to aggregate data for criteria areas that are being assessed and scored against the scoring model for prioritization. The IVM methodology presents the backbone logic for an IA scoring model that can be curated to fit any organization’s business or mission goals to assess for outcomes based on these needs. Within the tool, the ingest form is interactive, with a simplistic interface that can appeal to a mass user base, which at our Federal Client, has the ability to scale to approximately ~26,000 users across the agency.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)/Intelligent Automation Services (IAS) - General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT)

The Robotic Process Automation uses UiPath software to automate routine processes that are well defined with structured business rules and exception handling. The goal of this service is to identify repetitive tasks that can be automated and performed by a digital workforce in an agile environment, allowing IT developers to focus on higher value activities, such as large scale development efforts. Intelligent Automation provides a way of reducing operating costs while also facilitating agility in response to customers’ evolving needs. The purpose of the service is to provide improved, cost-effective, operational efficiencies, and standardized interfaces and processes performed by the digital workforce. Initially, RPA was implemented at the desktop through the use of Attended and Unattended BOTS. As the amount of automations increased, additional BOTs (laptops) were incorporated for development and testing. As RPA has evolved, the automations are being moved into the virtual environment where no hardware is required which allows for increased savings in addition to less downtime from system failures, enhanced security options and easier transfer of Data.

SERIO Mobile for IMF Mail and Baggage Inspections - Leidos and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

System for Entry Review and Import Operations (SERIO) mobile solution for mail and baggage inspections at International Mail Facilities (IMFs) provides front line defense against illegal, counterfeit and dangerous drugs and opioids from entering the United States. The nine IMFs throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are responsible for monitoring mail and baggage importations by conducting comprehensive examinations of suspect packages. 87% of the reviewed packages contain illegal, illicit, unapproved, counterfeit and potentially dangerous drugs and opioids such as fentanyl. SERIO is an innovative mobile solution capable of seamlessly functioning in both on-line and off-line modes. The SERIO mobile component is a platform agnostic native mobile app that can be installed on mobile devices such as tablets and used by Consumer Safety Officers at the point of inspections to enter data electronically while in offline mode and take photos using mobile device cameras. The data is securely stored in an encrypted database on the mobile device. When a network connection is detected, the data from the mobile devices is automatically synced to the SERIO online or web system.

StrongMind Virtual Reality Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Therapy – Veterans Health Administration and ERPi

Diagnosing and treating PTSD is of paramount importance, as many soldiers returning home from combat zones around the world are at risk for developing PTSD as they acclimate to civilian life. StrongMind was developed to address challenges of traditional exposure therapies by offering a means to overcome the natural avoidance tendencies associated with trauma. The platform aims to use virtual reality (VR) to target the effects of PTSD and depression to reduce veteran suicides. VR therapies were shown to be successful in patients with PTSD who did not respond positively to traditional imaginal Prolonged Exposure therapy treatments. VR treatment has the potential to increase clinical effectiveness, reduce the stigma surrounding PTSD treatment, and engage younger veterans in treatment because of VR’s cultural prominence.

Tantus InsightsAI - Tantus Technologies, Inc.

InsightsAI creates new capabilities for users, transforming the eRulemaking Program from a labor-intensive, manual process, to an automation-assisted process enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI). With InsightsAI, stakeholder comment data is automatically captured from, processed through machine learning (ML) and natural language models, and rendered on Tableau in user-friendly visualizations. ML models provide unique views that are enhanced throughout the proposal process by applying the ML models to new comments as they become available. AI model outputs are rendered in a user-friendly dashboard and significantly reduces analysts’ workload. The application also provides work management features that enable analysts to record annotations per comment and track their work online. InsightsAI can be activated for a proposal as soon as the first comment data has been approved, instead of waiting until the end of the proposal period, allowing analysts to begin work sooner. InsightsAI reduced the cycle time for one proposal by months due to the accessibility of the comment data and the AI analytics underpinning the analysts’ view of InsightsAI’s visualizations.

Tax Withholding Estimator (TWE) – Internal Revenue Service

The Tax Withholding Estimator provides an expanded, mobile-friendly online tool designed to make it easier for everyone to have the right amount of tax withheld during the year. It replaces the Withholding Calculator (which was online for 19 years), and offers taxpayers a more user-friendly step-by-step tool for effectively tailoring the amount of income tax they have withheld from wages and pension payments. Unlike the calculator, the estimator was designed to make it easier for employees who also receive self-employment income to accurately estimate the right amount of tax to have taken out of their pay. The IRS has consistently encouraged taxpayers – and others – to use the estimator to take a Paycheck Checkup as soon as possible to make sure they are having the right amount of tax withheld and avoid a surprise when they file next year.

The Data Lab – Department of Treasury

The Data Lab is a public website born out of the 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA), which requires the federal government to make its spending data publicly available. Data Lab changed the way government spending data is shared with the American public, using a storytelling approach and data visualizations to explain how government finances work to the public and inspire others to use U.S. Treasury data for their own analyses. The Data Lab team presents analyses that make government financial data accessible to all including:

• Visualizing the Daily Treasury Statement showing how much the federal government spends each day;
• Contract Explorer Analysis providing visualizations of who is getting federal contracts, amounts of those contracts, and the agencies awarding the contracts;
• Homelessness Analysis exploring how the federal government funds efforts to help eradicate homelessness; and,
• Federal Investment in Higher Education providing an overview of federal funding in colleges and universities through grants, contracts, and student aid.

The Robotics Academy - Florida International University

The Robotics Academy is a set of cloud-based resources that integrates cutting-edge theory, practice and technology to deliver innovative and personalized training with support platform for building industry workers, business owners, educators and entrepreneurs. Leveraging technological innovations including artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, virtual reality, augmented reality, the internet of things, and big data, the Academy is the only training, education, research and innovation platform of its kind. With a focus on training for robotics automation, the project’s new tools further the understanding and application of self-adaptive, data driven, and autonomous systems used for virtual training. The Project will continue to advance the development and practical use of intelligent training systems using high end visualizations, interacting with 3D spaces with haptic sensing, and receiving feedback on these interactions. The project bridges the gap between rapid advances in science and technology and their direct applications to practice for training.

Unisys Migration Project (UMP) – Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) – U.S. Dept. of HUD

In the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) invested in a Unisys mainframe platform to fulfill HUD’s critical housing and financial business requirements. This platform currently supports 30,000 federal and banking industry users, as well as $59 billion of new home loans in the second quarter of 2019 alone. The mainframe infrastructure and legacy COBOL applications are expensive to maintain and updates are challenging. HUD urgently required a solution that would disrupt the continued reliance and burden of these legacy systems.  HUD is now successfully transforming the Unisys applications to the cloud using automated code conversion, automated database migration, and automated regression and performance testing. HUD reduced the project timeframe from five years to two, eliminated years-long requirements and code freezes required by manual modernization, and reduced overall project cost by over 50%. Using an agile project methodology, HUD is already validating project success by delivering and testing working code in the cloud. HUD also implemented DevOps to improve code quality by testing and scanning for vulnerabilities during development.

U.S. Census Modernization Project – Adobe and U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census modernization project combined existing innovations and gathered top experts from government and the commercial sector to build a unique, end-to-end solution that transformed how the Census has been done for over 200 years. The innovation transforms the experiences of all U.S. people through multiple convenient options to participate in the Census and builds the first-of-its-kind back-end system for government workers that prioritizes more accurate online applications over paper based and door-to-door efforts. Additional technology also cross-checks that data to ensure accuracy and provide additional security. The U.S. Census Team is now using a customized solution of:
o Aerial and satellite imagery to capture new constructions and validate existing housing units among 140 million addresses nationwide allowing the Census Bureau to combine spatial data and address lists to analyze changing neighborhoods and save significant time and costs for on-the-ground staff.

o Amazon Web Services (AWS) GovCloud - the Census Bureau is utilizing the FedRAMP-approved hosting platform to ensure security, scalability and 100% uptime.
o Adobe Experience Cloud to boost participation by improving the front-end user experience and ensure mobile-friendly access to all regardless of screen size, language or disability; help the Bureau better understand web traffic and site utilization and measure the effectiveness of paid media and executed marketing campaigns; personalize content and communications to enhance the customer experience and help avoid high abandonment rates for the public; organize information in one place by digitizing data collection so decisions are more informed, and improve security and significantly drive down costs by improving government operations.

This innovation makes it easier for every person to participate in the U.S. Census securely while driving down costs to collect the survey data.

USA Staffing Onboarding – Office of Personnel Management

In 2018, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) completed a project to transition 100% of federal agency customers to a modernized version of the USA Staffing® talent acquisition system. USA Staffing automates the complex federal hiring process from recruitment through onboarding. The Onboarding interface was built to meet agency needs for an automated, standardized onboarding capability. Onboarding users benefit from an automated forms process allowing new hires to efficiently complete forms on-line by answering an “ask once, use many” customized questionnaire. It also allows agency HR professionals to manage forms and communicate with new hires using a streamlined, standardized, and automated process. It is seamlessly integrated with the main staffing functions of USA Staffing and is designed to accommodate agencies’ unique onboarding processes. Onboarding has integrated identity management systems via a New Hire Interconnection that reduces time to provide key new hire data by transmitting data securely and automatically.

Veterans Affairs (VA) Lighthouse - Oddball

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Lighthouse is an award-winning Application Programming Interface (API) platform that is reinventing the way veterans and their families engage with VA. Lighthouse is VA’s formal invitation for private industry to join us in developing tech solutions that speed access to the care and benefits veterans have earned. It allows industry partners to “plug in” to VA, creating a seamless user experience. VA Lighthouse gives developers secure access to the data they need to build helpful tools and services for veterans. By developing and building on APIs, VA can connect apps that veterans already use to popular products veterans already own. We implemented human-centered design (HCD) to connect user discussions and learn their pain points and needs, ship updates to production daily, and add new APIs. We also delivered self-service functionality, enabling users to sign up for any of the APIs through new easy-to-use application and newsletter subscription forms. This self-service access lowers the barrier to entry and lets API consumers begin using VA APIs right away.

VHA Care & Transformational Initiatives (CTI) Portfolio – Veterans Health Administration and ERPi

Care & Transformational Initiatives (CTI) seeks to build a collaborative innovation community external to VA with academic, industry, non-profit, and other government partners to co-develop innovative solutions. CTI is focused on testing and refining innovative care models and transformational initiatives that can meaningfully scale to impact veterans. CTI transforms existing innovations, giving them a platform to build upon and supporting their integration into the VHA health system to maximally benefit veterans. CTI recently established two new groundbreaking partnerships to bring augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to veteran health care.  CTI facilitated a partnership to introduce Augmented Reality Microscopes (ARMs) at VA Medical Centers. ARMs can now utilize deep learning algorithms to assist in the diagnosis of certain cancers. This technology can be incorporated into the routine workflow to assist pathologists and other medical professionals in diagnosing with added confidence. This type of solution has the potential to significantly improve medical outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and save lives. Virtual Reality (VR) is an exciting technology with clear therapeutic potential delivered through immersive treatment environments. Many veterans grapple with chronic pain management and mental health stemming from combat injuries or active duty experiences. CTI partnered with AppliedVR to address acute crises and also teach coping skills to support veterans confronting behavioral health issues such as anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness. A VR care system like AppliedVR’s RiseVR offers the potential to alleviate pain and provide relief across multiple indications as part of a care treatment plan. VR stands to become an effective and safe alternative to opioids.

VHA Health Hackathons - Veterans Health Administration and ERPi

VHA Health Hackathons include students, professionals, and leaders across industry in solving some of VA’s toughest challenges on a national scale pertaining to early stage solutions addressing mental health, rural health, and access to care. Hackathons embrace disruption, build stronger ties within communities, facilitate delivery of health care solutions, and promote the VHA’s commitment to innovation. Each hackathon is a race against time to solve challenges posed by veterans, inviting diverse perspectives and problem-solving approaches from all populations to address pain points in health care delivery. Delivering these solutions allow participants to consider the end-user experience perspective and assess business viability as an integral component of their hacks. Hackathons help VHA shift from risk-averse to a culture willing to fail, iterate, pivot, collaborate, and adapt to create new innovative solutions. VHA Health Hackathons are a powerful way to engage individuals across public and private sectors—government, health care, industry, and academia—in collaborative solution engineering. These collaborations help streamline the process for identifying and scaling promising practices and establish mutually beneficial relationships to foster sustainable innovation networks.

Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (WI ePDMP) – Wisconsin Interactive Network

The WI ePDMP is a highly successful tool to help combat the ongoing drug abuse epidemic in Wisconsin developed to create new and disruptive capabilities based on the needs of its users. WI ePDMP introduced first-of-its-kind decision-support tools that rely on advanced analytics and data visualizations about potentially dangerous controlled substance prescriptions dispensed in the state. By providing this critical data, the WI ePDMP aids healthcare professionals in prescribing and dispensing decisions and fosters the ability of pharmacies, healthcare professionals, law enforcement agencies, and public health officials to work together to reduce the misuse, abuse, and diversion of prescribed controlled substances Enhancements empowered healthcare professionals who prescribe controlled substances to obtain on-demand reports about their patient panel, their own prescribing practices, and how they compare with the practices of their colleagues. Data-driven reports contain graphs of prescribing behavior and other analytics about the user’s patient population and their risk factors. The Statistics Dashboard offers unparalleled public access to critical data about the prescribing practices, website utilization, and law enforcement activity related to the WI ePDMP. Public health officials and others with an interest in helping curb the drug abuse epidemic can drill down on any of the dynamic charts on the website to view and download reports specific to their area of interest and geographic part of the state.


Host, Government Matters
Acting Associate Director for the Office of Data Services and Chief Data Scientist, U.S. Department of Commerce NTIS
Director, Artificial Intelligence & Technology Office (AI-1)
Visiting Research Professor, Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice Florida International University
Co-founder, Eastern Foundry
Director of Operations for National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)
EVP, Corporate Development at NS8 & board member at Syncurity
Executive Editor, Federal News Network
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator
Executive Director, Innovation & Collaboration Science & Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security


If you are interested in sponsoring Igniting Innovation, please contact Carol Miller, [email protected]













Privacy Statement and Disclosure

ACT-IAC complies with the requirements of data protection laws and the Privacy Act regarding the collection of personal data from event attendees, how the data will be used and/or if it will be shared.  Please go to for more details on how we comply.  By registering for this event, as has been the practice for years, event sponsors are provided a directory of attendees which they agree not to use for mass marketing purposes.  In addition, by visiting an exhibition booth, just as at past conferences your badge would have been scanned, your basic contact information will be provided to the exhibitor in case follow-up or additional information needs to be shared.