Welcome to InnOvation, bringing you news about innovations to improve services and operations in the public sector, sponsored by the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) Institute for Innovation. Each newsletter will feature stories, upcoming events, and opportunities for you to engage with a growing community of innovators. Learn more about ACT-IAC and the Institute for Innovation .

Innovation Highlights

Coming Events


Ms. Maria Roat, CIO of the Small Business Administration and ACT President


First in a series of Innovation Case Studies


MGT Act Working Capital Funds - This government-wide case study will explore how certain agencies were able to implement working capital funds that were authorized in the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017. These working capital funds provide agencies with a way to reinvest savings to address unfunded technology priorities. As of December 2019, only 3 agencies received an “A” on the Congressional scorecard for establishing these working capital funds. Roat has proven a CIO can both fight fires and make transformational changes. In just three years, she moved the CIO office from a reactive, technical support organization into a proactive innovative services organization that’s responsive to SBA’s programs.



You still have time to nominate your great work to exhibit to hundreds of government, industry, and academia attendees at the Igniting Innovation 2020 Conference and Awards on May 27. Submitting a nomination is quick, easy and free.


To submit your nomination click .

The SBA story above is the first in a series


The Institute for Innovation is partnering with ACT-IAC communities and government partners to share actionable practices and innovative approaches from which others can learn and adopt. The Case Studies highlight approaches to “move the needle” and drive successful change. Have you or others you know found ways to break through long-standing barriers? To fundamentally change the way your organization operates? Adopted new technology that has changed the nature of work and achieved new business results? - we welcome input on projects of this nature for future Case Studies!


Prioritized List of Case Studies

1. Labor IT Metrics

2. MGT ACT Working Capital Funds

3. EIS Success

4. GSA Center of Excellence

5. HHS Emerging Technology


To see a further description of these projects,

Hosted by Ed Kearns, CDO, Department of Commerce


The Chief Data Officer has a unique viewpoint that can enrich the organization’s decision-making. Take a look at this article by Innovators Circle members Diana Zavala, Judy Douglas, et al, that examines, To achieve change and realize the full value of an organization’s data assets, the CDO’s voice should be heard clearly. This means not making the CDO subordinate to another “power axis” at the decision-making table, but to ensure that the data-centric viewpoint is heard and considered to the same degree as the budgetary, workforce, IT or other significant stakeholder. The CDO should be a peer of the other contributors at the table (e.g., the CFO, CIO, Business Unit Leaders) to ensure that all decisions are fully informed from a variety of balanced perspectives.


If you have a point of view to share on data innovation? A provocative article you’ve read? Please submit for consideration to be published in InnOvation.

Featured Innovation Highlights


From Government Matters


Innovators Circle member, Tim Cooke, appeared with Francis Rose on Government Matters to discuss the development of the “Periodic Table of Acquisition Innovations” by the Institute for Innovation at ACT-IAC. Sponsored by OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy, the Table helps document and share the growing body of acquisition innovations that are enabling mission success across government.


Last summer, Tim Cooke led another Institute project, in conjunction with Syracuse University Defense Comptroller’s program, on Category Management as a business innovation for the Army. One of the Army teammates was inspired to author an article on the insights gained. It was published in the Fall Issue of the Armed Forces Comptroller Magazine, entitled “Why Should We “CAER” About Category Management” p. 46-49

Innovators Circle Member Honored at NCMA Gala


Innovators Circle member Tim Cooke was recognized at the Regional NCMA Fellows Gala at the Hotel Monaco on November 8th 2019. The Gala featured Dr. Michael Wooten, the new Administrator of OFPP, and was moderated by Francis Rose, host of “Government Matters” program. Tim is grateful to have been in the company of so many prominent members who shared the memorable inaugural event in honor of the Region’s august group of Fellows.

Congratulation to Jim Thompson, innovative builder of public-private partnerships


Jim Thompson, State Dept Director for Private Sector Engagement and advisor to the Institute for Innovation, completed the Senior Executive Service, Career Development Program (SES-CDP). The program included a detail leading a team on airport worker screening in response to legislation passed by Congress.


From Government Matters


Zero Trust cybersecurity strategies are quickly becoming a must for organizations looking to be as secure as possible. A report from ACT-IAC goes into how government can utilize zero trust systems. Steven Hernandez, Chief Information Security Officer, Department of Education, says that the conversation around trust is changing.


Innovation in the News

From MeriTalk


“The General Services Administration (GSA) is asking for government employees’ ideas to improve the public’s experience with the Federal government through technological innovation.”


“In a Jan. 15 blog post, GSA asks public sector employees to share challenges they’ve seen on the job, and possible technical solutions to those. The agency is gathering feedback through the 10x submission portal to support ideas that transform how the government uses tech.”


“Specifically, 10x is soliciting ideas that improve the citizen experience, enhance how the government…” Read the full article here.



From MeriTalk


The General Services Administration (GSA) announced its new Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) class – beginning its seventh cohort with 20 new fellows.


“Over the last seven years, fellows have worked to accelerate the adoption of novel technology within the federal government and save taxpayer dollars. Our new cohort of fellows will continue to build upon this work to help agencies create better products, services, and experiences for the American public,” Josh DiFrances, said in a release.




The OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) and the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) are excited to launch our fourth annual #CallforInnovations. Innovators from around the world are encouraged to submit innovative practices to fuel research on innovation trends and to inspire others to work in new and creative ways.


From CXO Today


At the turn of the millennium, hackathons represented the equivalent of jamming sessions in music – a bunch of scrawny, spectacled, shabbily dressed geeks sitting around in listless groups discussing technology challenges that most others weren’t aware of and working out solutions that would often appear to be right out of sci-fi movies. But, not anymore!


From Popular Science


Every year, the staff of Popular Science barricades itself in a room to fight. No, this is not some nerdy fight club; it’s where we select our Innovation of the Year, the breakthrough that we agree is the most important from the previous 12 months. This year, that honor goes to the first one-dose drug to treat a long-neglected problem: postpartum depression.


From MeriTalk


For Federal agencies, fostering innovation involves understanding when to be bold and where to put forth resources by communicating with other agencies as to what their needs are, while allowing for open communication channels within one’s own agency, said agency leaders today.


At the Government Executive Bold Gov event, leaders from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Small Business Administration (SBA), and General Services Administration (GSA) spoke candidly about what helps their respective agencies innovate.


Featured Innovation Programs and Web Sites


•Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

•USAID Global Development Lab

•Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships

•The Lab at OPM

•GSA Innovation.gov Toolkit

•Bridging Innovation:

•Health Innovations:

Additional innovation programs and web sites you may be interested in:


Acquisition Excellence 2020 will focus on how we are improving communication with industry to build valuable government market intelligence.


When: Tuesday March 31, 2020 from 7:30am - 5pm

Where: Grand Hyatt Washington 1000 H Street NW Washington, DC 20001


For more information or to register click .


Igniting Innovation is your best chance to see the newest innovations in the public sector. Registration for this event is not yet open. Mark your calendars and watch for more information about this event in the future.


When: Wednesday May 27, 2020

Where: Marriott Marquis 901 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001


We are currently accepting nominations until February 14th. To nominate your innovation click .


Are you interested in learning more about Human Centered Design? Click to check out the Institutes most recent webinar on HCD featuring speakers from ICF and GSA. To view all previous Institute webinars click .

Connect and Collaborate with Other Innovators

Now, you can connect, learn, and share your innovation challenges and successes with other innovators using tools developed by ACT-IAC’s Institute for Innovation. The “Government Innovators” group on LinkedIn () is a community-wide gathering spot to share information, help each other, and grow the government innovation community (including private companies and individuals). The LinkedIn Showcase () is your go-to resource for Institute-specific information, like upcoming events and original content. And, we encourage you to use the #GovInnovators and #GovInnovation hashtags in your tweets.

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