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


A great program is planned to accompany the innovation exhibits including a "fireside chat" by leading innovators, collaborative discussions about "Putting Innovation to Work" to implement the President's Management Agenda, and a keynote panel kicked off by Siobhan Dullea, CEO of Mass Challenge, a global innovation accelerator. And don't forget, you get to select the overall Igniting Innovation winner (but only if you attend).


This year’s Top 40 finalists were selected from 207 nominations - a record setting year for innovations by federal, state and local government and industry from across the country. “We saw big increases in healthcare, artificial intelligence, and data analytics innovations this year”, said Jim Cook, industry cochair, “reflecting current hot issues.” Acquisition, cybersecurity, blockchain, customer experience, workforce, and IT modernization innovations continued as strong topics. “I am impressed with the amount of innovation in government, industry, and academia that supports implementation of the President’s Management Agenda”, said Austin Price, this year’s government co-chair.


The finalists will exhibit their innovations at the Igniting Innovation 2019 Conference and Awards event on May 23, 2019 at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel. “I’m excited about the increased emphasis on the academic community and what they can bring to the table to help improve services to citizens and government operations“, said Dr. Olivia Blackmon, the first ever academic co-chair for Igniting Innovation.


One of many unique aspects of ACT-IAC’s Igniting Innovation, is that attendees play a key role in selecting the Top 8 “best-of-the-best” innovations and the overall Igniting Innovation Award winner. To get more information, register to attend, or view the Top 40 Finalists, please visit

Featured Innovators


James Cook is vice president for Strategic Engagement and Partnerships at The MITRE Corporation. In this role, he leads strategic corporate partnership interactions with the executive agencies and Congress and promotes development of new strategic partnerships with the private sector, academia, and other non-profit, associations and foundations to address public interest challenges at the federal, state, and municipal levels.


Institute for Innovation Government Advisers Alexis Bonnell and Arianne Miller Lead Professional Development Session on Innovation


On April 3rd, Alexis Bonnell, Chief Innovation Officer at USAID, and Arianne Miller, Managing Director of the Lab at OPM, led a session at ACT-IAC’s Joint Leadership Day for the Partners and Voyagers classes. They focused on the “Leading People” and “Leading Change” executive core qualifications and practical ideas about how to lead effective innovation efforts. Through a combination of presentations and class exercises, Alexis and Arianne covered:


•high-value collaborations – how to choose the right option for your situation;

•problem-framing for solution-finding – how to understand and frame complex challenges to lead to successful outcomes;

•constructive critique - how to seek, receive, give and make use of feedback from diverse points of view critical for effective collaboration; and

•intentional elements - choices and approaches to exhibit openness to diverse cultures and points of view.


Feedback from the session was very positive, several students said they gained insights and tools that they could take back and apply in their jobs right away.

Diana Zavala a member of the Innovators Circle, Appointed to the National Technical Information Service Advisory Board


Diana Zavala, Perspecta Analytics and Data Services leader, and a member of the Institute for Innovation Innovators Circle, was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Advisory Board.


"Periodic Table" to Aid Acquisition Feedback Sought


The Periodic Table of Acquisition Elements is a tool developed to help promote adoption of acquisition innovations to accelerate progress on Cross Agency Priority Goals #1 (IT Modernization) and #11 (Improve Management of Major Acquisitions) of the President’s Management Agenda. The tool is a repository of best practices, lessons-learned, and innovative acquisition approaches from across the federal government. It consolidates this information into one convenient interface. Currently in beta version the tool is also dynamic - people will be able to submit new and innovative approaches over time. And, it will eventually provide an online capability for practitioners to share and discuss their experiences, challenges, and solutions.


The table was developed as art of the Accelerating IT Modernization Through Acquisition Innovation Initiative in conjunction with the office of federal procurement policy and was presented during the Acquisition Excellence conference on March 12, 2019. For the next four weeks, the Periodic Table of Acquisition Elements can be used and viewed via the following link:


• URL:

• User: newdemo

• Password: newview


The project team of volunteers supporting this project are seeking feedback from government on the Periodic Table. Government employees interested in providing feedback should contact Mark Karkenny at .

Innovation in the News


From GCN


While private-sector companies have leapt ahead in innovation by adopting agile models to smaller scoped sprints and modules, public sector organizations are often using legacy software systems that no longer serve their constituents effectively. Additionally, government is still trying to do "big bang" large-scale IT projects. Among these massive projects, failure is very common and often is a source of hesitation for agencies considering an IT investment. In a recent CHAOS Report, the Standish Group noted that many larger-scale projects never return value to an organization. Only 6% of such projects were successful, compared to 61% of small projects.


From: MeriTalk


Federal CIO Suzette Kent emphasized in an address today to tech-sector officials the importance of scaling, sustaining, and “industrializing” technology advancements notched by the Federal government including those featured in the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) issued one year ago.


Speaking at GDIT Emerge in Washington, Kent recalled several aims of the PMA including updating Federal policy to promote IT modernization generally, but specifically employing commercial technologies in that effort, reducing regulatory burdens, and easing the path for the Federal workforce to take on higher-value tasks.


From FCW


Federal IT found its groove in 2018, and Margie Graves was in the middle of it.


There were still challenges, of course. Many agencies' Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions plans were slow in coming, some cloud migrations saw foot-dragging, and budget stalemates complicated almost everything. But there was a plan for IT management and modernization, and both the guidance and execution support from the Office of Management and Budget came with unusual clarity and coherence.


Graves, deputy federal CIO, won't take credit herself, but agency and industry leaders alike said she has been essential to keeping the many pieces in alignment.


From FCW


The great coordinator. Industry/government collaboration is critical in federal IT, and ACT-IAC serves as a central hub for that collaboration. Allen, who is stepping down after leading the organization for 14 years, steered an especially important group of initiatives in 2018, including several that directly support the President’s Management Agenda and the Trump administration’s cross-agency priority goals. From tech-driven solutions, such as zero-trust networking to policy-centric acquisition innovations and the block-and-tackle work of helping agencies make the most of their move to the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract, Allen kept ACT-IAC — with its 6,000 government employee members and 455 member companies — focused on the collaborations that matter.

From NextGov


Anil Cheriyan, a former bank chief information officer and chair of the Technology Business Management Council, has been director of the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service, or TTS, for a little more than 100 days. In that time, he’s been listening and observing and says he believes the relatively small teams at GSA’s innovation hub can punch above their weight class if given the opportunity.


In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with Nextgov, Cheriyan talks about his experience moving from the private to public sector, what it will take to ensure TTS has a broad impact across government, whether it should exist as an independent business line or be tied to acquisition, the significant evolution for the future of the Centers of Excellence and how to improve longstanding programs like 18F and FedRAMP.


Syracuse University Accepts ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation Capstone Project


Syracuse University's Department of Defense Comptroller Program accepted a project proposal from ACT-IAC’s Institute for Innovation. The project, one of several in the university’s masters-level program, is entitled “Application of Commercial Category Management to Enhance Mission Effectiveness in the Department of the Army and Other Government Agencies”.


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

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



This forum will provide an update from major agencies and industry on whether the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract vehicle throughout the Federal government has achieved modernization efforts during the past year.


Date: Wednesday May 8, 2019

Time: 7:30am - 12:30pm

Location: The Renaissance Washington DC Hotel

999 9th street NW Washington , DC 20001


Fore more information or to register click . Once registered you will have access to a recording of the event too.


Please join the Institute for Innovation and Snowflake Inc. for a special webinar examination of what it means to be cloud smart and data driven, and how these same paradigms can be applied across the public sector and support implementation of the Presidents Management Agenda. We’ll also examine the unique security environment of the cloud, how commercial industry makes it work, and how a next generation Enterprise Data Warehouse, built for the cloud, enables the future of innovation for the US Government, and the world.


Date: Thursday May 16, 2019

Time: 12pm-1pm ET


For more information and to register click .


See the top 40 finalists; learn best practices, at the federal, state and local level, industry, and academia, engage with catalysts in the government. Don't miss this chance to see the newest innovations in the public sector.


Date: Thursday May 23, 2019

Location: Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel

999 9th St NW, Washington , DC 20001


For more information 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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