Welcome  April, 2018
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 here and the Institute for Innovation here.
Innovation Highlights

Igniting Innovation 2018 is Coming... and its free to government and academia!
Come to the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel on May 11th for:

  • Forty Exhibits Presented By Top Innovators Themselves
  • Keynotes By Matt Lira, Special Assistant to the President for Innovation Policy and Initiatives, White House Office of American Innovation, Gary Washington USDA CIO, Darren Ash USDA Farm Service Agency CIO, Joanne Collins-Smee GSA Executive Director, Centers of Excellence, IT Modernization Program, Alexis Bonnell Division Chief of Applied Innovation and Acceleration, Global Development Lab, USAID, and Gayle Girod Chief Innovation Counsel, Global Development Lab, USAID
  • "Lightning Talks" By Experienced Innovators,
  • An Interactive Human-Centered Design Session On Procurement Innovation, and
  • You help select the winner of the coveted Igniting Innovation Award. READ MORE

Featured Government Innovator

Maria Roat, Small Business Administration CIO, Promotes Innovation Sandbox
https://members.actiac.org/iweb/upload/InnOvation/Maria_Roat.pngMaria Roat is an innovation champion; as the CIO of SBA, as a member of the Technology Modernization Fund Board, as a member of ACT's Executive Committee, and as an advisor to the Institute for Innovation. She saw the opportunity to take a sandbox she started at DOT and turn it into a government-wide asset. The Innovation Sandbox is “…an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) capability that allows for simple, time-bound, hypothesis-based statistical experiments within a secure, controlled, cloud-based computing environment.” The idea for the sandbox emerged from a government innovators roundtable hosted by ACT-IAC’s Institute for Innovation. READ MORE 

President’s Management Agenda Features 2017 Igniting Innovation Award Winner
The President’s Management Agenda (PMA) issued on March 20, 2018 features a success story about myUSCIS related to the goal of improving major acquisitions. In 2017, myUSCIS won the ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation Igniting Innovation award. Congratulations to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for this recognition of a job well done! READ MORE

U.S. State Department and Industry to Use Blockchain to Combat Forced Labor
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) and the U.S. State Department along with two other companies said they are launching a project using blockchain’s digital ledger technology to create a secure registry for workers that will help fight the use of forced labor worldwide. The State Department said this is the government agency’s first major project on this issue using blockchain, reinforcing the technology’s growing application for social causes. READ MORE

Professional Development Joint Leadership Day Focuses on Innovation
https://members.actiac.org/iweb/upload/InnOvation/leadership_day_2.pngThe ACT-IAC 2018 Partners and Voyagers classes combined forces on April 4th for a day of leadership training. Their morning session consisted of a panel of Institute for Innovation speakers: Alexis Bonnell, Division Chief of Applied Innovation and Acceleration, US Global Development Lab, USAID, Arianne Miller, Managing Director, The Lab, OPM and Michael Whitaker, Senior Vice President of Emerging Solutions for ICF. Attendees learned about managing innovation and leading change to improve organizational performance and engaging people effectively through human-centered design principles and practices. READ MORE

Hot Tech Topics Series – Serverless Computing
Michael Conlin, Institute for Innovation, Innovators Circle Initiative Leader, DXC Technology

Serverless computing is a workload execution model that requires far fewer servers and significantly less effort to engineer, provision, and manage them. Interested? 

Data Science Skills for Innovation
Avi Bender, Director, National Technical Information Service, Department of Commerce
Data scientists are in great demand both in the Federal government and in the private sector. Excelling in this field requires a strong analytic background in statistics, programming, math and science. But is there something else that data scientists need to excel in their profession that maybe wasn’t emphasized in school or on the job? READ MORE

Making the Case for Ambiguity in Government Innovation
Enrique Martinez, Design Education Director, The Lab at OPM
Not too long ago, think outside the box was the metaphor of choice to explain the benefits of innovative thinking in organizations."...ambiguity is a positive drive that we should use to our favor." 

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 (bit.ly/GovInnovators) 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 (bit.ly/Ins4Innov) is your go-to resource for Institute-specific information, like upcoming events and original content. And, we encourage you to use the #GovInnovators hashtag in your tweets. READ MORE  

Featured Articles

Is DOD Overlooking Its Own Innovators?
Silicon Valley has become a must-visit destination for Department of Defense leaders in recent years. But the push for more public-private partnerships could have an unintended side effect -- overlooking government's longstanding research and development resources. Arun Seraphin, a professional staff member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, said he thinks the fixation on startup-culture innovation has gone too far. READ MORE

How to Overcome the 3 Most Common Barriers to Innovation in Government Acquisition
Innovation has long been a buzz word in government. But, as discussed at the recent Acquisition Excellence Conference, it’s not enough to just throw around the phrase – innovation means actually taking a new approach that creates new value more efficiently and effectively than before, with the outcomes to prove it. 

Office of Naval Research is DoD’s Newest Organization to Set Up Innovation Cell
The Defense Department’s fascination with Silicon Valley is getting even more intense as the Office of Naval Research opens its new innovation cell. ONR is following in the footsteps of DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) and other military organizations in turning to tech companies’ business practices to increase the pace of research and award contracts faster. ONR’s Naval Innovation Process Adoption (NIPA) calls on experts from across the Marine Corps and Navy to collaborate and deliver new equipment to troops in the field. 

NGA’s new CVO Outlines Structuring Innovation Throughout Agency
The U.S. defense and intelligence communities face a time of unprecedented technological upheaval. Unlike civilian agencies, however, their responsibilities include dealing with asymmetric threats — hostile adversaries using commercially available technologies that, in many cases, are far superior to what the government has on hand. Christina Monaco, the chief ventures officer at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency since October 2017, told Federal News Radio this is the imperative behind the creation of her office. READ MORE 

Featured Innovation Programs and Web Sites

Additional innovation programs and web sites you may be interested in: https://www.actiac.org/institute-for-innovation/innovation-links

Igniting Innovation 2018 Conference and Awards
Friday, May 11, 2018, 9AM-4PM
Renaissance, Washington, DC Hotel

The Link Between IT Modernization and Mission Resiliency at SBA, Featuring Maria Roat (CIO) and Nagesh Rao (CTO)it Thursday June 7, 2018, 5-8PM
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
900 F St. NW
Washington DC (near Metro)
email MHowell@actiac.org to register

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