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


Nominations will be accepted through January 18th from all quarters - government, industry, non-profits and academia. The Igniting Innovation Conference and Awards is the premier annual event to identify, recognize, promote, and connect innovations and innovators to improve services to citizens and government operations.


Seeking Planning Committee Volunteers for Igniting Innovation 2019


ACT-IAC is seeking forward-thinking volunteers to help plan, promote, and conduct Igniting Innovation 2019 in May 2019. Each year, ACT-IAC holds the Igniting Innovation Conference and Awards event to discover, recognize, promote and connect the best innovations and innovators to improve services to citizens and government operations. Last year’s conference featured more speakers, innovations, and attendees than prior years. We want to make 2019 even better by expanding participation, including academia, and providing a dynamic program of innovations and practitioners driving innovation in the public sector. Read more about prior year Igniting Innovation events at: . If you want to volunteer to help on one of ACT-IAC’s most interesting, fun and exciting events, please contact Mike Howell at or call (703)-208-4800 ext. 228 by December 7, 2018.

Innovation Advisors Win the ACT-IAC 2018 Collaboration Award


This team - Alexis Bonnell, Director of Global Innovation, USAID; Arianne Miller, Director of the OPM Lab; Nagesh Rao, Director, Business Technology Solutions, SBA; and James Thompson, Director of Innovation, State Dept Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships - supports the Institute for Innovation "Government Innovation Community" building initiative. Their spirit of “collaboration in action” is demonstrated by their contributions to the ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation programs, activities, and in sharing their innovation experiences, programs, and knowledge broadly with the government/industry ecosystem.



Featured Innovation: Cognitive Object Detection Assistant (CODA) - IBM Corporation


IBM won the Igniting Innovation 2018 “Transformer” award, for development of the Cognitive Object Detection Assistant (CODA) as a proof of concept. CODA proves early machine learning successes for X-ray baggage screening in the airport checkpoint environment and demonstrates the ability to extend and improve threat object detection performance in comparison to traditional detection methods.


CODA augments the presented x-ray image for the operator by highlighting threat and prohibited items, identifying threat type, and providing a confidence score. CODA technology demonstrated a 99 percent detection rate for a handgun threat.


Innovation in the News: Accelerating IT Modernization through Acquisition Innovation


Lesley Field, Deputy Administrator of OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy, and Tim Cooke, President and CEO of ASI Government, leader of this Institute for Innovation Initiative, took the stage at ACT-IAC’s Imagine Nation ELC 2018 last month. They shared the collaboration of leading acquisition and IT professionals with their mission partners to accelerate the Presidents Management Agenda IT modernization goal.



On October 12, 2018, GSA’s Emerging Citizen Technology Office kicked off the new fiscal year with a half-day symposium with 250 participants from leading agencies, industry, and civic collaborators. Participants explored practical innovations available today in Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, and other emerging technologies to improve public services for the American people.



Cyber incidents hit one of every 10 U.S. small businesses last year yet only 31 percent of them have cyber insurance.



In the 20th century, organizations prioritized internal excellence, protected intellectual property, and stoked competitive rivalries. In the first decades of the 21st century, we’re witnessing the emergence of a new way to win—partnership and collaboration are requisite in pursuit of new solutions to complex problems.


Digitalization and globalization make it possible to tap the collective intellect of Earth’s population—not just those an organization has hired—and Earth’s population willingly participates.



Artificial intelligence may greatly increase the efficiency of the existing economy. But it may have an even larger impact by serving as a new general-purpose “method of invention” that can reshape the nature of the innovation process and the organization of R&D.



There’s surprisingly little quantitative research on the topic, perhaps due to innovation often being difficult to measure. Even though innovation is a highly researched topic, the majority of the work has been conceptual, which in practice means that the researchers have looked at innovation and have tried to classify and explain it, as well as to find ways to best succeed in it.



Government rarely gets credit for the tremendous range of innovation it drives. But as the winners of our 2018 Government Innovation Awards make clear, amazing things are happening at all levels of the public sector.



A new study says associations are developing better practices for pursuing innovation, but it’s often a top-down effort.



December 6, 2018

ICF - Global Headquarters

9300 Lee Highway

Fairfax, VA 2203


Recent events illustrate the need for organizations to improve their ability to sustain operations during security breaches and other risks that degrade capabilities. From the incursions into the 2016 U.S. Presidential election to the phishing of French political parties in 2017/2018, cyber disruption has evolved to disinformation. Paired with trends like the growth of IoT, system resilience has become critical to both traditional information technology systems and largescale critical infrastructures.


The CyberSci Symposium brings together stakeholders from across government, academia and industry to share information about innovative and emerging ways to mitigate risk and ensure mission integrity through the convergence of cyber security & resiliency strategies in a persistent attack and asymmetric threat environment.


Our People-Centered Digital Future


December 10, 2018

Fairmont San Jose


Constellation Research will host a historic event with key Internet pioneers, the People-Centered Internet coalition, as well as the next generation of positive change agents.


Titled “Our People-Centered Digital Future,” the event recognizes that by March 2019, 50% of the world will be connected to the Internet. This inflection point marks an important moment for examining the “unfinished work” of the Internet and discussing the community norms, human rights and social contracts required in this exponential digital era. The event also aligns with the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.



December 15-16, 2018,

4250 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA 22203


Put your skills to the test and apply language and vision intelligence to a new or existing application! Use language and speech APIs including Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Transcribe, Amazon Polly, Amazon Lex, and Amazon Translate to gain customer insights, and personalize customer service. Also an opportunity to showcase your ideas and efforts to the general public!

TechConnect World Innovation Conference

June 17-19, 2019

Boston, MA


When we opened up registration for our first webinar, we knew there was pent up demand to use different mediums to share OPSI’s knowledge, expertise, and thinking, but we were not sure if webinars were the right solution. After three webinars, 450 attendees from over 70 countries, and countless requests asking for the recording and presentations, we feel we are on the right track. Moving forward, we will be hosting webinars on a monthly basis. We’re going to continue our “Innovation 101” series that walks through the various parts of our innovation lifecycle. Also, we have gotten multiple requests for subjects like skills, systems thinking, best practices, and innovation trends. We accept and are excited by the challenge to broaden the themes of our webinars.

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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