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White House Wants Agencies to Prioritize Emerging Tech in Next Year’s Budget

July 17, 2015 The White House plans to prioritize emerging technology and big data in the fiscal year 2017 budget, according to a memorandum published last week. When submitting budget requests to the Office of Management and Budget, federal agencies should "prioritize investments in enabling technologies that benefit multiple sectors of the economy,...

Q&A: How This Venture Fund Wants to Help Startups With No Government Experience Navigate Washington

July 17, 2015 Yanev Suissa, a venture capitalist formerly with New Enterprise Associates, wants to invest in startups that could eventually snap up government contracts. His approach, he admits, is unorthodox: to invest in startups who have so far had nothing to do with the public sector. A former senior investment officer under...

Neuroscience Computing Boot Camp Aims to Ignite Interest for Brain Research

July 16, 2015 In an initiative to generate federal interest in new computer chips built to mimic the human brain, early August will see a neuroscience computing boot camp for government employees and academics. IBM plans to host the event. As part of that same effort, the company Thursday conducted the second of...

Why are Government Contractors Cutting Their Cybersecurity Budgets?

July 15, 2015 Government contractors reduced their spending on cybersecurity in the past year, despite several high-profile data breaches, a new survey shows. About 52 percent of businesses reported a slight decrease in cyber spending in the past year. About 17 percent said their cyber spending increased dramatically, while 31 percent said it...

Q&A: The Case for Crowdsourcing War Games

July 14, 2015 One Washington-based consulting firm, whose clients include the Pentagon, is betting on the wisdom of the crowd. For the past few years, Wikistrat has drawn upon a network of about 2,000 analysts, posing questions about potential international trends and crises. For instance, what are the geopolitical implications of outcomes in...

New Energy Research Teams to Prep for Supercomputers Arriving in 2017

July 13, 2015 Two of the Energy Department's national laboratories are opening supercomputing research centers, both in collaboration with IBM and Nvidia. Researchers at the supercomputing "Centers of Excellence," to be based at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, plan to study how high-performance computers can be used...

The Startup Shakeup: Can Small, Innovative Companies Break Into DC Contracting Scene?

July 13, 2015 This story appears in the July-August issue of Government Executive magazine. Sharath Mekala’s two-person tech startup isn’t a textbook government contractor. Village Defense, spawned through a startup incubator called 1776, develops a free app that lets neighbors send real-time alerts to one another if they notice suspicious activity. A premium...

NSA joins GitHub, Shares Code for Cyber Tool

July 10, 2015 The National Security Agency is sharing the code for a network security monitoring system on GitHub. The agency is publishing the source code for its Systems Integrity Management Platform, which lets administrators make sure server clusters are compliant with security standards, so that other organizations can build similar systems, NSA...

Energy Department Considers Backup Power if Cyberattack Knocks out Power Grid

July 10, 2015 The Energy Department wants to know whether it's feasible to build a system of reserve power transformers, in case the nation's power systems are virtually or physically infiltrated. In a Request for Information published Thursday, Energy said it sought comment on the "possible establishment of a national reserve of power...

High-Tech Transportation: Can Congress Regulate Technology that Doesn’t Exist Yet?

July 9, 2015 Cutting-edge transportation -- driverless trucks and cargo systems, among others -- could make the United States more competitive in global commerce, according to members of a Senate subcommittee. During a recent Senate subcommittee hearing, witnesses from companies including Amazon and Volvo submitted videos demonstrating automated transportation technology, many of them...