Tag Archive | White House

PCAST Updates Assessment of Networking and InfoTech R&D

Posted by David Shaw, Susan Graham, and Peter Lee, The White House on January 17, 2013 at 05:43 PM ED

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology PCAST released its latest report to the President and Congress, Designing a Digital Future: Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology. The report is a Congressionally mandated assessment of the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development NITRD Program, which coordinates the Nation’s federally-funded research and development R&D in areas such as supercomputing, high-speed network­ing, cybersecurity, software technology, and information management. The report is an update on progress since the last such assessment was conducted in 2010.

The United States is a world leader in R&D for networking and information technology NIT—a sector that touches virtually every human endeavor and fuels economic growth, national security, and enhanced quality of life. NIT capabilities are at the core of our Nation’s infrastructure—underpinning and enabling diverse functions ranging from communication and commerce to defense and manufacturing. New NIT insights and discoveries ensure that the Nation remains a safe and healthy place where Americans can continue to succeed and thrive.

In its new report, PCAST concludes that progress has been made toward addressing a number of the recommendations made in the 2010 report. For example, the report cites notable steps forward in multi-agency work to advance “big data,” health IT, robotics, and cybersecurity, and calls out significant progress toward creating infrastructure for network scaling and NIT testbeds.The report also notes that many important areas have received less attention and investment than is needed, making recommendations summarized on page xi for stronger coordination among agencies to meet continuing NIT challenges in educational technology, data privacy, energy, transportation, and other important sectors.

Among other recommendations, PCAST proposes development of new multi-agency initiatives to catalyze innovation and advances in high-performance computing, understanding of collective online human activity, surface and air transportation, and learning sciences and also recommends measures to strengthen the Nation’s NIT workforce through training programs, continuing education opportunities, and other mechanisms. To ensure continued multi-agency coordination and investment in NIT areas, PCAST recommends establishment of a high-level standing PCAST sub-committee that would focus on providing ongoing strategic advice in this domain.

The United States has set the standard for innovation in NIT R&D. PCAST believes that implementation of the recom­mendations in this report will help the Nation maintain its leading NIT edge in an increasingly competitive global environment.

The full PCAST report is available here.

David Shaw, Susan Graham, and Peter Lee are co-chairs of the PCAST NITRD Working Group and Dr. Shaw is a member of PCAST.PCAST is an advisory group of the Nation’s leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President to augment the science and tech­nology advice available to him from inside the White House and from cabinet departments and other Federal agencies. For more information about PCAST, please visit the PCAST website.

via PCAST Updates Assessment of Networking and InfoTech R&D | The White House.

Taking the Pulse of Our Planet: New Strategy for Earth Observations | The White House

by Peter Colohan (he’s awesome!), Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, April 19, 2013

Ever wonder where the Weather Channel gets its data? Where the satellite images for Google Earth come from? These data and much more come from a complex array of satellites, ocean buoys, stream gauges, human surveys, and other platforms for collecting what the scientific community calls Earth observations. These data are used every day to protect life and property and answer key questions about our planet.Today, the Obama Administration’s National Science and Technology Council released a National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations—a framework for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nation’s Earth-observation enterprise. Currently, 11 Federal departments and agencies engage in Earth observation activities, collecting volumes of important data about the Earth on an ongoing basis, using an array of sophisticated tools and systems. The new Strategy outlines a process for evaluating and prioritizing Earth-observation investments according to their value to society in critical areas such as agriculture, global change, disasters, water resources, and weather.Each year, the U.S. Government invests significant resources in Earth-observations systems to collect data about Earth’s land, oceans, ecosystems, and atmosphere. Together, these systems take the pulse of our planet, providing critical Earth-system data that scientists and analysts can then turn into usable information about climate and weather, disaster events, land-use changes, ecosystem health, natural resources, and more. Ultimately, information and services derived from Earth-observation data—including some as ubiquitous as weather forecasts and GPS-navigation—are used by policy makers, resource managers, business leaders, first-responders, and citizens to make important day-to-day decisions.But as the Nation’s Earth-observation capacity has grown, so has the complexity of the Earth-observation endeavor. The demand for data, the complexity of the tools required to collect those data, and the sheer amount of data being collected, all are increasing. The National Strategy for Civil Earth Observations aims to help Federal agencies face these challenges by better-organizing existing Earth-observation systems and information, and coordinating plans for future projects. In support of the Obama Administration’s Open Data Initiatives, this Strategy also provides specific guidance on how agencies can make these Earth observations more open and accessible to the public.Going forward, the Strategy will be used as a basis to inform a broad National Plan for Civil Earth Observations—a blueprint for future investments in US Earth-observing systems, including agency roles and responsibilities, and creative solutions to challenges related to maintaining the Nation’s Earth-observing systems. It will also reinforce the United States’ ongoing commitment to work with international partners through the multi-national Group on Earth Observations GEO.The Strategy released today provides an evidence-based framework for routine assessment and planning across the entire family of Federal agencies engaged in Earth observations. It will help agencies compare notes, prioritize activities, and improve the quality of data about the planet—with the ultimate goal of meeting society’s most pressing data and information needs. Read the Strategy here.Learn more about global Earth-observation efforts here.Peter Colohan is a Senior Policy Analyst at OSTP

via Taking the Pulse of Our Planet: New Strategy for Earth Observations | The White House.

 

White House Introduces Alpha.Data.gov Showcase

When the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced its call for 18 Presidential Innovation Fellows last summer, US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park also asked folks across the country to support these Fellows with great ideas and valuable feedback. Over the past few months, through video chats, conference calls, and in-person meetings, thousands of Americans have connected with us to learn and share ideas about our work—and this Administration’s commitment—to unleash data from the vaults of the government as fuel for innovation….

After hearing this feedback, we had an idea: create an online showcase, highlighting the very best Open Data resources and how they are already being used by private-sector entrepreneurs and innovators to create new products and services that benefit people in all kinds of ways—from empowering patients to find the best healthcare right when they need it; to helping consumers detect credit card fraud; to keeping kids safe by notifying parents when products in their home are recalled.

Visit Alpha.Data.gov.

For full text of the article, visit Introducing Alpha.Data.gov | The White House.

Administration Efforts to Address Big Data Science and Engineering

October 24, 2012

Suzanne Iacono, deputy assistant director of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering will be featured on an InformationWeek Government Webcast, “Act on Big Data,” on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 at 2 p.m. ET.

Iacono, who also serves as vice chair of the Big Data Senior Steering Group of the interagency Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program, will be part of a panel of experts during the webcast. In that role she will provide an update on the Obama administration’s Big Data Initiative.

Read More…

Presidential Innovation Fellows | The White House

The White House Website, May 2012

The Presidential Innovation Fellows will pair top innovators from the private sector, non-profits, or academia with top innovators in government to collaborate on game-changing solutions that aim to deliver significant results in six months. Each team of innovators will work together in-person in Washington, DC on focused sprints while being supported by a broader community of interested citizens throughout the country. What makes this initiative unique is its focus on unleashing the ingenuity and know-how of Americans from all sectors. The five projects that will launch in summer 2012 have straightforward goals: to improve the lives of the American people, saving taxpayer money, and fueling job creation. This is innovation aimed at making a difference for all Americans.

For more information about this program, visit Presidential Innovation Fellows | The White House.

Roadmap for a Digital Government | The White House

Posted by Steven VanRoekel, Office of Management and Budget, on May 23, 2012

When the Internet revolution arrived in the 1990s, the U.S. Government embraced this new medium to interact with the American people. Today, what started as basic information pages has evolved into sophisticated transactional systems that allow us to pay taxes online, download medical records, and so much more. Like the 1990s, we are now in the midst of another important shift in how people consume and deliver information and services. In 2011, global smartphone shipments exceeded personal computer shipments for the first time in history, and more Americans will soon access the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs. The rise of mobile further compounds the challenge of providing high-quality digital services in a cost-effective and efficient manner. That’s why President Obama issued a directive today to make important services accessible from your phone and charged me with developing a comprehensive strategy to build a 21st Century Digital Government that delivers better digital services to the American people. Today marks the launch of that Digital Government Strategy.

via Roadmap for a Digital Government | The White House.

White House touts ‘challenge’ prizes for tech solutions

by Dan Vergano, USA Today, April 10, 2012

And if the government dangles prize money in front of inventors to come up with technology solutions to common problems, it can get results just as in the private sector, suggests a White House report out today that documents its successes in offering “challenge” prizes. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) report follows passage last year of the America COMPETES Act, which streamlined federal research funding rules, and gave agencies wider latitude to solve problems by offering competitive prizes. Prizes such as 2004′s Ansari X Prize, where philanthropists awarded $10 million to the first private spacecraft to reach 62 miles high twice in two weeks, helped inspire the move. …

For full text of the report, visit White House touts ‘challenge’ prizes for tech solutions – USATODAY.com.

White House ‘Big Data’ Push Means Big Bucks for Drone Brains

White House ‘Big Data’ Push Means Big Bucks for Drone Brains

By Robert Beckhusen, Danger Room, Wired Magazine, March 29, 2012

The military has a data problem. More specifically, it has a too-much-data problem. Analysts have to sort through massive amounts of information collected by orbiting surveillance drones and satellites, or finding the data trails left behind by spies inside defense networks. Sorting through all this data is also necessary for making unmanned vehicles more autonomous. Bring on the White House’s new “big data” research initiative. Announced this morning, the plan aims to invest “more than $200 million” in six government agencies to develop systems to “extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data,” according to a White House statement. …

For full text of the article, via White House ‘Big Data’ Push Means Big Bucks for Drone Brains | Danger Room | Wired.com.

White House Jobs Bill Could Take Crowdfunding to Next Level

By Alex Howard, The Atlantic, Sept 9, 2011

There have now been more than 10,000 Kickstarter projects funded, with more than $75 million dollars pledged and a 44% success rate. This lightweight model for “crowdfunding” has caught the attention of the White House, which specifically highlighted how entrepreneurs are using Kickstarter to access capital — and how President Obama’s new “American Jobs Act” could extend that access to more high-growth companies. …

For full text of the article, visit White House Jobs Bill Could Take Crowdfunding to Next Level – Alex Howard – Technology – The Atlantic.

Status of FY 2012 Appropriations Bills

by Richard Jones, AIP FYI Blog, August 31, 2011

The next few months will be important in determining the funding of federal scientific research in Fiscal Year 2012.  Although FY 2012 starts a month from tomorrow, Congress is unlikely to settle on final budgets until later this year.  Short term funding will be provided through one or bills.  The outlook is more promising for a quicker resolution of the final appropriations than in previous years because Congress and the Administration have settled on an overall cap on FY 2012 discretionary spending

For more information, click here.

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