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DoD seeks more collaborative S&T research

The Defense Department's top technology research official wants to build better bridges with academia and industry - both to conduct present-day studies, and to train the researchers DoD will need in the future.

Tags: DoD , industry , contracting , cybersecurity , science and technology , Zachary Lemnios , DARPA , Regina Dugan ,

Tuesday - 03/08/2011, 07:20am EST

DoD, Energy to fund new hybrid energy research

The Defense and Energy departments will team up on a pair of multimillion dollar research projects. The goal is to give the military access to secure, reliable renewable energy, both in deployed units and on military bases.

Tags: DoD , DoE , ARPA-E , Ray Mabus , Quadrennial Defense Review , Navy , energy efficiency , renewable energy , DoD budget , Mike McCord ,

Monday - 03/07/2011, 07:28am EST

CIO will treat Navy, USMC as one IT enterprise

Terry Halvorsen, who was named the Department of the Navy chief information officer in November, told attendees at a San Diego conference that his organization would seek to build more effective, efficient IT structures by leveraging the size and capabilities of both the Navy and Marine Corps. He also predicted the department's IT operation would have to meet its responsibilities with fewer people and fewer resources than it now has.

Tags: DoD , Navy , Marine Corps , technology , contracting , Terry Halvorsen , data center consolidation , Janice Haith , budget , network infrastructure , DoD Report

Friday - 03/04/2011, 07:12am EST

OPM: Big gains in telework

A new report from the Office of Personnel Management says federal agency employees were already increasing their use of telework, even before a new law designed to encourage the practice kicked in. OPM's Status of Telework Report says there were 11,000 more teleworkers in the federal government in 2008 than in 2009. That translates to around 10 percent of all agency workers who are eligible for telework, and 5 percent of the overall federal workforce under an established telework policy. But based on surveys, OPM says 22 percent of all federal workers teleworked to some extent - the agency says some of them did so through informal agreements with their supervisors. The Telework Enhancement Act, passed last year, requires every agency to designate a Telework Managing Officer. And by June, every federal employee should be told whether or not they're telework eligible.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Thursday - 03/03/2011, 10:24am EST

VA uses automation to cut claims waiting time in half

The Department of Veterans Affairs says a new automated system for processing benefit claims has cut the time vets have to wait for education benefits in half. VA faced a big challenge when it was charged with implementing the new GI Bill for veterans who served after September 11, 2001. The new bill was much more complex than the original Montgomery G.I. Bill, and VA says it had no way to get its older IT systems to process the claims in an efficient way, so they resorted to doing much of the work on paper. So they partnered with the Navy to build a new system from the ground up. VA says they're building the system in increments, trying to gradually bring more of the system online every few months. When they started, they were processing 2,000 claims a day. Now, they're managing 10,000.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Thursday - 03/03/2011, 10:23am EST

USDA maps rural America

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has rolled out another online mapping tool - this one focusing on rural and small-town America. The website looks, and functions a lot like the Food Environment Atlas that USDA launched a year ago. But this version aims to bring together data on several facets of the nation's rural communities, so policymakers can make smarter decisions about where to direct federal resources. The department uses county-level data from the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic analysis as well as its own data. The Census numbers are drawn from the first round of numbers coming from the American Community Survey. Users can click on a county and see information on demographics, jobs, agricultural data and other economic indicators. In addition to seeing that data, users can download it in spreadsheet form and use it in on other applications.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Thursday - 03/03/2011, 10:23am EST

Defense's tuition policies challenged

"We need to make sure we are getting the best bang for our bucks across all aspects of the federal government," said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.

Tags: Federal Drive , DoD Report , Defense , for-profit colleges , tuition ,

Thursday - 03/03/2011, 09:40am EST

HHS uses states as IT pilots for health insurance exchanges

The Department of Health and Human Services is awarding more than $140 million in grants to states across the country to help them develop IT systems that will run the new health insurance exchanges. The state-based exchanges, created as part of the healthcare reform act, are designed to be one-stop shops for individuals and small businesses to compare and buy health insurance online. The exchanges don't kick in until 2014, but HHS says it wants to give seven states a head start on developing reusable, transferrable IT systems so they can be used as models, and HHS can show other states the best ways to create their own IT infrastructure to support the exchanges. The grants will go to Kansas, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Wisconsin and a consortium of New England states.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Wednesday - 03/02/2011, 03:41pm EST

USDA uses web tool to track changes in community food choice

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is rolling out a new phase of its food environment atlas. The Web tool was originally designed a year ago to let users click on any county in the country, and get data on the local food choices and diet quality that influence an individual community's health. IT was developed as part of the first lady's Let's Move campaign. The latest rollout almost doubles the number of data points for each county in the atlas. It now considers 168 different indicators. USDA says the updates they've just made to the web tool will also let the agency and the site's users track changes in food choice over time. It includes data on everything from the concentration of farmers markets vs. convenience stores in a given community, to the average distance to the nearest grocery store. The site has already logged 100,000 visitors.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Wednesday - 03/02/2011, 03:40pm EST

R&D Dashboard tracks federal research grants, outcomes

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is launching a beta version of a new R&D Dashboard. The idea is to let anyone who accesses the new site take a look at where federal research and development money is going, how it's being used, and what the outcomes of research projects are. It uses publicly-available data to show users federal research dollars at the state level, the Congressional district level, even down to the specific research institutions getting the grants. The R&D Dashboard is being developed by a team led by the National Science Foundation, and for now it only includes data from the NSF and the National Institutes of Health over the last decade. But OSTP plans to expand the sites to include other types of research grants in the future.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Wednesday - 03/02/2011, 03:37pm EST
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