NIST Releases Draft Recommendations to Enhance Federal R&D Commercialization 

In June, 2018, Arch Street participated in a stakeholder meeting at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland as part of NIST’s Return on Investment Initiative, an effort led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to “unleash American innovation” into the U.S. economy with a goal to maximize the transfer of Federal investments in science and technology to:

  • meet current and future economic and national security needs in a rapidly shifting technology marketplace and enhance U.S. competitiveness globally, and
  • attract greater private sector investment to create innovative products, processes, and services, as well as new businesses and industries.”

As part of this effort, NIST has released a draft green paper Return on Investment Initiative for Unleashing American Innovation [PDF] detailing steps to modernize the U.S. system of technology transfer and innovation. The actions outlined in the green paper would help maximize returns on the taxpayer investment in R&D.  The document makes recommendations across five key areas:

1 – Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burdens
2 – Increasing Private Sector Engagement
3 – Promoting Entrepreneurship In Federal R&D
4 – Development of New Tech Transfer Tools
5 – Improved Metrics & Measurement of R&D Outcomes and Impacts

NIST will consider additional public feedback on the green paper by January 9, 2019, via roi@nist.gov. A final version is expected in early 2019.

 

DARPA to Host AI Colloquium

The DARPA AI Next campaign is a multi-year, upwards of $2 billion investment in new and existing programs to create the third wave of AI technologies. To raise awareness if this effort, DARPA is hosting an Artificial Intelligence Colloquium (AIC) from March 6-7, 2019 in Alexandria, Virginia. This event seeks to bring together the DoD research community and defense stakeholders to learn more about DARPA’s current and emerging AI programs, as well as discover how the myriad technologies in development could apply to their diverse missions.

During the two-day conference, attendees will hear from current DARPA researchers and program managers as they discuss work that is advancing the fundamentals of AI, as well as those programs that are exploring the technology’s application to defense-relevant challenges – from cyber defense and software engineering to aviation and spectrum management.

Federal Smart Cities Guidance Issued

NITRD Smart CitiesThe National Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program issued has issued new guidance to federal agencies on Smart Cities entitled Connecting and Securing Communities.  The document instructs Federal agencies on how to enable U.S. cities and communities to build “smart” infrastructure, systems, and services.

Five high-level recommended practices are provided to inform Federal smart city and community efforts. Four effective approaches, illustrated by case studies from current and past Federal programs and projects, are provided to assist agencies in facilitating job growth and economic prosperity through Federally funded R&D in smart cities and communities.  The plan envisions agencies working with industry, local leaders, civil society, academia, and other key stakeholders to accelerate the development and implementation of new discoveries and innovations that enable cities and communities to achieve their local goals and address their most important challenges.

NIST Launches Consortium to Support Development of Quantum Industry 

NIST has launched the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QEDC) which aims to expand U.S. leadership in global quantum research and development and the emerging quantum industry in computing, communications and sensing. Quantum technologies take advantage of the unusual rules that govern the behavior of the fundamental building blocks of matter, including electrons, protons, neutrons and photons.

Announcement of the new consortium follows a Sept. 25, 2018, Quantum Information Science Summit sponsored by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. At the summit, the administration released its National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science, which outlines its commitment to maintaining and expanding American leadership in quantum information science.

With funding from both the government and private-sector member organizations, the QEDC will:

  • determine workforce needs essential to the development of quantum technologies;
  • provide efficient public-private sector coordination;
  • identify technology solutions for filling gaps in research or infrastructure;
  • highlight use cases and grand challenges to accelerate development efforts; and
  • foster sharing of intellectual property, efficient supply chains, technology forecasting and quantum literacy.

 

Nuclear Weapons Vulnerable to Cyberattack Report Finds

Nuclear weapons and related systems are increasingly vulnerable to sophisticated cyberattacks, and nuclear-armed states must cooperate and accelerate efforts to prevent an attack that could have catastrophic consequences, according to a new report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), Nuclear Weapons in the New CyberAge: A Report of the Cyber-Nuclear Weapons Study Group.  The report finds that cyber threats to nuclear weapons and related systems—including nuclear planning systems, early warning systems, communication systems, and delivery systems—increase the risk of unauthorized use of a nuclear weapon, increase the risk of nuclear use as a result of false warnings, and could undermine confidence in the nuclear deterrent. This is because the speed, stealth, unpredictability, and challenges of attribution of any particular cyberattack make it increasingly difficult to anticipate, deter, and defend against all cyber threats.

 

OMB Publishes Training Modules for Managing Federal Grants

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initially developed the Grants 101 Training for federal government employees, but now these eLearning materials are available free to the public.

This grants training is comprised of five modules, most of which contain multiple online lessons:

1 Laws, Regulations, and Guidance

2 Financial Assistance Mechanisms

3 Uniform Guidance Administrative Requirements

4 Cost Principles

5 Risk Management and Single Audit

See: blog.grants.gov/2018/02/01/omb-publishes-free-online-grants-management-training/

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NIST Releases Final Identity and Access Management Guide for Electric Utilities

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The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has released the final version of NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide SP 1800-2, Identity and Access Management (IdAM).  This guidance helps provide electric utilities with a more secure and efficient way to manage access across their platforms.

The final guide goes beyond the traditional NIST standard document.  It is a detailed example of how an electric utility company can improve the security of its information technology and operational technology by creating a converged IdAM platform to provide a comprehensive view of all users and their access rights across the enterprise. This can reduce the risk of malicious or untrained people gaining unauthorized access to critical infrastructure components and interfering with their operation, thereby lowering overall business risk.

Arch Street is honored to have played a small role in the development of the guide as a member of the Energy Community of Interest which advised the NCCoE team on key elements of the IdAM guide.