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

View from Arch Street

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

nist-nccoe-logo.jpeg

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.

 

The Dawn of a New Astronomy

Ice Cube
IceCube Neutrino Observatory — credit IceCube/NSF

Astronomers from the United States made a major discovery of the origin of cosmic rays made using a complex mix of high-tech instruments and observatories located around the globe including at the South Pole and in space.  This technique known as multi-messenger astronomy has the potential to unlock numerous mysteries of the galaxy and usher in a new era of science.

The lead observatory — the IceCube Neutrino Observatory — funded by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Wisconsin is a leading-edge detector that looks up through the earth to detect tiny neutrinos flowing through our planet and ourselves. It was conceived and built in the 1990’s when scientists theorized that neutrinos existed by were not yet detected. Tim Clancy of Arch Street helped advocate for IceCube funding as part of the NSF budget request and led delegations to the South Pole to inspect the construction of the experimental observatory.

 

Air Force to Focus on Business Acceleration, Incubation for Rapid Transition

The Air Force Research Lab is interested in incubator and accelerator programs that can help developers explore the potential military use of commercial technologies. AFRL Space Vehicles program manager, Air Force Captain Jacob Singleton noted in a recent interview that the lab currently works with accelerators that invest in space platforms while other AFRL directorates focus on other technology areas.

“Our strength is in bringing a new perspective to their product as a potential customer, letting them know what the Armed Forces needs and how they could adapt their product or service to make that happen,” he added.

Arch Street is pleased to work with NYSTEC which is an Air Force partner for commercialization and tech transfer through NYSTEC’s IgniteUNY initiative. We see greater interest in technology commercialization across all federal agencies and laboratories and look forward to expanding and extending the very successful IgniteU model to multiple federal research partners.

 

 

 

Cybersecurity and the States — What’s Working?

The New America Foundation has released a new report on U.S. cybersecurity efforts at the state-level. The report focuses on three key areas: responding to cyber incidents, protecting critical infrastructure, and supporting the development of a cyber workforce. One notable recommendation is a call for greater formalization and institutionalization of federal-state functions such as cyber information sharing. Such activities tend to succeed on personal relationships and connections but often decline when key individuals leave or change responsibilities.