innovation (EstherQueen999/

Igniting Innovation awards showcase creative problem solving

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration took the top award at the May 11 ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation Conference. The event showcased 40 projects from government and industry that improve services for agencies and the public.

Conference attendees voted via social media for HRSA’s Modern Data Analytics Program.  Four other winners in the impacter, game changer, transformer and incubator categories were selected by a panel of judges.

The MDAP helps HRSA’s grants and program officers track every facet of the grants management process. Employees can create visualizations using more than 750 data fields collected through the planning, application, review, pre-award, award and post-award phases of the grants management process.

NIC’s Gov2Go personal digital assistant for government agencies was the winner in the impacter category. The  citizen-facing platform allows agencies to more easily provide access to government services through a mobile app. Gov2Go can track deadlines for property and franchise taxes and car renewal fees to let users know when it’s time to make payments.  The app was launched in Arkansas in 2015 as part of an effort to break down agency siloes, and more than 20 percent of state residents use the app to set reminders. It was a finalist in GCN's 2016 dig IT Awards.

Acquisition in the Digital Age website from MITRE won the game changer award.  The website is designed to help agencies navigate the acquisition process. AiDA provides customizable roadmaps for different types of acquisitions and guides for program management, contracting, systems engineering and cost estimation.  The website also includes versions of Department of Defense, Navy and Department of Homeland Security acquisition policies.

IBM’s Cognitive Object Detection Assistant won the transformer award.  The Transportation Security Administration’s Office of Acquisition Program Management’s CODA proof of concept uses machine learning to detect objects that are threats in the checkpoint environment.

NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) won the incubator award.  The project demonstrates the feasibility of using a low-altitude UTM system for monitoring drones. NASA is working on the UTM system with the Federal Aviation Administration, state and local governments, university partners and private industry, and is in the process of testing the system at multiple FAA UAS test ranges.  The current technical capability test, which evaluates how drones interact with manned aircrafts and controlled and unauthorized airspaces, is a follow-up to two previous levels of testing conducted over the past three years.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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