NGA Releases 2020 Tech Focus Areas Document; Mark Munsell Quoted

Mark Munsell
Mark Munsell

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has listed advanced analytics and modeling, data management, modern software engineering, artificial intelligence and future of work as its five technology focus areas this year.

“This document is focused on our needs, rather than specific technologies,” Mark Munsell, chief technology officer at NGA, said in a statement published Wednesday. “The changes we must make cannot only occur within the confines of NGA – they require the innovative spirit of industry to find new and unique solutions to some of our most difficult challenges.” 

The 2020 Tech Focus Areas document seeks to help NGA and other government agencies facilitate partnerships with industry, academia and other community partners to counter the threats posed by near-peer adversaries.

“The tech focus areas aren't 'shelfware' – we are identifying opportunities to leverage non-traditional acquisition capabilities to address the needs outlined in this document,” said Christy Monaco, chief ventures officer at NGA.

NGA listed several tech needs under the advanced analytics and modeling category, including analytical modeling, knowledge modeling, insights as a service, supplier capability evaluation and contextual learning.

The agency cited multidomain data aggregation, location-based insights and automated object validation as some of the technology needs that show the rising demand for agile integration of data management systems.

Under modern software engineering, NGA mentioned DevSecOps automation, software supply chain transparency, identity and access management and development environment for 3D data as technology needs.

AI-related tech needs include quantum computing for geospatial optimization, object detection and classification and machine learning model fitness for use.

For the future of work category, NGA listed remote and real-time collaboration, multidomain and multipartner collection management, secure and flexible work tools and secure cross-domain access as specific tech requirements.

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