Matthew Nelson

State Department to Support Establishment of World Data System’s US Office

Data Center Optimization

The State Department will collaborate with a partnership between the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee to establish a program office for an international non-governmental organization that offers the research community access to scientific datasets. The International Science Council's 29th General Assembly formed the WDS interdisciplinary body in 2008.

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Stacy Cummings to Take Acting Undersecretary Role for DoD

Stacy Cummings

Stacy Cummings will succeed Hon. Ellen Lord, 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, as undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment at the Department of Defense (DoD), effective Jan. 20th. Cummings will assume the role until President-elect Joe Biden appoints a Senate-confirmed official to the position. Cummings currently serves as acting deputy assistant secretary for acquisition at DoD and is a career member of the Senior Executive Service. 

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Office of Personnel Management Unveils Online Guidance Documents Portal

Human Capital Dashboard

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has launched an online database that will help users access the agency's guidance documents. The website is accessible by the public and features searchable and indexed listings for the guidance documents. Agencies are also directed to announce the availability of their guidance portals through the Federal Register website.

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NASA, Japan Sign Agreement for Gateway Life Support Capabilities

Gateway Life Support

The Japanese government has inked an agreement with NASA to provide capabilities to sustain the habitation module of the agency's Gateway orbital outpost as part of the Artemis program. Gateway is designed to support scientific research efforts and function as a rendezvous point for astronauts that will fly to the Moon via the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft. 

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USAF to Migrate Mission-Critical Apps Into Zero-Trust Environment

Ransomware Data

The U.S. Air Force is looking to enhance its cybersecurity in response to the service branch's remote work setup by moving its mission-critical applications into a zero-trust environment, Fedscoop reported Tuesday. The Air Force also rolled out pilot efforts to assess potential migrations to a zero-trust setup amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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USAF Approves Scott AFB Innovation Hub as a Defense Lab

U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force has certified Scott Air Force Base's innovation hub as an official defense laboratory for technology transfer activities. The designation will enable Scott AFB's Elevate hub to collaborate with educational institutions and share equipment, information and resources through partnership agreements. Duncan added Elevate plans to collaborate with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for its first EPA.

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NASA to Conduct Final SLS Core Stage Test

Space Launch System

NASA intends to hold the final green run test for the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) on Jan. 16th. The agency seeks to thoroughly evaluate the SLS rocket's core stage prior to the first Artemis mission through the green run tests. NASA wrapped up seven of the eight tests under the green run effort.

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DHS, NASA Demo First Responder Location Tracker

First Responder Tracker

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have conducted initial field tests of a technology designed to locate first responders during emergency response missions even when they are inside a burning building. The POINTER technology is intended to use magnetoquasistatic fields and generate 3D-based location data to help first responders find an injured or lost team member.

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Oki Mek Promoted to HHS Chief AI Officer

Artificial Intelligence

Oki Mek, a senior adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) chief information officer, has been elevated to the position of chief artificial intelligence officer. In his more recent capacity, Mek helped the HHS CIO office drive digital transformation and collaborative innovation efforts aimed to improve the health and well-being of people in the U.S.

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DOT Releases SBIR Presolicitation for FY 2021; Elaine Chao Quoted

Elaine Chao

The Department of Transportation has previewed the subject areas for the Small Business Innovation Research program in fiscal year 2021, covering areas such as materials, infrastructure and safety across DOT's operating administrations. "This small business innovation research program will help small companies in the transportation sector to build the transportation system of the future," said Elaine Chao, secretary of DOT.

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