NewsBrief: February 2, 2024

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: February 2, 2024

More tech sector collaboration is key to U.S. global leadership, DOD official says

(NextGov/FCW) The Pentagon must strengthen its collaboration with the private sector to ensure the U.S. continues to outpace the People’s Republic of China and other global adversaries, a top Department of Defense official said on Tuesday. Speaking at the American Dynamism Summit, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said “the future of our nation depends” on strengthening DOD’s innovation ecosystem and smoothing out bureaucratic barriers to ensure the department is effectively — and speedily — fielding the latest technological capabilities needed to secure the nation. Read More

DOD Launches Distributed Bioindustrial Manufacturing Program to Bolster Domestic Supply Chains

(U.S. Department of Defense) The Department of Defense announced new opportunities for American businesses to advance biotechnology as part of President Biden’s efforts to strengthen and build the resiliency of America’s defense industrial base and secure its supply chains. Biomanufacturing has the potential to support the U.S. military and our allies and partners by generating needed materials — from fuels and chemicals to food and medical supplies — where and when our forces need them has significant implications for our military. Read More

Agencies are losing out on software savings, GAO finds

(NextGov/FCW) Federal agencies need to improve how they track software licensing specifics to be able to save money on duplicative or unneeded purchases, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report. In fiscal 2022 alone, the government spent $72 billion on IT, with over half going to software, according to the White House’s Better Contracting Initiative. For years, the government has attempted to cut down on the costs of software licenses — agreements with software developers that establish the terms and rights to use their product. Read More

The AI Dive into Aviation

(AIN) When ChatGPT emerged on the scene in late 2022, it put artificial intelligence, or AI, “in the zeitgeist.” While still in its infancy in the aviation industry, AI is now at the forefront of many people’s minds, said Rob Mather, v-p of aerospace and defense industries at software intelligence corporation IFS. Less is known about what AI is and what it can do, but many agree it has the power to revolutionize how the industry does business. “This is potentially the biggest technology transformation that we’ve ever seen, bigger than the computer itself,” said Greg Jarrett, CEO of aviation business operations systems provider Read More

OPM: Federal salaries won’t be tied to private sector pay histories

(NextGov/FCW) The Office of Personnel Management issued a final rule Monday limiting the criteria on which federal agencies can set salaries for new or returning federal civilian employees. Under the regulation, agencies may not use non-federal salary histories when establishing pay for employees in General Schedule, prevailing rate, Administrative Appeals Judge, Administrative Law Judge, Senior Executive Service and senior-level and scientific or professional pay systems. Read More

How do galaxies grow while ensnared in the universe’s cosmic web?

( Just like being trapped within a spider’s web drastically changes a fly’s life, galaxies ensnared in the vast cosmic web are dramatically and irreversibly altered. Now, scientists from the University of Kansas are aiming to better understand the mechanisms at play in shaping clusters of galaxies as they travel through a cosmic web of different environments. KU professor of physics and astronomy Gregory Rudnick is leading the effort, which involves recreating the cosmic web in a computer simulation, then studying gas content and star-formation properties of galaxies as they move through that web. Read More

CIA doesn’t just collect data, it also collects art

(Federal News Network) You might not think of the CIA is concerned with art or what it calls “the beauty in intelligence.” But the agency, in fact, has an extensive art collection dating back to the late 1960s to go along with some artist who work there. The Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke with one of those artists, Deborah Dismuke. Read More

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