NewsBrief: January 12, 2024

Posted by



Cost Estimating NewsBrief: January 12, 2024

Digital twins: The next frontier of factory optimization

(McKinsey & Company) Manufacturers globally are under intense pressure to meet demand under increasingly challenging circumstances. In a resource-constrained environment where talent gaps and supply chain shortages are the norm, digital twins are emerging as a frontrunner technology for rapidly scaling capacity, increasing resilience, and driving more efficient operations. In fast-paced, continuous operations, factory digital twins—real-time virtual representations of the factory—provide manufacturers with the ability to support faster, smarter, and more cost-effective decision making. They can deepen manufacturers’ understanding of complex physical systems and production operations, optimize production scheduling, or simulate “what-if” scenarios to understand the impact of new product introductions, for example. Read More

GAO Posts Recommendations on Improving FISMA Implementation Across Federal Government

(Executive Gov) The Government Accountability Office has found that civilian agencies’ implementation of the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014, or FISMA, was mostly ineffective due to various challenges, including gaps in standards, quality control and management accountability. In a new report, GAO recommends that the Office of Management and Budget collaborate with agency partners to enhance FISMA metrics to address risks, performance goals, workforce issues and agency size. Inspectors general of 15 of the 23 civilian agencies reported that their agencies did not have effective information security programs in fiscal year 2022, according to GAO’s analysis. Read More

House lawmakers introduce AI risk management bill

(NextGov/FCW) As expected, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., offered a companion bill Wednesday to Senate legislation introduced last year that would codify federal guidelines for the adoption of artificial intelligence. The Federal Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Act would require federal agencies to use the AI risk management framework, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, when acquiring AI solutions. Reps. Zach Nunn, R-Iowa, Don Beyer, D-Va., and Marcus Molinaro, R-N.Y., joined Lieu in sponsoring the legislation. The measure is the House version of a Senate bill proposed by Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Mark Warner, D-Va., that was introduced in November. Sponsors had hoped the legislation would ride on the must-pass FY24 National Defense Authorization Act, but it was not adopted as an amendment. Read More

DOD’s AI adoption efforts are starting to pay off, Pentagon official says

(NextGov/FCW) The Department of Defense is working to embrace artificial intelligence technologies by empowering new offices and better harnessing the technical prowess of the commercial sector, although early use cases of the emerging tools are still primarily limited to more mundane tasks, a Pentagon official said during an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday. Michael C. Horowitz, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Force Development and Emerging Capabilities — or FDEC — said “we’ve launched initiatives designed to improve our [AI] adoption capacity, and I think we’re really starting to see them pay off.” Read More

Now that DoD picked first set of Replicator capabilities, next step is ‘acceleration pathways’

(Breaking Defense) The Pentagon plans to throw the weight of senior leadership behind the next step in its Replicator initiative: developing “acceleration pathways” for specific systems that meet operational criteria recently identified by the DoD’s number two official, a department spokesperson told Breaking Defense. “Now that we have selected capabilities, we will develop acceleration pathways for specific systems that meet those capabilities, using focused leadership attention to identify and address any barriers to scaling their production and burn down associated risk for ultimate fielding for the warfighter,” said Eric Pahon, Pentagon spokesman. Read More

China won’t beat US Artemis astronauts to the moon, NASA chief says

( NASA Administrator Bill Nelson is unconcerned that China will beat the United States in returning astronauts to the moon. Both China and the United States have plans to land astronauts on the moon before the decade is over, reviving talk of a new space race. “It is a fact: We’re in a space race,” Nelson said in a 2023 interview. “And it is true that we better watch out that they don’t get to a place on the moon under the guise of scientific research. And it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they say, ‘Keep out, we’re here, this is our territory.'” Read More

Researchers release open-source space debris model

(Space Daily) MIT’s Astrodynamics, Space Robotics, and Controls Laboratory (ARCLab) announced the public beta release of the MIT Orbital Capacity Assessment Tool (MOCAT) during the 2023 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Space Forum Workshop on Dec. 14. MOCAT enables users to model the long-term future space environment to understand growth in space debris and assess the effectiveness of debris-prevention mechanisms. With the escalating congestion in low Earth orbit, driven by a surge in satellite deployments, the risk of collisions and space debris proliferation is a pressing concern. Conducting thorough space environment studies is critical for developing effective strategies for fostering responsible and sustainable use of space resources. Read More

ICEAA’s NewsBrief is a collection of articles relevant to the cost estimating and analysis community that is delivered weekly to current ICEAA members. To advertise in NewsBrief, contact