NewsBrief October 11, 2019

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: October 11, 2019

How Cost Management Needs to ‘Save to Transform’

(Knowledge@Wharton) Not long ago, companies thought cost management was about reducing expenses. The notion then evolved and was viewed as a way to manage costs while also driving growth. Now, cost management is advancing further. Business leaders see it as a strategic initiative that is part of a larger transformation process. In a conversation with Knowledge@Wharton, Chris Ittner, chair of the accounting department at Wharton, and Omar Aguilar, strategic cost transformation global market offering leader at Deloitte Consulting, discuss their research on how cost management is changing globally. Ittner has previously spoken with K@W about cost management in the digital age. Read More

Energy to Launch $5.5M Artificial Intelligence Research Center

(Nextgov) The Energy Department unveiled plans to launch a $5.5 million research center that will bring together top thinkers from three federal and academic institutions to solve some of the world’s most complex challenges in artificial intelligence. Researchers from Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Georgia Institute of Technology will join forces in the newly unveiled Center for Artificial Intelligence-Focused Architectures and Algorithms, or ARIAA. “AI will allow us to solve problems today, that simply cannot be solved because they are too complex,” said Roberto Gioiosa, the senior research scientist at PNNL selected lead the new center. “This is the science of the future.” Read More

IT For Rent: Army Piggybacks On Air Force Services Contract

(Breaking Defense) WASHINGTON, DC: “I’ve been 36 years in the government,” the Pentagon’s deputy chief information officer said this morning, and I’ve never seen a team of CIOs work as closely together as this team does over the last 24 months.” “All the CIOs are working together,” Donald Heckman told the Ignite ’19 cybersecurity conference this morning. “We’re working across the board to share best practices, set common standards, and make sure we don’t have service-unique solutions, that they all kind of roll into an enterprise solution.” His Army counterpart agreed. “I’ve seen more strategic shifts, in terms of us working together across the department, in the last 24 months than I’ve probably seen in the last 10 years or so,” Army CIO, Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford said. “One big thing we’ve got to do [is] resist the temptation to develop service-specific solutions.”Read More

GSA Offers More Details on Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence

(NextGov) The General Services Administration is making artificial intelligence the sixth pillar of its Centers of Excellence program, and agency leaders are already teasing a few of their potential areas of focus. The new AI center will be rooted in GSA’s work with the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, which last month became the fifth government organization to participate in the CoE initiative. After helping the JAIC accelerate its development of AI technologies and increase the Pentagon’s adoption of those tools, GSA officials see the opportunity to reapply that work to help the rest of the government reap the benefits of the emerging tech. Read More

NavalX Innovation Office Really Wants the Navy to Be More Agile

(NextGov) The Navy’s newest innovation office, NavalX, was stood up seven months ago to act as an innovation incubator. But, unlike other innovation outfits in the military, NavalX is focused on transforming the workforce, not the technology. “NavalX is quite a bit different from those other organizations,” NavalX Director Capt. Frank Futcher said Tuesday during a spotlight talk at the Nextgov Modernization Roadmap event. “We’re not scouting technology. … Our focus is much more on the workforce and how we can deliver mechanisms and tools to that workforce to make them more agile.” Read More

The Netherlands to buy nine more F-35s for $1.1 billion

(DefenseNews) COLOGNE, Germany – The Dutch government on Tuesday announced plans to purchase nine more of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jets, a move that would bring the country’s inventory to 46. The envisioned €1 billion acquisition will “lay the foundation” for a third F-35 squadron in the Dutch air force, a plan that government officials first floated in late 2018, according to a statement posted on the defense ministry website. The additional aircraft are expected contribute to the air force’s objective of having four jets available for NATO missions while also performing homeland defense operations and accounting for training requirements and maintenance downtime. Read More

DISA to re-up contract with Booz Allen to support DEOS transition

(fedscoop) The Defense Information Systems Agency intends to continue an existing contract with Booz Allen Hamilton to provide engineering support during the Pentagon’s transition to the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) cloud program. DISA said it requires a continuation of the contract “to ensure a smooth transition of the DEOS program from the Acquisitions phase to the Execution phase, as well as specialized programmatic and engineering support to the implementation and migration phases as DEOS is adopted DoD-wide.” Read More

VA embraces gaming as therapy for injured vets

(FCW) Gaming is becoming an official therapy tool for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA plans to offer gaming sessions as an alternative form of therapy, assist in mental and physical rehabilitation, and improve socialization for veterans with limited mobility through a partnership with Microsoft. Microsoft announced the partnership involving its Xbox adaptive controllers designed for and with gamers with limited mobility in April. The tech giant donated 170 of the controllers to be used by 22 VA facilities, including the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center, along with Xbox One S consoles, games and other equipment, including PDP one-handed joysticks, buttons and switches. Read More

NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope

(The Planetary Society) NASA is boosting its efforts to defend Earth from potentially dangerous asteroids. The agency announced Monday that it plans to build and launch an asteroid-hunting space telescope as soon as 2024 as part of a new, multi-pronged approach to planetary defense. The yet-to-be-named telescope will use an infrared detector to pick up the heat signatures of small near-Earth asteroids against the cold backdrop of space. Read More

This is how to get your goodies to troops overseas in time for the holidays

(MilitaryTimes) Summer is barely over, but it’s time to start thinking about the holidays, especially when it comes to getting packages overseas in time for the troops. The U.S. Postal Service helps with your planning. They’ve just announced recommended mailing deadlines to get those goodies overseas in time for Christmas. To get them there in time for Hanukkah, which starts on Dec. 22 this year, subtract three days from the deadlines. Read More