NewsBrief: September 23, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: September 23, 2022

The gathering storm: The affordability challenge of endemic COVID-19

(McKinsey & Company) The once-in-a-century pandemic thrust the healthcare industry into the teeth of the storm. The combination of accelerating affordability challenges, access issues exacerbated by clinical staff shortages and COVID-19, and limited population-wide progress on outcomes is ominous. This gathering storm has the potential to reorder the healthcare industry and put nearly half of the profit pools at risk. Those who thrive will tap into the $1 trillion of known improvement opportunities by redesigning their organizations for speed accelerating productivity improvements, reshaping their portfolio, innovating new business models to refashion care, and reallocating constrained resources. The healthcare industry has lagged behind other industries in applying these practices; players that are able to do so in this crisis could set themselves up for success in the coming years. This article is the third in our series of five articles addressing the gathering storm. Read More

Aerospace Corp. Report: FY23 Budget Request for Space Force Reflects 36% Increase From Enacted FY22 Funding

(ExecutiveGov) An analysis by The Aerospace Corp.’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy shows that the Biden administration sought a budget of $24.7 billion for the U.S. Space Force for fiscal year 2023, up 36 percent or $6.5 billion from the enacted funding for FY 2022. The budget request for the upcoming fiscal year highlights the consolidation of defense space activity within the Space Force and growth in missile warning and tracking programs, according to the report. The center said the transfer of military personnel to the Space Force and the integration of the Space Development Agency with the new service branch represent approximately 53 percent of the requested budget increase for the Space Force. Read More

Space Force completes space-based JSTARS replacement analysis, will inform future budgets

(Breaking Defense) The Space Force has just wrapped up a year-long analysis of alternatives (AoA) for acquiring capabilities to track moving targets from space, as part of a “multi-domain” approach to replace the aging Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft fleet, Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond said today. “That’s a force design work that we’ve been doing over the last year,” Raymond told reporters here at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “You know the Air Force has had a JSTARS aircraft and was looking for a multi-domain solution for that. We have just completed the AoA on that work to determine how best to do that from a multi-domain perspective. And we’re in the process now of out-briefing those results to help inform inform budgets going forward.” Read More

Federal cyber mandates for water infrastructure are too costly to implement, experts tell Hill panel

(FCW) Fortifying the cybersecurity protocols and technology surrounding water systems was raised as a priority infrastructure investment during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday, with lawmakers and experts characterizing recent hacking instances as major threats to public safety. Witnesses underscored the challenges of applying advanced cybersecurity technology to water infrastructure systems—particularly in underserved communities—during the House Committee on Homeland Security hearing. “Maintaining a strong cyber defense is just as much a part of our infrastructure as maintaining our pipes and filtration systems,” David Gadis, the CEO of D.C. Water, testified. “Robust planning for cybersecurity is no longer optional in the water sector. It is a key part of what we do every day.” Read More

DARPA Launches Program to Create AI Capable of Environment-Driven Conceptual Learning

(ExecutiveGov) The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is soliciting proposals for a new program to develop artificial intelligence agents capable of improving the ability of computational systems to analyze large amounts of multimedia. DARPA said Monday that it has released a broad agency announcement for the Environment-driven Conceptual Learning program aimed at teaching AI to form symbolic representations and reasoning using linguistic and visual input. ECOLE is a three-phase program that will run for four years. The BAA seeks proposals for the first two, 18-month phases that will focus on creating initial prototype implementations of AI agents and scaling their framework to enable interaction with human analysts. Read More

The World Gets Ready to Change the Fundamentals of Measurement, Again

(NextGov) The Federal Aviation Administration has launched a new dynamic, interactive online dashboard to make the agency’s collected data more accessible and understandable for the general public, as part of an effort to showcase how the nation’s airspace system operates. Last year, the FAA held an internal data visualization challenge that gave agency employees the opportunity to help redesign the Administrator’s Fact Book, a static PDF document that is generally updated on an annual basis and includes a range of collected data and information about the national airspace system. Participants in the challenge took the FAA’s existing data and submitted visualizations to be included in the agency’s new Fact Book, which went live earlier this month. Read More

Using advanced analytics to improve performance in customs agencies

(McKinsey & Company) Customs agencies around the world are under immense and growing pressure at a time of rapidly increasing cross-border e-commerce, shifting regulatory environments, and supply chain disruptions, including repercussions from COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. The good news is that agencies also have an expanding number of digital tools that can improve performance by identifying and tracking issues before and at the border—and even once goods have left. Deployment of advanced analytics could make a significant difference in a number of use cases. Among other applications, analytics can radically improve fraud detection, minimize revenue leakage, and bring new transparency to audit coverage. In short, if the work of customs agencies is to find needles in haystacks, machine learning and other data analytics tools could both magnify the needles and shrink the haystacks, making detection faster and more reliable. Read More

GSA’s New Federal Buying Advisory Panel to Convene Next Week; Robin Carnahan Quoted

(MIT Sloan) You might have seen Land O’Lakes’ dairy products on store shelves without giving much thought to how they got there, but that’s something CTO Teddy Bekele thinks about every day. While the farmers and agricultural retailers of Land O’Lakes work to produce the cooperative’s products, starting from the seeds used to grow animal feed, Teddy Bekele is focused on supporting agriculture’s “fourth revolution” — one that’s embracing technologies like artificial intelligence. On this episode of the Me, Myself, and AI podcast, Teddy explains how Land O’Lakes uses predictive analytics and AI to help farmers and other agricultural producers be more productive and make better decisions about the business of farming. Read More

The Space Force Has a Song

(Government Executive) The Space Force has a song, and it doesn’t mention the aliens, intergalactic horse rides, or planetary conquests that were the signature of the many parodies that have plagued the service for nearly three years. The 40-word song was unveiled Tuesday at the Air and Space Forces Association’s Air, Space & Cyber conference outside Washington, D.C., by Gen. John Raymond, the Space Force’s first, and soon-to-retire, chief of space operations. The song, “Semper Supra,” was named after the Space Force’s motto, which is Latin for “always above.” Two musicians with ties to the military collaborated to create the song. James Techenor, a former member of the Air Force band at the Air Force Academy, wrote the song and melody. The musical arrangement was done by Sean Nelson, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard band. Read More

Reusable ‘Susie’ spacecraft could launch future European deep-space missions

( Rocket-launching firm ArianeGroup plans to bring astronauts to space aboard ‘Susie.’ The European rocket-launching giant announced a new upper stage designed to carry out crewed or uncrewed missions on Arianespace rockets in Earth orbit or even to the moon. The upper stage is called Susie (Smart Upper Stage for Innovative Exploration) and will be mounted on the forthcoming Ariane 64 rocket, which the company says will herald fully reusable rockets in the coming years. As the space community reaches for private space stations and moon missions, ArianeGroup said a flexible, reusable and modular spacecraft would best fit the needs of multiple clients. (Arianespace is the launching entity under ArianeGroup, a joint venture between Airbus and Safran.) Read More

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