If you are looking to understand the trends and drivers in the federal contracting market, few events are better than TechAmerica's annual Vision conference.
The Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) is a new initiative from DHS Science and Technology Directorate's cybersecurity division to test apps for security vulnerabilities before they are installed on agency networks. S&T also sponsored the HOST program to promote the use and security of open source tools.
The Science and Technology Directorate's Cybersecurity Division received dozens of proposals to protect the next emerging area for cybersecurity, called physical systems. S&T will receive 70 proposals across four major areas and award $95 million to the best ideas in early 2015.
Dr. Reginald Brothers, the new Homeland Security Department undersecretary for science and technology, wants to revamp DHS' S&T portfolio by making its research projects more relevant to end users, building more connective tissue between headquarters and DHS components and rebuilding workforce morale.
The U.S. and its allies have dominated the military technology landscape for decades, but the Defense Department now sees potential adversaries in its rearview mirror. The Pentagon is coming up with some coping strategies to maintain its technological advantage, including version 3 of Better Buying Power.
Reggie Brothers, the undersecretary for Science and Technology at the Homeland Security Department, is crowdsourcing ideas across four broad goals to determine where research and development is heading over the next decade. He will use the results of the crowdsourcing effort to influence S&T's strategic plan.
The restrictions on feds' travel opportunities are having too many unintended consequences, says Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners.
The Science and Technology Directorate issued a Broad Agency Announcement and four specific solicitations to get industry, academia and others thinking about how to improve cybersecurity. Over the next nine months, the agency will review white papers, proposals and make awards, with expectations of the development of commercial or open source projects in the next year or two.
Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said while the budget agreement adds money back to DoD's overall spending capacity in 2014 and 2015, the deal still doesn't plug holes in the Pentagon's research funding. Kendall estimated R&D funding will drop by as much as 20 percent compared to the department's initial requests.
Under sequestration, technology research has suffered disproportionately in the Defense Department. Leaders say those limited dollars need to be focused on making systems more affordable and taking advantage of commercial sector advancements.
Like everything else, the Pentagon expects to cut procurement and research spending under a second year of sequestration. But DoD's acquisition chief said modernization programs will be a bill-payer for other areas of spending that are harder to reduce quickly.
Eight cutting-edge technologies developed by the government are being shown off this week to venture capitalists and investors in Silicon Valley, with the hope of attracting someone to take the applications to market.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative technologies ever created — including the Internet. But as budgets tighten, the agency's director says she's trying to figure out how to deal with an increasingly complex threat environment as less money flows into the research and development pipeline.
Defense agencies and services are pulling back hundreds of millions of dollars worth of grants and contracts. Impending furloughs will further impair DoD's ability to get money out the door.