DOD teams with Census Bureau in search of novel solutions to common problems

The Defense Department is coordinating with a somewhat unexpected ally in a search for high-tech solutions related to data, mobility and communications: the U.S. Census Bureau.

On Sept. 25 DOD’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office released a solicitation notice outlining plans and inviting companies to participate in a January 2013 workshop. The event, to be held in the Washington, DC area, will aim to “help discover emerging commercial capabilities relevant to the United States Census Bureau's technical efforts preparing for the 2020 Census.” Particularly innovative solutions could end up being used by DOD as well, according to the notice.

By convening workshops, leaders at the agencies hope to cut costs and improve accuracy, as well as stay up to speed on evolving technological developments, the notice indicated.

“The goal of this workshop is to speed adoption of promising new commercial technologies to both DOD and Census; and, to encourage broader commercial support to each. Workshops provide timely information to government users about emerging technical innovations and pilot opportunities,” the FedBizOpps documents noted.

The two agencies are focusing on a handful of areas that look to take today’s cutting edge a step further. Under data/data management are several provisions for analytical tools; mobile infrastructure and strategy contains specific references to BYOD and data protection. Workforce management needs include virtual tools, and within communications are requests for high-tech and virtual applications. Geospatial requirements, such as next-generation database and geographic data needs, could be particularly critical for census work, and social networking requests include tools for crowdsourcing, trend analysis and gamification.

Companies interested in participating have until 5 p.m. on Oct. 10 to apply.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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