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*** The Department of Energy is establishing an Innovation Community Center to uncover new paths for data use, according to Pamela Isom, the agency's deputy CIO for architecture, engineering, technology and innovation.

Speaking at an AFCEA Bethesda event on Tuesday, Isom said the center is currently open to agency employees and there are plans expand access to industry. The center is talking to cloud service providers about creating technology innovation sandboxes to support emerging data applications. The cloud-based sandboxes, she said, can also help develop IT solutions.

"We're looking to do things that help support FITARA and help block shadow IT, so we're making capabilities available for folks to come in and do some development work and test things. We’ve got a platform for innovation, a platform for collaboration, and a platform for production and implementation," she said.

*** At its Dec. 16 board meeting, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board officials said it was looking into possible compromises to assuage concerns among lawmakers over its decision to continue investing in funds that have ties to China. Members have put forth legislation in the Senate and House that would bar the Board from investing in funds that include Chinese company shares, citing human rights abuses and geopolitical rivalry.

Kim Weaver, director of external affairs at FRTIB, said the Senate bill isn't clear on which companies are approved and which are not. According to Weaver, the Employee Thrift Advisory Council has voiced its support for the Board's position, pushing back against a request from Florida Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott that President Trump replace the current members of the Board.

Posted on Dec 19, 2019 at 2:12 AM


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