White House Seeks Tech Innovation Fellows - InformationWeek

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Government // Leadership

White House Seeks Tech Innovation Fellows

Program recruits innovators and entrepreneurs to work on "high impact" federal IT projects during six- to 12-month tours of duty.

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Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel and federal CTO Todd Park announced a new set of objectives for Round 2 of the White House's Presidential Innovation Fellows program.

The program, which recruits innovators and entrepreneurs from the private sector to work on "high impact" federal IT projects during six- to 12-month tours of duty, has been expanded to new project areas. The White House is currently accepting applications for the next round of Presidential Innovation Fellows to lead projects that include:

-- Disaster Response and Recovery: The project will "pre-position" tech tools for disaster readiness in order to diminish economic damage and save lives.

-- Cyber-Physical Systems: A new generation of cyber-physical "smart systems" will be developed to help the economy and job creation. These systems will combine distributed sensing, control and data analytics.

-- 21st Century Financial Systems: The 21st Century Financial Systems initiative will transition agency-specific federal financial accounting systems to a more modular, scalable and cost-effective model.

-- Innovation Toolkit: A suite of tools will be created for federal workers, allowing them to become more responsive and efficient in their jobs.

-- Development Innovation Ventures: The Development Innovation Ventures project will address tough global problems by allowing the U.S. government to identify, test and scale new technologies.

[ Learn how the federal government innovates with less. Read Busting Through The Federal IT Budget Ceiling. ]

The fellowship program was first introduced in May 2012. After receiving 700 applications, the White House selected 18 fellows, who have been developing deliverables on five projects sponsored by different agencies: MyUSA (formerly known as MyGov), RFP-EZ, Open Data Initiatives, Blue Button and Better Than Cash. Each one is meant to make an impact. Open Data Initiatives, for example, use government data to create apps, products and services for citizens, while the RFP-EZ project provides an online marketplace and tools for small tech businesses to bid on government contracts.

In addition to seeking fellows to launch new initiatives, Round 2 is open to applicants interested in working on the next phases of existing federal projects. Many of the fellowship roles require coding and other tech skills; however, the program calls for those from various backgrounds, including product and project management, business development and operations re-engineering.

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