NASA Supports Small Business Research to Power Future Exploration

WASHINGTON—NASA has selected hundreds of small businesses and dozens of research institutions to develop technology to help drive the future of space exploration, ranging from novel sensors and electronics to new types of software and cutting-edge materials. The newly awarded projects under the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program also include a high-power electric rocket and a coating to make solar panels more efficient that could be used both in space and here on Earth.

The awards total nearly $50 million, with investments spread out over 39 states and Washington, D.C. Under the selection, 333 proposals from 257 small businesses and 41 research institutions – including 10 Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) – will be awarded first-round funding for technology development. View the full lists of SBIR awardees and STTR awardees online.

NASA investments in American small businesses and research institutions help provide the innovations needed for the exciting and ambitious missions on the agency’s horizon and foster robust commercial space and technology sectors.

bdpatoday | ICYMI 04.30.22“NASA is working on ambitious, groundbreaking missions that require innovative solutions from a variety of sources – especially our small businesses,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “Small businesses have the creative edge and expertise needed to help our agency solve our common and complex challenges, and they are crucial to maintaining NASA’s leadership in space. The SBIR program is one of the key ways we do that as well as creating jobs in a growing, sustainable space economy.”

Each proposal team will receive $150,000 – a 20% increase over previous years’ funding – to establish the merit and feasibility of their innovations. Phase I SBIR contracts are awarded to small businesses and last for six months, while Phase I STTR contracts are awarded to small businesses in partnership with a research institution and last for 13 months.

“The selections span a breadth of areas to empower the agency’s work in human exploration, space technology, science, and aeronautics,” said Jenn Gustetic, director of early-stage innovation and partnerships for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. “We’re excited about the uses for these technologies for Artemis and other missions, as well as their potential use in the commercial space industry and people’s everyday lives.”

About 30% of the awards will go to first-time NASA SBIR/STTR recipients. This includes Ad Astra Rocket Company based in Webster, Texas. With its Phase I award, the company will develop a new way of manufacturing part of its Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, or VASIMR, engine – a high-power electric rocket engine the company has been working on with NASA for 25 years. In the engine, powerful radiofrequency waves are launched by special antennas, called couplers. The waves ionize gas into plasma, which is then accelerated to provide rocket thrust. The Phase I funding will be used to manufacture couplers in a way that increases the engine’s power limit. This innovation will help move the entire engine closer to commercialization, where it could be used for high-maneuverability satellites, lunar settlement cargo delivery, and more.

Nearly 25% of the selected companies are women-owned, veteran-owned, disadvantaged, and/or HUBzone small businesses. For example, D2K Technologies, a women- and minority-owned small business based in Oceanside, California, will create a monitoring and advisory system for health management of solenoid operated valves (SOV) used in industrial applications with its Phase I award. This technology could find use in many of NASA’s research centers, testing centers, and launch sites, since SOVs are basic components of most fluid systems. And, with the widespread use of SOVs in industrial applications, the system could be useful to oil and gas, nuclear, manufacturing, power generation, chemical, food, and pharmaceutical companies. This eight-person company is also a first-time NASA SBIR awardee.

“Finding and building a diverse community of entrepreneurs is a central part of our program’s outreach, and the efforts to reach them can start even before Phase I,” said Gynelle Steele, deputy program executive for NASA’s SBIR/STTR program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “For example, working in partnership with NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project, we started offering M-STTR planning grants last year, which incentivized partnerships between MSIs and small businesses and prepared them to submit a STTR Phase I proposal in 2022.”

National BDPA’s “Space City” Chapter in Huntsville, Alabama is a Meta Data Center  Community Action Grant winner for FY22 . Funding for nonprofits and schools support long-term vitality of Huntsville.

M-STTR awardee Oakwood University, a historically Black university (HBCU) based in Huntsville, Alabama, will continue working alongside SSS Optical Technologies, a small business also based in Huntsville, using their Phase I award to develop a new type of coating for photovoltaic (PV) cells embedded in solar sails. The coating could generate extra electricity and improve the overall PV conversion efficiency, which could advance solar sailing and other power and energy conversion needs for space exploration. This technology could improve the efficiency of commercial solar panels.

NASA selected Phase I proposals to receive funding by judging their technical merit and commercial potential. Based on their progress during Phase I, companies may submit proposals for $850,000 in Phase II funding to develop a prototype, as well as subsequent SBIR/STTR Post Phase II opportunities. The NASA SBIR/STTR program is part of the Space Technology Mission Directorate and is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

To learn more about NASA’s SBIR/STTR program and apply to future opportunities, visit: https://sbir.nasa.gov/.

— Source and photos: NASA


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Air Force HBCU/MI Collider
Select here to register for the third annual Air Force HBCU/MI Outreach Initiative Collider

Octo Holds Grand Opening of oLabs™ Innovation Hub

Octo celebrated its expanded oLabs™ innovation space with a grand opening attended by Senator Mark Warner and other notable VIPs committed to serving the Federal Government.

RESTON, VA—Octo, the premier provider of emerging technology and modernization for the Federal Government, yesterday celebrated the grand opening of its new oLabs™ innovation hub. Housed in a brand new, custom-built 14,000 square foot facility at Octo’s headquarters in Reston, Virginia, oLabs is the largest privately-owned R&D facility in the DC metro area dedicated to the Federal Government.

Octo invested more than $10 million in the expansion of oLabs which now offers an enormous amount of highly sophisticated compute power including more than 15 petaflops of AI compute and 2 petabytes of FlashBlade storage among others. In addition to the many new development tools for specialized R&D and a space purpose built to facilitate collaboration between Octo’s staff and its federal customers, oLabs will be a hub for internal collaboration and product development focused on solving federal agencies’ most complex issues.

In his comments to attendees, U.S. Senator Mark Warner said, “Innovation isn’t all happening in the Valley. It’s happening in the DMV.” He said he was excited about Octo as a mid-size GovCon company inviting other companies to work side by side on innovation. “We appreciate all Octo does helping the Federal Government.”

U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Octo CEO Mehul Sanghani address VIPs and attendees during Octo’s oLabs ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Reston, VA. — BDPA NoVA photo © 2022 bdpatoday

Octo’s CEO Mehul Sanghani said, “We are ecstatic to see the official launch of this new space and all that it offers. Octo is dedicated to finding the best solutions for customers, those that make missions happen. That can only be accomplished with powerful technology resources and a commitment to R&D. Using next-gen IT and a collaborative approach, oLabs is accelerating and validating proof-of-concepts to create transformative solutions that can’t be found anywhere else in the region. This space allows us to be in alignment with our customers future goals, and also gives us a competitive advantage over our peers.”

Sujey Edward, CTO at Octo, said, “At the end of the day, you can’t solve the hardest problems in the world without three things: the best technical talent, real world experience, and next generation technology. In this space we have all three. Anything less than that is just a glorified conference room.

“Octo has invested millions of independent research and development dollars into building oLabs, the industry’s most capable center for innovation. We’ve also perfected a collaborative approach to working with our customers supported by an extraordinary facility full of exceptionally talented and passionate emerging technology professionals. Our team isn’t just technical. They have relevant real-world experience in our core domains also. They are former special operators, data scientists pulled from some of the largest companies around the world, DevOps engineers, and AI/ML engineers who understand the scenarios in which our solutions will be deployed.”

oLabs products and solutions are used and are in testing by customers including the U.S. Army, Marine Corps Special Operations Command, the U.S. Navy, and others. Customers who could not attend the grand opening are invited to tour the space. Learn more at olabs.octo.us.

Octo, Platinum Sponsor of national BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter, is a technology firm dedicated to solving the Federal Government’s most complex challenges, enabling agencies to jump the technology curve. We don’t just modernize. We create lasting change through best practices that help agencies implement and integrate at-scale next-generation technology and innovation. With a mission and service first mentality, we provide Agile, DevSecOps, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Cloud, Open Source, and Data Science solutions, collaborating to solve customers’ pressing problems. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Octo delivers proven technology vital to the intelligence community and health care, defense, national security, and civilian agencies that directly impact our nation.

— Source: Octo/Business Wire


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Octo
https://www.octoconsulting.com/

Black Tech Week Announces 2022 Conference Calendar for Event in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OHBlack Tech Week, the inclusion focused tech ecosystem-building festival, announced the events schedule for its 2022 conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. The annual five-day event will run from July 18-22 and hold 60+ sessions—presenting 50+ tech influencers and minority innovation ecosystem builders as featured speakers.

Black Tech Week’s featured speakers include Kimberly Bryant, Founder of Black Girls Code, Arlan Hamilton, Founder of Hire Runner and Backstage Capital, Felecia Hatcher, CEO of Black Ambition, and Detavio Samuels, CEO of Revolt.

Black Tech Week’s events are presented with support from its committed sponsors including Amazon Web Services, The City of Cincinnati, Fifth Third Bank, Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, Ohio Third Frontier, Lincoln and Gilbert.

The completely re-branded, enhanced event creates meaningful opportunities for founders to connect with other founders, tech talent, educational programming and investors.

Lightship Foundation 

Black Tech Week’s keynotes, panels and sessions tap into the most relevant topics such as exits, IPOs and the current startup lifecycle, fundraising and navigating the venture landscape, and hiring for innovation amid the Great Resignation. Registrants can sign up for VC office hours with firms in attendance or participate in the pop-up Career Fair; through these offerings, Black Tech Week aims to serve as a real-time resource for organizations seeking to diversify their teams and for investors interested in cultivating more inclusive portfolios. Part of Black Tech Week’s programming will take place in the conference’s Activation Spaces—where Inc. Founder’s House, AWS, and Black@Genesis will run programming.

This year’s conference calendar is timed to coincide with the Cincinnati Music Festival, one of the oldest and largest in the country; the festival hosts 70,000+ visitors and generates 107 million dollars in economic impact.

Lightship Foundation, the Cincinnati-based economic development organization, acquired Black Tech Week with the vision of positioning Ohio as the most supportive state in the Midwest for minority innovation. Lightship Foundation, with Founder and CEO Candice Matthews Brackeen at its helm, is executing on its mission to leverage local corporate partners and community networks including the Cincinnati Innovation District (CID) to bring remarkable technology and venture leaders from all over the world to Ohio.

“For the last seven years, Black Tech Week has been hard at work, ecosystem-building for Black tech communities across the U.S.. Relocating to Cincinnati means expanding our national network of founders, talent, and investors.” said Candice Matthews Brackeen, Lightship Foundation Founder and CEO. “We’re so proud of our 2022 conference calendar—and the opportunity to bring this innovative session lineup to our community.”

“The city of Cincinnati is committed to becoming a place where Black entrepreneurs feel supported and seen,” says Aftab Pureval, Mayor of Cincinnati. “We are excited to host Black Tech Week and support Lightship in creating a hub for tech collaboration in the Midwest.”

To register for this year’s Black Tech Week in Cincinnati, to view the schedule and learn more about this year’s speakers, please click here.

About Lightship Foundation

Lightship Foundation is an impact-driven organization serving remarkable entrepreneurs & ecosystems. We leverage corporate partnerships, specialized programming, and capital investments to drive growth within the minority innovation economy. Since 2017, Lightship Foundation has guided over 200 companies led by women, FOC (Founders of Color), and those representing the LGBTIQ and disabled communities to more than $120M in venture funding across the US. Connect with Lightship Foundation via Linkedin or visit the Lightship Foundation website to learn more.

About Black Tech Week

Black Tech Week is an inclusion focused ecosystem-building festival that partners with founders, corporations and the community to create a valuable experience for investors, entrepreneurs, and techies of every kind. Connect with Black Tech Week on Facebook and Instagram, and visit the Black Tech Week website for more information.

Source and photos: Lightship Foundation


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BDPACON22

TEDCO’s New Women Leadership Programs Empowering Maryland’s Entrepreneurs

COLUMBIA, MD—TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced today the launch of its new Women Entrepreneur Leadership Programs. The new programs are designed to build an alliance of diverse founders and CEOs to strategically navigate Maryland’s entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. In collaboration with Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), TEDCO’s new programs will focus on creating a diversified community of women entrepreneurs and help them grow their companies.

“Using the input from TEDCO’s Task Force for Women Entrepreneurs to develop the course foundation, we were able to create a one-of-a-kind program focusing on mitigating challenges Black women entrepreneurs face,” Linda Singh, executive director for TEDCO’s Women Entrepreneur Leadership.

The leadership program kicks off with a pilot program in Howard County at the Maryland Innovation Center (MIC). The Open Institute for Black Women Entrepreneur Excellence will convene a cohort of 25 women entrepreneurs, with the goal of developing a network of peer advisors and creating a collaborative community. The HBCUs will determine the needs of these entrepreneurs at the intersection of research, tech transfer and education. Maryland’s HBCUs include Bowie State UniversityCoppin State UniversityMorgan State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore

“Recent numbers show the continued challenges faced by early-stage women entrepreneurs –2.3% of venture funding went to women in 2020, down from an all time high of 2.8% in 2019, yet 42% of all business are women owned,” said Troy LeMaile-Stovall, TEDCO CEO. “TEDCO recognizes the need to ensure all Marylanders, especially women, given that the state has the highest rate per capita of women-owned businesses, are provided the proper opportunities and exposure to realize their dreams. This pilot with our friends in Howard County represents our commitment to ensure our dreams become reality and access to wealth inclusion and expansion opportunities are realized.”

To be eligible for the cohort, applicants must be a founder, co-founder, or CEO whose company is at a minimum of pre-seed to growth stage and a maximum of pre-series A. Watch the webinar to find out more about the program by visiting https://youtu.be/LmUSLXU8Egc.

The new program builds on past work by TEDCO as it works to support women and underrepresented entrepreneurs. 

In 2016, TEDCO commissioned a study into the demographics of those start-ups applying for funding and support from TEDCO to try to identify underserved entrepreneurs. As a result of that study, TEDCO launched the Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund, which eventually became the Builder Fund for start-ups run by entrepreneurs who demonstrate economic disadvantage. 

In 2019, TEDCO went further by convening its Task Force for Women Entrepreneurs. The 12 thought leaders in the Maryland entrepreneurial ecosystem were tasked with identifying and implementing concrete actions to drive outcomes for women entrepreneurs in the state. The task force came to a close with the recommendation of implementing these programs into the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Learn more about the Women Entrepreneur Leadership Programs and view the request for applications by visiting the website at https://www.tedcomd.com/women-programs.

Source and photos: TEDCO


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TEDCO

CES 2021 Opens with Innovation and Technologies for a Better Future

ARLINGTON, VA—The first-ever, all-digital CES® 2021, owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, opened its full digital experience to audiences around the world. Following a day of exclusive, media-only press conferences and a keynote from Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg on Jan. 11, this transformational event provides audiences with a front row seat to the innovation and technologies that will move the world forward. CES 2021 will feature more than 1900 exhibitors representing the entire tech spectrum and more than 100 conference sessions will showcase industry leaders who will share visions for a better future. General Motors (GM) Chairman and CEO Mary Barra will present the official opening keynote address at 9 AM EST on Jan. 12, where she’ll share GM’s transformational strategy to advance mobility.

CES 2021 attendees will experience a highly personalized show where they can see the latest product launches, hear insights from global visionaries, engage with global brands and startups, chat and meet with attendees from around the globe and receive recommendations based on personal preferences. In addition, a live anchor desk will serve as a “home base” to guide audiences through the digital experience.

“The pandemic forced us to take a step back from a traditional CES, throw out the playbook and transform how we’d bring the tech community together,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “CES looks different this year, but the foundation of the show – innovation, connection, collaboration – remains strong and consistent. The digital transformation will continue for years, even as we return to Las Vegas in 2022. We have seen the value of connecting digitally and we can welcome even more people from around the world.”

CES 2021 innovations and products will span the tech industry, from automotive to digital health, 5G, smart cities and beyond. On Jan. 11, the world’s media had exclusive access to nearly 20 press conferences from global brands. Media Day provided a sneak peek at the expected themes and trends for CES 2021, including a smarter home that creates a home, office and workout space; sustainable products for a longer, safer future; and innovations in transportation and mobility.

“Media Day offered an exciting preview for what’s to come at CES 2021, yet only scratched the surface of this groundbreaking CES experience,” said Karen Chupka, EVP, CES, CTA. “Audiences across the globe, many for the first time, will participate in a true broadcast event this week. With more than 100 conference sessions, including special entertainment events, attendees will hear the latest topics impacting the industry. They’ll also interact directly with exhibitors and fellow CES attendees, forming business connections for the future.”

Following Media Day, Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg delivered a keynote focused on 5G. Vestberg shared how the essential qualities of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network have come to life. These qualities include unparalleled upload and download speeds, enormous capacity and ultra-low lag, supporting more connected devices and mobile connection, and providing faster, more responsive service deployment and a new standard for energy efficiency and reliability. Verizon shared updates on the various projects and partnerships enabled by 5G Ultra Wideband, including the Verizon 5G Super Stadium Experience in the NFL app and the transformation of watching and experiencing sports; expanding the museum experience with 5G and an immersive art experiences with the Metropolitan Museum of Art; partnership with UPS and Skyward to support a nationwide drone delivery network; and deployment of 15 Live Nation venues enabled by 5G Ultra Wideband. Also, Verizon provided audiences with an immersive 5G-enabled entertainment experience from the Black Pumas.

Media Day featured a full day of press conferences from top exhibitors who broke news to a media-only audience, just as they would in Las Vegas. Media heard the latest breaking news, product launches and technology trends as a preview to the exhibitor showcase opening. 

  • Bosch: Showcased commitments to sustainability as the first global industrial enterprise to become carbon neutral and introduced an AI-enabled wearable fitness tracker that recognizes and records any type of fitness activity that is based on repetitive, cyclative patterns.
  • Canon: Provided a sneak peek of Canon’s plans for the all-digital CES beyond cameras and printers, including redefining viewing the planet, skateboarding and tackling food waste
  • Caterpillar: Shared the first application of command for Caterpillar’s autonomous mining trucks and groundbreaking technology in the most challenging conditions.
  • Hisense: Announced the 2021 TriChroma Laser TV line.
  • Indy Autonomous Challenge: Unveiled the world’s first autonomous racecar, to be used in the Indy Autonomous Challenge where 500+ university students are developing the technology to drive the racecar and win the competition for a $1.5 million prize.
  • Intel/Mobileye: Shared news around the future of mobility for Mobileye, including plans to open deployment centers in Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris and Detroit, and use house-built lidar sensors.
  • Kohler: Introduced a ceiling mount kitchen faucet with simple touch control; Kohler whole home water monitor that mounts underneath the cabinets, in partnership with Phyn; new Innate intelligent toilet; touchless bathroom faucets; freestanding soaking bath.
  • LG Electronics: Announced next generation of LG PuriCare™ line for high-quality air management solutions; reimagined side-by-side refrigerator, including a wider window, premium interior look and Craft Ice feature; WashTower™ with convenient controls, built in intelligence and advanced cleaning; 2021 OLED evo TV lineup and QNED MiniLED TVs; CLOi UV-C Robot for disinfection; ThinQ App will transform into an open platform for lifestyle innovation.
  • Magna International: Launched a joint venture with LG Electronics to manufacture e-motors, inverters and on board chargers and related e-drive systems for certain automakers, to support the growing global shift towards vehicle electrification.
  • Mercedes-Benz: Showcased the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) Hyperscreen, which uses AI to offer a seamless driver and passenger experience.
  • OMRON Healthcare: Announced VitalSight – first remote patient monitoring service designed specifically for hypertension management. 
  • Panasonic: Announced technology partnership with Illuminarium Experiences to bring the new 360-degree immersive entertainment centers to life; launched newest OLED TV JZ2000; new Technics wireless headphones will launch later this year.
  • Philips: Discussed the Philips vision and experience in the consumer and professional health tech space and announced the Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige that is backed by SenseIQ technology and artificial intelligence to intuitively adjust to the need of the user. 
  • Samsung Electronics: Announced 4-Door Flex Bespoke refrigerator that can be customized for any kitchen; JetBot 90 AI+ uses object recognition technology and sensors to identify and classify objects and decide the best cleaning path; Eco-packaging will be used for all TV products; Galaxy Upcycling at Home program where users can decide how to repurpose the Galaxy as other convenient home devices.
  • Schneider Electric: Showcased Square D Energy Center, first-ever Square D connected light switches (X & XD range series) and Acti9 Active product, which together deliver a unique end-to-end energy management solution for homes in response to sustainability, resiliency, efficiency and personalization.
  • Skyworth: Presented 2021 TV line up for North America – five series of TVs comprised of 16 different models.
  • Sony: Introduced Airpeak, which integrates AI and robotics to enable creators to explore new heights for photo and video; shared preview of a new, immersive reality concert performance from Madison Beer to demonstrate the music showcase that will be available on Sony PlayStation VR, mobile devices, music video streaming platforms and more.
  • Taiwan Tech Arena: Previewed some of the 100 startup teams from Taiwan Tech Arena that will unveil innovation at CES 2021. Startups are divided into Smart Living, Tech for Good, Cybersecurity & Cloud Solutions, Healthcare & Wellness and Mobility Tech.
  • TCL: Announced OD Zero™ Mini-LED technology that provides viewers with a more realistic and sharper picture and allows for an ultra-thin TV profile; TCL’s first-ever Google TV; NXTPAPER tablet, TAB10s, MOVEAUDIO S600 wireless headphones, MOVETRACK Pet tracker and TCL 20 Series phones, with the 5G and SE phones available this month.

CTA’s Steve Koenig and Lesley Rohrbaugh presented 2021 Tech Trends to Watch during Media Day and gave an exclusive preview of the U.S. Consumer Technology One-Year Industry Forecast. They shared the retail sales revenue for the technology industry will reach $461 billion in the U.S. in 2021 – a 4.3% increase year-over-year. And as millions of Americans remain home and rely on tech to stay entertained, connected and healthy during the pandemic, streaming services, 5G connectivity and digital health devices will stand out in the tech sector in 2021. For more, visit CTA.tech/forecasts.

CES 2021 is taking place Jan. 11-14. 

  • Jan. 12-13: Exhibitor showcase and conference programming. 
  • Jan. 14: CES Partner Programming.
  • Access the digital venue and on demand content through Feb. 15, 2021. 

Visit the digital venue to explore CES 2021 and get live updates from the show –including keynotes, conference sessions, product announcements and show floor coverage. bt

— Source: Consumer Technology Association (CTA®)


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Fairfax County Economic Development Authority  

Select here to register  for this month’s Cyber + Cloud Virtual Career Fair.

Thursday, January 28, 2021  1:00 PM to 4:00 PM  ET

Over twenty leading technology companies and BDPA mission-partners including MicrosoftAmazon Web Services (AWS)DocuSignBAE SystemsHewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) and more will be in attendance and hiring for over 5,000 combined positions. Tech professionals of all experience levels and from all locations are welcome to attend. Although BDPA Members or candidates with active security clearances are in very high demand, an active security clearance is not required to register nor attend this event.  All are welcomed,  register today.




Top 25 Tech Stories from 2020

Select here for dynamic Air Force careers in Cyber and Tech

WASHINGTON ―The wait is finally over for the very end of 2020. The latest lists from Industry of top stories in tech, cyber, and STEM likely will loom much larger in the fog of 2021. Topping the charts for 2020 during National BDPA’s 45th Anniversary year were stories directly and indirectly related to COVID-19Big TechCybersecurity, and Social Unrest amidst a wider and much deeper ‘Digital Chasm‘ connecting underserved communities with their respective populations during a pandemic.

The Top 25

Most of the top 25 stories highlighted below for 2020 previously were shared with Industry, communities of color, traditionally marginalized communities, and underserved communities inside or on the covers of weekly and monthly publications. 

25. Earth Day Tech Summit: BDPA and UDC Earth Day Summits go virtual due to COVID-19. [April 2020 edition of bdpatoday]

24. Digital Divide: 51,000 laptops with Internet services were provided to students in Detroit, MI. [bdpatoday.com]

23U.S. Naval Academy: Midshipman First Class Sydney Barber becomes the first Black female to lead Brigade of Midshipmen. Upon graduation in May of 2021, MIDN Barber will receive her commission as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. [bdpatoday 11.14.20 ICYMI edition]

22. Zoom: In order to meet exponential growth and unprecedented demand, Oracle is selected as a cloud infrastructure provider for Zoom meetings. [bdpatoday 05.02.20 ICYMI edition]

21. U.S. Navy: LTJG Madeline G. Swegle becomes the U.S. Navy’s first Black female Tactical Air (TACAIR) jet pilot. [July 2020 edition of bdpatoday]

20. NIST: The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Privacy Framework Version 1.0 was released to help organizations identify and manage privacy risk for building innovative products and services while protecting individuals’ privacy. [ bdpatoday 01.18.20 ICYMI edition]

19. Digital Divide: T-Mobile launches Project 10-Million. [bdpatoday 10.03.20 ICYMI edition]

18. COVID-19: Apple and Google partner on contact-tracing technology. [bdpatoday.com]

17. Tesla: Headquarters and Gigafactory moves are heading to Austin, TX. [bdpatoday.com]

16. HPC: Lewis Hamilton wins 7th FIA Formula One championship powered by edge-to-core analytics with high-performance computing (HPC) from HPE. [bdpatoday 11.28.20 ICYMI edition]

15. COBOL: Federal, State, and Local governments call for more COBOL programmers to assist staff with stimulus, relief, and unemployment checks. [bdpatoday 04.04.20 ICYMI edition]

14. Exascale Day!: October 18th is Exascale Day. HPE, JEF, and BDPA welcomed “10 to the 18th power” or “10^18” during Exascale Day Weekend launching a series of supercomputer, HPC, and artificial intelligence (Ai) webinars. [October 2020 edition of bdpatoday]

13. Digital Divide: Best Buy Foundation awards a community grant to BDPA’s Tablets For Teensprogram and regional initiatives. [bdpatoday.com]

12. BDPA2020: National BDPA’s 45th Anniversary, Annual Technology Conference, Diversity Career Fair, I.T. Showcase, Mobile App Showcase, and the annual National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) collectively go 100-percent virtual for the first time in the Association’s history. #BDPA2020 was successfully delivered across all mobile platforms. [August 2020 Special Edition of bdpatoday

11. USASMDC: The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and BDPA Huntsville launch a new Cyber Workforce initiative with the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC.) [bdpatoday 10.31.20 ICYMI edition]

10. Digital Divide: Microsoft awards $15 million in Community Skills Grants, an investment over three years to fifty (50) Black- and African American-led nonprofits that are working to increase skill development and economic opportunities. The H.O.P.E. Project DMV in partnership with National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (bdpadc.org) are one of Microsoft’s grant recipients for 2020. [bdpatoday.com]

9. AFRL: In fiscal year 2021 (FY21), the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program seeks to ink new and innovative deals with emerging small businesses and HBCU mission partners to meet or exceed the Department of the Air Force’s (DAF) priorities. [bdpatoday May 2020 edition] 

8. Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin’s latest rise in 2020. For the first time in its history, Bitcoin reached $20,000. According to CNBC, the world’s most-valuable virtual currency traded 5.6% higher on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, to a new price of around $20,600, taking its year-to-date gains north of 180%! [bdpatoday.com]

7. SpaceX: The launch of two NASA astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) marked the first private spaceflight company to send a crewed spacecraft into space. [bdpatoday June 2020 edition] 

6. SolarWinds: Government agencies ‘hacked’ again ― stories from Federal, State, and Local agencies are still unfolding as we venture deeper into 2021. [bdpatoday.com]

5. Wall Street: Nasdaq advances “diversity” as stocks in 2020 across most major indices reached record highs. Nasdaq soon may adopt new listing rules related to board diversity and disclosures. [bdpatoday.com]

4. White House: As the daughter of two immigrants from Jamaica and India, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ historic election breaks several barriers. “All eyes are on Georgia” as the next President of the Senate awaits Georgia’s runoff election results to determine control of the U.S. Senate. [bdpatoday November 2020 edition] 

3. Big Tech vs. Uncle Sam: On October 6, 2020, bdpatoday.com featured a story about the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee’s release of findings of its more than 16-month long investigation into the state of competition in the digital economy, especially the challenges presented by the dominance of Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook and their business practices. On October 20, 2020, bdpatoday.com shared a story from the Department of Justice (DOJ.) DOJ — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms. In 2021 and the foreseeable future, “Big Tech” will have its day in Congress and the Courts from at least two branches of government. In the pipeline will be renewed battles over Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (at 47 U.S.C. § 230). “Section 230” provides immunity for content providers and website publishers from third-party content. [bdpatoday.com]

2. COVID-19: “All Hands On Deck” for scientists, engineers, physicians, logisticians, STEM technicians, and I.T. professionals. “Digital divides” and “heath desert” challenges across the globe in underserved communities are hampering vaccine distributions as 2020 fades away. [bdpatoday December 2020 edition]

Number 1. Digital Divide and Social Unrest: Black Data Matters, Black Tech Matters, Black Consumers Matter, all lives matter, every student ― #BDPAfuture ― really matters. Founded by Earl A. Pace, Jr. in Philadelphia, PA as Black Data Processing Associates, BDPA was established in 1975 to promote and share awareness across traditionally underserved or marginalized communities of new “Data Processing” careers with related technical job openings in “Computer Science” fields. Today, BDPA’s mission has not waivered.

The pandemic of 2020 coupled with civil unrest across several U.S. cities revealed widening ‘digital chasms’ with news deserts, health deserts, and food deserts in every corner of America leading up to our top stories for 2020. Systemic racism, cultural biases, social discord, oppression from deep within our society’s soul, and gerrymandered redlining transgressions still are shrewdly perpetuated today through outdated laws, discriminatory policies, algorithmic bias, obsolete technology, and dilapidated infrastructures. To this end, our lead success stories feature BDPA, its ICT Industry partners, major corporations, and local BDPA Chapter mission-partners making impact investments to help eliminate “deserts” within digitally divided communities as millions of students, teachers, and parents where forced home; many with little or no access to high speed Internet services. [bdpatoday.com]

In Memoriam

Last October, National BDPA celebrated the life of Vivian C. Wilson, the first women elected to the Association’s chief executive role of National BDPA President.

BDPA Nation also said goodbyes in 2020 to iconic Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman; Dr. George Robert Carruthers, an inventor, physicist, engineer and space scientist; Roderick “Rod” Wesley Flakes, former President, BDPA (Boston) Mass MetroWest Chapter and engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; one of NASA’s “Hidden Figures” Katherine Johnson; U.S. Representative John LewisNorman Shakespeare, former Vice President of Strategic Planning, BDPA (Boston) Mass MetroWest Chapter; model and restaurateur Barbara “B” Smith; and Charles “Chuck” Yeager, World War II ace fighter pilot and U.S. Air Force quintessential test pilot.

Up Next

2021 has arrived! In May 2021, bdpatoday (ISSN 1946-1429) launches its 15th year to proudly serve more I.T. technicians and cybersecurity professionals, new HBCU Chapters, new student members, and new consumers in every industry. To add your team’s success stories in tech, cyber, and STEM along with new campaigns or press releases, contact our team directly at: info@bdpatoday.org – or – press@bdpadc.org.

₵ode on¢e. $ell Many!  bdpatoday.com

Select here for bdpatoday Archives

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Key words: #5G #Ai #AirForce #AFRL #Army #BDPA #bdpatoday #BigTech #Bitcoin #COBOL #cryptocurrency #cyber #DigitalDivide #diversity #DOD #DOJ #Gigafactory #hackers #HBCU #HPC #HSCC #Huntsville #ICT #innovation #MarineCorps #Navy #Nasdaq #SBIR #SEC #Section230 #SMDC #SpaceForce #STEM #STTR #supercomputer #tech #technology #USASMDC #WallStreet

GM executive Telva McGruder promoted as automotive giant’s tech-inclusion missions rapidly evolve

Register today for this year's digital experience! BDPA2020 | bdpa2020.com

DETROIT, MI (BDPA Detroit) ― General Motors Company (GM), welcomes Telva McGruder as their new Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. In a recent statement, the global automotive corporation looks forward to Telva’s leadership as she expands on their current Diversity team’s efforts to bring GM closer to their aspiration of being the most inclusive company in the world.

Telva recently served as GM’s Director of Workplace Engineering and Operations Solutions in the Sustainable Workplaces organization at General Motors. Named to her last position in August of 2016, Telva supported the global footprint as she leads facility engineering, technologies, energy strategy and multiple facility management strategies. Her team designs and implements sustainable technical solutions, ensuring environments for successful enterprise operations. Her team also focused on comprehensive facility management operations through key business partnerships. Global process leadership in the areas of facility maintenance, energy procurement, contract management and material handling ensure coordination across the operating regions.

telva-mcgruder_gm_headPreviously, Telva was Tool and Die Commodity Engineering Manager in Global Body Manufacturing Engineering. In this role, she led the engineers responsible for closure panel engineering and launch deliverables on all North American vehicle programs.  Prior to that assignment, Telva was the Engineering Group Manager of Die Center Program Management, where she led the team responsible for tool and die strategy, planning, quality and launch for global vehicle programs.

Telva earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and began her career as a Test Operations Engineer for Sverdrup Technology, working at the NASA Lewis (Glenn) Research Center in Cleveland, OH.  She moved on to start her career with General Motors as a manufacturing engineer in 1994 while completing her Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University.  Since then, she has held positions of increasing responsibility and influence within manufacturing and manufacturing engineering, including manufacturing maintenance, operations and project management for major Press Center projects. Her career path has led her through Ohio, Indiana, Ontario, and she is now making contributions in Michigan.

GM Orion Assembly - Bolt EV and Sonic

Telva contributes to development of the talent pipeline for General Motors. She is the president of the General Motors African Ancestry Network (GMAAN) and also serves as the GM executive liaison for the Women of Color STEM Conference and the BEYA STEM Conference, which GM proudly sponsors.  With her focus on personal and professional growth, Telva is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Advocacy and Resource Development for the Oakland University School of Health Sciences. She also serves as a dedicated member of the Advisory Board for the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability.

Along with her professional accomplishments, Telva is dedicated to teaching and leading others inside and outside of General Motors. She enjoys mentoring professionals as well as motivating young students to pursue STEM fields and leadership opportunities. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan and committed to building girls of courage, confidence and character. Among her volunteer activities, Telva has served as a mentor for FIRST FRC high school robotics teams and is a volunteer for A World in Motion, an SAE program.

Telva enjoys wonderful life experiences with her husband, son and two daughters.  Telva is a positive, driven individual with a keen sense of what is important.  She looks forward to continued opportunities to contribute in both local and professional communities.

Source and photo credits:
GM  (Assemble line Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)

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Register here, today! Discover more about this year’s $97 million Air Force technology transfer programs for small businesses and research institutions.  Powered by BDPA during vBDPA2020, learn step-by-step approaches to capture start-up funding and defense contracts with HBCUs and start-ups.

Small Businesses and HBCUs, select here to register.

HSCC Season Opens with HBCU Festival and Auto Show

Discover new cyber and technical careers in Air and Space.

WASHINGTON—This week, Industry welcomed the ‘Class of 2024’ to a new decade of unlimited opportunities to explore technical and innovative careers. The National Capital Region hosted the 18th annual HBCU Festival, The Washington Auto Show®, and the annual High School Coding Competition (HSCC) season opener.

hscc19-team_commentsThe HSCC kick-off was powered by America’s 2019 National Coding Champions, BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPAdc.org). Their journey to BDPACon20 in Atlanta is underway, as a new decade brings with it increased regional participation welcoming JROTC units, HSCC teams from Baltimore, the District, Northern Virginia, and Central Maryland, and new collegiate chapters.

hbcufest_asbc2020aIndustry’s Historically Black College and University (HBCU) pipelines continue to grow with inclusive programs, impact investments, and support for annual HBCU Festivals. The Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation (ASBC) hosted their 18th Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities College Festival at the Gaylord National Resort Convention Center this Saturday where scholarships and acceptance letters were awarded on site during the festival!

The annual Festival is dedicated to connecting high school students and parents to HBCUs, while helping more students enter college to ensure HBCUs meet enrollment goals.  Since 2003, the Festival has connected more than 35,000 students and parents to academic institutions. Many students are first-generation college students, and in some cases, institutions participating in the Festival are the only available choices for these budding scholars.

ASBC HBCU Festival 2020

The Washington Auto Show®, a world class event, continues to wow audiences this week with its cutting-edge exhibits, latest model cars and displays of historic vehicles. Opening January 24 this year, the Auto Show will continue to emphasize and showcase the latest innovations in sustainable automotive technologies. As the largest show in Washington, D.C., their “Public Policy Show” features special events and announcements for officials in government, industry and the media.

IMG_7636

Students and BDPA Student Members interested in automotive careers, modeling and simulation, gamification (gaming), and next generation infrastructure opportunities are invited to participate in this year’s Earth Day Tech Summit next April co-hosted by National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPAdc.org).

Source and photos BDPAdc

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BDPA2020 | Select here to pre-register for BDPACon20

 

How to Introduce New Technologies, Products, Services, and New Innovations to the U.S. Government

COLLEGE PARK, GA — The government welcomes industry and small businesses to respond under their SBIR and STTR programs, or an Unsolicited Proposal in unique ways to introduce a specific technology, a service, a product or a new innovation to the U.S. Government.

Scenario:
One has a technology, service, product or new innovation that needs to be introduced to the government but the government is not aware of this technology, these services, products or new innovations. How are technology, services, products or new innovations introduced to the government? First one needs to consider doing research and identifying issues and challenges agencies have to determine if what is offered as a solution supports some of their issues and concerns. Many times the government will release information concerning some of their issues and problems.

SBIR:
The Small Business Innovation Research program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

STTR:
bdpaxl-bizw.jpgSmall Business Technology Transfer is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR”s most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

Unsolicited Proposal:
What Constitutes an Unsolicited Proposal? It is defined in FAR 2.101, as a written proposal for a new or innovative idea that is submitted to an agency on the initiative of the offering company (your firm) for the purpose of obtaining a contract with the government, and that is not in response to an RFP, broad agency announcement, or any other government-initiated solicitation or program, For an unsolicited proposal to comply with FAR 15.603(c), it must be:

  • Innovative and unique
  • Independently originated and developed by the offering company
  • Prepared without government supervision, endorsement, direction or direct government involvement
  • Detailed enough to show that government support could be worthwhile, and that the proposed work could benefit the agency’s research and development (or other mission responsibilities)
  • Not an advance government proposal for a contract the public already knows the agency will need that could be acquired by competitive methods

If interested in reviewing government agencies that provide specific instructions on how to submit an Unsolicited Proposal to their agency, review Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Unsolicited Proposal website posted here: https://www.dhs.gov/unsolicited-proposals 

by Dannie James
JE Group, LLC

 

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Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband becomes world’s first commercial 5G network to work with 5G smartphones

NEW YORK – Verizon officially turned on its 5G Ultra Wideband network in select areas of Minneapolis and Chicago a week ahead of schedule. For the first time ever, customers can access a commercial 5G network with the world’s first commercially available 5G-enabled smartphone, the moto z3 combined with 5G moto mod. Customers using Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network in Chicago or Minneapolis could see speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

“Verizon customers will be the first in the world to have the power of 5G in their hands,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon’s chairman and chief executive officer. “This is the latest in our string of 5G firsts. Verizon launched the first commercial broadband 5G service last October, Verizon 5G Home, and now we’re lighting up our 5G Ultra Wideband network in Chicago and Minneapolis, providing the world’s first commercial 5G mobile service with a 5G-enabled smartphone.”

Starting today, consumers and businesses have a 5G network and a 5G-enabled smartphone that makes real-time a reality. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband technology uses the global standard and new device hardware to deliver advanced capabilities to customers in real-time. While select areas of Chicago and Minneapolis will be the first to experience Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband mobility service, Verizon announced plans in February to launch its 5G service in more than 30 U.S. cities in 2019.

verizon_5g-ultra-widband-logo

Service and coverage areas

Early customers in Chicago and Minneapolis should expect typical download speeds of 450 Mbps, with peak speeds of nearly 1 Gbps, and latency less than 30 milliseconds. 5G is a new and rapidly evolving technology and Verizon expects regular improvement in 5G Ultra Wideband speed, latency and overall network performance as Verizon engineers, working with a number of technology partners, continue to upgrade the network. Customers can expect to see regular software updates pushed to their devices and see network advancements throughout the rest of the year.

BDPA Chicago

In Chicago, 5G coverage is concentrated in areas of the West Loop and the South Loop, around landmarks like Union Station, Willis Tower, The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park and The Chicago Theatre. Customers also have 5G Ultra Wideband service in the Verizon store on The Magnificent Mile and throughout The Gold Coast, Old Town and River North.

BDPA Twin Cities

In Minneapolis, service is concentrated in the Downtown area, including Downtown West and Downtown East, as well as inside and around U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of this weekend’s NCAA men’s basketball Final Four. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service is also available around landmarks like the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Minneapolis Central Library, the Mill City Museum, Target Center and First Avenue venues, The Commons, areas of Elliot Park and in the Verizon store in The Mall of America.

When customers move outside Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband coverage area, the 5G moto mod hands off the signal to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the nation’s best and most reliable 4G LTE network.

— Source and photo credits: Verizon
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GLF19

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