GSA and OMB Pick Winners For Government Research Challenge


The U.S. General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget have announced the winners of the the Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center challenge. The challenges was created by both agencies to create public-private partnership to improve mission delivery, citizen services, and stewardship of public resources.

Winners of the challenge were given $300,000 each to advance their ideas. Five honorable mentions were also selected.

Each of the winners presented ideas for how they would tackle one of the issues in the President’s 2019 Management Agenda. The Management Agenda is a long-term plan for modernization of the federal government. The goal is to test the feasibility of the model before further investment and will inform how the GEAR Center could work to deliver these solutions.

The three winners focused on how to use data effectively and plan for cyber risks.

George Mason University, Mercyhurst University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, Drexel University, SAP, Specialisterne, DXC Dandelion Program, and the MITRE Corporation partnered on a plan that would help with cybersecurity workforce collaboration. The idea creates a Federal Neurodiversity Cyber Workforce program and then pilot this with a U.S. federal agency. The pilot will focus on training a participating federal agency to identify, hire, onboard, train, support, and retain neurodiverse individuals for cyber positions.

SkillSource Group and Third Sector Capital Partners, teamed up on a plan to pilot an approach to integrate government data. The team will leverage multiple administrative data sources to measure the impact of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) services for Virginia Opportunity Youth with past involvement with the child welfare and/or criminal justice systems.

Johns Hopkins University Centers for Civic Impact, the Volcker Alliance’s Government-to-University Initiative, and the Mid-America Regional Council partnered on a plan that will help 250 federal practitioners in Kansas City by customizing an existing training curriculum and developing recommendations on how to replicate and scale it in other regions. The work focuses on how to leverage government data more effectively across agencies and offices.

The honorable mention group plans included ideas for creating pop-up data marketplaces, reskilling individuals for high-need jobs, improving the security of the government credentialing process, improving grants management and making better use of real-time data.