Written bySamantha Ehlinger
The National Technical Information Service has selected 35 new joint venture partners, the Commerce Department agency announced Wednesday.
The announcement is part of the agency’s recent pivot to refocusing on data. The agency also recently brought on a new leader — former Census Bureau CTO Avi Bender.
The newly selected partners include large government contractors — such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Amazon Web Services — smaller companies, nonprofits and research groups, according to the announcement.
“These joint ventures mark a major milestone for the data economy,” Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said in a statement. “I am confident the partnerships between NTIS and each selected organization will unlock new federal data that will leverage advances in data science, promote software development and accelerate innovation.”
Once partners sign agreements, the announcement says, they “will be eligible to compete to work with NTIS on groundbreaking data projects conducted for and funded by federal agencies.”
When an agency requests a data service that could use NTIS’ joint venture authority, interested partners will compete for the contract.
“We want to accelerate the data innovation process by quickly connecting private sector experts with agencies striving to create smart cities, deliver critical public services, enhance operational excellence or improve accessibility and interoperability among national data sets,” Bender said in the announcement.
“We expect the new data science platforms, tools and apps created through these partnerships to help agencies save time and money through innovative, effective ways to manage data in carrying out their mission and operations,” Bender added. “By working on challenging data problems, NTIS JVPs will be in a position to leverage spin-off benefits through improvements to their data products and services.”
An official for Esri, one of the newly announced partners, said in a statement the company was honored to be selected.
“We are merely at the beginning of the potential that open data offers for the Federal government,” Andrew Turner, director and CTO of Esri’s Research and Development Center in Washington, said in a statement to FedScoop. “Using geospatial technology to unlock both big data and open data and make it actionable is exciting and lets us continue to support and grow the power of place, information sharing, decision support, multi-platform enablement, analytics and location data management throughout government data, system, people, and processes.”
Another company selected to be a joint venture partner, Excella, has already worked with NTIS to help them build and launch myUSCIS for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“As the volume of available information continues to expand in the era of big data, it is essential to move beyond the traditional delivery model for data and analytics solutions,” Dave Neumann, Partner and head of Excella’s federal practice, said in a statement. “Our team has the experience and insight needed to help agencies innovate.”
Socrata was also selected as a partner.
Its CEO Kevin Merritt told FedScoop “this is a significant milestone not only for our work within the federal government, but also with state and local governments, enabling all levels of government unprecedented ability to transform data into insights that will directly improve operational efficiency and program outcomes.”
“Under this joint venture partnership, Socrata will continue to serve federal government agencies in their effort to bi-directionally collect and aggregate data from state and local government agencies and vice-versa, as well as from third party non-governmental organizations,” Merritt said.