The White House welcomed 43 innovators into federal service today, as a new round of Presidential Innovation Fellows was tapped for duty.
PIF are drawn from private sector and academia to work alongside government during six- to 11-month tours of duty, developing innovative solutions to the most pressing federal problems. Created in 2012 to undertake five inaugural projects, the program seeks to make government better for citizens.
The inaugural class of 18 participants worked in teams on five projects: MyUSA, RFP-EZ, Blue Button, Better Than Cash and Open Data Initiatives. The newly welcomed 43 individuals will pick up where the first group left off.
As a testament to the success of the PIF program, the first group of fellows engineered RFP-EZ, a platform that simplifies government contracting and encourages small-business participation in the request for proposals process. RFP-EZ has already drawn in a multitude of small businesses, saving taxpayer dollars and supporting federal innovation.
For this year’s group of fellows, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget partnered with the General Services Administration to allow PIF projects and solutions to more readily spread throughout government.
Some of the new PIF will further their predecessors’ work, taking up projects such as Blue Button, which gives veterans and the public safe electronic access their personal health records; Open Data, which makes available important government data to the public; MyUSA, a solution that simplifies the Web interface citizens use to attain government data; and RFP-EZ.
The remaining PIF will work on new efforts, including tech tools to support disaster relief and recovery efforts; the creation of an innovation toolkit; and development of solutions to help government employ more cost-effective financial accounting systems.
For Cyber-Physical Systems — another new project — PIF will work with government and private sector to create standards for a new generation of interoperable, efficient smart systems, that combine distributed sensing, control and data analytics to grow the economy and new, high-value U.S. jobs.
“Presidential Innovation Fellows put aside their jobs and day-to-day home lives to offer their skills and expertise in collaboration with federal agency teammates to create huge value for the American public,” Jennifer Pahlka, deputy U.S. chief technology officer for government innovation, and Dan Tangherlini, acting administrator of the General Services Administration, wrote in a blog post announcing the new class.