June 7, 2019
Capitol Update

In this issue:


As the U.S. looks to lead the way in the advancement of 5G technology, supported by the recent introduction of the 5G Leadership Act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently announced the release of two new reports to help inform the National Spectrum Strategy, and maintain U.S. leadership in the wireless technology space.

OSTP notes that U.S. telecommunications operators intend to invest $275 billion to deploy 5G networks. This supports the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to host the largest spectrum auction in U.S. history, which will begin in December. ASME first reported on this auction, which falls under the FCC’s 5G FAST Plan here: https://www.asme.org/about-asme/advocacy-government-relations/policy-publications/capitol-update/april-26-2019-capitol-update#4

The two new reports “Research and Development Priorities for American Leadership in Wireless Communications,” and “Emerging Technologies and their Expected Impact on Non-Federal Spectrum Demand” were released in response to presidential memorandum President Trump released last year that calls on the Commerce Secretary to create a long-term spectrum plan in support of national security. In his memorandum, Trump noted that “America’s national security depends on technological excellence and the United States Government must continue to have access to the spectrum resources needed to serve the national interest, from protecting the homeland and managing the national airspace, to forecasting severe weather and exploring the frontiers of space.”

Among the findings in both reports, they provide a set of three priorities to help shape U.S. 5G and wireless telecommunications policy moving forward:

  • Pursue spectrum flexibility and agility to use multiple bands and new waveforms.
  • Improve near real-time spectrum awareness.
  • Increase spectrum efficiency and effectiveness through secure autonomous spectrum decision making.

To view President Trump’s 2018 Presidential Memorandum, visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-memorandum-developing-sustainable-spectrum-strategy-americas-future/

To view the report “Research and Development Priorities for American Leadership in Wireless Communications,” visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Research-and-Development-Priorities-for-American-Leadership-in-Wireless-Communications-Report-May-2019.pdf

To view the report “Emerging Technologies and their Expected Impact on Non-Federal Spectrum Demand,” visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Emerging-Technologies-and-Impact-on-Non-Federal-Spectrum-Demand-Report-May-2019.pdf


The National Science Foundation (NSF), in conjunction with the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) recently released a request for information (RFI) seeking to gain a better understanding of quantum information science (QIS). The goal of this RFI is to provide the NSTC with a better understanding of QIS, which will aid in the creation of stronger QIS policy recommendations.
This main questions the RFI seeks to address are:

  1. What specific actions could the U.S. Government take that would contribute best to implementing the policy recommendations in the Strategic Overview? What challenges, not listed in section 3, should also be taken into account in implementation of the Strategic Overview recommendations?
  2. What are the scientific and technological challenges that, with substantial resources and focus over the next ten years, will transform the QIS research and development landscape?
  3. Regarding industrial engagement, what roles can the U.S. Government play in enabling the innovation ecosystem around QIS-related technologies? Are there critical barriers for industrial innovation in this space? How can these barriers be addressed? What role can the U.S. Government play in mitigating early or premature investment risks?
  4. How can the U.S. Government engage with academia and other workforce development programs and stakeholders to appropriately train and maintain researchers in QIS while expanding the size and scope of the `quantum-smart' workforce?
  5. What existing infrastructure should be leveraged, and what new infrastructure could be considered, to foster future breakthroughs in QIS research and development?
  6. What other activities/partnerships could the4 U.S. Government use to engage with stakeholders to ensure America's prosperity and economic growth through QIS research and development?
  7. How can the United States continue to attract and retain the best domestic and international talent and expertise in QIS?
  8. How can the United States ensure that U.S. researchers in QIS have access to cutting-edge international technologies, research facilities, and knowledge?

This RFI was previously announced following the release of the NSTC’s Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science’s “National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science” in 2018. The Strategic Overview directed federal agencies to address six key policy areas that would allow the U.S. to maintain global leadership in QIS. This request is being revisited with this new RFI.

All comments in response to the RFI are due by 11:59pm on July 29.

For further information on this RFI, and to submit a comment, visit:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/05/30/2019-11317/request-for-information-on-national-strategic-overview-for-quantum-information-science


The Department of Energy (DOE) recently introduced its new INFUSE program, the Innovation Network for Fusion Energy, to foster stronger relationship between the private and public sectors in fusion energy development. INFUSE is sponsored by DOE’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, under the DOE Office of Science, and is primarily concerned with accelerating fusion energy development through public-private research partnerships such as industry and the national laboratory network.

As a long-standing leader in fusion science research, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will manage the INFUSE program in conjunction with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Specific goals of the program include addressing enabling technologies, such as new and improved magnets; materials science, including engineered materials, testing and qualification; plasma diagnostic development; modeling and simulation; and magnetic fusion experimental capabilities.

“I am excited about the potential of INFUSE and believe this step will instill a new vitality to the entire fusion community,” ORNL fusion engineer and INFUSE program director Dennis Youchison said. “With growing interest in developing cost-effective sources of fusion energy, INFUSE will help focus current research. Multiple private companies in the United States are pursuing fusion energy systems, and we want to contribute scientific solutions that help make fusion a reality.”

INFUSE is currently accepting project proposals with awards ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. All proposal submissions are due June 30, with award notifications expected to be announced August 10.

For further information and to submit a proposal, visit: https://infuse.ornl.gov/


As part of a growing trend among higher education institutions focused on artificial intelligence (AI), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently announced a new partnership with the U.S. Air Force to make “fundamental advancements” in AI technology and address broader societal needs.

“MIT is a leading institution for AI research, education and application, making this a huge opportunity for the Air Force as we deepen and expand our scientific and technical enterprise," Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said. "Drawing from one of the best of American research universities is vital."

The program, known as the MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator, will build on the combined resources and expertise of both MIT and the Air Force to carry out research aimed at enabling rapid prototyping, scaling, and application of AI algorithms and systems. The program will also explores ways to use AI to greater benefit society, including through aspects of planning, control, and other complex tasks. The Air Force also announced that it plans to invest roughly $15 million per year into the program.

“This collaboration is very much in line with MIT’s core value of service to the nation,” says Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research and the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics. “MIT researchers who choose to participate will bring state-of-the-art expertise in AI to advance Air Force mission areas and help train Air Force personnel in applications of AI.”


The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking advice on how to prevent civilian casualties when it and its allies conduct airstrikes.

“It is the policy of the executive branch to facilitate ally and partner efforts, through United States sales and security cooperation efforts, to reduce the risk of national or coalition operations causing civilian harm” a recently released request for information (RFI) noted.

DOD is looking for technical advice on tools and methodologies to assist with the following:

  • Improve foreign countries' capacity to effectively employ strike capabilities in a manner that distinguishes between military objectives and civilians.
  • Develop and integrate principles and techniques on the protection of civilians in relevant partner force standard operating procedures, encouraging and enabling a partner to avoid civilian casualties in the context of military operations.
  • Build partner capacity to collect, track, and analyze civilian casualty data and apply lessons learned to future operations.
  • Support enhanced investigatory and accountability standards in partner forces in order to ensure that such forces comply with the laws of armed conflict and observe appropriate standards for human rights and protection of civilians.
  • Increase partner transparency, which may include the establishment of capabilities within partner militaries to improve communication with the public.

Those interested in responding must submit a capabilities statement by 1pm on June 14. The procurement office will hold 45-minute in-person briefings on June 18 and 19.

For further information and to submit a response, click here: https://www.fbo.gov/index.php?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=621f7cbfc04f114954b3b0526ce096ae&tab=core&_cview=0


The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) recently released a new report that provides a roadmap for translational research on artificial intelligence (AI) in medical imaging. The report was published in the May 28 edition of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, and is the second in a series that details the results of a workshop held last year in conjunction with the Radiologic American College of Radiology (ACR), Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research (The Academy).

The first report in the series, released earlier this year, provided a roadmap for the advancement of foundational research in AI. This second report is more concerned with how to bolster the translational research necessary to deliver AI to clinical practice. One of the primary goals of this new report is to foster a symbiotic relationship between industry, government, and professional societies that will encourage cross-collaboration and further the development of both foundational and translational research.

The report notes four key priorities to achieve this goal:

  • Structured AI use cases. In software development, use cases define who will use a system and for what specific goal. AI use cases should define and highlight clinical challenges potentially solvable by AI.
  • Data sharing. Researchers should establish methods to encourage data sharing for training and testing AI algorithms to promote generalizability to widespread clinical practice and minimize unintended bias.
  • Tools for validation and performance monitoring of AI algorithms to facilitate regulatory approval.
  • Standards and common data elements for seamless integration of AI tools into existing clinical workflows.

“Radiology has transformed the practice of medicine in the past century, and AI has the potential to radically impact radiology in positive ways,” said Krishna Kandarpa, M.D., Ph.D., co-author of the report and director of research sciences and strategic directions at NIBIB. “This roadmap is a timely survey and analysis by experts at federal agencies and among our industry and professional societies that will help us take the best advantage of AI technologies as they impact the medical imaging field.”

To view the report in full, click here: https://www.jacr.org/article/S1546-1440(19)30458-2/fulltext

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