Energy Savings Performance Contracts are a good way for Federal agencies to reduce their data centers’ energy footprint, according to Timothy Unruh, director of the Federal Energy Management Program for the Department of Energy.






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The White House announced the creation of 29 tools Thursday that use Federal and local data to address problems identified by Federal agencies as part of the Opportunity Project, an open data effort to improve economic mobility for all Americans.






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Strategic plans and scorecards are essential to effectively budgeting their cybersecurity needs, agency officials said. Michael Johnson, CIO of the Department of Energy, said the agency uses the DOE Cyber Strategy for information sharing and safeguarding, using multifactor authentication, and focusing on research and development.






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The Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenge for Future Computing asks participants to create a computer that can learn from data and remember information while using the same amount of energy as a human brain. The challenge is a collaboration among several agencies including the National Institute of Science and Technology, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and members of the Intelligence Community.






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The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released its National Strategic Computing Initiative Strategic Plan, which outlines its effort to improve high-performance computing.






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The Department of Energy is investing $19 million to improve the efficiency of the nation’s buildings. This investment will aim to develop advanced building technologies that will help Americans save money on utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs.






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One of the major problems facing the cybersecurity of the nation’s critical infrastructure is a lack of personnel, according to witnesses at both the House Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Both committees held hearings on the security of critical infrastructure in the U.S.






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The Department of Energy announced on its website that it would supply its Technology Commercialization Fund with $16 million to bolster 54 projects across 12 national laboratories that aim to move energy technology from DOE’s National Laboratories to the marketplace.






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The U.S. Energy Information Administration created a free software tool in which users can import data from the agency’s application programming interface into their own Google Sheets.






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An initiative is underway at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory aiming to prevent hackers from gaining control of parts of the nation’s power grid, or Industrial Control System. As the grid gets smarter, threats increase, including damage to electrical equipment, local power outages, operational halts to production, and more.






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The key to digital success and development in all levels of government is a strong and dedicated team of leaders, according to Deloitte’s director of government innovation William D. Eggers. “It really does rely on different levels of leadership,” Eggers said in an interview with MeriTalk. “Where you don’t have that leadership, it becomes much more difficult.”






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The Department of Energy has started a podcast called “Direct Current”–telling stories of how the DOE generates and uses electricity, and what that means for the planet. The first episode discusses solar panels and the associated costs.






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The sun could pose the largest digital security risk to U.S. critical infrastructure, according to witnesses at a House Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee. “All critical infrastructure sectors are at risk from EMP [electromagnetic pulse],” said Brandon Wales at DHS.






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