Intel Community Asks Industry for Help Sorting Signal From Noise

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence will ramp up its outreach to technology providers as part of its Intelligence, Science, and Technology Partnership, or In-Step, according to a May 22 request for information.

ODNI, an entity established after the Sept. 11 terror attacks to oversee the federal government’s sprawling intelligence apparatus, will invite companies and academic institutions to showcase their state-of-the-art technologies in a series of one-on-one meetings held this summer in Washington and virtually.

The In-Step program’s “wish list” includes technologies ranging from artificial intelligence and data analytics, to cybersecurity and identity management, to smart sensors and space-based technologies. Special attention will be given to technologies that advance one or more of ODNI’s six strategic priorities:

  • Augmenting Intelligence Using Machines – Using artificial intelligence, automation, and augmentation to enhance the capabilities of human analysts to deliver greater insight and speed.
  • Right, Trusted, Agile Workforce – Building a trusted workforce that’s capable of transitioning quickly between the IC and the private sector.
  • Acquisition Agility – Accelerating delivery of innovative capabilities and data through flexible procurement approaches.
  • Modern Data Management and Infrastructure – Making IC data more discoverable and accessible through secure, modernized IT infrastructure.
  • Private Sector Partnerships – Leveraging the collective capabilities, data, and insights of private companies and academia.
  • Comprehensive Cyber Posture – Securing the U.S. against cybersecurity threats and strategic surprise.

Countering Data Threat

In the 2019 National Intelligence Strategy, ODNI warned that advances in technologies, such as artificial intelligence and encrypted communications, have led to the “democratization” of advanced capabilities previously available only to nation-states. The “increasingly, complex, interconnected, and transnational nature” of the threat environment “underscores the importance of continuing and advancing IC outreach and cooperation with international partners and allies,” the report states.

Moreover, in the age of ubiquitous data generated by billions of smart devices and shared over the Internet, the IC’s main challenge has shifted from collecting data to distilling relevant information from the billions of gigabytes of data created every day.

“Our collection of data has improved so much over the years that we continue to be challenged in a very critical area,” said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats at an event hosted by Purdue University on May 14. “We’re running the risk of just simply being buried under all of it,” he said.

To match a growing portfolio of mission objectives, the intelligence community’s budget request for fiscal 2020 is $85.8 billion, a 6% increase above the $81.1 billion requested for fiscal 2019. Of that, $62.8 billion is for the National Intelligence Program (NIP), which includes funding for the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, while the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), which funds Pentagon agencies such as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, accounts for another $23 billion. In fiscal 2018, Congress enacted $81.5 billion after a $78.4 billion budget request.

Organizations interested in participating in In-Step are invited to submit a form outlining their capabilities and submit it no later than July 26. Presenters will not be required to hold a security clearance to participate in the demonstrations, and may request that government attendees sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before viewing proprietary information.

Chris Cornillie is a federal market analyst with Bloomberg Government.

To contact the analyst on this story: Chris Cornillie in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Snyder at; Jodie Morris at