The General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced today their three grand prize winners of the Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center challenge, with each of the winners receiving an award of $300,000.

The challenge, launched in May, aims to create the GEAR Center that will promote innovation in the Federal government in support of the President Trump’s Management Agenda published in 2018. Earlier this year, GSA described the GEAR Center as “a public-private partnership that brings together top talent from diverse fields for applied research to improve mission delivery, citizen services, and stewardship of public resources.”

The three prize winners are:

  • George Mason University, Mercyhurst University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, Drexel University, SAP, Specialisterne, DXC Dandelion Program, and MITRE Corp. for a “Cybersecurity Workforce Collaboration” proposal that aims to create a Federal Neurodiversity Cyber Workforce program, which they will pilot with a Federal agency;
  • Skillsource Group and Third Sector Capital Partners, for a “Data for Impact” proposal that will pilot an approach to integrate currently disparate data on federally-funded workforce, education, and human services programs. Those disparate data sources prevent local, state, and Federal agencies from assessing the impact of their joint service delivery, and the pilot will leverage numerous data sources to measure the impact of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity services for Virginia Opportunity Youth with past involvement in child welfare and criminal justice systems; and
  • Johns Hopkins University Centers for Civic Impact, the Volcker Alliance’s Government-to-University Initiative, and the Mid-America Regional Council, for a “Data and Evidence for Government and Academic Impact” proposal that will create a project to help 250 Federal practitioners in Kansas City by customizing an existing training curriculum and developing recommendations on how to replicate and scale it in other regions.

GSA and OMB said the goal of the projects is to test the feasibility of proposed models before further investment and to inform how the GEAR Center could work to deliver the proposed solutions.

“GEAR Center Challenge submissions are promising examples of how innovative public-private partnerships can transform government mission delivery, service to citizens and stewardship,” OMB Deputy Director Margaret Weichert said in a statement today. “The GEAR Center is already creating incentives for cross-sector collaborations that will better serve the American people,” she added.

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Melissa Harris