NOAA releases new strategies to apply emerging science and technology
NOAA has announced new strategies to dramatically expand the agency’s application of four emerging science and technology focus areas — NOAA Unmanned Systems, Artificial Intelligence, ‘Omics, and the Cloud — to guide transformative advancements in the quality and timeliness of NOAA science, products and services.
Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator, SAID:
“NOAA is a pioneer with a strong track record of applying the latest science and technology and these new strategies will allow us to dramatically expand these applications across our mission areas. These detailed strategies will enable us to achieve our priorities of reclaiming and maintaining global leadership in numerical weather prediction and sustainably expanding the American Blue Economy.”
These draft strategies, open for public comment through December 16, were highlighted at a White House Summit on Partnerships in Ocean Science and Technology, which convened key players from across the ocean science and technology community including representatives of industry, academia, government, philanthropy, and the private sector. The event promoted partnerships in ocean science and technology, showcased American leadership, and engaged the community to explore the unknown ocean, advance marine science, and promote new technologies.
The strategies developed by NOAA to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and coordination of their development and usage across the agency, include:
- Unmanned Systems Strategy. In recognition of the opportunities unmanned systems presents for addressing NOAA's mission priorities, the NOAA Unmanned Systems Strategy provides a framework to efficiently provide requirements-driven, safe, cost-effective, and compliant Unmanned Systems services across the agency; prioritize strategic investments in Unmanned Systems applications and technologies that fuel innovation and strengthen operations, and accelerate and enhance capabilities through partnerships.
- Artificial Intelligence Strategy. The overarching goal of the NOAA Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy is to utilize AI to advance NOAA’s requirements-driven mission priorities. Through this strategy, NOAA seeks to reduce the cost of data processing, and provide higher quality and more timely scientific products and services for societal benefits.
- Omics Strategy. In recognition of the opportunities and challenges presented by the advent of tools associated with ‘omics — a suite of advanced methods used to analyze material such as DNA, RNA, or proteins — the NOAA ‘Omics Strategy provides a framework to advance the application of ‘omics to address mission priorities. The strategy leverages NOAA’s current organizational structure to more effectively implement ‘omics through improvements in computational and analytical capacities, targeted research, technology transition, workforce proficiency, and partnerships across NOAA’s lines, federal agencies, and extramural research and commercial communities.
- Cloud Strategy. NOAA’s robust experience with cloud applications is already beginning to demonstrate significant improvements in performance and skill in areas such as satellite data products and services, numerical weather prediction, ocean models, and big data analysis, storage and dissemination. Cloud services will be further leveraged to expand benefits, such as: accelerated timeline to acquire new computing resources; increased security posture; more accessible and monetizable NOAA data to customers, such as academia and industry; reduced transition time from research to operations; scalable infrastructure that supports scientific and high performance computing requirements; and a more agile and innovative culture.