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FCW : May 30, 2014
One of ONR s small-business part- ners is Milcord, an IT security rm based in Massachusetts that designed the semantic wiki in which MARCIMS data is stored. The Army Geospatial Center helped with coding and geospa- tial layering to round out a partnership that Estabrooke described as the kind "we often strive for but aren t able to do --- of small business, government lab and operational community." 'Relevant to the larger community' Estabrooke s of ce has largely managed to avoid the stark budget cuts seen in other Defense Department programs. ONR s budget has held steady at $2.3 billion for the last two scal years, and its scal 2015 request is $2.2 billion, according to of cials. The of cials who nominated Estabrooke for the Federal 100 award credited her with keeping the money coming and noted that her expertise and perseverance persuaded the Navy and DOD to increase their investment in the Human Social, Cul- tural and Behavioral Sciences programs from $250,000 in scal 2008 to more than $40 million in scal 2013. Estabrooke said her experience indi- cates that dealing with the comptrol- ler s hatchet is less a science than an art of capitalizing on relationships with other agencies and wringing money out of the right places. "As budgets get tighter, there has to be more collaboration across agencies and even across programs within an agency," she said. Downstairs from her office in Arlington, Va., is the Air Force Of ce of Scienti c Research, which funded a study of how beliefs affect decision- making, for which Estabrooke applied her expertise as a neuroscientist. That kind of close interagency rela- tionship kept ONR s Worldwide Inte- grated Crisis Early Warning System alive last year. The program, which offers six-month forecasts of political stability by country and is popular with the departments of State and Defense, was short of money until another agen- cy that Estabrooke declined to name chipped in end-of-year funding. Keeping other agencies apprised of ONR programs they might nd useful and "making sure what you re doing is going to be relevant to the larger com- munity" are among Estabrooke s tips for keeping the scal spigot owing. Her broader goal in developing research programs is to ensure that "anything we develop is going to con- tinue to be available to the government, owned by the government as much as possible and have as small a sustain- ment tail as humanly possible," she said. To that end, the government owns most of the code for MARCIMS and the political forecasting program. ■ "There are trade- offs between sexy, exciting, cutting-edge science and something that's usable and will hold up [in the eld]. Being comfortable with walking that line is an important thing in tech development. " May 30, 2014 FCW.COM 15 -world budgets real life o
May 15, 2014
June 30, 2014