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Benchmarking Data Analytics, AI and Operations Research Skills to World-Class Standards and Customizing Source-Agnostic Learning Paths

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-22-P-0926
Agency Tracking Number: F2D-4623
Amount: $1,248,935.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF221-DCSO1
Solicitation Number: X22.1
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-05-05
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-02-05
Small Business Information
195 Page Mill Road, Suite 115
Palo Alto, CA 94306-2073
United States
DUNS: 117839810
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jack Donahue
 (973) 978-9245
 jack@workera.ai
Business Contact
 James Lee
Phone: (415) 518-3075
Email: james@workera.ai
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

America’s technological advantage is eroding. USAF Gen Paul J. Selva, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned that the Chinese military could reach technological parity with the United States in the early 2020s and outpace the Pentagon in the 2030s, if the U.S. military doesn’t respond to the challenge. And the DoD is woefully outpaced in hiring the kinds of career and technical education (CTE) and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that America needs in order to compete with Beijing. In drafting the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, the House Appropriations Committee noted that they are “concerned that Department of Defense recruiting and retention programs are not as effective as they could be to employ personnel for the challenging types of vacancies the department and the services have.” To help address the shortcoming, the 2022 NDAA includes a provision that requires the DoD to establish a Defense CTE and STEM Education and Workforce Pipeline Strategy. In order to maintain our technological advantage, America must speed up the pace of innovation and ensure that our workforce is ready for the transformational skills of the 21st century: artificial intelligence, big data, quantum computing, and robust analytics. But America needs more than just experts in these fields, it needs the operational skills to synthesize and frame problems in combination with the robust background of data fluency and technological know-how. The 2020 DoD Data Strategy outlines an urgent need to update the talent and culture of the DoD to ensure that the “workforce (Service Members, Civilians, and Contractors at every echelon) will be increasingly empowered to work with data, make data-informed decisions, create evidence-based policies, and implement effectual processes.” This is where Workera.ai helps solve the next big challenge in technical, data and AI training for the Air Force: delivery of far-reaching, highly effective, time-efficient training in data and AI skills. Workera.ai is an objective skills assessment and guidance platform that can assess an individual’s mastery in hundreds of micro-skills needed for jobs in AI and data analytics. Workera.ai’s algorithms then provide an incredibly detailed list of open-source educational resources for a learner to fill in the individual gaps they may have, providing a highly efficient pathway for users to review only the skills they need without repeating coursework they already know. For this Phase II project, Workera.ai will expand its platform, which already includes learning domains across data analysis and AI topics, to create new domains for SAF/SAA (Analysis Community Development and Support Directorate) in Applied Statistics, Decision Analysis, Simulation, Optimization, Probabilistic Methods, Cost Analysis, and Wargaming.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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