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Members of CompTIA Public Sector and Advocacy (PSA) gathered to share their latest technologies with members of Congress and Hill Staffers at Tech Demo Day on Capitol Hill.
It was a great opportunity for our members to not only demonstrate how these technologies work, but how technology can solve some of the most crucial problems facing the nation today – including providing access to rural broadband through 5G and improving the delivery of government services through IBM Watson.
The event was co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Co-Chair of the Smart Cities Caucus, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Co-Chair of the 5G Caucus, and the Congressional Technology Staff Association.
Participating companies included CompTIA members Adobe, Axon, IBM, ChargePoint, Intelligent Designs, Qualcomm, xFact and Infineon.
All companies showed nearly 100 invited guests from Capitol Hill a collection of emerging technologies – from virtual reality goggles used to train law enforcement officers to the latest in mobile health solutions.
In the afternoon, leaders from CompTIA member companies -- including IBM Watson Health, Qualcomm, and Intel – took part in an important discussion on how we can ensure technology enables economic prosperity in communities throughout the U.S.
Here are a few highlights from the Demo Day:
There’s High Demand for a Skilled Workforce: The panelists stressed that in order to unlock the full economic potential of emerging technologies like 5G and AI, our workforce must be equipped with the skills to deploy, maintain and further contribute to their buildout. But doing so is challenging and requires a change in how we think about educating and training our workforce.
For private companies, the need for innovative programs that can produce skilled wireless communication engineers and data scientists, to name a few, is dire.
Private companies are already thinking about how we can avoid a shortage in workers and adequately prepare the workforce of the future: Lisa Malloy, Head of US Government Affairs at Intel Corporation mentioned Intel’s development of an AI degree in Australia while Amy Wykoff, Director of Offering Management at IBM Watson Health, mentioned incentivizing colleges and universities to create programs that match the skills needed in the private sector.
Government Needs to Harness its Data: Amy Wykoff encouraged government agencies to leverage the incredible data they have access to, to solve problems within the government. As Amy noted, government can make more informed decisions if it analyzes and incorporates the information it already has into how it approaches issues like health care reform – this saves time, money and resources. Cross-collaboration through OPEN Government Data Act will require government agencies to share the information necessary to break down these silos, Wykoff elaborates.
5G will be HUGE: Currently, the tech industry is a major force behind the U.S. economic output, contributing $1.6 trillion in 2018. As Becky Fraser, Director of Global Government Affairs at Qualcomm pointed out, “5G itself will contribute $719 billion in gross output and supply around 3.4 million jobs in the U.S., according to an IHS Market report.”
Although 5G is just one of the many emerging technologies that will present incredible opportunity for the U.S. it was top of mind for the panelists and the audience. An audience member even asked whether there’s a “5G arms race.” “Just like with 4G, there’s a race to 5G,” Lisa Malloy, Head of US Government Affairs for Intel Corporation, explained. But she also recognized the key role policymakers will play on whether the U.S. or China wins this race. Things like adequate spectrum and open standards will play a large role in whether the U.S. succeeds.