Written from the perspective of AIS Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Rian Quinn
In September 2019, we launched our plan to reinvigorate the AIS Research Program. The vision for this initiative was to provide a foundation of intellectual property, talent, partnerships and community to support our company’s strong commitment towards our people, our customers and innovation. Since beginning this process, we’ve hit multiple milestones and have further developed our goals in accordance to our five-year plan.
I want to ensure we’re taking a well-rounded approach to advancing our Research Program. The goals we’ve set in place all pertain to areas we believe AIS could improve upon and thus should be our focus under this effort. There are many things AIS does extremely well, but we are eager to improve and expand on areas within our Research Program.
GOAL: Increase Funded Research
A major aspect of growing our program will involve increased research contracts with the U.S. government with respect to basic research, applied research and advanced technology development, DARPA, IARPA and other federal sponsors. We’ve established a plan to increase our direct revenue of in-house cyber research with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and have identified points of contacts within AFRL we believe we should be partnering with. Over the next several months, we will be working to better understand their areas of research and how AIS can best help them achieve their mission.
GOAL: Expand our Internal Research and Development (IRaD) and Open Source Programs
We’ve seen a tremendous increase in participation regarding our IRaD Program. We’ve largely completed all tasks necessary to organize and structure the program so that there is transparency, strategy, alignment with our customers and a clear return on investment behind each submission. Now, our focus will be building more strategic plans for IRaDs and increasing our program budget based on direct revenue to support these newly developed strategies. Currently, we have developed strategies for virtualization, artificial intelligence and machine learning, quantum, compliance and reverse engineering. Moving forward into next year, we plan to develop additional strategies for both our AST and SAE Teams.
With respect to open source, over the last several months, we’ve archived open source projects no longer active, started new ones and created a more organized program. Our goal is to ensure that we’re advertising all active open source projects in multiple places to support recruitment, community engagement and potential partnerships. We’ve added very specific metrics to track the success of our projects with one of our goals to increase the total number of stars on Github, a measurement that will tell us how the tech community is engaging with our projects.
GOAL: Grow Our Patent, Paper and Presentation Submissions
Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we have seen a sharp improvement this past year with respect to participation in our patent program. Working with HR, we have improved the bonus reward for patents both filed and awarded, and we have worked closely with a number of groups to further simplify the process, better account for and track costs as well as improve the overall quality of each patent we pursue. Over the next couple of months, we will also be developing official procedures for patents, publications and presentations to further simplify the process and improve transparency.