Innovate! Awarded NITAAC CIO-SP3 8(a) Small Business Group Contract Award

NITAAC & CIO-SP3 LogoInnovate! was awarded the CIO-SP3 contract for Section 8(a) Small Business Group by the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC.) CIO-SP3 is a Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC), offering emerging technology, solutions and services that support the full range of IT services and health IT needs across the federal government agencies. It also gives agencies a mechanism to help meet socio-economic contracting goals, while providing small businesses, like Innovate, with an opportunity to participate in government requirements.

Innovate! competed with many other companies and was selected based on meeting the most rigorous performance standards across a wide range of IT services spanning across ten task areas of specialty. The contract has a performance period from December 24, 2018 and extend through June 26, 2022 with a ceiling of $20 billion.

Federal IT challenges are solved everyday with CIO-SP3 Small Business contracts. Phill Thomas, Innovate!’s Chief Operating Officer states, “We are pleased to be selected as one of the leading small business innovators for the CIO-SP3 contract award. We look forward to offering our extensive IT expertise to the NITAAC agencies we have worked with in the past, as well as other federal, civilian or DoD agencies who seek Best in Class contracts to help with IT challenges that result in increased efficiencies.” Thomas continues, “Having worked with federal government agencies since Innovate! was established 17-years ago, Innovate!’s aim is to continue to help agencies fulfill federal government compelling IT priorities which include data center consolidation, cloud computing, cybersecurity, mobile strategy solutions and others.” Innovate!’s IT-based solutions offer new approaches to today’s more complex IT challenges expanding IT infrastructure, while providing software development to organizations in healthcare.

Innovate has been acknowledged by Esri as a partner in the Release Ready Specialty

ESRI Release Ready Specialty Award ImageWe have been recognized for keeping pace with Esri technology, expertise, and the community by helping users make smart decisions using Web GIS.

Being part of the Release Ready Specialty helps Innovate stand out amongst contractor options and grow our business. It also opens the door to opportunities to engage with new and existing customers.
The Release Ready Specialty designation is the newest provided by Esri to Innovate following attainment of ArcGIS Online, Local Government and Small Business that Innovate currently has. Innovate is an Esri Silver partner and was awarded the 2018 Innovation Partner of the Year award for work done with the US EPA. Most recently Innovate and team member Esri were awarded the IRWIN contract supporting Wildland Fire support to the DOI.

Innovate Awarded DOI Integrated Reporting of Wildland-Fire Information (IRWIN) O&M and DME Contract

Innovate! Inc. announced today it has been awarded the Integrated Reporting of
Wildland-Fire Information (IRWIN) Operation and Maintenance (O&M) and
Development, Modernization and Enhancement (DME) services contract in support of
the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Office of Wildland Fire (OWF). This is a new contract
award for Innovate with team member Esri.

Wild fire in the trees

Wild fire in the trees

IRWIN is a Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Wildland Fire (OWF) managed
interagency system that integrates wildland fire data. The interagency community
includes the USDA – US Forest Service, the DOI Bureau of Land Management (BLM),
National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Bureau
of Indian Affairs (BIA) as well as state and local fire managers via the United States Fire
Administration (USFA).
Under this five-year contract, Innovate will provide support required to operate and
maintain and develop, modernize and enhance the IRWIN system and the supporting
tools developed to support visualization and understanding of data integration. Innovate
will perform a broad range of O&M support, such documenting geospatial data
standards and data mapping, updating application code for the IRWIN system, perform
database tuning and workflow enhancement analysis.
Innovate will also provide on-site and remote consulting support to work collaboratively
with the DOI OWF to design, develop, modernize and enhance IRWIN to meet the
interagency wildland fire community needs and requirements. Innovate will facilitate and
support the annual release cadence in support of IRWIN to include discovery sessions
with candidate systems connecting to IRWIN, annual code development, modernization
and enhancements, including prototype build, and demonstration, integration testing
and deployment.
The period of performance begins July 29 th and runs through July 2024.
“Innovate recognizes the importance of IRWIN’s operations and we will proudly assist
the DOI in providing services to meet its diverse user base with this new contract,”
comments Frank Roberts, Innovate’s GIS/IT Director. He adds, “This contract will
enable us to expand our existing work with the Emergency Support / Wildland Fire
community and allow us to use our existing knowledge of GIS/IT in support of the
Wildland Firefighters.”

Plane fighting fire

Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) Drops Water on the Edge of the Fire Allowing Fire Fighters on the Ground to Work Closer to the Active Fire

Innovate has provided mission-critical emergency response and fire support services to
federal clients and other customers. Innovate has collaborated with the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 (R9) to enhance the R9 Common
Operating Picture (COP) to monitor and forecast fire and wind challenges that plague

California’s wildfire operations. Innovate’s IT/GIS – Geographic Information System
team has been supporting and developing technology for EPA’s R9 for the past eight
years. The wind and fire response tools are two of many solutions developed to address
a myriad of problems, caused naturally or by human error, that challenge the United

Innovate Presents at North Carolina GIS Conference 2019 (NCGIS2019)

Since 1987, the NC GIS Conference has served the GIS community by bringing together professionals from across the state to share in their experiences and learn about current trends and technologies. Attracting over 900 registrants in 2017 and averaging close to 50 vendors per conference, NCGIS2019 was expanded to three days this year (February 27-March 1) to accommodate over 40 technical and educational sessions. The NCSIS2019 featured workshops presentations on industry-relevant topics, demonstrations of new apps, exposure to emerging technologies, and the evolving relationship between GIS and of public policy.

Senior GIS Specialist Mr. Michael Blair presents Innovate’s award-winning Data Management Tool (DMT)

This year, Innovate’s Senior GIS Specialist Mr. Michael Blair presented at three NCGIS2019 panels including:

  • How Unique (Search) is Your Widget? – A custom multi-select widget Innovate developed to extend the search capability within a custom web-application builder mapping application.
  • Data Management Tool (DMT) – How a Web-based Application Helps to Manage and Inventory Multiple Internal, Private and Public Geodatabases, Map Services and Online Items Throughout an Enterprise.
  • Where am I? – A Floor Plan Application Integrating Multiple Facilities and Human Resource Data.

Innovate continues our long-history of commitment to the future of GIS development at all levels.

Innovate! Exhibits at the 2019 Esri Federal GIS Conference

Washington, DC; January 2019, Innovate! was proud to join thousands of GIS innovators, Esri subject matter experts, Government thought leaders, contractors, and clients at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in
Washington, DC for the 2019 Esri Federal GIS Conference January 29-30. Innovate! management and GIS specialists were present to discuss how they add value to agencies’ operations through their delivery of a full range of professional services around the Esri product suite – from strategic planning and needs assessments to end-to-end enterprise GIS support and helpdesk services. Innovate has used Esri’s product suite for over ten years to deliver the full spectrum of geospatial services to public and private sector organizations. Innovate’s dedication to Esri technology and serving their clients has been demonstrated by their receipt of the 2018 Federal Small Business Innovation Partner Award as well as Esri Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Awards, and by winning Esri application development competitions. Innovate! continues to participate as Silver Partner in the Esri network.Innovate Team at conference

Innovate!’s participation as an exhibitor gave attendees an opportunity to learn about the geospatial mission critical projects Innovate! has been involved with including solutions that adopt Esri’s location intelligence technology and which leverage the ArcGIS platform.  “At Innovate! Inc. we thrive on innovation,” states Phill Thomas, Chief Operating Officer. Thomas continues, “We are delighted with our partnership with Esri; using Esri’s software truly enables Innovate! to be on the forefront of innovation to roadmap the future as we solve our client’s most complex business needs.”

Innovate! enjoyed meeting with peers, clients, partners, Esri thought leaders and government leaders and discussing the work being done to advance federal government organizations’ missions. Innovate also participated in panel discussions, and gained knowledge by attending informative workshops, while networking with other visionaries who are also solving real-world problems.

Innovate! stays on the forefront with its use of Esri technology and has actively worked with such applications from the location intelligence market leader such as Drone2Map, ArcGISPro, Survey123, Collector and StoryMaps, and providing this expertise to clients as a Silver Partner. In addition, Innovate!’s Wind and Smoke detecting widgets were used to assist in tracking the critical path of the recent Northern California wildfires. “At Innovate! we see ourselves as an Esri technical expert, so our job is to help our clients implement Esri’s core software applications, including the new ones,” comments Frank Roberts, Innovate! Geospatial Director.

Innovate! provides GIS story maps to EPA for Super Typhoon Yutu cleanup effort

Innovate! provides GIS story maps with online response activity data to assist EPA with its mission to gather critical information and data for the cleanup effort’s aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu

On October 25, 2018 Super Typhoon Yutu made landfall in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) as a Category 5 typhoon. The storm was the strongest on record to ever pass over Saipan and Tinian, with 180 mile-per-hour winds, heavy rains, and coastal flooding.

map showing YUTU location

CNMI is a United States territory in the northwestern Pacific Ocean just east of the East Mariana Ridge. The series of 14 islands has a population of about 55,000 people. Saipan and Tinian are the largest islands and were hardest hit by the typhoon.

sat image of typhoon

Innovate!’s GIS Developer team was deployed at the Typhoon’s onset to track its motion as it was making landfall. Innovate! created wind motion maps that monitored the storm throughout its duration. The EPA and local officials used these maps to help plan and coordinate moving people into shelters to weather the storm and to monitor the storm’s impacts.

Almost two months later Innovate! continues to deliver GIS solutions and maps to support the EPA following Super Typhoon Yutu. The EPA was tasked by FEMA to assist CNMI’s Commonwealth Utilities Commission (CUC) and Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality (BECQ) with collection, testing and removal of electrical transformers that were damaged during the storm; collection and disposal of household hazardous waste, white goods and e-waste; and assessment of hazardous materials and oil facilities on Saipan and Tinian. The EPA is using data gathering and data mapping tools developed by Innovate! to assess damage caused by the typhoon, implement cleanup activities, and reduce public health and environmental risks.

typhoon damage

GIS Developer Jenny Herring states, “I am proud to be part of Innovate!’s GIS team tasked to work on the Typhoon Yutu project.  As someone who has lived through and rebuilt after several hurricanes, I find it immensely rewarding to help make that process smoother for those affected by this typhoon.”

EPA is also providing technical assistance to CUC on water quality as CUC personnel work to restore their water system infrastructure. In addition, EPA is assisting CNMI’s BECQ and the Bureau of Environmental Health (BEH) on assessments and sampling of non-CUC public water systems.

Innovate!’s GIS maps are invaluable to the EPA’s and local officials’ data collection, emergency response, and cleanup efforts. Yutu Typhoon damage

Innovate! Inc. Receives 2018 Best of Alexandria Award

Alexandria Award Program Honors the Achievement

ALEXANDRIA October 25, 2018 — Innovate! Inc. has been selected for the 2018 Best of Alexandria Award in the Business Management Consulting category by the Alexandria Award Program.

Each year, the Alexandria Award Program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Alexandria area a great place to live, work and play.

2018 best of awardVarious sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2018 Alexandria Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Alexandria Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Alexandria Award Program

The Alexandria Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Alexandria area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Alexandria Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Alexandria Award Program
Alexandria Award Program

California Fires Rage On

Fires continue to rage on both ends of California, spreading with breakneck speed. Innovate’s GIS team is actively working on supporting the US EPA’s Region 9 Emergency Operations Center with its Esri ArcGIS Online Story map.  The GIS story map that Innovate! is working on is being used to quickly provide reports of facilities at risk on the ground.

News reports that there are three fires burning in California. These include the Camp, Woolsey and Hill Fires. The Emergency Operations Center at US EPA Region 9 is already using Innovate!’s GIS map to help provide the needed data for authorities to know which facilities are at risk.    One of the geoprocessing tools that was created during the Carr fire earlier this year, by Innovate! is also being used by the EPA with these fires.  The new story map and the previous Carr fire tool are being used to generate a list of facilities within the fire boundary.  The report also provides a list of facilities that are in the path of the fire within a 10-mile buffer of the fire boundary.
In the event that the fire spreads, EPA can quickly re-run the tool and have updated reports within minutes.

wildFires in california

Innovate! sends its support and hopes that all that have been affected by the fires are safe. Innovate! will continue offering their innovative solutions and tools to the EPA and local authorities as they battle these raging fires.

Innovate! Gives Back

Innovate! sent supplies to help with Hurricane Florence relief efforts in North Carolina.

Wavews crashing against pier during hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence hit home for Innovate!s Michael Blair, a member of Innovate!’s GIS team. Though floodwaters have largely receded, the storm’s effects are still being felt in nearly every aspect of life in eastern North Carolina. Michael and his wife who reside in New Bern, NC, were displaced by the storm, and have offered to distribute relief supplies provided by Innovate! to organizations in their town. Innovate! sends their thoughts out to all of those affected and are grateful to those involved in the relief efforts.  Satellite photos courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

satellite photo of hurricane

Innovate! to Present at the Northwest GIS Conference October 29—Nov. 1 in Bremerton, WA

Frank RobertsFrank Roberts, Director of IT and GIS for Innovate!,  has built a reputation as an expert in Geospatial solutions and Geographic Information Technology.  Lately he has been jet setting across North America presenting at different conferences, such as the 2018 NW Utility GIS User Conference in Spokane, WA.

Once again, Frank was asked to submit abstracts to be considered at the Northwest GIS 2018 Conference taking place at the end of October in Bremerton, WA.  With great pleasure all three of his abstracts were accepted and he is scheduled to present them at the upcoming conference.  The presentations include three different Esri-related applications he has developed for Innovate! clients: Widget Mania, Data Management Tool and Interior Mapping.

Frank states, “I am honored to be asked to participate at the different Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Conferences across the U.S.  The applications and technology solutions that my team and I developed are utilized by U.S. EPA, Federal Agencies, and other clients of Innovate! The different applications including web and mobile maps, desktop applications, data management tools and floor planning applications meet nearly 95% of most organizations’ needs. Roberts continues, “After 20-years’ experience in the information technology field being considered a knowledge expert still humbles me.  But more importantly, it’s my teams’ work and Innovate!’s services that I’m here to represent.”

Presentations include:

Widget Mania
Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS has opened the door to rapidly deploy web applications. Out of the box Esri supplies a wide variety of widgets that meet nearly 95% of most organizations need. However, we have noticed that custom widgets are sometimes needed to get to the 100% solutions for our clients. This session focuses on the custom widgets Innovate! has created for our clients such as US EPA and others. Frank will demonstrate a number of our widgets and show how the clients have used them to make data more accessible for their web and mobile users of the Web AppBuilder.

Data Management Tool
Tracking your GIS data assets as a GIS person can be a convoluted process. Data is being viewed and utilized through many different applications, such as web maps, mobile maps, and desktop applications. Being able to identify all the data layers supporting an ArcGIS Online Web App and then tracing that back to the source can be a valuable thing to know. Also, when you are doing data updates and need to know what web/mobile maps this data update will effect, it can be very important. Innovate developed a custom application called the Data Management Tool (DMT) to improve the quality, consistency, and transparency of US EPA Region 9 geospatial resources. As background, the US EPA Region 9 utilizes a wide range of Esri products in multiple internal, sensitive, and public environments. Maintaining an up to date and accurate inventory of data in enterprise geodatabases, ArcGIS Server services, and ArcGIS Online items is both arduous and complex. Further, a historical focus on project-centric operations tended to silo data by project area or support division, often resulting in data and metadata replication. The DMT application provides a searchable, sortable, user-friendly interface that not only relates all the content but checks for the existence of and completeness of related documentation, including hosting environment, metadata, unique identifiers, update cycles, and sharing settings. The application serves as a live, single point of entry for all analysts to find resources, and immediately identify their location, accuracy, and relevance. The DMT leverages the backends of enterprise geodatabases in Microsoft SQL Server, ArcGIS for Server, and the ArcGIS Online API to harvest and relate features in all three Esri products. The system is deployed in each environment and automatically harvests items in the enterprise geodatabases and those related to map service layers, including the metadata for all ArcGIS Online items to identify if any contain rest services.

a mazeInterior Mapping
Innovate! Inc. developed a web-based Floor Plan application tool for US EPA Region 9 that provides access to information about Region 9 people, places, and resources. It displays the current list of all Region 9 employees, including contractors, grantees, volunteers (if any), and other EPA and federal agency staff stationed in Region 9. It also provides detailed floor plans for each space at EPA Region 9 Headquarters, other regional offices and place-based individuals. There are many layers that can be turned on that offer details of resources and emergency information for the building. The application was built using ArcGIS API for JavaScript and ArcGIS Server and integrates AutoCAD floor plan data. Innovate was honored with a Federal Small Business Specialty (FSBS) Award during the Esri FedGIS Conference. Innovate! was named Esri’s 2018 Innovation Partner for our innovative usage of Esri technology in support of our client’s operations (…).