Task 1: process for IDentifying emerging technology.


The ET process will make it easy for users to identify and, in turn, to discover proposed emerging technology (ET) components of potential interest to them, via a Web-based interface.  It will also assist the co-chairs of the ET Subcommittee in determining priorities for technical assessments by the Subcommittee, based upon the levels of interest and commitment documented in the process.

Expected Outcomes

Tangible Objectives/Deliverables:

  • An XML schema (XSD) containing standard elements by which ET components will be identified for consideration by the ET Subcommittee.
  • A Web-based interface enabling users to create valid XML instance documents containing the elements specified in the XSD.
  • A browsable and searchable index (at et.gov) of selected elements from each of those documents.

Intangible Outcomes:

  • Ease with which users can discover ET components that may be of interest to them, via the index at et.gov.
  • Hypertext links at et.gov via which users can retrieve additional information about proposed ET components and activities related to them (e.g., in the FEA Component Center).
  • An expanding and changing set of proposed ET components for potential, technical assessment.
  • A process for the technical assessment of ET that is sustainable and self-supporting.


It seems unlikely the Subcommittee will have any large amounts of resources to devote to scanning for, much less independently assessing the technical viability of proposed components.  Thus, the ET process should “speak for itself” in that regard.  That is, to the degree the ET Subcommittee may have resources to allocate to the assessment of any particular proposed ET component, the members and co-chairs will use the process (i.e., the XSD and Web interface) to identify those components and resources.  Likewise, components and commitments identified by others for indexing at et.gov will be taken into account by the co-chairs in determining priorites for the Subcommittee.


The intent is to maximize the limited resources available to the Subcommittee by enabling .gov communities of practice (CoPs) to more easily discover common interests and engage in partnerships to assess the technical viability of proposed ET components.  Most of the information required to support the process will be maintained in a widely distributed manner, on the proponents’ own Web sites or other intermediary sites they choose to use.  The essence of the value to be added in this task is the index of proposed ET components identified and briefly described at et.gov.  Ultimately, however, anyone (e.g., ITAA or Google) could leverage the structure and vocabulary specified by the XSD to provide indices of ET documentation of interest to specialized CoPs worldwide.  To that extent, the XSD will facilitate the build-out of the Semantic Web with respect to the identification and description of emerging technology.

Major Milestones

  1. Finalize the XSD by which ET components will be identified – 2/27/04
  2. Develop and implement the Web-based form interface to assist users in creating valid XML instance documents – 3/31/04
  3. Develop and implement the ET components index at et.gov – 4/30/04
  4. Select one, two, or a few proposed ET components for technical assessment by the Subcommittee – 5/28/04

Task Team

Team Lead: TBD

Team Members:  TBD

Resource Requirements

Government Resources: $??,??? to finalize the XSD, develop the Web-based form, acquire the indexing software (or service), and develop and maintain the et.gov site.

Contractor Resources: TBD