Driving innovations in technology throughout U.S. history

How many people know that the development of the core algorithm behind Google was made possible due to a grant from the National Science Foundation in 1994?  Or that the iconic and ever-helpful Siri was acquired by Apple after having been created four years prior by a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) initiative to enable voice recognition by artificial intelligence for in-field military personnel?

And let’s not forget that two of our country’s founding fathers were not just politicians or military experts, but scientists in the truest sense. Benjamin Franklin, who was best known for his various experiments involving electricity, was a key figure in the American Enlightenment Era and continues to remind us of his priceless contributions with his face adorning our most valuable currency, affectionately dubbed a “Benjamin” by many.

Thomas Jefferson, a science and mathematics enthusiast with a passion for agricultural innovations, applied his ingenuity to finding efficiencies in farming processes. He also created the swivel chair, leading to countless numbers of future science and technology breakthroughs. Just imagine if all those scientists had been forced to sit completely immobile – talk about inhibiting creative flow!

These are just a handful of the numerous ways our government has long been a driver of changes in technology; both actively through research and development, and more indirectly through critical funding.

Fast forward to today’s technology and the continued importance of the role of government. One of the greatest challenges of modern society continues to surround identity. Proving identity, securing identity, tracking identity, protecting identity, confirming identity, even establishing an identity; these are all challenges that impact us on a global basis. Gemalto has been a key player in this sector for many years but will soon begin a new chapter in the identity story with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a principle supporter.

Through a $2M grant awarded to Gemalto, four jurisdictions – Idaho, Colorado, Maryland and Washington D.C. – will soon be implementing a pilot for a secure Digital Driver’s License (DDL), which many believe to be the future of trusted identities. The DDL project will harness Gemalto’s core expertise in security and identity to enable a convenient and secure way for citizens and authenticating parties to exchange and verify government-issued credential information via smartphone.

This partnership is exactly the type of strategic alignment between the government and private sector that has enabled so many innovations and advancements in technology that we often times take for granted today. Gemalto couldn’t be more proud to add its name to that esteemed roster of pioneers the government has championed during our nation’s history of technological development.

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