Director, Northeast Tech Bridge
The Northeast Tech Bridge was the result of an alignment of many factors. As the Department of the Navy identified its need to manufacture at scale, the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) was simultaneously pulling a group of stakeholders from industry and academia together to increase capabilities of the Rhode Island maritime manufacturing community. These initiatives, coupled with the State of Rhode Island's multi-million dollar investment in local innovation centers, culminated in very fertile ground for collaboration on Navy challenges.
In order to test the NavalX Northeast Tech Bridge viability, the Office of Naval Research and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport came together to source problems from NUWC Newport and put them out to industry to solve in NAVSEA's first ever Prize Challenge. After such a successful pilot program, NUWC Newport is working on a contractual agreement that will allow for day-to-day collaboration on problems with industry and academia in a physical collision space.