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Richard V. Spencer
Secretary of the Navy
SECNAV Innovation Action Memos
Innovation Funding within the Naval Research and Development Establishment Memo
The Naval Warfare Centers, Systems Centers and Naval Research Laboratory, also known as the Naval Research and Development Establishment (NR&DE), provides innovative technological breakthroughs to address Fleet Forces identified gaps and/or innovative operational concepts. The NR&DE uses the working capital fund (WCF), which offers many benefits, but in some cases limit resources and/or funding authority. This potentially leads to cases where funding of innovative ideas and concepts are not pursued if not clearly tied to an existing demand (i.e., a customer-funded requirement)...
SECNAV signed the Full And Inclusive Reviews (FAIR) Memo: Providing Developmental Feedback to Build Talent
The Department of the Navy (DON) has a diverse and talented workforce, unmatched by any other in the world. To keep that advantage, we must continue to cultivate Sailors, Marines and civilians who will work innovatively to confront - and stay well ahead of - the challenges facing our Nation. We can enhance our efforts by giving our personnel relevant feedback via innovative assessment mechanisms to help them evaluate and use their strengths and dedicate attention and resources to areas that may need improvement. Through effective implementation, this feedback will hone the skills of our future leaders and foster continued growth and excellence in the execution of our mission...
Innovation in Logistics Memo
Current Logistics methods require fixed and costly supply chains, extensive maintenance concepts, vulnerable logistics information systems, long training pipelines, and cumbersome business processes designed to maintain specified levels of warfighting performance. The Department of the Navy (DON) must rethink its approach to logistics in order to give the warfighting commander flexible options. The DON could benefit from incorporating advanced technologies such as advanced manufacturing, autonomous systems, and creative use of Adaptive Force Packages on existing and new platforms to transform our logistics concepts to a more agile, scalable warfighting tool....
Treat Unmanned as Unmanned
Unmanned systems are inherently different from their manned counterparts. Policies and procedures which apply to the design, development, testing and evaluation of manned systems do not necessarily support unmanned system development In some areas, existing criteria should be modified or eliminated, while in other areas, such as cybersecurity design, more rigor is required. Therefore, existing policies and requirements must be tailored to support expeditious and risk-appropriate processes for unmanned systems...
Afloat and Ashore Installation Policies for Experimentation and Exercises
The processes for experimentation and exercise initiatives requiring installation on afloat or ashore units (including Certification, Accreditation, and Approval) contain overly complex guidance and authorities, significantly extend timelines, impose high resource costs, and do not assess risk appropriately for robust innovation. Over the years, we have prioritized process competence over technical knowledge and worked to eliminate or reduce acquisition risk, resulting in a culture of caution more than a culture of innovation. Read more...
Increase Resources and Opportunities for Experimentation
Experimentation can be highly disruptive and thrives in a culture which embraces innovation and risk-taking. In this period of budget and strategic uncertainty we must increase resources and opportunities for experimentation to rapidly bring new ideas, processes, and technologies to bear on real world problems. Jnnovative concepts often only become evident during such experiments and do not follow scripted rules and timelines. We must be prepared to fail during experimentation efforts, iterate rapidly, re-assess results and act on findings. Read more...
DON Open Data Memo
The Department of the Navy (DON) is the custodian of a vast amount of data that can be used to stimulate groundbreaking innovations. Secretary Mabus just directed the establishment of a DON Open Data Portal in order to make the DON's publically releasable data accessible to the public and our workforce to help fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, and scientific discovery. See the SECNAV's guidance on open data here......
Amateurs talk tactics; Professionals talk "Printing"?
Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize the entire military supply chain and provide us with an operational advantage. Secretary Mabus just directed the Navy and Marine Corps team to transform the future of naval logistics. Read more here...
Creating Uncertainty with Adaptive Force Packaging
As we redefine the traditional uses of naval platforms, the new combination of platforms and packages will optimize capabilities and reduce the operational stress on low density / high demand assets. When combined with bold new operational concepts, it will also give our naval force new agility by introducing uncertainty to potential adversaries. See the SECNAV's guidance here...
Effective Talent Management
To build an adaptive workforce the DON must actively develop and manage its talent. The SECNAV directed that every Marine, Sailor and civilian will be part of actively managed functional community. Read more here:...
Innovating with Reserve Talent
The Sailors and Marines of the naval reserve forces possess an enormous amount of civilian training and experience that must be used to stimulate innovation within the DON. Often time the military personnel systems do not fully recognize civilian talent. The SECNAV wants to leverage the incredible talent of the reservist. Read more here...
Anticipate Future Military Demands Memo
The pace of technological change today is rapid and it is likely to accelerate in the future. Several emerging fields such as autonomous systems, advanced robotics, additive manufacturing and directed energy have the potential to fundamentally change how the navy operates today and will provide game-changing warfighting advantages in the future. However, technology without a properly trained workforce will be ineffective. To ensure the skills of our Sailors and Marines keep pace with the changing technological environment, the SECNAV directs the naval services to start anticipating future personnel demands. Read more here...
Creating the Data Savvy Workforce
The information age and proliferation of data has revolutionized all aspects of how we do business within the Department of the Navy (DON). This trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. See what the SECNAV is doing to ensure the DON Workforce stays at the forefront of this rapidly evolving data-centric environment...
Every Marine, Sailor and civilian in the Department of Navy has ideas for how to do their job better or to improve their organization. To stimulate innovation, the department must incentivize and reward those innovators who bring their great ideas to reality. The SECNAV just announced the overhaul of existing innovation incentive programs and the creation of new innovation awards. Read more here...
Unleashing the Potential of Virtual Worlds
Secretary of the Navy
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Chief of Naval Operations
have each expressed their support for increasing the use of simulation to foster innovation and prepare for operations. But how far can the DON go in these virtual worlds? We are about to find out as the SECNAV directs key leaders to develop a DON roadmap...
Modernize Civilian Hiring Process
The Department of the Navy's (DON) ability to attract, develop, and retain civilian employees with the skills necessary to meet the challenges and opportunities for the 21st century workplace is imperative to ensure the future success of the department. See how the Secretary of the Navy will modernize civilian hiring...
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Support Functions
The Department of the Navy (DON) is on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics research. See how the SECNAV's Innovation Innitiative will accelerate exploration in these emerging fields...
SECNAV Expands Wargaming in the DON
Since the late 19th century, the Department of the Navy has been at the forefront of analytical wargaming. Wargaming is an invaluable method to test new ideas and concepts in a risk friendly environment. This latest SECNAV innovation memo provides direction to grow our wargaming capability and improve how we share the results across the DON...
Sharing DON Research Interests with the Public
It is difficult to predict where the next great idea will come from and taking multiple research paths is often the best way to solve complex problems. SECNAV directs the DON to identify critical unclassified research needs and share them with the public, particularly America's top graduate schools...
Reinvigorating the Innovation Culture: Measuring What Matters
The Secretary of the Navy issued his first Innovation Action Memo that directs innovation leadership to be included in the annual performance appraisals of Naval Leaders. He recognizes that not everyone is an innovator but every leader in the Department of the Navy must contribute to the innovation culture either by creating an environment to encourage innovation, championing the great ideas of the workforce, or trimming the bureaucratic "briar patch" that prevents innovation from occurring...
SECNAV Creates the Naval Innovation Advisory Council
One finding of Task Force Innovation was that innovation is occurring across the DON, but often times efforts are not mutually supportive, and the great ideas of the workforce are encumbered by unnecessary bureaucratic processes. To help foster DON innovation, SECNAV establishes the Naval Innovation Advisory Council for two main purposes: coordinate innovation within the DON and trim the "briar patch" of bureaucracy that can choke the life out of sprouting great ideas...
SECNAV Establishes Task Force Innovation
The Navy and Marine Corps have a rich tradition of turning bold ideas into operational reality, and this ability, more than any piece of equipment or weapon system, is our inherent competitive advantage. As the rate of change in the global environment accelerates and the landscape of potential threats shifts more rapidly than ever before, we must adapt accordingly to maintain our advantage...
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