Posted: July 20, 2017 4:00 PM

New ‘Framework’ Aims to Speed Up Pace of Naval Technology Development

ARLINGTON, Va. — Chief of Naval Research (CNR) Rear Adm. David J. Hahn publicly unveiled the new strategic direction — a Framework — for the U.S. Navy’s continuum of research and development at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo in Washington July 20.

“This new Framework reflects a change in thinking about how all of us in naval research must work together to accelerate capabilities to the warfighter,” Hahn said. “It outlines how we align research to naval priorities, allocate our investment portfolios and accelerate decision-making to speed business execution.”

As adversaries move quickly to advance their technological capabilities, Hahn’s vision supports Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, who will speak at the Expo on July 21. Richardson has said the pace of technology development and delivery in the Navy and Marine Corps must speed up in order to maintain maritime superiority for U.S. naval warfighters.

Held July 20-21 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the Expo is the premier science and technology event for the Navy and Marine Corps, and convenes every two years. Attendees have access to senior Navy and Marine Corps leadership and program officers to learn how to do business with ONR. It is co-sponsored by the American Society of Naval Engineers.

Details of the CNR’s guidance were shared with attendees via a new document on the way forward for naval research: “Naval Research and Development: A Framework for Accelerating to the Navy and Marine Corps after Next.” The document outlines processes for speeding new technologies from basic research into finished products, and into Sailor or Marine hands.

“We have a great opportunity to supercharge the engine of naval research,” said Hahn. “From discovery to deployment, innovative U.S. naval technology has been essential to mission success. We’re going to ensure that continues.”

Senior naval leaders see the new Framework as a way to bring together in new ways all the central players in naval research, including government labs, academia and industry.

Having those priorities, and involving innovators in the discussion earlier, will increase the likelihood that a business product will make it to the finish line — i.e., increase the chances that research will make it to full-scale production and, ultimately, to Sailors and Marines.

Meanwhile, members of the academic community were featured in the latest edition of Future Force magazine, focusing on the importance of basic research.

The Framework for the first time represents a shift to a full-spectrum view of research, development and acquisition for the naval future force.

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