Bridging the Gap: Improving DoD-Backed Innovation Programs to Enhance the Adoption of Innovative Technology Throughout the Armed Services
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For over 60 years, Department of Defense (DoD)ﾖbacked innovation programs have played an outsized role in the narrative surrounding military innovation. While these programs provide valuable benefits, this paper specifically evaluates their effectiveness as a means of enhancing the adoption of innovative new technology throughout the armed forces. To assess how companies that participated in DoD-backed innovation programs performed in the defense sector subsequent to program completion, we compiled a data set of more than 1.29 million defense contract awards over seven years and analyzed the distribution of these awards across a data set of more than 8,000 DoD-backed innovation program award recipients. The results demonstrated that nearly half of participants achieved no meaningful growth in their defense business after program participation; and the small, innovative companies that did successfully bridge program participation into additional DoD business rarely contracted with customers outside of their initial branch sponsor. Through surveys and interviews of key stakeholders, we identified several causes for the low rate of adoption of participants' technology across the armed forces, and we present concrete recommendations for how the Department can address these problems to better leverage DoD-backed innovation programs as a means of enhancing force readiness.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
NPS Report NumberSYM-AM-18-056
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BRIDGING THE GAP:Improving DoD Innovation Programs to Enhance the Adoption of Innovative Technology Throughout the Armed Services Bresler, Amanda (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2018); SYM-AM-18-135For over 60 years, Department of Defense (DoD)ﾖbacked innovation programs have played an outsized role in the narrative surrounding military innovation. While these programs provide valuable benefits, this paper specifically ...
Wieser, Adam B. (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2020);The United States Department of Defense’s relationship with innovation has changed from the Cold War–era paradigm of large defense contractors and government think tanks undertaking the lion’s share of the responsibility ...
New Directions For Defense, A Big Ideas Special Event: Innovation Leadership is a Craft, with Peter Denning and Col. Todd Lyons [video] Naval Postgraduate School; Denning, Peter J.; Lyons, Todd (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 2016);The Department of Defense and military services have all expressed grave concern over our ability to lead military innovations in the face of increasingly innovative adversaries. Innovativeness will come from individual ...