HACKING THE DEFENSE INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM ENTERPRISE: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
Gagnon, Kyle J.
Van Remmen, Peter M.
Hudgens, Bryan J.
Mortlock, Robert F.
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Secretary Mattis’ 2018 National Defense Strategy acknowledges that the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) asymmetric technological capabilities, which enable a decisive military advantage over U.S. adversaries, are steadily eroding. Implementing underutilized traditional and non-traditional acquisition authorities to navigate the innovation ecosystem may prove to be a fast, flexible solution to this technological innovation gap. We comparatively analyze the DoD’s innovation ecosystem to understand the communities that make up the ecosystem and how they apply various acquisition authorities, techniques, or processes to accelerate future capabilities to the warfighter, and across the Defense Acquisition System. Our research shows that traditional and non-traditional micro-ecosystems play pivotal roles in the transition of cutting-edge technology through government, industry, and academic collaboration. Aside from traditional authorities, we highlight several non-traditional acquisition authorities with potential for broader adoption across the enterprise. Finally, we discuss lessons learned in terms of "what," "where," "when," and "how" mid-level management decision makers can think and act entrepreneurially to positively disrupt status-quo bureaucracies that inhibit rapid innovation across the ecosystem.
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