As part of NavalX, the Accelerator department (formerly CODE 36) is responsible for centralizing and streamlining the innovation pipeline at naval organizations and establishing smoother collaborations between the Naval Research Enterprise (NRE), Naval Research and Development Establishment (NR&DE), academia and industry. The department also fills the NRE and NR&DE need to leverage the commercial market and attract private investments to accelerate and reduce the cost for defense acquisition and deployment of technologies that provide capabilities to the warfighter, employ agile best-practices in contracting that accelerate awards, and provide flexibility and speed in technology maturation and adoption.
The NavalX Accelerator department focuses on scaling non-traditional agility methods across the NR&DE; helping to establish and sustain Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition, ASN(RDA) NavalX Tech Bridges to promote collaboration across the NR&DE, other federal and state agencies, small businesses and academia; guiding university-sponsored classes that teach students about the problems and needs of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of the Navy (DoN); and executing a prototype viability assessment program at naval facilities that promotes adoption, scaling and deployment to the warfighter of defense and dual-use technologies.
NavalX serves as the DoN workforce "super-connector," focused on scaling non-traditional agility methods across the DoN workforce. NavalX was formally announced in February 2019, as a direct-report initiative under ASN(RDA). A key component within NavalX is the Tech Bridges network that serves to enhance collaborations between Naval Labs, industry, academia, and other military branches and federal agencies. The department provides a liaisons officer (LNO)/Tech Bridge Director position, as well as other positions to NavalX as deemed needed. For more information, see the NavalX website: https://www.secnav.navy.mil/agility/Pages/default.aspx
The NavalX Accelerator department is composed of three divisions listed and described below:
- SBIR/Special Programs
- Technology Transfer (T2)
- NIPA/Tech Bridges/RIF/ESTEP
SBIR/Special Programs maintains cognizance, on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy and CNR, management of the DoN Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs as established by Public Laws 97-219 and 102-564 respectively providing all efforts required for program operation including liaison across the numerous Federal, DoD, DoN and non-governmental activities involved with the SBIR/STTR programs; establishment of operational policies and procedures required for SBIR/STTR program execution; management of assigned personnel, funding, and other resources; and performing all activities necessary to ensure the successful accomplishment of all DoN SBIR/STTR program goals and objectives including the participation of small businesses in naval sponsored research and the transition of small business developed technologies into naval programs. For more details, see the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) website: https://www.onr.navy.mil/work-with-us/sbir-and-sttr
Technology Transfer, on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy and CNR, coordinates, directs, and manages the DoN Technology Transfer (T2) Program established by Public Laws 96-480, 96-517, and 99-502 to promote and transfer naval technology to other government organizations, commercial enterprise, and academia for public benefit and to lower the cost of acquiring military equipment by taking advantage of economies of scale and the larger commercial industrial base. Technology Transfer laws also allow for the development of dual-use of technologies through partnerships with non-federal entities; the public use of federal facilities, technical assistance, and technical assessments. The DoN T2 Program Office designates T2 laboratories; establishes the operational policies and procedures required for program execution by the laboratory/activity representative responsible for technology transfer, known as the Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA); and liaises across the numerous Federal, DoD, DoN and non-governmental activities involved with the T2 program. For more details, see the Navy Technology Transfer website: https://www.navytechtransfer.navy.mil
This division guides and supports programs that accelerate the delivery of technologies to the warfighter through the following innovative programs and components:
Naval Innovation Process Adoption (NIPA)
The NIPA program accelerates technology and prototype delivery through innovative processes, including implementation of a common, effective agility process and language across the NR&DE. NIPA focuses on implementing innovative best practices at NR&DE Warfare Centers, laboratories and Tech Bridges. Goals of NIPA include: move NR&DE technologies from the Naval Warfare Centers and laboratories to the warfighter and the commercial sector; create and work with startups and nontraditional defense companies to promote economic and workforce development in NR&DE’s local/regional communities; and enhance collaboration across the NR&DE and promote collaboration with other DoD partners, other Federal and State Government Agencies, Academia, and Private Industry.
The NavalX LNO/Tech Bridge Director helps to establish and sustain ASN(RDA) NavalX Technology Bridges to promote collaboration across the NR&DE, other federal and state agencies, small businesses and academia. For more details, see the NavalX Tech Bridges website: https://www.secnav.navy.mil/agility/Pages/techbridges.aspx
Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF)
The RIF program enables the military to collaborate with small businesses to provide innovative technologies that can be rapidly inserted into acquisition programs that meet specific defense requirement. For more details, see the Department of the Navy (DoN) Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) website: https://www.onr.navy.mil/work-with-us/rapid-innovation-fund
Energy Systems Technology Evaluation Program (ESTEP)
ESTEP is a prototype viability assessment program at naval facilities that promotes adoption, scaling and deployment to the warfighter of defense and dual-use technologies with the following goals: evaluate and de-risk new prototype technologies to help enable their acquisition and adoption; conduct advanced technology demonstrations to evaluate emerging technologies using Navy and Marine Corps operations as test beds; collect and analyze data to evaluate the performance and reliability of energy and other technologies under various environmental and operating conditions; and provide opportunities for professional development for veteran interns for all projects. An overview of ESTEP is available at the video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck-xjlC0NF8