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US Navy opens three new innovation and disruption offices

The Secretary of the US Navy, Mr Carlos Del Toro, has announced three new innovation-driven initiatives to refine the services focus on meeting the Navy’s capability needs quickly.

Speaking to the centenary of the Naval Research Laboratory on 28 September he said, “I am pleased to be able to share with you three new initiatives within our department that will complement our ongoing efforts in the innovation space.”

Del Toro said, “We are not alone in this endeavor to re-focus, re-imagine, and re-align the Department of Navy (DON) to ensure that we are innovating at the speed of relevancy. To codify our efforts, I am directing our Chief of Naval Research to — within the next 90 days — provide me with a DON science and technology strategy.

“This strategy will set forth our priorities and our approach as to how we invest our capital — both human and financial — to rapidly identify, develop, and field the capabilities our Sailors and Marines need today, and tomorrow.”

The first initiative established by Secretary Del Toro is the Department of the Navy’s Science and Technology Board, which is formally established. “This board brings together an impressive group of thought leaders across several disciplines and diverse backgrounds, and will support the development of our department’s vision as to how we identify new technologies for rapid adoption throughout our Fleet and our Force,” he said.

“This board also has a mandate to collaborate with similar groups across our entire government, for the pressing challenges our Nation faces today are not solely the business of our Navy and Marine Corps to address.”

The second initiative he announced is a pilot program at Program Executive Office (PEO) Integrated Warfare Systems to evaluate its mission and operations from a portfolio perspective.

“This effort will explore how our PEOs can operate under a new portfolio-centric construct to increase the rate of capability development and fielding over our present timelines, and will do so in a manner that leverages pre-existing authorities,” said Del Toro.

“The third initiative is the creation of the Navy’s Disruptive Capabilities Office, whose charter I signed out last week,” he said.

“This new organization will push the bounds of rapidly delivering warfighting capability though the innovative application of existing and new systems, and harnessing today’s exponential growth in technology. Through rapid experimentation and prototyping, the DCO will work collaboratively with stakeholders from across our department focusing on delivering solutions to our warfighters at a pace and scale to close our Fleet’s most critical capability gaps.”

The new Office will also work closely with the US Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory’s Rapid Capabilities Office, which is addressing the immediate and near-term needs of the US Marines to deliver the rapid transition and integration of new and innovative solutions.

The DCO and RCO will both help deliver on the Department of the Navy’s contribution to the “Replicator Initiative,” partnering closely alongside joint efforts like DIU to accelerate production and delivery of the capabilities the US Joint Force needs at-scale, De Torro added.

“These three initiatives will complement the ongoing work that is already underway throughout our Department to address how we innovate in response to an ever-changing technology landscape.”

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