Military Trying New Ways To Muster Innovation
By Sandra I. Erwin
When the military needs help designing new vehicles or aircraft, it typically reaches out to defense contractors for ideas and proposals.
Under pressure to modernize and cut costs, the services in recent months have tried nontraditional forms of technology-seeking outreach.
The Army’s Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli convened a “blue ribbon” panel this summer to discuss how the Army should go about designing a new combat vehicle. Chiarelli received 21 “white papers” after the event and said he was thrilled by the response and ideas proposed.
Air Force officials recently hosted a symposium at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks to identify inventive ways to develop unmanned aircraft and to train UAV pilots. “We’re looking for new and innovative ideas and what better place to get them than here,” said Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz, the commander of Air Education and Training Command.