May 13, 2020 – In the Navy’s effort to harness innovation, James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition, today announced the expansion of the Tech Bridge initiative by six locations, doubling the number of off-base collaboration spaces available to the Department of the Navy (DON) and regional partners.
“I’m proud of how much the Naval Agility (NavalX) office has accomplished in their first year in support of the Navy and Marine Corps team,” Geurts said from the NavalX office. “They have accelerated the rapid adoption of proven agility-enhancing methods across the Department of Navy. They did this collaboratively, with great support and partnership from the Department of the Navy’s research, development and acquisition teams, industry, and state and local governments.
Today’s doubling of the tech bridge locations exponentially scales the Tech Bridge Network, enabling us to get new capabilities and solutions into the hands of our sailors and marines at network speed,” Geurts said.
New locations include the National Capital Region; Corona, California; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Monterey, California; Patuxent River, Maryland; and Ventura, California.
Partnering with the Office of Naval Research and the Navy’s Systems Commands, NavalX Tech Bridges connect, reinforce, and sustain acceleration ecosystems in off-base locations across the DoN. According to Geurts, this will enable greater collaboration with non-traditional partners and develop partnerships that will make the Navy stronger.
Each Tech Bridge is supported by NavalX to seed early efforts until the Tech Bridge can stand alone with local partners. Current Tech Bridges are in the early stages of pilot project efforts designed to solve hard problems in technology areas identified by Fleet and the DON workforce.
Tech Bridges partner with start-ups, academia, corporations, small businesses, non-profits, and private capital. Additionally, Tech Bridges serve within the growing ecosystem of DoD innovation groups, providing NavalX greater collaboration capability with Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), U.S. Army Futures Command, AFWERX, SOFWERX, and others.
“The new Tech Bridge locations bring in a deeper connection to the Fleet, rapid prototyping mechanisms, and the access to talented naval students at NPS,” said Cmdr. Sam Gray, ASN (RDA), Tech Bridge drector. “We have seen this network mobilize during the COVID19 national crisis and are excited to watch them strengthen and serve our country during times of peace and otherwise, in the future.”
Over the last several months NavalX members identified regions that had the necessary ecosystem to support greater resourcing. The Navy team looked for strong partners both within the DON and with outside partners form academia, state government, and local private industry. Each of the new tech bridge locations worked with local military command leadership to build a team of experts that are ready to take on tasking to learn from and support the greater Tech Bridge effort.