Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) is the first Regional Maintenance Center (RMC) designated by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) as a Laboratory and Technical Activity for domestic Technology Transfer.
The Department of the Navy typically utilizes technology transfer to transition federally owned or originated technology to state and local governments, and to the private sector, for use in Department of Defense (DoD) applications. However, MARMC will be using the laboratory status to partner with commercial industry and educational institutions to bring new ideas and technologies into the Navy, specifically focused on ship repair. This process is referred to as “dual-use” and “spin-on” technology transition and allows the Navy to develop and adopt industry innovations for the benefit of both sides.
“This has an immense opportunity to impact fixing ships, but also our community around us,” said MARMC’s Office of Research and Technology Applications representative Steven Peterson. “If there’s a company that’s developing a technology that could impact the way we fix ships, we now have the ability to try out new ideas and partner with the provider to mature the technology into a product that the Navy needs. This type of partnership occurs under a CRADA, the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement.”
A CRADA is an agreement between a Federal laboratory and non-Federal party to perform collaborative research and development in any area that is consistent with the laboratory’s mission. With MARMC grafted into the Navy as a laboratory, the command may provide personnel, services, facilities and equipment to support joint research and development efforts.
“We already have areas identified that we want to work with our private industry partners to share information and find solutions,” said Peterson. “Working with Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic; Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command; Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA); and Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program, MARMC developed the following list of opportunities to focus efforts on surface ship maintenance cost and schedule drivers.
1. Shipboard Tanks – Process or material improvements that support more efficient execution or increased duration between cycles of Open / Inspect / Blast / Repair / Preserve.
2. Propulsion Plant Intakes – Process or material improvements that support more efficient execution or increased duration between cycles of Open / Inspect / Blast / Repair / Preserve.
3. Aluminum Welding – Process or material improvements that support more efficient execution of welding on structural aluminum subject sensitization, which makes it more prone to cracking.
4. Boiler Maintenance – Process or material improvements that support more efficient execution of periodic inspection and repair, to include removal/replacement of refractory, lagging, structural and component repair/replacements.
“The priorities will be our focus, but if a potential industry partner has a solution to a recognizable problem not listed, we would still like to hear about their potential target of opportunity,” added Peterson.
“MARMC’s designation paves the way for other RMCs and the entire Navy’s ship maintenance enterprise to more effectively partner with industry,” said MARMC Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Barney. “This effort is vital to maintaining an operational, mission-ready fleet.”
MARMC, a field activity of NAVSEA, provides surface ship maintenance, management and oversight of private sector maintenance and fleet technical assistance to ships in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and provides support to the fifth and sixth Fleet Areas of Responsibility. They are also responsible for the floating dry-dock Dynamic (AFDL-6).