Innovation strategy to sustain a technological edge for national security & global leadership
Author(s)Srivastava, Tina Prabha
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Olivier de Weck.
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The United States' global lead in secure technology innovation is a cornerstone of national defense. Breakthroughs in technology are critical in establishing and maintaining military superiority. Technology innovation strategies enable the U.S. to maintain this superiority by effectively yielding innovation from R&D investment. However, these strategies must evolve within increasing financial pressures, technological complexities, and dynamic geo-political conditions. Through an analysis of the innovation landscape and development of a taxonomy of open innovation, this dissertation shows that emergent open technology innovation strategies (OTIS) have been successfully applied in the commercial sector, and, after analyzing the relevant metrics, establishes that OTIS could be beneficial in secure U.S. Government (USG) R&D environments to enhance technology innovation. A system-level analysis of the complexities endemic to these environments revealed two fundamental challenges: (1) Secrecy Challenge: Secrecy and national security are often conflated. Secrecy can be in tension with innovation, such as when R&D is hampered because specific requirements are obscured for national security reasons. (2) Participation Challenge: Innovation strategies that depend on open collaboration to bring forth the fullest breadth of potential solutions are impeded when regulatory regimes appropriate these innovations in the name of national security without adequately incentivizing participants. This dissertation shows that USG cannot optimize the application of OTIS without addressing these pervasive challenges; high-level change is needed. This dissertation evaluates current approaches by regulatory regimes and uses a combination of legal, policy, and stakeholder analysis to identify opportunities for system-level improvement. This dissertation finds that regulatory regimes should moderate secrecy a) when secrecy is the real interest being protected, and b) if it can be done in a manner that furthers both innovation and national security. In particular, Government agencies tasked with critical innovation must be empowered to do so in a way that thoughtfully balances innovation and national security interests. This dissertation also finds that a system of non-monetary and monetary incentives is needed to prevent short-term national security interests from unintentionally jeopardizing long-term interests. Such system-level change is necessary to ensure sustainable improvement in USG's ability to effectively transition R&D investment into technology innovation to support national security.
Thesis: Ph. D. in Strategy, Innovation, and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2015.Submitted to the Interdepartmental Thesis Committee: Aeronautics & Astronautics, Engineering Systems, and Sloan School of Management. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-259).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division.