Open innovation in the US Air Force
Author(s)Chimento, Charles William,III.
Open innovation in the United States Air Force
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society.
Technology and Policy Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Fiona E. Murray.
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If the Air Force is to maintain lethality and readiness, we must learn to adapt technologies and praxis within an increasingly diffuse knowledge landscape. This thesis examines two efforts orchestrated through AFWERX that seek to invigorate grass-roots problem-solving and reform research and development partnerships with small businesses. Stepping back, chapter one motivates and characterizes the ideological shift within the Department of Defense (DoD) towards agility, highlighting pioneering efforts and their challenges. Chapter two turns to the Squadron Innovation Fund (SIF), introduced in 2018 to empower mission-oriented units to address capability and efficiency gaps. The chapter contributes a data-driven perspective on the spending trends, draws lessons from analogous efforts in industry, and offers practical steps to leverage the potential of the SIF as a bottom-up signal for heavier funding sources. Chapter three evaluates the state of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and traces its rapid reform under AFWERX, thereby setting up a rigorous econometric evaluation of these reforms in chapter four. Together, these chapters chart out a way forward for the SIF while providing evidence that AFWERX's modifications to SBIR are drawing a more desirable applicant pool.
Thesis: S.M. in Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, May, 2020Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, May, 2020Cataloged from the official PDF of thesis. "May 2020."Includes bibliographical references (pages 121-127).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division; Technology and Policy Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Institute for Data, Systems, and Society., Technology and Policy Program., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.