AFCEA International awarded a total of $2,250 to three teams competing in the PlugFest contest, providing innovative solutions to interoperability problems. PlugFest is a demonstration of information technology interoperability using pre-integrated standards based components, from a variety of providers, which run in open standards based run-time environments across a particular enterprise.
For the September issue of SIGNAL, I wrote an article about a new effort at AFCEA designed to spur innovation and rapid acquisition in defense technology. Dubbed PlugFests, the events are managed by the Rapid Integration Innovation Process (RI2P) special interest group, which is dedicated to showing the value of such events to government and industry.
Members of government and industry are taking concrete steps to address long-standing problems in the procurement community through plug fests--events that test the interoperability of network devices by plugging them into functioning networks. Various organizations within and outside of government have hosted such programs, but recently a group of public and private partners in the defense industry decided to organize plug fests specifically to address problems in the military arena.