• Col. James “Hondo” Geurts (center in necktie), USAF (Ret.), assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, explains the Department of the Navy's creation of so-called NavalX Tech Bridges, designed to bring in more innovation to the Navy and Marine Corps. U.S. Navy photo by Bobby Cummings.
     Col. James “Hondo” Geurts (center in necktie), USAF (Ret.), assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, explains the Department of the Navy's creation of so-called NavalX Tech Bridges, designed to bring in more innovation to the Navy and Marine Corps. U.S. Navy photo by Bobby Cummings.

Tech Bridges to Connect the Navy to Additional Innovation

September 5, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
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The Department of the Navy creates new ways to collaborate with industry to harness advancements.


A new partnership between NavalX, the Navy's Systems Commands and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) will strive to bring innovation into the Navy from hubs around the country. At a media event yesterday, Col. James “Hondo” Geurts, USAF (Ret.), assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, announced the creation of so-called NavalX Tech Bridges, according to reports from the Navy’s Research, Development and Acquisition Public Affairs Office and the Office of Naval Research’s Warren Duffie.

The Naval IX Tech Bridges—to be located across the country in Newport, Rhode Island; Keyport, Washington; San Diego, California; Orlando, Florida; and Crane, Indiana—will serve as innovation hubs that connect the Department of the Navy (DON) to companies with emerging technology.

The hubs are meant to help reach more off-base locations across the DON to increase collaboration with non-traditional Department of Defense partners. The Naval IX Tech Bridges will work to make connections with start-ups, academia, corporations, small businesses, non-profits and venture capitalists. The hubs also will serve as a place that sailors and marines can come to for answers, to find someone that can get them an answer or put the warfighters' idea to use, Col. Geurts said.

“Earlier this year, the Naval Expeditions (NavalX) office was stood up to facilitate rapid adoption of proven agility-enhancing methods across the Department,” said Col. Geurts, according to the reports. “I’m proud to announce that NavalX, in collaboration with our workforce, has furthered this effort by creating the first five regional 'Tech Bridges' across the country to better connect the DON and the private sector.”

In addition, the Naval IX Tech Bridges will connect to the other DOD innovation entities, such as the Defense Innovation Unit, National Security Innovation Network, U.S. Army Futures Command, AFWERX, SOFWERX and others, the report noted. ONR can leverage the platform as well to get access to unique ideas, solutions and companies.

“NavalX works with partners to support collision spaces and generate dual-use solutions,” said Col. Geurts. “These five spaces will lower barriers that traditionally hamper external collaboration. I envision these as the first five, of a great number of tech bridges, to enable the Department of the Navy to achieve its goal of agility at scale.”

For more information on NavalX and Tech Bridges, visit www.secnav.navy.mil/agility.

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