Spurring Innovation Between Navy and Industry
Members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation recently gathered with leaders from the U.S. Navy and the state’s government, academia and industry to formally launch the 401 Tech Bridge, one of six national tech bridges established to encourage collaboration and innovation.
To test the viability of the 401 Tech Bridge, the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) and NUWC Division Newport collaborated to source Navy problems out to industry to solve Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) first-ever Prize Challenge.
Three problems were posted to Challenge.gov, and at Innovate Newport in December, Goetz Composites of Bristol and Response Technologies of West Warwick, both in Rhode Island, and Spencer Composites of Sacramento, California, were announced as the selected winners.
These three companies will receive $250,000 for six months to come up with a feasible product. From there, one will be chosen to go forward with $750,000.
A partnership intermediary agreement has also been signed between NUWC Division Newport and the Polaris MEP. Through Polaris MEP, NUWC Division Newport is now teaming with URI, the Composites Alliance of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network to reach out to businesses and educational institutions. This will allow them to conduct cooperative research and development to solve Navy problems with small business innovation and enable solutions to commercial problems with warfare center inventions.