NSWC Crane initially created the Innovation Discovery process – in partnership with the University of Southern Indiana – in hopes of increasing its number of patent applications, issued patents, and license agreements. The ultimate goal was to achieve greater success in T2, leading to enhanced defense capabilities and positive economic outcomes.
Between November 2008 and January 2013, NSWC Crane’s T2 lab held six Innovation Discovery events during which 46 inventors gave presentations on 26 technical projects. These events generated a total of 114 potential disclosures, from which 22 patent applications were filed. By spring 2013, eight new patents had already been issued.
As a result of the remarkable success of the Innovation Discovery process, the Navy T2 Program Office initiated a project to make NSWC Crane’s process available to other Navy labs, which was fully funded by the ONR.
The Navy launched its T2 pilot program on Jan. 23, 2013 with an Innovation Discovery event at NSWC Crane. Representatives from TechLink – a Department of Defense Partnership Intermediary at Montana State University – attended the event to document the Crane process. The Navy T2 program then held Innovation Discovery events at four additional Navy labs in 2013.
During a second phase of the pilot program, three more Navy labs organized their own Innovation Discovery events based on a handbook developed by TechLink.
Thursday’s event at NSWC Crane brought the Innovation Discovery process back to where it began. It featured three different rounds, each lasting one hour, during which NSWC Crane innovators presented their ideas to a panel of external commercial experts.
Each inventor or inventing team began by presenting the technology to the panel and explaining its key features and benefits. The panelists then had the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters to clarify points and ensure they had a basic understanding of the technology.
Following the presentation, the panel was asked to come up with as many creative ideas as possible without critiquing the inventor or inventing team. The panel and inventor or inventing team then reorganized and explored all of the ideas through an open discussion.
NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with focus areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s warfighter.