ArticleCS - Article View
NEWS | Feb. 24, 2022

NUWC chief technology officer discusses maritime innovation, collaboration at symposium

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

Dr. Vic Ricci, chief technology officer at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, was one of many guest speakers at the Blue Innovation Symposium held Feb. 22-24 at the Wyndham Hotel in Middletown, Rhode Island.

Ricci held a fireside chat titled, “Accelerating our Regional Blue Economy through Blue Tech Innovation” that was facilitated by Christian Cowan, executive director of the 401 Tech Bridge.

During the 40-minute session, Ricci discussed a number of key topics, including the advantageous opportunities the region provides to maritime innovation and different ways industry and academia can collaborate with the government on research and development (R&D), such as Other Transaction Authority (OTA) and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs).

“If you really think about where we are, it’s kind of mind-boggling. There’s a huge amount of technical expertise concentrated in this region,” Ricci said. “There’s a tremendous amount of talent here that we’ve been able to capitalize on as a region to help spur economic growth. That’s good for everyone, including NUWC and the U.S. Navy.”

The symposium connects the marine technology industry for education, networking and facilitating partnering opportunities. The conference brings together a broad spectrum of representatives of the marine technology industry from the United States and beyond. More than 300 attendees and nearly 40 sponsors attended the three-day event, which included keynote addresses, panel discussions and a series of five-minute flash talks.

As a part of an effort to find innovative solutions to undersea warfare challenges, Division Newport at times will partner with industry, academia or nonprofit organizations. These mutually beneficial collaborations can include CRADAs or OTAs, as well as Educational Partnership Agreements (EPAs) or Partnership Intermediary Agreements (PIAs).

A CRADA is an agreement that provides for joint research and development between a federal laboratory and a non-federal partner. The primary purpose of a CRADA is joint development and sharing of facilities, knowledge, experience and/or intellectual property.

The legal CRADA authority allows for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) personnel and facility costs to be paid for by the non-government partner. CRADAs are executed by the warfare center commander and are legally binding contracts; however, they are not subject to competition in contracting requirements or procurement regulations.

CRADAs do not allow funds to be provided to the partner from the government laboratory, although funds can be provided to the partner from a government source. The CRADA also provides data and intellectual property protection from the Freedom of Information Act for an established period of time.

OTAs enable effective, flexible and agile acquisitions for emerging research and prototyping of value to the Navy through streamlined and expedited processes. They also allow customers to leverage partnerships to increase flexibility and agility, reduce cost, improve technology and capability insertion, and decrease program development cycles.

An EPA allows for student and faculty participation in research, equipment loans and transfers, help with STEM course development, guest lectures and demonstrations, and workshops for teacher and student science and technology education. This allows warfare center scientists and engineers to work with an educational institution to enhance STEM education. Recently added provisions allow student participation in technology transfer and associated legal activities.

A PIA is an agreement with any semi-private entity set up by state or local governments. They enable partnerships between Division Newport and a semi-private entity to develop potential interactions with state and local businesses, while increasing the utilizations of Division Newport facilities and expertise. PIAs promote cooperative activities between Division Newport and small business firms and educational institutions served by the PIA partner.

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 largest employers in Rhode Island, employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as well as talented business, finance, logistics and other support experts who wish to be at the forefront of undersea research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this site- https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NUWC-Newport/Career-Opportunities/ and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.

Home : Media : News : Article View