NCMS supported Carrier Team One (CT1) in their mission of improving the performance and availability of Navy aircraft carriers by hosting an Innovation Expo during CT1’s Annual Community Event in May at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, VA.
NCMS reached out to our network to seek industry partners with technologies that may help CT1 with their objectives: modernizing current carrier business processes, increasing the efficiency of their carrier deck plate processes, and providing solutions that are available to implement on aircraft carriers. Companies that met these criteria exhibited and demonstrated their technologies at the Expo.
After the Innovation Expo ended, NCMS partnered with the NavalX Mid-Atlantic Tech Bridge to create two days of workshops with industry and subject matter experts (SMEs) to further discuss solutions and ways to engage. Held at NCMS’s Norfolk office, workshops with SMEs enabled participants to learn about opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing among leading technology experts who serve the Navy’s aircraft carrier maintenance community.
A morning panel on challenges in sustainment and repair was followed by four afternoon panels. Brian Shipley, SBIR/STTR Commercialization Director, led a panel on Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR). This panel included an overview of these programs, an explanation of how Navy SBIR is used to fill gaps, and how the program is leveraged to transition R&D to meet those needs. The second panel, run by Arveice Washington, DoN Small Business Director, focused on DoN small business opportunities, lessons learned, and how to participate.
A panel led by David Schiff from the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) Transition Cell provided an overview of the NSIN, what the Transition Cell can help with, and how to connect. Finally, Julie Stark, Science & Technology Manager for Combatant Craft at NSWC Carderock, gave an overview of NavalX Tech Bridges and provided opportunities for organizations to connect with the network of 18 Tech Bridges located throughout the US as well as the UK and Japan.
Finally, in partnership with innovation leadership at NNSY, CT1, NAVSEA 05T, and the Mid-Atlantic Tech Bridge, NCMS organized, facilitated, and co-hosted maintenance capability gap assessments aboard the USS Harry S Truman and the USS Dwight D Eisenhower (Ike). Forty best-in-class companies toured the dockside aircraft carriers and gained firsthand knowledge of three sustainment challenges: valve seat inspection and repair, tank and void inspection, and condenser tube inspection and repair. Engaging with stakeholders from ship’s company, NNSY, and NAVSEA, these companies had the opportunity to provide fresh ideas regarding the application of their existing and emerging capabilities to address maintenance challenges.
NCMS will continue to work with Navy stakeholders and industry to develop proposals that integrate and demonstrate the use of new technology-based capabilities aboard the Truman and the Ike needed to better sustain these critical assets. It is possible that the CTMA cooperative agreement could be leveraged to rapidly execute these innovations and position the Navy to broadly adopt much needed modern maintenance and sustainment capabilities.