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Navy launches SECNAV Innovation Awards Program

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus

AUGUST 25, 2015 — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has launched the SECNAV Innovation Awards Program.
The  program seeks to recognize top Department of the Navy individuals or teams who made significant innovative achievements in Calendar Year 2015.

The institution of the Innovation Awards Program is part of a larger effort to incentivize contributors and leaders of innovation across the DON. These efforts include empowering and rewarding innovators by incorporating innovation into performance reviews and providing cash rewards.The Innovation Awards Program will recognize innovators in the following areas:

Robotics/Autonomous Systems: To distinguish advances to these emergent and vital fields, this award recognizes contributions in robotics and autonomous systems. Contributions may have occurred within the science and technology community or within the operational forces.

Data Analytics: This award seeks to identify members of the data savvy workforce that implemented new approaches to using data analytics to improve performance, support decision making or provide meaningful insight to existing processes.

Additive Manufacturing: This award seeks to highlight DON achievements in the field of additive manufacturing. Submissions should focus on those efforts that result in direct benefit to the operational forces through cost savings, improved readiness, expanded fleet or fleet support capabilities or led to innovative warfighter solutions.

Innovation Leadership: This award seeks to recognize top naval leaders (military or civilian) who inspire innovation within their organization. This can be done by creating an environment that fosters innovation or by removing unnecessary barriers that prevent innovation from occurring.

Innovation Scholarship: This award seeks to recognize top academic achievements by naval officers in professional military education programs and future naval officers currently in commissioning programs. Academic faculty should nominate top academic papers focused on the future operating environment and emerging operational concepts and capabilities.

Enlisted Innovator: Award seeks to identify top ideas from our enlisted Sailors or Marines. It is widely known that those closest to the problems often have the best solutions. However, because of the demanding workload placed upon our enlisted force, they do not have the resources to implement their good ideas. Not only will the originators of these bold ideas be recognized, their ideas will be evaluated by top experts.

Innovation Catalyst: An effective support network is essential for innovation to succeed. This award seeks to identify the contributions of an individual who has made a significant contribution to an organization by inspiring others to innovate or directly supporting the innovative work of others.Outside the Box: The award seeks to identify contributions that are cross-cutting and do not neatly align to any particular field.

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