BALTIMORE --- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) has launched its Northrop Grumman Innovation Network, a new Web-based environment intended to encourage and reward challenge-driven innovation and solution collaboration, with the initial focus on partnering with U.S.-based colleges, universities and small businesses.
The Innovation Network will enable interested parties to review challenges and submit ideas that will aid in solving some of the aerospace and defense industry's most critical problems. The most promising concepts will be considered for funding from the company to enable further development and refinement of specific solutions.
"As a designer of innovative products and systems ranging from undersea to outer space and into cyberspace, Northrop Grumman is integrally involved in the development of next-generation technologies to tackle emerging global security challenges," said Chuck Brinkman, chief technology officer of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "However, faced with the current U.S. defense budgetary constraints, it has become even more imperative that we creatively solve these challenging problems."
The Northrop Grumman Innovation Network website currently lists two Call for Innovation challenges -- one focused on colleges and universities, and the other targeted at small business. Academicians are being encouraged to submit novel concepts that have the potential to dramatically improve or replace current defense radars 10 to 20 years in the future. In addition, small business owners are being asked to provide their innovative ideas for a low-cost means to detect small-arms fire and its direction with respect to a vehicle for installation on ground vehicles.
"Northrop Grumman is committed to open innovation. The Northrop Grumman Innovation Network is intended to stimulate the sharing of the best ideas and solutions from some of the brightest minds both inside and outside of the company," said Brinkman.
Prior to the Innovation Network's launch, Northrop Grumman introduced an internal crowd-sourcing initiative for idea sharing by employees. That successful pilot program served as the foundation for the external initiative.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.