CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell Application Deadline Nears

Story Number: NNS150113-13Release Date: 1/13/2015 5:25:00 PM
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By Grant Sattler, Navy Warfare Development Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Have a radical idea to solve a naval problem? The Chief of Naval Operations and the Navy Warfare Development Command invite junior officer and enlisted leaders to apply for the CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell for 2015. Applications are being accepted until Jan. 31.

Successful applicants will develop innovative technology or processes as part of the CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell, or CRIC, established in 2012 to take advantage of opportunities outside the Navy mainstream, empowering innovators with flag leadership advocacy and financial resources to develop prototypes that can be rapidly transitioned to the fleet.

Volunteers from a cross-section of Navy communities are sought to participate as a collateral duty without a geographic relocation or release from present duty assignment.

"CRIC members generally travel or participate in innovation events about four days every other month outside of their regular duties," said Cmdr. Benjamin Salazar, director of the CRIC.

Project management is in addition to normally assigned duties. Verified command support is required for membership.

"CRIC candidates must have exceptional drive, passion, and the vision necessary to carry their project to completion," Salazar said. "In return, successful applicants will be provided funding, oversight, training, administration, and logistics support via the CRIC NWDC that manages the CRIC program on behalf of the CNO."

CRIC applicants should not be leaving the Navy or anticipating PCS orders to sea duty prior to September 2017. Project duration is normally not to exceed 24 months.

"During their tenure, CRIC members will travel to meet with government and industry science, technology, and innovation leaders throughout the world," Salazar said. "They will also have the opportunity to meet and brief the CNO on their projects."

Successful applicants will join a group of successful current CRIC members.

Recently Lt. Ben Kohlmann championed a $900,000 additive manufacturing (3D printing) initiative that led to installation of 3D printers aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) and at Combat Direction Systems Activity (CDSA) Dam Neck less than 6 months from project start.

Project data contributed directly to Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock 3D printing afloat research, and spawned an effort by OPNAV N4 to develop a Navy 3D printing campaign plan.

Lt. Josh Steinman led a $100,000 augmented reality initiative that procured two Google Glass units to develop prototype Navy-specific applications to assist Sailors performing maintenance, and to provide additional situational awareness to watchstanders.

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Jerome Lademan leads a $1.4 million initiative to develop a biomimetic unmanned undersea vehicle that is significantly quieter and more maneuverable than traditional UUV designs.

Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Richard Walsh leads a $550,000 initiative to develop and test an aviation maintenance software application that promises to reduce diagnostic errors and save significant man-hours and cost.

For more information, join the CRIC on Facebook at, or via NMCI at

Applicants will be screened for their suitability and their project's viability by NWDC staff. Screened candidates will compete for final selection in a "shark tank" like project proposal session to senior leaders at NWDC.

Application forms: .
NWDC POCs are Lt. Jackie Kvinsland (, 757-341-4687) and Cameron Cooper (, 757-341-4731).

For more news from Navy Warfare Development Command, visit

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