NASA is an Agency of pioneers setting the agenda for the future of global technology. When NASA is taking on new grand challenges, it is imperative to stay engaged not just in Aerospace and Engineering technologies, but the enabling Information Technologies that can so elegantly support NASA’s missions.
The Chief Information Officer‘s portfolio includes a wide range of infrastructure support services. With the accelerating dynamics of technological advances, NASA’s status as a global technology leader depends on the ability to efficiently evaluate, adopt, and adapt emerging information technologies. T&I Labs is an innovation incubator, soliciting ideas from the greater NASA community and enabling them to be researched as part of a rapid, low-cost, low-risk process. T&I Labs shares the results with all of NASA and supports the adoption of technologies or processes that can benefit larger user populations.
Activities are limited to a small scale and relatively short evaluation period (generally 90 days to one year). In addition, T&I Labs works to build partnerships with internal groups—Mission Directorates, Centers and facilities—to pool resources in the pursuit of meaningful, cutting-edge technology solutions that can better meet NASA’s needs.
T&I Labs represents a significant leap from how NASA traditionally evaluates new technologies. Often, innovative efforts are either burdened by multiple layers of documentation, evaluation, and approvals; or conducted separately, often in multiple NASA centers to fulfill similar and business needs. T&I Labs provides a central collection point for innovative ideas, as well as alternative lightweight, low-cost methodology for research, proofs-of-concept and prototyping as appropriate given the mission requirements. Soon, the T&I Labs Web site will enable the NASA community to benefit from research results and lessons learned, as well.
T&I Labs strives to keep the amount of paperwork and oversight to the necessary minimum, removing institutional inhibitors to innovation and enabling the speedy evaluation of technologies that can help government agencies meet both their enterprise requirements and their strategic goals. The process is entirely transferable, but will likely require internal stakeholders to collaborate and cooperate across traditional boundaries.
The T&I Labs program will support at least 10 early/middle-stage innovations by FY14 with the goal of moving these innovations through the technology evaluation lifecycle, then piloting at least 2 of these processes/technologies. (2 years)blog comments powered by Disqus