By Warren Duffie Jr., Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—While giving his keynote address at the recent ExpoNaval 2022 in Valparaiso, Chile, Chief of Naval Research (CNR) Rear Adm. Lorin Selby focused on a simple yet important theme — increasing and strengthening collaboration with the Chilean navy and scientific community.
“The Office of Naval Research [ONR] and ONR Global are looking for solutions to a variety of naval-relevant challenges,” said Selby, “including quantum computing, artificial intelligence and robotics, to name a few. Critical to this mission is our relationship with the Chilean government, navy and scientific community, which enables us to work with talented, world-class researchers and academic and industry partners.”
ExpoNaval is an international exhibition held every two years that serves as a meeting point between Latin American navies and exhibitors from the global defense industry, shipyards, maritime technology, security and telecommunications, among others.
Selby and other leaders from ONR and ONR Global — the command’s international arm — attended ExpoNaval as part of a week-long series of engagements related to the 20th anniversary of ONR Global’s office in Santiago, Chile.
The CNR touched on a variety of topics during his address. He highlighted the 20th anniversary of the Santiago office, which was established in 2002 to cultivate scientific collaboration in Chile and throughout Latin America, sponsoring research to discover and advance naval capabilities.
Selby also spotlighted the AVANTE Challenge, an ONR Global-sponsored competition that funds small business and university teams to produce solutions to a set of problems proposed by the Chilean navy — at low cost and in under six months.
Currently in its third iteration, the AVANTE Challenge has addressed Chilean naval problems ranging from sustainment (e.g., dry-dock ship repair) to maritime domain (e.g., illegal fishing, drug trafficking, search and rescue).
The AVANTE Challenge follows the successful Hacking for Defense (H4D) model used by the U.S. Navy and ONR. H4D is a problem-solving method used by the U.S. Department of Defense and universities to create a pipeline of young technologists and entrepreneurs who are willing to take on tough challenges.
Retired Vice Adm. Ramiro Navajas — who was the Chilean navy’s director general of naval personnel and worked with ONR Global to establish the AVANTE Challenge — said, “We wanted to create a model that was open to the civilian community, one that would bring together entrepreneurs, universities, academics and anyone else who wants to work with us to solve naval-relevant problems. ONR Global was critical to this effort.”
During his address, Selby also discussed his vision for reimagining naval power — “the small, the agile and the many,” which involves small, unmanned, autonomous platforms that can be constructed, tested and adapted quickly; can be built in large numbers; and are less expensive than larger platforms. These air, surface and subsurface vehicles can be outfitted with a variety of sensors and payloads for diverse missions.
By being built relatively inexpensively, and in greater numbers, these platforms offer multiple advantages: (1) They can be deployed in unique formations to confound and confuse adversaries and (2) if they’re shot down or lost, American forces will have dozens, even thousands, of backups in place.
According to Selby, the concept of “the small, the agile and the many” represents a viable Strategic Hedge for supporting the large and complex platforms making up the bulk of today’s force structure.
Selby also highlighted the ONR-sponsored SCOUT initiative — an ongoing, multiagency experimentation campaign that rapidly brings solutions to warfighter challenges. SCOUT is committed to getting nontraditional, commercial-off-the-shelf, government-developed and/or government-sponsored technologies to the fleet rapidly.
“The current acquisition system we have was created during the Cold War when the U.S. had the technological edge over everyone,” said Selby. “Today, technology is more democratic. We need to get away from big, complex platforms and focus on smaller, more agile systems than can be scaled up rapidly. For that, we need more partners in small businesses and academia.”
During the Chile trip, Selby also toured a shipyard that builds vessels for the Chilean navy; visited the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile to learn about ONR Global-funded research at that school; and helped launch a new ONR Global-sponsored STEM program for middle school, junior high and high school students in the Valparaiso region.
Warren Duffie Jr. is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.
|Date Posted:||12.20.2022 13:45|
|Location:||ARLINGTON, VA, US|
This work, Promoting Partnerships: CNR Talks Chile Collaboration at ExpoNaval 2022, by Warren Duffie, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.