MONTEREY, Calif. (NPS) –The new Central Coast (C2) NavalX Tech Bridge is one of six new locations announced today in a significant expansion of the Navy’s innovative approach to rapid acquisition and tech evolution. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Associate Dean of Research for Technology Development Christopher Manuel, an NPS alumnus, will serve as director of the C2 Tech Bridge which will be managed under the umbrella of the university’s new Emerging Technology Center (ETC).
“The goal is to link problem-solvers to folks with problems,” says the Honorable James F. Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition), lead of the NavalX program which oversees the Tech Bridge program. Tech Bridges will increase the efficiency of technological advancement, he says, by reducing redundant projects across the sea service, initiated through stove-piped acquisition processes and a lack of communication between diverse agencies.
NavalX, established by the Navy in February 2019, initially formed six Tech Bridges across the nation to act as “super connectors” focused on scaling non-traditional agility methods across the DON workforce. Tech Bridges are developed in locations where there is an opportunity to capitalize on a regional strength with applicability to Navy challenges and issues. For the Central Coast Tech Bridge, that “sweet spot” resides in its access to Naval Postgraduate School students and faculty, and its proximity to the Silicon Valley.
As the DOD’s premier educational institution on the West Coast, NPS supports a full spectrum of graduate level research across the STEM disciplines and beyond. Through the expanded networks provided by the C2 Tech Bridge and the full cadre of NavalX Tech Bridges, Navy leaders hope to further leverage the intellectual resources of NPS to address key operational requirements. Within the university’s student population, every U.S. uniformed service is represented across the full range of warfighting specialties, providing a unique level of expertise. Additionally, C2 will bring in to access to expertise from research and education institutions around the Peninsula and into Silicon Valley as well.
“The Central Coast Tech Bridge is the front door for entrepreneurs to work with the Navy and DOD on technology solutions,” Manuel says. “Our partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School provides access to expert faculty and experienced military students who understand operational challenges and are eager to work with business to solve research challenges. The C2 Tech Bridge will facilitate growth of public/private partnerships and dual-use technologies.”
Manuel’s career both in service and beyond will be highly beneficial to the Tech Bridge philosophy, having initiated two start-up tech companies in addition to his experience with Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) as Corporate Vice President for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Networks (C4N). CWO4 Manuel is currently a Research Fellow with the Army Cyber Institute at West Point, under the U.S. Army Reserves Cyber Protection Brigade (ARCPB).
Once operational, the C2 Tech Bridge will also directly support NPS’ new Applied Design for Innovation curriculum, a ground-breaking approach to support the full cycle of innovation, from ideation to adoption. For more information of about the Central Coast Tech Bridge, visit https://www.secnav.navy.mil/agility/Pages/tb_centralcoast.aspx.