The NavalX Central Coast (C2) Tech Bridge is partnering with Innovation Accelerator Foundation (IAF) to expand collaboration between the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and public sector innovation organizations to include small to medium-sized American enterprises and universities. The C2 Tech Bridge serves as an innovation hub connecting private, government and defense innovation centers to accelerate development of capabilities related to defense. The goal of C2 is to connect NPS faculty and student researchers to industry engineers and entrepreneurs focused on advancing technology solutions. According to C2 leaders, the IAF, a private 501c3 non-profit organization in Tulsa, Okla., is an ideal partner for NPS as it tracks current research projects focused on tackling tough problems in areas including artificial intelligence, cyber security, quantum technologies, machine learning and advanced aerial mobility, all research thrusts of the university.
According to C2 Director Chris Manuel, C2 is the front door for entrepreneurs to work with the Navy and DOD on technology solutions, and can facilitate growth of public/private partnerships and dual-use technologies.
“The partnership1 with IAF strengthens the Central Coast Tech Bridge’s ability to connect NPS to start-ups, academia, corporations, small businesses, non-profits, and private capital with a single-entry point,” 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.”
IAF Founder and Director John Pyrovolakis views innovation as a national security priority.
“Our country is the world’s most innovative, and our non-profit affords a single point of visibility into a broad swathe of it – especially parts generated by non-traditional sources,” says Pyrovolakis, “Whatever country emerges as dominant in quantum information science or in hypersonics or in cybersecurity – there’s a number of these fields – will go a long way in defining what country is in charge of the future. We are grateful to the George Kaiser Family Foundation and Tulsa Innovation Labs for the support address this opportunity in Tulsa.”
Manuel and Pyrovolakis believe this partnership will lead to new relationships between universities and research enterprises, and could permeate to the other Tech Bridges around the nation.
1 - The partnership does not imply endorsement of Innovation Accelerator Foundation, its platforms, or activities by the Naval Postgraduate School, the Department of the Navy, or the Department of Defense.