The Innovation Capstone Project (ICP) is a renewed effort at NPS tailored by DDM to meet the acquisition innovation needed to advantage the warfighter.

  • The 2022 National Security Strategy sets the priority of "implementing a modern industrial and innovation strategy" that connects the strengths of the private sector with strategic public investment in critical markets.
  • The “Get Real – Get Better” initiative within the Naval organization is a call to action for accelerating the warfighting advantage.  
  • The Adaptive Acquisition Framework pathways of DoDi 5000.02 demonstrates that innovation and small changes can have significant effects on the vast DoD enterprise.

The Innovation Capstone Project meets these calls for innovation, aligns efforts across the acquisition ecosystem, and delivers research-based results.

Integrated Capstone Project teams will work with the problem “owner” to develop a strategy that leads to a proposed solution that can be transitioned into current or future programs of record and subsequent user adoption.

Change in Pedagogy

The Innovation Capstone Project combines three elements: a Flipped Classroom, Experiential learning, and Team-based learning.  Student-faculty-sponsor teams apply the lean startup methodology to the research process, a “build-measure-learn” process that uses experimentation to validate ideas.

Transition Sponsor

Beginning with the end in mind, Innovation Capstone Project teams will pick from a list of Transition Sponsor problems provided by the Program Manager or DDM Faculty before starting MN 4040.  A transition Sponsor is defined as one who can provide resources to implement the ICP solutions into the user domain.  

ICP teams also have the opportunity to provide problems they have observed and work with the Program Manager to determine if a transition sponsor is willing to resource the effort into the solution domain.  

Resources include not only transition funding (if needed) to continue solution development beyond NPS involvement, but also engagement at milestone reviews and access to the user community of interest.

Delivering Results

During the last week of MN 4040, ICP teams will brief the value proposition, acquisition strategy, and project roadmap.  A determination will be made by the review committee to evaluate if the project should continue as an ICP or transition to a thesis track.  Not moving forward with the ICP is only a pivot, not a failure.

Small innovative businesses, FFRDCs and academic institutions will support the ICP teams in the solution development through non-Federal Acquisition Regulation based agreements, providing access to leading thinkers and resources in both industry and government.
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