Warfare Innovation Workshop - Naval Warfare Studies Institute
Warfare Innovation Workshop Overview
The annual September Naval Postgraduate School Warfare Innovation Workshop is an innovation engine leveraging our strength – our operational experienced students and defense oriented faculty – to address complex fleet issues and discover opportunities available through emerging technologies. This three and a half day concept generation workshop brings together teams of early career engineers from industry, Navy labs, and academia with junior officers from NPS and other commands with diverse perspectives and experience. After receiving briefings from the defense research communities and academia on new technologies and possible future capabilities, small and teams are facilitated through a rapid concept generation process to craft concepts of employment and risk assessments within a future conflict scenario. Teams brief their best three or four concepts to sponsors, industry executives, and senior officers on the final morning of the workshop. Results are further disseminated to technical community of interest members, fleet commands, and OPNAV staff.
Beginning in 2009, these NPS concept generation workshops have emerged in several different forms and formats - most recently as the Warfare Innovation Continuum (WIC) Workshop. These workshops have addressed maritime topics of interest such as countering self-propelled semi-submersibles and other maritime irregular challenges, undersea warfare, hybrid warfare in littoral environments, electromagnetic maneuver warfare, distributed maritime operations, cross-domain operations, logistics, and national resilience.
WIC Workshop 2021 "Hybrid Force 2045"
The workshop adjourned on 23 September 2021 - the final report will be available for download here when complete.
This Warfare Innovation Continuum (WIC) Workshop was held 20-23 September 2021 as a Naval Postgraduate School Thesis & Research Week activity to apply emerging technologies to shape the way we fight. This annual workshop facilitates small teams of junior officers and early career engineers through rapid concept generation using tools of design to develop concepts of operations and employment to support and enhance the future Fleet and Force. The 2021 workshop was held on the NPS campus in Monterey with remote participation available on the NPS "Virtual Campus" via MS Teams.
DESIGN CHALLENGE: How might emerging technologies, new operational concepts, and alternative fleet designs contribute to a more effective naval force across the spectrum from competition to conflict? How do the alternative fleet designs enhance the effectiveness and resilience of joint, combined and coalition forces across all domains?
Nearly 130 participants served on one of six Concept Generation Teams, offered their services as a Mentor, or participated as an Observer.
From one overarching design challenge, each team chose their own way into this complex military problem space. Participants were provided new technologies and possible future capabilities, then facilitators guided the teams through a design process to generate concepts of employment and risk assessments within a future conflict scenario. Teams briefed their best three or four concepts to sponsors, industry executives, and senior officers on the final morning of the workshop. Results are further disseminated to technical community of interest members, Fleet commands, OPNAV staff, and DON and DoD leadership. Selected concepts seed NPS student theses, NPS faculty research, and partnerships with others in the warfare centers, academia and industry, and concepts are further developed through prototyping and testing in field experimentation.
A final report detailing process and outcomes of selected projects is released before the end of each calendar year. See the Warfare Innovation Workshop Report Archive currently available through the CRUSER website for access to available reports.
The September 2020 Warfare Innovation Continuum (WIC) Workshop "Resurrecting War Plan Blue" gathered over 150 participants from NPS, the Fleet and Force, industry, academia and allied partner nations on the NPS "Virtual Campus" to address a design challenge around national resilience. Small teams of junior officers and early career engineers were facilitated through a rapid concept generation process using tools of user-centered design, and the final report linked here includes the ideas the teams presented on Thursday 24 September 2020.
Some concepts generated in workshops move on to concept development - such as an idea generated in the September 2020 "Resurrecting War Plan Blue" workshop where a policy idea became a pilot program proposal titled "A Strategy for National Resilience - Common Sense for the Common Good" (linked here to a three page proposal summary posted in the NWSI Collection in the NPS Dudley Knox Library digital archive Calhoun). This idea also resulted in a short article by Ms. Rana Foroohar in the 26 February 2021 issue of the Financial Times!