Annual search for Coast Guard project ideas

Written by Steven Magnusen, CG-925

Each year, the Coast Guard Office of Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) seeks ideas for new research and development projects from Coast Guard service members and civilian personnel.

CG_Ideas@Work site with the Project Idea Submission challenge.

CG_Ideas@Work site with the Project Idea Submission challenge.

The proposed concepts should identify a problem or a technology gap currently faced by Coast Guard personnel. Participants should not submit policy ideas or simply suggest a product for the Coast Guard to acquire. All information in the submissions should be unclassified.

The deadline for Coast Guard personnel to submit ideas to the RDT&E for its fiscal year 2019 project portfolio is Oct. 4, 2017.

One idea that has already been submitted is to install marine debris skimmers at Coast Guard units, such as this Marina Trash Skimmer by Marina Accessories Inc.

One idea that has already been submitted is to install marine debris skimmers at Coast Guard units, such as this Marina Trash Skimmer by Marina Accessories Inc.

The form to submit an idea for consideration can be accessed through the CG_Ideas@Work crowdsourcing platform, instead of through the SharePoint site used in past years. CG_Ideas@Work is more user-friendly and allows participants to view and comment on all of the proposed ideas in addition to submitting their own.

For this year’s portfolio submissions, RDT&E added the ability to include a one-minute video to help submitters better describe their ideas.

“This gives submitters the chance to explain the ideas in their own words and provides Idea Submission Review attendees with more details of why it should be considered,” said Alexandra Swan, strategic planner for RDT&E.

To help encourage ideas, a panel of flag officers and senior executive service participants has identified three areas of special interest: cybersecurity, unmanned systems, and data use and analytics. While those topics are priorities, participants are encouraged to submit ideas for any area of Coast Guard operations.

Investigation of different unmanned systems for application to Coast Guard missions is a popular idea, and many such evaluations have become projects for the Research and Development Center. This unmanned maritime system was tested in Texas last year. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Investigation of different unmanned systems for application to Coast Guard missions is a popular idea, and many such evaluations have become projects for the Research and Development Center. This unmanned maritime system was tested in Texas last year. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Fifty-one ideas, ranging from technologies like a loiter drive for fast response cutters and marine debris skimmers to an automated training tracker and better ways to plug and patch holes, have been posted on the CG_Ideas@Work site as of September 15.

Ideas will be presented at an Idea Submission Review (ISR) at Coast Guard headquarters November 8-9. The ISR is attended by RDT&E staff and representatives from Headquarters program offices and from the Atlantic and Pacific area commands. ISR participants vote on which research ideas are most likely to benefit the Coast Guard. At last year’s ISR, 97 ideas were considered.

Participants at the 2016 annual Idea Submission Review discuss and vote on proposed ideas for the annual Research, Development, Test and Evaluation project portfolio. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Barney.

Participants at the 2016 annual Idea Submission Review discuss and vote on proposed ideas for the annual Research, Development, Test and Evaluation project portfolio. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Barney.

“The RDT&E program works with customers, stakeholders and field personnel to identify the service’s most pressing gaps and challenges,” said Wendy Chaves, RDT&E program manager. “Many of the projects that make up our project portfolio have come directly from Coast Guard members, and we consider idea submitters an integral component in the development of our project portfolio.”

CG_Ideas@Work is open to all Coast Guard service members, civilian employees, auxiliarists and contractors.

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