The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the nature of the way we work, but not our ability to deliver value to our sponsors. Originally slated to be an in-person half day workshop, the Innovation Toolkit (ITK), Bridging Innovation, and MITRE’s Air Force Cyber Operations Portfolio teams quickly adapted their approach to a virtual workshop – a series of one-hour sessions spread across four days.

The workshop was organized by the MITRE’s Air Force Portfolio (AFP) to support its FY20 Goal 5e, Cultivating an Innovation Culture, which seeks to encourage participation in the DoD innovation ecosystem to leverage resources and enable technology acceleration, increasing the speed of delivery across the Air Force. The first step to engaging in the innovation ecosystem is for sponsors to have a robust challenge statement that can be used to source nontraditional companies through initiatives like the AFWERX/Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR).

This was ITK’s first ever fully virtual workshop with participants joining via Skype for Business from their homes. Participants included representatives from across the AFP, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Treasury, with sponsors from the Cyber Resiliency Office of Weapon Systems (CROWS), AF Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorate, AF Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate, Business Enterprise Systems Programming Innovation (BESPIN), and MGMWERX.

We are in a global power competition.  To achieve competitive advantage over peer adversaries in current and future competition and conflicts, the National Defense Strategy (NDS) emphasizes the need for delivering at the speed of relevance, driving innovation, and strengthening partnerships. Cultivating MITRE’s innovation culture is critical to helping our sponsors address the NDS objectives and deliver mission impacts.

Colonel Michael E. Clark from CROWS remarked, “In this new, almost completely virtual world we have found ourselves in, this workshop provided a great mechanism for our teams to think through the problem sets facing the CROWS today.”

Click to read the full article on MITRE’s virtual challenge statement workshop

From their home offices, Marissa McCoy, Dan Ward, and Rachel Gregorio present to over 40 online participants during the virtual challenge statement workshop



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