CHALLENGES TO INNOVATION TRANSITION:
The Valley of Death Results from More Than a Lack of Flexible Funding
AUTHOR: Philip S. Antón, Ph.D.
STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
There are no magic solutions—Innovation requires dedication not only to create the ideas but to grapple with the realities of applying and fielding such capabilities. This paper identifies many challenges to transitioning and fielding innovative concepts and systems to operational use to illuminate the range of barriers that will need to be addressed to better reduce and manage innovation risks. These challenges are not just in the DoD; they abound elsewhere. Here are some qualitative and quantitative data that show the net results of innovation in the marketplace.
● Most innovative companies fail.
● Most companies buy rather than invent due to risks.
● Venture Capital “win” rates are very low.
Figure 1. General Profile of Venture Capital Investments (Wins and Losses).
Innovation offers the potential for enhanced and novel capabilities. Applying and fielding such breakthroughs is difficult business that requires understanding and addressing the full range of barriers.