NOV 9, 2021

First AIRC Sponsor Research Review

November 2nd marked the first annual AIRC Sponsor Research Review, held as a hybrid event in Washington, DC. The program focused on the context of modern acquisition, early AIRC research results around innovation in acquisition, and demonstrations of modeling and simulation for acquisition.

Participants experienced an excellent keynote from Mr. Christopher O’Donnell (performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition). Mr. O’Donnell highlighted several key points, particularly the potential for data and effective modeling to fundamentally change the way we manage acquisitions and the need for continued adoption of modular open-systems architectures. He alluded to the need for acceleration of modern development techniques such as agile and the potential benefits of transitioning these into the acquisition space. Mr. O’Donnell closed by highlighting the benefit of academic research in this area, as academia can bring perspectives that the acquisition community has not yet considered.

The keynote was followed by a panel on the systemic impact of the AIRC by key leaders in acquisition. AIRC researchers Dr. Bill Rouse, Dr. Phil Anton, and Dr. Dennis McBride presented relevant research perspectives and areas where AIRC can begin to drive change. The leadership panel included Ms. Jeannette Evans-MorgisSES, Chief Systems Engineer, Dept. of the Army; Mr. Paul MannSES, Chief Systems Engineer, Dept. of the Navy; Mr. Mark KrzyskoSES, Principal Deputy Director, Data & Analytics, OUSD(A&S); and Ms. Philomena ZimmermanDirector, Engineering Tools and Environments, OUSD(R&E). The panel explored impacts of data rights, barriers in driving transformation within their respective departments, and the need for cultural change both within and outside the DoD to enable acquisition transformation.

The day continued with presentations on early AIRC research in the areas of intellectual property, data rights, and policy simulation, and concluded with demonstrations of modeling and simulation activities to support acquisition.

We sincerely thank Mr. O’Donnell, Ms. Evans-Morgis, Mr. Mann, Mr. Krzysko, and Ms. Zimmerman as well as the researchers and participants (both in-person and virtual) who made the program a success.

The presentations and recordings are now available for viewing.