The idea of bringing innovation to the military is not a new approach – but it is being renewed in our modern context because if the military is to ever excel in its progress, they need the assistance of advanced technology to obtain a competitive edge.
When it comes to military innovation, four concepts must be kept in mind. The first one is the military innovation framework, which discusses the need for particular innovations. The second is called the military innovation pathway, which lists down participants needed for the innovation to work. The third concept is called the military innovation pathway, which includes a way to let the invention occur organically within the military system, and the final one describes some of the conditions needed for the creation to survive.
Military Innovation Framework
Innovation theory has been studied by social scientists and historians for a long time now, looking for ways to distinguish innovation in peace vs. wartime. And upon creating a framework for innovation, they had four categories to pick their approaches.
An incremental approach to innovation involves the use of making slight changes to existing software or hardware components. Modular innovation can occur when technology has been overturned, but its system remains intact, bringing new devices that accomplish old tasks. Radical innovation involves overturning the component and its system interface, combining technologies to create new things that did not exist before. And finally, we have the architectural innovation that is used to reinforce old technology and use it in new ways.
Military Innovation Engine
This concept introduces the three main factors of bringing innovation to work: resource agent, technologist, and operator.
An operator can be anyone from any military rank as long as they are the closest people to the problem and are aware of the contexts behind the challenge that needs to be dealt with. A technologist is a person who can introduce certain sets of ideas to solve an issue, and a resource agent is responsible for providing the mechanics of the innovation.
Military Innovation Pathway
Once the solution has been found for the innovation, a roadmap is created to engineer the solution and involves specific processes like experimentation and adaptation.
Experimentation is done to see if the innovation can give a competitive advantage. After that, the adaptation process consists of specific methods that can adjust the innovation to the military system.
And then, the final concept depends on what the innovation is and what military leaders can do to maintain these innovations long-term.
A prime example of these concepts can be seen used by Robert Edwin Douglas, a renowned businessman, inventor, and engineer who has brought about significant progress in the military.
As the Founder of Douglas Labs Inc., D3D Technologies Inc., Opic Technologies Inc. and TPMI LLC, Dr. Douglas has been known for being one of the most prolific inventors in the United States. For years, he has designed, created, and successfully tested a myriad of 3D technologies being utilized within the military sector.
Some of his most notable roles include serving as a Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer of the 187th Airborne Infantry 101st Airborne Division, Company Commander and Infantry Battalion S-3 Americal Division in Vietnam, the Director of Systems Analysis at Lockheed Martin and VP of Engineering at DRS Technologies. Moreover, he was also a member of the United States Army Science Board, where he served for over 20 years – allowing him to amplify his reputation within the military sector.