Sustainment solutions: ONR Global, Chilean na

Viña del Mar, Chile—In an effort to strengthen naval capabilities in the area of maritime sustainment—specifically, the rapid repair of ships in dry dock—the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global and the Chilean Naval Polytechnic Academy recently held the 2021 AVANTE Challenge. ONR Global sponsored the competition by funding small […]

Viña del Mar, Chile—In an effort to strengthen naval capabilities in the area of maritime sustainment—specifically, the rapid repair of ships in dry dock—the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global and the Chilean Naval Polytechnic Academy recently held the 2021 AVANTE Challenge.

ONR Global sponsored the competition by funding small business and university teams to produce solutions to a set of problems proposed by the Chilean Navy, with a technological focus on maritime sustainment—at low cost and within five months. Three winning teams were selected.

“The AVANTE Innovation Challenge clearly demonstrates to the world how creative and potentially game-changing technology solutions to the most difficult and pervasive maritime problems can be developed in just a few months,” said ONR Global Technical Director Dr. Rhett Jefferies. “ONR Global commends all AVANTE 2021 teams for their ingenuity and efforts to develop their products, and encourage them to continue innovating. The winning teams best demonstrated how their technology approach meets challenge objectives and is most ready to be commercialized into a product for Chile, the U.S. and the world.”

In its second year, the AVANTE Challenge followed the successful Hacking for Defense (H4D) model used by the U.S. Navy and ONR. H4D is a problem-solving method used by the U.S. Department of Defense and universities to create a pipeline of young technologists and entrepreneurs who are willing to take on tough challenges.

The AVANTE Challenge also involved collaboration with ONR’s NavalX innovation cell—which enables collaboration; streamlines the pace of discovery, learning and experimentation; and fosters the U.S. naval workforce’s capacity for innovation and agility.

In this year’s edition, after various rounds of competition, five teams were initially selected to train in a Dual-Use Tech program, which allowed them to develop technologies for the defense sector and the civilian market, while also showing the results of the products they produced. Three finalists were then selected to receive funding after presenting the best dual-use technology proposals, with a commercial application in addition to the potential defense use.

The three finalists were JakSol (small business), Streltech (small business) and PredictiveLab (academia, Universidad de Chile).

Although the technology focus of the challenge was maritime sustainment—mainly in the area of dry dock ship repair—the competition brought together innovative technology, commercialization and startup businesses. The teams mostly developed digital platforms and tools, with pieces of artificial intelligence and machine learning for their algorithms, to improve spare part logistics, refine maintenance operations and plans, and improve remote technical advice.

“Our bilateral relationship is absolutely key to our mutual success for the region and the world,” said NavalX Deputy Director Brad Goodrich. “Our allies are of the utmost importance to us as we work together for mutual success in the future.

“In the past two years since its founding as an innovation cell for the U.S. Navy, NavalX has been working to deliver capability faster and to improve the corporate culture of the entire Navy as we upskill our workforce,” Goodrich continued. “We would love to continue to grow our already strong relationship with Chile and have them be a part of that future vision, which includes a more collaborative, connected and capable force.”

ONR Global sponsors scientific efforts outside of the U.S., working with scientists and partners worldwide to discover and advance naval capabilities.
 


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https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/938756

Shaqil Heaton

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