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Date Signed: 9/14/2016
MARADMINS Number: 481/16

R 141308Z Sep 16
POC/MAJ ZINNI, ANTHONY/MCWL, TEL: 703-784-4542/EMAIL: ANTHONY.ZINNI(at)USMC.MIL, MCWL Technology Initiative Screening Officer, EMAIL: Futures_Directorate_FTO(at)usmc.mil//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  This message serves as an announcement for the first Commandants Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Marine Corps Combat Development Command/Deputy Commandant Combat Development and Integration (MCCDC/CDI), and hosted by the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab/ Futures Directorate (MCWL/FD).  The purpose of this challenge is to solicit innovative ideas from Marines, Sailors, and government civilians from across the Marine Corps.  The most promising ideas will be selected for one of several possible pathways towards a potential fielded capability.  Innovative thinking has long been a hallmark of the Marine Corps and todays environment requires greater innovation and creativity found within our organization.  Challenge winners will have the opportunity to directly partner with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory to further develop their ideas into reality through, prototyping, experimentation, and possibly Marine Corps-wide fielding.
2.  We are truly in the midst of a technological revolution that is invested largely in robotics and unmanned autonomous systems.  With this growth comes a tremendous availability of new capabilities, and simultaneously introduces a corresponding number of new threats.  Many of these involve some form of robotics, autonomous vehicles, and aerial devices, or in general, systems doing jobs previously performed by humans.  Technological advances have always forced changes in the way war is waged.  Gunpowder, breach loading rifles, submarines, airplanes, and global positioning satellites (GPS) are examples of game-changing technologies in which militaries have needed to understand and adapt in order to remain relevant on the battlefield.  We are driven by an ever increasing ability to process information faster, with less power, and with systems that are increasingly smaller in form.  The United States is part of a global technological revolution that is continuously producing new ways to increase human performance through robotics and automation.  Furthermore, your ideas for improving the Corps have never been more critical to our continued success as the nations force in readiness.
3.  Beginning 15 September 2016, Marines (active and reserve), Sailors, and government civilians from across the Marine Corps will have the opportunity to participate in this Innovation Challenge.  The innovative ideas believed to have the most merit and the ability to increase the Marine Corps capabilities and warfighting advantage, will be selected and supported by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL).  Selected winners will have an opportunity to mature their ideas and help work toward a fielded capability in the Marine Corps.  MCWL has developed an “innovation portal” website to assist you in getting your innovative ideas to us.
4.  The Challenge.  (1) Identify missions or tasks assigned to your unit that currently requires a Marine(s) to accomplish, and that could/should be replaced by a robotic or autonomous system.  Missions or tasks that are prime candidates for autonomous solutions are typically dull, dirty, or dangerous in nature.  Examples:  Dull:  Filling sandbags, Dirty:  going into a potential chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) environment to sense for chemicals, Dangerous:  sweeping for mines/IEDs.  (2) Identify systems or technologies that will make you or fellow Marines more effective, efficient, or safer.  Please tell us about your ideas.
5.  As stated in MCDP 1-2, Campaigning, Marine forces obtain maximum impact by harmonizing warfighting functions to accomplish the desired objective within the shortest time possible and with minimum casualties.  The six warfighting functions are Command and Control (C2), Maneuver, Fires, Intelligence, Logistics, and Force Protection, and they apply equally across the range of military operations.  In order to more readily match your innovative ideas with those who can appropriately evaluate your idea, it is important to identify the warfighting function that your idea best relates to.
6.  Timeline.  This Innovation Challenge will be open from 15 September 2016 to 15 October 2016.  To learn more and to submit your responses to the challenge, please visit:  http:(slant)(slant)www.marines.mil/innovation .  The challenge is intentionally designed to have very low barriers to enter.  Additionally, submissions can be as detailed or as simple as the submitter(s) desire(s).  Deadline for all submissions is 15 October 2016.  Responses will be carefully reviewed and winners will be selected beginning 16-31 October 2016.  Challenge winners will be notified beginning 1 November 2016.
7.  Submitters are encouraged to work as teams.  The only requirement is to provide electronic data interchange personal identifier (EDIPI), name(s) and unit(s) as part of the submission.  EDIPI number can be found on the back of the common access card (CAC) listed under DOD ID number.
8.  Evaluation criteria.  Evaluating submissions will be based on the following criteria.
8.a.  Creativity:  How original is the idea.
8.b.  Collaboration:  Has the submitter worked with others to develop this idea.
8.c.  Ease to implement:  How achievable is this idea.
8.d.  Overall benefit:  What is the benefit to the Marine Corps.
9.  Incentives.  Warfighting innovation challenge winners will have a number of incentives to participate in the challenge.  Winners will be personally recognized by the Commandant and directly participate in future experimentation and implementation of their idea.  Challenge winners will also be recognized in official Marine Corps media channels and publications, such as marines.mil, Marine Corps FaceBook page, etc.
10.  Funding.  Funding for participation in the Warfighting Innovation Challenge will be through DC CDI and MCWL/FD.
11.  Release authorized by Lieutenant General Robert S. Walsh, Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration.//