Tackling the challenge of accelerating innovation
“Build the Community. Advance the Tradecraft. Accelerate Innovation.” These are the strategic pillars of USGIF. We focus on ensuring our activities, programs, and offerings to the Community tie back to this vision. However, accelerating innovation is more challenging for us than the first two pillars. Fortunately, innovation is very much in vogue at the moment. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Frank Kendall recently announced the Defense Innovation Initiative, and his remarks align with what we’ve all heard from Kendall’s bosses and others in our extended community.
USGIF is committed to supporting innovation, and from the Foundation’s earliest days with our first interoperability demonstrations, USGIF has provided a trusted environment for overarching discussions and technical engagement across corporate, agency, and academic institutions—all while being respectful of ethics, law, policy, and the protection of intellectual property.
We’re excited about the Industry Solutions Marketplace we are working on with NGA and others, supported by our member organizations. At our most recent GEOINTeraction Tuesday, Karyn Hayes-Ryan, the NGA component acquisition executive, and Doug McGovern, director of NGA’s InnoVision Directorate, detailed their vision for agile, innovative acquisition and the important role USGIF and our members will play in helping the agency achieve this objective.
In this issue of trajectory, you will find interviews with former NGA Director Letitia Long, as well as Director Robert Cardillo. I encourage you to read the full, unabridged Q&As with them here. Both of these leaders talk to innovation and the criticality of partnering more closely with industry. USGIF is perfectly placed at the nexus of industry, academia, and government to help facilitate this mandate.
Additionally, our cover story about maritime domain awareness includes rich lessons to be learned about innovative approaches to operational success in a critically important mission area, including an interesting public-private partnership between the Canadian government and industry.
This issue also highlights some of our Community’s achievements. Our scholarship award process is very rewarding for all of us who have a hand in it, especially the volunteer USGIF Scholarship Subcommittee. You’ll see brief bios on each of this year’s USGIF scholarship winners. Even in the short write-ups, you get a sense of their inspiring work.
One of my favorite activities is personally signing every one of our academic GEOINT Certificates. More than 450 students have earned one to date, and we now have 10 accredited schools with the recent addition of the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University and Fayetteville State University. FSU is a particularly exciting addition because it is the first Historically Black College and University program to achieve USGIF accreditation.
Finally, this issue contains the 2014 USGIF Membership Directory, a listing of our nearly 250 sustaining member organizations. The breadth of the organizations continues to grow, and USGIF couldn’t deliver our rich set of offerings to the GEOINT Community without the ongoing support of our membership. Please take some time to review the remarkable array of capabilities represented in the guide, and download the PDF as a handy resource throughout the year.
I hope you enjoy this issue of trajectory, and as always, we eagerly encourage your feedback so we can continue to make the magazine relevant, interesting, and fun. Best wishes for a safe and joyous holiday season, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.