CONCEPT“Soldiers are living and breathing the fight, day-in and day-out, so they have the best ideas for new capabilities and technologies to solve their most urgent challenges. We need to create a means for connecting those ideas with the people who can make innovations a reality.”
– SFC Adam Asclipiadis, U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force
After more than ten years in combat, Soldiers and veterans in the U.S. Army have gained invaluable experience and insight to the operational challenges presented by asymmetric threats in complex environments. The Rapid Equipping Force, launched Army CoCreate, an online community, to harness Soldier ideas and address challenges.
The Army CoCreate platform will:
- Create a venue for Soldier-focused innovation
- Build a community of interest, made up of problem solvers and Soldiers
- Institutionalize lessons learned and ideas from Soldiers deployed globally
The U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF) looked to industry to study business best practices and found that crowdsourcing has proven to be a valuable resource for private companies and defense organizations, such as DARPA. In 2013, REF launched its proof-of-concept crowd-powered design platform, Army CoCreate, to examine how this process could help refine Soldier challenges and find solutions.
The online platform connects Soldiers, civilians and scientists to collaborate on solutions that enhance warfighter performance and safety. Soldiers will bring the community's designs to life at two Make-a-Thon events held at Fort Benning on December 9-13, 2013 and January 13-16, 2014.
DIRECTOR'S INTENTDevelop a platform that connects passionate engineers, designers, scientists and civilian supporters with Soldiers to develop real-time solutions.
END STATEDetermine if the crowd-powered design technique can be used to capture lessons learned; as well as to assist the Soldier in refining requirements and developing solutions. Additionally, the Make-a-Thons will provide a platform to inform the larger Army community about the mobile Expeditionary Laboratory (ExLab) capability deployed by REF to theaters of operation.
ABOUT THE U.S. ARMY RAPID EQUIPPING FORCE (REF)The Rapid Equipping Force is the Army-sponsor for the Army CoCreate effort. As a function of the U.S. Army, REF provides urgently needed capabilities to U.S. Army forces deployed globally through its unique acquisition authority. REF focuses on harnessing current and emerging technologies to improve operational effectiveness and fill capability gaps.
ABOUT THE MANEUVER CENTER OF EXCELLENCE (MCoE) CAPABILITIES DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION DIRECTORATE (CDID)
ABOUT EXPEDITIONARY LAB MOBILE (EXLAB)With the Ex Lab capability, REF is able to rapidly prototype and engineer solutions to the urgent operational needs of forward-deployed Soldiers. In Afghanistan, REF operators accompany units on patrol to observe tactical and equipment challenges. With direct Soldier input, they are able to design, prototype, and deliver custom solutions in the field.
MEDIA INQUIRIESPlease contact Ms. Kara Ewell (CTR)
with all media inquiries at (703) 704-9433
COCREATE PORTAL / MAKE-A-THONSFor more information on the Army CoCreate portal, the Make-a-Thons or participation, contact
Mr. Kenny Strayhorn at (703) 704-4243 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COCREATEFor more information on Army CoCreate at
Fort Benning, contact Mr. Tony Winterfeld (CTR) at (706) 545-9903 at email@example.com.