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NEWS | May 17, 2024

Forging Partnerships: NRL Hosts First Innovation Day for Industry

By Nicholas E. M. Pasquini, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Corporate Communications

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) hosted its first Innovation Day for Industry, May 16, to inform industry and assess interest in a focused set of emerging technologies that are potentially ready for collaboration with industry partners, and advance system-level technologies at NRL-DC headquarters.
More than 110 representatives from commercial companies met with NRL scientists and engineers to discuss collaborative opportunities, enhance innovation in key areas of emerging technology, and accelerate development of warfighter capabilities.
"Getting the right mix of experience and talent is critical for achieving our missions, especially when striving to bring new technology out of the lab and transition it into the hands of American warfighters," said NRL Commanding Officer Capt. Jesse Black. "There is a significant focus on establishing partnerships and fostering strong relationships with other organizations within industry, the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, and academia in order to leverage their capabilities and expertise." 
The Innovation Day for Industry provided a venue for NRL to discuss potential future opportunities and exchange ideas on the following topics: space science and technologies; naval systems technologies; biotechnology; energy and materials technologies; and optical and laser technologies.
Industry attendees had the opportunity to hear directly from NRL leadership and meet with NRL’s offices of Technology Transfer, Contracting, and Small Business.
A Technology Transfer Success Story panel moderated by NRL Chemistry Division Superintendent Dr. John Russell featured NRL Head of Technology Transfer Office Ms. Kerry Leonard, Enzinc Chief Executive Officer Mr. Michael Burz, and NRL Advanced Electrochemical Materials Section Head Dr. Debra Rolison, showcasing an instance where a battery technology developed at NRL was then transferred and applied in a commercial context with industry, highlighting the benefits of technology transfer and collaborative partnerships.

Through technology transfer initiatives and collaborative research programs, NRL bridges the gap between innovation and application, accelerating the transition of breakthroughs from the lab bench to the Fleet.

“Government and industry must continue to push the frontiers of science and technology, ensuring that the Navy remains prepared and adaptable in the face of ever-changing threats,” Black said. “Our collective efforts will shape a safer and more secure future for generations to come. I am confident that with this collective effort we will advance our mission and forge lasting partnerships.”
The dedicated scientists and engineers at NRL are committed to equipping the Navy with the adaptability, capabilities, and specialized knowledge necessary to excel in today's ever-changing battlespace. “NRL fosters a collaborative environment where interdisciplinary teams converge to tackle complex challenges from multiple angles," Black said. “Because NRL works in primarily 6.1 and 6.2 research, creativity is not just encouraged it is celebrated as the lifeline of progress and mission readiness.”
For over 100 years, NRL has wielded world-class expertise in the very basic sciences that remain fundamental to providing the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster the nation’s position of global naval leadership. NRL serves as an effective bridge with industry to solve hard problems and develop the technologies that contribute directly to the mission of the Department of Defense.
“One of NRL’s key strengths is its strong collaboration with industry, the Navy Warfare Centers, University Affiliated Research Centers, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, and academia,” said NRL Director of Research Dr. Bruce Danly. “NRL has an extraordinary record of success. It can be stated with pride that NRL has helped build — in league with its government, university, and industry partners — the most formidable naval fighting force in the world, which in turn helped to enhance America’s security, prosperity, and role in global affairs.”

About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL is located in Washington, D.C. with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; Monterey, California, and employs approximately 3,000 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel.
For more information, contact NRL Corporate Communications at (202) 480-3746 or

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