Tag Archives: Spacecraft Development

Challenges to Innovation in the Government Space Spector

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Authors: Zoe Szajnfarber, Matthew G. Richards, and Annalisa L. Weigel

This article uses innovation theory to identify five core challenges of generating national security space innovation: (a) generating bottom-up push in a top-down environment; (b) integrating fragmented buy-side knowledge; (c) integrating fragmented sell-side knowledge; (d) matching the innovation environment to the development stage; and (e) balancing risk aversion with the need for experimentation. An analysis of how the current two-tiered process, which separates technology development from project-based acquisition, addresses these challenges, reveals that this method of separation is not a complete solution because it: (a) fails to value architectural innovation; (b) creates a disaggregated knowledge base, which exacerbates the difficulty of top-down specification and bottom-up integration; and (c) fails to generate an entrepreneurial supply-side spirit. Recommendations for improvement are provided.

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