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NEWS | March 31, 2023

Wanted: Industry Partners to ‘SCOUT’ for Solutions to U.S. Pacific Fleet Challenges

By Warren Duffie Jr ONR Corporate Strategic Communications

WASHINGTON -- From its inception, the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored SCOUT campaign has reached across government and private industry to rapidly source and incubate innovative solutions to warfighter problems — and deliver those solutions to the fleet to address the operational gaps of today.

As part of its continued evolution, SCOUT is now partnering with U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) to address problem areas identified by both warfighters and senior leadership. The SCOUT team is inviting industry partners to discuss cutting-edge concepts and solutions during an Industry Innovation Exchange on Tuesday, April 4, during the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition, held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

“SCOUT has truly been a valuable means to foster greater collaboration, innovation and creativity in looking at missions such as drug interdiction,” said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Lorin Selby. “Now, as SCOUT turns its attention to the Pacific, I’m confident it will continue to cultivate a strong base of industry partners to strengthen naval capabilities and safeguard our nation’s security.”

ONR SCOUT is an ongoing, multiagency campaign to identify new ways to bring novel capabilities to warfighter challenges, experiment with them in realistic operating conditions, and operationalize them in partnership with the fleet and force. It is committed to collaborating with industry to curate existing problems and accelerate the incubation of innovative, promising solutions that align to those problems. These solutions ultimately support the fleet and force’s ability to operationalize groundbreaking capabilities.

The campaign continues to work with the U.S. Southern Command, the Joint Interagency Task Force South and the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command to leverage all-domain capabilities and unmanned technologies to detect, track and monitor illicit drug trafficking in the maritime environment.

Now SCOUT is tackling the unique problems faced by PACFLT, with the intention of operationalizing capabilities over a one- to three-year period. These include:
• Long-Range Fires — Defeating adversary amphibious forces in contested environments by fielding cost-effective, lethal asymmetric capabilities, including unmanned systems.
• Naval Operational Architecture — Developing agile, resilient and secure networks to target, engage and assess adversaries; conduct offense operations in contested environments; and pair weapons with targets and other weapons to enhance lethality.
• Contested Logistics — Delivering maritime intra-theater logistics (fuel, munitions, food, repair parts, etc.) to sustain combat operations in highly contested environments.
• Counter-C5ISRT — Enhancing tactical-level capabilities to reduce risk to current manned forces.

“SCOUT has proven itself adept at bringing in private-sector partners from various industries and accelerating the delivery of innovative technologies to warfighters to solve tough problems,” said Chris Murphy, ONR Global science advisor to PACFLT. “We look forward to expanding this footprint into the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and maximizing SCOUT’s operational impact through collaboration with PACFLT.”

The Tuesday, April 4, Industry Innovation Exchange at Sea-Air-Space will consist of government-led, unclassified presentations about PACFLT’s problem areas; a question-and-answer session; and opportunities to directly engage with government sponsors to facilitate early curation of potential solutions in advance of a formal technology solicitation to industry. The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gaylord National Harbor 7 Room, 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland, 20745.

SCOUT representatives will also be present at the ONR booth (No. 1701) during Sea-Air-Space.

ONR and PACFLT intend to solicit promising innovations and partner with industry through a process of “intentional innovation” to tailor and mature candidate technologies in conjunction with PACFLT’s Unmanned Systems Experimentation Campaign.

As part of the SCOUT campaign, ONR is looking to its NavalX innovation and agility cell to evaluate PACFLT’s problem areas. NavalX specializes in connecting initiatives across the Department of Defense and enables collaboration; accelerates the pace of discovery, learning and experimentation; and fosters the naval workforce’s capacity for innovation and agility.

NavalX allows naval organizations like ONR to better serve warfighter needs by linking individuals who promote innovative ideas with experts who can experiment with those ideas, invest in them or help turn them into something tangible for the Navy and Marine Corps.

For more information about SCOUT and the Industry Innovation Exchange, follow the conversation (#SCOUTingforinnovation) on ONR's LinkedIn page: Or reach out to the ONR SCOUT team at


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