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CHIPS Articles: CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell

CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell
CRIC Applications are due by 31 January
By CHIPS Magazine - January 27, 2015
The Navy is currently accepting applications for new members of the CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC).

The CRIC was established in 2012 to provide junior leaders with an opportunity to identify and rapidly field emerging technologies that address the Navy's most pressing challenges. The CRIC capitalizes on the unique perspective and familiarity that junior leaders possess regarding modern warfare, revolutionary ideas, and disruptive technologies.

Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) manages the program and provides administrative and travel support.

CRIC members are volunteers from a cross-section of Navy communities. Participation in the CRIC is a collateral duty that does not require a geographic relocation or release from one's present duty assignments. Selection to the CRIC is based partly on a candidate's proposed project. Once a CRIC member's project is approved, the member remains in the CRIC to shepherd his or her project to completion.

CRIC candidates must have exceptional drive, passion and vision necessary to carry a project to completion. The burden of membership is high, but the rewards are even greater. CRIC members regularly meet with leading innovators in the government and civilian sector, and have access to flag-level sponsorship, funding and a support staff dedicated to turning a member's vision into reality.

Ideal CRIC candidates are officers O-3 and below, and enlisted members E-4 to E-6 transitioning to or currently on shore duty. Having an identified problem to solve with a rapidly implementable solution is desired, but not required. CRIC members generally commit about four days per month outside of their regular duties, participating in ideation events and managing their project. Because CRIC membership is project-based, length of membership depends on the duration of the individual's project, but should not exceed 24 months.

Projects have included 3-D printing, Google Glass integration (Sea Glass), crowdsourced wargaming, and new communication capabilities.

The application for the CRIC is hosted on the Navy Warfare Development Command Navy Innovation Center website and requires two steps:

  1. APPLICATION FORM. Please CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE AN APPLICATION. Please note that the application includes 3 essay questions. Please limit your answers to 300 words each. It is recommended that you draft them in a word processing program, then cut and paste the answers into the forms. Have fun with the answers!
  2. PROJECT IDEA (WHITE PAPER & QUAD) AND RESUME. Please submit your project idea and resume as an attachment to an email to The project idea is one of the most critical aspects of your application.
Please CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TEMPLATES from Dropbox. After clicking the link, click the blue "Download" button in the top righthand corner and and choose "Save to my Dropbox".

The templates are also listed at . Right click the link, choose "Save" then open it. (The document may not open correctly if you click "Open" instead of "Save").

If you have any trouble downloading the documents, please email Ms. Cameron Cooper at

Notional Timeline:
Late 2014: Applications Open!
Jan. 31, 2015: Applications Closed
February 2015: Finalist Interviews
March 2015: Prospective CRIC members notified
May 2015: Senior Panel "Shark Tank" and Full CRIC members chosen

CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell
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