Up to this point we have brought in blocks of IP to help with the design of large systems, but what about insourcing the skills needed? DARPA thinks it might be a good idea...
Many years ago, I believed that the engineering teams of today would be from groups of independent designers, each with a unique set of skills, that were brought together to create specific products. The idea perhaps was right, but the implementation wrong, in that the reality was a distributed in what we now call the IP industry. Blocks are brought in from several places, rather than the talent brought in.
A few weeks ago, in one of my “What were they thinking” blogs, I talked about how Freescale was using the global community to help them in a patent dispute. They clearly believe that the knowledge in the community is superior to the ability of lawyers to find the necessary information. I believe they are right, but the program was ill designed.
Today, I find out that DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is getting into the action as well and this time with a big pot for the prize - $1,000,000. DARPA is calling on innovators with expertise in designing and engineering drivetrain and mobility systems to collaboratively design elements of a new amphibious infantry vehicle, the Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG).
There are three planned challenges with each focusing on increasingly complex vehicle subsytems and eventually on the design of a full, heavy amphibious infantry fighting vehicle that conforms to the requirements of the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV). In the course of the design challenges, participants will test DARPA’s META design tools and its VehicleFORGE collaboration environment, with the ultimate goal of demonstrating that the development timetable for a complex defense system can be compressed by a factor of five.
Now, I knew that military programs are inefficient, but they believe by a factor of five and are clearly willing to give up some amount of bloat in order to achieve that
For more information or to register for the first of DARPA’s FANG Challenges, go to vehicleforge.org.
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