VICKSBURG, Miss.— With a goal in mind of shifting a risk averse culture to one that will take chances on innovative ideas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will host its virtual 2021 Innovation Summit next week from Oct. 25-29.
“When I think of innovation, I think of it in three ways,” explained Dr. David Pittman, director of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), who also serves as chief scientist and director of research and development for USACE. “The first is technology; the second is business practices; the third is people, and with people, we’re talking about instilling an innovative spirit, emphasizing innovation and training on innovation. This event will feature all three.”
Featuring keynote speakers from USACE, Amazon, NASA, Microsoft, the Department of Defense and many more businesses and agencies, the high-profile five-day networking event has a theme of “Innovation to Impact: Leading from the Future.” Speakers will share insights on how innovation has transformed their workplaces, as well as give details on some of their most forward-thinking projects.
“We’re so excited about the lineup of speakers we have,” Pittman said about the Summit, which is now in its second year. “They’re coming from companies that are known all over the world for taking major strides in creating a culture of innovation, and they’re participating to share their practices and expertise with us.”
Though the idea of innovation is nothing new for ERDC, Pittman said it’s more important than ever to continue fostering the collaboration that drives it.
“Research and development requires constant modernization, especially when you’re tackling challenges as tough as the ones we deal with,” he explained. “In order to be truly innovative, we must be willing to work with those outside of our organization. Partnerships are vital to the USACE mission of delivering engineering solutions for our Nation’s toughest challenges. That’s what this Summit is all about, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
“USACE is on the frontline of innovation across the entire enterprise for the Army,” said Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, USACE Commanding General and 55th Chief of Engineers for USACE. “I’m encouraging and driving every member of our team to show up every day and look at innovative ways that we can change the army corps of engineers for the better.”
In addition to speaker presentations, the Summit will also include panel discussions, poster/booth sessions and virtual tours.
The event is open to all USACE and Department of Defense team members, as well as current and future partners in industry and academia. There is no cost to attend, but please register at www.usaceinnovationsummit.org.