Friday, April 06, 2012

Pentagon Pushes Crowdsourced Manufacturing - NYTimes.com

Pentagon Pushes Crowdsourced Manufacturing - NYTimes.com

Designing and building things for the United States military is a notoriously slow-moving and costly endeavor. The time from idea to manufacturing for a new armored personnel carrier or a tank is typically 10 to 20 years.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to change that, and drastically so. It seeks to cut the design-to-production cycle  to  two to four years.
So how are they going to do it? Crowdsourcing and prize contests are crucial ingredients in the speed-up recipe.
The crowdsourcing effort will rely on a software initiative, called Vehicleforge.mil, which will be a Web portal for gathering, sharing and testing ideas.
G.E. Research
Darpa, a government-sponsored research program, has enlisted scientists from the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Vanderbilt University, University of Pennsylvania, and a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and General Electric. The work is getting under way in earnest now, with the first of three prize challenges scheduled for next...

-bth: if it works it may generate a whole new way of product and system development.  Fantastic idea.

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