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Pathways and challenges to innovation in aerospace

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1 Author(s)
Terrile, R.J. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA

There are important lessons that can be applied to aerospace organizations by benchmarking external innovative organizations. The conservative nature of cutting edge engineering in space exploration tends to stifle non-traditional solutions. Additionally, the compartmentalized nature of technology advocacy tends to deter applications with multi-use or cross-cutting features. Successful innovating organizations have several characteristics that can be applied to aerospace. First, innovation starts at leadership with recognition of the value and the setting of high goals and expectations of infusion. Ideas are the seeds of innovation, but useless unless they can be infused. Second is recognition of the culture and if the culture cannot be changed then innovation can be structured to the culture. In a find the fault culture, find innovative ways to find the fault. Finally, environment for innovation is important. By creating opportunities and environments to explore cooperative ideas with the right mix of people, innovation can flourish.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 12 )