Current Incubations

If you look at what generates power in this age, you find it comes from information processes, from information itself, and is supported and enabled by information technology.   -- Vice Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski (U.S. Navy, Ret.)

Cebrowski - Current Incubations

Cebrowski's Current Incubations

The Cebrowski Institute focuses incubations based on surfing for emergences, interdisciplinary networks, serendipity, design, and innovation.

Peter Denning (CS) and John Arquilla (DA)Graphic - Big Idea

The Big Ideas Exchange (BIX) is an NPS initiative that brings forward new and potentially game-changing thinking developed by NPS faculty and students to address grand challenges in American national security. These fresh approaches can become the lifeblood of future innovations in military and naval organization, doctrine, and strategy. They augur larger changes emerging in the world from recent technological advances.

  • Helping Navy leadership think and position for what is coming
  • Surfing emerging waves of technologies and possibilities, in search of new ideas that may change the world and military operations
  • Avoiding technology surprises
  • Setting future education requirements
  • Positioning for emerging technologies

Sue HigginsGraphic - Bering Strait

  • Navy Arctic Roadmap
  • Adaption and Resilience
  • Climate and Security

Warren Yu

  • To provide necessary technical environment, training and assessment for continuous integration to meet evolving Fleet counterterrorism and operational requirements via NITES Next. 

  • The fundamental research question is, "How might we best integrate a continuously supportive technical development environment across multiple teams who work under opposing fiscal, legal, and policy barriers in order to deliver timely, modern, efficient and effective solutions for the 21st century warfighter?"

  • The fundamental research question is, "How might we best develop and document an executable concept and process that will develop new METOC (Battlespace on Demand Tier 3) analytic capabilities supporting Fleet missions innate to FNMOC and NPS"?


Geroffrey Xie (CS), started 2010Crowd Sourcing - Graphic

Crowd sourcing for software verification


 Peter Denning (CS)Graphic - Big Data    

  • The science behind big data.
  • Drive by accelerating trend of digitization of almost everything.
  • Generate, collect, search, analyze, mine exabytes of data.
  • Navy must master this digital world for operational superiority.
  • Cooperation of data analysts, system architects, and application specialists.


Sue Higgins (Energy Culture)

Accessing how education and training delivered via new technologies might best contribute to current and planned efforts to change Navy energy culture in order to:

  • Create disruptive educational technologies to accelerate the change of energy culture.

  • Using technologies in innovative ways for Navy training, education and continuous learning.

  • Collaboration with other services.

  • Using MOOCs to accelerate Navy Energy Culture Change

Sue Higgins (Secretary of the Navy Executive Energy Series)

  • Workshops for senior navy leaders.

John Gibson (formerly Brian Steckler), 2004 - 2015

Hastily Formed Networks (HFN)

  • Suitcase Internet communications for Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR). 

  • Networks of multiple organizations formed on short notice for crises, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

  • HA/DR is now a Navy strategic objective. 

  • Student teams to Tsunami, Katrina, Haiti, Philippines, CA wildfires, and exercises

  • Visible "trademark" of NPS

Peter Denning and Nick Dew (Innovation Adoption)

  • Adoption is the real challenge of innovation - design is the "easy" part

  • Big challenge in Navy to overcome bureaucratic inertia and maintain leadership in use of technologies

  • E-week workshops "innovation by design" since 2009


Sue Higgins (Design Thinking)Graphic - Design Thinking

  • Developed first NPS design studio in CI, modeled after Silicon Valley IDEO and Stanford D Center

  • Especially useful for finding solutions to wicked problems

  • Initial project:  Army 2020 (GEN Odierno)

  • Design approach increasing in classe and projects across campus


Gurminder Singh, and John Gibson (CS), started 2010

  • Exploring a Supporting Arms Coordinator Concept for Cyber Fires

    • Field Testing of Satellites

    • Coalition Field Exercises in Europe

    • DARPA for the Adaptable Sensor System Program

    • Tactical Chat Capability

Geroffrey Xie (CS), started 2010

  • Initiated by NPS student Capt Josh Dixon (USMC) who had dual major; Business-CS

  • Make MWC a seamless part of the USMC & army field operations

  • Involved faculty and students from IS, SE, CS, DA, ECE, GSBPP, TRADOC

  • Increase communication capabilities while maintaining security/reliability and reducing overall costs.

Sue Higgins (Leaders in Virtual Worlds)Graphic - Training in Virtual Worlds

By using immersive virtual environments as learning platforms:

  • To bridge cultures

  • Improve leadership

  • Enhance teamwork

  • Using immersive virtual environments as learning platforms to help student to bridge the perceived culture gap between weekend reservists and those who serve full time.


Sue Higgins (Next Generation of Leaders)

  • Grow senior officers capable of thinking strategically in the world that will exist in 20 or more years

  • Digital technologies everywhere

  • Most operations are digital

  • Adversaries operate by swarming in small networks hidden in Internet

  • Full of uncertainties, surprises, disruptions


Alison Kerr (CI), started 2005 (STEM)STEM Logo

  • Launched summer intern program with Hartnell Community College in Salinas, Hispanic students, 1st generation north Americans and college attendees
  • Navy encourages outreach to develop young people who might later engage with Navy.
  • Wide participation across campus
  • Grew from 2 interns (2005) to >100 (2015)
  • Now manages two additional intern programs
  • One of the top Navy STEM intern labs
  • Transition to Dean of Research in 2013
  • PhDs & Polka Dots

Sue Higgins (CI) project scheduled to start in FY18

  • TIDES (Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support) is a knowledge-sharing DoD research project that:

    • Promotes individual and community resilience, and

    • Supports four DoD mission areas:

      • Building Partner Capacity

      • Defense Support of Civil Authorities

      • Humanitarian Assistance/Foreign Disaster Respsonse

      • Stability and Peacekeeping Operations

    • Focus is on theater engagement, Phasing 0 Shaping, Improving effectiveness in phases 4-5, and messaging.

  • Leveraging Global Talent, Promoting Integrated Approaches, Support Local Societies, and Change Behaviors. 

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