ATHENA Project Showcase: theGRID


When it comes to innovation in the Navy, it can be difficult to network and identify individuals who share a passion for the same project. Certainly, initiatives such as Athena and the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum aim to strengthen ties and create a web of innovators who can share a free marketplace of ideas, but connecting people remains a challenge.

Further, it can be frustrating for an innovator to be working a project only to find out that somewhere, someone else had been painstakingly hammering away at the same project. This duplication of effort and thought would be much better served if there was a way for those two inspired people had an avenue to connect.

In the spirit of The Athena Project, LT Dave Nobles pitched the concept for an application that would create a venue for people to connect to share ideas. It’s called theGRID.

theGRID would be a mobile application to harness the power of spontaneous interactions.  Through a bulletin board, instant messaging capability, and location-based interactive services, theGRID will allow Naval Personnel to connect, share ideas and explore new concepts.

Through a one-time, CAC-required registration, users could list their information and search for others that shared the same job, educational background, interests, ranks, specialties and previous commands. Really, any searchable discriminator could be added in as a filter.

Users can filter personal information, and using location-enabling, can find others on theGRID with similar information. For example, you could pop into a briefing at the base theater, and if you wondered if any other Weapons Officers were in the room, you could open the app, search it, and connect.

"Whoa, you know there's a better way to find other Repair Division Officers than running around with a megaphone, right?"

“Whoa, you know there’s a better way to find other Repair Division Officers than running around with a megaphone, right?”

The bulletin board feature would allow users to comment on others’ thoughts and postings, which would provide for another means to search for like-minded thinkers and doers in the Fleet.

Following the pitch at Athena, the team at the University of Southern California expressed interest in theGRID and is currently working through models to determine feasibility and proof of concept. A team of innovators from USS BENFOLD will travel to Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 23rd to meet with the researchers there and discuss the progress and the way forward.


You can like Athena on Facebook: or follow us on Twitter: @AthenaNavy.


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