FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
Sometimes smaller meals are easier to digest. That was the premise for the Defense Logistics Agency Research and Development “Snack” Symposium. The half-day event was hosted at DLA Headquarters on June 9. Attendees were treated to short R&D presentations and discussions versus a longer, full-day symposium. The event allowed R&D program managers to engage with agency stakeholders to explore new research opportunities. DLA Vice Director Brad Bunn discussed the future of DLA operations and emphasized the theme of speed, scope and scale.
“In our world, we need things that move from somebody’s good idea to execution at scope and scale. That has to be the hallmark of our R&D program.”
Bunn noted that DLA R&D goes beyond the typical concept of R&D as being material technology. He explained that DLA’s R&D efforts are also applied to basic business processes and referenced the vast amount of auditable transactions flowing through DLA’s information technology systems daily.
“Even a small thing that doesn’t require a lot of R&D investment can be a game changer for how we do our business,” Bunn said. “So that is what I’m looking for in this.”
David Koch, director of DLA R&D, told attendees he attributed the program’s growth over the last year to increasing external investments and extending partnerships in academia, industry and the military services.
During the Snack Symposium, DLA senior leaders participated in an exclusive roundtable discussion to consider how R&D can address their requirements and how they can use R&D’s new technology to advance their missions.
Attendees visited R&D booths manned by project managers to ask questions and learn about various projects and initiatives. The R&D team also hosted targeted tech talks to provide information on solution and technology transition assistance, partnerships, applied research and testing emerging technologies, and how to do business with R&D.
The R&D Snack Symposium was the culmination of multiple site visits to DLA major subordinate commands over the last few months. R&D program managers met with MSC leadership and stakeholders to explore new projects and partnerships. The Snack Symposium provided an opportunity to discuss the outcomes of the MSC visits and collaborate with DLA Headquarters leadership and stakeholders.