GTRI to Join Forces with 3ID for Third Annual Marne Innovation Workshop
The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) marches into 2024 smartly with the Third Annual Marne Innovation Workshop, a collaborative event co-hosted with the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) and the Georgia Tech Army ROTC. Set for Jan. 4 -7, this workshop has rapidly become a cornerstone event, fostering innovation and problem-solving at the intersection of military needs and technological advancements.
The Marne Innovation Workshop, now in its third year, is a “meeting of minds” where real-world challenges faced by the 3ID are met with the ingenuity and technical prowess of GTRI's researchers, with assistance from the Army ROTC cadets. Over an intensive 36-hour period, mixed teams of researchers, soldiers, and students will dive deep into selected problems, aiming to emerge with viable, implementable solutions that can be integrated into 3ID's regular operations.
The inaugural event in 2022 laid the foundation, with participants tackling diverse challenges ranging from data analytics for combat vehicle crew selection to inventive solutions for mounting equipment on combat vehicles. The ingenuity and collaborative spirit showcased during the workshop led to practical solutions that have since been integrated into 3ID's work.
In 2023, the workshop continued to build on this foundation of innovation. Soldiers, students, and researchers congregated to brainstorm and create solutions targeting the enemy's capabilities, using locally sourced materials and minimal building experience. This approach not only fostered a hands-on problem-solving environment but also underscored the importance of resourcefulness and adaptability in modern military operations. The upcoming 2024 workshop promises to further this trajectory of innovation and practical problem-solving.
After the 2023 event, Maj. Patrick Kerins, the 3ID innovation officer, noted the workshop's role in fostering a culture of innovation within the Army. "Exposing soldiers to different methodologies, design thinking, and diverse levels of experience is crucial in building a force that is not only innovative in garrison but also dynamic and adaptable in combat scenarios.”GTRI's role in this partnership extends beyond mere co-hosting. It provides a unique environment where military personnel can access resources and expertise otherwise unavailable, bridging the gap between academic research and military application.
Andy Chang, a GTRI Senior Research Engineer in the Advanced Warfighting Technologies Division of ACL, described this synergy: "At GTRI, we're not just assisting in problem-solving; we're actively engaging in a knowledge exchange that benefits both the military and academic communities."
The Marne Innovations Workshop is more than a yearly event; it showcases the power of collaboration between the military and GTRI. It positions GTRI at the forefront of innovation, showcasing how today's technology can address the pressing needs of the military, all while preparing soldiers for the challenges of tomorrow.
In 2024, according to Chang, the Marne Innovation Workshop is expanding further. This year's event will have students from the University of North Georgia participating in the workshop. GTRI is also expanding collaboration with partners on campus.
"We’ll be partnering with Dr. Amit Jariwala in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering to get workshop participants access to the Flowers Invention Studio and other ME school facilities, which will help improve what our workshop participants will be able to do this year," said Chang.
As GTRI and 3ID gear up for another successful workshop, the spirit of innovation and collaboration continues to thrive, poised to yield results that will resonate far beyond Fort Stewart and the Institute.
Writer: Christopher Weems
Photos: Sean McNeil
Georgia Tech Research Institute
The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.