Coast Guard Steers the Way Toward Innovative Thinking and Collaboration

Coast Guard District 7 NewsTAMPA, Fla. – More than a decade since its inception, the Coast Guard Innovation Expo offers a refreshing array of exhibits, panel discussions and interactive demonstrations showcasing its culture of creative problem-solving. The 11th annual expo will be held Oct. 25-27, at the Convention Center, in Tampa.

“An important hallmark of the Coast Guard is its empowerment of innovative thinking, dating back to the earliest days of our founding as the Revenue Cutter Service, more than 221 years ago,” said Cmdr. Hugh Griffiths, Innovation and Initiatives Program Manager, Coast Guard Office of Performance Management. “Thinking of ways to solve problems that affect how we conduct search and rescue, perform administrative tasks, or work on marine environmental protection, make a huge difference. It’s why the Office of Innovation brings together military crews, members of the maritime and defense industries and the public to address an array of unique issues.”

The Expo, sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association offers an exciting look into advanced maritime and military technologies. There will be opportunities for discussion and demonstrations of how some of our innovative members address an array of challenges faced by the Coast Guard. The event offers a rare glimpse inside the ways innovation is fostered at each level of the organization, to address issues such as safety, efficiency, and environmentally compatible technologies.

This year’s theme, “Innovation: Steering the Course for Enduring Excellence”, highlights our focus on charting a course for creative solutions, in a dynamic global environment. Sub-focus areas include green technologies, and an emphasis on solving challenges faced by Coast Guard members and their families. One such solution involves green technologies that improve heating and cooling at a significant cost savings in military housing.

“Some of the exciting solutions we have seen evolve into the implementation phase are actually sparked at the Expo,” said Griffiths, pointing to a range of solutions such as healthier cooking aboard a cutter, ways to more efficiently access shipboard firefighting gear, efforts to tweak existing software to improve tracking deployed personnel, and decontamination of vessels exposed to oily water.

Panel discussions include experts on knowledge management and virtual learning. The exhibit hall will have more than 250 booths showcasing out-of-the box problem solving and provides an informal forum for idea sharing. The event also offers a helicopter rescue demonstration, and the chance to see Coast Guard vessels. Key Coast Guard leaders will attend the opening ceremonies beginning Tuesday at 8 a.m. The public is invited to the expo, showcasing innovations that are critical to the success of Coast Guard crews.

“Innovation is about new ways of looking at challenges and changing things for the better,” said Griffiths. “That is very exciting and it is exactly why we encourage the public to attend, to collaborate and assist us in meeting and overcoming our challenges.”

Members of the maritime industry are encouraged to stop by the three-day expo and interact with Coast Guard innovators. You can also follow the Innovation Expo virtually on Facebook, by logging on to:!/event.php?eid=261428357224705


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