5
Goals, Models, and Alternatives for an NSTEC

This chapter discusses organizational goals, operating models, and other issues considered by the committee that bear on the development of alternatives for establishing an Army center for NSTE. The committee recognized that the potential creation of an NSTEC would realistically occur in an environment of existing organizations and resources, legal constraints, and plans in progress. However, the committee believed that merely yielding to what seemed a likely or inevitable course of development strictly based on these circumstances was not the most useful perspective from which to conduct its study. Whatever model is used, basic organizational goals for an Army NSTEC should be kept in focus.

ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS

Decisions involved in setting the best organizational structure should be grounded in a clear set of goals that take into account and balance historical experience and current conditions, while allowing some flexibility in dealing with changing conditions in the future as fundamental understanding of networks increases and innovations in network applications emerge. At its core, the organization must be able to attract (i.e., compete for) and wisely use the intelligence and talents of scientists and researchers; adequately partner with the creativity and innovation of the private sector (including industry and academia) concerning the application of network structures; and deliver results that meet the special needs of military operations. The organization must be able to achieve each of the above well into the future under uncertain economic, political, and social conditions, and unrelenting technological change. This section explains in greater detail the core goals and their implications.



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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation 5 Goals, Models, and Alternatives for an NSTEC This chapter discusses organizational goals, operating models, and other issues considered by the committee that bear on the development of alternatives for establishing an Army center for NSTE. The committee recognized that the potential creation of an NSTEC would realistically occur in an environment of existing organizations and resources, legal constraints, and plans in progress. However, the committee believed that merely yielding to what seemed a likely or inevitable course of development strictly based on these circumstances was not the most useful perspective from which to conduct its study. Whatever model is used, basic organizational goals for an Army NSTEC should be kept in focus. ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS Decisions involved in setting the best organizational structure should be grounded in a clear set of goals that take into account and balance historical experience and current conditions, while allowing some flexibility in dealing with changing conditions in the future as fundamental understanding of networks increases and innovations in network applications emerge. At its core, the organization must be able to attract (i.e., compete for) and wisely use the intelligence and talents of scientists and researchers; adequately partner with the creativity and innovation of the private sector (including industry and academia) concerning the application of network structures; and deliver results that meet the special needs of military operations. The organization must be able to achieve each of the above well into the future under uncertain economic, political, and social conditions, and unrelenting technological change. This section explains in greater detail the core goals and their implications.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Attracting and Retaining Human Talent When assessing the needs of highly qualified people, several issues require attention. Studies suggest that the most important factor in attracting and retaining talented technical professionals is challenging work in the field of their chosen endeavor. In the long term, several unknowns directly related to the emerging field of network science impact the kinds of work incentives that can be offered. These unknowns include: Whether network science as a field of study will connect sufficiently with industry objectives so that increasing job opportunities and work challenges arise that attract the best young minds; Whether network sciences will evolve so that new skills and abilities emerge that support more learning opportunities and thus career longevity; Whether network science as a field of work will evolve in a stable pattern (as opposed to fits and starts that lead to career instability); and Whether new professions, occupations, credentials, and job specialties will emerge in the field of network science that fit well within the federal governmental system. The answers to these unknowns will determine whether the Army is in a position to support long-term careers in network science and thus get the technical and military-related results needed from an NSTEC. If network science develops in a manner that successfully addresses the unknowns listed above, then the Army will be well positioned to deal with more traditional key issues such as developing management so that good management is the norm and is supportive of a positive work atmosphere; offering continuously available attractive job benefits; using innovative organizational structures; and managing to encourage a team orientation to research work so that strong career relationships emerge. In the near term, the incentives needed to compete for qualified people may be within the Army’s reach. They include competitive salaries and benefits; policies supportive of rewards and recognition; attractive work/life balance in jobs; family-friendly policies; opportunities for educational advancement; attractive on-site amenities; and flexibility in work culture (flexible dress and environment). For exceptionally qualified people, other incentives come into play and may be more difficult for the Army (or any federal lab) to offer due to legal constraints. These incentives include competitive salaries and housing assistance in high-cost areas of the country; first-class relocation assistance; and support for child education. Finally, incentives that promote diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, and culture, including assistance with immigration issues, may be important to members of the workforce now and likely even more so in the future.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Partnering with Industry and Academia There is a long history of federal laboratories and research connecting with and partnering with private industry and academia. This experience can suggest ways by which the organizational goals of an NSTEC could be fulfilled, e.g., by enabling new network science applications for the military. As with the computer and biological sciences, the creative and innovative lead in exploiting network science clearly exists in private industry and academia. The private sector has been responsible for bringing most of the practical network science applications, especially computer and communications network technologies, into the service of both consumers and the military. Without access to the talents and resources of private industry, it would be impossible to stay on the leading edge of network science applications, much less continually and economically create special versions of such applications suited for military applications. While history provides examples of successful collaborations between government and the private sector, the NSTEC approach to partnership should be multi-dimensional and not limited to standard models. The participating parties and forms of collaboration will depend on the types of research undertaken. For example, a project involving engineering improvements to field wireless capabilities of current communications networks would benefit from industry involvement. Other types of projects require other strengths. An experimental exploration of how to make timely decisions utilizing massive data sets from large-scale data fusion test facilities would have to involve leading-edge academic efforts in data fusion, social networking, and modeling. This would allow well-framed questions to be examined such that predictive (and therefore practically useful) results could be obtained. Other types of projects, e.g., defining how both large and small military units could utilize advanced network communications capabilities to improve command and control, might involve partnering with industry or academia or both in combination. An Army NSTEC must be prepared to exploit the most relevant research capabilities wherever they might be found. This requirement will involve structuring a wide variety of partnership arrangements, from simple to complex, based on determining the directions of research with high potential payoff. Collaborations need to be nurtured that combine the knowledge and competencies of both the academic and the industrial world, encouraging partnerships in the development of future military capabilities. Meeting Special Military Needs The growth of network science and applications will fuel the globalavailability of network technologies in the consumer market, in turn leading to competition-driven technological innovation. These products and services will sometimes have direct military applications for network-centric warfare; however, in many cases

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation they will have to be modified for military use. A core organizational goal for an NSTEC would be to develop these special applications quickly and economically. Similarly, advances tailored to military needs will require vision and focus, as well as unprecedented agility in coordinating diverse efforts. In this regard, it will be particularly important for an NSTEC to leverage industry efforts and to avoid duplicative investments in technology development. One highly successful model of government and industry collaboration dates back to the pioneering days of aviation. Specialized facilities (primarily wind tunnels) of the National Advisory Commission on Aeronautics (NACA) were made available to industry to test and evaluate industry developments. This arrangement created a natural forum for government and industry experts to interact to their mutual benefit. The world-class facilities and infrastructure of an NSTEC may prove attractive to industry for its own experimentation and demonstration purposes. This in turn could create a forum for productive interchanges between NSTEC researchers and the broader community of network scientists. The primary aims of collaboration and partnering between the military and private industry are access to technology and intelligent people, as well as the sharing of research and development costs. Secondary but also important reasons concern local economic development (including jobs) and support of education (especially higher education). Such collaboration helps in sustaining long-term U.S. global economic and technological competitiveness. All of these aspects are relevant for the general advancement of network science. Thus, making collaboration between people on both sides (private and government) easy, and making technology transfer between industry and the government as smooth as possible, should be viewed as primary goals for an NSTEC organization. Private industry most likely will not be in a position to readily leverage benefits from government-sponsored research in network science, especially that which may be critical or essential to invention or innovation for military purposes. The pace of development of commercial products for the marketplace is much too fast to depend on government-funded research. Therefore, it might be necessary to provide incentives for business to collaborate with government in such instances. Effective incentives for collaboration might include easier technology transfer; programs that simultaneously foster local economic development; technical and financial support to private enterprise (especially for smaller businesses); access to laboratory facilities for industry research and testing; and programs that support local education and thus contribute to increasing the talent pool. Collaboration with industry can also be assured through strong mandates and reward systems for collaboration within the labs, clear congressional and administration support for government-industry collaboration, and funding support within the labs.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation OPERATING MODELS FOR NSTEC GOVERNANCE The operating model chosen for NSTEC governance should be capable of addressing the following key elements: Bringing the best and brightest minds to bear on the networking problems confronting the military; Ensuring incentives for motivating the workforce; Minimizing the effects of technological obsolescence on personnel and research equipment and infrastructure; Establishing effective collaboration throughout the Department of Defense (DOD) and with other agencies of government, the private sector, and internationally; Enhancing joint service/combined operations networking; and Adopting technology, management approaches, and business practices that optimize or smooth the path for the flow of technology into fielded military capabilities. Box 5-1 shows that these goals are consistent with criteria developed by the RAND Corporation to assess optimal operating models for military R&D laboratories (Owen et al., 2001). Structure An Army NSTEC should have strong and effective management, be supported by state-of-the-art infrastructure, and be attractive to top-flight scientists and technologists. The leadership of an NSTEC should be supportive of the technical interests of an excellent workforce, foster a spirit of innovation, and be proactive in advancing the leading edge of network technology. Policies should be adopted that support: Long-term career development and stability to make work at the NSTEC an attractive career step for up to 5 years; Management development for proven managerial talent; An expeditious hiring process; Opportunities for creativity on the job; Use of innovative organizational approaches; Competitive salaries/benefits; praise/reward/recognition policies; family-friendly policies; educational advancement; and a flexible work culture; and Attractive state-of-the-art facilities and on-site amenities.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation BOX 5-1 Key Attributes of an Army Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Center Understand and influence the Army’s long-term vision in order to maintain military technological superiority. Plan and direct a research program to implement the Army vision. Influence and leverage commercial technology/system developments. Conducthigh-quality, revolutionary government-funded research, development, engineering, and analysis in key advanced technologies/systems. Conduct high-quality, comprehensive, evolutionary government-funded research, development, engineering, and analysis. Perform the “smart-buyer” function for current and future materiel acquisitions. Plan and direct the integration of technologies into current and future weapon systems. Evolve as necessary to effectively and efficiently achieve mission goals. SOURCE: Adapted from Owen et al., 2001. To compete at the highest levels, the Army should additionally consider incentives such as the following: Housing and relocation assistance; Support for child education; Programs to address workforce diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, and culture; and Provision for a budget commitment to the top 10-20 percent of recruits for capital equipment as part of the hiring process, thereby allowing recruits to select equipment in an arrangement analogous to a university “start-up package” model. Special Authorities If all or part of the NSTEC will be a government-owned, government-operated laboratory or network of laboratories staffed primarily by a civil service workforce, full advantage must be taken of existing management flexibilities afforded by special authorities, particularly those in the areas of personnel and

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation procurement.1 As a prerequisite to taking advantage of these flexibilities, NSTEC leadership must encourage line managers and affected staff officers (including contracting and personnel officials) at all levels to use such nontraditional methods when appropriate, and make available specific training for doing so. The value of flexible personnel management and procurement techniques is not necessarily immediately obvious, at least to federal insiders. As some may observe, most of the federal government usually operates by using standard legal authorities to conduct its business, which may lead one to ask: Why do anything different? The simple answer is that many organizations get by on sub-standard management systems and practices; unless challenged to be top-flight or world-class organizations, they will not necessarily recognize the need to do things differently. Personnel If an Army NSTEC is to perform world-class research and technology development, it will have to be a world-class organization with world-class talent. These “best and brightest” have many career opportunities available to them and are much less likely than less-talented candidates to wait through the months-long hiring process that is often standard in the federal government. The traditional federal personnel hiring sequence—(1) classify a position, (2) recruit candidates, (3) evaluate candidates, and (4) make an offer—is simply not the optimal system for an organization such as that being envisioned for an NSTEC. Instead, a system whereby the best and brightest talent among network science technologists are being constantly sought is preferred, e.g., via an ongoing competitive procedure for appointments. Rather than filling an already classified position, an alternative sequence on a much shorter time scale will often be appropriate, such as, for example, (1) identifying a highly qualified candidate in a key area of network science, (2) creating a position attractive to the candidate and the NSTEC, and (3) making an offer. Such a sequence can be completed in weeks or even days rather than months and is an approach that has been used successfully by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The full extent of authority available to create alternative personnel systems within the DOD has often been underutilized either by inaction at DOD top levels, or by the inability of responsible human resources professionals to fully embrace nontraditional concepts (Coffey et al., 2003; DeYoung, 2003).2 In 2008, 1 Maximizing available existing special authorities is an alternative for Army laboratory governance referred to as “baseline plus” (Owen et al., 2001). 2 Letter from J. Lieberman, J.M. Inhofe, M.L. Landrieu, J. Bingaman, E.M. Kennedy, B. Nelson, and J. McCain, to Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary, United States Department of Defense, highlighting “our concerns with the Department of Defense’s efforts to recruit and retain top-flight scientific and engineering talent for its laboratories,” in a press release dated August 5, 2002. Additionally, the head of the DARPA Human Resources Directorate told a member of the committee of the apparent inability of some other DOD human resources specialists to comprehend the DARPA approach.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation the national security personnel system (NSPS) might become applicable to DOD organizations performing NSTE. There is no reason to believe, however, that the NSPS will afford an NSTEC, or any other laboratory organizations, more flexibility than is already available to them. Arguably, the NSPS may be viewed as a step backward from alternative approaches.3 Meanwhile, the DOD plan to implement the NSPS has been partially thwarted because key elements of the NSPS have been permanently enjoined by court action (USDC, 2006). For the most part, statutes authorizing laboratory demonstration projects and similar projects allow flexibility within existing federal pay levels (most commonly used are “pay bands”), but do not necessarily authorize federal employees to be paid at competitive rates in circumstances where job market rates exceed federal limits. However, authority to exceed normal federal pay limits does exist under at least two available authorities, but only for limited terms. One authority is the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), which allows personnel from eligible organizations (typically universities) to come to the federal government and act as federal employees for 2 to 4 years while being paid by their sending institution. The federal government reimburses the sending institution in whole or part for the expense of the employee’s salary and benefits. The second authority (known as the “experimental personnel authority”) was pioneered by DARPA but is available to any designated DOD laboratory. Terms are up to 4 or 6 years. Salary and bonuses for specially qualified scientists and engineers may considerably exceed normal federal pay limits.4 Such term-limited employment arrangements can generate a continued flow of “new blood” (and more pertinently, new ideas) into the organization. Procurement As with the federal personnel system, the federal procurement system seems to function adequately, and its weaknesses may not be immediately apparent. The federal procurement system is very extensive and involves a variety of players ranging from Congress and the President to a myriad of contracting officers, contract administrators, inspectors, auditors, and others. Moreover, it is complex, involving laws; formal and informal regulations, guidance, and standards; court and administrative decisions; and its own lore. This complexity has led 3 For example, since 1980, a number of the laboratory demonstration projects under various authorities have often achieved a noteworthy degree of success using alternative approaches to staffing requirements. 4 The IPA is found at Title 5 USC 3371-3376; the “experimental personnel authority” was originally authorized by Sec. 1101 of P.L. 105-261 and extended by Sec. 1116, P.L. 108-136 (see Title 5 USC 3104 note). If the Army NSTEC were to become a world-class organization and present challenging technical problems to the scientists and engineers employed there, it might not be necessary to match the private sector job market dollar-for-dollar in order to attract outstanding talent. However, financial compensation so low as to require a significant sacrifice on the part of potential employees will undoubtedly have an adverse effect.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation observers to make such comments as, “If someone were asked to come up with a contracting system for the federal government, it is inconceivable that a reasonable person or committee of reasonable people could come up with our current system” (Nagle, 1992, p. 519). Additionally, the effects of the regulatory nature of the federal procurement system have been aptly described by one expert in the following terms: A body of laws, regulations, and practices has developed that control the many daily procurement actions between DOD and its suppliers. Although each of these may have a valid historic rationale, the result is that there are only a few firms skilled in conducting defense business, and they may be totally isolated from, and uncompetitive with, their commercial counterparts. Even firms that operate in both military and commercial worlds are forced to separate the two parts of their operations…. Other commercial firms simply refuse to accept R&D contracts from DOD because of their specialized rules. (Gansler, 1996, pp. 23-24)5 Having separate procedural business practices for defense industry projects and the broader commercial sector presents real-world problems. In areas such as network science, where cutting-edge research is being conducted by non-defense firms, means must be found by which these separate ways of conducting business can be bridged. Means for overcoming other barriers that exist between commercial firms seeking entry to the federal procurement system and defense contractors likewise must be found. A key role for an organization such as an NSTEC will be to form relationships or partnerships with both the non-defense sector (commercial industry and academia) and the defense industry to help bridge the gap. How an NSTEC could conduct its business would be critical to that effort. Standard contracting vehicles used in government laboratory R&D contracting include the procurement contract (typically a cost-reimbursement type contract), assistance instruments (grants and cooperative agreements), and the cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA). These are used respectively to (1) acquire goods and services for the direct benefit and use of the government, (2) stimulate and support private sector activities that have a governmental purpose, and (3) transfer government technology to the private sector and involve the private sector in government R&D. However, the statutory purpose and approved uses of these contracting vehicles were not necessarily intended to be applicable to multiple objectives on the part of the government, nor were they necessarily designed for complex transactions involving multiple parties. The standard procurement contracting authorities can be used intelligently 5 The situation described by Gansler more than 10 years ago has worsened. There are barely half a dozen large contractors capable of performing the role of system integrator (prime contractor) on major defense procurement programs. The isolation of the defense industry from the broader commercial sector continues at other levels as well.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation and flexibly, but layers of bureaucracy, excessive oversight, and certain inflexible rules often deter their innovative and optimal use. Government intellectual property rules, government cost and accounting standards, and the complexity of government regulations can limit the willingness of private sector parties to participate in government R&D programs. There are, however, a number of statutes that permit government research, prototype development, and acquisition for experimental purposes to be done outside the purview of the basic laws and regulations that traditionally are used for government procurement.6 To perform contract research or carry out prototype projects, an Army NSTEC should make routine use of these “other transactions” authorities in preference to using standard authorities.7 These authorities allow, or in certain circumstances require, cost sharing. Cost sharing and recovery of funds should be considered in projects that have potential commercial implications as well as military payoffs.8 Costs that are recovered under these authorities can be used to fund additional research. Cost recovery should not be a primary goal of any project, but it should not be overlooked. Note also that signal equipment (a key element of communications networks) can be acquired in experimental quantities outside the normal procurement statutes.9 In order for an NSTEC to make full use of the special acquisition techniques inherent in these statutes, it is essential that DOD and the Army delegate adequate authority. Other than reporting requirements, any existing DOD and Army limitations on the use of these authorities should be lifted, and the NSTEC should be allowed to experiment and innovate to the full extent consistent with the statutes themselves. Any funds recovered under these statutes should become available to the NSTEC. A number of DOD organizations have already made effective use of the special acquisition authorities referred to above. For example, these authorities have been used to support research projects, especially those involving consortia of diverse firms, government agencies, and organizations. Useful examples are available from DARPA and the Army Research Laboratory consortia. This form of contracting has the potential to be particularly attractive to commercial firms due to its simplicity, flexibility in crafting intellectual property provisions, and the avoidance of cost-reimbursement contracting. 6 Primary statutes in this regard include “Research Projects: Transactions Other Than Contracts and Grants” (Title 10 USC 2371); “Section 845” prototyping (Title 10 USC 2371 note); and “Procurement for Experimental Purposes” (Title 10 USC 2373). 7 Despite the statutory requirements related to these authorities, their “routine” use is indeed possible to support R&D projects given an understanding of what is actually involved in research or prototype development. 8 Cost-sharing contracts (FAR 16.303) and cost sharing or recoupments (FAR 35.003) are both possible using standard procurement contracts. Cost recovery under Title 10 USC 2371 is more flexible than recoupment and not limited to the total amount of the government investment. 9 The authority under Title 10 USC 2373 to purchase ordnance, chemical, and aeronautical supplies may also prove useful.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Major prototype projects conducted by a number of DOD agencies under Section 845 of Title 10 USC 2371 provide additional examples of the potential of alternative acquisition approaches. Prototyping is an important “try before you buy” approach to acquisition. Such an approach is probably more important in the area of network science than in many other areas. The Army should advocate that Congress remove legislative restrictions added to the prototyping authority in recent years.10 The use of special acquisition authorities is not an end in itself. An NSTEC would have to develop complementary policies and utilize flexible acquisition approaches to help implement such policies. It would also need to develop policies that implement flexible approaches to produce real effects. These include: Developing working relationships using the infrastructure networks to establish continual teaming with key players including universities, industry, networks of program executive officers, program managers, and joint networks; Developing capital equipment policy and planning that renews equipment on a timescale consistent with the fast pace of technological advances; Incentivizing participation by all contributors through shared results and recognition of the value of their connection with and enhancement of the NSTEC; Focusing attention on a “try before you buy” approach to prototyping; Establishing close relationships with the central technical support facility (CTSF), the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC), and other technology transition organizations and crafting these relationships to the advantage of the Army at large; Conducting deliberate and well-planned funding of target activities; and Seeking Army and DOD agreement to modify the acquisition cycle to fit the needs of networks (as distinguished from platforms). Governance and Business Attributes The potential for improvements in the governance and business practices of federal laboratories has been repeatedly studied over the decades (Coffey et al., 2003; Bement, 1980; Deutch, 1987). The pressure for federal laboratories to operate more efficiently and effectively has led to calls for laboratory reform or reinvention and more recently has been driven by consolidation, closure, realignment, and personnel downsizing dating from the end of the Cold War. A fairly clear lesson from previous studies is that for an NSTEC to operate effectively 10 Prototype projects (Section 845, Title 10 USC 2371 note) conducted outside the federal acquisition regulations are useful both to bring commercial firms into defense acquisition programs and to allow traditional defense contractors to become more “commercial-like” and innovate outside the current system.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation and efficiently, its governance and business practices cannot follow the model of a government-owned, government-operated laboratory subject to personnel, procurement, and other government bureaucratic systems, nor will minor adjustments to a “business as usual” approach be sufficient. Two highly credible reports on the subject of laboratory governance, one general and one specific to the Army, contain similar findings (Coffey et al., 2003; Owen et al., 2001). Both studies conclude that the most effective models, given all considerations, are either government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO); a federal government corporation (FGC); or a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC). Examples of each are the Livermore National Laboratory (GOCO), the Tennessee Valley Authority (FGC), and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory (FFRDC).11 A comparative analysis of these three forms is provided in Table 5-1. The GOCO and FFRDC operating models have long histories of successfully conducting research and development (R&D). Over the years, however, there has been a gradual increase in regulation that has constrained their independence and innovation in adopting best practices in business and management. Within the Department of Defense, FFRDCs are subject to increasing constraints, and few new FFRDCs have been formed in recent years. A number of new UARCs have been created. UARCs are similar to FFRDCs in many ways but are subject to less regulation. An example of a UARC with a long history of success is the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. This laboratory actually started as an FFRDC but later lost that status and was subsequently chartered as a UARC. A FGC that is legislatively established by Congress with its own charter may be the best approach to creating a world-class NSTEC. However, since there is no existing example of an FGC chartered specifically to perform R&D, such an approach would be experimental in nature and involve risks that may be inappropriate for an undertaking so closely aligned with DOD transformation and successful Army operations. As useful as the FFRDC model has been in the past, the increasing constraints placed on FFRDCs, and the reluctance of DOD to push for the creation of new FFRDCs, limits its attractiveness as a model for an NSTEC. The UARC may, however, be considered a more viable model. The GOCO also provides a possible model for an NSTEC. Within the Department of Energy, the GOCO national laboratories are administered and receive government oversight through management and operations contracts (FAR Sub- 11 The terminology used in the cited reports and adopted here is not necessarily universally used or mutually exclusive. The committee finds the terminology used, combined with the examples, useful for this report. It should be noted that many GOCO (and some FFRDC) facilities are not laboratories. As far as the committee is aware, no FGC has research and development as its primary mission. Other models not cited in Coffey et al. (2003) or Owen et al. (2001), such as the university-affiliated research centers (UARCs), have many similarities to the models cited.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation TABLE 5-1 Comparative Analysis Adapted from RAND E-Delphi Exercise Assessment Criteria Government-owned/Contractor-operated (GOCO) Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) Federal Government Corporation (FGC) Understand and influence the Army’s long-term vision Good Excellent Good Plan and direct a research program Excellent Excellent Excellent Influence and leverage commercial technology Good Good Excellent Conduct revolutionary research, development, test, and evaluation in key areas Good Excellent Good Conduct comprehensive evolutionary research, development, test, and evaluation Good Excellent Excellent Perform the “smart buyer” function Good Excellent Excellent Plan and direct the integration of technologies Excellent Excellent Excellent Evolve the organization Good Excellent Good NOTE: “Good” and “Excellent” ratings adapted from original 1-5 rating scale. SOURCE: Adapted from Owen et al., 2001. part 17.6), as does the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This is not necessarily the only way to provide oversight, but it constitutes a convenient model for consideration of the government-contractor relationship. If it is pre-determined to select a university or nonprofit organization as the operating contractor, the contract could be awarded non-competitively (FAR 6.302-3); otherwise, competitive procedures could be used. Absent legislative relief, any conversion from functions now performed by government civilian employees to functions performed by contract would require compliance with laws and regulations governing such conversions, primarily by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 (OMB, 1999). The financial cost and difficulty of complying with all the rules governing conversion from a government to contractor performance model resulted in the Naval

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Research Laboratory rejecting a plan to convert to non-government performance in the 1990s (Coffey et al., 2003). Creation of an NSTEC by conversion of existing civil-service functions (as opposed to creating a new organizational entity from scratch) might make the contract approach (GOCO, FFRDC, or UARC) far less attractive in practice than in theory. Whether existing models (FGC, GOCO, FFRDC, or UARC) are practical or not, they do provide insight into the attributes that an NSTEC should have as a world-class science and technology organization. These include flexibility in personnel policies, in particular, hiring practices, competitive compensation, and personnel incentives. Flexible business practices and funding approaches are required to avoid technological obsolescence and ensure that needed research and experimental equipment can be acquired in a timely fashion. Flexible contracting approaches are required to ensure that key business relationships and effective collaboration can occur. Command Relationships and Leadership In addition to the form of governance, an NSTEC must have adequate visibility and independence provided by respected leadership and key relationships. An NSTEC director should be respected for technical expertise as well as management ability, and the NSTEC should report directly to the Army’s Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) and have an organizational status equivalent to that of CERDEC and ARL. This will facilitate the transition of personnel and functions to the new organization and ensure adequate status for coordinating all Army NSTE activities with other R&D agencies and joint activities. Given that organizations likely to be incorporated in an NSTEC are affected by BRAC, and many decisions regarding disposition and relocation have already been made, it is essential that an NSTEC director be appointed as soon as possible. The appointed director should play a primary role in the BRAC planning and execution process and in organizing initial elements of the NSTEC. The urgency is such that it may be appropriate to appoint the NSTEC director immediately pending the establishment of the NSTEC in consonance with overall BRAC planning. Ideally, the NSTEC director would combine varied strengths including (1) those needed to shepherd the NSTEC through the complex management challenges of BRAC implementation while creating an essentially new organizational entity and capability incorporating many pre-existing parts and (2) the technical insights and judgment to establish an NSTEC research portfolio and attract top-flight researchers to join the NSTEC. As the NSTEC becomes established and evolves, the relative importance of these strengths will shift from the first to the second. It may be that the necessary strengths cannot be found in a single execu-

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation tive and that consideration should be given to forming a management team that incorporates the necessary strengths.12 Alternatives An obvious but far from optimal version of an NSTEC would involve merely relocating elements of various existing Army organizations to a centralized government-operated location such as Aberdeen Proving Ground. Another alternative would involve chartering a completely new non-government organization, such as an FGC, GOCO, UARC, or FFRDC, with government funding and under Army supervision. Maximum flexibility might be obtained by legislative authorization of a specially chartered FGC, but the time involved and experimental nature of this approach might make one of the other types of organizations attractive as an initial step. The physical attributes of this organization could be varied from centralized to distributed; it could recruit its workforce from current Army organizations affected by BRAC as well as from a broader workforce market. A variation on this alternative might be to charter an existing or new UARC or FFRDC to serve as the core of an NSTEC. Another alternative could combine the best features of the two alternatives mentioned above. That is, a new or existing non-governmental organization would be chartered. It might be located on leased land at Aberdeen Proving Ground or at a different location. It could recruit from current experienced government employees as well as the private sector. In addition, existing government organizations could be combined either physically or as a virtual organization to make a government cadre for the NSTEC. An element of the government organization could manage the non-government wing of the NSTEC as well as be an operating agency for part of the NSTEC’s work. The final selection from the alternatives should focus on pursuing the goals discussed in this chapter and on utilizing flexible business and operating methods consistent with achieving the NSTEC mission recommended in Chapter 2. Recommended Strategy Given the foregoing discussion, the committee believes that chartering a new or existing UARC or FFRDC (hereafter referred to as UARC/FFRDC) to serve as the core of an NSTEC would be the most effective course of action. It should be feasible to establish the core UARC/FFRDC so as to allow flexibility 12 Historic examples include teams such as Leslie Groves and Robert Oppenheimer of the Manhattan Project. Also, in NASA at the inception of Project Apollo, NASA Administrator James Webb had a background as an aggressive manager in both government and industry and was known to be politically savvy while his deputy, Hugh Dryden, had a technical background and a long history with NASA’s predecessor organization. In the NASA case, the supporting team of Werner Von Braun, Samuel Phillips, George Mueller, and Robert Gilruth was outstanding.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation in the early days of the overall NSTEC establishment and also allow the core to continue as the NSTEC evolves in future years. In order to play such a role in an evolutionary environment, the core UARC/FFRDC needs to have a broad charter in NSTE from the outset. The NSTEC UARC/FFRDC could be established at any appropriate location or locations and then be relocated at or in proximity to Aberdeen Proving Ground as circumstances warrant. In its early days, the UARC/FFRDC could perform a “gap filler” role when (1) existing Army resources fail to match key elements of the NSTEC mission or (2) Army organizational elements involved in BRAC relocations lose the expertise of key personnel who choose not to relocate. The target date for Ft. Monmouth to close is September 2011, and actions regarding budget shifts in accord with the government’s planning, programming, and budget execution system will need to occur with the submission of the Fiscal Year 2009 budget. To meet the timelines for implementation will require making budgetary shifts of existing funds to phase in the UARC/FFRDC capability. In the long-term evolution of an NSTEC, it may make sense for the core UARC/FFRDC to take over performance of much of the NSTEC mission. Whatever the ultimate mix of government and non-governmental performance responsibilities, the core UARC/FFRDC must be closely integrated with the Army’s mission needs in network science. Personnel interchanges and co-location of Army and UARC/FFRDC personnel should occur routinely. The core UARC/FFRDC must retain flexibility in acquiring facilities and research equipment as a key means of avoiding technological obsolescence over time. The use of an independent advisory board could also be considered to provide feedback on NSTEC currency and performance. The NSTEC as a whole should be some mix of distributed and centralized facilities, starting with 1 to 3 physical centers connected to a variety of remote facilities. The degree of distribution or centralization should be driven by mission needs and effectiveness in achieving research results rather than be pre-determined. The committee believes that the alternative of creating a UARC/FFRDC that addresses some but not all NSTEC mission areas at the core of an NSTEC organization makes more sense than creating a new UARC/FFRDC to immediately displace all existing Army efforts in NSTE. The committee also believes that establishing a UARC/FFRDC as a core element in an NSTEC is better than retaining only the civil service laboratory model of governance and operations. Initially at least, it seems highly likely that much of what becomes the NSTEC will be constituted as a civil service laboratory. Those parts of the NSTEC that retain that form must be chartered to take full advantage of the special authorities discussed in this chapter. The least attractive alternative for an NSTEC is a business-as-usual civil service laboratory. Figure 5-1 illustrates the NSTEC organization with a UARC/FFRDC core that the committee recommends. At the outset, all relevant existing work would become the responsibility of the proposed NSTEC. Within the NSTEC, the core

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation FIGURE 5-1 Recommended NSTEC organization. (Acronyms are defined on pages xvi-xviii of the front matter.) UARC/FFRDC would begin by filling current gaps in S&T and would take responsibility for efforts that cannot be performed due to qualified technical staff deciding not to move to APG. CHAPTER SUMMARY Previous comparative analyses of prospective models for Army research organizations have narrowed the field of consideration for an NSTEC to government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO), federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), and federal government corporation (FGC) operating

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation models. The Army has a wealth of experience with a variation of the FFRDC known as the university-affiliated research center (UARC). Conclusion 4: The UARC/FFRDC operating model has emerged in recent years as a flexible and productive model capable of integrating commercial and military R&D development for the Army. The UARC/FFRDC is also superior to other operating models, because it allows ongoing access to a broad range of expertise, talent, and innovation while efficiently using government resources. Recommendation 4: The Army should establish a new UARC/FFRDC (or expand an existing UARC/FFRDC) to serve as the core of an overall Army NSTEC organization. The coordination and implementation of NSTE for the Army will require extraordinary leadership at a level commensurate with the importance of network-centric operations in the future. The new organization would alter existing boundaries of responsibility for the various NSTE functions, and the scope of responsibilities is equivalent to that of the present research, development, and engineering centers (RDECs). For this reason, a director for all NSTE activities should be assigned immediately to assist with planning and establishment of the recommended NSTEC organization and core shown in Figure 5-1. The NSTEC director should be provided with a supporting management team to assure the availability of expertise in all the management and technical disciplines necessary to carry out the complex process of transitioning existing organizations to an NSTEC and incisively establishing and managing the NSTE research portfolio. Conclusion 5: An NSTEC organization must exhibit a high degree of flexibility in personnel policies that will enable it to become a world-class leader in network research and development. Establishment and evolution of the NSTEC will require exceptional leadership. Recommendation 5a: The Army strategy for NSTE should be to establish an NSTEC organization with a UARC/FFRDC core as shown in Figure 5-1. Recommendation 5b: The Army should immediately designate a director to establish an Army NSTEC at Aberdeen Proving Ground (Maryland). The NSTEC director should report to the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) at a level equivalent to the ARL and RDEC directors. All NSTE funding and resources should be assigned to this individual. Recommendation 5c: For the NSTEC to be able to accomplish the mission envisioned, the Army should designate at least two deputy directors: one for technology and another for human performance/adversary understanding. This action will ensure that the large number of CERDEC engineers does not overwhelm research and development efforts in human performance and adversary understanding.