Coast Guard Innovation Program

Innovation Program Overview

Innovation is applying new ideas to specific processes in an effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

The Coast Guard Innovation Program supports development and implementation of Coast Guard strategies and coordinates innovation activities across the service. The program is part of a Coast Guard-wide effort to bring innovation to mission execution.

The goals of the Coast Guard Innovation Program are to:

  • Fulfill the Commandant’s mandate to foster a service culture of continuous innovation and learning.
  • Find new solutions to enterprise strategic challenges through encouraging, recognizing, and rewarding innovative ideas.

Through an open innovation model, the Coast Guard Innovation Program can provide a stronger nexus among Research, Development, Test and Evaluation; enterprise strategy; and the Coast Guard workforce. Open innovation greatly increases the potential for rapidly generating ideas to solve large and small challenges. The program has both top-down and bottom-up elements; leadership has the ability to solicit ideas from the workforce and the workforce has the ability to present ideas and best practices to leadership. The Innovation Program uses a crowdsourcing platform, CG_Ideas@Work, to give the entire workforce the opportunity to participate.

The Coast Guard Innovation Council provides strategic guidance and support to the Innovation Program, and ensures innovation initiatives are addressed and implemented throughout the service.

Established in 2000, the Coast Guard Innovation Program was one of the first in the federal government. The success and timing of the effort have led to requests from multiple federal agencies for assistance in setting up similar innovation programs.