Technology Today - Home
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Innovation, as embodied in a novel product, method, or service providing a result with a valued quantifiable gain, is receiving significant attention in industry and government. The mantra, "innovate or die," is now being applied to corporations and industries. At Raytheon, we have always prided ourselves on our culture of innovation — it's not a passing trend, it's how we do business. This culture of innovation enables us to provide leading-edge solutions to our customers, as we have continuously done for more than 85 years. But we are not resting on our laurels.

Our innovative culture is rooted in our diversity of people, products and thoughts, and we continue to look for new ways to drive innovation to address our customers' needs. We nurture numerous specific internal initiatives and strengthen our external partnerships to ensure we constantly challenge ourselves to invigorate the company with new ideas to maintain our edge in the marketplace.

Experience has convinced us that there is not just a single approach that leads to successful innovation in all aspects of the company. We benefit from multiple complementary approaches to encourage innovation across Raytheon. Today, we are opening the aperture by developing and applying internal and external technologies to core and growth markets. Our innovative culture is at the center of these initiatives.

This set of approaches to innovation is rooted in a set of principles outlined below:

Raytheon Principles for Innovation
  • Ideas can come from anyone, anywhere in the organization
  • Robust ideas come from nurturing collaborative environments
  • Innovation occurs at the intersection of needs and ideas
  • Ideas may exist for sometime before value or need is determined
  • Trust is crucial for people to collaborate and share ideas
  • Radical/disruptive ideas are more likely to come from diversity of thought created by intersections of people with differences Truly radical/disruptive ideas will often be viewed as not feasible, impractical, or of no value
  • Ideas are initially fragile; they need to be nurtured
  • Different people have different styles of creating ideas
  • Innovation cannot be scheduled, it occurs when it does (but it can be facilitated and encouraged)
Like innovation itself, Raytheon's approaches to innovation are dynamic and varied. Together, they form a tapestry from which internal and external inventions are spawned, nurtured and matured into truly innovative solutions. Some of the approaches are summarized below and described in further detail throughout this edition of Technology Today.

Certified Architects – Through the Raytheon Certified Architect Program (RCAP), Raytheon's top architects receive advanced training to hone their skills and enable them to define world-class architectures that will integrate internal technologies and products from across industry to form innovative solutions. More than 100 architects across the company are RCAP-certified.

Independent Research and Development – Raytheon has a long history of funding Independent Research and Development (IRAD) to develop the next generation of technology ahead of customer requirements. This has enabled us to maintain our technical excellence and challenge our technologists to always consider innovative approaches to hard problems.

Advanced Technology Organizations – Chartered to work with our customers and programs to develop and mature revolutionary new technologies and products, our Advanced Technology organizations execute research and development programs under contract to our customers. We look to team with small businesses, universities and commercial partners to leverage external technologies; we understand that innovation can come from anywhere.

Raytheon Innovation Challenge – The enterprisewide Raytheon Innovation Challenge (RIC) exposes employees to customer problems with the belief that they already have, or could readily conceive of, new solutions to these difficult problems when given the opportunity.

For the past two years, Raytheon has sponsored the RIC. Last year's targeted five key challenges of one of Raytheon's customers: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Reviewers received 230 white papers from engineers in all six Raytheon businesses. Authors of the most compelling white papers attended a workshop to foster dialogue on new ideas and stretch their concepts to further enhance their approach. From the workshop, eight ideas were selected for further refinement, analysis and troubleshooting to move them from an idea to a product concept.

Future plans for the RIC include formulating additional challenge topics, increasing the emphasis on constructive feedback and encouragement, and broadening the pool of innovators beyond the engineering community. The challenge format focuses innovators' attention on known problems — if these problems are solved, it immediately benefits our customers and new product or service offerings.

Identify-Develop-Expose-Action: Raytheon's IDEA program – The intent of the corporate IDEA program is to identify novel ideas of value to the business, develop them to a point where other funding is appropriate, expose the idea to appropriate business leaders, and quickly take action on the most promising ideas. Here again the key concept is that innovation can come from anywhere, and this program enables the employee with the idea to have time to refine his or her concept.

This program is administered by Corporate Technology and Research with the expressed intent of making rapid decisions on funding early-stage ideas for an investigator to perform initial analysis, simulation or experiments to refine an idea. The evaluation criteria address technical originality and business relevance. This "grass roots" system to gather ideas allows anyone with a bright idea to come forward.

Technology Networks – Raytheon has established five technology networks which also drive innovation: Mission Systems Integration, Multifunction RF Systems, Multifunction EO Systems, Information Systems and Computing, and Mechanical Materials and Structures. Within each technology network are Technology Interest Groups, each of which focuses on a specific technology, and connects experts, peer-to-peer, across Raytheon. For the past decade, Technology Networks have provided an exceptional tool for engaging leading-edge technology and explaining customer needs. Each Technology Network also hosts an annual symposium and periodic workshops on special topics to promote the exchange of technology and knowledge sharing.

University Collaboration – The Raytheon University Program sponsors university memberships and research in areas that align with our business needs, ensure our awareness of important current innovations, and enable our growth strategy. Colleges and universities are the vanguard of basic and applied research in the United States and abroad. The objectives of this program are to strategically align Raytheon technology road maps and university research, sponsor targeted advancements in core and adjacent markets, and implement a disciplined process for leveraging investments to enable growth. The University Program also operates in conjunction with other Raytheon university activities to build relationships and provide assistance to our college recruiting program.

Small Business Collaboration Programs – Raytheon is working to find, nurture and leverage technologies being developed by small businesses. Two programs that foster this collaboration are the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and pilot Mentor-Protégé Program. The SBIR program is a federal program that funds small businesses to conduct research and development of new and emerging technology. These programs enable Raytheon to utilize small-business capability to develop key technologies while establishing long-term relationships with small businesses and strengthening relationships with our customers. The U.S. Dept. of Defense pilot Mentor-Protégé Program is designed to provide small disadvantaged businesses with technical and developmental assistance from large businesses.

Innovation Organizations – Organizations have been chartered across Raytheon with identifying and developing innovative products and business models. Five such organizations are currently executing in Raytheon, and each has demonstrated results with a slightly different approach to innovation.

Mission Innovation
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems' Mission Innovation (MI) group provides an excellent example of far forward-looking innovation applied to compelling issues threatening our world: global warming, renewable energy, biological diversity protection, world health, education, and civil defense. Using a dedicated group of innovators, MI applies the company's technologies and capabilities beyond the core businesses. Not constrained to our current products or technologies, MI broadly partners with universities or other businesses to create valuable solutions.

The Bike Shop
The Bike Shop at Raytheon Missile Systems houses a world-class capability to rapidly develop solutions and prototypes, drawing on a skilled, passionate small team of people who ignore the time clock and do whatever it takes to fulfill the customer's needs — and fulfill them now.

The Bike Shop starts all projects with a brainstorming session — its Envision phase — to understand the real problem. Once a workable solution to a problem is envisioned, The Bike Shop assembles the smallest possible team to execute the effort: This is the Create phase of their process.

The result of the final phase — Accomplish — is a product of the intent and scope of the work. The Bike Shop delivers two primary products: special testing setups and services for existing programs, and prototype systems.

Rapid Initiatives Group
Within Raytheon Network Centric Systems, the Rapid Initiatives Group provides the mechanisms to tap into the broad, distributed capabilities of the business. Established to quickly address customer needs, it maintains an experienced staff of program leaders and a network of connections to the engineering and functional units.

Using proven processes, the RIG can rapidly marshal resources to meet a customer need. All functions — business development, contracts, finance, operations and engineering — rapidly converge on a viable approach to offer a solution to the customer.

The ability to convert concepts and ideas to contracted solutions provides strong benefits to customers.

Office of Innovation
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems established an Office of Innovation to foster a culture of innovation across all employees and leverage ideas into new business. The dedicated staff provides focus, creating a connect point for anyone with an idea or a problem needing a solution. Four systems gather and develop ideas into business value: Originator Assisted, Innovation Centers, Innovation Challenge, and Distributed Think Tank.

Innovation Day
In November 2008, Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems (IIS) held its first "Innovation Day." The event took place at nine sites and showcased the best of the business's technology and innovation. Innovation Day also included the first IIS Innovator of the Year Award.

Five IIS projects received funding during 2008 under Raytheon's IDEA program:
  • Helibuoy Prototype
  • Capture HPC for Malware Analysis
  • Stealth Modulation
  • Fast, Unsupervised Hyperspectral Imagery Exploitation
  • Swarm Intelligence for Knowledge Extraction
In 2009, IIS will begin implementing its own IDEA program, using the tools from the corporate program to help uncover more innovative ideas from within the business.

Raytheon's world-class innovation systems continue to pump technology, products, and customer solutions, creating value for our stakeholders. The breadth and richness of the systems that allow each business and each individual to find novel, valued solutions are unique.

Innovation is important to individuals as well as to the company's business growth. Innovation kindles a special engineering spirit: With a can-do attitude, nothing is really impossible.

This edition of Technology Today describes some of our innovations and the systems used to produced them. We hope that the examples provided will give you a glimpse into the types of exciting work we do.

Bill Kiczuk