How does NSRP operate day
KEARNEY: Christy Goff is our
NSRP program manager responsible for the management of the
funding, the projects and the collaboration, between the government and industry. She coordinates
efforts between the shipyards and
our Navy CTOs [chief technology
officers] within each of our five
PEOs. They work together with
the NSRP Executive Control Board
[shipyard VP level] to decide on
what projects are done throughout
the year and/or multiple years.
In the NSRP, there are two lines of
effort. One is the Research Announcement [RA] projects. Every
year, we put out what are the industry and Navy focus
areas for cost reduction and efficiencies within the shipbuilding enterprise based on a consensus Strategic
Investment Plan. We then vet the projects and award a
variety of them under the RA project portfolio. The other
projects are called Panel Projects, associated with each of
the 11 panels inside NSRP that work on a variety of
areas, including environmental panels, data panels, ship
construction panels and commonality efforts. The panels
will pick smaller projects to hit, typically “low-hanging
fruit” areas — typically about $150,000. It’s a very robust
and formal process in evaluating which projects are
How is NSRP funded?
KEARNEY: About $15 million of funding comes from
the government, and industry funds the other half of the
$30 million average annual budget for NSRP. One of the
resource sponsors at OPNAV [the Office of the Chief of
Naval Operations] provides $5 million. The other $10
million comes collectively from the five PEOs and SEA
05. It’s a shared cost — the PEOs are those who are benefiting because NSRP ultimately is enabling the total
ownership cost reduction of our ships.
Is shipyard collaboration difficult with proprietary issues in sharing information?
KEARNEY: The Joint Funding Agreement we have
with industry allows a high level of collaboration, but
it is also very specific on the antitrust rules. Every time
we have a meeting, we review those rules so we remind
the shipyards and ourselves that we’re not able to dis-
cuss pricing or proprietary information and that we are
here to collaborate on how we can make processes bet-
ter for shipbuilding across all shipyards. The informa-
tion that is developed within NSRP is open-source
information for anybody. All the shipyards can decide
to use it or not. We just always keep away from pricing
and subvendor issues and those types of things.
With the NSRP effort spread so widely, is it a
challenge to drive solutions?
KEARNEY: It’s a challenge because the program does
work a very wide array of projects. However, Christy
Goff does an awesome job in keeping it straight. We
have a company, SRCA in South Carolina, that helps us
manage it all to keep the money and the projects
straight. We already have great support and collaboration between all stakeholders so I don’t have to use
much horsepower to bring value to those who bring
money to the table.
We bring value to the government based on the
lower-cost ships [and] value to the shipyards for what
they invest in because the projects that are used are
shared across all shipyards; and they can work on areas
that they know will help provide value to their shipbuilding enterprise. It’s win-win with the cost-sharing
aspect of it.
How do you overcome institutional resistance?
KEARNEY: Secretary [Sean] Stackley [assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acqui-sition] and [NAVSEA commander] VADM William
Hilarides have made clear our objectives and how we
are to influence the shipbuilding process. I get great
support from all of the PEOs as well as the other directorates within NAVSEA.
It’s really all about collaboration. I extend the collaboration effort into SEA 06 itself through no increase
in personnel to NAVSEA, by bringing in a person from