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Friday, June 2, 2023

TSA Launches Innovation Pipeline

Projects that have gathered enough initial support will result in a prototype that is subsequently refined and tested to validate its proof of concept.

The Transportation Security Administration has launched the TSA Innovation Pipeline, which will provide TSA employees with a disciplined approach to identify problems and challenges, and test solutions to them. 

TSA will actively collect problem statements and ideas from every level of the workforce and industry, government and nongovernment partners. It will then assess and prioritize opportunities. All problem statements and ideas collected will be organized and categorized by mission focus area. Problems and ideas will be validated for technical feasibility, organizational viability, and end-user desirability. This involves connecting potential stakeholders that may have an interest in the problem or its potentially resulting new policy, process or technology. 

In the next phase, ideas and solutions will be tested for application against the TSA mission model. Sometimes, this phase will include exploring how industry is solving the same or similar problems, and building a coalition or ecosystem of partners and experts to pursue the right solution for the agency. Solutions may be identified through an agile design process and result in a minimum viable product, or MVP, and an associated test plan. Finally, this phase tailors an action plan to gain leadership support moving forward. 

Projects that have gathered enough initial support will result in a prototype that is subsequently refined and tested to validate its proof of concept. Solution owners will partner with relevant TSA components to receive the new process or technology in order to rapidly transition it into operational environments for achieved mission impact.

In a LinkedIn post, TSA Chief Innovation Officer, Steven Parker, said the Innovation Pipeline will enable the creative ingenuity of the TSA workforce and facilitate the engagement of industry partners to solve complex problems through innovation.

“TSA must remain an agile security agency, outmatching the dynamic evolving threats against our transportation systems,” Parker said. “In order to do that, we must engage our workforce, which remains our greatest asset against these threats.”

First touted in the TSA Administrator’s Innovation Doctrine in October 2022, the Innovation Pipeline’s guided process is designed to be adaptable to the size and scope of any challenge or opportunity so that it can be leveraged at the local or national level.

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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