NASA uses innovation management every day to develop new air and space technology and explore new frontiers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they used technology and skills to help combat the coronavirus.
NASA used the IdeaScale crowdsourcing platform to share ideas for leveraging capabilities and expertise during the pandemic. As a result, 220 people submitted ideas, and 250 unique ideas were generated.
NASA IdeaScale community members contributed 621 comments and 4,635 votes. A case study is now available in comic book version and highlights their work.
Who Is NASA?
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is a United States government agency responsible for creating technology for the air and space industry. They conduct scientific research to learn more about the earth and the other planets. Their exploration and findings also improve various aspects of air travel.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the U.S. in March 2020, NASA employees wanted to help. Their combined skills and expertise led to many great innovations that were developed from resourcefulness and ingenuity. Through the use of 3D printing, NASA developed much-needed masks to help protect against the virus. Other personal protective equipment (PPE), such as ventilators, were also developed.
Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Nasa’s innovations are still helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but their efforts don’t stop there. Through science, medicine, and a wealth of knowledge, they are able to help monitor and forecast the spread and impact of the virus. This is done through apps that track the virus and provide forecast modeling.
Top leaders in NASA are included in the communication taking place on the NASAAtWork IdeaScale platform. This demonstrates the organization’s level of dedication from the top down.
A total of 1,500 participants shared ideas using the platform. Through much collaboration, the earlier referenced total of 250 ideas were generating and developed.
More than 3,000 page views occurred because of a single email. The NASAATWork ideas added value to numerous projects. These include using NASA’s supercomputing capabilities for the advancement of research. Data mining techniques were used to answer high-priority questions related to the science of the coronavirus.
NASA was creative by offering products that broke away from their normal business model. This shows their flexibility in times of crisis.
NASA saw a need for innovation management and rose to the occasion. Research shows 2/3 of highly innovative companies make innovation a top priority among management. NASA demonstrated this by providing equipment to those in need and leveraging expertise to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Seven of the 250 ideas have been implemented, with more coming in the future. The NASA employees who submitted ideas work in multiple disciplines and capture the creative spirit of the company’s workforce.
This shows the dedication of NASA to come together for the common good of everyone during a crisis. They are working to bring relief to people in need and solve the problems brought on by COVID-19. Their efforts are not going unnoticed and will extend far after the pandemic has passed.