Optimal teaming is integral to the success of any organization. Innovators and leaders at Parallax Advanced Research concur that the process of creating effective, efficient, and intelligent teams requires careful consideration and systematic organization.
‘Science’ conveys our involvement in and commitment to basic research and our capability as a comprehensive research organization. ‘Intelligent’ conveys the artificial intelligence portion of Parallax’s research that involves doing things smarter with a 21st century mindset. And ‘teaming’ conveys our approach to industry, academia, and government collaboration. - Dr. Edie Williams, Chief, Strategic Partnerships, Communications and New Business, Parallax Advanced Research
One example of the above is a graduate program in the Department of Psychology at Wright State University that Parallax facilitates in partnership with General Dynamics. The program involves computer engineering students, who work for General Dynamics and are attending classes as part of a graduate program at the Department of Psychology, to gain advanced knowledge of human-machine teaming. This collaboration also illustrates Parallax’s approach to incorporating and fostering intelligent teaming in diverse contexts.
Dr. Darrell Lochtefeld, Parallax division manager of Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation elaborates on the meaning of the Science of Intelligent Teaming™.
Intelligent teaming is a dual term that refers to how we optimally utilize diverse human and machine capabilities and how we team efficiently with complex systems that typically contain some form of artificial intelligence. Since machines and humans have different qualities and perform differently, intelligent teaming involves understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each member of a team, whether it's a human or a machine, and using that understanding to develop solutions and improved ways for continued teaming. - Dr. Darrell Lochtefeld, VP & Division Manager of Intelligent Systems, Parallax Advanced Research
According to Parallax Advanced Research Director of Cognitive Research, Dr. Mary Frame, who works on the human elements of human machine teaming, the concept of intelligent teaming in the scientific context originated with the cognitive revolution at least as far back as the 1950s. However, the way Parallax imbibes the concept and the extent to which the organization incorporates it across its operations is novel.
What I’m excited about is the fact that we have made the Science of Intelligent Teaming™ our brand, so that it pervades at all levels of our operations. It permeates our culture, our organizational structures, and our strategic plans. - Dr. Mary Frame, Director of Cognitive Research, Parallax Advanced Research
To further illustrate the role of Science of Intelligent Teaming™ in research done at Parallax, Dr. Othalia Larue, Computational Cognitive scientist at Parallax, uses an example from her work on modeling of individual differences that aims to capture the cognitive profiles of people to predict their response to automation.
I’m working on understanding how individual differences in cognitive processing influence people’s behavior. - Dr. Othalia Larue, Computational Cognitive Scientist, Parallax Advanced Research
All major decisions at Parallax are structured around strengths and opportunities for individuals in the organization. The Science of Intelligent Teaming™ affects how and where new employees are placed and considers that each addition to or subtracted from the team results in both new strengths and new weaknesses. In the past few years, with constantly evolving scenarios for collaborations, the definition and demands of teaming have changed rapidly. To keep up with these changes, it is critical to have a robust system of assessing and developing efficient and dynamic teaming methods.
Triple Helix Model of Innovation
In tandem with the groundbreaking initiatives driven by the Science of Intelligent Teaming™, Parallax Advanced Research also champions innovation through its strategic adherence to the Triple Helix Model. As the company delves into the intricate dynamics of human-machine collaboration, the Triple Helix serves as a guiding principle, interweaving academia, industry, and government. The intelligent teaming philosophy propelling Parallax extends beyond internal operations, finding expression in collaborative programs such as the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN), Launch Dayton, the Great Lakes Mission Acceleration Center, and tech, and education, workforce, and small business support capabilities and programs provided by the Ohio Aerospace Institute affiliation. By fostering academic-industry-government partnerships, Parallax becomes a living embodiment of the Triple Helix, nurturing diverse collaborations that not only advance technological frontiers but also drive economic growth and job creation. The synergistic interplay between the Science of Intelligent Teaming™ and the Triple Helix Model positions Parallax as a transformative force, shaping the future of research, innovation, and national security.
Parallax Advanced Research leverages the Triple Helix Model of innovation (Adapted from Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff (2000)) to develop academic-industry-government partnerships that lead to novel innovations that advance the United States’ national security measures and capabilities. The Model involves facilitating partnerships between academia, industry, and government and specifically connecting academic-industry capabilities and research with the federal government to fulfill imperative national security needs and technical gaps.
According to Dr. Frank DiGiovanni, Parallax VP, Disruptive Solutions, the model serves as the company’s North Star.
“It is the conceptual framework that I use for my tech-scouting and data analytics tasks,” said Dr. DiGiovanni. “Innovation is dynamic across all three lobes of the helix, which are the industry or commercial, government, and academic sectors. Often, organizations focus on the industry/commercial sector, thinking that most innovation happens on the private side of the helix. However, in the real world, innovation occurs across all three lobes of the helix.”
Through its Innovation and Talent Management Program, Parallax provides innovation services to its clients to facilitate innovation within organizations. These services include innovation consulting, developing innovation hubs, developing high performing teams, facilitating workshops, and developing innovation courses and challenge programs. The program also features the Talent Exchange Program, which builds collaborative partnerships and personnel exchange opportunities across academia, industry, and government sectors. As a derivative of the guiding principles of the Triple Helix Model, Parallax’s Talent Exchange Program promotes intelligent teaming opportunities between and among academic-industry-government partners and participants, resulting in the development and advancement of diversity of thought, innovative ideas, and bold solutions.
Through its Science and Technology Enhancement programs, such as the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN), Parallax provides consulting and training services and hosts opportunity days and colliders that bring together entities from each sector represented in the Triple Helix Model. By facilitating collaborative events and spaces, each sector can communicate their areas of interests, needs, and capabilities with the larger group and, thus, improve their understanding of where their capability and/or need fits into the larger ecosystem and how it may be fulfilled or developed via academic-industry-government partnerships.
OFRN has the mission to stimulate Ohio’s innovation economy by building vibrant, statewide university-industry research collaborations that meet the requirements of Ohio’s federal laboratories, resulting in the creation of leading-edge technologies that drive job growth in Ohio. It is a program managed by Parallax in collaboration with Ohio State on behalf of the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
For example, OFRN recently held an opportunity day for the manufacturing sector that hosted businesses interested in non-dilutive funding of their manufacturing technologies. The event featured presentations by two federal partners, and NASA, and a keynote speaker from Ohio State about Broad Area Announcements (BAA) for six funding opportunities. The result of the event was that businesses had the opportunity to directly connect with other Ohio-wide academic and government institutions, and OFRN assisted interested companies through the announcement application process.
Karen Posey, OFRN consultant, shared that many large companies and organizations struggle with innovation because they focus on only innovating within their companies.
“Innovation can’t happen this way,” said Posey. “Innovation happens by collaborating with people within and outside one’s organization. That is Parallax’s intention with the Science and Technology Enhancement Programs it manages, such as OFRN.”
According to Maj. Gen. (ret.) Mark Bartman, OFRN senior advisor, the key to the OFRN program’s success is matching academic research to small business capabilities that meet federal partner needs.
“The AFVentures 2020 Annual Report states that Ohio State was awarded 26 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards between 2018 and 2020,” said Bartman. “The majority of the awards were obtained in 2020. Parallax, OFRN, and Ohio State worked with Ohio small businesses, academic researchers, and government partners on these award applications. These figures indicate the high success rate of the collaborative triple helix model of research and innovation practiced by Parallax and OFRN.”
OFRN’s network is comprised of 21 Ohio universities and colleges, 97 businesses, and five government partners. To date, OFRN has funded 35 projects totaling $51.4 million.
“Everything we do revolves around the Triple Helix Model,” said Posey. “We have seven actively funded Round 5 research projects led by industry-academia-government partnerships in Ohio. Each project involves two universities and one small business and is sponsored by one of OFRN’s five federal partners, including the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL), National Aeronatuics Space Administration (NASA), National Air & Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), Natval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU-D) and Ohio National Guard.”
Since 2014, OFRN’s 35 funded research projects have resulted in 12 intellectual properties and accrued $354 million in follow-on funding and $34.7 million in industry sponsored research. The projects have also resulted in 13 startups and 338 direct jobs and over 1,167 indirect jobs created in Ohio.
“With this model in mind, Parallax and its programs can continue to produce exceptional value and results for our clients, partners, and stakeholders across academia, industry, and the government,” said Dennis Andersh, Parallax president and CEO. “I believe it’s a game-changer that not only leads to groundbreaking ideas but also secures our country’s economic future.”