Research & Development

We invest in what we believe in.

 

Through the LMI Research Institute’s research and development (R&D) program, LMI invests annually in researching and developing innovative solutions to current and potential problems faced by the government. Our program is run with the aim to contribute to dramatic advances in government management.

Unlike other companies that manage R&D at the business unit level or in isolated labs, LMI recognizes the value of centralizing the R&D function to ensure its valuable outputs are woven into our client work. With the LMI Research Institute coordinating R&D at LMI, and LMI staff leading and working on the projects, we share results across groups and client engagements, fostering a collaborative approach to innovation.

Our R&D program is borne from our collective brainpower here at LMI. A few key projects the LMI Research Institute is currently supporting are among the following.

Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM, or 3D printing) has been in existence for 30 years, but potential applications of the technology have greatly increased in the last five years, with new material and printing methodologies. LMI staff have become well versed in AM methodologies and potential applications—in FY13, we developed a selection tool to help organizations determine the type of AM process and the machine they need when using AM in a remote or austere environment. In FY14 and FY15, we began assessing the strategic implications of AM on the DoD supply chain. While the technology has the potential to be disruptive, there are numerous factors to be considered—intellectual property, quality management, engineering, CONOPS, etc.—and LMI is addressing each of these areas to help guide DoD in its potential use of AM.

Virtual Collaboration

As employees take advantage a new methods of communication, and employers attempt to cut costs and downsize physical workspaces, virtual collaboration is ubiquitous across the government. However, managing a team that sits in different time zones and has different work styles is a skill that is learned, not intuitive. Based on our experience with clients such as NASA and GSA, we are developing a model to assess an organization’s ability to support virtual collaboration, and then walk them through the steps necessary to create a productive virtual work environment. You can read more about our model in our annual report.

H.O.P.E.

Mid-way through each fiscal year, the LMI Research Institute hosts a weekend long innovation event where staff pitch and develop ideas that are proposed for funding. During FY15’s Launch My Idea, project H.O.P.E. was born—a pallet-loaded bundle of commercially available, readily sustainable technologies providing medicines, water, power, and educational materials that can be transported to disrupted communities around the world. H.O.P.E. supports one our major new initiatives in the global health supply chain and further demonstrates our commitment to the greater good as a non-profit organization.

Disaster Recovery

In FY14, LMI staff members focused on addressing gaps in staffing tools for disaster recovery efforts. Their staffing guide and positions library are available on our website and are being used by organizations such as FEMA to help further aid in disaster recovery efforts.

In FY15, we are furthering our research by working with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to develop a consolidated online tool to assist communities with tracking recovery over time. Results of this project will incorporate LMI’s prior research with staffing as well as research done by UNC Chapel Hill in developing their Disaster Recovery Tracking Tool.

The above list is a sample of our current work—if you would like to learn more about the LMI Research Institute, please contact the Program Manager.