2023 Maintenance Innovation Challenge

The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense – Materiel Readiness is pleased to announce the return of the Maintenance Innovation Challenge (MIC) with live presentations from the finalists at the DoD Maintenance Symposium in San Diego, CA.


The competition is open to new innovations that include novel technologies, unique collaborative business relationships, resourcing strategies, business processes, production processes, and any other transformative capability that has the potential to make maintenance and sustainment more agile, effective, efficient, and affordable. The review and selection process provides great exposure as the top six innovations and the final winner are determined by senior DOD sustainment leaders.

The top six finalists will present their solutions in person at the always popular and heavily attended MIC breakout session at the 2023 DoD Maintenance Symposium. Audience members at the MIC session will have the opportunity to select the MIC People’s Choice Award winner from the six finalists based on their presentations.

In addition to the top MIC winner and “Peoples’ Choice” winner receiving high profile DOD-wide recognition and striking trophies at the plenary session the following day, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences have offered to provide $50,000 of in-kind support to both the MIC winner and the “People’s Choice” winner.

The online submission process involves only a quad chart and 500 words or less abstract. Submissions are encouraged from the government, academia, and industry. The submission period is now open! The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 6th, 2022.

Submission Requirements

Submissions for the Maintenance Innovation Challenge should include an abstract (300-500 words, 3000 characters maximum) and quad chart and be focused around a maintenance-related technology. Abstracts must contain the following to be eligible for consideration:

  • A problem statement describing what problem the technology is meant to solve
  • A description of the technology
  • The current development status of the technology
  • Test/simulation data supporting performance claims
  • Next steps/potential benefits

Note: All submissions will be published online and in print.  By submitting, you are authorizing release to the public and that the submission has been vetted for public viewing and does not contain proprietary or confidential information.

Following the submission period, a panel of judges will determine the top 6 finalists who will be invited to present their submission to a live audience at the DoD Maintenance Symposium.

Scoring Criteria

Submissions will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Maintenance relevance/impact: How much does it impact maintenance? Does it approve the efficiency and/or effectiveness of current maintenance practices (e.g. cost, safety, cycle time, necessary manpower, readiness, etc.)?
  • Originality/contribution to the state-of-the-art: How original or innovative is it?
  • Avoidance of commercialism: Does it describe a technology and how it will improve maintenance, or does it attempt to market the organization?
  • Technical maturity: How mature or ready is the technology? Has it been prototyped or successfully demonstrated?
  • Cross-service applicability: Is it potentially applicable to all service branches of the military and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)?
  • Feasibility/practicality: How viable would it be to transition the technology for use by the Department of Defense (DoD)? Considerations include DoD maintenance needs, needs of specific DoD programs, implementation, the readiness level of the technology, and the strength/validity of test or simulation data supporting performance claims.

Enter Submission

Download the Quad Chart template.

Complete Quad chart and save. File must be saved as PowerPoint format.

Complete all fields in the abstract submission form below.

Upload saved file.  Submit form.

All submitted content must be reviewed and approved for public release.

The submission period has closed.

Follow Up

  • Following your submission, our team will review your submission.
  • Once the submission is reviewed, our team will send you an email with any questions or additional information needs.
  • A confirmation will be sent once the submission is input into the judging software.
  • In early November the 6 finalists will be announced. Please stay tuned for additional information.


  • If you encounter an error with the following form, please email mic@ncms.org with a description or your issue. Our team will follow up as soon as possible.

Submission Deadline

Friday 10/6/2023