Multi-media Knowledge Capture (MKC) Engine
Navy SBIR 2018.1 - Topic N181-076
ONR - Ms. Lore-Anne Ponirakis -
Opens: January 8, 2018 - Closes: February 7, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Multi-media Knowledge Capture (MKC) Engine


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human Systems, Information Systems

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Capable Manpower (CMP 19-03) Fleet Training Technologies (FleeT2)

OBJECTIVE: The Navy is seeking ways to more rapidly deliver timely, relevant information to Sailor and Marine warfighters.  Much of the information that most urgently needs to be shared exists as knowledge and expertise possessed by their fellow warfighters.  Solutions that enable warfighters to share knowledge as quickly and efficiently as possible by facilitating authoring and content creation are sought under this topic.  Of primary interest is the development of a semi-automated, scalable, structurally sound, intuitive/user friendly, multi-media knowledge content capture capability and “wizard” tools to enable novice content creators in conveying information as succinctly and effectively as possible.  The goal is to enable the creation of locally generated media job aids that can be shared within and across the Navy enterprise in as timely and efficient a manner as possible.  The desired tools would allow the warfighters themselves to address the unique knowledge needs of fellow warfighters (rates, watch stations, training, routine duties) on an as-needed or where-needed basis.

Sailors and Marines will be empowered to create and share relevant information as needed and where needed.  The Knowledge Capture Engine will enable warfighters to use templates to organize topical information, identify key information, and facilitate its being organized for effective sharing.  Then the desired tool will enable the rapid creation of video, graphic, and text-based material, annotate it with meta-data regarding topic, intended audience, and links to supporting reference material, and store it efficiently for local use within a ship or command, as well as for web-based distribution to the larger Naval enterprise.

DESCRIPTION: Existing approaches for creating learning materials to support operational Fleet needs are ad hoc and not responsive to current Fleet information sharing needs, nor do they reflect the capabilities represented by a rapidly changing technology base.  The current approach of creating formal training content is too slow, general, and inflexible.  Material generated often does not address the specific needs for local topical knowledge both ashore and aboard ship.  A new approach is needed to capture locally generated information to serve the practical needs of warfighters across the Navy enterprise addressing a diverse range of subject matter.  Solutions that empower sailors to create job aids for each other, supplementing formal training with experience and immediate requirement-based knowledge are needed.  The tools would enable warfighters to create content with lessons learned and best practices learned by other Sailors and Marines.  Of interest are tools that facilitate effective how-to stories, which are then used to generate multi-media, and keyword-tagged content creation.  The authoring tool(s) would facilitate not just the creation of content, but enable the rapid discovery and distribution of content, along with supporting web-links to formal training and reference materials.  The content would need to be designed and created for distribution, support commenting and annotation across a community of users, as well as vetting and accreditation from the Naval Training Enterprise (NTE).  The desired solution(s) will:
  • Be responsive to the demands of Sailor 2025, and the Navy Ready Relevant Learning initiatives
  • Enable Sailor/warfighter-driven content creation (e.g., ease of use, intuitive, wizard driven, etc.)
  • The tools must be accessible in a secure environment (specifically usable within the constraints of the DoD information systems)
  • Be specifically designed to facilitate the creation of quality content useable with minimal formal training, and minimal time requirements from the content creators.   
  • Support unit-level distribution within a local Navy computer network and support the management of release authorities.
  • Tools should be available on-demand to Sailors both ashore and aboard ship through both Navy workstations, as well as through dedicated authoring tools (e.g., tablets).  The desired software tools would enable a novice Sailor or Marine to create useful content with 4-16 hours of work.  
  • Appropriately describe anticipated processes and workflows for users working with the tools being developed under this topic
  • Enable a broad range of content to be generated, with structure provided via automated and/or semi-automated mechanisms (e.g., wizards).  Automation assigning meta-tagging is highly desirable.  Content categories should include: 
        o Professional development 
        o Career records management 
        o Libraries for Tactics, Techniques, Procedures (TTPs)
        o Maintenance procedures, field developed hacks and best practices 
        o Lessons learned, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), etc.

Proposals should: 1) demonstrate technical competence for defining and producing an MKC software engine; 2) identify relevant existing capabilities and of science and technology and challenges to be addressed by this effort; 3) establish the adequacy of their development strategy within the scope of SBIR phases and funding; 4) demonstrate an understanding for the constraints of creating and distributing multi-media content within DoD computing environments; and 5) exhibit the adequacy of the proposed transition plan.

PHASE I: Phase I should address the state-of-the art in rapid, low-cost content creation, capabilities for facilitating mediated multi-media content creation, automated methods for authoring content, methods for efficiently meta-tagging, and storing multi-media data.  Proposers should develop two or more use cases for how their proposed system will assist a Sailor or Marine in developing useful content.  Identify relevant literature from cognitive learning, learning content development, multi-media authoring, and other relevant areas that would be used to develop the proposed tools for content creation and/or needed for the proposed technology.  Design and describe a concept prototype tool with storyboards, mission narratives, and functional flow diagrams (or equivalent) to demonstrate how technology will support Sailor content creation, how appropriate meta-tags would be created, and how content would be locally stored and distributed.  The prototype software description should include appropriate standards-based approaches to the maximum practical extent.  Define operational and technical metrics that will permit the demonstration of the utility of the approach in Phase II.  Propose notional strategies for how the content could be distributed locally and more broadly (scaling for multi-ship to Navy-wide).  Design and prototype a basic proof-of-concept content creation capability.  Phase I deliverables should include a Final Phase I report that includes a detailed description of the approach taken, as well as a detailed development approach for Phase II.  Proposers must define an acquisition/transition model and a plan for development through a successful Phase III.

PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and refine the Phase I concept prototype.  Validate utility in human performance evaluations.  Demonstrate applicability to multiple use domains (e.g., professional development, practical Tools, Techniques and Procedures, (TTPs)).  The effectiveness of the system shall be demonstrated by satisfying the utility metrics defined in Phase I, as well as any additional metrics that may be developed in Phase II.  Develop a detailed plan for transition and commercialization.  Phase II deliverables should include a Final Phase II report that includes a detailed description of the development approach taken and quantified performance results addressing metrics developed in Phase I.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Refine the prototype and make its features complete in preparation for transition and commercialization.  In addition to the DoD, there will be an increasing demand for curated content creation in the commercial sector, such as in human resources, plant maintenance, remedial education instruction, and in federal and state agencies such as code enforcement, unemployment procedures, etc.  These domains could benefit significantly from the application of the solution developed in this effort.


1. Richardson, J. “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority”. Chief of Naval Operations. January, 2016.

2. United States Senate. “Statement of Vice Admiral William F. Moran, U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training & Education) before the Subcommittee on Personnel of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Personnel Posture”. March 8, 2016.

KEYWORDS: Knowledge Creation; Media Authoring Tools; Multi-Media; Human Performance; Human Cognition; Information Management


These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2018.1 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2018.1 BAA SBIR pre-release on November 29, 2017, which opens to receive proposals on January 8, 2018, and closes February 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET.

Between November 29, 2017 and January 7, 2018 you may talk directly with the Topic Authors (TPOC) to ask technical questions about the topics. During these dates, their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is not allowed starting January 8, 2018
when DoD begins accepting proposals for this BAA.
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