Office of Naval Research gets new leader as it continues to increase cash to small tech companies

Rear Adm. Lorin C. Selby, left, reports to Adm. Robert Burke, center, vice chief of naval operations, after relieving Rear Adm. David J. Hahn as the Chief of Naval Research (CNR) during a virtual change of command and retirement ceremony held at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Virginia, May 29, 2020. (U.S. Navy / Bobby Cummings)

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The Office of Naval Research, which oversees roughly $2 billion in science and technology funding, got a new leader June 1: Rear Adm. Lorin C. Selby, a former submarine commander, nuclear engineer and acquisition officer.

Selby will oversee part of the Navy’s efforts to stabilize the small- and mid-sized technology companies working with the military as the economy convulses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The office is seeking to shell out more than $250 million in the next few weeks so companies that work with the Department of the Navy can stay afloat.

“I’m excited and honored to take command of ONR,” Selby said in a press release, adding that he and the office’s work will be “essential” in ensuring sailors and Marines are fully equipped with the weaponry and technology in the future.

The Office of Naval Research also recently joined forces with the Navy’s increased number of Tech Bridges to be able to better collaborate with small and non-traditional defense contractors. The tech bridges are run by run the Naval Expeditions Agility Office and work with ONR to collaborate with industry, academia and other sources generating innovative ideas for technology.

In additional to serving as chief of naval research, Selby will also have the title of director of Innovation, Technology Requirements and Test and Evaluation (OPNAV N94) where he will apply his skills as a engineer and acquisition officer to technical challenges.

Selby’s most recent previous post was as chief engineer of Naval Sea Systems Command and deputy commander for ship design, integration and naval engineering, according to the release.

His goal for new role is to accelerate the ONR’s legacy of leading science and technology innovation and research.

“I hope to build on that legacy by stimulating collaboration and partnerships that will enable our warfighters to tackle the challenges of 21st-century warfare,” Selby said.

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Acquisition, coronavirus, emerging technology, Office of Naval Research
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