The Aerospace Corporation has a long-standing reputation for being on the cutting edge of innovations in the field of national security space (NSS). The people of Aerospace are highly creative in developing innovative solutions to customer problems. We see constant evidence of this in many areas including customer testimonials and surveys, contractor letters, corporate awards, and other indicators. 

There are many definitions of innovation that vary by industry and according to the product or service offered. Typically, innovations may occur in either products or processes, they have a lasting effect, and they replace the method or product used previously because they offer a more elegant or efficient solution.

Sustaining Innovations and Creative Solutions

Two major types of innovation at Aerospace illuminate the various facets of our work and the value it provides to our customers and the NSS community: sustaining innovations and creative solutions. The key difference between the two types of innovative activity is that one produces a lasting change, while the other produces a creative one-time solution to a specific problem.

A sustaining innovation brings about a new capability in the form of a product or a process change that alters the way our customers or community work. This is usually due to a step-change in capability provided by the innovation. Sustaining innovations do not have to change the world, but they do have to address a practical need and create significant lasting benefits for the customer or community. 

A creative solution solves a vexing problem by challenging existing thinking about the issue in a way that leads the course of the work down a new and previously unforeseen beneficial path. Creative thinking that solves a difficult problem is a type of innovation.