US Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health


Research communities sponsored by both the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) help individuals prepare for, perform during, and recover from physically and emotionally demanding experiences. Military performance and civilian patient outcomes however, are rarely, if ever, examined through one lens. Noetic was engaged to develop a forum to understand analogues and overlaps between the goals of the two communities. The forum aimed to identify the resources available to each community and how they can collaborate in human performance optimisation to improve outcomes for military personnel and patients. Noetic did this through the creation of the Human Performance Optimization Working Group.


Noetic undertook research to identify key areas of mutual interest and efforts to enhance cooperation between both communities. Noetic then brought together a diverse group of experts to consider the opportunities and challenges for collaboration in the areas of fatigue, candidate selection, and support networks. This event identified a wide range of potential opportunities and benefits that could come from collaboration, but also noted the bureaucratic challenges to formal association. This led to the development of a ‘joint planning’ concept, where researchers discussed studies during the design and planning phase to identify tests, metrics, populations, samples or other modifications to studies to enable data to be more broadly applicable Following additional research and stakeholder engagement, Noetic hosted the Human Performance Optimisation Working Group’s first joint planning session focused on the issue of fatigue. The event highlighted two research efforts under development, one from each community, to identify tangible steps each organisation could take to support each other’s efforts for mutual benefit.


The Human Performance Optimisation Working Group brought together non-traditional partners who would not otherwise work together and increase the value of public research funding, generating better outcomes for their respective communities. The result was a successful approach to future collaboration, new perspectives and ideas for each community to use, and a range of new ideas on how to improve research outcomes that benefit soldiers and cancer patients.