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Air Force encourages employees to cash in on ideas

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Highlighting a new Department of Defense-led program designed to produce money-saving ideas that improve the way the DOD operates, Air Force Undersecretary and chief management officer Erin C. Conaton is encouraging civilian and military employees to share their ideas online at

The multi-service focused contest, called the Innovation for New Value, Efficiency & Savings Tomorrow Awards, runs Aug. 9 through Sept. 24, and is part of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' drive to save $100 billion over the next five years.

According to the INVEST Awards website, the keys to successfully taking home one of 25 cash awards are ideas that are thorough, cost effective, low risk, simple to implement, yield multi-faceted savings and have a high return on investment.

Ms. Conaton said the Air Force strongly supports Secretary Gates' overall campaign for greater efficiency.

"I encourage everyone to submit their ideas online for consideration," she said. "All ideas will be evaluated without names attached, so please be candid."

Encouraging efficiencies across the Air Force is a part of Ms. Conaton's role as CMO.

For more information about the INVEST Awards program, visit