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(a) Submission of Ideas. An employee, outside entity or vendor may submit an idea (not a product; see WSSC 1.27.050) to the Engineering and Environmental Services Division (EESD) for evaluation. EESD will perform an initial review of the idea, accept the idea for consideration, combine the idea with an existing idea or initiative or determine if the idea should be considered for inclusion in an initiative or be rejected. EESD will provide feedback to the submitter on the acceptance or rejection of the idea. Ideas submitted by an employee or outside entity become the intellectual property of WSSC unless trademarked or patented by the submitter before submitting the idea to WSSC.

(b) Create Initiatives. EESD will analyze ideas to determine which ideas should be turned into initiatives. Initiatives may be comprised of one idea, multiple ideas, and/or vendor products. Similar ideas may be grouped together into a comprehensive initiative at the discretion of the EESD.

(c) Create Business Case. Once an initiative has been created, a preliminary business case will be created to determine the value of the initiative. The preliminary business case will try to assess all the feasible alternatives available to solve the problem identified in the initiative. As the initiative moves through the steps of the evaluation, testing, review and approval, the business case can be updated with additional information.

(d) Perform Risk Assessment. Each initiative will be compared to industry standards to attempt to assess the risk of implementation. Previous initiatives may be reviewed to determine risks from other similar projects.

(e) Develop Research Plan. Depending on the needs of the innovation or research initiative, EESD may develop a research plan. This plan would identify goals, objectives, methods, testing, costs and other research specific criteria needed to accomplish the research and testing to support the initiative. A research plan is not required for an initiative to be moved to the proposal stage.

(f) Develop Proposal. An innovation or research proposal will be created to summarize all of the information gathered in previous steps. The proposal may pull together the business case, risk assessment, research plan and any other available information. The proposal may be presented to the Innovation and Research Council at a quarterly meeting for review and approval of the next step. If the proposal is not approved, the proposal may be moved to an inactive proposal list.

(g) Develop Project. If a proposal is approved, EESD will create a project to implement the proposal. The project plan will include design, procurement, SLMBE, and construction requirements necessary to carry out the proposal. EESD will then manage the project or hand off the project to the appropriate resource within WSSC. (Document dated May 17, 2017 § IV)