February 07, 2024

New CNAS Report on the Future of the Defense Innovation Unit by Doug Beck

Washington, February 7, 2024 — Today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new report by Doug Beck, director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense. In DIU 3.0: Scaling Defense Innovation for Strategic Impact, Beck articulates a vision for the unit’s next phase, aiming to rapidly field commercial solutions at scale for the U.S. military.

DIU 3.0, the report outlines, will:

  • Focus on the most critical capability gaps and embed with the warfighter to do so
  • Partner at every level with DoD’s “engines of scale”
  • Catalyze the DoD’s innovation entities into a community of impact
  • Take the partnership with the commercial tech sector to a new level
  • Realize the enormous potential of tech partnership with allies and partners
  • Build the trust and momentum required for speed and scale
  • Retool DIU to support all of the above
  • Provide the Secretary and Deputy Secretary with world class dual fluency advice

“We cannot,” Beck writes, “ask our service members to put their lives on the line without the best capabilities available, and we cannot afford to mortgage our strategic future to inaction.”

“Technology is a key enabler of military power,” said Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. “The Defense Department must improve its ability to tap into America’s vibrant commercial tech sector. Beck, whose background combines deep experience in technology and national security, makes the case for change and the steps needed for DIU to help meet the U.S. military’s needs.”

For media inquiries, please contact Alexa Whaley at awhaley@cnas.org.


“DIU 3.0”

Foreword By Richard Fontaine Rapid technological change touches virtually every aspect of life today. This includes defense and national security, and for good reason: To main...

Read More