May 24, 2018

Now is the time to take DIUx global

By Daniel Kliman and Brendan Thomas-Noone

The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental — the Pentagon’s signature effort to engage commercial technology startups ― is primed to go global. In fact, DIUx could become a key platform by which the United States and its allies and partners come together to address shared military challenges ― if its next managing director and supporters in the Pentagon and Congress are prepared to seize the moment.

Launched in 2015, DIUx reflected a growing realization that the U.S. military needs to more effectively leverage innovations developed in the commercial technology sector. Intended as a workaround to a sclerotic defense acquisitions process, DIUx came to rely on an obscure contracting authority to rapidly award prototype projects to innovative companies ― a welcome change to the Pentagon business models that never managed to align with the technology industry’s far faster pace.

By the end of the Obama administration, DIUx had expanded beyond Silicon Valley to two other U.S. innovation hubs — Boston and Austin.

Growth gave way to uncertainty following the 2016 presidential election, with observers questioning whether the new team would support DIUx, and Congress moving to restrict its access to funding. Since then, however, DIUx has won the support of key stakeholders. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis visited DIUx in mid-2017 and offered an unequivocal endorsement of its mission to “accelerate commercial innovation to the war fighter.” Michael Griffin, the new undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, has also expressed backing for DIUx, which falls within his portfolio.


Read the Full Article at Defense News

  • Commentary
    • Defense One
    • September 18, 2020
    Esper's Convenient Lie

    Esper’s claim that the two decades of countering violent extremism left the U.S. under-prepared for a near-peer fight doesn’t hold water....

    By Paul Scharre

  • Video
    • September 15, 2020
    Apple announces new products amid Epic fight, plus the latest on TikTok: CNBC After Hours

    As President Trump prepares to review Oracle’s proposal to partner with TikTok, international security experts Kara Frederick and Bobby Chesney explain the national security r...

    By Kara Frederick

  • Podcast
    • September 14, 2020
    Ep. 75: The next big thing(s) in unmanned systems

    This episode, we'll explore emerging trends in unmanned systems. We’ll start in the air, before turning to the land and sea in a review of Russian-made systems and military th...

    By Samuel Bendett

  • Commentary
    • September 10, 2020
    Designing a U.S. Digital Development Strategy

    The digital choices that U.S. allies and partners make today will play a critical role in shaping the future of U.S. national security....

    By Siddharth Mohandas, Kristine Lee, Joshua Fitt & ​Coby Goldberg

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia