DOD Modernization Relies on Rapidly Leveraging Commercial Technology > U.S. Department of Defense > Defense Department News

The Defense Innovation Division focuses on deploying technologies from six areas: artificial intelligence/machine learning, autonomous, cyber, energy, human systems and space.

“The Defense Innovation Unit is focused on identifying critical technology areas using the fastest means to get that technology into the hands of our military,” Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California in December.

The National Defense Strategy of 2022 said that the department must work because the markets develop new skills that can be useful, especially in dealing with China.

“In order to gain and maintain an operational advantage over competitors, the DOD needs an order of magnitude increase in its acquisition of commercial technology. To this end, the DOD must act as a fast follower,” said NDS.

By 2022, DIU helped transform 17 commercial solutions for Department of Defense users.

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At DIU, conversion means the transition from a prototype to successful completion and resulting in a manufacturing or service contract with the DOD or a US government partner. This process usually takes 12 to 24 months, which is the fastest in the world of government procurement. Since 2016, a total of 52 projects have transitioned to DOD, said Mike Madsen, DIU’s acting director.

In FY22, 86 percent of our awards were non-traditional, 73 percent were awarded to small businesses, and 33 percent were to original DOD vendors. “It is very important that we work to lower the barriers to entry in order to grow and strengthen the foundation for establishing national security.”

Dual-use commercial technology plays a very important role in how DOD solves problems, he said.

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“In particular, the war in Ukraine has increased interest within the national security community in the importance of commercially available technologies, such as satellite services, communications and remote sensing,” said Madsen.

Changing commercial technologies include innovations such as delivering improved visibility of cyber threats; using AI to improve talent acquisition; and creating a scalable, robust and responsive communications infrastructure for space and space systems, he said.

As a joint organization, the DIU works with defense partners from all services and military commands – and sometimes civil or intelligence organizations – to modernize their efforts by prototyping and measuring these emerging technologies, “The increasing success of other evaluation processes, procurement, and field intelligence. commercial technology serves as a precursor to the new 2023 program that will continue to strengthen the foundations of the defense business,” he said.

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Commercial solutions DIU transitioned to DOD by 2022 include:

  • AI-based knowledge graph.
  • Automated vulnerability detection and remediation.
  • Autonomous Maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • Trade threat data.
  • Cyber ​​threat illusion.
  • Convert multidimensional data sets from English and foreign language sources.
  • Hall effect thrusters for small satellites are designed to increase maneuverability.
  • A portable threat hunting platform designed to disrupt enemy communications operations.
  • Intelligent business automation monitors financial transactions.
  • Peacetime indicators and warnings use small satellites.
  • Driver simulation training.
  • Rapid analysis of risk exposure for early detection of virus exposure.
  • Secure cloud management.
  • Short-range testing using unmanned aerial systems.

A link to the entire FY22 annual report can be found at https://www.diu.mil/fy22-year-in-review.

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