DoD Modernization Relies on Rapid Leverage of Commercial Technology > U.S. Department of Defense > DoD News

Defense Innovation focuses on leveraging technologies in six domains: artificial intelligence/machine learning, autonomy, cyber, energy, human systems and space.

“Our Defense Innovation organization is focused on identifying priority technology areas and using faster methods to get technology into the hands of our warfighters,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said at the Reagan Defense Forum in California last December.

The 2022 National Defense Strategy states that DoD must act because market forces are driving new capabilities that may prove useful, especially in the confrontation with China.

“To gain and maintain an operational advantage over competitors, DoD needs an order-of-magnitude increase in the adoption of commercial technologies. To do this, DoD must follow suit quickly,” NDS noted.

In 2022, the DIU facilitates the transfer of 17 commercial solutions to DoD users.

At DIU, transition means starting with the successful completion of a prototype and a production or service contract with a DoD or U.S. government partner. This process usually takes 12 to 24 months, which is very fast in the world of government acquisitions. Since 2016, a total of 52 programs have transitioned to the Department of Defense, said DIU acting director Mike Madsen.

In FY22, 86% of our awards were non-traditional, 73% went to small businesses, and 33% were first-time DOD suppliers. “Crucially, we are working to lower barriers to entry so we can grow and strengthen our national security innovation base.”

Dual-use commercial technologies are playing an increasingly important role in the way DoD solves problems, he said.

“In particular, the Ukraine war has increased the national security community’s interest in the value of commercial technologies such as satellite services, communications and remote sensing,” Madsen said.

Commercial technology transformation includes innovations such as providing enhanced visibility into cyber threats; using artificial intelligence to optimize talent discovery; and creating scalable, resilient and responsive communications infrastructure for ground and space systems, he said.

As a joint organization, the DIU works with defense partners across the Services and combatant commands—and sometimes civilian or intelligence agencies—to modernize their efforts by prototyping and scaling this emerging technology, “assessment, acquisition and Alternative processes to deploy increasingly successful commercial technologies are a harbinger of the 2023 innovation set that will further strengthen the defense enterprise base,” he said.

Commercial solutions for DIU’s transition to DOD in 2022 include:

  • AI-based knowledge graph.
  • Automate vulnerability discovery and remediation.
  • Autonomous maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • Business Threat Data.
  • Cyber ​​threat deception.
  • Transform multimodal datasets from English and foreign language sources.
  • Hall-effect thrusters for small satellites are designed to improve navigation flexibility.
  • Portable threat hunting platform designed to neutralize adversary activity in communications.
  • Smart business automation monitors financial transactions.
  • Instructions and warnings for the use of small satellites in peacetime.
  • Pilot simulation training.
  • Rapidly analyze threat exposures and detect virus exposures early.
  • Secure cloud management.
  • Short-range reconnaissance using unmanned aerial systems.

A link to the full FY22 Annual Report can be found at https://www.diu.mil/fy22-year-in-review.

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