The DOD is working on building a database of innovative acquisitions


Written by Jackson Barnett

The Defense Ministry is in the process of creating a database that will track information about the technology each department acquires to reduce redundancies in purchasing, the ministry’s chief technology officer said on Tuesday.

Heidi Shyu, the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, called the effort new and “ongoing” with the aim that the database would show the trends on which acquisitions have the most impact. ‘impact.

DOD has a range of offices that offer small research grants and other non-traditional contracts to buy emerging technologies, like AFWERX or the Defense Innovation Unit. But there is little coordination of these investments between offices, Shyu lamented.

“Whatever the good practices [are], I want to be able to share between organizations, ”she said at the Association of Old Crow’s international symposium and convention.

Some of the DOD innovation offices have attempted individual efforts to increase collaboration outside the military. DIU signed an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to jointly develop technological cybersecurity and private sector bridging solutions last December.

Shyu’s database would be a new way for the whole department to share information.

“I strongly believe in teamwork,” she said. “We must always strive to increase collaboration at all levels. “

New funding opportunities

Shyu announced another initiative on Tuesday that she said could also increase the overall efficiency of how DOD purchases new technology.

Dubbed the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER), the fund was recently created to provide funds to test new ideas submitted by combat services and commands. In the first five weeks of open calls for applications, the military submitted 203 white papers.

In addition to military white papers, the new program may also be ready to accept arguments from private companies for funding by FY 2023.

Shyu said that opening up access to the private sector would generate better avenues for turning ideas into real and tested capabilities.

“The department must also harness the incredible ecosystem of innovation both nationally and globally,” she said.


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