DoD’s Innovation Org Awards $36M in FY 2016 Contracts Via New Acquisition Process; Raj Shah Comments

Pentagon1Defense Department organization has awarded 12 contracts worth approximately $36.3 million combined in fiscal year 2016, Defense News reported Friday.

Aaron Mehta writes the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental group made the contract awards within an average period of 60 days and provided $8.3 million in funds to support the contracts.

Tanium secured $12.7 million in DIUx contracts to develop a cyber platform designed to help the DoD chief information officer and the U.S. Army detect cyber threats in network endpoints, while Kratos Defense and Security SolutionsComposite Engineering and three other firms received $12.6 million in contracts for drone systems, Mehta reports.

Other awardees include Improbable, Saildrone, Shield AI, Zeuss, Qadium, BMNT Partners, Bromium and Quid, the report added.

DIUx awarded the contracts since the group established offices in Silicon Valley, Austin and Boston and adopted the Commercial Solutions Opening acquisition process as part of its restructuring effort in May, according to a report by Jared Serbu for Federal News Radio.

Serbu reports that several of the CSO contracts went to small businesses with little or no experience in the government acquisition process.

“There are several impediments that have prevented these companies from engaging with the department in a way that we’d like, and first and foremost is speed,” said Raj Shah, DIUx managing partner.

“The CSO is a reliable and transparent process where a company can quickly understand if their proposed solution is valuable to the department or not, and then what the next steps are,” he added, according to the report.

DoD established DIUx in 2015 to help explore defense technology platforms and expand partnerships with private sector innovators.

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