Science and Technology News

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DoD Tech Office to Hold Small-Business Town Hall

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, February 2, 2016 — In an increasingly competitive and fast-moving global environment, the Defense Department relies on technical innovation to maintain the U.S. advantage over potential adversaries, defense officials said in a recent interview with DoD News.

With that reality in mind, the newly formed Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, or DIUx, will host a town hall-style gathering of experts Feb. 18 between 4 and 6 p.m., to help companies better understand available resources and introduce key local California contacts, the officials added.

The event, called "Decoding DoD," will be held at DIUx's facility in Mountain View, California, and it will include time for networking and one-on-one meetings with service small business representatives immediately following the formal presentation and Q&A, the officials said.

Renewing the Partnership

Experts from DIUx, contracting officers, and representatives from DoD’s Office of Small Business Programs and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office-Silicon Valley will be in attendance.

The session will be interactive and offer a chance for conversations with key DoD personnel to identify technology that can potentially benefit the nation’s security, officials said.

"The primary mission of DIUx is to be a nexus between technology ecosystems that traditionally don't work with the DoD, identifying potential capability solutions and matching them to the right customers within the Services," said George Duchak, director of DIUx.

DIUx identifies potential solutions and matches them to the right customers, contracts and funding sources in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Value to Small Business

Officials noted the value the Defense Department offers to small businesses by introducing a company’s technology to potential DoD customers, testing technology in real-world applications, and funding technology maturation.

A DoD partnership can make this happen without diluting the equity of founders or investors, they said.

Officials from the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency also will participate in the meeting, providing specific and current capabilities of interest to help them meet their mission.

As Defense Secretary Ash Carter said last April during a visit to Silicon Valley, “Through successes and strains, our ties [with Silicon Valley] have broadly endured … but I believe we must renew the bonds of trust and rebuild the bridge between the Pentagon and Silicon Valley. Renewing our partnership is the only way we can do this right."

Topics of Discussion

Town hall topics include:

-- Resources and opportunities for a small business to work with DoD;

-- Translating the contracting alphabet: From broad agency announcements to other transaction authorities, DoD is leveraging new contracting options to work with Silicon Valley businesses;

-- Opportunities and technology areas of interest to DoD;

-- Intellectual Property: Myth busting; and

-- Local government resources in the area, including DIUx, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office-Silicon Valley, and service small business innovation research offices.

"This small business town hall and other future DIUx-sponsored events are an effort to break down some of the barriers that have been built up over the years and to accelerate the flow of ideas and new technology from Silicon Valley and elsewhere into the DoD,” Duchak said.

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