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US Defense Tech-Innovation Hub No Longer an ‘Experiment’

By Vivienne Machi | August 10, 2018
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The Pentagon has dropped the “experimental” portion of its Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental, indicating that the technology hub is here to stay.

“As a testament to [the department’s] commitment to the importance of its mission, effective immediately, DIUx will be redesignated as the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU),” said a memo released by the Defense Department Aug. 9.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter visits Defense Innovation Unit Experimental at Moffett Field, Calif., to deliver remarks at DIUx May 11, 2016. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)

Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, May 11, 2016. (Photo: Defense Department)

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Established in 2015 under former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, the unit was meant to help promote outreach between the department and Silicon Valley as well as other industry partners. After several years of uncertainty as to how the unit would progress, this announcement of a permanent installment signals a vote of confidence from the Pentagon in the organization’s mission and efforts.

DIU will continue to develop new and different ways of delivering capability to the warfighter, and it “remains vital to fostering innovation across the Department and transforming the way DoD builds a more lethal force,” the memo added.

The under secretary of defense for research and engineering will work with the chief management officer to change the chartering directive for what was DIUx to reflect the name change and any other recent changes to its reporting relationship within the department, according to the statement.

Mike Madsen, who leads the unit’s Washington, D.C. operations, said in an emailed statement: "DIU has provided meaningful solutions to some of the toughest challenges by successfully accelerating commercial technology into the Department.  We appreciate senior department leaders’ commitment to our mission and the opportunity to expand our lessons learned throughout the DoD to benefit the men and women in uniform."

This story originally appeared in sister publication Defense Daily. 

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