The Defense Department has unveiled its new Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental office in Boston as part of efforts to increase DoD’s connections with the innovation community and accelerate integration of new technology into military operations.
DoD said Tuesday it established the DUIx 2.0 facility to complement the first outpost the department opened in Silicon Valley last year.
“Over the last 11 months… DIUx has become a signature part of our outreach to the tech community,” said Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
“It’s helped us connect with hundreds of entrepreneurs and firms – making great progress in putting commercially-based innovation into the hands of America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines,” Carter added.
He also named Bernadette Johnson, former chief technology officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratories, as chief science officer of DIUx and appointed Col. Mike McGinley, a cyberwarrior at the Air Force Reserve, as military lead for the Boston innovation office.
DoD noted Johnson and McGinley will work with DIUx’s California-based partners to facilitate technological programs of the organization across the U.S.
Carter added that DIUx consists of venture, foundry and engagement teams and uses the Commercial Solutions Opening strategy to leverage congressionally granted authorities related to the prototyping process.
The organization, led by Raj Shah, is working on 15 projects in areas such as network mapping, autonomous seafaring vehicles, endpoint inspection, high-speed drones and multifactor authentication.
DIUx also seeks to bring together professionals from DoD and the military to explore biodefense and biological technologies with academic researchers, biotechnology firms and entrepreneurs.