The Defense DepartmentÂ has unveiledÂ a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, that will work to connect the department with local innovators in an effort toÂ acquireÂ new technologies forÂ warfighters and address national security challenges.
Christy Abizaid, formerÂ deputy assistant secretary of defense forÂ Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia and aÂ National Security Council staff, will lead the thirdÂ DIUx office and report to Raj Shah, DIUx managing partner, DoDÂ said Wednesday.
“I created DIUx last year because one of my core goals as secretary of defense has been to build, and in some cases rebuild, the bridges between our national security endeavor at the Pentagon and America’s wonderfully innovative and open technology community,” said Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
“Austin’s commitment to innovation, access to talent and academia, as well as the department’s longstanding ties to Texas make this an ideal next location for DIUx.”
The Capitol Factory technology incubator will house the Austin DIUx staff, which will includeÂ local Reservists and National Guard members from the city’s technology community.
Abizaid said the new DIUx office will helpÂ local entrepreneurs and innovators do business with DoD.
DoD could also open aÂ fourth DIUx office near Washington by the end of 2016 after the launchÂ of the Austin office.
DIUx seeks to utilize commercial offerings to address national defense and technological challenges in areas such as autonomy, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity through its newÂ Commercial Solutions Opening contracting mechanism.
TheÂ initiative has signed five agreements worth a total of $3.5 million since its establishment with 22 more projects planned that total $65 million in investment, DoD said.