Mike Brown: DIU Turns to Industry for Tech

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Mike Brown, director of the Defense Innovation Unit and 2022 Wash100 Award winner, said his team looks at the private sector to identify technologies that address warfighter needs, DOD News reported Thursday.

He said in a discussion at George Mason University that DIU is using an other transaction authority or OTA to speed up commercial technology adoption. This procurement method is applicable to prototyping or research and development services.

The unit follows a “commercial solutions open” approach that includes the use of modular contracts and agile work statements. Brown said modular contracts provide the flexibility to have different vendors collaborate for prototyping and eventual production.

He also noted that DIU does not list its own requirements, because the private sector already offers products that the Department of Defense can use. Brown said this was the case when DIU was in search of counter-drone technologies.

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