The Defense Innovation Unit will open a new facility in Chicago in an attempt to gain access to the state’s commercial technology ecosystem to support military and national security innovation.
The technology accelerator said Thursday the new DIU office will be located at the Discovery Partners Institute and serve as a bridge between the Pentagon and commercial companies working on technology areas such as artificial intelligence, energy, space and cybersecurity.
“DIU is excited to add Chicago to deepen the DOD’s reach to identify new solutions, companies, and talent to solve our national security challenges,” said Michael Brown, director of DIU and an inductee to the 2022 Wash100 Award.
Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of defense and a fellow 2022 Wash100 awardee, said the new office will allow DOD to tap into the diverse talent and technology offered by the region to enhance military innovation and modernization capabilities.
Chicago will be the fifth location for DIU, which also has offices in Mountain View, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Austin, Texas; and Washington, DC.
DIU, through its Commercial Solutions Opening program, has awarded contracts to more than 263 domestic and international companies for prototype projects. The technology accelerator has fielded 43 commercial technologies for DOD partners.