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The military services are mirroring the approach of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which seeks to accelerate the development of new technologies. This would be accomplished through collaboration with companies large and small, old and new. It has been so successful that earlier this month it got to remove the “x” from its name, as it’s no longer a temporary experiment.






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Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced Thursday that the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) will undergo a re-branding. The unit will drop “experimental” from its name and will be called Defense Innovation Unit, or DIU.






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As it looks to get new technologies developed and into the field as quickly as possible, the Department of Defense has been making greater use of Other Transaction Authority (OTA), a quick-strike contracting mechanism that has gone in and out of fashion since the 1950s, but is now seeing a resurgence.






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The recent Pentagon announcement of a $950 million (ceiling) production contract to nontraditional defense contractor REAN Cloud has sent reverberations through the acquisition community. This Production Other Transaction (OT) agreement follows a similar, although smaller production award by the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DiUX) to the cybersecurity firm Tanium (Full disclosure, Tanium is a client of mine).






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The Department of Defense (DoD) would like to get rid of the Common Access Card (CAC), but the problem–finding a suitable replacement. It turns out that the replacement won’t be one thing, but multiple biometric identifiers that combine to make out a person’s identity.






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It’s been one year since Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the formation of the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental, the centerpiece of the Pentagon’s new Silicon Valley outreach effort designed to bring private sector technology innovations into the military at a faster pace and at lower cost than the big iron projects of the past.






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Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced a significant expansion of the Pentagon’s Silicon Valley-based experimental technology unit, including dedicated funding pipelines, a new partnership leadership structure, and plans to stand up a second unit in Boston.






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