Intelligence

What DIUx might mean for intel

Shutterstock image (by zimmytws): Map of the Silicon Valley section of California - San Fransisco and Palo Alto.

The intelligence community has had conversations that run parallel to the Defense Department's Silicon Valley outreach, according to a top defense intelligence official.

Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel Lettre said DOD is setting a tone that tries "to spur creativity both in the technology and capabilities that exist, but also how we access" them through the acquisition process.

He stressed that dialogue with industry is important to spur innovation within the IC as well and said Defense Secretary Ash Carter is working overtime to appeal to innovators by accelerating the acquisition process.

In the past, it might have been difficult to find ways to create partnerships, but "the notion of integration has been fundamental to our success," Lettre said at an Intelligence and National Security Alliance dinner on May 5.

"We need to be thinking very creatively [about] how to access that innovation in a way [that] reflects the need for agility and flexibility and adaptability that's going to be necessary," he added.

Carter has spearheaded the creation of DOD's Silicon Valley outpost, known as the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental. Although there have been plenty of conversations between the Pentagon and technology firms in Silicon Valley, DOD's complex acquisition cycle remains a topic of concern.

Technology executives have voiced frustrations and concerns about how long it takes for contracts to work their way through the government. Carter has stressed the "experimental" part of DIUx's name and said the the initiative's goal is to explore new technologies and the connections they can foster.

About the Author

Aisha Chowdhry is a former staff writer for FCW.


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