Pentagon’s Innovation Outpost Urges Rest of DoD to Adopt Rapid Acquisition

The Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental thinks it’s learned a thing or two about rapid acquisition over the year since its initial standup, and sees no good reason why the rest of the Defense Department can’t use the same techniques it’s put in place to award new contracts in 60 days or less.

DIUx published a 99-page “how-to” guide on Wednesday, aiming to walk the rest of DoD’s sprawling acquisition community through the legal and practical aspects of the contracting practices it’s used to award $36 million in a dozen small contracts thus far, each focused on developing new prototypes for future military systems.

“For us to drive a real culture change, it’s not enough for DIUx itself to be successful — we need to build momentum,” Lauren Schmidt, DIUx’s pathways director, said at a forum hosted by the Center for a New American Security. “We wanted to pull all of this together to share our experiences in using these new legal authorities and deploying them to broaden our industrial base, so hopefully others can build on our experience and accelerate the acquisition process. We’re hoping we can really drive acquisition innovation across DoD.”

By Jared Serbu | @jserbuWFED