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Pentagon's tech hub launches dozens of new projects with FY24 funding

Pentagon's tech hub launches dozens of new projects with FY24 funding

 


The Defense Innovation Unit plans to use most of its roughly $1 billion budget for fiscal year 2024 to accelerate existing projects and add new ones in technology areas such as counter-unmanned aerial systems and space transportation.

Congress approved a nearly tenfold increase in funding for the Pentagon’s Commercial Technology Hub in FY24 to support the Defense Department’s expanding mission to help rapidly develop and field large volumes of commercial capabilities. Protracted budget deliberations delayed appropriations and did not provide funding to DIU until more than five months into the fiscal year, challenging the organization to spend the money in a short space of time.

Doug Beck, director of DIU, said the funding will be split into four areas: accelerating existing programs, launching new programs, supporting projects housed within other DoD innovation organizations and addressing some of the challenges private companies face when working with the Defense Department.

The DIU provided further details about the allocation in a June 20 statement, revealing that 50% of the funds, or about $491 million, will be used to accelerate priorities. The remaining 25%, or about $246 million, will be used for new projects.

DIU has already begun implementing the new budget under parliamentary oversight, but in the coming months it plans to use the FY24 budget to solicit 24 bids for new projects, the organization announced.

Existing priorities include technologies supporting attritable unmanned systems, the Pentagon Integrated Fires Network, and other space, cyber, energy, logistics and human systems efforts.

The new project will focus on cross-disciplinary software and advanced manufacturing, with the goal of helping enable more resilient, integrated autonomous systems that operate across multiple domains, in addition to space transportation and counter-UAS.

Beck said in a statement that DIU's FY24 spending is focused on closing gaps in the U.S. military's most critical operational capabilities with the focus, speed and scale needed to deter major conflict and win if forced to fight.

The remaining 25% of the funding will support DIU's role in coordinating the Pentagon's various innovation organizations, including the Air Force's AFWERX and the Navy's NavalX, and breaking down organizational barriers to adopting non-traditional technologies within the Pentagon, including by expanding the DIU's network of on-ramp hubs based across the United States.

Working with partners across the Department of Defense, DIU will continue to outreach to industry through a variety of in-person and virtual engagements to provide informational content on how to work with DIU and how to improve collaboration with the Department of Defense more broadly, the organization said.

Courtney Albon is a space and emerging technology reporter for C4ISRNET. She has covered the U.S. military since 2012, focusing on the Air Force and Space Force. She has reported on some of the Department of Defense's most significant acquisition, budget and policy challenges.

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