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Some Defense-vetted Prototypes Could Be Fast-Tracked to Civilian Agencies under New Agreement

The Defense Innovation Unit signed a memorandum of understanding with the General Services Administration to make it "easier for federal agencies to access innovative technology solutions" that have been successfully prototyped by DIU.

The Defense Department's innovation arm is looking to transfer its most successful prototypes to civilian agencies through a new partnership with the General Services Administration. 

The Defense Innovation Unit signed a memorandum of understanding with the General Services Administration which aims to make it "easier for federal agencies to access innovative technology solutions" by creating a framework to "transition successfully-prototyped DIU technology solutions to GSA contract vehicles," according to an agency announcement. 

The agreement focuses on key technology areas, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, cyber, energy, human systems, and space. Additionally, the MOU could help defense and non-defense government organizations from the federal to local levels speed up and increase their use of commercially available technologies by "sharing expertise and intellectual resources between agencies," said Laura Stanton, assistant commissioner for GSA's Office of Information Technology Category.  

The agreement focuses on combining DIU's use of other transaction agreements and follow-on production contracting to speed up acquisitions along with GSA's FASt Lane process to bring on defense industry partners. 

The two organizations previously teamed up on a drone-focused effort called Blue UAS, which is designed to make small commercial unmanned aerial systems that are compliant with restrictions named in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act more widely available. 

The new partnership comes as the DIU continues to expand to its portfolio – and physical presence across the U.S. – since its 2016 inception. Last year, the agency awarded 72 new prototype other transaction agreement contracts, the agency previously reported.

The announcement also comes after DIU's director, Michael Brown, signaled his intent to resign when his term expires later this year. 

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