DoD innovation chief nominee puts weight behind DIUx, wants to bridge ‘valley of death’

As the Defense Department moves forward in splitting its acquisition office, the nominee for the first ever defense undersecretary for research and engineering is pledging to stand by the department’s established innovation hubs.

Michael Griffin told lawmakers he would stand by some of the Obama era efforts to court companies that don’t traditionally work with DoD, push for rapid acquisition and create an atmosphere of innovation.

Those efforts include organizations like the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) and the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO).

Both of the organizations had a tenuous future under the Trump administration, which has a tendency to cast off anything related to Obama.


However, the former NASA administrator gave the offices his full support during his Jan. 18 nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The future of DIUx has been an area of curiosity for many since Defense Secretary Jim Mattis took office. After former Defense Secretary Ash Carter touted the program frequently, it went largely radio silent once Mattis moved to the Pentagon.

DIUx’s investments slowed in the first half of 2017. It only awarded 13…

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