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Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work and Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall Visit to Defense Innovation Unit Experimental

Press Operations

Release No: NR-319-15
Aug. 5, 2015
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Deputy Secretary of Defense Spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson provided the following:

Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work and Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) Frank Kendall met with the leadership of the Defense Department's Silicon Valley point of presence, the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx).

As part of Secretary Carter's Defense Innovation Initiative (DII), DIUx is establishing an office at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, to serve as a catalyst for building new relationships and fostering opportunities that will benefit national security and industry.

Deputy Secretary Work and Kendall visited DIUx to meet with the newly appointed leadership of DIUx. They met with the DIUx Director George Duchak and Rear Adm. Brian Hendrickson , who is serving as the DIUx military deputy. Discussions focused on: technological superiority, the rapid evolution of emerging commercial technologies, and integrating those ideas within military systems and concepts of operations.

Work said Duchak and Hendrickson are the right folks for this important job, having the necessary experience and capabilities needed to strengthen and build relationships, scout out breakthrough and emerging technologies, and be the local interface with Silicon Valley.

DIUx leadership will serve as mediators between ideas and opportunities. While helping innovators, who have not traditionally worked with the DoD, navigate the defense system, they will also point them toward areas where they can have an impact and help solve significant national security problems.

As Secretary Carter said in April, there are also really great opportunities to be seized through a new level of partnership between the Pentagon and Silicon Valley - opportunities that we can only realize together. Our engagement through DIUx can be a win-win for all involved; providing opportunities to create avenues for the department, opportunities to create avenues for nontraditional sources, and opportunities to connect and refresh the traditional sources of defense material as well.

The department issued guidance calling for a more concerted effort toward focusing on innovation in the commercial technology sector last month. Serving as a signature part of the DII, the DIUx will serve as the hub for the department's core initiative to increasing DoD's communication with, knowledge of, and access to innovating, leading edge technologies from high-tech, start-up companies and entrepreneurs.

While DIUx is based at Moffett Field, Work explained the DoD may look to establish different points of presence in other centers of innovation, where there are various ongoing levels of effort related to innovation and technology.

Through the DII, the department is looking to complement the vital, long-standing relationships with industry leaders and by exploring ways to open up new opportunities for innovative companies and business leaders.

Throughout their visit, Work and Kendall explained the world is changing, the sources of innovation are changing, and that the department needs to continue to be a smart customer of commercial technology and able to innovate rapidly.