The Defense Innovation Board (DIB) closed out its winter board meeting in Washington, DC, on Feb. 1, 2023. Over the course of two days, the Defense Innovation Board received briefs from Department leaders on defense innovation efforts and opportunities for the Department to build strategic and enduring advantages for the warfighter. The Defense Innovation Board met with Under Secretary (Acquisition & Sustainment) William LaPlante, Under Secretary (Research & Engineering) Heidi Shyu, and Under Secretary (Comptroller) Mike McCord, and heard from the Defense Innovation Unit and service innovation organizations like AFWERX, NavalX, and Army Futures Command Army Application Lab, to better understand the defense innovation ecosystem and initiatives.
The DIB also held a public session to provide the board Chair – Michael R. Bloomberg – updates on the task force studies. Ryan Swann, representing the National Defense Science & Technology (S&T) Strategy Review Task Force, provided an update on task force efforts and initial observations on the importance of an S&T strategy for DoD to drive innovation. The DIB Chair and members also received an update from the Strategic Investment Capital Task Force Chair, Dr. Will Roper, who previewed study elements and announced an opportunity for the private sector to share their thoughts on how to improve the relationship between the commercial sector and DoD.
In addition to the study task force updates, the Defense Innovation Board received briefs from Dr. Jason Rathje, Director of the Office of Strategic Capital (OSC), on the Secretary’s vision for attracting private capital to boost the nation’s security and prosperity. The board also heard from Lt. Gen. Clinton S. Hinote, U.S. Air Force, on ways to incentivize a culture of innovation in the DoD and the military services. Board members asked questions and provided insights on ways DoD could think about increasing the partnership with the private sector and leveraging talent within and across the university and commercial sectors. Bloomberg encouraged private sector participation in the Strategic Investment Capital study to inform the DIB’s recommendations to Sec. Austin and reiterated the importance of an innovation ecosystem at home and abroad that underpins U.S. national security and economic security. Both Bloomberg and Hinote reflected on the lessons learned from Ukraine especially in regard to the use of technology and the urgency for more innovation in DoD.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks met briefly with the DIB Chair and members to thank them for their service, noting she and Sec. Austin were looking forward to the DIB’s insights and recommendations at a future board meeting.
The DIB provides the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and other senior leaders with independent advice and recommendations on innovative means to address future challenges and ways to leverage strengths across the public and private sector to advance national security and economic security.
Additional information about the DIB and the Strategic Investment Capital Task Force interview sessions can be found on its website: Caution-https://innovation.defense.gov