Introduction to the
Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) - Opportunities for Small Business

Free Defense Alliance Webinar



Thursday, June 10, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM CDT
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FREE - Registration is required


This is an online event


Pat Lawton 
Defense Alliance 

The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) strengthens our national security by accelerating the adoption of leading commercial technology throughout the military and growing the national security innovation base.  This session will serve as an introduction and overview of DIU, and what tools and contracting mechanisms they have to enable acceleration of new technology.  It will also provide a high level overview of the defense innovation ecosystem and how DIU operates with other defense partners to offer the optimal route to bring new technologies and capabilities into the Department of Defense.  Lastly, it will provide a list of regional points of contact to facilitate engagement with DIU and the broader defense innovation ecosystem.

11:00 – 11:05
Introduction by the Defense Alliance
Chip Laingen – Executive Director

11:05 – 11:45
Defense Innovation Unit – Introduction for Small Business
Ryan Whelan – Industry Innovation Fellow for Cyber at Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) / Senior Director for Mandiant Threat Intelligence

11:45 – 11:55
Questions & Answers

11:55 – 12:00
Conclusion / Wrapup


The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) partners with organizations across the Department of Defense (DoD), from the services and components to combatant commands and defense agencies, to rapidly prototype and field advanced commercial solutions that address national security challenges. With offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, Austin, and the Pentagon, DIU connects its DoD partners with leading technology companies across the country.

DIU is the only DoD organization focused exclusively on fielding and scaling commercial technology across the U.S. military at commercial speeds. We are focused on six technology areas where the commercial sector is operating at the leading edge: advanced energy & materials, artificial intelligence, autonomy, cyber, human systems, and space.

We aim to move from problem identification to prototype contract award in 60–90 days whereas the traditional DoD contracting process often takes more than 18 months. Prototype projects typically run from 12–24 months and are administered according to Other Transaction (OT) authority. Upon completion, successful prototypes may transition to follow-on production-OT agreements or FAR-based contracts.

Defense Alliance accelerates commercialization for technology products and services, and contributes to regional economic development by supporting small businesses in the Upper Midwest.  The Alliance is a resources partner for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as a Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC), and contributes to the vibrancy of the defense industry and the national technology base in various market areas such as:  power and energy, strategic natural resources, cybersecurity, and others.  

Learn more about DIU at their website: