House lawmakers are worried the Defense Department’s new innovation unit is too Silicon Valley centric.
The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, or DIUx, is a “helpful step” in bridging the worlds of traditional Defense procurement and small, innovative companies, according to the latest version of the annual Defense Authorization Act currently circulating on Capitol Hill.
But lawmakers on the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee are “concerned by the pinpoint focus on one geographic region,” according to the markup of the bill, which was approved April 21 by the subcommittee.
The bill even goes so far as to limit funding for unit until lawmakers’ concerns are addressed.
In the fiscal 2017 budget, the Pentagon requested $45 million for the innovation unit, which is headquartered in Silicon Valley.
The current version of the bill would keep a lid on about $9 million of that, until Defense officials provide Congress with concrete staffing plans; metrics for measuring the unit’s effectiveness; and how DoD plans to make sure the tech unit doesn’t conflict or overlap with similar projects undertaken by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or In-Q-Tel, the intelligence community’s technology investment arm.
Keep reading this article at: http://m.nextgov.com/defense/2016/04/pentagons-innovation-unit-too-cozy-silicon-valley/127731/