Real DoD Traction on Rapid Acquisition, Overhauling Procurement and Commercial Tech Innovation – Including $1B for the Defense Innovation Unit

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, we described recent statements by an official in the DoD Chief Information Office (CIO)  – about the potential for a “faster, secure pipeline” for commercial SMBs trying to innovate on behalf of the DoD  – as the rare DoD signal of an awareness of the challenges faced by small business tech contractors.  In contrast, equally as rare is the very recent cavalcade of reports of real movement on rapid acquisition initiatives, a letter submitted to the DoD by major industry players (Anduril, Palantir, etc.) to “speed up innovation” and a $1B House appropriation proposal to push commercial tech. To balance out the good news, we also include in this post metrics illustrative of the fact that, while the Defense Industrial Base “is still quite vast…it is steadily shrinking.”   Finally, some interesting ideas about how AI/ML may be leveraged into innovation in the efficiency of procurement and the product development process for commercial firms dealing with the DoD.