Lawmakers Want DOD to Explore Tech’s Valley of Death Problem
Lawmakers are urging the Department of Defense to investigate technology’s so-called valley of death problem, which refers to the two-year period that occurs between development funding and inclusion into a program of record. The issue has been frustrating the industry, experts, and the Pentagon as the Defense Department is seeking to modernize and integrate innovative technologies. The valley of death problem affects smaller companies that don’t typically collaborate with the department. The issue creates a stalemate in which it is incredibly difficult for small companies to justify the gap between receiving development money and getting funds as a program of record in their business plans. Since smaller companies are at higher risk of experiencing the valley of death issue, it creates a situation where it is far more difficult for smaller players to get into the technology industry.
House Armed Services Committee lawmakers want to use the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act to push the DoD to figure out a solution to the valley of death issue. On Tuesday, aides detailed several proposed provisions in the draft bill that would target the harmful problem. The proposals will be reviewed next week and direct the DoD to conduct a five-year pilot that would help take science and technology activities into full-scale implementation. The bill would also evaluate the barriers that prevent DoD from scaling innovative technology.