DIU kicks off 2020 with a host of new commercial solicitations

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What do small satellite constellations and an artificially intelligent flight instructor have in common? The Defense Innovation Unit is seeking both through its latest round of solicitations.

The Defense Department’s Silicon Valley liaison is kicking off 2020 with a host of new contracting opportunities. In all, the organization has six solicitations currently open to responses.

For example, the DOD is interested in finding a commercial off-the-shelf inventory management solution that can find all the agency’s various network devices and quickly identify any vulnerabilities that need to be patched.

“The DOD’s current systems for inventory management are custom-built and do not interface with best of breed market solutions, do not efficiently identify assets, and do not provide an integrated view of vulnerabilities and patch prioritization across the network or for each asset,” the solicitation reads. “Today it takes time to assess, test, and deploy patches that fix newly identified vulnerabilities. This timeline must be shortened for success.”

Another focus area revealed by the solicitations is pilot training. The DOD wants to “streamline” pilot training with the help of some new technologies, including artificial intelligence.

“DOD is interested in prototyping an AI entity which will provide instruction, analysis, and feedback to student pilots before, during, and after simulator events,” the solicitation reads. The solicitation also requests the hardware and software necessary for a cockpit and flight environment simulation.

Through the commercial solutions opening process, companies that successfully impress the organization with their solution brief, pitch and proposal will be granted an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) contract to develop a prototype. Companies that successfully pass this stage may be granted another OTA for production.

Other current solicitations involve satellite imagery collection and object detection, predictive health and more.

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artificial intelligence (AI), Commercial Solutions Opening, DIU (formerly DIUx), other transaction agreements (OTAs)