The ability to satisfy the innovators itch – beyond proclamations and boisterous claims via a social media comment is now upon you. The frequent observations and suggestions I’ve read on SOFREP social media posts, boards, and via Team Room chat has motivated me to find a means for many of you to put your ideas to use – in the defense field.
Innovation comes from multiple sources, the first and best is differentiation. The Defense Innovation Marketplace provides this outlet to you, the public. This is where the Department of Defense (DoD,) selects proposals from independent, research, and development. The DoD is providing you the with the opportunity to be selected based on the merits of your concepts and how they fit into current DoD needs.
Through a bid and proposal format, the Defense Innovation Marketplace provides resources for your concepts. Allowing you to present unique value, which they can only get from you – a value they are often willing to pay a premium price for.
As modern warfare shifts between the demands of asymmetrical, conventional, counter-terrorism, digital, nation-building, relief efforts and so on . . . The industry’s growth stagnates beyond the moment of need. The DoD is exploring the public, the crowd-source phenomenon for more information and untapped sources of innovation.
In 2010, under the Better Buying Power 1.0 initiative, the DoD initially sought a new method to engage with traditional industry and government sources. Their methodology was geared towards improving independent research and development information exchange, investment priorities – essentially an interoffice forum. The DoD soon learned that it could improve its options, and the Defense Innovation Marketplace was reorganized to accept small businesses and eventually expand as an outlet to communicate DoD requests to the public. As well as maintaining its original mission as an interoffice forum.
The Defense Innovation Marketplace provides new ways to manage and share information by digitally communicating the needs of Department of Defense: in a citizen-centric way. In Defense, this means citizen-centered independent research and development.
This is where the DoD is leveraging digital and the public, through the innovation marketplace. The Defense Innovation Marketplace is about rivaling and beating bulky and often restrictive contracts with easily adaptable solutions. Through you, the DoD aims to present its challenges, enhance its breadth of solutions, pricing, service solutions, and resolve its technological challenges.
That said, the next incentive for the DoD comes from neutralization. This is where you have to opportunity to undercut and outsmart the big defense contractors who have failed to bring a new or usable innovation to the market. Your challenge is to outperform and overdeliver – to advance with the current defense needs versus the protracted games the DoD must play with the household-name firms. To succeed, your challenge is to present a better innovation, fast enough, and the key is to maintain the scope of DoD needs.
Another return motivating the DoD is optimization. In government, there is little to a no-known association of optimization with innovation—indeed, these concepts often clash in legislation and protracted contracts. Yet, in the private sector, where time is money – optimization demands innovation to streamline processes, production, and even procurement. Through the Defense Innovation Marketplace, the DoD has an open channel to the public, and you have the opportunity to get a financial and patriotic return, as well as the opportunity, to extend your business or simply expand on and improve your ideas.