Defense Innovation Unit

Accelerating Commercial Technology for National Security.

Accelerator Program
  • Program Type
    Accelerator Program
  • Industry Focus
    Dual-use solutions to solve National Security Challenges
  • Submission Deadline
    rolling deadline
  • Program Duration
    60-90 days
  • Location or Virtual
  • Eligibilty Requirements (Y/N)

The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) strengthens our national security by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and growing the national security innovation base. DIU partners with organizations across the Department of Defense (DoD), from the services and components to combatant commands and defense agencies, to rapidly prototype and field advanced commercial solutions that address national security challenges. With offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, Austin, and the Pentagon, DIU connects its DoD partners with leading technology companies across the country.

DIU is the only DoD organization focused exclusively on fielding and scaling commercial technology across the U.S. military at commercial speeds. We are focused on six technology areas where the commercial sector is operating at the leading edge: advanced energy & materials, artificial intelligence, autonomy, cyber, human systems, and space.

The Defense Innovation Unit helps minimize up-front costs for commercial tech companies interested in working with the Department of Defense (DoD). We reduce the amount of time it takes from problem identification to prototyping a commercial solution and implementing it in the field. Our powerful DoD network, agile processes, contract authority, and diverse team of experts can accelerate a path to revenue for your company. Check our website today for open solicitations to see if your technology or product could not only solve a national security challenge but also scale to users across DoD.

We aim to move from problem identification to prototype contract award in 60–90 days whereas the traditional DoD contracting process often takes more than 18 months. Prototype projects typically run from 12–24 months and are administered according to Other Transaction (OT) authority. Upon completion, successful prototypes may transition to follow-on production-OT agreements or FAR-based contracts.

Areas We Focus On:

  • Advanced Energy & Materials - Leveraging advancements in the commercial sector to strengthen resilience on military installations and enhance operational energy capabilities.
  • Artificial Intelligence - Applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to accelerate critical decision making and operational impact.
  • Autonomy - Adopting and countering autonomous systems with a focus on human-machine interaction and scalable teaming.
  • Cyber - Making enterprise combat information open, accessible, and secure for defense personnel across the globe.
  • Human Systems- Optimizing the human system and its enabling platforms through enhanced equipment, innovative training, and novel health applications.
  • Space - Developing on-demand access to space, persistent satellite capabilities, and broadband space data transfer.
  • Work with the Defense Innovation Unit

    Focused exclusively on fielding and scaling commercial technology across the U.S. military at commercial speeds

    Streamlining the Federal Contracting Process

    We make it easy for companies that have never before done business with the Department of Defense - or the U.S. government - to win contracts based on merit and implement solutions at commercial speeds. DIU has already introduced more than 50 first-time vendors to the DoD.

    Lowering the Barriers to Entry

    DIU delivers revenue through flexible prototype contracts that apply commercial innovations to solve national security challenges. Whether seeking hardware, software, or service solutions, DIU lowers the barriers to entry and makes it faster and easier for companies of any size to do business with the Department of Defense.

    Easy Solution Submission Process

    Submitting your solution is as as easy as 1-2-3!

  • 1. Solicitation - We solicit commercial solutions on our website that address current needs of our DoD partners.
  • 2. Solution Brief - You send us a short brief about your solution.
  • 3. Invitation to Pitch - We’ll reach out within 30 days if we’re interested in scheduling a pitch. If we're not interested, we'll strive to let you know ASAP.
  • Future Phases

    Check out an overview of each competition phase below - complete rules for each phase will be released as the competition progresses.


    Companies We Work With

    Let’s Get Started.

    To apply or join the program, please submit an application.