The U.S. Army held an industry day Thursday at the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental facility in Silicon Valley as part of a challenge that aims to evaluate and buy prototypes of cyber platforms from small businesses, the Army reported Friday.
Claire Heininger writes at least 60 companies participated in the third Cyber Innovation Challenge that seeks software platforms to manage the service branch’s hardware suites or micro-clouds for defensive missions.
“Cyber space moves too fast for the Army to start from scratch and develop our own kit when the solutions are already out there in industry,” said Douglas Wiltsie, executive director of the system of systems engineering and integration directorate under the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology.
“By tapping into commercial innovation and putting prototypes in the hands of soldiers early in the process, the Army also gets smarter on our enduring acquisition strategies for cyber equipment.”
The service branch plans to issue a summary of requirements for software tools in April and then assess selected prototypes through technical demonstrations.
“This model allows us to reach innovators who rarely or never work with the military,” Wiltsie added.
Two vendors that took part in the first challenge in 2015 are scheduled to deliver in April their prototypes of infrastructure kits that work to support the military branch’s cyber protection teams.
The Army also plans to award contracts in the summer of 2016 for prototypes of cyberspace analytics tools as part of the second Cyber Innovation Challenge.