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Heidi Shyu Highlights Need for Database of DOD’s Innovation Activities

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Heidi Shyu, undersecretary for research and engineering at the Department of Defense and a previous Wash100 Award winner, said her office plans to build a database that would provide R&E with a comprehensive view of technology capabilities being developed by service branches and other innovation organizations within DOD, Federal News Network reported Monday.

“R&E looks across every service. We’ve already gone to the Air Force, the Navy, the Marines, the Army, the [Defense Innovation Unit] and the [Strategic Capabilities Office] to try to understand what process they utilize and what companies they have gone out to,” Shyu told the publication in an interview. 

“So all of those things will be pulled together. We’d like to create a database we can tap into so that I can basically Google for a specific capability or product,” she added.

Shyu discussed the challenge that small businesses face when it comes to working with the Pentagon and how cataloging DOD’s innovation initiatives and capability gaps could help address that problem.

“But once we get all of that information together, we can go the next step. Figuring out what we already have — pulling a database together to share across the board will speak volumes,” she said. “Then, we need to figure out if there is a specific entry point we need to highlight even more to the small businesses. It’s a stepwise process we’re going through.”