A memorandum of understanding unveiled today between the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) will help speed the transition to GSA contract vehicles for Federal civilian agencies a range of technologies that have already been successfully prototyped by DIU.

DIU’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of emerging and novel commercial technologies into the U.S. military by lowering barriers to entry and streamlining acquisitions through DIU’s Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) process. The MOU announced by the two agencies today will take a further step of making those technologies identified by DIU available to non-defense Federal agencies via GSA contract.

The commercial technologies that DIU focuses on include artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, cyber, energy, human systems, and space tech.

“As a transition partner with DIU, GSA will enable both DoD and non-DoD entities to scale novel commercial technologies across the United States, including those needed at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels,” the agencies said.

“Partnering with GSA to more easily bring proven, innovative, and emerging technologies to meet agency missions across the U.S. government is a win-win for both the taxpayers and for the commercial companies working with DIU,” commented Mike Brown, DIU’s director.

The agreement will increase the speed at which all U.S. Government agencies can access non-traditional industry partners through GSA contracts,” the agencies said. “The two organizations are working together to leverage DIU’s use of the competitive Other Transaction (OT) authority and its follow-on production contracting, combined with GSA’s streamlined FASt Lane process to onboard DIU industry partners.”

Laura Stanton, assistant commissioner for the Office of Information Technology at GSA, commented, “Sharing expertise and intellectual resources between agencies is mutually beneficial to DIU and GSA’s missions.” She added,  “We’re really excited to bring these innovative companies — many of which are small businesses — to GSA contracts.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.