The National Center for Simulation (NCS) will host the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) for the Central Florida Regional Roadshow at the Central Florida Tech Grove on Sept. 13 in Orlando, Florida.


Established in 2015, the DIU works to improve national defense and increase the nation’s security innovation base by accelerating the adoption of commercial and dual-use technology throughout the military to solve operational challenges at speed and scale.


““It’s important for our MS&T community to continue to demonstrate constantly to the rotating leaders of the Team Orlando military services their cutting-edge solutions,” said Dr. Neal Finkelstein, NCS chief operating officer. “We’re trying to bring in new innovations, new techniques, and new procedures to the military services’ simulation headquarters [in Central Florida], and we’re also trying to speed up the acquisition timeline… to help the military acquire these innovations quicker and ultimately find a insertion spot into a Program of Record.”


As an entity within the DIU, NSIN seeks to drive national security innovation and develop technologies to directly support warfighters, non-uniformed personnel and others charged with national defense. NSIN is a program office that works with various innovators (for example, universities, researchers, students, entrepreneurs, and start-ups) to create collaboration opportunities and connect with “nontraditional” communities that aren’t known for working with national security entities.


Finkelstein said that one of the ways the acquisition timeline can be expedited is through prize challenges, which is where DIU and NSIN help.


“Prize challenges are seen by the Department of Defense (DoD) as a competitive acquisition,” Finkelstein said. “If a prize challenge is done correctly, the process may go right into an ‘other transaction authority’ (OTA) contract, and if successful, can lead to a non-compete ‘federal acquisition regulation’-based contract. It has the potential to save time in the acquisition process. These are real touch-points and not just a White-Paper to evaluate.”


“We have the ability, with this innovation and the help of DIU and NSIN, to shorten that timeline, not only for the DoD but for our industry partners” Finkelstein said. “That’s what I see as one of the big benefits of putting on these roadshows to inform people of this.”


At the roadshow, DIU and NSIN leaders will present mission overviews, provide background on programmatic and technology areas, and offer advice specific to firms seeking to engage with DoD agencies. Representatives from multiple DIU technology portfolios – with special focus on autonomy, space, and human systems – will feature project and portfolio highlights and engage with leaders in industry and defense. Both in-person and virtual participants can participate in a Q&A session.


“DIU is a pretty important organization,” Finkelstein said. “If you have a small, innovative company and you want to learn how DIU is innovating across DoD, it’s important to be at the DIU Florida Roadshow.


If you have a small, innovative company and you want to showcase to the DoD what you’re doing, it’s important to be at [this event].”


Featured speakers at the roadshow will include Andrea Castillon, DIU’s south region director; Beverly Seay, NSIN regional director; Gregory Coleman, principal for National Security Innovation Capital; Joshua Tuxhorn, DIU agreements officer; and Phillip Lee, DIU agreements officer.


The roadshow will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This hybrid event is free for online or in-person attendance, but registration is required. To register, to go


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