Booz Allen reopens revamped DC innovation center

By Briana Reilly / November 16, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Booz Allen Hamilton today officially reopened its revamped downtown Washington, DC innovation center, a site executives were originally forced to shutter in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Called the Helix, the 9,422-square-foot space located within the company’s DC facility aims to spotlight solutions such as artificial intelligence, 5G and more, according to today’s press release, while showcasing their applications to the federal government.

“The original Booz Allen Innovation Center opened in 2016 with a mission to change the Booz Allen culture to one that is forward-thinking, and technology-focused,” Melissa Lazarofsky, Helix director, told Inside Defense in a statement. “This space builds on that success with a focus on today’s transformative and emerging technologies.”

The center includes more than two dozen simulations -- among them, an artificial intelligence adoption studio -- and a series of rotating demonstrations, with one in particular focused on 5G gamification. The feature comes nearly a year after Booz Allen opened a 5G lab in Annapolis Junction, MD.

“We are currently extending the backbone of the 5G lab and private network in central Maryland to the Helix so we can showcase similar use cases and 5G problem sets for that client base,” Brian MacCarthy, the company’s vice president of solutions innovation, told Inside Defense.

Those demonstrations will be regularly updated over time, Lazarofsky said, given the site’s goal is to ensure those demonstrations “reflect key firm priorities and innovations in real time.” Updates to the Helix’s activations and focus areas, she said, will be completed “as firm needs evolve and new technologies develop.”

The center will target a range of clients, spanning government and commercial, as well as partners, investors, lawmakers and media, MacCarthy said. He added the Helix is also slated to host events such as emerging tech demonstrations, hackathons and more.