The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) today announced it awarded 13 contract agreements for $12.3 million during the first two quarters of fiscal year 2017, bringing the total number of DIUx contracts since its founding to 25 for $48.8 million.
The team also has another 20 additional projects in the "pipeline" that account for $175 million and focus on five key areas: autonomy, information technology, life sciences, space and artificial intelligence, according to a DIUx statement.
"We have seen a significant increase in the number of companies across the nation seeking to work on customers', the services' and the combatant commands' toughest challenges," Raj Shah, managing director of DIUx, said in the statement.
DIUx, which was created by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter to help commercial technology companies connect to the Pentagon's acquisition system through small prototyping contracts, recently sent Congress an overview report in which it advocates legislative measures to attract non-traditional commercial sources of innovation.
"On average, for every $1 DIUx has put towards solutions, a DOD customer typically contributes $3," according to DIUx. "Moreover, the private sector has invested at least $1.5 billion in DIUx portfolio companies, giving DOD significant leverage and cost efficiency in key technology areas."