DOD to host innovation event on tech 'surprise'

By Tony Bertuca / May 31, 2023 at 3:06 PM

The Defense Department will be holding a "technological innovation discovery event" later this summer intended to identify potential prototype opportunities for "anticipating technological surprise," according to a new public notice.

The invitation-only event, known as TIDE 2023, is scheduled to take place Aug. 30 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA, and will feature a structure similar to that of a technology trade show.

“TIDE 2023 focuses on discovering prototype technologies that, at maturity, help maintain U.S. technical superiority while preventing the adversary from gaining advantages through technological surprise,” according to a May 31 request for information.

Developers are encouraged to submit “novel prototypes or modifications to their existing commercial technologies that enable previously unexplored applications and impact,” the RFI states.

Specifically, TIDE 2023 is interested in emerging capabilities that could produce “surprising impacts during future conflicts.”

“This includes the use of existing commercial technologies that may yield unanticipated military utility through technical modifications or unique applications,” the RFI states. “Technological surprise may result from producing an impactful or novel capability, an additive technology that enables a capability to function at a previously unseen scale or speed, or a disruptive countermeasure that neutralizes existing military technologies or capabilities.”

Interested parties must submit their applications for the TIDE 2023 event by June 16.

Meanwhile, the Defense Science Board recently sent senior Pentagon leaders a report on the “new dimensions of conflict” that urges DOD to be more “proactive” in terms of coping with and creating surprise.