5th Annual Defense Research and Development Summit Update

Published: January 18, 2019


The Potomac Officers Club, sponsored by E3 Federal Solutions, held the 5TH Annual Defense Research and Development Summit on January 15, 2018 in McLean, VA. The main objective of this year’s annual summit event was to highlight the defense’s sectors R&D plans, priorities, challenges, and what industry may do to assist the Government in achieving these goals. There were five speakers from various Government agencies who participated in the summit to provide information on future goals and priorities in relation to R&D.  Below is the list of the speakers for this summit:

  • Mary Miller, Principal Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Research and Technology
  • Thomas Gillespie, Director of the Department of Defense Information Analysis Centers (DODIAC)
  • Dr. Peter Highnam, Deputy Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Dr. Marie Sandrock, Deputy Director for the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO)
  • Kevin Keaton, National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS)

The first speaker, Mary Miller of OSD, touched on the National Defense Lines of Effort objectives to counter adversaries of the United States and modernization of defense capabilities. To counter the threat from U.S. adversaries, the OSD has put in place three objectives of the National Defense Lines of Effort: Lethality, Partnerships, and Reform. Mary Miller’s other main talking point was the need for defense capabilities to focus on modernization that will disrupt future conflicts. Through modernization, OSD must develop new lethal capabilities and accelerate the pace to get these capabilities to the warfighter. The ten modernization priorities of OSD include:

  • Hypersonics (HS)
  • Cyber
  • Space
  • Quantum Science (QS)
  • Machine Learning (ML)/Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Microelectronics (ME)
  • Autonomy
  • Missile Defense
  • Fully Networked, Command, Control, and Communication (FNC3)
  • Directed Energy (DE)

Thomas Gillespie’s presentation, of DODIAC, highlighted the Information Analysis Centers (IAC) Multiple Award Contract (MAC) Program, known as the “crown jewel.” The IAC MAC is a $28 billion, nine-year, multiple award, IDIQ effort that was awarded in September 30, 2018.   Deltek is tracking the IAC MAC Contract Vehicle under Opportunity ID: 138981. Pool 1 of the IAC MAC contract was awarded to Small Business and Pool 3 was awarded under Full and Open Competition and covers CBRN Defense capabilities. The Pool 2 group of contracts was awarded to under Small Businesses competition. The Pool 2 group of contracts is currently in Protest.  A decision on the Protest is anticipated to be made within the next of weeks.

Dr. Peter Highnam, Deputy Director of DARPA, briefed of DARPA’s budget and two most important objectives in the FY19 budget: the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) and the AI Next Campaign. According to the slides presented at the presentation, DARPA’s FY19 budget has been set as approximately $3.4 billion. The goal of the ERI is to create a more specialized, secure, and heavily automated electronics industry. The budget for ERI has been set at $1.5 billion over five years and includes 13 active programs and three new opportunities. The goal of the AI Next campaign is to create systems capable of acquiring new knowledge through generative contextual and explanatory models. The AI Next Campaign includes 23 programs which are solely focused on AI. The AI Campaign includes over 80 active programs containing AI initiatives. In addition, Dr. Peter Highnam presented several DARPA Opportunities Deltek is tracking in its pipeline. Some of these Opportunities were awarded while others are still active.

The 5th Annual Defense Research and Development Summit was an informative event with a high turnout from Industry. The speakers focused more of the Government’s strategies and challenges in relation to R&D. The presentations provided information on future goals and priorities in relation to R&D and AI. Small Business opportunities may come through the pipeline. Mr. Peter Highnam of DAPRA, was the only speaker to discuss past and current Opportunities that Deltek is tracking in GovWin.

The Potomac Officers Club will hold the Artificial Intelligence Summit event on February 13, 2019 to discuss government AI programs and priorities, as well as what new initiatives lie on the horizon.