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  3. Innovation Sparks: How Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Is Making A Difference

Innovation Sparks: How Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Is Making A Difference

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    Through a case-study lens, both government and industry leaders will discuss capability delivery against real-world challenges and illuminate the areas flexible acquisition authorities enabled both speed and scale. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the Department’s growing adoption of non-traditional forms of contracting methods - and the leadership role the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) plays inside the Department to accelerate commercial technology adoption, catalyze investment into the national security innovation base where commercial technology can be adapted and applied to meet warfighting requirements.


    Series Description:

    A series looking at government, private industry, and investor perspectives on how innovation happens and how it makes a difference. This series will give you insights on what others have done and how you can apply what they have done in your environment. Hear what works, what doesn’t, and lessons learned along the way. Hear from organizations such as the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), industry vendors, tech-transfer offices, and investors in what they look for and how they make things work. 




    George Vukotich – Moderator, Visiting Faculty Member, DAU

    George Vukotich, Ph.D. is a visiting faculty member at DAU focusing on innovation and approaches organizations can take to be more successful. In addition to his work at the Defense Acquisition University, he helps organizations and universities set up tech and innovation hubs. His prior experience includes helping the City of Chicago build 1871 which has become ranked as the #1 tech hub in the world and the University of Wisconsin add a Smart Cities and Innovation hub. His educational work includes being a faculty member, department chair, and dean of a college of business. He has spent time in Corporate America with organizations such as Accenture and IBM with a focus on creating the future and what it takes for organizations to get there. He is an author and has served in the U.S. military.  



    Mike Madsen is the Deputy Director and Director of Strategic Engagement at the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)

    Before joining DIU, Mike was the Executive Director for the Section 809 Congressional Advisory Panel on Streamlining Acquisition. The Panel provided the intellectual underpinnings for acquisition reform language in defense authorization statutes. Prior to this, Mike served for 22 years in the U.S. Air Force where he led at the group and squadron levels and is a decorated combat pilot. Mike retired from the Air Force while he was the Senior Air Force Advisor to the Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mike also served as Division Chief in Legislative Liaison in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, directly advising the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force on issues before the congressional defense committees.



    Cherissa Tamayori – Panelist, Director Acquisition, DIU

    Cherissa Tamayori is the Director of Acquisition and Senior Contracting Official for the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). In this role, she serves as the senior acquisition advisor to the Director of DIU and is responsible for the development, implementation, and execution of all phases of the DIU project lifecycle across the six technology portfolios. Prior to accepting this role, Cherissa served as the Deputy Director of Acquisition at DIU where she was responsible for oversight and execution of contracting activities utilizing Other Transaction Authority. Additionally, she coordinated contracting activities between DIU and its support entities to execute projects for a customer base that spans the entire Department of Defense. Cherissa has also served in various contracting positions within the Navy.



    Matt Isenbarger, CEO, Freefly Systems

    Matt Isenbarger is the CEO at Freefly systems. In his role, he works to build the world's most productive drone ecosystem and supports the Freefly Systems vision to create products that enable what once was impossible. Matt holds advanced degrees in aviation and aerospace - unmanned systems, and aviation management which builds on an impressive career in the aviation industry





    Series Schedule:

    How Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is Making A Difference.

    May 17, 2023 (12:30 ET)

    How Tech-Hubs, Incubators, and Universities engage innovators to thrive. 

    June 14, 2023 (12:30 ET)

    How investors evaluate ideas and opportunities for funding.   

    July 19, 2023 (12:30 ET)

Other Events in Series: Innovation Sparks

  Join the conversation focused on how the Services get the best tech - from wherever it exists on the globe. Explore how the U.S. can transition tech to allies and partners, and build partner capacity. The panel will look at the challenges, and imperatives, to building a resilient innovation…
  call in (audio only) +1 571-403-9146, Phone Conference ID: 558 967 709#   This session will be a fireside chat with DAU's George Vukotich and Jonathan Reichental who has over 2 million viewers of his LinkedIn Learning courses related to innovation and technology. With DAU's LinkedIn…
  When it comes to a future of innovation and discovery - people are key and new tools and programs are redefining what it looks like to serve. Take a look at how the Department is launching groundbreaking talent programs in this discussion focusing on teaming leaders and innovation…
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Event Recording  To access Full Screen:    Description: Learn from a panel of investment experts how they evaluate opportunities and what other support is provided to startups to in the funding journey. This panel includes experienced founders that have been successful and what…
Event Recording  To Access Full Screen:   ​Event Description:  This session will have a distinguished panel of experts from organizations such as the: National Security Innovation Network NSIN, Defense Innovation Unit DIU, and AFWERX giving viewers the insights they need to be…
  Event Recording  To Access Full Screen:    Description:  Through a case-study lens, both government and industry leaders will discuss capability delivery against real-world challenges and illuminate the areas flexible acquisition authorities enabled both speed and…
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