news | 18 April 2024

Defense Innovation Unit at AUVSI Xponential 2024

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Defense Innovation Unit team members will be in San Diego for the 2024 AUVSI Xponential conference. We are excited to share our knowledge and experiences around autonomous systems and the defense innovation base. DIU panelists will touch on topics including the DIU 3.0 strategy, our Blue UAS platforms, commercial tech integration within DoD, and more.

We also encourage you to drop us your contact information and stay connected with DIU news and solicitations. We hope to see you in San Diego.

Tuesday, April 23

Panel: Day 1 Keynote

Details: 9:00 a.m.  - 9:45 a.m., Ballroom 20

Description: DIU Director Doug Beck will discuss operationalizing the DIU 3.0 strategy. 


  • Courtney Albon, Space and Emerging Technology Reporter, Defense News

  • Doug Beck, Director, Defense Innovation Unit

Panel: Innovative Business Models for Enhanced DoD Agility: A Non Technology Approach

Details: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Room 31 B/C

Description: This workshop will challenge the status quo of technology-centric innovation. In this session, industry leaders will share successful business models that go beyond technology, focusing on how to optimize processes, workflows, and strategies to enhance Department of Defense (DoD) agility.


  • David Michelson, Autonomy Portfolio Director, Defense Innovation Unit

  • Nathan Parker, General Manager, Defense and Public Sector, Kodiak Robotics

  • John Mark Wilson, Head of Strategy and Communications, Applied Intuition Defense

  • Rachel Braun, Partner, Space Ventures, AFWERX and SpaceWERX

Panel: Human Machine Integration

Details: 11:15 a.m. - 12 p.m., Defense Theater

Description: The acceleration of uncrewed systems in military and commercial operations can no longer be seen as simply human-to-machine. The panel will address the nascent point of human-machine integration (HMI) and discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead. 


  • John Burke, Specialist Executive, Deloitte (Moderator)

  • Christopher Orlowski, Associated Director and Growth Lead, Land Systems, Anduril Industries

  • Kevin O’Brien, Phd, Technical Director, Autonomy Portfolio, Defense Innovation Unit

  • Ryan Fitzgerald, Autonomy Lead, DON Office of Strategic Assessment

  • Stuart Hatfield, Army G-8 HMI Director, U.S. Army

Panel: The Blue List, Framework, NDAA Compliance and How It Ties Together. 

Details: 1:00 p.m. - 1:25 p.m., Innovation Theather

Description: Defense Innovation Unit’s Trent Emeneker will provide an overview of the past, present, and projected future of the DIU Blue List and Blue Framework List, how NDAA compliance affects folks, what the goods and bads are from the perspective of industry as voiced to us, DoD voices, and how DIU is trying to partner and solve problems in this space.


  • Trent Emeneker, Autonomy Portfolio, Defense Innovation Unit

Panel: Additive Manufacturing and Advanced Materials Use Cases for Attributable Unmanned Systems

Details: 1:50 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., Defense Theater

Description: This panel will explore how additive manufacturing and advanced materials innovations can impact the U.S. Defense industrial base and be utilized in attritable unmanned systems defense initiatives.


  • Alex Mercer, Senior Manager Content & Product Strategy, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Moderator)

  • Alex Angilella, Lead Aeromechanical Engineer, the MITRE Corporation

  • Andy Chapman, Entrepreneur, Skip Dynamix Corporation

  • Jeff Ratcliff, Business Development Executive, RapidFlight

  • Michael Kenworthy, Chief Technology Officer, Divergent Technologies, Inc.

  • Travis DeMeester, Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit

Panel: Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Details: 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Defense Theater

Description: This will be a multi-domain CUAS discussion on the layered CUAS defense strategy employed across the joint force and opportunities for where commercial innovation can offer support. 


  • Joshua Zike, Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit (Moderator)

  • Leo McCloskey, VP Marketing, Echodyne

  • Matt McCrann, CEO, DroneSheild

Panel: Assumed Breach: Cybersecurity, Compliance and Risk Assessment

Details: 4:30 p.m. - 5 p.m., room 28 D/E

Description: These two speakers will dive into the critical realm of cybersecurity risks in the dynamic landscape of drones, supply chain data, and government customer engagements. They will explore concise insights, practical strategies, and real-world constraints as industry leaders and experts share their experiences in safeguarding uncrewed systems against evolving cyber threats. 


  • Hahna Kane Latonick, Director of Security Research, Dark Wolf Solutions

  • Shane Goodwin, Blue UAS and Information Systems Security Manager, Defense Innovation Unit